Review: RwBy “Lessons Learned”

After Rooster Teeth left us hanging once again in the form of another World of Remnant segment about the politics of the four kingdoms and what “Huntsmen” actually do, We’re finally back to picking up where It’s Brawl in the Family left off with the 4th Episode “Lessons Learned” as Cinder’s fixed “Doubles” match begins between Team CFVY against Emerald & Mercury. (At the time of this review, Cinder’s team name isn’t specified or even revealed.)

And now Spoilers…

Black

We cut to the Coliseum where the Backdrop changes into four octagonal environmental sections this time instead of two which are: A Forest, Shallow waters with rocks & steaming geysers, A long brown grass section that looks either like African or Australian terrain with two boulders and a tree and a small ruined city with 3 abandoned concrete buildings with a gate & debris surrounding it.

Vega

The Fighters exchange some fun Banter and the battle begins with Mercury & Emerald slowly walking backwards into the long brown grass and Coco unleashes her giant chain gun out and mowing the long grass of the brown terrain yet unable to hit their target and it’s finally revealed that the coliseum has an invisible force field protecting audience members in case of stray projectile attacks.

Nicholas

Coco and Yatsuhashi look at each other puzzled and Mercury proceeds to wail on Coco with a Dive-Kick from above before Yatsu blocks it with his large gold sword and display’s kicking skills that are a cross between Tae Kwon Do and the Brazilian break dance fighting style, Capoeria. (If you’ve seen the film “Only the Strong” or played Eddy Gordo in the Tekken video games, you know what I’m talking about.)

Hop

In a close-range scuffle, he points Coco’s gun at Yatsu’s stomach before Coco retracts the gun back into a small handbag and Mercury back flips away from danger and creates some sort of tornado of projectile attacks that proceeds to rain down upon Coco & Yatsu creating a smokescreen before he shows up out of nowhere and performs a Tae Kwon Do technique knocking Coco into the ground.

breakdance

Coco gets up only to be pulled into the forest with a chain almost like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat (minus a spear into the chest) and Mercury takes on Yatsu at the Geyser section of the environment and makes a valiant effort before getting his head knocked directly close to a geyser that blows up in his head.(Why he isn’t decapitated or his skin not scalded from the intensely hot water of it? I have no clue.) and the scene cuts back to the forest section where Coco getting knocked into a tree and notices that her shades broke.

shades

Emerald waits for Coco to get up and unloads on her with guns as she’s on the Tree’s revealing that her guns also double as Japanese sickles and jumps tree to tree hiding and as Yatsu approaches her Coco warns her that she’s in the tree’s before the announcer Echo’s that he’s been defeated revealing it to be an illusion and quickly disappears leaving Coco shaking in fear as creepy foreboding music sets in with Emerald rising up in slasher movie fashion attacking her from behind which knocks her cartoonishly next to Yatsu’s unconscious body and they win and Emerald reveals that her weapons have chains hidden inside them. (Damn!)

Emerald

For anyone disliking the fact that Coco and her partner lost, just remember that Cinder and the 3 others planned this fight even before it began. If you watch the fight you will actually notice a few things like the fact that they actually fear Coco’s mini gun and carefully waited for her to stop using it.

Velvet

If they knew more about their enemies perhaps that ruined city terrain would have been better to fight mercury (Uneven ground, close tight spaces so he cant build up his speed) And Coco would have fought Emerald in the open plain as there was only one tree in that particular forest backdrop. Of course this is all speculation but in my opinion and maybe the opinions of others that Yatsu and Coco Fight was not bullshit.

Velvet & Fox express shock & concern for their defeated comrades of Team CFVY and Cinder casually walks away.

Velvet

We then cut to a bright courtyard looking place with Weiss & Winter Catching up on things and Winter says she has to leave since she served her purpose to make sure more security was brought to the Vale Coliseum without any problems and admits to Weiss she’s done well on her own (a shocking and refreshing contrast to the bitchy drill sergeant persona in episode 3.) and expressed amusement when Weiss left for Beacon.

