Welp… RWBY is officially back.
The new character short for Weiss Schnee has officially debuted today, and if it’s any indicator for RWBY Volume 5’s quality―at least in terms of animation, fight choreography, and music―then damn, we are in for a treat.
Rather than take place in the present with Weiss on her way to Mistral and Haven Academy to meet with her sister Winter, this short takes place as a flashback. She has no scar, nor does she wear her ponytail to the side, so this likely takes place before Volume 1 and even before the White Trailer.
We’re given shots of a garden at Schnee Manor during a light evening snowfall, and by gods, does it look gorgeous. We never actually got to see what the manor looked like from its exterior, so I’m glad we got something. Weiss was pretty much stuck in its creepily empty halls and rooms for all of Volume 4 (You’d think she’d learn though not to run away from home in high heels that click against marble floors…).
And of course, we get a fight scene against not regular Beowolf Grimm, but rather summoned ones, courtesy of Winter.
Can we talk about this fight choreography, though? It looks like it’s on par with, or at least nearly on par with, the level of the fight scenes we got back in Volumes 1 and 2. A common criticisms for Volumes 3 and 4 was that with the loss of Monty, the fight scenes took a massive hit in terms of quality. And to a degree, I agree. They didn’t share the same sense of force and pace that they did when Monty was with us (R.I.P. Monty Oum.). The switch to Maya from Poser didn’t seem to help much for Volume 4.
But here, the combat felt much more fluid, and reflective of Weiss’ character at the time. She’s quick and graceful, darting around with her glyphs, but also showing off how graceful and elegant she is in her attacks. She’s prideful, much like Weiss from back in Volume 1. Current Weiss I feel would focus more on the… you know, fighting than trying to look impressive while fighting.
Particularly, I loved the way she used the Fire Dust in Myrtenaster.
More and more waves of Beowolves appear, and though Weiss is definitely getting cocky (Be a mature adult, people.), she also seems to be tiring herself out.
Eventually, Winter uses waves of ice to knock Myrtenaster from her hands. Rather than jump to grab her sword or dodge out of the way in the first place, Weiss stands there either going “Oh, come on” or―more likely given her character―mentally chastising herself for such a stupid mistake.
This gives one of the Beowolves the chance to pin her down, and they surround her. She has no way out and no way to fight back. Though she’s incredibly skilled, she’s physically not that strong at this point in time, so without Myrtenaster, she’s an easy target.
Weiss shouts out for Winter, and Winter calls off her summons.
Winter seems to have given Weiss an impromptu training session. But don’t think she’s angry at Weiss or anything. She does love her little sister, as they’ve both suffered from the abusive behaviors of their father Jacques and brother Whitley, and they’ve been raised in the toxic environment that is upper class Atlesian society. But Winter got out through the military, and since Weiss wants to be a Huntress, Winter is trying to shape her into being able to take care of herself–because no one else will.
Though her words kinda leave me on edge. Volume 3 killed Pyrrha, Penny, and Roman, and many more nameless extras, whereas Volume 4 killed no one. That was to show that RWBY will not always be that dark, but it’s not afraid to embrace how wide its tonal range is.
Could a similarly dark fate be in store for Winter in Volume 5? It’d definitely leave an impact on Weiss, and leave her with one less supporter for getting back the Schnee Dust Company and restoring honor to her family name (Zuko would find the quest quite honorable, if you ask me.).
The flashback ends with quite the clever transition: we focus on a close-up of young Weiss…
Then cut to the current Weiss: ponytail to the side; scar; on her way to Haven Academy to meet with her sister, away from her toxic family.
All in all, this was a great short, and I truly hope it’ll translate into great overall quality for Volume 5 overall. I genuinely don’t know what to expect given how radically different Volumes 3 and 4 have been in terms of tone.
And the song… Weiss songs are always amazing in terms of melody, lyrics, and Casey’s incredible vocals, and this was no exception. It seems to be “Mirror Mirror Part III” to me. I wasn’t expecting it to pick up the way it did; it was kinda similar to “This Life is Mine” in that regard. I can’t wait to hear Blake and Yang’s songs, the new intro, and the rest of the Volume 5 soundtrack.
It looks like we’ll be getting the Blake trailer next month, and the Yang trailer in September, before we get the Volume 5 premiere on October 14. But if you ask me, I’m most excited about the new intro.
In other news, I’m currently writing an urban fantasy new adult book entitled De Cineribus. I’m still in the first draft phase of it, but if you’re interested, then I’ve got a page set up to give you a rundown of the synopsis as well as a look into the world and the characters, and I’ve posted the first chapter here on my blog. All for you. Aren’t I considerate? Please say yes.
Til next time, happy nerding!