Will Vol.6 be a time for change & equality for Atlas and the Faunus?
Every once in a while, a show within our pop culture will find some subtle way to depict the modern-day prejudices we face as a small reflection of the everyday reality we live in which if well-executed, can educate a younger audience by showing a reflection of what we as a society don’t want to become. While various forms of fiction like the X-Men have famously made this subject matter easy to digest in terms of showing what prejudice looks like to one’s fellow man (or in the X-Men’s case, mutant), RWBY more often than not attempts to convey that same message but often stumbles in places in terms of pre-established things within the mythos of their race of Animal people called the Faunus.
Much like how the Black Lives Matter campaign that’s currently become prevalent on the news and within our society at the time of this article, The extremist organization known The White Fang that has become the central focus within various RWBY storylines that often involve the character Blake Belladonna, was an organization that started out with good intentions by using protest rally’s to demand equal rights for the Faunus as a whole.
But as previously established in a story that Blake tells in Vol.1, The White Fang’s message about equality was thrown out the window when the founder (who later turned out to be Blake’s father Ghira) stepped down and gave the leadership role to Sienna Khan who wasn’t exactly thrilled with humanity either. It also didn’t help that a branch of the White Fang followed the unhinged & sadistic yet charismatic Adam Taurus as their new leader, who was not only much worse than Sienna but largely contributed to the “Fall of Beacon” at the end of Volume 3. At one point, Adam even took charge of the White Fang with a small Coup d’état while further enforcing a genocidal attitude towards humanity during his brutal reign.
In my past RWBY reviews I often cracked jokes about comparing the White Fang’s twisted ideology to BLM, with the phrase “Faunus Lives Matter” which to some would argue to be in-poor-taste, but when the wrong people are put in charge of an organization that’s supposed to fight for equal rights yet hypocritically only care about their own self-interests without making any sort of effort to find peaceful, non-violent solutions, and only resorts to indiscriminately causing harm or killing people without provocation, the parallels aren’t too far off…
In the aftermath of Vol.5, Blake took charge of the situation with Faunus villagers from the Island of Menagerie serving as the backup to her cause for peace by helping her bring what’s left of Adam’s extremist branch of White Fang to justice, and after getting the “Relic of Knowlege” from Haven Academy, Team RWBY’s next destination that I’m sure will be touched upon in the upcoming Vol.6, will be going to Weiss’s homeland of Atlas which should spark all sorts of conflict in regards to racism and classism given Atlas’s brutal track record of Faunus mistreatment. And this is in combination with Weiss’s father Jacques who’s openly admitted to using the Faunus for cheap labor in their unstable Dust Mines without any concern for their safety or well-being. Not to mention a good portion of the Atlas Elite within Jacques’s circle are some of the most racist, reviled, 1-percenter pieces of shit to ever exist with General Ironwood and Weiss’s sister Winter being the few exceptions who have distanced themselves from Jacques with good reason.
With Team RWBY on their Journey with Oscar/Ozpin in a race against time to get the other relics from Salem and her evil council, I’m sure it won’t be easy, but Weiss returning to her homeland with the help of Team RWBY in combination with Blake doing White Fang “damage control”, could be the potential wake-up call that the technologically advanced, yet backwards thinking kingdom of Atlas greatly needs.
Of course, all of this is just my strong opinion on the matter, but whether or not they’ll make this positive change a reality, remains to be seen in the upcoming RWBY Volume 6 which premieres October 26th on RoosterTeeth.
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