by Monty Oum, Shirow Miwa, and Rooster Teeth
As was the case with many recent RWBY chapters, chapter 8 proves to have little substance to offer, and it’s difficult to be invested in the manga’s fights recently. Much of the chapter is without dialogue, which would be nice if Miwa still used symbolism, or eye-catches of some kind. Sadly this chapter is without such visual cues and embellishments.
Yang herself is not an easy character to become invested in; she does not seem to be as compelling as the rest of the core cast. The flashback in this chapter, as well as a key motivation in this fight, has to do with Yang’s golden hair. There really is not much else to the flashback beyond comments on Yang’s hair colour, it otherwise lacks significance. The entire fight accomplishes nothing for Yang personally, she never grows or changes in any way that further endears or deepens her character.
Blake’s fight, while never feeling self-contained, at least offers a bit of an arc for Blake as a character. The biggest problem in both Blake’s and Yang’s fight scenes is that it feels as if little is known about them as characters. Weiss’ fight scene had a clearly defined goal and character arc. But in the case of Yang there are details about her which are never addressed. Miwa seems determined to make Blake’s and Yang’s fights mysterious without providing enough back story to afford any significance or impact.
Both fights just start and stop randomly. Yang’s battle is the worse in that regard, action happens without any sense of import, and nothing but hollow, action for the sake of action remains. Yang’s fight particularly fails to entice me to watch the show, which as a companion comic is quite a failure. As its own narrative it fails even more.
There’s no clear distinction or definition of where Yang is and who the people she is fighting actually are. No one’s motivation in this fight makes sense. Blake’s fight at the very least gives a vague idea of who Blake is fighting alongside, despite never being entirely clear on what Blake’s involvement with her companion is.
With each character passing through chapters, the less effort RWBY puts in. There is a profound lack of creativity, and a disconnect between the visuals and narrative. Regardless of source, the end product is something which not worth remembering at the end of each chapter.
RWBY has potential to be something great. There is some passion, at least at the start of the series. It is highly unlikely RWBY’s potential will ever be reached in manga form, as the spark is fading fast. But it’s presence is worthy of at least a footnote. RWBY will not likely ever excel as a manga, but thus far at least it has proved to be a decent offering from Shonen Jump magazine, at least thus far. Shirow Miwa has certainly done better work in the past, with his equally noteworthy series Dogs, but RWBY is merely adequate in its own right.