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Fixing RWBY Volume 2: Episodes 1-2

This is a continuation of a series I did a long time ago. I’ll be writing this with the assumption that you are familiar with the season one changes, with only a brief recap to get you up to speed. Click the link below to catch up before reading this one.

Fixing RWBY Series

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these!

A long time ago, I wrote a short series simply titled ‘Fixing RWBY Volume 1’. The goal was in the name: to take the story we got in season one of Rooster Teeth’s popular web-series and turn it into something good. It was long and exhausting, but I personally had a lot of fun doing it.

So now, I’m gonna do it again!

The rules are as follows:

  1. I cannot add or remove any character to/from the series.
  2. I must follow the same story beats used in the original.
  3. I have to use the same number of episodes with the same pacing; I cannot extend or shorten the length of the season to fit my needs.

With all that said, let’s get started! It’s time to fix RWBY: Volume 2!

Recap

In order to fully understand the changes I’ll be making going forward, you will need to understand the shifts I made in the first season. I won’t be going into a whole lot of detail, as I want to get to doing something new today. But I’ll bullet point all the most important ones. Ready?

  • Ruby is now an insecure girl with no Semblance, as her Silver Eyes are now taking that purpose; she works hard to earn her place in the world, struggles with her position as the team leader, and is only confident in her use of weapons and hunting monsters.
  • Weiss is mostly the same. She wants to prove herself to her family by excelling at Beacon, and she is envious of Ruby for being chosen as the team leader. Her racism towards the Faunes and Blaike along with them are still yet to be resolved.
  • Blaike is now soft-spoken, firm and encouraging. She is still introverted, but she is very socially capable. Her past in the White Fang remains unchanged and she wants to work to fix the damage she had caused.
  • Yang is mostly the same, but she is far more supportive and understanding of her sister’s issues, even if she is incapable of helping. She is far quicker to rage, far more protective of Ruby and just as reckless as ever. Her desires have yet to be established in the story.
  • Jaune and Pyrrha are the same. However, Ren has become a helpful mentor to Jaune, taking him under his wing and supporting him out of pity, which he points out due to his blunt nature. Nora is a dual-sided character, very serious when she needs to be and incredibly goofy when she doesn’t.
  • Faunes characters no longer have a Semblance. Instead, they have special abilities linked to their animal trait. Son has monkey-like reflexes and agility, Blaike is quick like a cat, so on and so forth.
  • Penny being an android has actually been foreshadowed.

And I’ll leave the rest for later. Again, if you want to get all caught up, then I encourage you to read the link above to check out the full collection.

Make sure you set some time aside. It’s kind of a long read.

Episode 1

This one is probably the easiest one to fix.

There are two major events in this episode. The first is the introduction of Mercury and Emerald, as well as the proper reveal of Cinder. Honestly, I wouldn’t change any of that. It is an excellent introductory scene for the three villains.

The problem comes later when the three ultimately fall flat.

The next major event is the reintroduction of our main cast, as well as the introduction of Son’s friend/teammate that does nothing for the plot: Neptune! In the original, we got a fun, albeit pointless, food fight. It is an uneventful episode, but it serves as a decent reintroduction to the series.

I’m going to leave it as it is in most regards. All except one: I’m going to squeeze a bit of narrative out of the food fight. That way, it isn’t completely pointless.

In the original, there is no clear winner or loser for the battle. In our version, we’re going to make Team JNPR the victors of the bout. Team RWBY puts up a good fight, but the conflict between Blaike and Weiss pushes them too far, compromising their teamwork and leaving Ruby and Yang to carry their weight.

Ultimately, the only real narrative drive of the food fight is to hammer home a point. Team RWBY is hanging on by a thread and could collapse at any moment. This is the central drive of the season. In the first, we focused on establishing the characters. Now, we’re going to focus on Ruby’s struggle to truly come out as a leader and unite the team.

Which leads into:

Episode 2

This is where things get a little more difficult.

Episode two features yet more stage setting. We meet General Ironwood, waste a ton of time in the library doing nothing, find out what happened to Blaike after the finale of season one (in which we see Blaike being sort-of interrogated by Ozpin about the White Fang), Weiss calls Blaike out for being a bitch (don’t worry, that gave me a headache too) and Ruby meets an incognito Mercury, Emerald and Cinder.

In short: this episode is a total waste of time and I fucking hate it. Let’s fix it, shall we?

First, I’m going to keep the opening and ending scenes. These two scenes serve as decent enough build-up towards the bigger conflict to come. They’re not perfect, but they’re fine enough to stay in.

It’s literally everything else that drags this episode down. So I’m going to scrap literally all of it. Instead, I’m going to tie this one together with the first episode a bit better than not at all.

After the defeat during the food fight, Ruby decides that they should try to iron out their team issues. However, she doesn’t know how to make Weiss accept Blaike for who she is, so she goes with the only thing she knows how to do well: practice fighting. During their free time, the team practices with the various team attacks that they’ve worked on over their time together. A lot of them go well. However, all the attacks in which Weiss and Blaike need to work together fall flat on their face.

Also during this time, we get a few brief glimpses of Team JNPR and Son/Neptune’s team, along with a few of the other side characters that appear in season three, practicing their own teamwork, which is currently far better. This frustrates Yang, who turns her anger on Weiss. Weiss blames both Yang and Blaike, which makes Blaike genuinely angry. Ruby tries to defuse the situation, but she has no success. In the end, Weiss storms off back to the dorms while Blaike and Yang go off in the opposite direction.

A panicked Ruby decides to go after Weiss. In the dorm, Weiss snaps at Ruby, explaining that she was raised in a house that hated the Faunes for years and complains that it’s unfair of everyone for expecting her to just let it go and change. Ruby develops an understanding of her point of view, and a plan starts to form in her mind. As she leaves the dorms, she bumps into the three villains, and the story picks up as the original did, bringing the episode to a close.

Conclusion

With these two episodes, I have aimed to set up the main conflict of the season. Luckily, the original series did do a decent job of setting up later conflict in the grand scheme. It was only in the events of the present, those centered around our main characters, that I needed to heavily edit.

Y’know. The important part.

The table is set. Now all I have to do is incorporate them into the threads set up in the original in a satisfying and interesting way. I hope you’ll join me next week when I attempt to do just that.

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