Let’s Talk About Ruby Rose

I never expected to talk about RWBY again, but I saw this video talking about Ruby and I decided, “Why not?” Of all the characters on RWBY, Ruby Rose is my absolute favorite, I like her weapon, I like her Semblance, she has a great personality, Lindsay Jones does a great job voicing her, and I’d like to see Ruby be more awesome. I say that because I’m going to do my best to not turn this into a thing where I’m going to just say that she’s the greatest and shit like that. Because, that video I saw from Vexed Viewer made me realize the shortcomings Ruby received as a result of this show’s writing, and I feel I can talk about them.

 

Agency:

The one thing that’s been hurting Ruby Rose as a character is that she lacks agency. Let’s talk about that. Starting from the first episode, they made her out to be the main character and talked about her motivation: she wants to be a Huntress since that’s what her parents did, Yang read her fairy tales talking about Huntsmen and their exploits, and she just wants to help people. And when she went to Beacon, things were going great. Volumes 1 and 2 helped to show how she needs to be a good team leader when in reality she goes off on her own every chance she gets, and during the dance Ozpin tells her about how she needs to take a moment to just enjoy being a teenager and not run off to kill Grimm every chance she gets. And in Volume 3, she’s unable to save two of her friends from dying, even with her Semblance. And in Volume 4 she starts to feel the losses of Penny and Pyrrha, even as she goes off on her own as part of the newly formed team RNJR.

 

We’re getting somewhere, we’ve set up what could be some flaws for her: she feels she needs to be the hero every chance she gets. She doesn’t take a minute to appreciate the little moments. She’s so selfless that she doesn’t do anything to fulfill a selfish desire (like Sayaka in Puella Magi Madoka Magica).  Some have said that Ruby’s cheerful attitude is a facade, and while I haven’t seen evidence for that, that could work if we see evidence for that.

 

But then “A Much Needed Talk” happened and Ruby learned about the Maidens and the Relics.

 

Have I mentioned how I hate the Maidens? This is why. Following this, Ruby’s character isn’t anything relating to her such as her coming to terms with the reality of being a Huntress. It’s all about trying to stop Salem and defend the relics in the name of Ozpin. Ruby and all the now former Beacon students are now just pawns for Ozpin in his battle against Salem. And you wanna know something else that could make this worse? When Yang met Raven, Raven went on about how Ozpin isn’t a man to be trusted, and what happens when Ozpin tells of his conflict with Salem? Ruby completely buys in, content to follow Ozpin in Oscar’s head like a stray puppy that was taken into somebody’s house.

 

In the Battle for Haven, Ruby gives two impassioned pleas to join the side of good, first to Raven who just says, “You sound like your mother.” (Translation: Take your offer and shove it up your ass.), and then to Emerald saying that they don’t have to fight, only for Emerald to continue attacking her. This feels like a bad omen; Ruby doesn’t develop because her idealism makes her an easy soldier for Ozpin to use for his own ends (that sounds kind of wrong). The only logical conclusion I can see happening from this is that Ruby ends up being a part of Ozpin’s inner circle, or the Ozluminati as some fans are calling it. Why? Allusions of course! RWBY’s big thing is that a shitload of characters (if not all of them) are supposed to be allusions to specific characters in stories (with the exception of JNPR who are supposed to be historical figures that disguised as the opposite sex in their stories/legends):

 

  • Ruby is Little Red Riding Hood
  • Weiss is Snow white
  • Blake is Beauty from Beauty and the Beast
  • Yang is Goldilocks
  • Cinder is Cinderella

 

And those are just some of the confirmed ones. I’m going to speculate about what the unconfirmed ones are because that’s not my way to enjoy a Saturday. Ozpin himself is supposed to be The Wizard from The Wizard of Oz. Among his inner circle:

  • Qrow is the Scarecrow
  • Ironwood is The Tin Man
  • Lionheart was the Cowardly Lion
  • Glynda is Glinda, The Good Witch of the South

 

And my prediction is that Ruby will be invited in and she’ll be the Dorothy of the group, and Zwei will be the Toto. If that happens, that’ll just be another thing you can file under “things that are predictable and obvious that RWBY as a show thinks are groundbreaking and game-changing and shocking.” This one will hurt because it’s so on the nose. And it’ll also cement Ruby as one of the worst written characters on the show because any of the interesting directions you could take her character will most likely never be taken.

 

Silver Eyes:

I’m talking about Silver Eyes again because this shit’s important this time. I’ve said before about how this show should have focused this on the next big power instead of the Maidens. And I’ll concede the fact that it came out of nowhere to take out Cinder and advance the plot with zero foreshadowing. The reason I’m more forgiving than others is that the moment itself when it was unleashed was really cool and I think that there are ways you can expand that power and the lore of the show. The problem is that Nothing has come from it in two volumes since we first saw them. And that Vexed Viewer brings up that it’s on Ruby that she hasn’t brought them up, especially since Qrow pointed out that Ruby’s a prime target of Salem since the fall of Beacon. As it pains me to say, I have to say that he’s onto something. Ruby hasn’t asked one question about the Silver Eyes since Volume 3, let alone approached Qrow or Ozpin about harnessing their power. It hurts even more since during the Haven fight, she uses them again. I wouldn’t go as far to say that she’s a complete moron, but the longer she avoids this, the worse it really makes her look. In the novel Goldfinger there’s a line I think is amazing and can explain a lot of things, ““Once is happenstance. Twice is a coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”” We’re about to enter the third volume since Silver Eyes were introduced. If we don’t get anything out of Silver Eyes in Volume 6, I’ll be thinking a bit less of Ruby and the writing of this show, and it’s got some glaring flaws already that’s hurting it substantially.

