RWBY – Volume 3 Chapter 6

RWBY v3c6

Shit hits the Yang. Damnit, Barb!

Secrets are revealed, and Cinder makes her move.



Fairy Tales

RWBY v3c6 01

The four maidens.

Wow. So much happened this time around. Let’s take it from the top, one step at a time. The chapter begins with Pyrrha narrating the “story of the seasons” at Ozpin’s behest. This is done in typical “storytime” fashion, with a character relating a story in great detail for our edification, even though the tale should be so well known in the fictional world that there is practically no reason for one character to recite it to another. That kind of story-telling annoys me as I find it rather lazy. But at the very least, I’m glad to learn more about the mythos of the world of Remnant. Anyway, according to the tale, four travelling sisters (for whom the four seasons are named) come across a reclusive old man holed up in his house. For some reason, they see fit to convince him to come out of his home and embrace the world outside. To thank them for doing him this “favor,” the man grants each sister great power, so that the four may help others around the world. This story answers many questions, but leaves us with many more. Most importantly, it reveals that there are actually four guardians and not just one. This makes sense, as all huntsmen and huntresses are trained in groups of four (which can’t be a coincidence). So I can foresee a team of guardians being assembled in the near future. It seems that members of this team can be taken from preexisting teams though. So the consequences of fragmenting other teams to build “the dream team” remain to be seen. The tale also reveals on a logical level why the guardians must always be female; the original recipients of the mysterious powers were maidens themselves. But this doesn’t explain on a functional level why the powers can only be inherited by females.

RWBY v3c6 02

Most awkward elevator ride ever.

We also gain some insight into Cinder’s actions after hearing the story of the seasons. Since it is highly probably that she was the one who attacked Ember, the current fall maiden, we can assume that she is trying to gather the powers of all four maidens. Though for what purpose remains to be seen. So far, the show just makes her out to be your typical villain who does evil things because she’s evil. But I’m hoping that she has some greater sense of purpose (or even a twisted sense of justice) behind her actions. That makes for a much more interesting villain. But I digress. Since we are working under the assumption that Cinder is trying to gain the powers of the four maidens for herself, it becomes clear that her list (to which she most recently added Pyrrha) is merely a list of the most likely guardian candidates. This, and the fact that Ozpin also scoped out Pyrrha, suggests that there may be some very clear-cut criteria for determining a guardian candidate. To add a twist to things though, we also learn that the powers can be passed on to the person in the final, dying thoughts of the current maiden. However, this only holds true if that person is a young enough female. If said person does not meet these qualifications, the powers go to someone else. Most likely, the best fitting candidate according to the criteria by which Ozpin deemed Pyrrha worthy. Now, this strange and convoluted (by Qrow’s own “admission”) shortcut to becoming a guardian has several serious implications. We’ve always suspected that there is something special about Ruby, and possibly her mother. Now knowing the story of the seasons, we can surmise that Summer may have been the previous summer maiden (only appropriate given her name). Thus, the most likely scenario is that Summer did in fact die before the start of the show, and pass her powers on to Ruby by way of dying thoughts. The big question then, is how did Summer die?

RWBY v3c6 03

The fall maiden.

Was she merely killed in action by the Grimm during a mission? Or was there something more sinister at work? What if Cinder actually killed Summer in a ploy to gain the summer maiden’s powers? But her efforts were frustrated when the dying Summer thought not of her adversary, but instead of her young daughter. That would clue Cinder in on the holes in her methods, thus leading her to use a more sophisticated approach in her future attempts. As evidenced by her keeping an eye on potential guardian candidates so she knows who to hit next, on top of using a new, mysterious method to outright steal Ember’s powers directly. This new method of taking powers from one person and giving them to another must still be in development, since it only succeeded in splitting the powers between Cinder and Ember. And guess who’s been developing technology to do just that? That’s right, Ironwood! So I wonder if perhaps Cinder somehow got her hands on Ironwood’s shiny, new technology yet again. It’s really disturbing how she obviously has some way of obtaining Atlas’s newest technologies so easily. But I want to give the kingdom with the greatest military strength the benefit of the doubt, so I’m going to go ahead and guess that she must have someone on the inside who sympathizes with her cause. I’m fairly certain that Ironwood isn’t the traitor, but whoever this mole is, he must have a relatively high standing in the Atlas government to be able to get Cinder all this cutting-edge technology. There is just one catch with this theory though. If Cinder has someone working for her on the inside, why did she only just now discover that Penny is a robot? Perhaps Penny’s development is even more secretive than anything else? Ironwood did restrict knowledge of Penny’s nature from even her partner and overseer, after all.

