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RWBY v04e12: The warming up is over

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(Lechería, February 7th. Yakuza Webzine).- The fourth volume of RWBY ended, and despite that the finale wasn’t as emotional as the finale of Volume 3, I liked the way this season closed.

Keep in mind that I have said several times that this was a transition volume, therefore, its finale would not tie the loose ends. However, I have to admit that despite of it, I expected more.

The first key point in here is the length of the episode: 27 minutes. That indicated that many things was going to happen… and they did. Furthermore, the episode started directly in the combat segment, no introduction, no prelude, and I liked it.

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Now, the fight itself was an issue for me, it just did not get me excited. I was expecting something more epic, more shocking, but at the end, it was just another fight. It was a tough one, yes, but I never feared for them. Their lives were never at risk. Not even Qrow’s.

There lies my main problem with this episode. They prepared us emotionally very well for an astonishing ending… but after watching the fight, I cannot help but thinking it was somewhat anticlimactic. In fact, the most relevant feature of the entire sequence, in my opinion, was watching Ren and Nora openly flirting. That moment showed the tone of this finale.

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I liked the idea of Team RNJR beating the Grimm with no help. Nevertheless, I feel they should have suffered more. That does not mean some of them had to die, but they should have been badly wounded at least. At the end of the day, that fight was only a little bit tougher than the one they had in the first episode of this volume.

We cannot forget that they made a huge effort to portrait a fearsome Grimm. Ren’s trauma, the destruction of some villages, the cave filled with the weapons of dead warriors. Even, the final clip of the previous episode showed Ren reviving his pain, and then we could not see how he overcame that. Nora slapping him was way too little.

For closing this matter, I will say that between killing one or some characters and what happened in the episode lies a huge gray zone. In that area, they could have created a more complicated fight, including some severe wounds. At the end, the cavalry arrived conveniently fast, so they would not have died (Qrow did not).

By the way, during the flight to Mistral it was almost confirmed the RenxNora ship. I am not 100% sure because if here is no kiss or verbal confirmation from both parts, I rather being cautious. Especially if we consider that Pyrrha and Jaune did kiss.

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The rest of the episode can be summarized with the letter Ruby wrote to her sister, and never better said. Those lines act perfectly as background for all the final scenes, and they gathered all the emotions felt during the volume.

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Weiss is finally on her way to Mistral, Yang is already in the continent in her way to the city (plus she looks pretty badass with her new outfit), and Oscar is already in the city. Plus Qrow is completely recovered (and he is drinking again)

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Blake is preparing for taking the White Fang back, and we even see that Cinder has more control over her emotions and her new powers, which is pleasing her boss. The drawback of using this technique is that they already did it back in Volume 3 finale with Salem’s monologue. I think they could have found another way of doing it.

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Another reference to «The Wizard of oZ»?

Finally, the episode ended showing that despite the light tone it had, not everything were good news. The last scene, before the credits, made clear that Watts and Professor Lionheart… are allies? It’s even showed that Salem knows the Headmaster very well.

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In fact, I could think that Salem was referring to Lionheart when she asked Watts to meet her informant in Mistral; the only issue with that theory is all the time Watts spent for getting there.

It is interesting to notice that, because from the very moment it was known that the name of Haven’s Headmaster was “Leo”, many theories arose stating that he was “The Cowardly Lion” from “The Wizard of Oz”. That alleged alliance would even point in that direction, perhaps, Lionheart decided to become Salem’s ally due to fear.

We will have to wait and see how this is developed in the next volume, but right now, something is clear. There is a new traitor among the good guys, and our main characters will have tactic disadvantage when the attack against Haven begins.

Qrow again…

By the way, I just cannot finish this review without saying that, for the second volume in a row, Qrow was the main character of the post credits scene, plus the scene was awesome. After witnessing the alliance between Lionheart and Salem, it was good to see that Ozpin finally found his right hand.

Regarding the technical aspects. The score was superb, Jeff Williams keeps surprising me. The animation was at good level, but I noticed some issues in the sequence of Ruby writing the letter. Her movements were not fluid, they did not feel natural, and they were too rigid. I could even notice an issue regarding proportions in one of the shots.

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In conclusion, a good episode and a good volume. Neither the finale nor the season were near the level of the previous ones, but that was expected. In fact, comparing both volumes is somewhat unfair. The third one set a milestone in the show, meanwhile this one simply acted as a vehicle for going deeper in the main plot.

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The important thing is that the plot is great and it is being developed flawlessly. Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross are showing her huge quality as writers, which guaranteed that the show is only going to improve. Right now, we only can wait for Volume 5, and luckily, in the meantime we will be able to watch RWBY chibi since a second season for that show was confirmed recently, and it is going to premiere next may. See ya in my next review.

By Shougo Amakusa (@shougoamakusa)
If you want to watch the show you can do it in the official website.

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