RWBY volume 5: Back and better than ever

Saturday, Oct. 14 marked the premiere of the fifth installment in the popular web series “RWBY”. Five years ago Monty Oum started his biggest project at the company of Rooster Teeth, who are best known for their popular Halo series, entitled “Red vs. Blue”. Through many trials and tribulations including the death of Oum himself, the show has continued to improve season by season into what it is today.
Volume five continues where the show was left earlier this year. Ruby Rose, Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Lie Ren and Ruby’s uncle Qrow Branwen have arrived in the city of Mistral after a journey that lasted the entirety of the fourth volume. Immediately in the opening scene you can see the improvements in animation, specifically that of the face. In Ruby’s nonchalant “We were fine,” response to the trials they faced during the trip that definitely sounds like something the niece of Qrow would say, the dismissive hand wave as well as the rolling of the eyes are small but appreciated details for Rooster Teeth to get right. The voice acting is also already improving. Lindsay Jones makes Ruby sound like she’s matured over the last five volumes while keeping the signature semi-squeaky tone to her voice.
The next scene marks the first and only time the viewers could see Weiss Schnee in the premiere. Leaving her home in Atlas, she too plans to make her way to Haven through an illegal flight. In this scene she has to pass up assisting a stranger in peril because the ship can’t risk being compromised. This is Weiss’ first real experience with the real world in her development. Her conversation with the pilot of the ship leaves her in a position unable to do anything which is a major point in her development from the snide rich girl viewers were introduced to.
Moving back to Qrow and company, they have arrived at their destination at Haven Academy to speak to Headmaster Leonardo Lionheart, who needs to play the part of a coward trapped between loyalties. He does it well, successfully fooling the heroes into thinking he was going to assist them in time while also prying information about someone the villains need to capture from them.
Blake Belladonna and Sun Wukong also make but one scene in the episode. In the midst of uncovering corruption within what is essentially the police force at a place called Menagerie, Blake has a confrontation with an old friend named Ilia, who warns her that it’s not going to work. The two are deadlocked in their argument for whether or not Blake leaves the place versus stirring up a mess of trouble with old acquaintance Adam, who heads this corruption.
Ruby’s older sister Yang Xiao Long also makes a fleeting appearance where her intentions become known that she is tracking her mom and Qrow’s sister Raven. She seeks answers on why she might run out on her daughter, which while not being important to the advancement of the plot still makes for some solid character development opportunities on Yang’s part. She also shows signs of struggle with her new mechanical arm since her old one was cut off at the end of Volume three.
Overall the episode seems like a step in the right direction for both the plot and the animation. There was a scene at the end where Ren, Nora and Jaune get angry and skeptical of a ten year old boy, which I find unreasonable. However for the most part, the dialogue seems more finished, the animation does a great job of showing emotion, and it seems like despite the hardships, the core personalities of the characters persevered through the break.

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