I’d like to take a second to talk about the two renditions of Yang’s themes we hear in Volume 5 Chapter 4.
It’s a no-brainer at this point that Jeff Williams knows how to do music - both with and without vocals. Usually, I’m fairly disappointed when music takes a back seat in a scene, especially in RWBY where it’s been used to such a tremendous effect throughout the series. The fight at the beginning of this last chapter, however, is perhaps the one instance I’ve been truly impressed by where the music sits in the scene.
Every instance of her motif or ‘theme’ (I Burn, specifically) up until this point has been chaotic, with heavy brass, guitar and/or wild percussion. The calmest version of a motif linked to Yang we’ve ever gotten would probably be when she strode into Junior’s nightclub in Volume 2, but the chords of “I Burn” are almost immediately jumbled as the disk skips and is stopped entirely.
Why do I bring this up? Because the music, in true RWBY fashion, has almost always reflected something to do with the characters it is associated with.
In Yang’s instance, it is her impatience and rage, which is linked to the insane and chaotic variations of her theme we hear in the first three Volumes.
This becomes something impressive when you listen to the music present in the scene in Volume 5 Chapter 4.
It’s measured. Controlled, yet strong. And, most importantly, soft. The melody of “I Burn” is clear. It’s heavy on the strings and bass, and the percussion is there only for emphasis.
This perfectly translates from Yang’s mindset. Her calm confidence. Fighting is no longer a game for her - it’s just something she has to do. No move is wasted. No unnecessary flourishes or taunting her foes. She’s still angry, but she’s fighting smart.
The fight itself follows this as well. It’s grounded. The hits connect and feel heavy. It’s properly impressive, in a way I feel has been lacking since Volume 2 or 3.
The second instance, “Armed and Ready”, we hear in the chapter is when Raven refuses to send her to Ruby.
Here, Yang finally loses her patience, and the music reflects that. However, it’s still measured. Building in intensity, but still not chaotic. It’s her signature guitar and drum, but it never builds too high. It’s dangerous in its persistent calm. As is Yang.
It truly feels like the music is part of the scene, rather than just an after-thought. And I could not be happier about it.
spent his first night in the States sleeping in the airport because his dorm wouldn’t be ready for at least a day but he had to attend the introduction tour the next day.
nearly died going on a run because he stayed on the wrong side of the road; even worse when he borrows someone’s car for a quick Ikea trip and slides into the right side of the car before realizing it’s opposite over here.
British spelling with regards to EVERYTHING, and if he proofreads essays or papers for people, he likes to use a big fat red marker to underline words that lack their u’s or replaces s’s with z’s.
“Dex bro, you’ve spelled skeptical wrong. No way there are two C’s in there.” Nursey hums from the upper bunk, looking over Dex’s final thesis.
Dex looks up from where his head is resting on Nursey’s chest before shaking his head and turning back to Doctor Who playing on his phone, “No, that’s correct alright.”
Calling Jack ‘Jay Zed’.
Dex vs. the imperial system: Fahrenheit? I don’t know her.
Dex refuses to acknowledge nevertheless use anything other than the metric system. Whenever he helps Bitty bake and has to set up the oven, he just keeps saying what until Bitty’s on the brink of screaming and has to google fahrenheit to celsius conversion tables. (Dex knows every imperial to metric conversion rates by heart; also, the oven measures in Fahrenheit but none of them has noticed Dex uses it without problems)
it becomes a meme within the team: whenever you have to tell Dex anything regarding weight, length or temperature, you just subtract a 100 or divide by two (no know really knows when use what)
Ransom exclusively uses Kelvin temperatures.
Eurovision at the Haus: in his frog year, it’s only Chowder and him in front of the television. but come sophomore year the entire team is ready with scoring tables and have seen both finals. Holster loves it and performs last year’s winner song in complete sync with the singer while they’re waiting for the votes.
Ransom has a spread sheet for votes given and received the previous years; he almost always predicts how the countries are going to vote. but he has never once been right about the winner. Chowder has, undefeatedly.
knows a lot about WWII and used to have late night talks with Jack about it. Doesn’t know anything about American history other than the tea they threw in the harbour.
doesn’t understand the electoral college and how it’s still a thing.
Speaks at least three languages, not including the Welsh and Gaelic he somehow picked up. Doesn’t understand how most of his teammates only speak one.
had his first beer at fourteen, and does not care for the watered down American kind.
misses absolutely all of his appointments in his frog year that wasn’t personally scheduled by himself because the date notification will say 9/12/17 and Dex will be like, “Oh, I have until December? that’s plenty of time.
On moving-in day, emotions are high, as is the radio, and
mostly everyone is sweating and/or in some kind of state of undress. Nursey,
who falls into both categories, as he is glistening and smelly as well as shirtless,
is busy carrying boxes up and down the Haus stairs. Having already transferred
all of Lardo’s stuff into the moving truck that is taking her, Holster’s, and
Ransom’s stuff to their newly leased apartment in Boston, Nursey is now
transferring his own things from the carts the that he and Dex borrowed from
Faber that are traditionally used for moving around large amounts of equipment
to his and Dex’s new room.
His and Dex’s. It’s stupid, but there’s a little
fluttering, not unlike the butterflies that Nursey finds to cliché to
reference, in the middle of his chest at the thought of theirs. Even if it’s a shared room. Even if it’s a forcibly shared
room. Nursey, who is now painfully familiar with the tango of unrequited love,
takes what he can get.
