RWBY Volume 3 has ended. In a sense, it is also the end of the RWBY we know.
Let’s get to the point. Pyrrha Nikkos is dead; shot through the heart with an arrow that scorches her insides before being scattered to the wind.
It is without a doubt the ultimate turning point of the entire RWBY series.
There has been complaints about the series for the longest time that despite its proclaimed mature rating by the producers, RWBY is at its heart a kid’s show. For the duration of Volume 1 and 2 the people are not wrong about their beliefs, and Pyrrha Nikos is one of the factors that contributed to that mindset.
Pyrrha as a character, has some of the highest number of ‘death flags’ that I’ve ever seen:
1) She is 4 times champion of the Mistral Regional Tournament and has proven again and again to be THE strongest Huntress of her year, if not the entire student body.
2) Her name resembles the word ‘pyrrhic’ (at this point many will agree that her parents can use some slapping), which gives meaning of a victory won at too great a cost to be worthwhile for the victor.
3) As a side character, alongside Jaune she occupies an unusually large amount of screentime throughout the entire Season (For those unaware, Volume 3 marks the end of Season 1 of RWBY).
4) She is the ‘good-est’ girl in the entire show and has a motherly/sisterly appearance and aura. One can even say that she resembles Aeris of FF7, but slightly more badass.
5) She is the first person to have found true love before the main cast themselves.
6) She is incredibly pure in some ways and almost obsessively responsible.
And this is the list of death flags I find without including Volume 3's, which doubles the list further; the only way Pyrrha can be deader than she is is if RT themselves step out, open a bottle of champagne and celeberate P.T. (Pyrrha Toasted that was kinda a horrible joke!) Day. Of course there are also people, including me who didn’t actually think she would die precisely because of the excessive amount of death flags but, eh... She is dead. She fought well. She never gave in. She gave me the second fight scene of the entire Volume worth replaying (Episode 1 is my first, much to my own surprise).
I respect her. She didn’t manage to inspire much sadness in her death, but I truly respected this character, this wonderful girl named Pyrrha Nikos. Go well, Pyrrha.
Roman Torchwick is an interesting guy. He gives me the Han Solo vibe (the Expanded Universe kind) on the evil side, and if I’m the writer I personally would not write such an interesting character dead this early into the show (like who doesn’t want to see a free Roman playing both sides like a fiddle?). I personally do not think he is gone either. But as of this moment he is eaten by a giant Griffon and very likely dead, which is a shame.
But eh, what am I worrying abouht? He’s coming back. Dude’s just too cool not to.
I’ve already talked about her ‘death’ earlier, but I’m putting this here just to rant a complaint, seriously: What the hell do you have against redheads, RT??
The dude whose conversation transcends TIME AND SPACE! Jokes aside, at this point of time we can assume safely that Ozpin has been captured by Salem. How? I do not know, but I assume that Salem directly interfered during his battle against Cinder, because despite her powers I simply do not see how Cinder can possibly beat him fairly. She may have the power of the Fall Maiden, but Ozpin has a giant ball of Dust on top of his head to utilize from (if you notice, the power he exhibits is the same as the color of the Beacon Tower Dust).
Also, it is starting to look quite likely that he is the Old Man of the 4 Maiden Fairy Tale, or at least an acquaintance.
The Mary Sue of RWBY Season 1, Cinder has succeeded in every duel of wit and might except that one time she got mildly delayed during the Breach event, and Ruby’s interference that stopped her from turning Beacon and Vale into a complete bastion of Grimm, it isn’t much at all.
You may think I have much to talk about Cinder, but personally I have little to nothing because of how perfect she is. Partially I believe it’s because she borrowed Salem’s power (and sometimes the other way around...?) to turn even the craziest odds against her enemies, and that the fall happened so quickly that no one really stand a chance. Also, Vale has no proper military, or it isn’t shown on screen.
It’s funny, because it seems so logical that Pyrrha will battle Cinder to the death, but because it’s Cinder we’re talking about Pyrrha’s loss seem so natural that it’s cheap. If maybe Pyrrha has to fight through Mercury and Emerald before getting to Cinder, then Cinder wouldn’t have looked so Mary Sue and thus grant some weight to her demise. The point is, Cinder is so OP without needing to do much at all (good things practically just happen to her) that she feels transient as a character.
You can’t imagine how surprised I was to hear her ‘WHAT?’ at the end because it completely breaks her perfect demeanor...
Woot. So it isn’t something as cool as snapping a picture of her enemies, tearing the photo and destroying them in the process (BOO HOO C’MON MAKE IT THE SECOND UPGRADE OF HER SEMBLANCE!), but it is still very cool to be able to copy weapons which photo she snaps and use them in combat.
There seems to be many posts out there claiming that it is OP and that it is the RWBY version of Unlimited Blade Works, but I sincerely beg to differ. For one, Velvet actually has to be well versed in wielding these weapon to be able to use them effectively. As the saying goes, a jack of all trades is a master of none, and may very well be the reason why she isn’t considered a participant in the Vytal Tournament. She may be able to surprise first time opponents and take them down easily, but it will get harder and harder as she reveals more information about her stock until eventually, she gets completely countered.
Not to mention that her ‘UBW’ cannot compare even to Shirou’s UBW, which is said to be the weakest of all Noble Phantasms (because they are all copies and does not have the complete legendary power and its rightful wielder to muster its full capabilities, except when dueling against Gilgamesh inside his Reality Marble). Shirou’s UBW can shoot weapons from anywhere inside his own Reality Marble, whereas Velvet has to physically pull then out of her magic box and use them. It’s not even a matter of whether there are Aura limitations on how many weapons she can wield at a time; it’s just physically impossible especially in the case of heavy weapons such as Coco’s mini gun or Ruby’s scythe. Even dual wielding two identical swords take geniuses decades to master!
