Careful Weiss, your Esdeath is showing! In all seriousness though, last week I was starting to feel trepidation about the show’s overall flow and pacing once it tried juggling between anime-original material and pre-existing elements from the webseries. That being said, I do think this episode made the right choice of diving straight into the former without even a hint of setup. Last episode ended with Weiss being affected by the Grimm in her body her, and we already know what the process is like for entering someone ‘s mind in an attempt to save them, as well as the fact Ruby is the leader of the team that needs to take charge. So having the episode start with Ruby already in the dreamscape trying to figure things out was a smart way to keep the pacing brisk without it feeling cluttered. As for the dream itself, it’s impressive how much subtle characterization it managed to convey despite the fact that not a whole lot of time has passed and no real major events have occurred until the end of the episode where Weiss finally confronts Ruby.
The whole dream – which seemed like something out of 1984 with Weiss’s dad looming over literally everything, her brother being personified as some kind of snitching bat, and the shadow silhouettes of Weiss’s laughing, drunken Mom on the walls – paints a very morbid picture of how Weiss grew up. I know we already got a glimpse of that during her introduction her, but it ‘s something of a miracle how Weiss did n’t turn out worse given the circumstances of her upbringing her. Her disdain her for the white fang does make sense at first when you consider the fact that the white fang has definitely killed people and affected the lives of many, but the irony is that her family her might be just as guilty. Just because her father her did n’t straight up kill people does n’t necessarily mean that he was n’t ruining lives, and the implication here is that he resorted to slave labor in order to maximize cost-efficiency for the company . The fact that Weiss is dreaming about this also implies that she is either knowingly or subconsciously aware of his father ‘s wrongdoings her, which does make her bigotry a lot less justified.
It does make me wonder how Weiss will come to terms with these things after the inevitable confrontation regarding this aspect of her psyche. Even considering the fact that her warped personality her is most likely a result of her upbringing her, Weiss… She’s still is n’t a great person. She definitely has a stronger sense of values compared to the rest of her family based on what we’ve seen, and part of that could be due to the influence of her butler, who seems to be the closest thing to a caring family member she ever had (sidenote: I do like the little quirky ways that he was represented in here, as robots with different personalities like the seven dwarfs). The whole idea of locking up the other students in a cage and treating them like cats in her brain because she deems them as dumb went a bit far though, and it’ll be interesting to see what aspects of her personality are just inherent to her character and which have been beaten into her.
There isn’t much to say about Ruby in this episode despite the fact that she is technically our perspective character. She is learning about Weiss as we are, and considering the fact that they have the most emotional tension, it’s a smart choice. I was a little bothered at how casually she was spending the coins almost immediately after being told that she should be preserving those things, but I digress. The surreal, almost fairytale-esque imagery of the dreamscape in this episode definitely played to studio Shaft’s strengths , but the fact that I have so much to talk about outside the visuals is a promising sign for the story and character writing as well. Let’s hope Ice Queen keeps up this pace moving forward.
RWBY: Ice Queendom is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.