At first in the preview clips, Winter behaved as the militaristic typical hard & cold sister (which would match up with the name). However it seems this behavior stems from Military training and responsibilities, but deep down cares for her sister and can loosen up when needed. So glad they went that route, suits the character well.

winter

Winter offers to perfect her “Glyph” Semblance powers by teaching her how “Summon” (As in summoning a monstrous familiar that bends to your will like in the Final Fantasy games? Now I’m interested!) and Weiss tells her she’s tried but is the one thing she has trouble with and Winter goes into philosophical detail about how she can perfect her skills and summons a large white Bigfoot Grimm looking creature to make her point.

glyph glyph 2

As this is going on, Ruby & Yang spend quality time with Qrow playing a generic looking fighting game and in colorful storybook fashion tells the story of his most recent mission in Mistral which leads do a comedic punchline of Qrow being a sucker for an “In-keeper’s Miniskirt” and almost gets hit in the face with a plush pillow by Yang who expresses disdain for his comical yet perverse behavior. 😛

Vicky

Yang tells Qrow of their accomplishments in stopping an attack in Vale while Qrow says they were left out of the news which only reported there was a Grim Attack which makes it sound like nobody was there to prevent it from happening. (pretty strange) I loved this fun exchange of banter between Ruby & Qrow. (HA!)

Silver 1 Silver 2

And as Yang talks about their other accomplishment in bringing Torchwick to Justice Qrow says to them “You maybe be acting like huntresses but you aren’t thinking like one, You really think four girls and their friends can stop all crime in the kingdom?” and tells them how it’s strangely odd that violence has dropped since Torchwick got arrested, not to mention that the White Fang haven’t caused any riots or extremist attacks anywhere around the city after Season 2 and knows something sinister is afoot but thinks Ironwood is too dumb to realize it.

After his talk, Qrow reveals that him and his old team from the past Team STRQ (pronounced stark) which consists of Summer Rose (Ruby’s biological mother.), Taiyang (Ruby & Yang’s Father) Raven (Yang’s biological mother) and Qrow whom all have a long history with their headmaster Ozpin.

Yang looks in shock of the photograph before Qrow proceeds to troll Yang for some reason by pulling it away from her. (Finally after 3 episodes it touches on this briefly while leaving us hooked.)

Qrow’s quickly shifts his thumb to cover Raven’s face in the image was very subtle, but after watching the clip over and over you notice him try to hide Raven’s face from Yang.

troll

troll 2

Afterwards Qrow leaves to the door before giving out some profound wisdom by saying to them: “You two, you’re gonna go far, but only if you keep learning, if you never stop moving forward.” An Actual quote from the late Monty Oum which was pretty heartfelt. ;_;

Map 2

We finally cut back to Winter Teaching Weiss summoning and Winter proceed’s to use her “drill sergeant” method and reveals that she’s fully aware that Weiss’s money was cut off from her from the Round One Episode and gets under her skin by telling her that given her own past experience, their dad probably cut Weiss off financially just to motivate her into calling him and Weiss out of frustraition finds the fortitude to create a spinning glyph and then Winter says to her “Emotions can grant you strength, but you must never let them overpower you.”

Glyph

Winter then says to Weiss “It sounds to me you have two choices in front of you: You can Either call dad, beg for his money back, and explain once more why you wanted to study at Beacon over Atlas, Or Could continue to explore Remnant. Discovering more about the world, And honestly? more about yourself.” Then hugs her and as she leaves to her aircraft you see a glowing bright white & blue sword in the ground that quickly disappears which according to the RWBY fan community resembles the sword that the Giant Knight had in the White trailer  and a brand new piano rendition of “Mirror Mirror” begins to play in the background. Is that foreshadowing I smell? 😉