 

Summer:

If there’s one selfish thing I want from RWBY, it’s talking about Summer Rose, Ruby’s mother. All we know about her is that she was the leader of Team STRQ, and she was a great mom. The Red Trailer had Ruby at her mother’s grave before she fought Grimm, and Volume 3 had Ruby at her mom’s grave a few times.

Also, going by Red Like Roses, Part II, when Ruby learned her mom died…she didn’t take it very well. First off, if the only way we see that angle addressed is on the soundtrack…that’s fucking pathetic. If you tell people to listen to a soundtrack song to get away with not doing character development because “the songs are in their point of view”, that’s worse than telling and not showing, that’s worse than lazy writing, that’s just taking money from fans and expecting them to do your job for you. And I’m not going to stand for it.

 

Back on topic. Summer’s interesting because of what it could mean for Ruby. Maybe she knows how great a Huntress Summer was and she wants to be like her. Maybe she wants to specialize in saving families that are being attacked by Grimm because she doesn’t want a family to be torn apart like hers was before she could even realize what a torn family even meant. Maybe part of Ruby’s character development will be trying to be her own Huntress and not what her mother was. Maybe she could come face to face with the same situation that killed her mother.

 

Hell, Eren went through something similar in Attack on Titan when he came across the Titan that ate his mother, and it led to one of the biggest and most important moments of that entire manga.

 

I’m not sure if Ruby will go through something that intense, but the fact that Summer Rose was Ruby’s mother and a Silver Eyes could go a long way in developing Ruby and helping us to understand how she views the world. Raven said that Ruby sounds like her mother when she talks idealistically and optimistically, so the hints are there. The thing that these two share is that there’s potential for these characters to be realized. Whether or not that potential is realized or wasted lies solely on the competence of the writer, whether it’s a fanfiction writer or it’s Miles and Kerry writing the actual canon.

 

(Off topic, I know, but I still always have that feeling it’s unfair to say a fanfiction is better than canon even though sometimes it is and I find myself saying it’s sad that a fanfiction does X thing better than the actual show. I’ve only had that feeling with Ruby though I’m sure other shows have that sensation as well.)

 

Hand to Hand:

A lot has been said about Ruby being not very good at hand to hand combat and overly reliant on Crescent Rose. At face value, that’s not a bad thing. Although after Volume 5, I guess the problem I’m seeing is that the show wants us to think that she got over it after just one scene of training and giving one headbutt to Mercury. One. If the idea is to say she can hold her own…that’s fine, I guess? I think the problem lies in the fact made it a big deal that her hand to hand is lacking. As in, “If Ruby doesn’t have Crescent Rose, she’s fucked.” Maybe if her skills were, “needs work”, it’d get a pass. Was it built up as a major weakness, like how Raven’s power was so hyped that we get things like her being the Spring Maiden.

 

My headcanon was that her fighting style could still be scythe heavy, but when disarmed, she could hold her own, and her hand to hand fighting would be like a fight in hockey: sloppy and scrappy, but still able to deliver some pretty nasty blows. And apparently, the show wants us to think that with some offscreen training and one onscreen headbutt, her hand to hand skills are the fusion of Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. I don’t get what the show or the fans want when it comes to hand to hand for Ruby. Maybe if more time was dedicated to it (one person I follow on Tumblr said that the show needs to either add 10 more episodes to each volume or 10 minutes to each episode), there’d be something regarding actual answers to this hand to hand question.

 

As I said in the beginning, Ruby’s my favorite character and the way she’s been handled lately has got me going. A Reddit AMA Miles and Kerry did have the two of them on record saying that some of the feedback they considered when they started writing Volume 6 was that Ruby needs more attention and meaningful conflicts. Volume 6 is the all in proving ground. Either Ruby develops as an actual character and it’s her story, or she’s forever lost in the sea of confusing lore and inconsistent powers and abilities that this show is created, domed to just follow Ozpin and his inner circle in the bigger endgame that is defeating Salem. And that’d be probably the 4th or 5th worst thing this show’s writing has done. I don’t want the only way that I follow the show is by reading episode summaries on Wikipedia.

 

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RWBY Rant

It’s been three years since I first saw the Yang vs Tifa Death Battle. It’s been three years since I saw Volume 3. I was there when shit went down. I saw Ruby’s character short that hyped up Volume 4. Sure it was a glorified Red trailer, but I found it to be pretty freaking awesome. Like Darth Vader’s Hallway scene in Rogue One, it was just one character at their most badass. Volume 4 was what turned me into an actual fan as opposed to just a guy that watched the episodes. And I still consider myself a fan after Volume 5. However, this hiatus has caused me to look at the show more critically, all thanks to a Youtuber named Mediaocrity4. And thinking about this past volume and talking about it on Discord has caused me to go as far as making this.  There are some things that happened in Volume 5 that made me…nettled, to say the least. If you’re fine with what I’m about to say, more power to ya. I will say, I’m going to do my best and stay level headed and not just rage like a maniac, even though this is labeled as a rant. Let’s go.

