New Challengers (RWBY recap & review)

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imageAfter cutting us off before we got to see the JNPR fight last week, this week’s episode of RWBY drops us right into the action.

Team JNPR faces off against team BRNZ (pronounced bronze), a team that starts off strong. Throughout the series, we’ve haven’t seen much fighting from our B-team beyond the Deathstalker battle in season one, so it’s nice to see how far they’ve come since then. Right away, they’re scattered a bit by a sharpshooter on the other team, but they manage to adapt and work with what they can do. It’s during this fight that we get to see one particular member of JNPR really shine: Nora Valkyrie. The stormy mountain terrain ends up working in their favor, as we learn that her semblance deals with absorbing and becoming strengthened by electricity (something the other team found out the hard way when they tried to electrocute her).

It’s near the end of the fight that things start to go a tad screwy. Jaune, in a move very similar to Ruby, tries to call out a team attack name. It doesn’t work. In fact, it ends up bringing the battle to a stand still as the audience and team BRNZ watch the ensuing “team meeting” in a mixture of confusion and disbelief. It’s amusing for the viewers, although I had a hard time believing that the other team wouldn’t take advantage of the time wasted to launch their own attack. It all works out for JNPR however, as they are reminded of their presence in the fight and Nora proceeds to knock the opposing team out of the arena.

It’s after this that we cut to a man sitting alone in a bar. Those who have been following news surrounding the show know this is Uncle Qrow. While the girls have said only a little bit about him, his attitude in this episode is surly at best. The bartender even comments that he has watched all the fights and been less than impressed by them. I would just like to point out that this implies he watched the RWBY vs ABRN fight and didn’t actually seem impressed by either of his nieces. What a dick.

This proves to be a high action episode, with the next scene being yet another fight. This time, team NDGO (pronounced “indigo”) goes up against team SSSN (pronounced “sun”). It’s an all girl team versus and all boys team, and the show makes it very clear that team SSSN has a bit of a following of fan girls and boys. We finally get to hear at least one other member of the team, as Scarlet actually has lines. He’s voiced by the newly appointed creative director of Rooster Teeth, Gavin Free. The team manages to eek out a victory against the other team despite a major issue: half of the competition ground is made of water, which Neptune is terrified of. We get to see more fighting from Sun and Neptune, while Scarlet manages to put up a decent fight before getting knocked out. Sage, on the other hand, manages to go down early in the fight.

After this, we cut back to Qrow, who is still being surly, this time as the bartender asks what he’s here for if not the fights. It’s at this point that a convinent ship flies by at a convenient time. On the floating festival island, Weiss also sees the ship and looks quite happy at its arrival. People keeping up with the show news can guess at who is inside, but it isn’t officially confirmed. If it isn’t Winter Schnee, though, I’ll eat my nonexistent hat.

Overall this was a good epsiode. There were hints of a larger event, something that brings Qrow to the island and that could be why Winter is there now. The focus, however, was on the action. I appreciate the fact that we are seeing more fighting, since that’s where the animation really shines. The animation team has outdone themselves so far this volume, with the few fights we’ve seen being smooth and easy to follow while not sacrificing awesome attacks and over the top powers.

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