The hypetrain keeps on rolling with RWBY Volume 6, “The Coming Storm” being another fantastic installment. It hits the ground running with an eye-melting fight, the return of a fan favourite, and delivers a chilling, tantalising build up to the next episode.
Disclaimer: This review contains full spoilers for this episode of RWBY and for the entirety of Volume 6 so far.
Cinder Fall has returned to Little Miss Malachite to get her information on where Team RWBY are going. She quickly guesses Atlas, and makes a beeline for the exit. The ever manipulating Malachite addresses Cinder by name, revealing other people are looking for her.
One such person is the late Roman Torchwick’s umbrella-wielding, little miss badass herself Neo! It has been a long-time coming, but everyone’s favourite mute minion is back, and she’s got a score to settle with Cinder. A major complaint I had with Volumes 4 and 5 were the lack of characters addressing the deaths of their loved ones. Jaune and Ruby only expressed minor grief for Pyrrha and Penny. But, now, Neo has returned to avenge her friend and boss, and looking to blame just about anyone.
What follows is the best fight of the volume so far (okay, there’s only been two). Seeing Neo fight Cinder is mindblowing, and really allows the animators to go to town. Praise these talented people with gift baskets! Cinder uses the ceiling as a launch pad to rocket punch Neo. Neo floats around on her umbrella, half Cinder’s size, and is still kicking her ass. Malachite requests they take their fight outside, Neo complying by throwing Cinder out the window.
After Neo whips out Torchwick’s bowler hat and gives the saddest “Why!?” look ever, Cinder denies any blame in her boss’ demise. Neo continues her assault, til Cinder whips out her maiden powers. Comparing their own grudges against Ruby, Cinder convinces, or rather intimidates Neo, into working together to get revenge. This is going to be a deliciously evil team up, but perhaps a comical one too, considering Neo doesn’t talk. I would like to see these two on the road, Cinder being all powerhungry and vengeful, and Neo as the snarky mute. Seriously, it’s been agonising not having Neo around, but now she’s back and better than ever.
Team RWBY decide to take shelter in the creepiest abandoned ranch they could find. The gang are particularly unnerved that the ranch is in good condition with no sign of Grimm attack. Unfortunately, they soon discover their worst fears were true. Everyone in the ranch is dead. Poor Weiss gets a particular shock, finding the homeowners, dead in their beds and long since rotten.
Later, the group are torn between staying or facing the blizzard again. Well, wouldn’t you be if you were in a house with a dead people? Weiss is rather torn up about the bodies, but Blake is being all motherly around her and Yang. It’s lovely just much how these characters have changed so much over this series. Qrow enters, explaining the entire ranch’s populace are dead, and rather unnaturally.
With no one other choice but to stay for the night til the blizzard goes, the gang split up to look for clues– uh, I mean search for supplies. Qrow goes off to check the ground again, Blake and Yang go to look for transport, and Ruby and Weiss look for food. Oscar and Maria are left to hang around in the library. I was expected there to be some sort of conversation between the two, but it sadly doesn’t happen.
The tone during these scenes is bleak to say the least, like something out of a horror film. There is a chill in the air, and I don’t mean from the blizzard. Team RWBY are still dealing with the train crash, the truth about Ozpin, and his decision to go persona non-grata last episode.
Blake and Yang investigate the tool shed, finding a broken tractor, and hypothesize what happened to the ranch. Blake suspects water contamination, but that would be too easy. Yang finds a trailer, but has a PTSD-induced shock when she glimpses Adam outside in the snow. Yang tells Blake she still has flashes from the night Adam chopped her arm off, asking her if he is still out there. Blake can’t say for sure, explaining Adam uses control to manipulate others, making them feel small. Blake grabs Yang’s prosthetic arm, promising that she won’t run away again and will be by Yang’s side. The Bumblebee ship is setting sail, all aboard! Oh, nope, that’s not happening. Blake tells Yang she’ll protect her, but Yang views her words as pity, and stalks off. Blake is treating Yang like a wounded animal, and the true depth of their troubled relationship has only been scratched.
Ruby and Weiss come across a rumpus room, though Ruby suggests keeping the room closed should Qrow get any funny ideas about downing all the booze. He is taking Ozpin’s secrets pretty hard. Weiss is not particularly thrilled with returning to Atlas. We know why Weiss doesn’t want to go home, but she stifles herself for Ruby’s sake. Yang will no doubt eventually crack, but will Weiss too?
The two eventually come across a so-not-totally-creepy-chained-wine-cellar-door. Gee, I wonder if there is a monster lurking in there. Ruby, though, is more ecstatic about finding shrimp-flavoured canned beans. Ruby is so adorkable, it hurts! Ruby and Weiss grab some chow and as soon as they leave, the creepy wine cellar door opens an inch. Oh, sweet lordy!
This episode was all about thrills and chills. Neo’s return was more than welcome, and her new partnership with Cinder is going to be fun. Next episode has got to be a white knuckle ride, and the build up towards it was superb.
Final Grade: A
+ NEO! NEO! NEO!
+ That fight was brilliant, along with the extra touch of Malachite telling her minion to hide away the “good glasses”.
+ Excellent build up for whatever next episode brings, and the sense of bleakness between Team RWBY.