This is a continuation from my RWBY Volumes 1-6 G-View where I discuss the relationship of Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long throughout the series up to the end of Volume 6. Grab some chow and and juice folks. This is going to be a long one.
SPOILER WARNING! (Obviously)
As mentioned in my G-View the seeds were arguably planted when the two first met. It is no surprise the first hints of their relationship were minuscule. So it began when Yang tried helping Ruby become more social since she was not good at talking to other people. It did not help when the first newcomer she ran into at Beacon Academy was Weiss. Blake at least showed signs of being more approachable at first. Their first attempt at a conversation was awkward but fortunately it did not take long to break the ice with her, which funny enough was done by Ruby.
The 2nd minor but overall effective moment came during the 1st trial which was meant to be a team exercise. The idea was for each student to pair up with the first classmate they ran into. Whether they did so or not was up to them. Ruby and Weiss running into each other went as well as one would expect. Blake and Yang though…As my dear friend Dr OtakuGamerGirlT pointed out it was interesting in hindsight. While Yang was showing off her badassitude against attacking GRIMM Blake made a surprise attack and gave her a smug grin, showing her having no trouble being around Yang. After successfully completing the trial the four were paired up together to form Team RWBY (pronounced Ruby).
Before we return to Bumbleby we must first discuss a very important part of their story, the White Fang. One day at a port town our heroines noticed a crime scene. The investigators brought up the White Fang as potential suspects. Weiss described them as savage criminals. This struck a nerve with Blake who after hearing her continuously talk down to them accused her of being racist and inadvertently outed herself as a former member. She ran off and met up with Sun, a monkey boy. See, he along with Blake are Faunus. Basically animal people. Blake was a cat girl. From their conversation we learned the White Fang were originally a group whose goal was to improve relations between humans and faunus. While things went well at first there were still too many racists among the populace. Angered, the White Fang began taking a more aggressive approach to achieve their goals. The Schnee Dust Company were victims of said aggressiveness, hence why Weiss was especially apprehensive toward them. Blake was a proud member up until they became extremists. She left the group and later decided to become a Huntress in hopes of starting off with a clean slate.
During a stakeout Blake was shocked to discover that not only were the White Fang working with a human but were also part of a scheme that could threaten the lives of countless people. Despite foiling whatever they had planned that evening Blake knew it was only the beginning…to the point of her becoming paranoid.
Next big Bumbleby moment. Although our heroines continued their investigation on Torchwick and the White Fang’s next scheme it only served to worsen Blake’s paranoia who became obsessed with stopping them at the risk of her health. The others hoped she would come to the school dance to relieve her stress but she was not having it. Later Yang had a private conversation with her where she revealed her own backstory, mainly the relationship with her mother. For unknown reasons at the time Yang’s mom abandoned her and she was searching for her whereabouts to the point where it almost got Ruby and her killed once. Even after this reveal Blake still wanted to continue investigating but Yang was like “If you keep this up you may get yourself killed! I’m not telling you to stop…I’m just asking you to rest your body for both you and the people you care about. Also if you decide to come to the dance I get first dibs.”
…which she did.
Fast forward to Volume 3. There was a Hunters tournament. Skipping most of it we go to one of the semi-final matches. It was Yang representing Team RWBY vs Mercury secretly representing the big bads of the show. They went undercover since Volume 2.
Yang won and was about to leave but Mercury being a “sore loser” tried to sneak attack her…only to end up with a “broken leg”. It was quickly revealed to be the work of Emerald’s (Mercury’s partner in crime and Cinder’s most loyal servant) Hallucination Semblance, meant to fool the audience and spread chaos and doubt against Beacon Academy, instigating a GRIMM rampage.
While Yang’s friends knew of her short temper they also knew she would never brutally attack anyone unprovoked. Also before this moment Yang assured Blake she could always come to her for support, hoping to have fully earned her trust. So her being devastated by Blake doubting her was understandable. To Blake’s credit she explained her doubt by talking about a certain someone she cared greatly for because of how amazing they were. Unfortunately said person gradually revealed themselves to be a monster. What she saw from Yang felt similar but she knew they were different people and trusted her.
