Review: RwBy “Heroes and Monsters”

For a longer more detailed version of the previous episode “Battle of Beacon” click here. but here’s a shorter recap: As Grimm begin attacking Beacon from everywhere, Blake and Weiss contact Yang, who tells them that the White Fang have arrived as well. At Amity Colosseum, a Nevermore penetrates the protective barrier above the stadium and attempts to kill Pyrrha, who was still traumatized of what she did to Penny. Ruby then comes to her rescue, and Teams JNPR, SSSN, CFVY, ABRN, and FNKI all unite to take down the Nevermore. Pyrrha apologizes to Ruby about what happened to Penny, but Ruby says that it wasn’t her fault, and Jaune says that whoever broadcasted the message was responsible for everything that was going on. The students then reach Ironwood, who tells them that they can either stay and defend their school and kingdom, or try to save themselves. Meanwhile, Torchwick begins uploading Cinder’s virus aboard the Atlesian Airships, seizing control of Atlas’ robots and turning them against their human allies.

Ruby notices Ironwood’s ship go down when the robots turn against him, and heads for the main Atlesian Airship to stop Torchwick. Blake and Weiss split up to fight more enemies, and the former then encounters Adam. Meanwhile, Cinder’s Teen Brigade watches the chaos from the rooftop, with Emerald potentially showing signs of remorse. As the fight continues to escalate, a giant Grimm Dragon suddenly appears, spawning more Grimm onto the battlefield. Pyrrha then decides to go and see Ozpin, while Jaune follows her while indirectly getting Cinder’s attention.

And now Spoilers…

The episode begins immediately after Ruby lands on the ship that Neo & Torchwick hijacked with and witnesses the Grimm Dragon fly by and without warning a Flock or Nevermores and Griffon Grimm fly over her.

The Camera zooms in and she quickly dodges a swoop-attack from a Random Griffon before swiping it good.

After making quick work of the monster she rests up before turning her head around and encountering Neo who proceeds to use her Scroll-Camera-Phone thingy playfully taking a picture.

She takes the picture while in the process revealing her Semblance power which is to instantly change her outer-clothing at will and arguably that’s borderline shape-shifting.

And quickly sends the info to Torchwick which actually made me chuckle the way she sent it. 😛

Torchwick in response to this says “Oh you cannot be serious! and takes his cane to leave in frustration.

We cut to Blake in the burning school while the town is still under attack and she encounters Adam for the first time since the “Black Trailer” and Adam expresses his disdain towards Blake for being a “Coward” and running away like she did last time proclaiming that they were going to “Change the world” and were “Destined to light the fires of Revolution”.

And to further get his point across He’s about to stab a random civilian before Blake Stops him and they lock swords with Blake saying “I’m not Running” But Adam retorts: “You Will!”

He then counter’s the sword-lock with a Kick to the face.

As she’s knocked down, a Grimm is about to attack her but Adam shoots it making it more personal that He wants her to “Suffer” for her betrayal.

The Scene cuts to the other supporting characters still fighting the good fight against the Grimm & Mechs.

And in a series of Gifs, This happens…

A Coco begins to open fire at the giant mech with Neptune and finally decides to let Velvet unleash her weapon that’s been built up & teased since the end of season 2 and tells her to “Make them count”.

Velvet calmly walks toward the two mechs and Weiss at first expresses concern but Coco tells her to “Just Watch”.

And in a series of Gifs It’s finally revealed what her Weapon & Semblance powers are… Mimicry!

However after that display of awesomeness, she gets blind-sided and knocked on the ground by a random robot fist.

The rest of the supporting characters proceed to open fire so they can buy Velvet time to get up and run away from the Danger.

In another Series of Gifs Weiss decides to take it upon herself to get Velvet out of Danger and This Happens…

The Giant Summon-Sword Splits the Mech down the middle.

Afterwards Weiss feels drained and notices Velvet with her camera out with a playful fashion.