Cinder:

Cinder Fall is a wasted character. One thing I found myself thinking is that Volume 3 may end up being the show’s peak. Sure, creator Monty Oum died and people STILL say the show isn’t as good as it could be and that the fight scenes have gone down several levels, and Volume 3 the test of how RWBY would manage. And people said that Volume 3 passed with flying colors. Why? It changed the game and course of the show forever, the villains wrecked shit, and it had the heroes hitting rock bottom, and it was all thanks to Cinder Fall. She stole the Fall Maiden powers (We WILL get to that), orchestrated Beacon’s fall, she gave a massive speech before shit hit the fan, she killed Phyrra, and she can probably be pinned for Penny’s death as well. She was terrifying, she was sinister…and then she got hit by Ruby’s Silver Eyes, lost her voice, lost her eye, got her arm replaced with a Grimm arm, got a hate boner for Ruby, got her voice back, speared Weiss, fought Raven, fell down into an abyss, was frozen solid, and I presume her to be dead. Why do I say she’s a wasted character? Well, there’s the fact that she died before either Ruby or Jaune could really have a climactic one on one fight with her to avenge the death of those that they lost. Also, in Volume 4, they set up her training to get revenge on Ruby for the injures inflicted on her. And what does she do when she Ruby again? She ignores her unconscious body, throws a spear at Weiss because reasons, and goes down into the vault, only telling her underlings to take Ruby alive because…Salem’s orders. Instead of just hurting Ruby some more and taking her to your evil lair and just…I don’t know, torture her, say that Ruby will die by her hands just like Summer did, gouge out one or both of her eyes to keep them as trophies, do what the Internet would probably do with this scenario and keep Ruby alive to serve as her sex slave because…Internet, evil, and many people consider Cinder to be an attractive woman. Instead, she goes out to someone some fans consider to be out of her league, and we don’t know shit about her aside from her vague “I want power” motivation.

Can we talk about that for a bit?  Cinder wants power. That has to be the worst villain motivation I have ever heard in my entire life. I don’t even think you can make that work if you’re trying to be funny, like in abridged series. Sure, Goku wants something similar, getting stronger to fight tough opponents, but he gets a pass because fighting’s fun for himself and he loves the thrill of it…basically, he fights for the fun of it and the challenge, like a weightlifter looking forward to the day new maxes are recorded. Cinder on the other hand, wants power because why? At least with a “take over the world” motivation, there’s a tangible end where you can say that goal has been reached. With “wanting power”, what’s enough power for you? Cinder is basically a druggie going to different crack houses and street corners looking to get her next fix. Additionally, what’s your backstory, Cinder? Sure, you could reveal TOO much and you could kill any and all speculation and not match expectations, but this went too far in the opposite direction. By revealing nothing about Cinder or where she came from or why she follows Salem or why she does what she does, I can’t think of any way she’s interesting. I can’t come up with any headcanons or suggestions for others to think about, I have NOTHING. And it pisses me off.

Adam:

Adam Taurus, you are the epitome of “Peaked in Volume 3”. If the show doesn’t end up peaking in Volume 3, you certainly did. You were tough, you had a blade that could take anything out in one strike, you told Blake you’d destroy everything she loved and held dear, you cut off Yang’s arm, you were in two character’s heads. And what happened afterward? You were taken out in one shot, and not even a cool one at that. The swing you used to slice of Yang’s arm like nothing was cool. And how Blake took you down was freaking pathetic. Why did this show disrespect you? Why did this show make you so goddamn toothless? You know what you are now, Adam Taurus? You are that angsty kid from the early to mid 2000s that listened to Linkin Park and Sum 41 in their room, yelled at their parents to leave them alone, and just looked at a picture/drawing of Sasuke Uchiha and said how Sasuke was the only one who understood them. You certainly look the part. I’m sure that if you were wearing some band shirt, there were some kids in my middle school and high school where’d you blend in, meatbag. Welcome to Rock Bottom. I don’t know how you’re getting back. I don’t know how these writers could destroy a badass and ruin what could potentially be the final showdown that’s been building up since perhaps the Black trailer. If this isn’t the last time we see you, these writers are kicking the can down the road until we see you face Blake and/or Yang for real. I’m not sure how you come back. I’m not sure if your backstory will make you anything resembling interesting. And if that theory I heard on Discord where anything interesting that was planned for you was given to Ilia, I’m going to lose some respect for Miles and Kerry. I can’t think of a way an antagonist was given this bad a way to go out. Fuck all of this. Fuck it all.

Raven:

Hi, Raven. You got your own volume where we spend some time with you. Apparently, some reaction is mixed. I want you to meet prequels Anakin Skywalker. You too can talk about how you guys were so hyped up and speculated and theorized over for years in fanfictions, Reddit posts, and YouTube videos. Hell, I found something that I consider your backstory and past adventures that I consider my vision of canon in a fic called Scattered Petals (https://archiveofourown.org/works/8924407/chapters/20442730). What did we get in reality? I’ve heard people call you stupid, not thinking things through, and part of a twist that some felt was shit in the form of you being the Spring Maiden. My thoughts? Fuck you for taking away the Ruby/Cinder showdown that started getting buildup all through Volume 4. The scenes where Yang confronted you…the scenes fans have been waiting for and written out for years before this volume…kind of went the way I thought it would in the form of Yang chewing you out. I’m not sure what people wanted in the form of Yang confronting Raven at last. I’ll have to bring that up with people because that was the big moment for you.  Again, I bring up the big thing: you were overhyped the moment you did something in a mask and people considered you to be a badass. I genuinely think that the idea making you the Spring Maiden was a way to try and have you live up to/justify the hype that’s been built up since you scared off Neo in Volume 2. It can’t be helped, it happens to every mysterious character that does something awesome that fans love when you’re not the main character. You weren’t the first character to get this treatment. I feel comfortable in saying you won’t be the last.

And now we get to the Maidens. Good God, the Maidens.

