After the long hiatus of waiting, we finally got Vol.7 of RWBY in November of 2019 which manages to unthinkably cram so much within 13 episodes while expanding its lore in terms of characters, story, and big-reveals. The characters we know and love now have complex motivations and sometimes while well-intentioned, often make imperfect decisions within the show itself which remind us how human they are and aren’t just “Mary-Sues” as we’ve seen in previous seasons which carefully showed how each of them overcame their personal problems in some way.
The recurring theme seems to be how trust & love can bring people together while the current head-writers/co-creators Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross even stated that Volume 7 as the season of “uncertainty” that will see the main heroes challenged by self-doubt as upon visiting the Kingdom of Atlas by stating: “There’s a lot of, ‘What should we do? Who should we trust? Are we doing the right thing?’ There are people they thought they could trust but maybe they shouldn’t. And people they didn’t think they could trust but totally can.” but while that’s clearly the case in a number of ways with how the plot progresses, that later begins to contradict itself through a series of small lies that were at first well-intentioned, but later begin to build-up with devastating consequences as they later particularly mess with the sanity of those in high positions of power.
The introduction of new characters and the unexpected return of old ones into the mix was also refreshing to see as people like Robyn Hill (Voiced by Cristina Vee) who shows that there are people in Mantle out there who actively want to help their own people, while the Ace-Ops who are equally entertaining, yet at the same time blindly obedient, not to mention they only see each other as teammates instead of friends as opposed to Team RWBY and the people within their circle. Qrow (Now voiced by Jason Liebrecht) also had his share of excellent moments. From sobering up to his budding friendship with the Ace-Ops leader Clover, which the fandom blindly perceived as something romantic due to how their opposite luck powers complimenting each other, but I’m not really bothered by it. I never really sensed anything romantic in an LGBTQ-sense, but you do see the chemistry between the two. And Penny’s grandiose return helped bring some lighthearted moments back within RWBY even if she had her own share of drama later in the story with the way her superiors treat her as just a robot, but near the end of the Volume, she could potentially prove that she’s something more…
Equally the villains themselves were also the highlights within this season. Weiss’ father Jacques Schnee (voiced by Jason Douglas) continues to be a rich asshole who’s more obsessed with winning and only values that above his own family or the people he’s supposed to look out for, Dr. Watts (Voiced by Christopher Sabat) had a backstory that was fully explored and Tyrian (Voiced by Josh Grelle) while his backstory was briefly mentioned once, it did get the point across of how he’d join someone like Salem. But near the end, the biggest complaint is the lack of backstory for their longest ongoing villain next to Salem, Cinder Falls (Voiced by Jessica Nigri). Cinder’s backstory is long overdue and she’s been part of the show since Volume 1’s post-credits finale, so I’m hoping that at least within the next season we get to learn something about her. From a storytelling standpoint, we live in a generation where even villains now have origin stories. People aren’t just twisted in the head for the sake of it, sometimes we need to understand the motivations behind their madness and that’s part of what makes her so frustrating for us to understand her as a character.
Overall, aside from lacking its traditional post-credits scene, Volume 7 felt heroic and triumphant while at the same time seemingly hopeless. The result isn’t a perfect world within Weiss’s homeland, but it is a world that still has a fighting chance to reclaim its soul and hopefully, with the recently announced Volume 8 currently in production we could potentially see how all the struggles, hardships, and sacrifices for that soul play out in the next Volume.
They can’t possibly end it like this right?