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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    The Fury's Avatar

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    Feb 2013

    Default The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Hello everyone, welcome to my our second ever Book Club thread. In case you missed the first one, you can check out out read through of Cursed World: Initial Sparks by Aya HcHugh here.

    For this thread we'll be reading RWBY: After the Fall by EC Meyers with story by Kerry Shawcross and Miles Luna. The only book that's also a gun. As you probably know it's based on the Rooster Teeth webseries of the same name and takes place after the events of Volume 3. It also focuses on Team CVFY.

    Now, there's some things that I feel like I should get out of the way-- As this book is an adaptation of an existing IP, some comparisons to the source material are probably inevitable. However, I'm going to try to keep them at a minimum since I'm more interested in how it holds up as a book on its own. As before, if you're reading along with me, or ahead of me, or if you're just participating in the discussion, I'll ask that you use spoiler tags that are clearly labeled. With that out of the way, let's begin.

    Spoiler: Prologue
    Show
    Our story opens with Team CVFY's resident bunny Faunus thinking about all the things she doesn't like about Vacuo. Vacuo is a nation in the setting that is largely desert and seems a pretty miserable place to be. It even tastes bad. that is, sand blows into your mouth if you're not careful. I'm going to have to somewhat disagree with Velvet here. I've gotten sand in my mouth before and for me, it's more of a texture thing.

    While it's true that sand is indeed coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere, that's not important right now. What is more pressing is the mole-crab that Velvet and her team are fighting. Her team includes, Coco Adel, Fox Alistar, and Yatsuhashi Daichi. To give an idea of the timeline, it's mentioned that they've been in Vacuo for slightly longer than a year. Fox's appearances in the series the book is based on have always been a little sparse, but this time we get to see what his Semblance is-- he's a telepath and provides dialogue and commentary psychically. Neat.

    Now, the mole crabs they're fighting are huge, so Foxes remark that they're "small for the species," is a little troubling. Always a bigger fish. Or crab in this case. Coco's Gatling gun makes short work of one of them, and Yatsuhashi jumps in to defend Velvet from the other. Yatsuhashi grabs the crab by the leg an spin-throws it like Mario. He then finishes off the mole crab with his greatsword, which sprays both him and Velvet with some smelly, clear fluid that gushes from the wound. Makes sense, I suppose. If anime has taught me anything its that all liquids are under high pressure and probably flammable. Thankfully, the crab-juice evaporates quickly. Unfortunately, the crab-juice smell doesn't go away. Fox, meanwhile manages to decapitate the last crab with its own severed pincer. Metal.

    Did I say "last crab?" Sorry, I lied. Velvet loses track of their leader, Coco and this can only mean something bad. Especially since she folded her Gatling gun into its handbag mode. The three remaining teammates attempt to regroup with their leader only to find her in the grips of another big ol' crab. Now, in the series, how much of Velvet's fighting is her Semblance and how much is her weapon, (a camera,) is not made especially clear. Here, it actually is explained-- the camera uses Dust to print out hard-light versions of weapons, while Velvet's Semblance, (photographic memory,) allows her to use the weapons almost as well as their original wielders. Neat. Also, probably something that lore aficionados will appreciate. Velvet frantically pages through the images saved on her camera, trying to find the smartest choice to save Coco from the mole crab. The thing about photos though, is that they tend to bring back memories. So we're treated to a flashback.

    Specifically, a flashback of the fall of Beacon Academy from CVFY's perspective. I'm not going to focus on it too much. It's a handy recap of events if you haven't seen Volume 3 of RWBY. If you have, it doesn't add much. However, it does mention that Team CVFY has no idea what happened to Team RWBY after Beacon fell. Presumably, they know that they survived, or at least Ruby did. They probably also don't know what became of Team JNPR.

    Back in the present, Velvet settles on Fox's weapon-- a pair of bladed tonfas called "Sharp Retribution." Smart, considering that the her camera can only print out one hard-light replica per picture and it doesn't last for long. A picture of a teammate's weapon is easily replaced and she probably has seen Fox in action more often than she has fighters outside of her team. While Yatsuhashi and Fox are dealing with the mole crab, Velvet hears a scratchy voice coming from a partially buried wagon with someone's hand reaching out from it. There's signs of another mole crab burrowing its way to the wagon-- now it's time to make a choice. Rescue Coco or whoever's trapped in the wagon? Well, as a Huntress Velvet is supposed to protect people. On the other hand, letting a teammate get pinched in half is not a good look. Though Coco has two people working on saving her to the Mystery-Person's zero. What's more, Yatsuhashi and Fox seem to be doing well enough keeping the situation from getting worse. Mystery-Person it is.

    The burrowing crab bursts out of the sand, and it's easily three times the size of the baby crabs our heroes have been fighting. Velvet moves to intercept and keep it from reaching Mystery-Person. In a RWBY-appropriate display of fighting with plenty of jumps and spins, Velvet is able to dispatch the crab. And also receives a healthy coating of crab-juice. Yatsuhashi arrives on the scene and uses his impressive strength to pull the wagon out of the sand dune. By the way, the crab that got Coco has been cracked open like a nut. Now, we have a look at Mystery-Person-- an older, leathery woman named Slate. Evidently she had been fleeing a Grimm attack on the Gossan settlement. What happened to the other survivors? Well, hopefully they're still survivors and not former survivors.

    Slate goes on to explain what locals in Vacuo tend to believe-- Look out for each other, but if its down to your life or someone else's choose your own. "No hard feelings." Slate had survived the crab attack by hiding in the wagon. The other survivors of the Grimm attack chose to run. Did they make it? No idea. Mole crabs use tremor-sense of some kind to find their food. The jury is out on whether you can avoid them by walking without rythm.

    Now, what are Team CVFY doing out in the middle of the desert fighting crabs anyway? Not for fun, obviously since no one seems to be having a good time. Slate actually asks this question and evidently Shade Academy received a distress call from Gossan. AKA, the settlement Slate is fleeing from on account of the Grimm. However, Gossan has not been able to talk to Shade since the CCT went down. So... what the heck? Maybe the distress signal got to Shade too late? That might explain why Slate and the others needed to flee. Coco thinks that someone hardwired the signal into a support tower.

    Speculation on distress signals aside, the survivors from Gossan are apparently going to Feldspar, the largest local settlement. But first, there's the mole crab remains. Mole crabs are apparently big, dangerous, and also delicious. Not being Grimm, they don't turn into black smoke when dispatched and... that's a lot of crab meat. This is a prospect that makes Velvet's stomach turn.


    Now who's a lucky bunny? Not Velvet, obviously. You might be though. It seems like I'm cheating unless I cover Chapter One, so you guys get an extra post.

    Spoiler: Chapter One
    Show
    Our heroes enter the makeshift walls of the Feldspar settlement. Although it's not mentioned, I like to imagine that they look like the walls of the settlement from Mad Max 2. Unlike Velvet, Coco seems to understand why someone might voluntarily live in Vacuo. The sands shift constantly making any trail nearly impossible to follow. If you want to hide or just don't like being followed, it's a great place to be. As Coco sizes up Feldspar, it seems like my comparison to a post-apocalyptic shanty-town might have been accurate. What permanent structures do exist are small and in poor repair, most people seem to be living out of tents, trucks or vans. Yup. Largest settlement. Speaking of people there doesn't seem to be many of them. Like they cleared out in a hurry. Not encouraging. Though when Slate calls out, people do come out and swarm to greet her. In particular a tall man named Bast greets Slate with a bear-hug. Evidently "Bast" is short for "Alabaster."

    From Bast's and Slate's back and forth it's revealed that not only is Slate a huntress herself, but also the mayor. Now, is she Gossan's mayor or is she Feldspar's mayor? In either case, never mind that. Neither Gossan nor Feldspar are permanent settlements as such. Part of a mayor's duty as leader is keeping everyone ready to clear out at a moment's notice. Despite Slate saying that Feldspar has weak leadership overall, there are at least two Huntsmen around. Bertilak and Carmine. Bast runs off to find them while our heroes, plus Slate, head off to the saloon. Naturally, the regulars at the saloon notice Slate and her status as a local legend is further reaffirmed.

    What's for lunch? A Faunus with a pig snout named Topaz lists off the day's specials. Surprise! It's mostly crab! But before Topaz can get the orders down, she's shoved rudely aside by a green mohawk-sportin' goateed thug. Evidently, this bozo is Bertilak. One of those Huntsmen mentioned previously. At Slate's insistence, Bertilak gives Topaz a very begrudging non-apology. Bertilak, unlike seemingly everyone else, has absolutely zero respect for Slate. He also doesn't have any respect for Team CVFY, but hey... that's about what I'd expect from this guy. Now, there were two Huntsmen, and since the two were apparently working together, you might expect the other one to show up, and she does. Coco notes that one of the advantages to wearing sunglasses is no one can tell if your staring. Which is lucky, because she is. The Huntress, Carmine it turns out is super hot. Coco and Carmine bond a little bit over fashion before it comes up that a signal was sent from Gossan to Shade Academy. Neither of the two Huntsmen know who sent it either. Weird. What's more, most of the people in Feldspar survived three separate Grimm attacks on as many settlements, Gossan, Tuff, and Schist. OK... maybe something is up.

    Coco notices that it's getting a little warm in here. Whether this is because of the many firepits in the saloon or if it's because she's got the hots for Carmine, (Yeah, they're not subtle about this by the way,) is not clear. It also comes up that Carmine and Bertilak are working for the Caspians and they need to leave to check on them. Slate clarified that they were talking about Edward and August Caspian, Grandfather and Grandson respectively and that they're from a village in Vale. What are they doing in Vacuo? Where are they going? The official answer to both of those questions is "None of your business."

    As for the frequent Grimm attacks... that's another mystery. Though Slate says that something causes emotions to run high, which attracts Grimm. Just then, a table gets overturned and a couple men seem like they want to brawl. Slate is able to go over and calm them down though. Seemingly, Slate's got some impressive charisma that runs deep with the locals. Coco quietly hopes to one day have the kind of leadership that Slate has.

