Project #299: RWBY Season 5

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Say~ *looks at watch* it’s RWBY time. Normally, I’m excited to review RWBY and why I shouldn’t I be, the series has come a long way. What started off as just a web show quickly became a hit with everyone and became the show that everyone watched. Even with the shocking death of the series creator, Monty Oum, the series still shined through and continued going strong. Than volume 5 came out. If volume 4 was where the cracks of RWBY started to surface than volume 5 is where those cracks just burst open for everyone to see. But is this volume of RWBY really that bad? Well let’s find out. This is RWBY volume 5.

Opening and Ending Themes

The opening is “The Triumph” by Casey Lee Williams. It’s a good song and probably my third favorite opening in the series. Let’s Just Live was a song of healing and picking ourselves up after a heavy defeat, this song is about determination and never giving up. The song makes it clear that things are bad, the odds are stacked against our heroes, and it’s gonna take a miracle for them to win. So what? Despite the odds being stacked they’ll keep fighting and make their own miracle happen. The vocals of Casey are always good and the instrumental is very good through the song although it does drown out Casey’s vocals in the final parts of the opening. Other than that, a solid opening.

Once again the ending theme is showcase for this season’s soundtrack done by Jeff Williams and others who do a fantastic job as always with the soundtrack.

Episodes 1-4

The new season starts off with Qrow giving the kids a glimpse of Minstril (which I’m not gonna lie is a pretty awesome city. It’s like a combination of nature and Japanese culture). They then go to Haven Academy where they meet Lionheart who informs them that just like Vale took a major hit so too did they as the incident also awakened the Grimm in their area and the Minstril council has sent huntsmen and huntresses out to fight them which leaves Haven’s relic totally defenseless (you guys are just begging to fall like Beacon aren’t you?). The good news is only the maidens can unlock the relics so they’re good there for now and Qrow knows where the spring maiden is, Raven. It turns out the spring maiden couldn’t handle the stress and pleasure of being a maiden, so she ran away and has been missing for a decade now (you lost track of her for 10 years? Nice going). It didn’t take long for her to get discovered by Raven who used her to increase her influence in the tribe until she eventually took over the tribe and now rules it with an iron fist (she’s a hard one to say no to). Qrow says they need to mount an assault and raid the bandit’s hideout but Lionheart says they only get one shot at this and need to make it perfect. He says to give him time to convince the council of Minstril to give him huntsmen and huntresses and Qrow decides to trust him on that end for now and takes his leave with the others. While that’s going on we see Weiss is still heading towards Minstril, Blake and Sun are still in Menagerie trying to get their council to deal with the White Fang, and Yang instead of heading towards Minstril is actually going to meet her mom Raven. Back with Qrow he meets up with Oscar and senses Ozpin within him giving the cane to Oscar and getting shitfaced out of joy for finally finding Ozpin. The others on the other hand are confused on what’s going on.

Episode 2 is a rather intense episode (and I love RoosterTeeth for it). It starts off with Lionheart telling Salem where the spring maiden is and Salem sending Cinder and her group out to convince Raven to join up with them. We then focus on Weiss where she and the pilot get attacked by hornet like Grimm called Lancers (the designs on these things are amazing). We get a cool flight battle (the camera work is amazing here) where Weiss defends the ship and the pilot shows off his moves. When they handle the soldiers, the queen comes out and Weiss uses her summoning powers to take care of the queen (who needs bug spray when you’ve got Weiss?). The ship however takes damage and crash lands on an island (thank you for flying Air Plot. Please enjoy your story). Weiss survives (the pilot, not so much) and the island she lands on just happens to be the HQ of Raven’s tribe. Back in Menagerie we meet Sienna the leader of the White Fang who falls at the hands of Adam (no! She had such a good character design and everything. What a waste) and assumes control of the White Fang (you really know how to choose the bad boys Blake).

Episode 3 focuses on Blake, her family, and Sun. It starts with Ghali revealing Adam’s plans to all the citizens of Menagerie such as overthrowing Sienna (put a check mark next to that one) and taking down Haven Academy in 2 months (there’s also this plan to make Blake his wife but that’s for after world domination). He calls for all Fanuses to arms to protect Haven and even invites Blake to say a few words but before she can talk, Emilia shows up and tries to rally everyone to Adam’s side before Sun interrupts her and she makes her escape. Back with Ruby and the others they speak with Ozpin (and yes, it is weird hearing his voice come out of Oscar’s body). We find out that he’s the manifestation of countless men who spent their life protecting Remnant from evil because in the past he failed to stop Salem so the gods punished him to walk Remnant. He’s lived for thousands of years being reincarnated into the bodies of like-minded individuals like him all while retaining his memories. Now that he’s here he tells them their plan for the next month before Haven Academy resumes school. First off, they’re not gonna tell Lionheart about Ozpin being reincarnated into Oscar (smart move). After hearing from Qrow the way Lionheart acted, they’ve decided he can’t be trusted. Second, Ozpin is going to train Ruby and the others themselves so that they’ll be ready for Salem’s forces (great, they can fight Grimm but when it comes to beings who can think rationally and don’t rely on instincts they struggle).

Episode 4 focuses on my girl Yang. In the episode Yang gives a ride to a bandit saying he knows where Raven is (if he’s lying knock out his other teeth). The bandit leads her into a trap where they have her surrounded and instead of shooting her (really good recruits you got their Raven), they rush her and she knocks them out where she reveals herself to be Raven’s daughter (Raven is so gonna kill those guys). They finally take her to the camp where Yang finally comes face to face with Raven and she takes no crap from her whatsoever (which is understandable. Raven pretty much abandoned the family. Yang was raised by Taiyan and Qrow. Raven may be her mother, but she wasn’t her mom). Yang cuts to the chase and wants Raven to take her to Ruby. While Yang knows Ruby is heading to Minstral she doesn’t know if Ruby made it there or not and since there’s so much land to cover her best bet is Raven who can use her semblance to open portals to the people she forms bonds with and one of those people just happens to be Qrow who is with Ruby (smexy girl). Raven refuses to open a portal and tells her men to take her away and this results in a fight where it gets exposed that Weiss is locked up (reunion, yaaaay~). So, Weiss says screw subtlety (it’s overrated anyway) and uses her summoning powers to bust herself out and rejoin Yang. Both sides prepare to fight but Raven stops them before they attract the Grimm (oh yes! Please! Let’s get this party started) and gives in to Yang’s demand inviting her into her tent so that they can talk and she can learn the truth about Ozpin. Once the dust has settled Weiss hugs Yang happy to see her friend again and to see that she’s alright (aww, this is nice).

Episodes 5-8

Episode 5 is a pretty slow episode. Blake and Sun try to get volunteers to help protect Haven, but nobody wants to join because most of them came to Menagerie to seek refuge from war and violence (they’re basically a bunch of pacifist to lay down their lives for people who most likely don’t like them). Later on, we see Emilia meet with Corsac and Fennec who tell her that the White Fang plan to assassinate Blake’s family, capture Blake and deliver her to Adam (he wants his sexy black cat back). We get a Ruby and Oscar moment where Oscar asks Ruby how she can handle everything that’s happening around her (yeah I’m actually surprise she hasn’t had a meltdown yet) to which she says she continues to fight on for her friends. She wants to protect the ones she still has while also remembering the ones that she has lost. It’s tough, she knows it’s tough, but at the same time she refuses to just give up and do nothing.

Episode 6 starts off on a rather sad note. Qrow goes into town hoping to find some of his own huntsmen and huntresses buddies to fight with him in the battle to come but unfortunately some of them are either dead or MIA. Back with Yang and Weiss, they have their talk with Raven who reveals that the reason she and Qrow entered Beacon Academy in the first place was to learn how to kill other huntsmen and huntresses (but instead you fell in love, got married, and then left the man and daughter you supposedly loved. The end). She tells them about Salem and how she’s the leader of the Grimm and wants to take over the world (https://youtu.be/1W7c8QghPxk). She warns them not to follow or trust Ozpin as he’s kept secrets from her in the past and fighting against Salem is impossible (and what, be like you? Hiding away in the forest like a coward afraid to fight or pick a side. No thank you. I’ll take my chances with the guy who’s pulling a Professor Xavier). She finally gives Yang the choice to stay here and have all her questions answer or leave and go to Qrow (stay here with a mom who abandoned you and can’t be trusted, or go be with an uncle you can trust and a little sister who needs your help. Choices). Of course Yang chooses to go to Qrow (Weiss has no say in matter. It’s either leave with Yang or get locked up again) and after using Raven’s portal our ladies arrive in Minstril and give Ruby the biggest surprise of her life. If I’m being honest the reunion between Ruby, Weiss, and Yang is done exceptionally well here. As soon as Ruby sees Yang she drops the tea set and just starts apologizing and panicking for leaving Yang behind without a word while Yang just walks up to Ruby, hugs her, and says ‘I love you’. Soon everybody else walks in and Ruby invites Weiss into the hug between her and Yang (that was beautiful).