Immediately after they feel the ground shake and another mech appears and Sun expresses frustration with the words “You have got to be kidding me!”

We cut back to the Ship with Ruby Vs Neo & Torchwick which in a Series of Gifs is a pretty decent fight scene as well.

Ruby gets knocked to the ground from Torchwicks projectile attack but uses her Scythe to to keep herself from falling.

And then Torchwick proceeds to taunt her.

Ruby of course tries to talk some sense into him by pointing out that these ships are needed to combat the Grimm and destroying them will only make things worse. Roman then retorts with the words “That’s the plan!” She finally gets up and asks What is he getting out of all this and Roman says to her “You’re asking the wrong questions, Red!

It’s not what I have to gain—it’s that I can’t afford to lose!”

They then resume their fight with Ruby again in Tandem.

And Neo disarms Ruby with smooth acrobatics.

Before Torchwick knocks her down again with two projectile attacks in a row.

Ruby Manages to grab onto her Scythe once more holding on.

Roman then gloats that he maybe a gambling man but knows when to draw the line when it comes to placing bets. (implying how he thinks of Ruby’s efforts to stop them is a bet not worth taking.)

Neo then walks towards Ruby’s Direction as she’s helpless holding onto her dear life while Roman keeps gloating saying that his Employers are determined to change the world.

Roman afterwards says to her: “Like it or not, the people that hired me are going to change the world. You can’t stop ’em , I can’t stop ’em . And you know the old saying “if you can’t beat ’em-“

And as Roman is spewing out this diatribe defeatist attitude, Ruby notices the button on Neo’s Parasol and makes her go “Mary Poppins”.

Roman in shock expresses legit concern for Neo which is possibly the closest shred of humanity we’ve ever seen of him as a character.

And Ruby finally jumps back on the ship with words of determination that they will win and she will stop him rushing towards him with her speed semblance.

Before Roman deflects her attack with another projectile attack from his cane but this time at point-blank range knocking her to the ground. (Seriously, how many times is she going to keep getting knocked down?)

He then proceeds to give Ruby the beat down of her life while sharing with her another monologue about how the “Real World” Isn’t the fairy tale she envisions as he gloats about how he’ll always survive, and this happens…

Afterwards Ruby like a boss see’s the random Grimm Eat Torchwick which some could argue as “Anti-Climactic” but being eaten by a Grimm from all his negative emotions felt like a fitting end. I personally thought it was just comical that his own arrogance and the need to hear himself talk became his own undoing.

Ruby then gets up standing proud and like a boss, she doesn’t look at the explosion. 😛

Ruby then begins to notice the ship about to crash and runs to her Scythe.

And finally she grabs onto it using the recoil of her gun blasts to land safely to the ground where we are left to assume is at Beacon.

It then cuts to Qrow & Glynda dispatching as many Grimm & Rogue Atlas Robots as they can.

The douche bag from RWBY Vol 1 Cardin Winchester drops in taking down a Grimm.

And just when he’s about to be shot at by two atlas robots he’s quickly saved…

By another douchebag I previously mentioned regarding an “Unspoken Rule”. 😉

Ironwood is back which not only confirms the fan-theory that his right arm is mechanical but his entire right-side is mechanical including his upper-torso and right leg!

And properly convey’ed in two Gifs, He goes full-on RoboCop.

As Ironwood says that the Area is Secure, In another Series of Gifs, Qrow impulsively unleashes his scythe weapon out of this sword.

Ironwood tries to yell at Qrow saying he had nothing to do with the robots going out of control.

And Qrow lunges fourth revealing why he opened up his weapon.

Holy Shit! First Ironwood going “RoboCop” Now this? The Adults really are skilled badasses!

Qrow says to him “You idiot! I know you didn’t do this.” Ironwood laments on everything that’s happened including his own machines being misused to hurt people.

Ironwood then comes to the conclusion that the Grimm Dragon is seemingly fixated on the school Qrow asks what they’ll do next and tells Glynda to gather Huntsmen and establish a “safe zone” within Vale.

