“Eager to check out crazy, over-the-top fight scenes with imaginative weapons? Well, RWBY Volume 3 certainly has that, as well as a healthy helping of sadness and despair.
[Note: This review contains spoilers for this and the previous two seasons of RWBY. For a more non-spoiler look at the series, check out our review of season one.]
RWBY Volume 3 is the first truly dark chapter we have seen in RWBY thus far. It starts somewhat weakly as your standard “tournament arc” of a fighting story. However, the back-end of the season serves as a climax to everything before it as all the villains’ plans come to a head. Along the way, we learn more about our main cast and see them continue to develop as they near adulthood.
Ruby herself is a rather static character: noble, innocent, and pure. While the rest of the cast struggle with becoming adults, Ruby is only 15. So instead of watching her change this season, we see why she is the way she is—namely, the introduction of her uncle Qrow. In Ruby’s eyes, Qrow is a classic rogue adventurer. He travels the world going on adventures and helping people, which is exactly what Ruby wants to do.
Yang’s big character notes come as she is forced to deal with the consequences of being outsmarted rather than outfought. While we, the audience, know what is really going on, Yang has to deal with the idea that the world views her as either a sadistic bully or a psychotic. When even Blake reveals her doubts, Yang is on the edge of having her spirit broken — a break that is completed with the loss she suffers in the season’s climax…”