RWBY – Volume 3 Chapter 5

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Time to get funky!

This was quite the colorful chapter.



Combat Ready

Penny is definitely combat ready.

The tournament continues, and this time we get two battles. First up is Penny and her partner, Ciel, against a couple of whelps. Unsurprisingly, Penny wins. We do learn, however, that Ciel doesn’t know that Penny is a robot. It make sense that Ironwood would withhold this information, since that would just make for yet another liability. And it seems that Ciel has been instructed not to actively take part in combat. Instead, she serves as an overseer and a placeholder to allow Penny to participate in the tournament (we can assume there were two other teammates assigned to join her in the earlier rounds as well). So I suppose the less that Ciel knows about Penny the better, since teamwork won’t be a factor anyway. As for Penny, she appears to be enjoying herself in the tournament. It’s clear that the opponents she faces are no match for her, but she still maintains her trademark affable personality throughout the match. In fact, it is only when Ciel urges her on that she finally moves in for the finish and takes down the whelps. We know that Penny is more than capable of making quick work of enemies when she wants to, as seen in the volume 1 finale. So this suggests that she is innately modest, seeing no need to show off and only using her full strength when her friends are threatened or when ordered to. This portrayal further builds on her character, reinforcing the notion that she is unassuming and friendly, but naive. In any case, the big news comes after the match. Penny discloses to Ruby that she wants to stay at Beacon, and has even hatched a plan to that end. I’m really not sure what she can do to hide from Ironwood, as he almost certainly has a way to track her due to her robotic nature (and from previous experience of her “wandering” away). But the extent of Penny’s plot remains to be seen.

Jazz Rave Party

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Running riot.

Moving on, we have Weiss and Yang against two of Atlas’s finest: Flynt and Neon. And boy, is this a funky duo. Flynt brings the music with his trumpet based weapon while Neon brings the color with her bright outfit and glow stick nunchucks. Oh, and did I mention that Neon is based on nyan cat? Super hyper cat faunus, blue and pink color theme, speeds around (on roller skates), and leaves a rainbow trail? It’s all there! Heck, even her name, Neon Katt, sounds just like nyan cat. I love it! But that’s enough gushing from me. Right off the bat it’s obvious that Weiss and Yang will prevail. But this showdown sure threw us in for a loop. I had no misconception that our heroines would wipe the floor with their opponents. But I never imagined that they would have such a hard time. For one, Weiss is never able to best Flynt’s sonic attacks. And even her ditch attempt at a suicide double-elimination so that Yang wouldn’t have to face two opponents fails. I know this is meant to further the portrayal of her as immature and inexperienced, but I would have thought her more capable than the almost pitiful display here. As for Yang, the way Neon toyed with and taunted her while avoiding all of her attacks reiterates the notion that speed (or agility) and psychological attacks work all too well against her. Since we’ve already seen this in her loss against Neo on the train in volume 2, I guess the point was to indicate that Yang still hasn’t found a way to overcome this weakness. But at least she sort of addresses the speed part of it here by forcing Neon onto rough terrain, thus negating her mobility. All in all, the close call here builds on Qrow’s words in the previous chapter that team RWBY still has much to learn. Perhaps this is an indication of a training session or montage to come?

The Guardian?

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Plotting intensifies.

Finally, we have a bit of foreshadowing at the end of the chapter. Cinder finds out that Penny is a robot and gains access to her blueprints, thanks to Ironwood’s scroll being compromised. This can only spell trouble, though I’m not sure in what way just yet. Perhaps Cinder will somehow control or reprogram Penny to do her bidding. Or perhaps she plans to reveal Penny’s identity to the public before arranging for her defeat, to put a dent in the public’s opinion on the strength and integrity of Ironwood’s military. But either way, I fear Penny may have a troubled future ahead of her. Which is a shame, because I really like the good-natured robot. Additionally, we have a rather suggestive discussion between Qrow and Ozpin. All along, we’ve probably assumed Ozpin’s guardian to be Ruby. You know, since she’s the primary heroine of the series and all. But now we’re being led to believe that Ozpin has actually chosen Pyrrha. This does make sense, since Pyrrha possesses tremendous fighting ability and intellect, and is kindhearted almost to a fault. But I wonder if perhaps we’re being deliberately misled here. Or if Ozpin’s statement that he merely thinks he’s found the right candidate suggests that his supposed choice of Pyrrha will turn out to be mistaken, and it will end up being Ruby who saves the day.


Show ▼

Before I sign off, I would just like to discuss one last thing. During Qrow’s and Ozpin’s conversation, Ozpin replies “maidens choose themselves” to Qrow’s question if he’s chosen his guardian yet. This is before he goes on to say that he’s found who he thinks to be the right candidate. Does this imply that the guardian must be female? It makes good sense considering the main characters of the series are overwhelmingly female, and there are plenty of strong female characters in the show as a whole. But then why is it that the guardian must be female? Is there some sort of lore or story that the people in charge know of, that we aren’t being told? Case in point, we get the idea that Ironwood wants Penny to be the guardian. He is a proponent of using machines to fight man’s battles, he backed her creation, and now he’s observing her performance in the tournament. The signs all indicate that she is to be his champion. So then why was she built to be female? As a robot, it’s not as if she has any preconceived gender roles. Was it all on the whim of Penny’s creator, then? Or is there a deeper reason, like perhaps an unexplained necessity for the guardian to be female?

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Ozpin’s guardian?


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