I’m very surprised that he isn’t more emotional when he, Ren, Nora and Ruby sets out towards their destination (Haven), but it is shown that a whole season has passed, and autumn has turned into winter. So he may have come to terms and is feeling much better.
A shame we didn’t get to see his Semblance. But we didn’t get to see Junior or the twins or even a grand battle against the Wyvern Grimm, so in comparison this is a minor issue.
Well, I want to say that she’s being stupid again, but honestly she made the potential best decision she could have given the circumstances. For obvious reasons Yang saw it as a betrayal and I believe Blake knows that too, but at the same time the demise of Beacon has finally woke her up to the reality that, even if she gives mercy to her enemies, they won’t necessarily give it to her or her precious friends. We all know where she’s going, and what she plans to do. One thing is certain: The White Fang and Adam are not going to enjoy their victory for long.
But of course, since this is Blake she is of course partially motivated by her guilt and cannot bear seeing Yang broken because of her own failures (which totally isn’t, because again, if Yang would just be LESS. IMPATIENT. That fight could’ve gone another way...). You know what? Read this, it’s my fan fiction on Blake a year or two ago which writes about her iconic self-depreciation and naturally it is totally not a self-promotion despite having stopped writing RWBY for probably half a year because I’m lazy, uh huh.
Yang Xiao Long
You’ve been around Blake too much, Yang! Seriously though, I have always thought Yang to be a troubled woman (Read this! This is totally not canon but will totally satisfy your inner sadist of seeing her prideful face STOM - GOBUGAH *inner demon squashed*) during her younger ages, and the loss of her arm seem to be the exact amount of shock required to make the old, moody self she thought she grew up from resurface again. There may be some people may think that Yang is being uncharacteristically down, but then again clowns are statistically some of the most depressed person in the world. High ups and high downs, people. Don’t worry, once she bounces back she’ll bounce back hard.
Easily one of the more clueless people of Volume 3. When the whole world she comes to know is torn down to pieces, to her credit she does not panic, but at the same time she has no idea what to do and has to consult Blake repeatedly on their next move. Ozpin really made the right decision when he chose Ruby as their leader.
Other than that, Weiss didn’t get to make much of a splash this final two Episodes. Interestingly enough she didn’t protest at all to her father coming personally to secure her (I could use the word save, but at the time she would be at the safe zone already so it’s just a matter of moving her to a safer place), but I suppose we can attribute that to shock. A delicate flower with PTSD? Oh, please!
Speaking of which, you are one step away from being called Kentucky, Papa Schnee! Actually, I’m just going to call you Kentucky Junior from now on (because Penny’s creator is the REAL Kentucky)!
Wow, where to start really. Koitsu homono no eiyuu da (She is a true hero)! Throughout the disaster she has consistently made bold but clever decisions in attempt to turn the tides of battle (seizing air control from Roman, charging towards Beacon Tower to save Pyrrha etc), and although she failed and is even inflicted a massive wound in her heart (SERIOUSLY RT, WTH DO YOU HAVE AGAINST REDHEADS?? SHE’S FIFTEEN!), she also awakened a hidden power she never thought possible.
To clarify, I do not think Silver Eyes to be part of the Maiden Fairy Tales. There are obvious differences between the two, not only in sheer difference of might but also the story’s essence itself. Perhaps the only similarity they share is that the projection of power flows through the eyes, which are also known as Windows of the Soul (Chinese proverb).
All in all, Ruby seems numb by the events happening around her. Due to the timeskip we didn’t know how long it took her to recover, but it seems a little too quick than normal and it is very likely she’s simply keeping them down in her heart, kind of like Aang in Avatar. As of now, she’s making all the right calls possible and making sure steps towards becoming a great Huntress. Let us hope that it does not destroy her heart in the process.
Conclusion - Team JRRN / RNJR
Goodbye the old, hello the new. With Blake and Yang going solo and Weiss... I don’t know, continuing her studies at Atlas or taking over the company? Jaune invites Ruby into their group and heads towards somewhere. Ruby will replace Pyrrha very well as the playmaker, but it will be interesting to see how she will handle the role of leadership and communication within her team. If anyone from RT is reading this, I strongly suggest the recent anime Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, which showcases excellent and realistic communication of people living in a generic fantasy setting. The end of Volume 3 also signifies the conclusion of the pacing and tone set by Season 1, and whatever the future may hold it will definitely be a fresh breath of air that both the cast and the viewers will be pleased to feast upon.
I cannot wait.
Epilogue - Salem
“A smaller, more honest soul. It’s true that a simple spark can ignite hope, breathe fire into the hearts of the weary. The ability to derive strength from hope is undoubtedly mankind’s greatest attribute!
... Which is why I will focus all of my power to snuff it out.
How does it feel? Knowing that all of your time and effort has been for nothing? That your guardians have failed you? That everything you have built will be torn down before your very eyes?
Your faith in mankind was not misplaced. When banded together, unified by a common enemy, they are a noticeable threat. But divide them, place doubt into their minds, and any semblance of power they once had will wash away.
Of course, they won’t realize it at first. Like you, they’ll cling to their fleeting hope, their aspirations. But this is merely the first move. So you send your guardians. Your huntsmen, your huntresses. And when they fail and you turn to your smaller soul, know that you send her to the same pitiful demise.
This is the beginning of the end, Ozpin. And I can’t wait, to watch you burn.”