Knight

Weiss waves bye to her and she once again ignores another phone call from her father but this time with a smile and a better resolve thanks to her sister’s wisdom about walking her own path. 🙂

wave

Overview:

It was an interesting reveal on how semblances can become more powerful if trained properly. and only leaves us wondering if or how the other characters’ semblances will evolve, I just hope that when characters progressively upgrade themselves in terms of fighting prowess they don’t fall into the same rut as other long term shows/anime where they just kept adding power levels and abilities until it starts to strain your suspension of disbelief. For example Dragonball, Bleach, or One Piece. While these shows are great in different ways, they may have taken things a little too far in terms of 1-upping a character to be more powerful or even “god-like”.

I loved Qrow’s speech to the girls, and Winter and Weiss’s sisterly interactions. Winter showed that she is less the cold bitch she was introduced as, and more of a rough-around-the-edges, tough-love big sister. I am a big fan of how they are growing Weiss this season and leaves me and the audience wondering how will she survive without her dad’s riches?

It’s very clear that Emerald and Mercury are on a whole other level in terms of combat. What I couldn’t get over, though, was how Coco and Yatsuhashi didn’t seem to be doing much to defend themselves. For instance, around 3:40, they are both standing perfectly still, watching Mercury build up his little fireball onslaught, and for a solid five seconds they do nothing to attempt to dodge or stop the attack. This might just be because they aren’t equipped to react quickly, since their fighting styles are more slow and powerful. I feel like they would have been better off had they chosen Fox or Velvet instead of Yatsuhashi, to give them a heavy hitter and a quick guy to watch their back. Bad move on their part.

But I get it, they hacked the system and set them up against them because they had a plan for them. It just seems like more of cheat then it could of been. And for as good and Huntsmen as they were portrayed, they went down too easily. Or Yatsuhashi really is a muscle head and clearly not fast. He got a hold of Mercury  and he threw him across the map. But he doesn’t run back to his partner, who wouldn’t try to get back to their partner at all costs. It just seems too much like forcibly writing Mercury and Emerald to win.

Team STRQ has gotta be some sort of Game of Thrones reference (and I’m not even a GoT fan.)

And of course, amazing soundtrack, hardcore fight, subtle Yang developments, and the heart-tugging moment when Qrow tells Ruby and Weiss to “never stop moving forward.” RIP Monty Oum. The RWBY team is doing your creation plenty of good!

If there’s three complaints I have about this episode so far it’s this:

1. As much as I enjoyed this episode I mainly take issue with the fight but not the outcome of it. Them losing makes sense as a plot point however the fashion in which they lost was so utterly one sided I find it hard to believe that team CFVY has any real skill whatsoever. Emerald and Mercury were made to look like monsters and in the process made Coco and Yatsuhashi look like garbage fighters. There was only one hit landed by team CFVY and that was Yatsuhashi throwing Mercury. It will take a lot of evidence to prove that team CFVY is good again it doesn’t matter if you call it an upset a one sided fight is never good for characters.

2. Rooster Teeth’s tone for this season so far is a bit inconsistent.

When you’re setting a certain tone when you go two years without any cursing of any kind in the show. It feels a little more family-friendly, and you know that it’s serious business when Qrow accuses Ironwood of “not giving a damn” in Episode 3.

And then Coco just starts casually saying “damn” as well. It’s not that I’m offended by the swearing – if that was a problem, I wouldn’t be watching stuff like this at all (Or playing games like Duke Nukem & No More Heroes for that matter.  😛 )  But it’s destroyed both the family-friendly tone of the show overall, and the serious tone from Qrow giving Ironwood hell.

And finally 3. Apart from one random scene when Blake is in the audience warning Coco & Yatsu to”Watch out!” where was Blake in this whole episode?

Hopefully we’ll see more of her and more details to be further fleshed out in the next episode. 🙂

SCORE
7.5/10

OriginalOutcast

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