If every episode of RWBY this volume could begin with some amazingly choreographed fight sequence followed up by ridiculously deep story, I would be beyond happy. The fighting is one of the reasons that I was drawn to RWBY, but it does a lot more that provides visual appeal. It is apparent that a lot of thought goes into the fighting styles in this series. Not only are the characters’ movements and weapons based off of traditional storybook characters and legends, but also their fighting style brings forth their personalities. In the finale of Volume 2 we met several new characters that had minimal to no dialogue, but were able to learn so much about them by watching them fight.
In this episode we were able to learn quite a lot about both Qrow and Winter because of their fighting styles, making it easy to forget we have only known them for a few minutes. For example, Winter Schnee is a strict and reserved character. Her movements are something that you would see in a textbook, though she is not above allowing her emotions influence her fight. Overall she is a refined in every aspect of her life, and perfectly suited for the military lifestyle she has chosen. Qrow, on the other hand, is an extremely sloppy fighter due to his consistent drunkenness. However his inebriation does not get in the way of muscle memory and pure instinct. Though his emotion works heavily into his movement, you can still tell he is an amazingly experienced fighter. His movements provide a sense of adaptability, showing his prowess in fieldwork.
Additionally, watching Qrow and Winter gives us some insight into Ruby and Weiss’ personality. Ruby’s streak of recklessness begins to make sense, because Qrow was the one who taught her how to fight. Meanwhile Winter’s holier-than-thou attitude lets us know that it is not necessarily a part of Weiss’ personality, but how she was raised. Of course we could figure this out by watching Weiss develop over the past couple volumes, but it is still a nice reminder.
Story wise this episode provided us with some amazingly useful information. First, Ozpin has an inner circle of guardians that help keep the true horrors of the world away from the Kingdoms. Since fear brings the Creatures of Grimm, they keep the people in the dark so that society will not collapse. It has already been a remarked that Ozpin is much older than everyone else, but how old is unclear. So it is safe to assume that this inner circle has been organized for quite awhile, but Cinder’s Faction is their latest problem. Second is that General Ironwood is not the best person for the inner circle, because he lacks subtlety. Though he means well, he unintentionally tipped off the people of the real horrors they are facing by bringing his fleet to Vale. Third, that amongst all this conflict Ozpin is looking for a new Guardian to be the symbol of hope for the people. Though the exact meaning of this is unclear, my bet is that the role with fall to Ruby Rose. After all, Ozpin allowed her into the school early for having such a clear vision and desire to protect others.
Finally, Qrow’s appearance actually poses a threat to Cinder’s Faction. He knows that the person leading the strike against society is a she, and that she is at Beacon. Though Ruby and Glynda have fought directly against Cinder, Qrow is probably the best bet for actually pinning down who she is. But the chances of that happening soon are slim to none. With Cinder pulling strings from the shadows she will have to make one huge mistake for anyone to even begin to realize her role.
Even if things are looking bleak, at least we get to enjoy one hell of a fight with Coco and Yatsuhashi in the next episode!