Ironwood then Entrusts Qrow to Evacuate any survivors & civilians with his human troopers telling Qrow he still needs to get to his ship and then the three quickly notice it crashing down.

Qrow then snarkly responds with “Well it won’t be much of a walk” (HA!) and the camera zooms back showing a small group of robots deactivated. (Is that more foreshadowing I smell?)

Glad to see Ironwood survived – after having seen him finally fight, it would have been a shame to be rid of him. That said, Qrow and Ironwood just get progressively more bad ass with every scene they’re in.

We then cut back to the Students who are about to encounter that large mech from earlier running towards them and it quickly falls down. (Also good to see Ren & Nora are doing fine after earlier. 🙂 ) And Weiss looks understandably exhausted.

And Yang finally shows up.

Yang asks Weiss where Ruby & Blake are and Weiss says that she hasn’t heard from Ruby but Blake went to fight some White Fang members at the opposite direction they’re in and Yang tells Weiss she’s going to find her while they find Ruby.

(What happens next is another odd way of them structuring the story of inter-cutting both the scenes focusing on Yang and the other with Ozpin’s sub-plots.)

We then cut to Ozpin, Jaune and Phyrra running out of the Elevator.

As they run towards their destination, Jaune is understandably left with a lot of questions.

They then stop at the machine where Amber is Kept and to not waste time Ozpin turns on the machine and Orders Jaune to stand guard while they try to perform this delicate process.

Ozpin then proceeds to ask if she’s ready to do this.

She see’s Jaune standing guard and briefly cries knowing she has to make a sacrifice for the sake of helping others before going into the pod.

We then Abruptly cut back to Blake arguing about the way Adam does things.

He blocks her gunfire with his sword proclaiming that her ideals of equality & peace are impossible in this world.

He bitch-slaps her and as she’s knocked in the ground again she tries to get the upper hand.

He then he makes a proclamation towards Blake that’s seemingly verbatim to the thought-process of Joss Whedon, George R. R. Martin and the writers of Rooster Teeth. 😛

Before Yang shows up calling out for Blake.

Then it suddenly cuts back to Ozpin feeling the need to waste time in demanding Phyrra to verbally say yes instead of nodding her fucking head!

Ozpin then presses buttons and the Process begins with an orange light emanating from tubes.

The transfer process starts to put Phyrra in great pain as well.

Jaune is distracted by Phyrra’s screams running to her and Ozpin gives his apology to them both and this happens…

Much to the shock of Ozpin (and Jaune’s Incompetence.) Cinder comes to wreck their attempt at any kind of hope.

In a series of gifs, It then cuts to Adam stabbing Blake with his glowing red sword which gets Yang’s attention…

And Blake warns her to leave.

And Subsequent to Blake warning Adam to stop, this happens…

Holy fuck! Aside from Amber’s death, they aren’t pulling any punches! (no pun intended.) I had to re-watch the scene because I noticed the stump where Yang’s hand is severed is glowing.

WHY YANG’S ARM??!!! WHY YANG?? Also how come Blake and Yang’s aura’s didn’t protect them? Were they out or can Adam’s sword cut through aura or something?

There is hope there was yellow on Yang’s arm with the part that was cut she powered up going toward Qdam but there was no blood. I have high hopes they can either reattach her arm if blake picked it up or maybe Zwei. The fall back is she regenerates her arm and the colder option a robotic prosthetic like Jax from Mortal Kombat or RWBy’s version of Barret Wallace from FF7?

In theory Adam’s sword has fire dust. She could have had her arm instantly cauterized which is gonna be tough to reattach. It’s abundantly clear that Adam is quite vile & malicious and his weapon matches this mentality.

Once again they cut to Amber dying from Cinder’s arrow wound.

The entire chamber goes dark and now all that’s left is Jaune & Ozpin against Cinder while Phyrra is trapped and struggling to get out and the glass breaks from Ambers Stasis pod releasing ball of yellow energy.

