Cartoons, Daily Rant, Honest Critique

Day 227: RWBY Season 6’s Opening: An Honest Critique

RWBY’s sixth season has finally debuted and… it’s too early to judge it as a whole. We’re only one episode in, so we can’t talk about whether or not it’s fixing the issues the show has had thus far or only digs itself into a deeper pit.

But I can say this: the opening gives hope.

RWBY opening theme songs are always one of my favorite parts of the show. The music of this show is a solid 9/10, and I’ve actively purchased each soundtrack to each season, sometimes on the day of release. And while the actual animation and direction vary in quality (season four’s opening is pretty much a bad joke), this one does have some solid foreshadowing and direction.

So let’s boil it down, bit by bit, and deduce whether or not we should have hope for this season of the show.

The first few shots, while impressively animated, don’t get off to a good start. We start off with Ruby’s scythe Crescent Rose switching to close combat mode, followed by the members of team RWBY striking battle poses while intense guitar music plays. It does very little to tell you what’s going to actually happen this season, but it does do the job of getting you hyped.

This is followed by a very fascinating shot of the logo hovering over a full moon before the astral body shatters into the moon we’ve seen several times up to this point. This I find interesting. The shattered moon has always been a personal point of interest for me, so I’d very much like to see what they do with it in the story, if they do anything. This is where my attention in the opening is officially grasped.

This is followed by a shot of the remaining team JNPR members, Oscar and Qrow sitting on a bench in a train-station. Jaune accidentally springs his shield while at his side, knocking a magazine (which has something to do with Atlus on the cover) out of Oscar’s hands and onto Qrow’s face in a somewhat comedic fashion while Nora simply hugs Ren in the back. It’s cute, but it’d be even cuter if I cared more about the characters than the ‘sort of’ that I have now.

After that, we get a very dull shot of Ruby chasing Weiss in what seems like a childish game while Blaike and Yang look on. While the former pair is pretty cute, the ladder pair is what grabs my attention. Blaike looks on with a content smile, while Yang observes with a very obvious and out of place frown. This reversal of their roles is interesting, and hopefully something will be done with it.

Yang looks out the window, where we briefly see the reflection of Adam (which hopefully is foreshadowing their rematch, which could be a great opportunity for character development between both Yang and Blaike), before the camera pans away, revealing the full train and the shadow of a bird-like Grim passing by.

Then we get to what really grabs me. We cut to Qrow and Ruby in the snow being approached by a strange old woman with robo-goggles. We zoom in on the blue glow of her eyes, which zooms in further to Ruby’s silver eyes before cutting again to Qrow being grabbed by the strange claws of the Grim. This gives me a lot of hope that they’ll finally do something with the Silver Eyes, as the lack of focus on them was a major point of criticism for me the last time I talked about this show (link here if you want to check it out). The new character also looks neat, and I’m intrigued to see what’ll happen to Qrow, as I do like his character a lot more than most of the cast.

After Qrow falls into darkness, we cut to Ruby fighting off the same claws that pulled him down before cutting again to a strange hooded figure walking down a street on a rainy day. A familiar bowler hat flutters past her, implying possibilities: one, this is the character Neo, who survived season three, or that Roman somehow also survived.

My bets are on the former far more than the ladder, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.

After this, we get a few action shots of the different villains doing their thing, culminating with Salem letting out an angry scream at… something while teal smoke consumes everything around her. The smoke itself I find curious, but everything else is just kind of boring. The only thing of substance it tells us is that the villains are still gonna be in the show.

Shocker.

The next cut, however, is extremely interesting. We fade back in from the smoke to a mysterious blonde woman looking up at a statue that bears a resemblance to Ozpin, what with the cane and coat, followed by a zoom in shot of different characters we’ve never seen before lined up, ending with Ozpin, who fades away into Oscar… before Jaune grabs Oscar and pushes him against a wall.

For those who read my first RWBY Critique on the characters (again, link here) you’ll remember that I specifically called out Oscar’s character for being… well, practically non-existent. This gives me hope that we’ll finally develop both Ozpin’s past and Oscar’s character, both of which have been huge problems plaguing the series up to this point.

We then cut back to the train, where Qrow fights a Griffon looking Grim, before cutting back to the hooded figure (that I presume is Neo) fighting in the dark before yet again cutting back to the train, where we get an impressive continuous shot of the RWBY girls fighting monsters, transitioning from Yang to Blaike to Weiss to Ruby all without cutting away or showing them all at once, at least not until the end of the action. It’s pretty cool looking, and it inspires hope for the action this season, which used to be the series’ strongest aspect.

This is also where the song playing over the whole thing reaches it’s peak, with the chorus of ‘Rising like the Moon’. In terms of music, this might be my favorite opening yet. The song is easily one of the best the soundtrack has produced thus far.

We then get one last shot of Ruby leaning on Weiss while the rest of the protagonists stand in the background, including Oscar, the remaining JNPR guys, Qrow and mystery old lady with robo eyes all glaring at… something before the opening ends. It’s a nice looking shot, and it invokes curiosity.

All in all, this was a solid opening. Some of the shots were less impressively animated than others, and some of them were basically pointless (looking at the shots of the villains; those were pointless) but it inspires both intrigue and hope for the season. Hopefully they’ll be able to fix some of the problems I’ve had with this series, escalating the show from a ‘bad to mediocre’ show to a ‘mediocre to good’ show.

I can’t wait for this season to either disappoint or meet my expectations.

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