RWBY Volume 2 2×4 Review: Painting the Town…

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The first half of Painting the Town… moves quickly, cutting between each of the girls and their respective tasks. No time is wasted, and for a show that’s only around fifteen minutes long per episode, I’m glad they don’t. This week’s episode of RWBY started exactly where last week’s left off, with Penny explaining that she’s actually an android and not a real girl. Ruby takes this extremely well, explaining that Penny is still a person and still her friend. I’m glad there were no misunderstandings or drama thrown in for the sake of it, and that Ruby’s response is to just shrug in a “so what” sort of way.

From there we jump to Yang and Neptune entering a bar across town. Now before RWBY officially premiered, it was preceded by four trailers, one for each of the girls on the team. I, at first, thought they were just little shorts, there to showcase their girl’s fighting style and would be irrelevant the the series. Well, now we know that they were in fact all prequels. The bar Yang enters, is the one from her trailer. There’s quite a bit of comedy here with everyone remembering her, and being understandably worried. However Yang’s goal is information, so she goes off to speak with the boss and unfortunately comes up with nothing.  It’s a fun scene, and even though it didn’t come to anything, I liked that it was added. I also wonder if it means we’ll be seeing boss man  Jr. again, later on.

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Next we see Blake, with Sun, sneaking into a White Fang meeting as new recruits. Roman Torchwick is there, proving that he is a horrible speech maker, as he tries to win over the Faunus, talking of toppling the government and military, while unveiling a large Mech type weapon. Afterward,  Roman recognizes Blake and Sun in the crowd, and the two are forced to make a break for it, carrying the information that The White Fang now have military grade weaponry. Torchwick gets in the Mech and chases after them while Blake calls the other girls for back up. It’s not long before all of team RWBY are together and the real fighting starts. The rest of the episode is pure action.

The girls of RWBY take on the Mech, going in two at a time, and showcasing many amazing moves when they’re each paired with a different teammate. Ruby, proving her self as team leader, calls out the names of the moves in true anime style and the girls work together seamlessly, one can only assume that they’ve spent a lot of time practicing off screen. But one of the great things about a series being created by what is essentially, a bunch of fanboys, is that the creators are well aware of fandom, and pay attention to what’s going on in it. Because of this, all those moves we hear Ruby calling out, creating different combinations of the girls fighting together? They’re all the names of the different fandom shipping pairings! Well most of them are at least, these things can vary, but it was intentional and that makes me ridiculously excited.

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The action was superb and usual, but as I watched, I found myself missing the iconic music we’ve come to expect. But then, just as Yang gets serious, in come the vocals and a new track is revealed. I was ready to get excited but I’ll admit it was not as good as some of the other tracks we’ve heard in the past. This was also the scene where we learn that Yang is basically a Super Saiyan. She gets stronger the more damage she takes, an ability that is kind of broken if you ask me. I hope we’ll see that she can still be challenged in the future.

Sadly I have to admit some of the voice acting again bugged me this episode. I hate bringing it up every review, because I love the show so much, but a flaw is a flaw. Aside from that, I also find myself missing Team JNPR. They featured quite heavily last volume, and have a strong presence in the opening, but we’ve still barely seen them. I’m sure they will have a part to play in the rest of the season, but their absence is felt. Overall a good episode, with good action, but not jaw dropping. I’m not concerned because it’s only episode four and I’m sure they’re holding back their big guns for the final couple episodes. Right now I’m more concerned about getting good story progression with a strong pacing, and that is what they are giving us.

In related RWBY news, the show has now been officially licensed in Japan. That’s right, an American made anime is getting a Japanese dub as well as merchandising rights. I wonder if this means I can stop using air quotes when referring to it as an anime now? In any case, I can’t wait to see the reverse of the sub verses dub argument. I’m super excited to see the evolution of media and fan content in this fashion. This is a great time to be involved with fandom and I’m glad to be a part of it.

RWBY can be streamed through Crunchyroll and Roosterteeth.

Author: Ashley Dawn



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