    Closing thoughts on the prologue and Chapter One-- I'm not going to lie, this is kind of a rocky start. But I will say that the worst of it is likely well-intentioned. Something to After the Fall's credit is that it doesn't assume that you'd be familiar RWBY as a series. Unfortunately this means that means that flashbacks, which I have largely glossed over for the sake of brevity, break up the pace. It also interrupts the pace to explain how RWBY's team names are pronounced. But I feel like both of these come from a place of bringing a reader that might be new to the franchise up to speed. Because of this, I can't really feel too salty about it. Things pick up in Chapter One with the introduction of the Caspians and a mystery surrounding them. We'll just have to see how that goes.


    See you next time for Chapter Two. Which will probably feature less crab-juice.
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-10-04 at 05:03 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    LaZodiac's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    I will also be reading this, and will be doing my best like Fury to avoid tooo many comparisions to the source material. That being said I'll definitely be looking at this AS a tie in novel as well- the point of a novel like this is to tie into the show, and also hook those who haven't seen the show to go see it. So judging it both as it's own unique work, and as someone that is intrinsically tied to something else, is important!

    PROLOGUE

    Spoiler: Prologue!
    Show
    In which a rabbit has an awful time in sand zone. There's a LOT of emphasis on how ****ty Vacuo is, almost excessively, but I actually kinda think this works barring a few instances. It does of course raise questions of how they managed to survive out here if it's so bad, especially since I kinda figured most cities would be near oasis-es and stuff. I also feel like sucking on a cactus LEAF would help with sand... nor do I think making food with the assumption some sand would get in it is very healthy.

    They tell you how to pronounce Team CFVY in a (parenthesis) aside, when really that sort of thing should be a foot note. It breaks the flow a bit. I'd also like a better introduction to these characters than Velvet going over their names. We do learn some fun things; Fox's ability is that he has telepathy. Also there's mole crabs, which they're currently fighting!
    (Random aside to the show; the only thing we've seen Fox do is punch a bear Grimm so hard it inflated and exploded into spikes, so I guess that's... not his ability, but just a thing he can do. Also, mole crabs are the first sign of anything non-Grimm related as a monster in this universe and that's weird to me.)

    Velvet mentally notes she doesn't want to be a "split hare pun" when she avoids getting her head snipped off by one of the said mole crabs. It is a joke that kinda falls flat. Also they specifically use the term teamspeak for Fox's telepathy and something about that kinda bugs me? Don't know why.

    Coco says "they sure fight like babies" about the mole crabs and man. She is the exact character she would appear to be. Also her gatling gun is called an uppercase G Gatling Gun, which means Richard Jordan Gatling, creator of the gatling gun, exists in universe. Is this a nitpick? Maybe, but as a writer it always stands out to me when stuff that specific comes up.

    "Suddenly Yatsuhashi was by her side, as always." so is he... always at her side or not? Why would he suddenly be there always? He throws a crab bare handed though! That's kinda cool! The action in this prologue is... a little weak, we have no idea where they are beyond "somewhere with sand" and none of them have been described. You basically have to go off the cover if you don't know the show, and while it's not TOO hard to do it still kind of takes you out of it. There's an attempt to emulate the show here, I can kinda feel it, but it doesn't really work much.
    (Show connection aside; Velvet helping kill a crab by being sad about hurting it and instead just helping Yatsu do a Big Leap so he can sword plant into its stomach, effectively contributing nothing, is very in character for Velvet, whose power is too OP and vague to really work without a lot of writing to explain what it going on.)

    They kinda torture this mole crab to death and it's weird goo-blood splashes all over Velvet and she's like "ew" with barely any reaction beyond coughing and rubbing at her eyes. Fox meanwhile is fighting a mole crab with his blade tonfa. Neat way to fight, though if he got close enough to slice off a crab claw he really shoulda bee able to do more if he uses tonfa...
    (Aside from the show; Fox's tonfa are... not tonfa at all. They're more like wrist mounted spikes. It's weird but alright.)

    Fox beheads a mole crab and... um... head? They've really gotta describe what these look like because so far everything about them just screams "regular crab", except huge cause their eyes are as big as Velvet's head. So how big are these things supposed to be, exactly?

    Oh hey something that I brought up in an aside show note! Velvet uses her weapon and we get a page and a half out of the action describing how it works. They also mention Velvet's ability is "photographic memory" but they don't explain what that means at all so... um? What does it do? I have guesses based on what I know from the series but they don't explain it. And um... how is a scythe the best weapon to crack open a crab... especially when spoilers she knows someone who uses a ****ing hammer! But whatever, she sees a photo of Ruby, and has a flashback.

    Aside from... some minor points that annoy me, the flashback is actually fairly effective. It paints a picture that these four have been through something horrifying and awful, fighting against a horde of nightmare creatures... which sort of explains why fighting these living creatures is so jokey and fun to them. This isn't anything at all. It gets a bit lost in the weeds though, because it's basically trying to recap an entire season of a show to give context to why these characters are feeling the way they are. A tough task, if we're being honest. Also um... half way through the perspective changes to Coco without warning. Or at least it feels that way, that might be on me.

    The flashback ends and, le gasp, the action gets further interrupted by Velvet noticing an entire wagon buried underneath the sand, with people calling for help! Coco is still currently inside the claw of the last remaining mole crab (or not another showed up) at the moment. Velvet kills the sudden crab that showed up using a copy of Fox's weapon.

    Jeez I get he's strong but Yatsu lifts the entire wagon out of the ground over his head. Is this like, a kiddie wagon or an actual Oregan Trail ass wagon because I thought the latter but this sounds like the former. Also the other crab was killed off screen so Coco is fine I guess.

    So the sand in Vacuo is grey, because the lady they save in the wagon is described initially as having grey hair, but when she shakes the sand from it it turns light brown. That's... interesting.

    There's a mention of clothing, but they don't ACTUALLY describe what our heroes are wearing, beyond Coco's beret and... while they don't mention it here, they DID establish Velvet is wearing a shirt with "VACUO: THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME and A TERRIBLE PLACE TO VISIT, BUT YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO LIVE THERE." on it, which honestly makes this entire prologue (which has been going on FOREVER by the way) feel super funny to me.

    After talking a bit with Slate, the lady they saved, Velvet gets ANOTHER flashback. This seems unnecessary and the prologue has been going on for 15+ pages which is... a mistake. Also it has more of the weird perspective shifting that is... just taking me out of it.

    A character detail that is brought up that I like; Fox is mute by choice and prefers to talk telepathically. He only speaks outloud in mixed company to avoid being "weird" or when he really wants people to hear what he has to say. That's actually neat!

    After the incredibly necessary flashback, we learn why they're out in the sand; they are here about a distress signal. It is irrelevant because crabs I guess. I lost track of things at this point but the basic idea is they Have To Go To A Place. They eat some of the crab they killed and head off and THAT is the prologue.


    I don't have enough time to go into chapter one yet but um... this is not a great start. A long and meandering prologue, 19 pages worth of "we fight some crabs and have two flashbacks". It's... a lot at once, and there's very little actual substance here. What is here is neat but... well, we'll see how it goes from here!


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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Spoiler: After the Fall prologue
    Show
    I only watched the first two seasons I think and only know what that fall is because I watched part of a 2 hour long video criticizing the first three seasons so I only vaguely know the character on the title image exist, I think they cleaned up the attack at the end of season 2?

    Anyway to the text!

    Well Velvet Scarlatina doesn't like this Vacuo place at all , but who likes deserts? And apparently a constantly changing desert lanscape at that, sounds annoying. And the sand apparently tastes bad so locals chew cactus leaves.

    Oh it transitions into talking about where she rather would be, the Beacon Academy obviously. And Vacuo has the Shade Academy, wonder whether I would know about it if I had watched more of the show?

    Backstory established, we get to the fighting of giant crabs! Her teammate fox has a telepathy semblance, yeah I remember that being a thing everyone has an individual superpower.

    Velvet is the rabbit ear one, Coco the one with the gattling, Yatsu seems super strong or something? And has a huge sword. And velvet makes hardlight weapons with her camera, her semblance is photographic memory helping with using techniques with the weapons without training each properly. Semblances really are kinda random and on wildly different powerlevels.

    And she goes through he photos to choose one whereupon a picture of Ruby triggers a flashback. Geez girl your friend is in the pincer of a crab now is not the time for flashbacks. I wonder whether this is the first time sh looked since then or it just happens to let the reader know the situation.

    Beacon, lots of grimm and everything is getting destroyed. Velvet is hurt because an Atlesian Paladin punched her? I guess one of the hacked robots not an actual paladin? Ah yes it is and Weiss has a giant arm semblance (or rather some sort of defeated enemy summon), side note the weird pronunciation of Schnee in the show was weird to listen to.

    And Velvet loses photos if she summons the weapon in them, maybe she should get in the habit of clicking multiple times. Anyway flashback done and she skips that image not sure whether she will see Ruby again (who was whisked away by her uncle apparently and her whole team hasn't returned, only show watchers know what they are doing.)

    She copies Fox's tonfas (which as most weapons in the setting can shoot too)and goes fight some bigger crab to save someone buried in the sand.

    Attacking beacon apparently messed up their long range communication system too, probably bears remembering. Also old saved lady alludes to some trouble something odd is going on and that apparently includes some internal conflict if I interpret her right.

    Not a bad first chapter, and it tries to tell non show watchers the basis. Though that makes it a tad exposition heavy. We will see how it handles the actual story, the start of rwby was so so story wise iirc.


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    LaZodiac's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Okay, time for chapter one, so I can be in lockstep with Fury!

    CHAPTER 1

    Spoiler: CHAPTER 1
    Show
    Coco focused chapter, and it dives a bit more into the Sand and how sandy it is. We continue to get support for the fact that Vacuo's sand is all silver/grey instead of brown, and enough has been said towards it constantly moving that I'm pretty sure it's actually sentient to some degree. There is no way it's actually natural, the way it's been described. Feels very... mundane nanomachine to me, like Grey Goo that just wants to chill.

    Coco likes the sand, a nice contrast towards Velvet who could not stop telling us how much she hated it. She's a little edgy about it being super deadly, but that's forgivable. Less forgivable is how Coco believes she dresses the way she does to "get an edge" on the others, and that she the aloof, casual nature of her outfit is an act. Even ignoring what I do know about the character from outside this book, in this book it's been pretty clearly present that she is ABSOLUTELY those things. And also... here is what she looks like, since the book refuses to describe her itself. And I'm sorry to say Coco, whatever hidden depths you think you're hiding... they're not there, at least on first blush.