Brewing Storm


But that’s enough talk on guardians, maidens, and espionage for now. This chapter also brings us the first match of the finals, and it’s between Yang and Mercury. Right off the bat, we know that the shit is going to hit the fan from such a match up. And that’s exactly what happens. The match ends in Yang’s victory, but it is at the end that Cinder makes her move. Yang is tricked into hitting Mercury in self defense by an illusion. Since this illusion appears similar in nature to the one we saw in Coco and Yatsuhashi’s match against Emerald and Mercury, I think it’s safe to say that both were actually orchestrated by Neo. I had previously thought that Emerald created the illusion in her battle. But it makes more sense for Neo, an established illusionist, to be responsible both times. Furthermore, it is revealed that she can show her illusions only to those she chooses. In the case of Emerald’s match, the illusion was meant only for Coco to confuse and scare her. And in this chapter, the illusion was shown only to Yang to frame her. But what gets me is that while the illusion is simply lifted in the former while Coco is distracted, Yang actually delivers a blow to the illusionary Mercury here. Yet there is no shattering effect, and we’ve previously seen Neo’s illusions shatter when attacked in Volume 2. So what gives? Is this just a more advanced form of her illusions that Neo is using only now? Moving on, it becomes clear that Cinder intends to use the anger and discontent at Yang’s apparent foul play to draw the Grimm to Beacon, as promised by the opening animation. But I don’t really understand how this works when militant White Fang attacks and thefts around the world don’t lead to a catastrophic Grimm invasion of the kingdoms. You’d think that what are perceived as terrorist attacks, on top of the negative emotions of the Faunus, who see themselves as oppressed, would be more than sufficient to attract the Grimm. But that hasn’t happened. And now we’re expected to believe that a contestant attacking another in an apparent show of terrible sportsmanship is enough to cause the Grimm to attack the academy?

RWBY v3c6 05

Neo’s illusion.

I just don’t buy it. I know that the festival is supposed to be a big deal; a show of good faith, unity, and cooperation between the four kingdoms. But I don’t want to believe that what amounts to a controversial moment in a televised sport event can create more negative emotion than international terrorist attacks and racial segregation. That’s just nuts. Though unfortunately I can see this actually being a bitterly accurate commentary on the real world. Admittedly, news channels nowadays just report and inflate this kind of comparatively trivial bullshit over the real problems in the world. And perhaps that’s exactly what’s going on here. It works because I must concede that we ourselves are no better. But it’s still painful to think that such a thing is made out to generate enough negative emotion to draw a world-ending threat. Anyway, things are looking pretty grim for Yang by the end of this chapter. The boos of the crowd aside, it is suggested that the incident has broken the trust and faith that the rest of team RWBY has in her. And if that doesn’t threaten to tear the team apart, I don’t know what will. I know there was the revelation that Blake is a Faunus in Volume 1, but that was just Weiss being a bit stubborn and ignorant. Here, we have a betrayal of expectations. It’s like suddenly being told that a close member of your family is a heinous criminal. The worst part is, I’m not sure what can be done to prove Yang’s innocence. For one, I wonder if Yang herself is also starting to question her actions. The events as depicted by the big screen are undeniable, after all. And I can see Yang recognizing that the nature of her semblance, plus her temper, can potentially cause her to lose control of herself. I suppose the worst case scenario is that she admits she lost herself in the heat of combat, and is disqualified from the tournament, publicly shamed, or even expelled. But I really hope it doesn’t come to that.

Before I sign off, I’d like to mention a few things. I suppose the militant actions of the White Fang and oppression of the Faunus has not been without its consequences after all. Perhaps the increase in strength and number of the Grimm that Qrow spoke of is a direct result of these matters. Though negative emotions are stated to attract the Grimm, not cause them to build up forces. Moving on, when Pyrrha wonders if the powers the four maidens possess are semblances, Ozpin corrects her and likens their abilities to magic. RWBY has always made a point to distinguish both semblance and aura from magic. Yet now, Ozpin is introducing the concept of magical powers. Does this mean the maidens possess abilities which cannot be understood or explained even by concepts in the world of Remnant? And finally, we have the good ‘ol question of who the remaining guardians may be. The obvious one is that Ruby is the summer maiden, having inherited her powers from her late mother, Summer. This makes sense, considering the mother-daughter pair’s importance to the story. But if Summer’s name is no coincidence, is Winter, Weiss’s sister, the winter maiden? That just seems too easy. And what about the spring maiden? I can’t think a character who fits the role of the nurturing caretaker to a tee. But at the moment, my pet theory is that it’s Penny. I admit I may be biased as I like her character, but one can say that her very existence represents life created from nothing. Though one may argue that her mechanical life does not fit in with the organic kind nurtured by the spring maiden. And it’s also hard to think of how Penny would have inherited her powers from the previous spring maiden. Maybe Ironwood’s aura transfer technology was used to imbue Penny with the previous maiden’s aura? That would explain her one-of-a-kind nature among all the other robots. But in any case, if Penny is in fact the spring maiden, Cinder’s elation at discovering her identity makes sense. A new target has essentially fallen into the villain’s lap, making her job that much easier, in her own words.