Fast forward a bit and the baddies set their plan into motion. Chaos reigned everywhere but we will be focusing on Bumbleby’s personal main antagonist, the one I dubbed the Crimson Nightmare…or Blake’s psycho ex boyfriend.
Adam Taurus. The man Blake thought would be the Faunus’ guiding light but in actuality was a radical extremist willing to kill anyone, enemy and ally, to accomplish his ultimate goal of dominance over the humans who abused him in his youth. Over time it became less about fighting for Faunus supremacy and more about his need for total domination. As the above image shows their reunion was a pleasant one. She was no match for him in that encounter. He wanted to punish her for betraying him by taking away everyone she loved…and guess who was his first victim based on Blake’s reaction.
Up until that point Yang won most of her fights (with a few exceptions) thanks in part to her rage boost Semblance, pretty much her Kaio-Ken. Unfortunately this wasn’t her lucky night.
The two barely escaped thanks to Blake’s Afterimage Semblance but not without everlasting scars. I called Volume 3 the “game changer” of the series. It was pretty much RWBY’s version of The Empire Strikes Back…or for some The Last Jedi. The show has continued on this dark path ever since. As expected the reception to this change was mixed.
The end of Volume 3 and all of Volume 4 had Team RWBY go their separate ways and deal with their own personal demons. Of course we will continue focusing on Bumbleby. First up is Blake who ran away without telling her friends or love interest. Reason being she was tired of seeing people she cared about get hurt because of her. Thus she headed back home to Menagerie, an island that was once a “Let’s dump all the Faunus here” exile continent turned safe haven for them. She was the daughter of the island chief. Oh and Sun came along because they had a bro-brah bond. He helped her understand that the rest of Team RWBY cared about her and she need not blame herself for them getting hurt. It just happened. None of them did.
Meanwhile Yang was at home emotionally scarred by the battle with Adam, Ruby leaving for her own quest and especially Blake disappearing without a word. Fortunately Yang and Ruby’s dad was there to slowly but surely help get her head back in the game by teaching her to be smart in battle and not rely too much on brute force or the Kaio-Ken. Even though she got “Skywalker’d” she was able to recover. Dad also gave her more clues on her mom’s whereabouts, which happens to be my favorite character arc in the series so far alongside Blake’s. However, as great as said arc was it had little to do with Bumbleby so I will skip it.
Moving ahead to when Ruby, Weiss and Yang were reunited we got our next big moment. As the three breathed sighs of relief over their reunion Ruby was like “I wish Blake were here too”. Yang was like “Yeah well she made her choice. No point worrying about her”. Weiss tried getting her to chill but it was clear Yang did not want to continue and went to their room at the inn.
After a scene of Blake most likely feeling the same the next big moment came during a conversation between Yang and Weiss. It began with Yang prematurely telling Weiss she could not understand how she felt. Her mom (Raven) abandoned her, her second mom (Summer Rose) passed away and back then dad was too busy to hang out with them for long. She was forced to care for Ruby and other important stuff at an early age. Weiss was an ojou-sama with a big family. What was Weiss’ response? Long story short:
“My dad is scum who married into the family for money and our family broke apart because of him. Also I have a vindictive otouto. (My onee-sama is awesome though. She did not add that but so far it is true.)”
- Yang: Sorry for misjudging you.
- Weiss: It’s cool. We have different versions of loneliness. So does Blake.
- Yang: But why didn’t she come to me, to us, for help?
- Weiss: Because she was trying really hard to hide her painful past from us. She wanted to protect us from the dangers of knowing about it. The attack on Beacon proved to her that her fears were justified.
- Yang: It wasn’t her fault. How could I be there for her if she didn’t let me? What if I need her here for me?
- Weiss: I’m sad she left too. For now we should be strong and be there for her when she’s ready to come back.
- Yang: If.