Episode 7 opens up with Ruby and the others eating and catching up with each other (now this is another good scene as for the first time in a while the group is acting like kids again. All the stress and anxiety that they’ve been through so far has taken a backseat. The problems that they have to face are still there but just for one moment they can take their minds off of that and just be themselves). After eating and having some fun, they talk to Ozpin who reveals to them that he’s the one who gave Qrow and Raven the ability to turn into birds (ridiculous when you say it out loud but bird’s the word). He also reveals that he’s the one who gave the original maidens their powers (how much powerful does this guy have?). He tells them they now have a choice to either stay by his side and fight or leave (after everything they’ve been through why would they leave?) and they all decide to stay including Yang however she wants Ozpin to be straight with them from now on. No more lies or half-truths, she wants the whole truth and nothing else. Back with Raven and her poor excuse for bandits, they receive a visit from Cinder, Dr. Watts, Mercury, and Emerald (hey Mercury, you tap Emerald yet?).

In the first story of episode 8 we see that Yang is actually mad at Blake for leaving the team without so much as a word (understandable) and actually doesn’t care if she comes back or not. Weiss sits down and talks to Yang where she talks about her family (her family makes a dysfunctional family look like a picture frame family). On her 10th birthday her dad and mom got into an argument where Jacque revealed that he only married her because of the family name (happy birthday Weiss). This drove a wedge between them and before long they stopped seeing each other and going to Weiss’s recitals. While Weiss hasn’t gone through the pain of losing things she cares about like Yang (which is a lot) she knows one thing for sure and that’s Yang, Ruby, and Blake are more family to her than her actual family and she would do anything for them (Yang’s the wise older sister, Blake is the young moody sister, and Ruby is the hyperactive younger sister). That’s why when Blake comes back (which she will. Feed a cat once and they’ll always come back) she’ll be there to welcome her back with open arms and be there for her when the time comes (wow, you have grown Weiss. Weiss is fully aware that Blake left because she didn’t want to get anyone else hurt because of her past. Blake went to great lengths to keep her past and identity a secret from the others in order to protect them and when her past finally caught up to her, her worst fears came true in the form of one of her teammates and closest friends almost getting killed). Speaking of Blake, we see her get lured into a trap by Emilia who reveals that Adam is in Minstril, the White Fang is going to kill her family, and that she was in love with her (why does Blake have so many ships?). She gets captured so she can be taken to Adam but Sun is there to save her and they hurry back to her house to save her folks who are now busy fighting the White Fang.

Episodes 9-14

Nothing much to say about episode 9. Cinder, Dr. Watts, Mercury, and Emerald enter Raven’s tribe (which I have called The Nest) where they work out a deal that Raven and her tribe will help them get the relic from Haven and unlock it using the spring maiden’s power if they help her kill Qrow (no worries, we’ll just used the Philosopher’s Stone to bring him back). Of course, Raven’s real goal is to keep herself and The Nest safe. She knows that Salem and others won’t let her walk away safely so she plans to turn on them in the big fight about to happen and take the relic for herself. Back with Blake, she and Sun arrive back at her house where Blake goes to look for her mom only to come face to face with Emilia.

