Yes, I caved in, I heard from about everyone ever the series had improved and that it was generally better, so I decided to rewatch it.
And yes, to some extents it HAS improved. Animation seems much smoother, the black shilouette background characters are no longer an issue and the plot is actually progressing. Yang and Pyrrha remain my favourite characters.
...BUT sadly a hefty amount of RWBY's problems have only doubled in spite of these advancements, and it's time for me to go over them.
First off, a minor gripe that I had in Season 1 (I refuse to call it "Chapter 2" because pretending this is like a book is stupidly pretentious) the names are just getting more and more stupid. Neptune, Emerald, Mercury, Cinder, Winter. These are Deviantart OC names that have been turned into characters. And yes, I am fully aware they explain WHY the names are like this in RWBY's world, but that doesn't make it any less ridiculous. And then there's the worst name of them all.
Really? That's not even clever. Just naming your main character after the infamous Monkey King of Journey to the west does not make your name clever. It fucking doesn't.
Moving on from that, the cast is getting pretty big. I can understand wanting to make the world seem a bit bigger using it, but we're getting too many characters to care about at this point and only specific ones are recieving slight points of development during the story. I can count on my right hand how many times Nora and Ren had important scenes. In that addition, Neptune and Sun are shallow with little to nothing, Penny gets a bit of development and is then forgotten about for the rest of the season, Jaune goes fucking nowhere as usual, just the standard bullshit anime protagonist who gets in about 1 memorable scene with the infamously bad dance at the end. Why the HELL is Pyrrha after this guy again?
I have a few other particular story gripes. The first being the age old tactic of, the villains infiltrate the school so they can pull the whole "Surprise we're evil" thing later on. I take particular note of this for Cinder. Cinder looks VERY womanly, I don't know how anyone thinks she's as young as the others. In any case I don't expect anything out of this that I haven't already seen. We barely even know the villains motivations at this point, so who cares?
The lore episodes, are a nice touch. I'll give them that. I got interested in RWBY because the lore seemed interesting and the initial trailers made me wonder how the story would play out. Of course the lore episodes just prove how much of hacks the writers are as they can't POSSIBLY weave the lore into the narrative look good storytelling should, but I digress.
Onto another point, the part where Yang confronted Blake solo on doing her thing alone was a good scene, I was glad to see the two get a bit more development, being, y'know, fucking main characters, something Ruby herself has yet to do and bringing up the mother deal got a lot of stipulation of course. I've got nothing to say at this point, i'm done speculating on this.
The weapons? Ranged from forgettable to ok. The coffee professor's weapon I like but I wonder how he can really use it effectively without a cannonball. The chainsaw sword? Seemed like grasping if i'm honest. A fucking parasol? Really? Does touhou have to effect everything anime related these days? Raven's sword seems ok but it needs more screentime to see what it can really do. Neptune's weapon had a unique aesthetic, I guess? Barely ever get to see it do anything, so i'll keep quiet on it for now. Nothing particularly stood out in terms of weaponry this time around. Take some note from Afro Samurai guys, get some crossbow grenade launchers in there or something.
Now lets just cover the last episode and that nifty little twist at the end. I'd like to take a moment to say, I fucking called this. Back when Season 1 finished up, I bet my right bollock that they would keep pulling this cheap cliffhanger bullshit and stupid decisions, and they have literally repeated it point for point in Season 2's finale. For instance, just put four new characters at the forefront of the big Grim battle because we can develop them next season, why not? Yes I know they've been in backgrounds of past scenes, but does that give you a reason to care? No, it doesn't. And this isn't even the worst thing. Mysterious character kept in the shadows, revealed to the camera and to a character only to get no explanation on who they actually ARE so we can just wait for next season. It's cheap and stupid, no two ways about it, cheat us out of a meaningful cliffhanger with something to just bait us to come back for Season 3.
So to finish up what was accomplished this season of RWBY? Well, Torchwick has been imprisoned, but that hardly matters because we know he's not the main villain anymore. That General is taking over from Ozpin in terms of security and... yeah, that's actually a smart thing. Ozpin let four unprofessionals into a dangerous area and it ended up in a massive Grim attack so, I have no issue with that. You could argue the girl's teamwork has grown but I don't think they've developed at all. I mean at the end they just sit there after the fight, nothing is different between them. At least last season Blake's reveal sort of threw them into question, but there's just nothing here. We introduced some new villains? Who stood around and talked, maybe planning something for a later season? Great, more padding. Cinder did some stealing at least, not that it'll be discussed or anything. In fact that point was dropped pretty quickly.
So overall, RWBY is as bad as ever in my books. The story is still a menagerie of highschool anime cliches and near random fight scenes, most of the cast are flat and boring, barely anything was accomplished and they're pulling the same cliffhanger bullshit that they're going to keep doing again and again and again and again. Mark my words, i'm certain this will not be the last time it happens.
And to pre-emptively silence the argument of "You shouldn't go into RWBY for story and just for the fight scenes." Maybe you're right and I shouldn't expect more, but I blame the initial trailers and the lore bits for making me think they'll do more with it. I don't hate RWBY, honestly I don't, I just wish they'd actually USE the shit they have in place of anime cliches. And i'm going to keep watching it. Honestly it's kind of hillarious how far down it's dipping in quality, lets just see how far it goes.
Feel free to tell me how wrong I am if you disagree and I will see you all on the flip side.
Mood: Not Impressed
Listening to: Gotye.
Reading: My lips.
Playing: Dank Sauce (Dark Souls)
Eating: Chicken bites.