I need to quote directly from the RWBY Wiki(a) for this one. And I quote…

There are four Maidens in existence at any time, each one corresponding to the four seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

While the full extent of their abilities is not known, Amber, the previous Fall Maiden, displayed several astounding abilities, including levitation, aerokinesis, telekinetically control leaves and freeze them solid to create deadly projectiles, manipulating the weather and bring lightning down upon her enemies, as well as shoot deadly fireballs. When she uses her Maiden powers, her eyes appear surrounded by a fiery glow. Cinder Fall gained the same abilities when she became the Fall Maiden but continued to show her preference toward fire. The current Spring Maiden, Raven Branwen, has been shown to be able to summon lightning bolts and create ice.

The Maidens are able to use any elemental power they choose, not being limited to their season.[1]

The power of the Maidens is independent of Dust use and distinct from a Semblance, drawing comparisons to “magic”. It is tied to each Maiden’s Aura in some way, but they do not need Aura to use their powers.

The Maidens are also each tied to a Relic, designated either through power or design to be the only ones who can open the chambers that the Relic is hidden in. Spring can access Knowledge, Fall: Choice, Summer: Destruction and Winter: Creation.”

I went there to look that up because I wanted to know exactly what they do before I started the process of writing this and going through with recording my feelings on video. And this was an eye opener. When I first committed to this airing of grievances, I was going to talk about how I hate the Maidens on a fundamental level. I still do. First, I hate how they make the world and the story and the lore of RWBY more complicated than it needed to be. I also hate how every plotline involving the Maidens makes not just Ruby, but every member of Team RWBY and what’s left of Team JNPR, nothing but pawns in the chess game between Ozpin and Salem. But then, I read this line I know bears repeating…

“The Maidens are able to use any elemental power they choose, not being limited to their season.”

That according to the note/citation, that came from the RWBY aftershow RWBY Rewind that I don’t watch nor care for in the slightest. My first thought when I read that line was, “OH MY GOD, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!” Miles, Kerry, do you two know what you’ve done? You’ve managed to make a character that has the potential to be more OP than Superman, and you’ve made four of them! Some may hate how Raven being the Spring Maiden is a weak twist. Some may hate how Raven being the Spring Maiden destroys the lore of RWBY. Some may hate how Raven being the Spring Maiden makes Ozpin and his inner circle look given what’s happened in the show. I’d say get pissed about how the maidens can dwarf even the main heroes even at their absolutely realized full potential. Even if Ruby masters her Silver Eyes and that power is capable of wiping out an entire city, all I can see is Raven or any of the other three maidens curb stomping her ass, and telling her, “git gud, you fucking scrub.” If Maidens pissed me off before, I’m at wanting to punch a wall levels after reading that. This is the one time I’d say that someone should have told Miles and Kerry no. Not just no, fuck no. Shit like this is why I hear things like Miles and Kerry are surrounded by yes men and are so in love with the smell of their own shit that they’re content to put out things that they think are cool that they don’t stop to think things through. Sure the Rule of Cool is a thing and you can throw out your brain to take it in, but there HAS to be someone there to hold you back and tell you to breathe and think things through and maybe ask WHY you think that what you have is cool. What I’m getting at is I genuinely wonder if there’s a limit to the Rule of Cool and you can only get so far on Rule of Cool alone, and stuff like the Maidens makes me think RWBY as a show can’t run on Rule of Cool alone as far as it thinks it can.

Apologies for that tangent. I still hate the maidens for how they made the show change for the worse because it wants to be big. The only thing I can see happening with the Maidens is Raven dying and passing on the Spring Maiden powers to Yang in a moment of, “Awww, Raven really does care about her daughter.”  But if it’s part of some redemption for Raven, I’m not sure how it’ll be received because I know for a fact that everyone watching will compare it to the redemption arc for Prince Zuko, and since Avatar: The Last Airbender is the absolute greatest thing that was made in the history of animation if not fiction period, Raven’s arc will be seen as inferior by a wide margin.

This wasn’t part of my original outline, but can we just take a minute that RWBY can be predictable at times? I’m not complaining; this is something that comes with something going on for a long time and lots of fanfiction and speculation posts and videos being made. The problem comes with thinking that you’re doing something groundbreaking and blowing people’s minds. If I ever go on to create something that gains a huge fanbase, I’m going to make a genuine attempt to just make a story that’s not to outside my skills, in that I’ll challenge myself if I want to and it seems interesting, but not do something that I know for a fact is out of my league. I’m getting off topic. Let’s talk about Volume 3 again. I really feel that through killing Penny and Phyrra, destroying Beacon, breaking Yang’s spirit along with slicing off her arm, giving the villains their biggest win, revealing the Silver Eyes, and revealing Salem as the main villain, RWBY has exhausted perhaps all of their chances to truly shock the audience. What has RWBY done since Volume 3 and what can RWBY truly do going forward that hasn’t been predicted already been speculated and fleshed out in fanfictions, posts on Reddit and Tumblr, and YouTube videos? Some may point to Raven being revealed to be the Spring Maiden…okay. But aside from that, what else? Let me see if I can predict the revelations that’ll come:

  •      Summer’s fate: She died because she got involved in Ozpin and Salem’s chess game.
  •      Team STRQ’s backstory: They were badasses and Remnant’s version of Green Berets.
  •      Qrow’s drinking: brought upon and/or driven to how we see him drink now by guilt over Summer dying.
  •      Weiss’s mother Willow: Going by fanfictions, she was a drunk.

Speaking of Weiss, did anyone think she would die after she got speared in a cliffhanger? Being one of the title characters (kinda)? After we spent a whole volume setting up her personal arc (taking back the Schnee Dust Company from her dad and brother and restoring it to its former glory)? How many people think that Jaune’s Semblance involved healing since he’s the leader of the team of main supporting characters? (Sorry for that thing that could be seen as an attempt as a joke/being clever.) My point is, that turn of events where Jaune heals Weiss came across as so predictable when I first saw it happen, or at the very least Weiss not dying. Everything about that came from the show trying to shock its audience, and failing to do so because this show can’t shock me anymore. And that’s one of the things plaguing RWBY now thanks to this death fakeout: it’s becoming predictable, but likes to think that it isn’t and its revelations are grand and game changing and not clichéd and most likely already called by fans in whatever way they choose. Star Wars: A New Hope may have been classic hero’s journey stuff at its most basic, but George Lucas at least didn’t try to claim his little space opera was nothing more than a silly space opera and relic to the Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s. Addittionally, given how the iTunes releases and Netflix releases before them featured the season as one long movie, the predictability upon first watching stands out even more.  I’m sure everyone has also made their prediction on who’s gonna die next. I remember a lot of them picking Qrow as the next one to kick the bucket.

Silver Eyes

Now let’s talk about Silver Eyes. When they were first introduced, it was awesome. That flash had to be what I imagine kids in the 90s felt when they saw Goku go Super Saiyan for the first time. Then, you got Qrow’s speech about how they make the Grimm shit bricks and I was sold. Now, that one intro, a flash that caused Emerald to knock Ruby unconscious…then, nothing. I’m sure that Emerald knockout was nothing more than Miles and Kerry addressing complaints that Silver Eyes power was OP and nerfing them greatly. (Surprised no Smash memes came from that scene now that I write it out as I did.) Even with all that I have some questions that need answering:

  1. Why do Silver Eyes make the Grimm shit bricks?
  2. Is Ruby the last Silver Eyes?
  3. What happened to the Silver Eyes?
  4. Is the Silver Eyes a bloodline, a gene/trait, or is it a group of people like the Branwen tribe?
  5. Why are Ruby and Summer the only Silver Eyes we know of?
  6. Did they die in genocide?

Those questions are what came to me when you really think about Silver Eyes, and this show has answered none of them. Silver Eyes reminds me of the Titan Shifters from Attack on Titan where even after they reached the basement, what we learned about them only serves to make them even more interesting and adds more intrigue…though I’d say that’s probably the one thing that Attack on Titan did right after they reached the basement. Even simple, shallow answers that only give Ruby extra power like her semblance being able to make her go faster than the speed of light is better than nothing at this point. This is the big thing to build up the story RWBY should be focusing on instead of the Maidens. Maybe after you complete developing the Silver Eyes, you could have handled the Maidens, but then you’d probably still end up with what I’d say about the Maidens. God, I hate the Maidens.

Grimm:

Now let’s talk about the Grimm. These were supposed to be the mindless killers of every man, woman, and child in Remnant, right? People have already talked about how the Grimm have no threat since they regularly get killed by Huntsmen in training like they’re nothing, so I’ll go with my angle that I’ll continue to bring up: going back to Attack on Titan, the Titans are the Grimm but done SO MUCH BETTER. Sure they may look like stoned, naked zombies, but they do their job. Go back and see when we saw the Beast Titan for the first time in Season 2. That was intense. That’s what the Grimm are supposed to be, according to RWBY. When people see the Titans, they shit bricks. When people see the Titans, shit goes south real fast. We see the Survey Corps lose people like nobody’s business. And when there’s a strategy to take down some major Titan, you can see things go wrong pretty regularly and there’s no guarantee that our heroes are making out unscathed. In RWBY, every plan goes smoothly and the heroes make it out okay. And the big Grimm that are supposed to be boss fights? You feel like they were meant to be scary in the buildup before they’re taken out like any other Grimm and are immortalized in shirts that you can by at the Rooster Teeth store. There’s a fic I’m reading called Scars (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11923192/1/RWBY-Scars), and among the bigger more mature themes it plays up because the show doesn’t, it actually shows the Grimm being some real nasty beasts. Whether it’s delivering blows that are fatal if it wasn’t for Aura but still leaving horrible wounds and scars, but also having the Grimm explode into blood and guts instead of just disintegrating into smoke.

Also, I want to bring this up: RWBY is a show made for the Internet. And I think I just realized something as I wrote this: I wonder if YouTube and their brand made them not be able to go as deep as this show could. They’re family friendly, they can depict some dark things (but not too dark I imagine) since they don’t have to answer to the FCC or anyone else that I’m aware of. Why don’t they take advantage of being on the internet and embrace darkness? You can still have RWBY Chibi for the lightheartedness. Are you afraid that you’ll be seen as too edgy and you’ll be no longer able to sell your stuff at Hot Topic or something? (Off topic, but I’m willing to bet Adam shops at Remnant’s version of Hot Topic).

So that was my rant. I hope I didn’t get too angry that this was unwatchable. The wait is killing me, which is what made me make this thing. I’m still a fan, and I’m hoping that RWBY improves in Volume 6, though I am nervous that things won’t improve. I’m optimistic that things won’t get worse than they were after Volume 5’s finale. I’m in this show for the long haul and while I don’t see anything that could happen that could cause me to drop the show, I do feel like there’s something telling me that this show couldn’t be as great as it could be, and that has nothing to do with the fact that Monty Oum died.

What Am I Working On? February 26th

It’s been a while since I made one of these update posts, haven’t it? Most of it has to do with me not going on vacation for a while, but some of it has to do with it not having a lot of inspiration to sit down and write. I’m not sure if that’s worth apologizing for. If anything, I won’t talk about the stuff I have written or anything, but I will say this: I’ll be going away, and I think that a change of scenery will help me out.

I have some good stuff going for me right now, although I’m at the point where I need to ask others about where to take my stories. That’s one of the things I’m worried about as I’m worried about my shortcomings being completely exposed and I’m seen as a hack who has no idea what I’m doing. I’m seeing somebody about this predicament about my mindset.

Another thing I’m working to get over is that it’s okay to be a guy who makes meaningless fluff, like the Michael Bay Transformers movies. I think part of that comes from watching movie reviews on YouTube where they always talk about things like cinematography, character motivation, themes, and that fun stuff. And here I am thinking I don’t have any of those things to begin with. To anyone reading, I ask you: Am I overthinking it? Am I looking at the finished product the wrong way? I really think if I can get to the bottom of this, I could make a breakthrough.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of concrete updates as I wanted to get some things off of my chest. I hope I have some better news for you soon.

Prove Me Wrong, Feds

If you’re not following this scandal that’s rocking college basketball, you should be if you’re a fan. To sum it up, the FBI has been investigating under the table payments made to top programs to get the best recruits, and it features a who’s who of college basketball, and the word is that Hall of Fame coaches and fans of top programs should be shitting bricks.

I’ve been following the FBI scandal for a few days now, and the schools that have been named have me going, “Holy shit”. While it is possible that college basketball could change completely and it’ll be funny to see Chattanooga as a 2 seed, I doubt that we’ll see any real big heads rolling. The reason? The blue bloods won’t be affected. Do you really think that the FBI and NCAA have the stones and the ego to go after Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky who are the pillars on which this sport is built on? Do you really think that the NCAA will go after Coach K, Roy Williams, Bill Self, and John Calipari, the equivalent of gods walking this planet? I don’t think so.

If I’m a fan of one of these four teams, I’m not breathing a sigh of relief, but I’m bunkering down for a fight…which may not happen because there are more top-tier programs that can be taken out in the name of this scandal. The reason for this is because paying players under the table isn’t severe enough to be deemed a problem with “culture” and is widely seen as an open secret, resulting in elite programs being taken out and most fans being content, while the most elite programs can escape still resting on their ivory towers.

If you’re a Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, or Kentucky fan, have cautious optimism. Louisville and Rick Pitino however, have had their wings clipped. Arizona looks pretty damn fucked, Michigan State can get fucked and nobody will lose an ounce of sleep over Sparty, the luck is running out for Notre Dame, and the party at Betsy’s that’s been going on ever since the Eagles won the Super Bowl looks to be over because someone called the cops on Villanova.

I’m not sure where this scandal goes, but one direction won’t surprise me in the slightest. Prove me wrong, NCAA. Prove me wrong, FBI. If you have the hard evidence, go after the blue bloods. Show you don’t give a damn about clout, prestige, or the banners hanging from the rafters.

The Story of MartintheDragon

They say that what you do on the Internet will come back. The Internet never forgets. Employers will look at your online footprint. And anything else that I’m missing. So, that’s what prompted me to make this blog post. You see, when I was in high school, I  decided to make the decision to enter the massive pool of social media. While Facebook was straightforward, on Twitter and Instagram I found everyone was using some sort of handle/alias. And I did it too.

That resulted in MartintheDragon.

The reason I did this particular one was simple: the school I was going to attend, Drexel University, had the Dragons as their mascot. I thought nothing of it. Then, as my college career moved on and I developed new interests, and I decided to join websites (though I wouldn’t pay for them mainly because I was unemployed and couldn’t pay the fees on a regular basis. That money had to go to books and software). For starters, I brought back the Tumblr account that I created the summer before my freshman year of college because I had a reason to use it. Again I used the name MartintheDragon. Nothing horrible right?  Now begins the weird path.

First off, I lost my cell phone, which was the only way I could access Twitter. It took a few years for me to think about going back to Twitter, but I did again, and you can find me @MartinWhite78.

In my sophomore year, I REALLY got into Death Battle!, a web show that analyzes two fictional characters to determine which one would win a fight to the death. On DeviantArt, I found out that people were making their own fan battles in what I felt was mainly in an attempt to fill the void I felt: wanting to see battles the show hadn’t done. And some of them were REALLY good. Unfortunately, some of these were stuck behind a wall of “mature content that required an account to access, mainly because some characters featured are what you’d consider infamous for brutality and on some occasions, Mortal Kombat characters were featured and they’d bring out their fatalities. So I made the account to access these awesome battles, and later on, I’d make fan title cards that were like the thumbnails for the actual show that’d you click on if you were on YouTube. It was pretty fun and it let some things gnawing at my mind released on the Internet.

I’d also use MartintheDragon for a fanfiction.net account where I’d write fanfiction for the anime I had watched, but that’s a story for another day. If you’d like to hear it, that is.

Then my junior year happened. Tumblr starts to play an important part in this story. This is when things like Black Lives Matter start to begin in earnest. Additionally, Elliot Rodger had shot up a sorority and Sandy Hook happened my freshman year and then there was the Boston Marathon Bombing so there was a lot of politics to go around all of social media. It was pretty crazy. And do you know how people say how college is where you find yourself? Well, that’s what happened here, mainly because I saw the things being said and watched the news as they happened and something happened, especially with Michael Brown: the court of public opinion was overtaking the court of law and the idea of “innocent until proven guilty”. Combine that with the feeling that the liberal Facebook pages I had followed just looking down on Republicans and people that didn’t think like them as if they were all racist hicks that screw their cousins and a bunch of other stuff that makes me think the GOP and anyone who sympathizes with them are lesser people. I hate that in people, and it makes me not want to like you. So, I started finding my political leaning, which I’d call “middle of the road if slightly left.” I’m not much of a politics guy. I’d be much more willing to talk more about anime, if I had watched it that is. Here’s my profile on MyAnimeList.