At the start of episode 10 Ruby talks to Ozpin and asks the question we’ve all been wondering since volume 4, is Ozpin’s cane a relic (be honest, you’ve all been thinking it)? Ozpin says no and says the relic at Beacon is in a safe spot and not in the hands of Salem. Qrow than receives a call from Lionheart who tells them that he’s had a breakthrough with the council (the breakthrough being we want to kill you). Back with Blake, she and Emilia have their emotional fight which results in Blake setting her house on fire (your dad is so gonna kill you). Blake manages to beat her but she gets knocked out, a pillar is about to fall on her but Ghira saves her and he in turn gets saved by Sun and Blake, with Blake getting saved by Emilia who finally has a change of heart and joins her side, and either Corsac or Fennec dies (the one with the long ears). Kali is also okay and manages to escape with the others with only a small portion of the house being damaged (we’ll deducted from Blake’s allowance). Everyone in the village gathers to see the damage where Blake delivers a good speech about just as humans are capable of such evil so too are Fanuses. She doesn’t know how to stop hate but she knows that if you let others (like Adam) speak for you, then you’re only helping spread that hate. She asks for everyone to fight once again and this time Emilia steps up and others soon follow.

Episode 11 is a suspenseful episode. We see the group go to meet Lionheart at the academy at night where he’s set a trap for their demise. The group gets into a fight against Raven, the Spring maiden, Mercury, Emerald, Cinder, and Hazal who has arrived with the White Fang and are going to blow up the academy (well this night just keeps getting better). From there we get our fights which sadly aren’t as impressive as you would have hoped and the worst part is everyone looks weak here (weren’t you guys training with Ozpin these last few weeks? Kick some ass). Weiss takes on the Spring Maiden (where she apparently forgot how to fight), Ren and Nora take on Hazal, Oscar takes on Lionheart (kick his cowardly ass Oscar), Qrow takes on Raven, Yang takes on Mercury, Ruby takes on Emerald, and the big shocker is Jaune taking on Cinder in order to avenge Pyrrha. During the scuffle Jaune actually manages to get a hit in on Cinder and in order to make him pay, she creates a spear and drives it through Weiss (nooooooo~! Wait, she’s a main character, there’s no way they would kill her in this type of fashion. What the hell am I doing?).

Alright in episode 12 things are looking quite dire for the group (on the upside the fighting has gotten a little better but that’s really not saying much seeing as how the fighting in the last episode was awful). Raven, Cinder, and the Spring Maiden head down into the vault to retrieve the Relic while Mercury and Emerald take on Yang and Oscar takes on Hazal who finds out that Oscar is Ozpin and goes into rampage mode because Ozpin killed his sister. Back in the day, Hazal’s sister went to become a huntress at Beacon Academy but she unfortunately died on a training mission and Hazal blames Ozpin for it (that’s stupid. She knew what the risks were. It’s not Ozpin’s fault some Grimm snatched her up and killed her. If you want to hate somebody hate the Grimm). Ozpin wants to take over but Oscar won’t let him and tries to fight Hazal himself (Oscar now is not the time to be bravely stupid. I don’t need Luke Skywalker I need Yoda. Clone Wars Yoda). Ozpin forces his control over Oscar and takes on Hazal where he goes to town with that cane (in the hands of a normal man the cane is a tool. But in the hands of Ozpin the cane is a lethal weapon). Back with Weiss she’s slowly fading but Jaune somehow activates his semblance which is healing Weiss (yeah, I had a feeling that was his semblance. We haven’t seen too many healers in this show, so I was wondering when one would appear). Back with Raven, Cinder, and the Spring Maiden, they make it down to the vault where Cinder freezes Raven and attacks the Spring Maiden to get her powers (and then she will become the true Maiden of the seasons). But they’re not inside her and instead in the body of Raven who has now become the Spring Maiden.

Episode 13 is where it’s at. Nora joins the fight where she knocks Hazal out of the building (there’s also one moment where Ruby headbutts Mercury which is awesome in its own right but still Nora knocking out this world’s version of Bane, badass). Hazal of course gets back because his semblance allows him to block out the pain of directly injecting himself with dust and Blake along with the rest of the Faunuses show up to stop Adam and the White Fang where they make Adam look like a complete wuss by having Blake just own him in one scene (okay what was that? You had this guy chop off Yang’s arm and take over the White Fang in one swoop all while building this guy up to be a threatening character and he just gets own so easily in one scene. I’m sorry but that’s just inconsistent writing right there). Some other good news is that Weiss gets back up and pulls Hazal back in to the fight with Ruby’s group while Blake, the Faunuses, and Mistril police take on the White Fang (so many battles so little time to focus on all of them) while Yang manages to slip by everyone and enter the vault. The main highlight of this episode has to be the fight between Raven and Cinder. This fight is amazing as it’s the first time we’ve ever seen two maidens go up against each other and it doesn’t disappoint. With an assist from a dying spring maiden, Raven is able to get the jump on Cinder, freeze her (how do you like it?), and toss Cinder into the abyss where I’m pretty sure she’s dead (if she survives this I’ll be impressed). Raven then unlocks the vault to the relic but before she get it Yang shows up with one arm ready to fight her own mother.

