Chapter 4: Never Miss A Beat
It’s still John, your hairy, slightly creepy, less-attractive replacement for Jackie’s intelligent and emotional reviews! And I’m still not sorry!
It’s a battle episode, people, and nothing gets my pistons firing like good fight choreography. I’ve actually got some experience(a lot, surprisingly) in stage combat, so that has little to nothing to do with animation! The perfect person to critique the fight between Yang and Weiss, of Team RWBY(Ruby), and Neon and Flynt, of Team FNKI(Funky)! But first, we get to see Penny(actual Cinnamon roll who could actually kill you) single-handedly defeat...whoever those two guys are. I don’t honestly know, and don’t honestly care enough to look them up. But we get to see Penny slay, so I am 146% on board.
Then we get to see that lovely, perfect, blossoming friendship between Penny and Ruby, and hear of Penny’s plans to stay at Beacon Academy. While internally I am super pumped about this, I think we can all guess what a certain dour general will have to say to all of that. You can also pick up on a Pinocchio-esque I’m-a-real-girl trope here, which makes me *very* excited about this character’s future. Penny is obviously definitely not one of my favorite characters ever.
Now, we get to see Weiss and Yang fight together! Except actually not, because the fight immediately turns into two separate one-on-one battles. We are of course surprised to see the team from Atlas be so very different from what Weiss believes they will be, but I find that Weiss has too regimented a view on things, so no real surprise on my end.
I’m not going to break down the fight, because that would cheapen the whole thing. I will talk about the music, though, because of course I am. We have our first musical theme centered around Neon Katt(take a wild fucking guess).
She’s a rainbow rave character who also rollerskates. Is she annoying? Possibly. Is she skilled? Yes. Do we think her and Yang could have a purely physical relationship? I plead the Fifth. All joking aside, we get a lot about this character just from a few minutes of fighting. Her catchphrase is the title of the episode, “Never miss a beat.” She says it to herself as she skates at high speed through various obstacles and hardships. Her glow-stick nunchaku are as iconic as the rainbow of light she leaves in her wake. If you haven’t picked up on the Nyan Cat reference, just go ahead and leave. I enjoy these little musical vignettes that play for a specific character, because in these scenes, we see their physicality as well as a ditty about them as a character. It’s a lovely painting that we get for nearly every character we run into.
Then there’s Flynt’s theme, which has no lyrics, but is vocal improvisation, or ‘scatting’. Appropriate for a character portrayed as a jazz musician. We also get a little background of him in the moments before the fight. His father is one of the small Dust businessmen run out of business by the Schnee Corporation - Weiss’s father. So those two are naturally pitted against each other. Though Weiss ultimately sacrifices herself in a failed attempt to take Flynt out of the battle, the gutsy move apparently earns Flynt’s respect.
Here we get a little more buildup of tension with Cinder discovering Penny’s true origins. She laughs to herself, and we can see she has plans for this information. Nothing good will come of this, and if anything happens to Penny, I will burn the internet to the ground.
A final look in Ozpin’s office, with Qrow giving us his critique of everyone's favorite general. Seriously, the show does very little to endear this guy to us. Everything up to this point has actually lead me to believe this guy could be a real problem moving forward. I also like to imagine Qrow is drinking a nice Irish coffee in this scene, because I would, too.
He also mentions the “Guardian” again, and Ozpin implies that he has found her. As he describes her, the visual cuts to Pyrrah(squeeeeeee!), leaving no doubt as to who this so-called Guardian will be. More questions, few answers, but an action packed episode nonetheless.