    Speaking of blush, Coco has decided to insult the place that is currently her only salvation from the sands at night. It's a shanty town, with tents and vans and stuff. Basically not even a town, so much as a bunch of wanderers who stopped moving briefly.

    I think it really emphasizes how unused to this sort of thing Coco is that her first thought, at ****ing midnight in the middle of a desert town, is "where's all the people at?". They're inside you dummy! IT gets cold in the sand at night, and as we've established it's pretty dangerous. People tend to stay inside when it's twilight in the danger sand zone! I'm also really annoyed Fox outright asks this question, since he's FROM here. They established that; he was super casual about the mole crabs too. He shouldn't be weirded out by anything that happens here.

    Slate, the lady they saved, calls out everyone, and a boisterous guy greets them; Bast, aka Alabaster. There's a fart joke that makes me want to die. Moving on.

    Bast looks our heroes up and down, as a clear sort of "I'm judging to see if you're worthy" that apparently is common to all people who live in Vacuo. Seems a little harsh, but then Coco is the POV here and she's kind of rough around the edges and established to not be a great judge of things, re herself or why people in a desert might be hiding in doors, and so on. We learn that Slate is the mayor of Feldspar, this ramshackle little nomadic group, and Coco is super surprise by that- not that Slate is impressive but that a place like this would have a mayor. Add that to the "Coco doesn't understand basically anything" list.

    I don't like the term "tribe" used to denote where you're from in Vacuo. It's a little sketchy to me.

    Not to get too nitpicky on things, but some of the sentence structure is weird here. Like; “Wherever we go, wherever we settle, we call that place by our name—unless we join permanently with another tribe of nomads. We’ve had to move a few times now. Grimm. They always seem to find us, but more quickly lately. Something strange has been going on.” It feels a little run-on or disjointed. Also kinda weird- they're saying how they always name their home Tuff, cause that's what they are (badumtish) but this place is called Feldspar so... I guess they joined with another group permanently? Evidently that's the case, since this place took in the refuges from the town that called in the distress signal and got torn to pieces apparently.

    At any rate, Fox tells us that Vacuo is a lawless state where the only rule is there are no rules. The fact that Slate is so well regarded is weird for them culturally, so she must be a badass. This is interesting, but also um... flies entirely in the face of the fact that they have a huge permanent settlement with an entire battle school in it. That seems at odds with how Vacuo is being presented to us.

    Coco meanwhile complains about her favorite lipgloss tasting better than the "bitter sand". Sand is EXTREMELY not bitter, because it's rocks and most rocks tend to be on the salt side of taste, but then this is also clearly magical grey sand so I'll allow it. Coco is really doing a good job of presenting herself as NOT the basic bitch she looks like though. She's doing wonderfully.

    Anyway, we learn about more hunters; two in fact, Bertilak and Carmine. The way they're talked about, these two are probably the local cocky *******s. Bast goes off to get them, naturally, while the rest head off to a pub. Slate says some basic "we should protect people even if we don't particular know them" stuff and Coco gets star eyes at how cool Slate is. I'll admit what Slate says isn't really that impressive to me, beyond the fact that she's an old lady so her putting herself forward to take the heat for things is a show that she is actively throwing herself to a possible death to save people. But on the whole "saving people because people deserve to be saved" is literally your job Coco. You trained to be like this.

    There is a decision to collectively refer to our four heroes by the team name whenever they are all doing something (CFVY sat at the table) and... I don't know. That feels wrong to me in a small way.

    So, a thing I know out of novel is that the Faunus only have animal ears or tails. so describing this pig girl as having a pig snout is not like, an actual literal pig nose, she's just got what an actual human "pig nose" would look like. That's... strangely complicated in a way that I don't quite get the point of beyond trying to make this random character seem unique. Which I mean it does, but it also is a reminder that we barely know what our heroes look like. Coco is a sentient beret with sunglasses, Yasu is Big, Fox is... and we know Velvet is wearing a pithy T-shirt and has bunny ears. That's it! It's kinda lame!

    There is a joke about how everything here is crab. Crab burgers, crab steak (impossible crab meat doesn't work that way), crab cake, and crab rangoon (**** off). Slate orders some ale and spicy bat stew because, unsurprisingly, no one would ever eat this much ****ing crab if they could help it.

    “Coffee,” Coco said. She madly needed caffeine, and she also liked to stay on brand.

    I have so many questions about this line. Do they realize that coffee is really hard to come across in the desert? Do they realize that having a character, inner monologue or not, say "they need to stay on brand" because their team name is CFVY makes everyone who reads it want to die? What is happening here- why does she even CARE to STAY ON BRAND?! They haven' actually introduced themselves as CFVY!!

    I realize it's a small thing, an infinitesimally small thing, but every so often I read a line that just makes my brain explode trying to wrap itself around the Why of it all.

    Velvet orders Gecko Cake and Coco takes time out of her busy schedule not being a basic ass teen to tease Velvet about how it's not ACTUALLY a cake... which... Coco. It is a cake. It's just a meat cake. Those things exist. That's what crab cake is. Coco I'm going to ****ing strangle you why are you like this??? "I'm not aloof or casual" she thinks, as she legitimately makes fun of her friend in a way that is clearly shown to be annoying to her, and not funny.

    We get the first actual full character description, and it's for Bert! Bert's a mad max ruffian with a green mohawk with a big mace.

    Something I noticed, which I'll bring up here. Prologue chapter, they were called Mole Crabs, and Fox's weapons were tonfa. But in chapter 1 they've been called sand crabs (which is more accurate to what they are seemingly presented as, beyond having heads to chop off) the one time it was brought up, and when Fox's weapons are brought up they're called arm blades (which is more accurate to the show). So... was the prologue made in advance as a sort of test to see who they wanted to write this book? It's a pretty basic scenario; write these characters fight some monsters and saving A Person from them, and make sure the fight gets Velvet to flashback to Things, and if we like it we'll let you make the book". It seems like a thing RT would do, and they just... forgot to bring the prologue into a more canon shape. My theorizing aside, It's just an immediately interesting discrepancy to me, that I wanna keep track of.

    Carmine appears next, after Bert makes an ass of himself, and we get our second full character description; as Coco is real hot on her. Credit where it's due, making Coco a big dumb idiot lesbian who thinks she's a genius IS a kind of appealing characterization.

    Also, the description for Carmine takes up half a page, and uh... this character sounds like her design is VERY RWBY, which is to say it is an absolute mismash of nonsense and "what why?". The main things of note here are CHAIN MAIL CROP TOP with EXPOSED STOMACH, with BOOTY SHORTS and THIGH HIGH BOOTS. WHO DRESSED YOU WOMAN?!

    Coco attempts to have a conversation with Carmine, wherein we learn among other things Coco made her own gun. Her chaingun that collapses into a purse. I'm not going to get into this.

    ........ they discuss the weird distress signal and all the people lost as these settlements are destroyed. Bert says more people are alive thanks to them, Carmine tells him to cool it, AND COCO GETS HORNY ABOUT IT. EXCUSE???

    Moving on, Carmine and Bert leve to check up on the Caspians- Edward and August. People from Vale who also went out to Vacuo for safety... for some reason. They are the ones who have actually hired Bert and Carmine.

    Yatsuhashi has talked enough for him to have a degree of character; he thinks the food could use more spices. Almost certainly my dude, crab sucks. He also has the Superman problem of "I am very strong so I do everything that isn't violence very carefully so as to not break it".

    We then have... far too long an amount of time spent on a random fist fight happening nearby, which Slate breaks up and is sort of a minor plot point that'll happen soon. Does everyone forget it's ****ing midnight why is anyone up at this point? It just kinda feels like filler to give Coco some more pathos as she thinks about how Slate fell into her being a leader, like how Coco was chosen to be the leader of team CFVY, and it... doesn't really hit the way they think it does.


    And that's the chapter! Long and short of it is; way better impression than the prologue. Some... weirdness from Coco, and we finally get some character descriptions!... for characters we've never seen before. There's some stuff that definitely works for me and seems like it could lead somewhere fun, but like with the prologue is definitely feels too long. This comes from being a writer myself, but both of these first two chapters have dragged a couple pages at the end and I can't help but think "come on writer, please cut here instead of going on for like three or four pages. Come on, please?"

    But yeah. I'm kiiinda interested in where this could be going! There are some implications I can read into the story so far, but it seems presumptuous to this early on go "okay so the bad thing is clearly THIS" but... at the same time, they're the only things that could make sense sooo...

    Spoiler: Prediction!
    Show
    I'm predicting the Caspian family is directly causing some sort of trouble, in some way, that is causing all the Grimm attacks at the settlements they've been in. Pretty basic theory, but the book hasn't given us much other than this.


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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Hey guys, know what time it is? Yep it's time for another chapter of After The Fall, so let's hop to it. Unless you're a bunny Faunus and you find that expression offensive, in which case I'm sorry and... *hem!* let's read a chapter.

    Spoiler: Chapter Two
    Show
    Hey, did you ever wonder about how Team CVFY met and became a team? If so, you're in luck. If not... yeah, sorry. We're doing this anyway. The short version of things is that CVFY formed on initiation day the same way that Teams JNPR and RWBY formed. That is, catapulted into a forest where Grimm like to hang out and retrieve a relic.

    Oh yeah, today's chapter is a flashback by the way. Rather than give a play by play of the action, there's some things revealed about our heroes that's kind of interesting to mention. Coco is definitely a lesbian, which is neat. She evidently also smells like chocolate and caramel. Fox is blind, which is also neat. Evidently he can use his telepathy to orient himself to his surroundings, but he's using a virtual assistant app of some kind on his scroll to help him navigate. Fox is paired with Coco.

    Velvet, as has been mentioned in the main series, has been the target of discrimination. Here, she actually recalls what that looked like. It evidently ranged from relatively harmless if insensitive jokes to... comments that actually made her feel threatened. Like someone alluding to "going rabbit hunting." Ew. It should also be noted that Velvet is nervous around Yatsuhashi for two reasons. One, he's big. Two, he's from Mistral. Mistral being a place that's especially bad for Faunus discrimination.

    Yatsuhashi, for his part has gotten used to being left out. Always having been the "big kid" growing up, most everyone assumed that he was mean or dumb. On landing, he gets paired with Velvet and is actually rather nice to her and only a little doltish. Velvet comments that there were some Boarbatusks on her tail, and Yatsuhashi isn't sure if she meant that she literally has a tail. So, he checks out her rear end... very classy.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that this is the first time that Yatuhashi's, Velvet's and Coco's weapons' names are mentioned. Yatsuhashi's sword is named Fulcrum, Coco's Gatling gun is named Gianduja and Velvet's camera is named Anesidora.

    Beyond that, there isn't much else to recap. The relics this time are stone tablets carved like playing cards. What eventually becomes Team CVFY retrieved the Heart Suit so they're a team. Hooray for life. There's a call-forward to the main series here as well. The joke didn't land for me personally, but if it did for you, awesome.

    I'll be honest... I did not particularly enjoy this chapter. So far, I think that the flashbacks don't add much new and kind of put the brakes on this new story that's developing. What's worse, is that they feel like rehashings of material that was handled just fine in the main series. In this case, it follows Team RWBY's initiation almost beat for beat. Ozpin catapults our heroes into Grimm-infested forest, landing strategy, fight some Grimm, banter a bit, retrieve relic, fight some more, get team name.

    Now, Coco... I think it's pretty safe to say that she's gay at this point, at the very least the text implies very heavily that she is. With that said, Coco seems to have a fairly superficial attraction to women. In her narration she's either gushing about someone's outfit or complaining about how annoying someone's too-high voice is. Her narration also indicates that she wants to be paired with someone that "won't hold her back" and someone that "can keep up with her."

    ...I'm not sure if the writer is going for a characterization that's flawed but can still grow and improve as a person. Or if she's just supposed to be a generic badass. I'm holding out hope that it's the former, since that's way more interesting to me.


    Stay tuned for Chapter Three. I don't think I can realistically commit to an update schedule on account of some goofy work schedules, but I'll try to get you guys some new content as often as I can.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Next up is chapter two, lets see what this book can do.

    Spoiler
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    Iiiit's a flashback. Specifically, to the initiation at Beacon academy; which is to say, catapulting all the students to their death if they aren't capable of recovering. We're in the POV of Coco here, and she's really liking this. There's a weird bit of phrasing with why she chose Beacon here. She liked it because the headmaster was mysterious and she wanted the challenge of going here, and then ends "besides, she lived in Vale her entire life" which is... I guess meant to be admitting that she's going to the local school because it's local, regardless of her above noted mystery challenge. It's weird.

    There's a lot of time spent detailing headmaster Ozpin and a teacher, so that people who are familiar with the series can go "I know that name!" but otherwise basically doesn't serve the narrative, I feel given these characters aren't that important to this novel. It does allow Coco to mentally bring up she's Hot For Teacher in the case of Glynda, but it's all very surface level. There's just Horny to be found here.

    Velvet meanwhile is having a terrible time. As would any normal person since Beacon is kind of a terrible school. Your partner is picked the instant you make eye contact with them after being hurtled through the air to your potential death, and for four years that person is basically tied to your waist. A reasonable method of teaching students- even monster hunting students- this is not.

    A fun character detail brought up is that Velvet knew Coco from middle school. Namely she knew that Coco was a genius and a playboy- the exact term they use is "breaking girls' hearts". A real Othello who definitely is more than she lets on, I tell you what. We also get some Racism Moments as Velvet thinks about the bigotry she's had to deal with due to being a rabbit person. It's the standard RWBY fair and I'll leave it at that.

    Oh my god Yatsuhashi gets characterization. He's big and sad and literal-minded. That's about it- his section of this chapter is the most "here is some exposition for people who don't know what is going on in this scene" of the foursome's scenes here. Fox's is... much like Coco's in that it reveals he doesn't really find the being catapulted to his possible death to be that big a deal (he's actually bored).

    HOWEVER! FOX BECOMES THE BEST CHARACTER, as he basically just... dumps on this scene for being stupid and for the "partners picked at random" thing making no sense and basically... god, Fox, keep doing the good work. Look some things always work and "character in universe thinks it is as dumb as you do" is always at least a little fun to experience. Also hey, Fox is blind. Neat! Not a single aspect of his character is written to account for that and he gets to use his cellphone as a proximity sensor to serve as an accessibility aid (which is stupid because the beeping will extremely interfere with their hearing and also it feels too Magic Fix For Disability for me) but still. Neat! He can also use his telepathy to sense brains to better orient himself, which is actually kind of neat and a good play on this since it doesn't cure his being blind it's just an adaption of one of his senses, but not enough to invalidate his disability.

    A fun thing is noting what they do and don't explain. I know a Scroll is a cellphone, but they definitely haven't explained it otherwise.

    Annoyance. The sorts of sick ninja flips Fox does are cool, but it definitely feels like they just put "I'm blind" as a tag on him and otherwise didn't account for anything. There's no real texture to it, which is dissapointing. Also, after said sick ninja flips, he says OUTLOUD TO HIMSELF, "nice! Too bad no one saw that" which is counter to the Fox we've been told- the Fox that prefers not to talk but instead use telepathy. The fact that he said it outwardly, out loud, feels wrong. Also given he's blind how even does the "first person you lock eyes with" partner connection work? (fun fact Fox makes a joke about this later)

    Switching back to Coco, we get two more fun not explained things; absolutely no explanation on dust, and they mention Coco's Semblance helping her descend but don't elaborate. As we have no idea what it is and it's never been shown in the anime, they just kinda... move on, without explanation. Also her landing is... very silly. Fox's at least had SOME degree of flow to it, hers is... not quite there at all.

    I'm not going to harp on this forever but every time Coco does says or thinks something that disproves her own read of herself I get to eat a mint because it's satisfying. There's a good change this is all meant to be cool and badass and awesome but literally every aspect of her character so far screams "we are intentionally setting her up for a big big fall". She sees another student floating down which she thinks is a cute trick... though we're not told what the trick IS beyond "she just floats". I actually looked up this character and got... an OC on the official wiki. Cool.

    Coco sees Fox and is like "oh. you're blind" as if that is negative. Fox turns it into a joke, further reminding me why he's the only character I kind of like. Mind you it's not a great joke it's the expected "you observe a blind person is blind and they act like it just happened" thing, but still. Credit is earned.

    Velvet's landing and meeting with Yatsuhashi happens here. We learn Yatsuhashi really is sad and large, because he spends time apologizing to trees as he helicopters his way through them to avoid dying. He's also into Velvet, and catches her all hero style.

    If I was reviewing this book like I did the show, the joke about Velvet saying a bunch of boars were on her tail and Yatsuhasi leaning over to look at her ass would have made me pause, get up, and go get a drink and a snack and just stare at the ceiling a bit. As it stands, I'm just very tired. There are ways this could have worked, and I think in the right series it would be funny (and if Faunus had tails and ears it'd just be way more understandable...) but this is just... too much.

    Back with Coco and Fox, there are some jokes about Fox being blind and Coco being obsessed with being the first and also best, which seem in bad taste and kinda funny respectively. She fires her chaingun directly at Velvet and Yatsuhashi to get at the boars before them, and also we learn what her semblance actually does; it just makes dust betterer. She calls it Hype. Alright.

    Fighting ensues. They become a team. Chapter end!


    And so ends this chapter. My thoughts;
    Spoiler
    Show
    This chapter is at it's core meant to be our big characcterization chapter. This is what our protagonists are like. It is... not that much changed from the current day of the book, a double edged sword. They basically are exactly like this, only a little sadder now. Kinda diminishes the feelings that the fall of Beacon and their two years together are trying to evoke, I feel.

    Other than that... this was basically just a chapter for people who were already into the series. If you don't know RWBY and just picked this book up, this chapter would basically end your reading of the book, I feel. It's so many pages of exposition on things that don't really matter, plus some characterization of our heroes. Characterization that might have been better presented elsewhere. I'm on Fury with this one.

    Random aside; we are on page 52 out of 222 and we are on chapter 3.
    Last edited by LaZodiac; 2020-10-08 at 10:45 PM.


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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    I did it. What did I do? I read a Third Chapter.

    Spoiler: Chapter Three
    Show
    Back in the present, Yatsuhashi and Velvet are interviewing the refugees in Feldspar. They're playing detective to figure out what they can about the why the Grimm keep chasing people away from they're settlements. Velvet is obviously the brains of this operation. After all, she's wearing a goofy t-shirt. (I will continue to assume that she's wearing the t-shirt from the prologue until the text explicitly says that she's wearing something else.) Evidently, this is a typical MO for these two. Yatsu is big and chill and it helps Velvet be more outgoing and Velvet is a cute, non-threatening bunny person and that makes Yatsu look less intimidating and encourages people to talk more. What do they find out? It's... interesting.

    Velvet and Yatsu interview a young mother from Gossan called Amaranth, who's a bit of a teary mess at the moment taking care of her son, Ash. Amaranth apparently felt something of a "wave of emotion" come over her before the Grimm attacked, as though all the anxiety, fear and frustration she had been holding back came flooding in. For those not familiar with the series, canonically, creatures of Grimm are drawn to "negative" emotions, so... this is worrying. Evidently it got worse and worse until Grimm were on their doorstep. This is also what happened at Schist and Tuff. Luckily the Huntsmen Carmine and Bertilak were there to help with the evacuation. Just like they were for the other evacuations too.

    Velvet asks to take Amaranth's picture, and Yatsu does the bunny-ears gesture behind Velvet's head to make baby Ash laugh. We also get hints of Yatsuhashi's Semblance-- evidently he can mess with memories.

    Afterward the team regroups and compares notes. Although the specifics vary, most of the refugees have similar stories to Amaranth's-- a wave of emotion, one that builds and becomes more intense, then-- BAM. Grimm. Neat, but in a way, we're sort of still where we've started. The Huntsmen, Carmine and Bertilak, the Caspians that hired them, Edward and Augustus are the common elements in all three Grimm attacks.

    We have a detour to remind us that Vacuo is horrible-- did you know that they have cute names for sunstroke, food poisoning and sinkholes? Yep. Said sinkholes can be so big that they can swallow up whole towns. Because again, Vacuo is horrible. Unless you like candied breadfruit. Which you can totally get here, and it's delicious.

    Since our heroes have already talked to Carmine and Bertilak and it was not a very illuminating experience. I guess we learned that Coco has the hots for Carmine, but other than that a conversation with them seems like it would be unproductive. Let's chat with the guys that hired them, eh?

    Getting to speak to these two weirdoes from Vale was probably easier than you might expect, considering how evasive the Huntsmen seemed earlier. Augustus is a little kid that likes a card game which I think is supposed to be the one from Volume 2 of the show. Edward is an older gentleman, and is actually pretty forthcoming. He might not have all of his marbles though. Although he answers our heroes' questions, his reliability is suspect.

    Edward does bring up something called "emotion bombs." While it's not clear how something like that might work, it can apparently cause something like the waves of emotion that the refugees have been experiencing and could explain the frequent Grimm attacks if someone is setting them off. There's some hints that the kid, Augustus-- Gus, might know more than he's letting on.

    So what about Carmine and Bertilak? What were they hired to do? They've agreed to guide Edward and his grandson, Gus to a safe spot. A lighthouse off the western shore of a place called Sanus. My RWBY geography knowledge is lacking. I have no idea where this is. Sounds picturesque though. Nice vacation spot. It seems like Carmine and Bertilak are a little more mercenary in their attitude than the more heroic Huntsmen we're used to seeing. Edward has a good heart though, which is why they're sticking with the refugees. The refugees can't afford to hire Huntsmen, the Caspians can. And as long as the Huntsmen are protecting the Caspians, they'll be protecting the refugees too.

    Gus doesn't like it one bit though. Evidently, it's taking too long this way? I'll leave it on the table how much Gus is telling the truth here, but the text is making it pretty clear that he's not saying everything.

    That will have to wait, because Fox is outside contacting Velvet and Yatsu psychically. Evidently there's trouble. Cliffhanger.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    This chapter is one of the stronger ones so far, and the trend I'm noticing is that this book is at its best when it's trying to actually tell its own story. The moments when it flashes back tend to be a lot weaker and don't do much narratively. Here, we're introduced to the characters at the center of the mystery of the Grimm attacks and further questions are raised. Does someone actually have it out for the Caspians? Gus is very heavily implied to be more heavily involved in the plot than would appear. For that matter, how much do Carmine and Bertilak know? We'll find out later.


    Next time, it's a cool Chapter Four.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Technically it's a double post and for that I am sorry, but I've been neglecting this thread for a while. So let's dig into our next chapter-- The Fury and Flashbacks: A Love Story.

    Spoiler: Chapter Four
    Show
    Our chapter opens with a flashback, which despite my snide remark, is thankfully kept kind of brief. Specifically it's about Fox recalling his mentor, Copper. Copper would occasionally describe things to Fox because, as has been mentioned Fox is blind. Fox's ability to see aura and his mobility app on his scroll allow him to get by OK, but he can't actually see things like a field of flowers so Copper describes them to him. Which, yeah, that at least shows that Copper's heart was in the right place. But Vacuo is a post-apocalyptic wasteland so some rando killed Copper because he wanted what he had.

    Now, there's some stuff happening in present day in the settlement Feldspar. If you recall, something called "Emotion Bombs" occasionally get set off and that attracts Grimm. Well, it seems the occasion has come so, it's time for people to start getting frantic, which gets folks worried about Grimm, which makes them even more frantic. Do Grimm show up? You bet they do! Mostly a type of flying Grimm called a Ravager, though they're dispatched and the crowd is more or less calmed down.

    Carmine and Bertilak are here too, but they're not very helpful. In fact, they're not really interested in helping at all. Really they're only here begrudgingly as they're hired to protect Edward Caspian and he wants them here. Thankfully Slate is here to discuss strategy and keep everyone calm. So Slate takes stock of the resources we have available-- Team CVFY plus Bertilak and Carmine, we have six Huntsmen. It's obvious that something is getting people riled up and attracting Grimm. So what if the town were divided into six, each being protected by a single Huntsman. As long as all groups stay within range of the CCT support tower they should be able to remain in contact. This is a pretty terrible idea for a variety of reasons, the text actually acknowledges this though as Coco points out some of the flaws in this plan. Namely, staying in CCT range probably won't isolate the other groups from the emotion bomb and spread their resources too thin. Carmine and Bertilak think "It's not such a bad plan" though. I've kind of already said what I think of this terrible idea. I mean, sketchy CCT service was a plot point pretty early in this book and this just sounds like a good way to get people killed. For now, Edward sides with Coco, which gets Carmine and Bertilak to back down on the terrible idea that's terrible.

    Now, a quick aside, This scene actually touches on one of the darker implications of the RWBY setting, and... I'm actually kind of glad it went there. Specifically, how do the Grimm work? They're drawn to "negative" emotions. Fear, sadness, anger that sort of thing. Now, feelings aren't really positive or negative. They're just feelings and everyone has them. Yet in Remnant in general and Vacuo in particular, some feelings are dangerous. While Carmine points out that having large groups of people can make emotions more volatile, making them more vulnerable. Yet people seek out companionship because they need that connection with one another. Sometimes people like our heroes emotionally repress themselves. While the Grimm are an ever-present threat of a gory demise, this is the real threat they represent. That the Grimm make people increasingly willing to isolate and emotionally repress. Making denying yourself the best parts of being human for the sake of survival seem reasonable.

    Team CVFY patrol the perimeter of Feldspar and we discover how Fox "sees" Grimm. As has been established, Fox can sense aura, but Grimm don't have any. As such, he senses Grimm as a gaping void. Neat. Fox discovers Velvet out for a stroll at night. In the desert. The desert full of dangerous critters. Now, Velvet actually has a reason for this, and as we discover no one can contact one another using telepathy to contact one another doesn't work unless Fox opens the "channel." Fox does ask Velvet why she didn't just use her scroll and she sheepishly says that she forgot. To her credit, CCT service suuucks. Anyway, what is Velvet doing running out in the desert? Edward. The dude's sleepwalking. Now that's dangerous for a lot of reasons, deserts are cold at night, he's just got his old man jammies on, this desert is lousy with Grimm, mole crabs and who knows what else, and you shouldn't wake a sleepwalker.

    All this commotion attracts a King Taijitu, one of them big snakey Grimm, which Fox and Velvet fight and defeat by luring it into an old Dust quarry. The catch up to a passed out Edward and wake him up. And... it's possible that this old guy doesn't have all his marbles. When the group return the Feldspar, they encounter Bertilak. Bertilak is testy and unpleasant on a good day but he's extra upset about Edward wandering off into the desert. Velvet insists that it wasn't something that he did on purpose, because... sleepwalking. Bertilak disagrees. Apparently this is the third time Edward has done something like this. Nothing gets past this guy. Unless it's old men in pajamas. Edward is reunited with Gus and instantly seems more coherent. Fox thinks that Edward is putting up a mask of strength to keep Gus from worrying.

    Bertilak has had enough of trying to keep a settlement of people safe and thinks that it's time to go back to basics. Take the Caspians to their destination and to heck with Feldspar. Edward is having none of it though, and it's pretty clear that Carmine and Bertilak can't keep the Caspians safe on their own. Fox isn't mincing words. He angrily tells the Caspians that their behavior of wandering off at night and making excuses for will absolutely get them killed, they do not belong in Vacuo. Velvet timidly reminds Fox that they, the rest of his team, don't belong in Vacuo either.

    That's when another bombshell is dropped. The source of the emotion bombs? The Grimm attacks? It's Gus, as he tearfully confesses. Obviously, there's more than half of a book left to go, so it's doubtful that it's that simple. But we'll get there another time.

    Closing thoughts for this chapter: This is probably the first time I've seen the existential threat of the Grimm laid so bare. Carmine, ostensibly a Huntress, someone who's literal job is to keep people safe from Grimm is quick to call emotional people a liability. The physical threat that the Grimm represent is so great that people are willing to turn on one another, making people fear their friends, neighbors and even their own feelings. Damn.

    Speaking of Carmine, she and Bertilak seem an odd breed of Huntsmen. It could be that they're older and more jaded than our idealistic heroes, but it seems like they really have no interest in keeping people safe at all. Not to draw too sharp a line of comparison, but we've seen older Huntsmen in the show, we've seen cynical Huntsmen, we've seen inept Huntsmen. None of them seemed quite as disdainful as these two are. Carmine and Bertilak, both I and the fashion police have placed you on notice.


    It's Chapter Five next time, let's see what's what.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    I feel like I've been putting this off for a while, It's Chapter Five time. So here we go...

    Spoiler: Chapter Five
    Show
    Our Chapter opens with Coco overhearing Ruby shouting at Weiss. That's right, it's a flashback chapter. Oh boy.

    So what happened? Ruby spilled fruit punch on Weiss's very expensive dress. Ruby apologizes profusely and even offers to get it cleaned. Also, Ruby has no idea how much designer clothing costs because she makes her own clothes. It's also relevant to note that Coco digs Ruby's look-- see, Coco doesn't trust anyone that doesn't know how to dress. Weiss storms off to her her team's room in a huff, Coco joins up with Ruby and gets her a replacement drink-- another fruit punch in a plastic cup with a little cocktail umbrella. She also offers Ruby some unsolicited advice. Her words.

    Coco first compliments Ruby and her team's performance during the initiation. Taking down a Nevermore is impressive, especially since they were showing off and "mugging for the camera." Hm. I'm no building inspector, but I'm thinking your fourth wall is showing some cracks. Evidently Coco thinks that Team RWBY should dispatch Grimm faster and more efficiently. Also, the whole school was watching the initiation as it was happening. Now, you might think that "be efficient in battle" was Coco's advice. It's not. At least she's got a few more pearls of wisdom to drop on Ruby like a sack of sledgehammers. Like Ruby accidentally spilling bright red fruit punch on Weiss's white dress and apologizing for it? Yeah, Ruby shouldn't have apologized. Rookie mistake, she'll grow out of it. Coco goes on to say, never show weakness and lastly, don't be afraid to fight with a little style. Uh... maybe I'm stupid, but I'm getting mixed messages. "Don't show off, be efficient. But be stylish and have fun?" Something like that? OK... Got it?

    Ruby understandably questions Ozpin's methods of assigning teams. Because... yeah. They don't make a lot of sense. Coco disagrees though, and she tells Ruby something that Ozpin told her when she questioned his methods. I'll actually share it in full, so it's clear that I'm not misrepresenting things.

    "The world is chaotic. We try to assert order on it, try to make sense of it. We organized into four kingdoms, four schools... teams of four. But what if the only way to fight the chaos is to give into it? All your planning, all your preparation, can be undone in a moment of bad luck. Or a split second in which you make the wrong decision, or you miss your mark just so.

    "Thus, I believe that we need to embrace randomness as well, try to harness it and turn it to our advantage. We have to plan for the unexpected, prepare ourselves for situations we never could have anticipated or trained for. You and I are having this conversation because of a lifetime of choices and seemingly unrelated occurrences that nonetheless shaped who we are and what lead us here.

    "The fact that two people met by chance and fell in love and had a daughter named Coco Adele is remarkable, don't you think? I do. Make no mistake, there is a higher power guiding our actions. Call it Fate. Call in Destiny. Call it the gods. Or maybe it's simply the randomness of existence. Whatever it is, I have to trust that we are here for a reason, and while my methods might be unorthodox, they haven't failed me yet."

    Ruby comments that it's "deep" and maybe she should have wrote it down. Don't worry, bro. I wrote it down for you. Coco probably did to, considering that she managed to remember the whole thing word for word. Ruby for her own part has only one question-- Can Coco see with her shades on? It's seems a bit dark indoors. Unfortunately, we never learn the answer.

    Meanwhile Weiss runs into Yatsuhashi in the hallway. Literally. Hah... Fox is there too. Yatsu offers her a hand up but Weiss pushes it aside and scrambles to her feet under her own power. Because this is Weiss in her uppity mean girl that needs to be taken down a peg phase. Also, the stain on Weiss's dress looks like blood and Yatsuhashi can't stand the sight of blood. It seems like Yatsu picked and odd line of work if that's the case. Also, Weiss deliberately does not get an apology for two reasons. One, Weiss was clearly at fault for dashing around the hallways like she owns the place and Yatsu has no control over how big he is. Two... CVFY really took Coco's "never apologize" advice to heart. The encounter ends up getting both Yatsuhashi and Weiss pretty angry. Weiss is straight up ready to fight. No kidding, she goes for her rapier when she asks Fox what he's looking at and he says "nothing." He was making a blind joke, see? Hah.

    Weiss calms down after the whole "Fox is blind" thing is explained to her and hurries off to her room to change out out of her dress and asks what team these two are with. Team CVFY. This gets Weiss embarrassed because she respects status and she just got upset with some guys with a lot of it.

    How's Velvet doing? Our favorite bunny Faunus, there? Why, she's leaving the initiation party and being followed by a couple guys making rude comments which range from unfunny to just gross. Blake is here and makes her displeasure known by tripping one of the boys and going back to reading her book, The Boy Who Fell from the Sky. Is the title of the book a relevant plot detail? We'll have to wait and see. The boy that got tripped wants to know what the what, and Blake says that she doesn't appreciate what this guy has to say. Velvet momentarily considers slipping away, but decides to come back. The boy doesn't have any more rude comments for Velvet, but he does want to know who Blake thinks she is. Blake tells him. Yep. She's from that team that just got initiated and had a pretty good showing. He starts to back away, but gets wrapped up with Blake's ribbon-thingy. Blake turns to Velvet with a smirk and asks what they should do with him. Whoa! Beacon seems like a dangerous place as schools go-- so far we've had an encounter in the hallway where a weapon was almost drawn, and one where it actually was.

    Velvet says that maybe let him go? Blake obliges, kicking the boy into his friend and the two scamper off. Blake goes back to her book, but she also asks Velvet "what the hell?" Blake differs in opinion on how to deal with intolerance. Blake feels that intolerance should be met with violence, while Velvet feels that respect might get people to reform. Which is a fine subject to discuss, unfortunately doing so might end up breaching forum conduct. Thankfully Blake and Velvet don't really discuss it, and I don't think that was actually the point. I think Blake's behavior here is meant to echo Adam's and... I don't know if that makes sense for her character. If anything, Blake seems to be more about hiding and running away when she can. At the very least, it seems like it takes a lot to get her to actually confront someone. Blake does insist that Velvet stick up for herself. She even loans Velvet her book, because she thinks she'll enjoy it. Just don't fold the pages over. Blake hates dog ears. Cat joke.

    Yang shows up with three drinks, why three? Yang thinks that it's important to always have an extra. Velvet gets one of them, and if you follow the show... or more accurately the trailers for the show, you've probably guessed that Yang got Strawberry Sunrises. Non-alcoholic. Probably. Evidently two "idiots" made Yang drop her drinks the first time, which is she was late. She beat the snot out of them, see? Were they the same idiots that were giving Velvet a hard time? Possibly, though it must have been after their encounter with Velvet and Blake. Yang mentions breaking bones and neither of those two guys were complaining about broken bones. Yang loves it here because she can beat up her fellow students. Nice. And our chapter ends with our heroes toasting to new friends. Cheers.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It's not much of a secret that I find the flashbacks annoying, this time I actively disliked it. Normally, the flashbacks are a narrative cul-de-sac which doesn't add much if anything to the plot. This time, it's genuinely unpleasant. Coco's advice to Ruby is bad. Summed up as, "Don't apologize unless you really screw up, never screw up, and be stylish," is effectively telling Ruby to just be a rude little brat. Ozpin's advice that we get by way of Coco is almost worse. He doesn't address anyone's concerns but side-steps them with flowery-sounding platitudes. The actual substance of what he's saying doesn't make much sense. The world is chaotic, yes. There are things that are outside your control, yes. There are also things well within your control. Things like who gets to work with whom, so just leaving that up to random chance seems a little silly. It's never blown up in his face, apparently but I think it's probably despite his methods rather than because of them.

    Then there's... everything else. It seems like the best way to survive as a student at Beacon is to be a main character, and there's an established pecking order. Having Blake react to bullying in such an Adam-y way by threatening them with her weapon was... weird like I mentioned before. That is if that's what they were going for. Threatening violence for bullying or minor slights seems like standard practice at Beacon after all. Oh, by the way, these are the good guys.


    I'll be continuing this in Chapter Six later on. Fun times!
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-11-15 at 10:56 PM.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Time to catch up. No full chapter digestion in the thread because I don't have the time or will for that.

    Chapter three and four

    Spoiler: Chapter 3 and 4
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    Lumping these together because, much like Fury, I feel like these are the best chapters so far. Three in particular had the amazing occurrence of, aside from a bit of a repeated scene with the emotion bomb stuff, ending soon enough for me to be SURPRISED it was over! That's mpressive. We get some fighting in these chapters, though with Coco being here one of the fights is just "she shoots them and they die". Fox and Velvet (though Velvet does literally nothing) vs the giant snake was a bit more exciting... though there was a fair bit of size confusion with how big this snake is, and how much of it is left once the white head is cut off. Also "the trunk" is just a weird term to use to describe snake body.

    I'm reiterating Fury's comment that the red and green knights are on watch. Bert is clearly a **** and Carmine is callous as well, and they're both rude in a way that screams villain to me. Also the thought that RWBY adjacent material would take two mythological villains and make them not be villains is too far a stretch for me. They'd never make HEROIC Green and Red knights.


    Then... then Chapter 5. God.

    Spoiler: Chapter 5
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    Every single word here is utterly wasted. Every single scrap of character development nonsensical at best or... weird and forgotten at worst. There is a strange focus on team RWBY, who are just side characters, specifically detailing their first actual interaction with team CFVY. Let's just ignore for a second that canonically as far as the show is concerned the only time these two have ever crossed paths was almost less than one minute of seeing them coming home from a mission, and that that's genuinely the first time any of them saw them according to the show. Let's jus... ignore that.

    Why does it matter? Why does the way the various members of CFVY react to this team that's a year younger than them matter? In the text of the book, why does it matter? Well, one would argue, it's meant to show us, the reader... something. Maybe showing us some flaws the characters have, as they deal with their fellows, to contrast with how they're dealing with Bert and Carm, their elders? That's a smart idea Zodi, but did they actually do that?

    No. Coco is her typical braindead idiot self, giving some of the worst mixtures of advice you could ever give someone (and basically repeating a scene from the show only worse somehow) and then repeating verbatim one of the worst, most pretentious speeches on the beautiful nature of life's chaotic stream I've EVER seen, and trust me AS A PRETENTIOUS CHAOS IDIOT I'm INTO the idea that life is a series of hard to control pieces of order swimming in a sea of chaos, but GOD does this book make it sound so... bland and stupid. The fact that she, again, verbatim recites it word for word, is also RIDICULOUS. This is something she heard TWO YEARS AGO.

    The stuff with Yatsuhashi and Fox is... mostly them just being chill bros while the writer flexes how good they are at capturing Weiss's character voice, which is NEAT but also team RWBY are not characters in this and we have no reason to care about them in the context of this book and also WEISS'S CHARACTER VOICE IS "I'm a garbage rich kid" so NO ONE WANTS TO EXPERIENCE THAT PLEASE!! Nothing really gets done beyond reiterating the fact that CFVY is a well renowned older team, and it gets conveyed in a page long dissertation about Weiss being grumpy about being friends with Ruby instead of her personal idol, in a segment I could cut down to two lines and evoke the same or more information.

    And with Velvet, Blake, and Yang... I mean... it's RWBY approaching the racism angle again. Guess how well it gets done.

    Adding to all of this is the fact that, at random, without warning, and for no reason, we will switch who is the perspective character. All in service of... giving the team RWBY characters more thoughts, which is IRRELEVANT given the book is about CFVY. This chapter is, AT MY MOST GENEROUS, fanservice for the fans of the show. For those with passing or no knowledge of the series, this chapter is an absolute mess from beginning to end.

    The chapter ends with Velvet sharing some Strawberry Sunshine, Yang's favoured alcoholic drink, and her thinking to herself it actually tasted like strawberries and sunshine. This book has killed me.
    Last edited by LaZodiac; 2020-11-10 at 12:38 AM.


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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Are we going to do a RWBY Vol 8 thread? It had already started (Nov 7th) if you are a member and the 1st episode of Vol 8 for "free members" comes out Nov 14th.

    (I am asking this question for we need a good title for the new thread. This mind worm prompted by the Disney thread about fairy tales and witches.)
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    Are we going to do a RWBY Vol 8 thread? It had already started (Nov 7th) if you are a member and the 1st episode of Vol 8 for "free members" comes out Nov 14th.