The final episode starts outside where the White Fang are surrounded by Faunuses and Haven police (the police are actually doing their job?) and surrendering except for Adam who blows this popsicle stand and runs away to fight another day (we’ll meet again Blake~). With Adam gone Blake joins up with the others inside and helps Ruby and Weiss take on Emerald, Mercury, and Hazal. While that’s going on Yang and Raven face off (not since Star Wars have I anticipated a battle being child and parent) where Yang manages to beat Raven not physically but mentally by calling her a coward, pointing out all her cowardly acts under the disguise of her being merciful, and telling her that if she takes the relic it’ll only be a matter of time before Salem comes after her (she’ll come after her anyway when she finds out Cinder is dead). Raven stands down (that’s right folks. Yang beat her mom with just words. Now do you know why I love her so much?) but begs Yang with tears in her eyes not to take the relic or put herself deeper into this fight but Yang says she’s going to do it and Raven takes her leave. With Raven gone, Yang gets the relic which is a lantern and then cries (why you ask? Because the mother that she looked up to is no more, and in her place is just a coward who only looks out for herself and will do whatever it takes to survive). Back up top, Ruby and the others have Emerald, Mercury, and Hazal cornered but refuse to give up believing Cinder will return with the relic. Once Yang comes back up with the relic in hand, it sets in that Cinder is dead and Emerald cries where in her rage she creates an illusion of Salem to scare the others and allow them a chance to escape. Speaking of Salem, she kills Lionheart who was trying to run away (a coward to the very end). So the season wraps up with the Faunuses deciding to establish a new group to help form peace with the other kingdoms, Yang gives the relic to Qrow, Ozpin says they have to get it to Atlas, and we see our 4 main girls reunite and hug each other after 2 seasons (this. . .is a meh end to a season).

Final Thoughts

Well guys, I’m not gonna lie, this was a pretty bad season. While the animation still looks good, the music is always great to listen to, a few good scenes such as Yang and Weiss reuniting with Ruby, and 1 or 2 decent fight scenes, the rest of the volume is just bad. All the characters really do is just sit around and talk about the situation they’re in and just wait to do something instead of doing something themselves. Everyone just really comes across as weak here despite going through training which would have been nice to see. We never get more details about Salem, other characters, or the relics such as what they are, who made them, and why they’re so important. Even Ozpin’s situation still remains to be a mystery to me and something that I feel needs to be explained. This whole season just feels like wasted opportunity upon wasted opportunity as nobody really knew where to go with the story or what to do with the characters and their development. Like I said everybody just comes across as weak here. Like they all forgot how to fight. In the past I was giving them the benefit of the doubt with their fight scenes but at this point in the race there’s no excuse for how poor the fight scenes are. If you guys aren’t good at animating fight scenes than find someone who is, there’s plenty of people out there for you to hire or call up for advice. You guys can focus on story while the third-party focuses on the fight scenes. I’m not trying to tell them how to do their job or come across as being mean or ungrateful for what they do because I know everyone who works on RWBY is working hard, I’m just saying that what they’re doing now isn’t working and if they don’t fix it they’re going to lose their audience and I don’t want that. RWBY is a great series and I want to see it continue to grow. I know that losing someone as great as Monty hurts the series, but you decided to continue the series and in honor of him, you owe it to yourselves, your fans, and most importantly to him to go all out and make the series as best as it can possibly be. What we saw in season 5 won’t cut it.

Is it better than the other seasons

No. This is definitely the weakest of the volumes so far. I don’t think it’s as bad as what everyone makes it out to be but it’s bad and things really need to change.

Final Score

The final score for volume 5 is a 4/10. It’s a disappointing season with a lot of missed opportunities and only a few good moments that you’ll enjoy. Will volume 6 make up for this messy volume? We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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