The ball hits Cinder implying that she now has the complete powers of the Fall Maiden!

Jaune makes a valiant effort…

Only to instantly get owned.

Phyrra busts out and before she can lunge at her, Ozpin stops her and tells her to leave with Jaune and to find Glynda, Ironwood and Qrow.

Phyrra leaves and Cinder begins her fight with Ozpin.

We then cut to Adam about to give Yang the Killing Blow after severing her arm…

And Blake jumps in not giving up on her.

Adam decapitates Blake only to find out it wasn’t really Blake.

It’s her shadow semblance which distracts Adam long enough for Blake to escape with Yang. (Smart Move!)

Of course Adam isn’t amused and begins to chase them down.

We finally cut to Cinder & Ozpin face to face.

Cinder talks about a “She” that was right about him and insults him by calling him Arrogant.

The Camera zooms out from an overhead view with Ozpin in a sword-like pose and it finally cuts to black.

Cinder said to Ozpin “She was right about you.” but the question me and by extension the audience is asking: Who is SHE? Is she above Cinder? Is she someone Cinder cared for that she is avenging? Gah! She’s so Vague as ever and it’s frustrating!

Overview

Progressively this keeps taking one dark plot-twist after another and I’m starting to think the RWBY writers are suffering from “Women in Refridgerators syndrome.”

Thinking back to the very first episode, it’s really cool to see how far Ruby’s come in terms of development and characterization. I think I can safely say that this is the volume we really see her come together as a fighter. It’s funny how I seem to love her the most when she’s in combat. I had this thought a lot in vol 2, and it’s stayed with me in vol 3. Of all the hunters and huntresses, she’s the most exciting to see fighting. Yang, of course is a close second, so it must be something in their blood. But this fight scene was just great. I could be That Guy and say ‘yeah, there’s still something missing from it that other volume’s fight scenes had,’ but I always feel that critique comes off as pretty insensitive. The fights that Monty choreographed were amazing. They also are pretty hard to imitate. I’d rather focus on how much the fights have improved since the start of the volume. Definitely getting there, I look forward to seeing how the animation further develops and finds a style of fight scene that may not mirror volume 2, but I think that should stop being seen as a bad thing.

The scene with Weiss finally using her Summon Power for the first time was great foreshadowing and a call-back to “Lessons Learned“.

I am so glad Ozpin still needed Pyhrra’s consent before putting on the soul switch. It confirms my hopes that he is at least somewhat ethical & considerate.

Ironwood is turning out to be much more complex than I thought.

Ren getting a one-shot confirms my fear that he, in his characterization, will always be written as a liability to Nora and subsequently team RWBY. It seems is that SSSN will also be stuck in this way as well. This trend will make it harder and harder for them to credibly use these characters as anything other than jokes.

Now, given that we don’t know a lot about Grimm digestive systems or what happens when one gets eaten by a Grimm, there might be a chance that Roman will, as he said, continue to survive. And I cling to that hope. Because as far as actual deaths go, that was a lackluster one for the character, and I will admit that part of that is bias.

I respect the need for character death, especially when it comes to villains. Sometimes they get so reprehensible that the only way anyone, audience or characters, is going to get closure or some sense of fulfillment is if they die (looking at you Felix). But if you’re going to do that, at least have it be a good one. I think it was the suddenness that got me, and was kind of hoping that should Roman have to make his grand exeunt from the series, it should have a little more fanfare. This is probably one of the few decisions the RWBY crew has made that I don’t necessarily agree with, and am not thrilled with, and it kind of threw off the rest of the episode for me. I’m sure with time I’ll be able to move forward though. And that’s what fan-fic is for.

Points for making it memorable at least. I’ll give them that.

These past couple of episodes were almost exactly what The Fans wanted but not the way they Imagined with random quotes I’ve read from Tumblr & Twitter like: “Stop trying to make RWBY a goofy kids show. You can still keep it light, but make it realistic. Make it dramatic.” And now They’ve expressed regret because either they did it in fan-response or this was carefully planned in Monty’s “Character Bible” that he wrote before he passed away, It’s like the writers are saying to them:”You wanted this and now we’re going to rub your nose in it!”

