I was very excited for this new premiere episode. Maybe even more so than previous volumes. I’ve been following RWBY since the volume three finale and every year, look forward to a new premiere, to see what adventures the main hunters and huntresses go on.
I’ll be posting a review for RWBY’s premiere volume for this year, in addition to the finale volume. As a heads up, this will contain some spoilers for previous volumes and a pretty big spoiler for the first episode. If you didn’t see the first episode, please wait to read this review if you want to avoid spoilers.
My excitement for this new volume grew right when I saw the main character’s new outfits. I like Blake’s new look especially. Weiss is my favorite out of the main four girls and her outfit grew on me overtime.
The main characters are wearing their volume six outfits, as this volume follows right from the previous one, following the protagonists as they enter Atlas. The atmosphere of the city has changed, according to Weiss, an Atlas native. There’s a lot more military presence in the area and General Ironwood seems to be losing his grip–one of the characters even points out his paranoia, which I predict may lead to his own downfall. I loved seeing Weiss’ sister, Winter, again–and in a brand new outfit since her last appearance.
Racism in Atlas
Blake, a cat faunus, also encounters racism in this episode and one of my favorite parts of this premiere was seeing Weiss go to her defense. This development, along with her comments towards another racist character in the previous volume, has showed that Weiss, a once biased character, has changed for the better.
Penny’s Father and Penny’s Return
One of the writers mentioned that the first episode would feature a major spoiler. I began to think that the spoiler in question was Penny’s revival. She made an appearance years later, rebuilt after her supposed death in volume three. Once we saw Penny’s father/creator, I knew then that there was a pretty high chance we’d see this character. Penny’s father is a great addition to the show, with only a brief shot in the volume three, during Penny’s death. I think he’d be a helpful addition to team RWBY, perhaps even playing a part in some of their updated armor and weapons, maybe even their new clothes, too. He does seem a bit older and ill. He also does not have a good memory. I have a feeling that he may not last this volume and Jacques, one of the technology-based villains, will take his technology and use it to their advantage.
Now, back to Penny. As we saw in earlier volumes, Penny is a robot with a human soul. She is now known as one of the defenders of Atlas. Penny used to hide that she was a robot, but uses her abilities out in the open and this seems to have changed. Her new design is beautiful and suits her really well, with just enough nods to the color scheme of her original design, but enough changes to make it truly unique. I heard that this design was inspired by a fan-artist and if this is true, I am glad Roosterteeth likes seeing fan art and getting inspiration.
The New Intro:
The new opening is a bit different from the others, a lot more anime-esque and dramatic, hinting at new characters with an upbeat tune. One of my favorite parts of this opening is seeing silhouettes of the main characters with splashes of their main colors as they use their weapons. Due to Penny also being included in the opening and being a major spoiler, it has not been released to the public outside of the VRV Premium and Roosterteeth First streaming. It is likely (though not confirmed), the opening will be released when the first episode is out to the public.
The lyric video is included above from YouTuber FlyntofRWBY, who gets the official lyrics right from Jeff Williams.
Qrow’s New Voice Actor:
But there is also an elephant in the room I feel I need to point out. Qrow has a new voice actor and this has caused a bit of a debate among fans. Due to having friends who strongly are on either camp of the original voice actor’s firing, I have not mentioned my own stance, with the exception of conversations through messages. I do have my own thoughts on the actor during distant interactions at conventions. I also have friends who sometimes events, who get the opportunity to see actors behind the scenes, and have heard about various interaction that were not always necessarily positive. I also am friends with people who are still huge fans of the voice actor in question. Though I will say that there are folks out their on either side, who continuously pester Roosterteeth and various actors involved on social media in response to the controversy… and I don’t think that’s right.
I am not personally not a fan of the previous voice actor, but this is mainly because I am not knowledgeable about voice actors overall and do not really follow much actors on social media or visit booths at cons. I also don’t follow most dubbed anime.
My Thoughts on Voice Actor’s Performance:
With that aside, I do really like the new actor’s performance here, despite the clear differences. Jason’s portrayal is not as gruff than the original voice actor of Qrow. Yet, his voice it also retains the same cool but also snarky personality, which fits well for the character. Qrow’s updated voice sounds a lot more human and realistic-sounding to me. Although Qrow’s new voice may be taking some getting used to, I really like it.
Predictions for this season:
I plan on revisiting these predictions during my finale review and see if they are correct.
- There may be a few character deaths in this volume, but General Ironwood and Penny’s father are the two main two I predict. General Ironwood’s paranoia is his top flaw that the villains may take advantage of, while Penny’s father is sick and can leave the villains (mainly Jacques), a clear opening to take use their technology for their purposes.
- If Jacques does use said technology, he will likely have access to Penny and might hack her…and turn her against Ruby.
- Ruby is hinted to have more development in this season. She had to cope with Penny’s death, but will struggle with having her back.
- The character, Robin, in the opening is likely one of the maidens but may not want to cooperate with the protagonists.
- The volume’s main theme in on trust. One of the newly introduced characters is a likely candidate for betraying the main protagonists.
- Cinder and Neo, as well as Salem, are not in the main opening. I don’t think they’ll make an appearance until later in the volume at the earliest; perhaps even next volume at the latest.