Now to the meat of this story, Reddit. One of the things of this time was a thing called Gamergate. Gamergate is hard to explain, but the easiest way I can describe it is, “Game journalists were found being very intimate with a developer they were not only covering in their articles but was also supporting financially, was their friend or being intimate. And when they were found with the egg on their face, they decided to cover their asses by censoring and removing discussion and shitting on their consumer base.”  One of the places I’d end up frequenting was the subreddit KotakuInAction, and this began in my senior year. The mission of Kotaku In Action is copied below directly from the subreddit (which I do because if you want to hear what someone stands/fights for, or their reasoning for doing something, my best advice is to ask them directly or get as direct to them as possible):

KotakuInAction is a platform for open discussion of the issues where gaming, nerd culture, the Internet, and media collide.

We believe that the current standards of ethics in the media have alienated the artists, developers, and creators who perpetuate the things we love, enjoy, and enthusiastically build communities around. We have observed numerous incidents involving conflicts of interest and agenda-pushing within media which we feel are damaging to the credibility of the medium and harm the community at large. We believe much of the current media is complicit in the proliferation of an ideology that squashes individuality, divides along political lines, and is stifling to the freedom of creativity that is the foundation of human expression.

KotakuInAction is a community that condemns willful censorship, exclusion, harassment, and abuse. It is a community that organizes to hold the media accountable to the concept of artistic freedom by standing up for the artist, the developer, the writer, the filmmaker, and all who enjoy the freedom to create, explore, and expand. It is a community that allows the exchange of information, supports the ongoing discussion of media ethics, and protects the right of the individual to embrace their personal interests in entertainment and fandom.

KotakuInAction is built around a core focus on reasonable, friendly discussion of the issues related to gaming culture, and those involved in it. That is not all we are about, but it’s where we began and will remain our core. We hold ourselves to be politically neutral ground, not forcing anyone to conform in their opinions, and permitting a wide variety of viewpoints to express themselves in a civil manner.

Additionally, here’s some reading about Gamergate if you need a crash course. I decided to start a Reddit account because I’ve been reading it for months and I decided that it’d be better if I joined the action and conversation myself, whether it’s bringing up points or commenting. As for why I used MartintheDragon on Reddit, I’d chalk that up to a combination of not thinking of another username, and some frustration that the usernames I wanted to use were taken. It is what it is, and I’d join a lot more subreddits based on my interests.

The last thing that I’d say is worth mentioning is the subreddit r/uncensorednews. I found this through Kotaku In Action, but they’re not related in any way. Here’s what this subreddit is about:

/r/uncensorednews was born on June 12, 2016, the night of the Orlando nightclub shooting. The event was quickly reported on /r/news, reddit’s main news subreddit, but, as soon as it emerged that the culprit was an Islamist terrorist, the moderators of /r/newsbegan removing comments and then whole threads, leading to a complete information blackout, in an effort to stop what they perceived as ‘islamophobia’ . Outraged at this behavior, tens of thousands of redditors unsubscribed from /r/news and flocked to /r/uncensorednews.

This subreddit thus exists to fill the information and discussion gap that ideological censorship creates on reddit, hence the moniker “uncensored”. This does not mean that we have no rules, but rather that our rules are explicitly designed as technical requirements that never impose or leave room for ideological censorship of any kind.

More specifically, the things that were censored were that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, called 911 either before or during the shooting (I don’t remember which one) and pledged allegiance to ISIS. Additionally, news about how to donate blood to victims was censored as well. It’s not my main way to get news, but it helps to give that perspective from the other side which I consider helpful for a Democrat like me. The only thing I’ll say is that r/uncensored news is VERY politically incorrect, more politically incorrect than Kotaku In Action could ever be. To me, it comes from the idea that it’s the anti-establishment place to get news, and while I don’t carry that mindset, I will say that it’s one of the few places where you won’t see Donald Trump painted as Hitler reincarnated, which is probably why I got attracted to that in the 2016 election cycle, even though I wouldn’t call myself a fan of his (personally, as long as we’re not in war and we’re not at risk of the planet turning into a nuclear wasteland, I’m happy, though I’ll probably say if something is really fishy or villainy, probably on Twitter). I’m not much of a political guy, okay?

Why do I write this? As I said in the beginning, I imagine that at some point, some of these things will probably end up coming to the forefront again, and I’m hoping that with this blog post, the matter will be released on something resembling my own terms.

Will I get rid of my Reddit account? As of the time of my writing this (Febreuary 2018), I’d say…nah. As much as I find as my opinion is just a drop in the ocean in many of the subreddits I’m subscribed to,

I enjoy the conversations and sometimes debates. I hope that any superiors or employers that read this understand something from my college days that influence how I see the world…or something that I can’t really put into words in this situation.

And if there’s one thing that I’d like to end on, it’s this: freedom of speech, even if the speech is something horrible, is absolutely worth defending. Everyone has the right to state their opinion in a safe way, and let the horrible opinions die as a result of being ridiculed to Hell and back. Freedom of speech will be a great hill to die on if I can figure out a way to fight in the event I’m forced to do that.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful day.