- Weiss: When. You three are more like a family to me than dad and baka bro. I’m sure Blake cares about us just as much. So let’s wait for her. Also I got your back brah.
Before we continue let us briefly go over the first of two bonus yuri on the show:
We go back to Menagerie where Blake’s team were attacked by the White Fang who wanted to stop them from foiling Adam’s revolution. One of the members was an old friend of hers, Ilia the chameleon girl. Her parents were also victims of human discrimination and lost their lives because of it. While she was nowhere near as vindictive as Adam she saw that under his guidance the White Fang were getting things done. The Belladonnas knew the White Fang’s latest plan to destroy Haven Academy like what happened to Beacon would only lead to more suffering and hatred against the faunus. Also Ilia was jealous of Adam-senpai getting Blake’s affection back then instead of her. Fortunately after a heated battle against the White Fang invaders Blake managed to convince Ilia to leave them and join her team in stopping Adam’s attack at Haven, which they did.
Speaking of the Battle for Haven this happened when Blake reunited with everyone.
After the bittersweet conclusion to Yang’s character arc the two shared a subtle glance (That also got 10 replays) and it was off to Volume 6. Not exactly the “Return of the Jedi” of RWBY but the closest thing to a huge victory against the big bad.
Although they were reunited things were not hunky dory just yet. At first Yang was like “You left without saying anything. That hurt…But I’m willing to slowly patch things up”. Things seemed fine until they learned the truth about Remnant (#SuckyGods) and what was going on all this time. The revelation messed with everyone’s heads and they had no clue what to do next. It did not help matters that the closest shelter they found was an abandoned farm that was also haunted. Worse still Blake and Yang on separate occasions saw what looked like Adam. All that was messing with their heads and during the above scene Yang was too upset to think clearly, leaving Blake who was trying support her more worried. Eventually the gang were able to solve the mystery of the farm and in a way put the tortured souls to rest.
Now we get to the 2nd bonus yuri of the show.
Eventually our heroes reached the port city of Argus and reunited with their other allies, Jaune, Ren and Nora. Before going to their next destination, the border to Atlas Academy, they were invited to stay the night with one of Jaune’s older sisters, Saphron Cotta-Arc along with her wife Terra and son Adrian. Best part was they had more than one appearance in the Volume. Another bonus was that unlike a portion of the RWBY fanbase no one batted an eye about the family. Same goes for Ilia when Neptune tried hitting on her. Blake and Sun were like “Poor guy. He’ll find out soon enough”.
And now for the main event of this long post.
So our heroes, unsurprisingly, had to cross the border the hard way. Bumbleby’s mission was to jam communications between the border and a ship the team was planning on hijacking. However, something went wrong.
The vision of Adam Bumbleby were haunted by was him stalking Blake until she was alone so he could get revenge. Although Blake fared better in their rematch (The battle at Haven didn’t really count) Adam was still too strong. Suddenly Blake heard a familiar motorcycle.
Yang laid the Smackdown on the Crimson Nightmare but even that was not enough to keep him down. And then…
There they were. Side by side as equals facing their greatest foe to date, determined to end the nightmare once and for all.
Some highlights include:
- Adam being all “She dumped me for YOU!? Are you kidding me!?”
- Yang going Super Saiyan for a few seconds.
And of course…
Some subtle “You go Yang” stares from Ruby and Weiss, one smug Yang, the season finale song “Nevermore” along with confirmation from the writers, manga and voice actors and it was off to the races for Bumbleby.
Phew. Finally. Now we wait and see what is next for them in Volume 7.
PS #1: Bumblebee has three meanings.
- The ship’s nickname.
- A name for one of their team formations.
- Yang’s bike before it made the ultimate sacrifice. RIP Bumblebee and Yang’s white jacket.
PS #2: One thing I miss after the show went in a more serious direction is the “Blake The Cat” jokes, such as the laser pointer and Blake vs Zwei.
PS #3: Interestingly Ren X Nora followed a romantic road similar to Bumbleby as shown in this tweet: