After watching That Video(you know the one) I’ve been looking at and thinking about different parts of RWBY again, because while some of the points he made were true, I thought that some of the things he said just… didn’t feel right. Or at the very least, weren’t telling the whole story, or were overlooking certain things. One of the things he did was criticize the bees vs Adam fight, specifically the pause in the fight where Blake explains his semblance. And he’s right, that could have been explained earlier and that would probably have made for better pacing, but after rewatching the fight I realized there’s a lot of “pauses” in the fight. And normally, that would damage the pacing(and tbf it still kinda does, but it by no means ruins the fight bc I will die on the hill of this fight being one of the best in RWBY), but there’s also a good reason why there’s these pauses, and that’s due to the nature of the fight. Particularly when Adam and Yang go 1 on 1 the second time. The nature of their fight is that both Adam and Yang’s semblances rely on being attacked, so there’s a lot of back and forth of waiting for the other to make the first move. That’s how you get moments like this, where the focus is on Blake climbing the wall, but in the background Adam is walking towards Yang while she stands up rather than attacking her, because it would be pretty useless to attack her when she can’t fight back and power up his sword.
There’s also a moment before their first 1v1 where they stare each other down before Adam attacks her, and he’s pacing back and forth. That’s an unspoken battle of “who’s going to attack first, you or me?” And Adam gets impatient too during their second 1v1, after Yang has dodged all of his attacks without retaliation, when she stops to glance at Blake he yells “hit me already!” and throws his sword at her.
Their semblances are the very core of this fight, both in that it’s about them working around each other’s semblances and that they represent many of the themes. Countless people have written better meta on it than me, but aside from the differences in their semblance representing the difference in Yang and Adam as a whole, their differences are also seen in how they USE their semblances, because Yang has learned from the Fall of Beacon and been smarter about how she uses her semblance, but Adam hasn’t. And so Adam loses the fight because he discharges his semblance every other minute(which is why when he sends a blast at her after her and Blake share a look she’s barely scathed, let alone fallen off the bridge. That’s what Yang’s look means, she’s realized he’s not using his semblance wisely and is showing her distaste towards him). It’s also, I think, important that they both lose their aura at around the same time, Adam from his continual use of his semblance in small bursts, and Yang from saving it all for one big hit at the end.
Basically, what I’m getting at is that these two respond very realistically to each other’s semblances during this fight, and so naturally there are a lot of pauses in it that aren’t just for dialogue, because these two are waiting for the other to attack first.