 

EDIT 2/20/2018: I realized that my YouTube channel is worth mentioning as well. I started it in my sophomore year in a combination of starting it so I could get a Dungeons & Dragons character sheer from my roommates at the time because it struck my interest to a thought of making YouTube videos. Nowadays, I don’t make videos anymore and all I did was upload some of my old videos I made for classes, mainly final projects. The main reason I still have it is my liked videos, resulting in having my favorite stuff being in one place in case I want to watch them while doing laundry or something. And now you can know my weird taste from the Eric Cartman of music named Rucka Rucka Ali to anime to way back when I watched CollegeHumor videos and everything in between.

That is all.

 

UPDATE: 3/13/2018: It turns out that r/uncensorednews has been banned by Reddit for failing to police its subscrsubscribers. While it went a bit too far sometimes, I’m kind of sad to see it go.

Goodbye, Football.

Well, it’s the first weekend without football this year. And what a year it was. What a Super Bowl it was. I didn’t think Nick Foles had it in him, and I didn’t think that the Eagles defense would prevent Tom Brady from doing Tom Brady things (although #12 was freaking awesome). And now, the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions. The Birds beat The Dynasty. The Patriots are in fact mortal. And now, The City of Brotherly Love has a memory that lasts a lifetime. They have something that’ll be told for generations and they’ll no longer be the butt of jokes most of the time. The only bad thing is they won’t be able to call themselves underdogs. Bye bye, dog masks.

Speaking of the Patriots, the college version of the Patriots known as the Alabama Crimson Tide won another national championship on a freaking bomb pass from a true freshman in overtime. The weird thing about that is that that pass shouldn’t have happened but it came to pass because Georgia just self-destructed on defense. I couldn’t believe it, and the Georgia fans I watched it with couldn’t believe it either. It was baffling! On the bright side, next season looks cool with Georgia having a killer recruiting class and the Alabama legend known as Tua is going into his true sophomore year. As always, my Ohio State Buckeyes are looking good, and I hope that we don’t get curb-stomped by some mid-tier team like Iowa again.

So, with two finales that were amazing last year, next season got its worth cut out for them, and I can’t wait. I wonder to see how UCF can handle Scott Frost and his entire staff leaving, and who’ll be this year’s UCF that’ll crash the Power 5 party, like Boise State did in 2006 that resulted in the postseason craziness that continues today.

I’m excited more for college than the NFL, so if I can find somebody to talk about the pro game with me, that’ll be fun.

September can’t come soon enough.

 

Shirobako: Learn How Things Are Made

It seems that I’m doing a lot of reviews with each of my passing posts, huh? It’s not intentional, it’s just that this is what I consider to be interesting and I think that the titles I feature here are worth sharing. I’m not sure if this is where I say “deal with it” because I don’t do this frequently enough. Eh.

Anyway, today we’re talking about another anime, and this time, it’s Shirobako. This little piece of Japan came out in 2015 and tells the tale of five friends who made an animation in high school together and made a vow to enter the anime industry and work on an anime together. The main aspect of the show is Aoi Miyamori, a production assistant at Mushashino Animation (it’s not a real company, I checked), and the Mushashino team as they work on anime projects and all the obstacles that come with them. Along the way, we also see Aoi’s friends:

  • Ema, an animator at Mushahino
  • Shizuka, a voice actor
  • Misa, a 3D computer graphics operator
  • Midori, a story writer

For the most part, though, we stick with Musashino and the people that work there, which I consider the thing that provides this anime’s biggest positive and negative. The positive is that you get a pretty decent course in the process of making anime. I’m a big fan of learning how things are made, especially when it comes to entertainment so if you’re like me and like behind the scenes featurettes, you’ll get something out of this.

In addition to learning how anime is made, you also see the characters talk about why they got into anime, which to me was a testament to what it’s like to take creative work seriously and pursue a career in the field, and anime can be replaced in this line of thinking with anything creative, such as movies, TV, or comic books. I got that message, especially in the last few episodes, and in a sense, you can put this on and binge it if you feel you need something to kick yourself into gear and work on whatever project you’re on, like me with writing. I also kind of feel like Aoi in the sense that I’ve had that position where I didn’t know what I wanted to know what to do in my field in terms of what discipline I wanted to pursue. It took until my sophomore year of college. So, there’s the connection aspect hooking me.

One of the things that I didn’t like about Shirobako was that for the most part, it seemed focused on Aoi and Mushahino, and the other girls would show up rather sporadically. In addition, that high school animation that we see in the first episode (and the one that got the girls interested in making anime and entering the industry in the first place, doesn’t get mentioned much after it’s introduced, but I think that’s a story thing as it’s more about the girls and their current jobs. That being said, I can’t help but feel that not revisiting that first animation is kind of a missed opportunity. It can help that Aoi is the main character and we see everything from her point of view in that she’s the one that’s undecided about her future in the industry, but the fact that we spend most of the time with one studio where only two of the five main characters are working just screams “wasted potential” to me. I really believe that had Shirobako lasted more than the 24 episodes it did, we could see more of these girls and their careers and the final season could be them working on that high school animation and updating it to be even more awesome thanks to their skills…but since Shirobako isn’t an anime that’s an adaptation of some mega-popular shonen manga, it’s just 24 episodes. And that makes me sad. I’ll just have to deal.

As for the score for this anime, I feel pretty comfortable giving this a 7/10. It’s got a good concept and rolls with it, and it has emotional moments that I believe any person in a creative field would be touched by, but at the same, time I really can’t shake the wasted potential and the main characters that are put to the side by an admittedly decent supporting cast.

If you’re ever interested in learning how anime is made, I’d suggest Shirobako is an anime worth checking out. Alternatively, you can just watch this video. But either way, Shirobako is a pretty cool anime, and I enjoyed watching it.