RWBY – Volume 3 Chapter 12 [End]

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Well that was a terribly depressing finale.



Alas, Poor Pyrrha

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A flashy battle.

The finale opens with Ozpin facing off against Cinder. As many have guessed, his semblance is associated with time, as we see him moving incredibly fast to both dodge and attack. The headmaster even appears to be holding his own against the souped-up villainess. But then suddenly he disappears? I suppose it’s possible given what happens later that Cinder could have done to Ozpin what she did to Pyrrha; there would certainly be nothing left of the body. But I don’t think that’s what happened. Ozpin seems too important to be done in by Cinder. Moreover, I think that Salem, who is most certainly the one Cinder answers to, would want to personally take care of Ozpin since she seems to have quite a personal vendetta against him. More on that later. But back to the topic at hand, I unfortunately can’t come up with a reason for why Ozpin would just abruptly disappear other than possibly being killed by Cinder. He of all people understands the importance of preventing her from bringing down the CCTS tower. The consequences of such we see when it does happen in the end; humanity has no means of long-range communication, and the four kingdoms of Remnant stand divided.

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The feels right now…

And now for the really depressing part. Pyrrha and Jaune spot Cinder heading up to take out the tower after somehow dealing with Ozpin. Being the righteous person that she is, Pyrrha resolves to go after Cinder. Jaune protests, but is cut off when Pyrrha plants a kiss on him and uses his moment of surprise to send him away in one of those convenient rocket lockers. Normally this would be a cause for celebration for the shippers, as this is pretty much the closest thing the two have got to affirming their feelings for each other. But unfortunately, the kiss serves as a death flag in this scenario. And as much as we hate it, this is one death flag which doesn’t get toppled by any sort of convenience or plot armor. Pyrrha faces off against Cinder, and while she is clearly outmatched by the villainess’s new powers, she puts up a good fight with her semblance. Ultimately though, Pyrrha’s aura is worn down and eventually she is left injured, unarmed, and helpless before Cinder. The two exchange a few last words as Pyrrha asks Cinder whether she believes in destiny, to which Cinder responds with a tearful yes. The villainess tearing up at the question is an interesting detail, but I honestly have no sound theories about it. And with those final words, Cinder shoots Pyrrha through the chest with an arrow that incinerates the poor girl’s body, leaving nothing behind but ashes. And of course, Ruby has to arrive at the scene just as this happens. Oh the heartbreak…

Silver Eyes

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So… this happened.

What happens next is a bit fantastic, as the upset Ruby screams and unleashes some kind of white energy from her eyes, which envelopes the Grimm dragon and Cinder. The chapter then skips ahead to the wake of the incident. Ruby and Yang are both back home with their father. Qrow pays a visit explains to Ruby that she is a descendant of an ancient line of silver-eyed warriors. These warriors were extremely skilled at fighting the Grimm, even being said to be able to kill one with nothing more than a glance. I must say that the show certainly threw us in for a loop with the red herring that is the seasonal maidens, as I’m sure many of us had theories that Ruby, and her mother before her, might be one of these maidens. Instead, we now have an entirely different legend about ancient, silver-eyed warriors. This is interesting and all, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to keep on introducing more and more lore-based powers. Especially if these powers are just explained after the fact; makes them seem like a bit of a cop-out.

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The Yangst is strong.

Anyway, we learn that Weiss has been taken home to Atlas by her father, as the communications breakdown has left the four kingdoms in disarray. And we also learn that Blake ran away in the wake of the battle. It’s safe to say she did this to avoid getting her friends involved in her White Fang troubles, as she no doubt feels responsible for Yang’s arm. But her decision probably had a negative effect on Yang instead. We saw in the second volume that Yang wants Blake to open up about her problems with the rest of the team. But instead, the faunus girl has chosen again to keep her troubles to herself and isolate herself from her friends. I’m thinking this, more than the loss of her arm, is what has Yang so depressed. So there we have it. Team RWBY is officially torn apart. Weiss has been taken away, Blake has run away, and Yang has holed herself up in her room in a bout of depression. But it’s not all over yet, as Ruby sneaks out and rendezvous with the remainder of team JNPR as they journey to Haven to track down Cinder’s faction and seek answers.

The Big Bad

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Salem means business.

The chapter then leaves us with a big reveal as we finally see the true mastermind behind the plot that Cinder has been executing. Her name, as revealed in the credits, is Salem. And her monologue at the end of this volume reveals that she is a long-time acquaintance of Ozpin, reinforcing the theory that the headmaster has been around for a very long time. In fact, you might remember that the two had a voice-over dialogue of sorts at the very beginning of the entire series. We all probably thought of it as nothing more than narration, but their relationship being made known now, it is clear that the two have been at odds since time immemorial and in fact may not be human. From what I can gather, Ozpin sided with humanity. He saw their potential and helped them band together against the creatures of Grimm. Salem, on the other hand, desires to destroy humanity, seemingly for no other reason than to spite Ozpin. She is even aware of the guardians that Ozpin relies upon to protect humanity, and promises to destroy them too. And here I should add that it is strongly suggested that Ruby is Ozpin’s final trump card should his other guardians, such as the seasonal maidens, fall. But I digress.

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Do you believe in destiny?

Salem’s goal and her physical appearance suggest a connection between the mastermind and the Grimm. Her bone white skin and hair and her ominous black and red clothing are highly reminiscent of the creatures. And it’s no coincidence that both Salem and the Grimm are driven to seek out and destroy humanity. So perhaps she was the one who created them as tools to achieve her goal? Assuming all of this is true, it is ironic that she had to ultimately turn to humans like Cinder to overcome Ozpin’s defenses and finally bring humanity to its knees. Moreover, this suggests that either Salem deceived Cinder about her true goal, or Cinder actually wants humanity to be destroyed. I’m kind of hoping for the former; maybe Cinder has good intentions and is just misguided. Because it’s always stupid when a human villain seeks to destroy the world or the rest of his kind. Those types of villains seriously need to keep their global murder-suicide pact to themselves. But Salem gets a pass in that regard because she may not even be human.

So that’s it. Volume three is over and as promised, the show has taken a very dark turn. We’ve lost two major characters, both of whom I was particularly fond of. And team RWBY is torn apart, some of them being physically and emotionally broken. It seems like what comes next will be the adventures of Ruby and the rest of team JNPR as they try to get to the bottom of everything. Meanwhile, Qrow keeps a watchful eye over the young huntsmen and huntresses in the guise of a crow. But I’m also hoping that the show doesn’t forget about Weiss, Blake, and Yang. Weiss’s and Yang’s family matters have only been very briefly touched upon. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t see more of Raven in this volume, but the show could interweave these family issues with Ruby’s adventures in the next volume. I’d also like to see more of Blake as she potentially confronts Adam and the White Fang. I’m still holding out on the hope that she can help her friend and the organization redeem themselves. But in any case, that’s all for now. It’s been a real roller-coaster of a volume and I can’t wait for the next one to pick up.

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Until next time…


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One Response to “RWBY – Volume 3 Chapter 12 [End]”

  1. IanDK says:

    As much as the show’s quality has felt uneven to me, and the shift in tone very abrupt (some more hints foreshadowing the darkness would have been nice in the first few season), the characters really make this show for me. There’s none of them which I really dislike, and I enjoy watching the interplay between them. So, looking forward to seeing what comes next as team RWBY splits up and they each go their separate ways, before presumably at some point the come back together in some way.

    (That, and also the wacky designs where everything is a gun :P)

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