I’ve noticed that RWBY fans have a tendency to claim they’ve predicted exactly what will happen to the characters and call it cliche and dismiss certain characters because of it. On the RWBY episode discussion forum someone claimed that this episode is proof that Pyrrha’s character development was pointless in this season. Why? Just because she doesn’t become a maiden? She just failed in her duty, because she wasn’t able to give herself up fast enough. If you ask me, the events of this season will have a huge effect on everyone, especially Pyrrha. Pyrrha’s meant to save the world according to Ozpin’s “Inner-Circle”, and a ton of people died and one of her friends had an arm lopped off, AND she killed an innocent robot girl. Seriously people, wait a while before blindly dismissing this season for Pyrrha.

So many questions answered with still just as many unanswered plus more added on. Still contemplating who and what can be salvaged.

That particular moment when Torchwick said to Ruby, “You’re asking the wrong questions, Red!
It’s not what I have to gain—it’s that I can’t afford to lose!”

This right here really paints a clearer image. First it was Junior and his men that were roped into something far beyond their usual range of activities. They’re not necessarily on the evil spectrum, but definitely not on the good one either.

Then it was Adam, his Lieutenant, and the White Fang that were coerced into fighting alongside Cinder, essentially for her, after being threatened with total annihilation.

From Roman’s standpoint, He’s a liar, cheat, and thief, but never out to genuinely harm or injure anybody. But when confronted by the overwhelming chances of Cinder successfully “changing the world,” he feels powerless. As he states explicitly, the people that hired him can’t be stopped by anyone, not even himself. And that makes me think. By mentioning that he can’t stop them, that means that he can’t fathom the thought of actually trying to resist, thus meaning that deep down he truly wants to, but ultimately cannot.

There is definitely some bitterness behind Roman’s words as he effectively loses his shit and starts whaling on Ruby, and god damn do I ever want backstory because he seems thoroughly disillusioned with something. Also the fact that he, again, effectively loses his shit when Neo falls.

Strangely we never see Emerald & Mercury throughout this entire episode and Inconsistently Zwei is also missing in the scenes when Yang is running around.

It’s also interesting to point out that Rooster Teeth was re-using the weapon animations from team RWBY for Velvet’s fight. The only thing I wish is that they touched them up a little bit, because the animation’s improved so much since volume one and the old animations kinda stuck out.

Here’s some instances:

Red Trailer.

White Trailer.

Black Trailer.

And finally the Yellow Trailer.

Velvet can literally copy fighting styles all of her fighting animation was reused animation from previous fights she doesn’t even need to know how to use a weapon she’s copying like Taskmaster!

This episode’s greatest sin that I’ve noticed is it’s inconsistency and how things sometimes build-up to something big but don’t always lead anywhere.

For Instance All that drama of Phyrra getting the maiden’s power turned out to be fucking pointless! Adam gets the anime trope of someone being so overpowered that instead of the creators showing an entertaining fight, he just takes two of he main characters in one blow. Ruby can carry and juggle a huge ass weapon around like a pencil but is easily overpowered by kicks. Yet she takes down a monster ten times her size in one hit and is invulnerable to bullets. There’s a character whose power is to use everyone else’s weapon but is taken down because the writers realize how stupid that idea was and how overpowered she had become.

And this is an even bigger one:

When it comes to Sci-Fi books, shows, movies, anime, etc, I HATE when they establish the world’s rules, and then completely break them without an explanation or loop-holes of any kind.

Why would Rooster Teeth bother showing us how aura breaks, and what it looks like, if they’re just going to ignore it for the rest of the series?

We’ve been told on the WoR of Aura, that Aura prevents huntsmen and huntresses from taking any damage until it’s depleted. See for example Weiss after the fight with Neon and Flynt, Amber after being beaten by Cinder and Co, and Mercury after being beaten by Yang. There is the belief that Aura only works when the user has their guard up, but if that’s the case, how did Blake and Yang get hurt?