RWBY v3c6 06

What will happen to team RWBY?


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4 Responses to “RWBY – Volume 3 Chapter 6”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Moving on, it becomes clear that Cinder intends to use the anger and discontent at Yang’s apparent foul play to draw the Grimm to Beacon, as promised by the opening animation

    Bearing in mind that I still haven’t watched season 3, my guess about this is that Cinder’s plan is more the “death of a thousand cuts” sort of thing. Beacon is, as it name tells us, a stronghold of the light. That light will not fall to darkness by any one action, no matter how significant. However, multiple repeated actions, small things, medium things, the occasional large-scale thing… all put together they wear away at the light. Things like this bring the darkness inside, turning light (the trust and faith team RWBY and all of Beacon had in each other) into darkness (suspicion and dustrust, even fear and anger). This one event will hardly break Beacon’s defenses alone. But as one pinprick of thousands? The light has weakened and faded, and shadows have started to grow in its place.

    • Sumairii says:

      I do agree, it will take more than just one thing to undermine Beacon or upset the current establishment. It’s probably too early in the game for a Grimm invasion after all. So I guess we’re in for several more episodes of Cinder messing with everyone, as you say.

  2. Arthur says:

    I think the point with riling up the audience is to get a lot of people to react/feel the same way at the same time so that it creates a stronger than normal effect on the Grimm. An emotional spike. A White Fang attack on the stadium (live on tv) would probably have achieved the same thing but would be much more complicated to pull off. And the broadcast would get interrupted I guess, causing some confusion about what just happend. A little illusion and very bad sportsmanship? Easy. Additionally no one will sympathize with Yang here except her friends whereas a White Fang attack might get some more support/sympathy mixed in. And since this is “anime sport” everyone in the nation is watching it so right now the whole nation has very negativ thoughts all at once.
    And thats the big difference with the other White Fang attacks or the ongoing racism against Faunus: most of the time each single event only affects a small group of people (compared to a whole nation) and than needs time to affect more people while the news travels on until it somewhat fades out. Like throwing a stone into a lake. Most of the Water is kinda unaffected/calm except for the waves. But thanks to the time difference and different opinions its a mess of emotions and not everyone feels the same at the same time -> smaller effect on the grim. Still, since lots of those events take place (except for White Fang right now) a lot of stones get thrown into the lake but it seems like it’s not enough to spill a lot of water.
    Rigging the Tournament like this feels like throwing a stone the size of the lake into the lake -> all the water spills out and floods the region.
    Or maybe a better comparison is a light that is always on. The normal day to day negativity draws the Grimm near, but many can ignore it because it always has the same intensity (more or less). But if that light suddenly shines x-times brighter it will catch their attention even if it goes back to normal shortly after. The question is if that one flash is enough to pull all of them in or if Cinder needs to create a few more flashes to get the big Grimms moving. I’m sure she has some more ammunition left.

    • Sumairii says:

      Ok, the point I think you hit home with here is the time and attention factor. I can understand the White Fang attacks not drawing as much negative emotion because each attack only immediately involves those at the scene. News of the attack can only spread later on through news reports, and the people watching those are probably too detached from the incident to feel very negatively about it. On the other hand, the tournament is like an olympian event that is being broadcast live and internationally. So as you say, it will garner an immediate negative reaction from a vast majority of the population.

      But I still feel that the intensity of the negative emotion elicited from bad sportsmanship should be no greater than the severity of the negative emotion elicited from hearing about some distant terrorist attack that doesn’t particularly concern you. In the former case you’d say “Now that wasn’t called for. I hope she gets disqualified.” While in the latter case you’d say “My, that was terrible. I hope those poor dust shop owners are OK.” And the key is that neither of those are as strongly emotional as “Oh no, those terrorists looted and destroyed the shop that my family spent so long building up. Now we have to pay for repairs and might be in financial trouble.”

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