He sets down the newest box next to a couple of other ones
on the desk that Shitty left, Lardo kept, and is no handed down to Dex and
Nursey. They managed a pretty good set up, considering that the room really is
meant for only one person. One bed, which Shitty had pushed up against the
right-hand corner when you first enter the room, has been put back from where
Lardo had it up against the wall of windows. It’s a raised bed, the same one
Shitty used, and it had been salvaged from the basement and cleaned and checked
thoroughly for weaknesses prior to being installed by Dex. Where the closet
used to be, but now is just an alcove-type thing due to a mishap with a
sledgehammer in Johnson’s frog year, houses the other bed. That bed takes up
the entire space of the alcove and is a cozy place to study. Nursey got dibs on
that one, simply because he and Dex decided that a drunk, clumsy Nursey would
never be able to get up the ladder to the raised bed. A desk is shoved next to
Dex’s bed and a dresser and a clothes rack have been squeezed in to make room
for their clothes.
Dex says that he’ll put up some shelves for their stuff in
the fall, but he wants to wait until he can get back home to get the wood. One
of his uncles runs a lumber yard and will give him a discount on planks, and
his part-time job at a hardware store up in Maine has an employee discount on
the various hardware that he needs (Nursey stopped listening after Dex started
mumbling to himself about bolt sizes. It was easier just to watch his lips move
It’s a good set up and they won’t be on top of each other
if they’re both in here at once. They’ll probably survive. They might even be
able to manage a few good memories. Nursey’s eyes catch on the slit in the
flooring, where a quarter rolled itself not three months earlier, and his
subconscious starts spewing musings of fate. His lips quirk into an unbidden
smile, just like they had that day. No, he hadn’t been able to conceal his
excitement at the thought of sharing a room with Dex. He had been incredibly disappointed
to learn that Ollie and Wicks had gotten the attic, and not just because that
had meant, at the time, that he and Dex would have to fight over Lardo’s dibs.
“Nursey, honey, come downstairs!” Bitty calls. Nursey
shakes himself and follows the voice down to the kitchen, where most of the
SMH, plus a few more, are congregating over an apple pie alamode because it is
fucking hot. Caitlin came over to
help move them in, so she and Chowder are sharing a piece of pie- fine, Nursey thinks, but doesn’t say.
The season’s over; no more fines. Dex had gotten his dryer back in February and
everything Valentine’s Day entailed. Nursey had spent his birthday fining the
team right along with Dex, and then they watched Monty Python movies and ate
the birthday pie Bitty had made Nursey together on the couch. Nursey considered
it to be one of the best birthdays he’d ever had.
Aside from Chowder and Caitlin, most of the SMH couples
were present as well; Jack and Bitty, Lardo and Shitty, Ollie and Wicks, Ransom
and Holster (who weren’t dating, but everyone considered them a couple), and
Ford and her most recent drama girlfriend. Sadly, none of these girlfriends
stuck long. As well as the couples, Johnson had also come back to visit, and
Tango, Whiskey, and Whiskey’s lax bro friend, Baby Chad (who everyone had
agreed was kind of alright) were there to help move as well. It was a big job;
clearing out Lardo’s room and the attic and then moving all of the new tenants’
stuff in. Nursey’s stuff had taken the longest, boxes and boxes of books, so he’d
been left to finish up his own stuff alone as the rest of the guys set up the
stuff for a picnic.
Dex slides into place next to Nursey, offering him one of
the pink hard lemonades that Bitty had gotten everyone addicted to. Nursey
takes it with a small smile and marvels a bit at the similarities between the
color of the drink and Dex’s skin in the almost-summer heat.
“I have to set up some shelves and we’ll definitely need
more space for all your fancy hipster clothes, but I think it’ll be okay,” Dex
says, eyebrows pulling together seriously before smoothing out as he finishes the
sentence, offering Nursey a small smile.
“Hmm, yeah.” Nursey takes a sip of lemonade. He glances at
Dex and grins. “It might not suck.”
“Of course, you will have to keep your books from getting
underfoot,” Dex says, the tone he uses for their banter tinging his words
“And if I step on some kind of hardware thing, I’ll wake
you up with a bucket of water.” Nursey nods seriously. Dex nods back.
“Of course.” He takes a sip of his own drink. “And if you
try to talk to me while I’m tweaking over school work, I’ll put a live lobster
in your bed.”
Nursey can’t help but laugh at that one after all the
references to lobsters that he’s made Dex endure over the past two years. Dex
smiles back, arm paused halfway through the motion of bringing up the lip of
his bottle to his mouth, and it’s such a good look on him that Nursey can’t
help but sigh through his nose.
“Look!” Chowder cheers, smiling brightly and a little too
much- he’s probably hit the hard lemonade too. “ They’re getting along!”
The rest of the group laughs as Dex says, “Don’t get used
bet this’ll be the last time they get along until graduation,” Holster says,
grinning happily even though his cheeks are tear stained from earlier.
flips him off good-naturedly. Then he rolls his eyes, sharing it with Nursey,
as if to say, they’re ridiculous.
Then he grins, a bit of mischief in his eye, and Nursey takes this to mean, let’s prove them wrong.