Now why is that every main character now isn’t being shown to have any aura? Example one is Penny. Pyrrha never dealt any real significant damage, nor did we see her Aura break before she died. The only “logical” excuse is that Penny’s a robot and that Pyrrha’s magnetic wave disrupted whatever Penny has to produce Aura. My one problem with his idea is the fact that as the wave flies through Penny, she doesn’t move an inch. If anything inside her was effected by the blast, she would’ve been knocked back, otherwise, it’s nothing different than trying to throw yourself with a magnet.

Example two is Amber. Now, being fair, it’s likely that the Aura transfer had left her vulnerable to attack (Dammit Jaune, you had one job).

Examples three and four are on the screen right now, Blake and Yang. All we see is Blake being stabbed by Adam, and then Yang getting her arm chopped off, um excuse me? What happened to their Aura?

Before I wrote this, I considered the possibility that it just broke off screen during the fights, BUT that is disproven by both Blake and Yang’s use of their semblances. We see Yang’s as she charges Adam, and we see Blake’s as she takes Yang to flee. Semblance power Aura, they are, in WoR’s words “tangible manifestations of Aura.” Now, I’m no scientist, but you can’t use a tangible form of something, if you have none of it in the first place. Why bother tell us that Semblances need Aura and that if one has Aura, they physically can’t be harmed if they’re just going to stop actually using that concept?

I think we all at some level, collectively, knew that Yang was always the member of team RWBY who would get the shit-end of the stick when it came to tragic characters. Seems like nearly every episode I’ve ever seen even way before this volume shat on Yang pretty hard.

The writing on this show is horribly inconsistent at this point. Just like any anime. But hey at least the fight scenes have been cool.

While researching everyone’s thoughts on this episode, Everyone on Tumblr is irrationally screaming about how Adam is more easy to hate than every Irritating Shrew from “Arrow” (Including Laurel Lance & Felicity), Dio Brando from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and that Martin Shkreli bastard put together, but we don’t really know the entire story?

We know that Blake and him were partners and The White Fang became this organization that was the opposite of what Blake wanted so she left. I feel like Adam and Blake might have had a relationship in the past but thinking about the time line I would guess that they haven’t seen each other in almost a year? I think with the betrayal any feelings of affection are gone with Adam. I don’t think he’s obsessed with Blake, but he knew their eventual encounter was inevitable so he is using his words against her when they finally meet. He wants to hurt her as much as she probably hurt him. According to the book Dante’s Inferno: “The worst sins are from those who betray”.  The love he arguably might have had for her was destroyed in that moment at the end of the black trailer so he wants to destroy any love she has towards others in a form of revenge.

Last season they ended on the line, “Not every story has a neat and tidy ending.” I think we’ll get another one of those endings next week. I’d be surprised if they wrapped up this whole mess in one episode. I’m not one to scream at the screen, but I was this week. Damn you, Kerry and Miles! On a better note, I was very happy to see Velvet kick some butt. I hope we see Ozpin next week take Cinder down. I know that probably won’t happen, but we can hope.

Next week is the season finale and I’m just as curious to see how it ends.

SCORE
7.5/10

OriginalOutcast

A Self-Styled Punk/Goth/Gamer/Otaku that's Trying to Find a Purpose...

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  • Li

    The glowing yellow is Yang’s aura trying to stop her from bleeding out. Adam flicked blood off his sword too. He reason why I Think the aura didn’t protect Yang was because the attack was too strong, just like how it takes Ruby a bit to take down a griffin, but it only takes Qrow one slash, despite wielding the same weapon. Adam also knew that Blake was using her semblance, because he decapitated the clone even though he said he was going to make her suffer.

    As for Roman’s death, I really liked the guy. It’s sad what happened to him, but his death was properly done. Death IS sudden. I want next season to feature a depressed Neo, no longer constantly smirking.