    (I am asking this question for we need a good title for the new thread. This mind worm prompted by the Disney thread about fairy tales and witches.)
    Whatever the case is with the RWBY show thread in general, I will probably not be watching it. I couldn't do it man, the big naked genie lady dumping near 30 minutes of terrible backstory on us out of nowhere was too much. I'm officially tapping out of this particular wrestling match unless I am directly paid to do so otherwise.
    Last edited by LaZodiac; 2020-11-10 at 03:26 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    Whatever the case is with the RWBY show thread in general, I will probably not be watching it. I couldn't do it man, the big naked genie lady dumping near 30 minutes of terrible backstory on us out of nowhere was too much. I'm officially tapping out of this particular wrestling match unless I am directly paid to do so otherwise.
    The show is an exercise of masochism. I am still having fun with it. That said I was trying to psyche myself up to RE-watch Vol 7 earlier this year, and I just could not do it

    Sometimes the masochism is fun, and sometimes it is bad (but enjoyable), and other times it is pure bad form of cringe.

    Did you ever watch the Hbomberguy video about RWBY vol 1 to 3 on youtube? (RWBY Is Disappointing, And Here's Why, and it is insanely long but it doesn't feel that long while one is watching it.)

    I never posted it here due to some rules involving language and such, but it matches my feelings in a way I felt heard and felt.
    Last edited by Ramza00; 2020-11-13 at 11:21 AM.
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    The show is an exercise of masochism. I am still having fun with it. That said I was trying to psyche myself up to watch Vol 7 earlier this year, and I just could not do it

    Sometimes the masochism is fun, and sometimes it is bad (but enjoyable), and other times it is pure bad form of cringe.

    Did you ever watch the Hbomberguy video about RWBY vol 1 to 3 on youtube? (RWBY Is Disappointing, And Here's Why, and it is insanely long but it doesn't feel that long while one is watching it.)

    I never posted it here due to some rules involving language and such, but it matches my feelings in a way I felt heard and felt.
    I have seen it, and I can say it's a very good video except he cannot get off the "Monty is a dead visionary who Deserves Respect" train and I'm just shaking my head at it because a lot of the problems Miles and all brought to the show are also problems from him. A lot of the initial writing issues are directly Oum's fault because Oum had No Desire At All to write a story, so much as he wanted a loose fitting narrative to justify action set pieces. Additionally, every animation issue the show has ever had stems from the fact that he just refused to upgrade from Poser, a tool that is not supposed to be used like this.

    I also think he leans too hard in on the idea that any of Oum's work was like, objectively good. I've seen his work and it genuinely does nothing for me, even before he got big and popular. I was a kid when Haloid came out and I found it boring and a little silly. HBomb's slavering devotion to him is a little wiggly to me, is all I'm saying.
    Last edited by LaZodiac; 2020-11-10 at 04:19 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    I have seen it, and I can say it's a very good video except he cannot get off the "Monty is a dead visionary who Deserves Respect" train and I'm just shaking my head at it because a lot of the problems Miles and all brought to the show are also problems from him. A lot of the initial writing issues are directly Oum's fault because Oum had No Desire At All to write a story, so much as he wanted a loose fitting narrative to justify action set pieces. Additionally, every animation issue the show has ever had stems from the fact that he just refused to upgrade from Poser, a tool that is not supposed to be used like this.

    I also think he leans too hard in on the idea that any of Oum's work was like, objectively good. I've seen his work and it genuinely does nothing for me, even before he got big and popular. I was a kid when Haloid came out and I found it boring and a little silly. HBomb's slavering devotion to him is a little wiggly to me, is all I'm saying.
    I 100% agree, but I think that was obvious in the video. Let me rephrase that.

    Hbomberguy brand is being a fanboy at heart even if he critiques how this can lead to some weird places but also toxic places. I felt in the RWBY is disappointing video he was complementing Oum while simultaneously we as the viewer disagreeing with him as the narrator. We see the flaws that the narrator is giving “faint praise to”, the narrator is trying to be nice, to the point he is not 100% authentically honest.

    (For if you pass a line with the niceness people will just dismiss you saying you are mean, thus to skirt this issue you must become your own unreliable narrator and you need to show your critiques and rely less on declarations for declarations means the viewer and the narrator are fighting directly if they disagree.)
    Last edited by Ramza00; 2020-11-10 at 05:23 PM.
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post

    I also think he leans too hard in on the idea that any of Oum's work was like, objectively good. I've seen his work and it genuinely does nothing for me, even before he got big and popular. I was a kid when Haloid came out and I found it boring and a little silly. HBomb's slavering devotion to him is a little wiggly to me, is all I'm saying.
    What's sillier, the dancing at the end, or the idea that a Spartan is in any way a threat to Samus?

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    I 100% agree, but I think that was obvious in the video. Let me rephrase that.

    Hbomberguy brand is being a fanboy at heart even if he critiques how this can lead to some weird places but also toxic places. I felt in the RWBY is disappointing video he was complementing Oum while simultaneously we as the viewer disagreeing with him as the narrator. We see the flaws that the narrator is giving “faint praise to”, the narrator is trying to be nice, to the point he is not 100% authentically honest.

    (For if you pass a line with the niceness people will just dismiss you saying you are mean, thus to skirt this issue you must become your own unreliable narrator and you need to show your critiques and rely less on declarations for declarations means the viewer and the narrator are fighting directly if they disagree.)
    I can see that. I just think it's unnecessary, and extolling Oum as some sinless creator figure is doing disservice to the fact that he was a human being with flaws. You can be even-handed with someone who died tragically young while still pointing out that hey no actually his work was kinda not great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    What's sillier, the dancing at the end, or the idea that a Spartan is in any way a threat to Samus?
    Genuinely it has been so long since I've seen it I don't remember every detail. Silly Bollywood style dance numbers are like, the good kind of silly. I do think the idea of a Spartan being able to take Samus is a bit silly. I just remember the fighting reminding me of the food fight scene in RWBY; 100% flash and no substance at all.

    I also think the "surprise, Halo is also a girl" reveal at the end is basically the only actual reason why Haloid ever got as popular as it did. If it didn't have that twist at the end it would just be one of many animated model fight videos.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    Are we going to do a RWBY Vol 8 thread? It had already started (Nov 7th) if you are a member and the 1st episode of Vol 8 for "free members" comes out Nov 14th.

    (I am asking this question for we need a good title for the new thread. This mind worm prompted by the Disney thread about fairy tales and witches.)
    "It's a Whale of a Tale?" Y'know, on account of Salem's big ol' whale Grimm that she's riding on. Sorry, I've been having a lot of imagination fails lately.

    As for whether I'll actually watch Volume 8... eh. I'll keep my eye on the general fan community and if I catch rumor of something that seems good, I might give it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    The show is an exercise of masochism. I am still having fun with it. That said I was trying to psyche myself up to watch Vol 7 earlier this year, and I just could not do it

    Sometimes the masochism is fun, and sometimes it is bad (but enjoyable), and other times it is pure bad form of cringe.

    Did you ever watch the Hbomberguy video about RWBY vol 1 to 3 on youtube? (RWBY Is Disappointing, And Here's Why, and it is insanely long but it doesn't feel that long while one is watching it.)

    I never posted it here due to some rules involving language and such, but it matches my feelings in a way I felt heard and felt.
    I agree with Hbomberguy's general statement about the series. It would be simpler to say that RWBY is terrible, except I don't actually think that. There's been enough good moments in the show that it seems like the show could be good. So, it's definitely more accurate to say that RWBY is disappointing. Which I think is actually worse than if it were just bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    What's sillier, the dancing at the end, or the idea that a Spartan is in any way a threat to Samus?
    Spartan vs. Samus... Actually not the dumbest arguement I've ever had.

    Also, welcome both of you. Feel free to read along. Or if you'd prefer to read our recaps and point and laugh, I encourage this too.
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-11-12 at 06:36 PM.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    "It's a Whale of a Tale?
    I am fine with this title, not that my vote has anything to do with it unless I make the thread in a few days.
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    It's time for a Chapter Six. Join me on this incredible journey through the deserts of Vacuo, won't you?

    Spoiler: Chapter Six
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    After a decidedly rough time with Chapter Five, Chapter Six is mercifully not a flashback.

    We join our heroes in the Caspians' shed where the kid, Gus confessed to being responsible for the mood bombs. Where his exact meaning is elaborated upon as Velvet comforts him. Coco is a little impatient, it's implied that mood bombs are happening again, and tempers are flaring up. Also Fox's telepathy Semblance is glitching out a bit... Well, that's new. Just about everyone is openly hostile to Gus, but with Velvet's encouragement he gets into it. Gus's Semblance is the ability to block other people's Semblances. That's why Fox's telepathy was going all screwy. Gus isn't that great at controlling it, see? Anyway, the actual source of the mood bombs is Edward. His Semblance is manipulating emotions and his mind isn't what it was. Old guy's wandering off into the desert in his jammies after all. By Gus's reasoning, Edward isn't mentally sound enough to be considered responsible for his Semblance getting out of control. Gus can control it though, so that's why he considers himself to blame for the mood bombs.

    Coco is impressed and wants to know if Gus wants to train as a Huntsman. Gus isn't having it though. He is his Granddad's caretaker, after all and Edward kind of needs Gus specifically. Bertilak also wants to know what the hell since he feels like he should have been told this much earlier. I mean, Bertilak might be a crass buffoon, but he's not exactly wrong. What he'd do with this information I have no idea though. Yell at Edward until he stops mood bombing people? I don't think that'll work. Or maybe something else is at work here.

    Fox uses his telepathy to ask his team if the Caspians, Bertilak and Carmine seem suspicious. I'd say yes, but what he means specifically is that the shock from Bertilak and Carmine doesn't seem genuine, like they actually knew the whole time. Maybe. But we'll probably need to address that later.

    The mood bomb dilemma is the reason for going to the remote lighthouse on the western shore. No one is there to be affected by the mood bombs, so no one need worry. Vacuo being so sparsely populated probably helps a little. But Vacuo also seems like it's sparsely populated because everything is trying to kill you. Slate grouses a little about tourists, which mysteriously Vacuo seems to have if Velvet's shirt is anything to go by. I guess if you take a vacation in Vacuo you can be happy that you don't live in a blasted hellscape.

