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RWBY Volume 5 – Episode 1 (Review)

By: Zelyhon

RWBY is back for its fifth season and, speaking personally, I am quite excited for where we’re currently starting at.  Season 4 was a bit of a quieter, more laid back season than the three preceding it, but laid some interesting groundwork for the areas outside of Vale.  Season 5 definitely appears to be taking advantage of that by diving deeper into two of those locations in particular, Menagerie and Mistral.

This season starts out not long after Season 4 ended and, by and large, is dealing with the relatively immediate consequences of the decisions each member of Team RWBY made at the end of the last season.  With the exception of Ruby herself, most of these are pretty short in the Season opener.  They seemed to mostly just be reminding us where we were at the end of the last season.  Weiss’s was a bit underwhelming to me, because while it establishes again that she is heading to Mistral and the general state of the world, we don’t get much beyond that yet, though.  Yang’s was somewhat more interesting to me, because it clarified something I misinterpreted at the end of the last season.  I thought Yang would be going to try and find Ruby after the conversation between Taiyang and the professors (well, Professor and Doctor, technically) but that seems to not be the case.  I like how this can potentially tie in to the more overarching goal for at least the first part of the season.  Blake’s portion of the episode, though, definitely had the most meat to me of the non-RWBY girls.  Thanks to the Black trailer, we have some more understanding of her history with Ilya, and the hints of what may be coming certainly left me intrigued.  I wasn’t as fond of how much progress we made (or didn’t make) on her story last season, but the prospect of what looks like it is coming definitely has me interested.

Ruby gets the lion’s share (pun intended) of the episode devoted to her and her crew.  They give us the primary story hooks that were touched on last season regarding the Spring Maiden and Raven’s involvement with her.  It felt like a bit of a sudden jump to me, with Qrow now knowing that Raven has the Spring Maiden with her.  That didn’t feel like the implication in their previous conversation to me, but it’s a minor thing.  Otherwise, I’m excited that we’ll get to see more of both Raven and learn more about the Maidens and the Relics and their connection.  It is still interesting to me that we have heard nothing about either the Winter or Summer maidens, but I guess that just means that they are known and accounted for, but the complete lack of mention does leave me curious.  We also get to see our first real taste of our cowardly Lionheart.  I’m curious how he will influence Team RNJR, since we already know that he’s siding with Dr. Watts (though with questionable voluntariness).

One of the things that struck me about this episode was that, aside from one punch, there was no action in this season opener.  Every other volume had a big fight scene at the beginning of the season (Roman, the food fight, prelim round 1, and the giant rock monster).  It makes sense, on a certain level.  If you’re back for Season 5, chances are you’re already invested and don’t need something extra-flashy to draw you in.  It was definitely something that I took note of, though, as a definite change from the direction and pace of seasons past.

I was happy with this season opener.  There’s a lot of potential for where this season might go and I’m definitely chomping at the bit to see more!

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