    Now the argument happens. While in theory isolating Edward at the lighthouse seems like a sound plan, it's also a serious gambit with the Grimm running around. If they do show up on account of Edward's volatile, out of control Semblance, there's little there to protect them. A larger settlement, like Vacuo's capitol might be better since it actually has resources to keep Edward and Gus safe. Fox even says as much. Gus can even train at the Huntsman academy there and improve his control over his Semblance. Although, as is also pointed out, what would Edward's Semblance do to a larger population? Good question actually. The book isn't clear on whether Edward and Gus left Vale before or after the whole Fall of Beacon debacle. If it was before... yeah, this might actually be a problem.

    Bertilak is quick to shoot down the idea of Gus going to a Huntsman academy, after all, look where it left Edward. Edward has been here this whole time, just oblivious to what's happening. Yatsu points out that Edward's current predicament has less to do with being a Huntsman and more to do with being... well, old. Coco's argument is that Gus needs training and Edward needs help. They won't get either in the middle of nowhere. And hey, the lighthouse and Vacuo's capitol is about the same distance of travel from where they are now. How about that? Velvet adds that they can try Vacuo first. If they can't help, the hospitals in Atlas probably can. Uh... maybe. I'll just pretend that I don't know anything about Atlas or at least give Velvet the benefit of the doubt that maybe she doesn't know either.

    Bertilak says that it's time for this team of trainees to butt-out though. He and Carmine are responsible for keeping the Caspians safe, not them. CVFY is welcome to stay and defend Feldspar, but he and Carmine are out. Coco bristles at this, dropping two undertrained civilians off to live in the wilderness is a death sentence. Bertilak doesn't mind, he's getting paid. Coco loses it and whips out her Gatling gun and tells Bertilak exactly what she thinks of him-- that he's a disgraceful Huntsman. Bertilak responds by telling her that she doesn't have what it takes to be a Huntress. Carmine decides to make an executive decision-- they're going. Now. Dragging Gus and Edward along kicking and screaming if they have to. With a little telepathic urging from Fox, Gus puts his foot down. He doesn't want to split up. However, it's Edward that's paying for Carmine and Bertilak to be here. Until Edward tells him otherwise, it's the lighthouse. Edward who, as we've covered, doesn't even seem to understand what's happening. When Coco protests, Bertilak pulls out his mace, extends the chain, and metal spikes pop out. Bertilak's weapon looks well-used and is described as having a pistol-grip... uhh... I assume that means that there's a gun built into the handle?

    Yatsuhashi has pulled out his sword, Coco is twirling her handbag, (I guess she decided to collapse her Gatling gun when I wasn't looking?) Even Velvet has her camera close on hand while asking everyone to please put their weapons away. It's a hazy Mexican standoff? Vacuan standoff? Right now the smart option is to let their emotions settle and let the effects of the mood bomb pass. Unfortunately that's when they hear screaming, running and gunfire outside. As Slate points out, the Grimm are here.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As I've mentioned before, the present day chapters are much stronger than the flashbacks. This is the case here as well. I had thought that it was a little weird that Gus admitted to being the source of the mood bombs with so much more book left, so it's no surprise that it's revealed to be not as cut and dry here. Even more so when it's suggested that Carmine and Bertilak knew all along. Evidently they thought it was necessary to keep Team CVFY in the dark about this, even mislead them a little. If nothing else, they're up to something so there's still more for our heroes to piece together.

    This is a chapter that I'd call... fine. After the Fall has had some content that's better, some content that's worse. We're probably going to see more of both before we're done here.


    Join me next time where I cover Chapter Seven and possibly learn to appreciate the taste of sand
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-11-16 at 10:33 AM.

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    Chapter six!

    Like Fury, I'll say this is a step up from last chapter; but truthfully if they HADN'T managed that, I'd have been more impressed.
    Spoiler: Chapter 6
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    In this chapter we get the reveal; Gus is a power nullifier, and Ed's ability is to fuddle with emotions. Pretty dangerous an ability to have running wild if you're not 100% in the head anymore. Honestly I'm a bit annoyed at this, and at the idea that for this entire conversation Ed is completely out of it. I've dealt with people who have... blanked, like this, and like we saw from the first time we saw Ed it's entirely possible for people suffering from dementia and memory loss to function. It feels like they've just immediately devolved his condition into "doddering brainless toddler" and I don't feel comfortable about it.

    Grousing about that aside, the major focus of the chapter is deciding on what to do with Ed and Gus, and it's clear no one in this situation is fully in control because of the building emotion bomb and Gus's inability to keep it fully controlled. It leads to some harsh words and weapons being drawn, and I get it, but... so, here's the thing. Fox and friends think Bert and Carmine are faking surprise at this reveal... and I just don't see it. Bertilak is acting exactly how we've seen him always act so far; brash and stupid and angry. Carmine likewise is acting exactly how we always have seen her; controlled, concise, and a little brutal. None of them come off as suspicious to me here. They're clearly bad people, who fully intend to abandon Gus and Ed once they are delivered to the west coast and away from civilization (unless they get more pay) but none of their actual actions and words come off as even negative. They were hired to protect Ed and Gus by Ed. They're doing that to the best of their ability. The fact that Ed is no longer fully in control of himself and thus cannot say one way or the other that they're doing it wrong is... an unfortunate reality when dealing with people who have this sort of condition.

    Also lets just cut the crap here; Coco's plan to take them to a big city is a terrible idea. The emotion bombs affect EVERYONE in this small community, there is no reason to assume it won't effect EVERYONE in a LARGE community. Given Semblances are wholly unique to each person, there isn't going to be an easy way of training Gus to be able to fully suppress Ed's powers, most likely, and... I'm sorry but there is no actual medicine that cures "brain doesn't work anymore due to age". There isn't anything that can be done here, except finding a way to minimize pain. The lighthouse plan isn't even that bad beyond the reality of "we will need supplies eventually" and "interaction with other people is important". It's a solid idea to keep danger to others caused by yourself to a minimum!

    Ultimately however, this conversation is cut short before bullets start flying; because the Grimm are attacking. Uuh oh!


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  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    Spoiler: Chapter 6
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    In this chapter we get the reveal; Gus is a power nullifier, and Ed's ability is to fuddle with emotions. Pretty dangerous an ability to have running wild if you're not 100% in the head anymore. Honestly I'm a bit annoyed at this, and at the idea that for this entire conversation Ed is completely out of it. I've dealt with people who have... blanked, like this, and like we saw from the first time we saw Ed it's entirely possible for people suffering from dementia and memory loss to function. It feels like they've just immediately devolved his condition into "doddering brainless toddler" and I don't feel comfortable about it.
    Spoiler: Chapter 6 and stuff that comes later
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    I kind of wanted to call attention to this bit in particular, because I think it's actually relevant to the thematic elements of the story. Not to jerk people around or anything, but I'll get into what those are later on. Aaand how well this story sticks the landing.


    OK, now lets have a look at Chapter Seven!

    Spoiler: Chapter Seven
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    We begin with a flashback. Because of course we do. This time it's the story of how Yatsuhashi discovered his Semblance. That of messing with memories. At eight years old, Yatsu was something of a troublemaker and found out he could use his Semblance to make his parents or grandfather forget why he was in trouble, get his allowance or dessert twice. About what you might expect an eight year old boy to do if he could mess with memories. One day Yatsuhashi's mother asked him to clean his room, his least favorite chore, so he wiped her memory of her telling him. When she asked, "What was I saying?" Yatsu suggests that she was about to tell him to play outside. Being kind of disoriented from the memory wipe and sleep-deprived from caring for Yatsu's infant sister, Hiyoko, Yatsu's mother agrees, "Yeah, play outside. That makes sense."

    And play outside Yatsu does, but when he comes back in things turn scary. Hiyoko is crying in the other room and Yatsu's mother doesn't seem to remember that she has a daughter at all. Even asking Yatsu if the neighbors have a new baby and not believing Yatsu when he explains that it's her baby. I'm not sure if she'd find it weird that the neighbors are keeping their baby in her house, but whatever. Yatsuhashi outright brings the baby out to his mother so he can see her, thankfully Hiyoko seems to like being held by Yatsu and stops crying. Yet... nothing. Yatsu's mother doesn't recognize her own baby. It's up to Yatsu to take care of his baby sister then. All things considered, he's not doing all that bad. His mother assumes that he's babysitting and thankfully shows him how to feed her since she's taken care of at least one baby before. (She's seriously not questioning why she has things for baby care in her house? OK.) After Yatsu gets Hiyoko to sleep in his arms and falls asleep as well, his mother comes to her senses and finally remembers that she has a baby daughter. Yatsu comes clean. She forgot Hiyoko because he messed with her memories. For her part, Mama-Yatsu is understanding and relieved that Yatsuhashi did his best to correct his mistake. They're still going to have to tell Yatsu's father and grandfather.

    They are understandably upset. After all, as Grandpapa-Yatsu puts it, "We are only what we remember." Papa-Yatsu even seems afraid of his son. Later a distraught Yatsuhashi calls himself a monster. Grandpapa-Yatsu has a reassurance for him though. You're only a monster if you choose to be. The person you become will be defined by the choices you make, good or bad. The flashback ends with Grandpapa-Yatsu patting our young hero on the head.

    In the present day there are Grimm all over the place. Some of them Yatsu had only ever seen from the concept art drawings in Professor Port's classroom. It's lucky that this is a book, because some of them seem like they'd look really silly. Like, a three-headed giraffe, a camel and a jackalope. What's also lucky is that Bertilak and Carmine don't seem like they want to fight right now. Now's time for a plan. It's time to get out of Dodge Feldspar. The Grimm aren't attacking the north side of the settlement, so that's their way out. Carmine, Bertilak and Velvet are responsible for getting the people of Feldspar out and keeping Edward and Gus safe. They're heading to the Capitol of Vacuo, we'll worry about how upset people will be about luring Grimm into the city after this is settled. After that's done, the Caspians can figure out where they want to go. Go Team CVB? I don't know how to pronounce that.

    What about Coco, Fox and Yatsuhashi? They're covering everyone's retreat. Go Team CFY? The plan hits a bit of a snag when Bertilak is... himself and gets Yatsu upset enough to take a swing at him. Coco gets Yatsu to stand down though, and Carmine agrees that they all need to fight the Grimm not each other. Carmine's sai can also connect to each other and extend into a bladed staff. Cool. Fox uses his telepathy Semblance to tell everyone to remain calm and move to the north of the settlement where they'll be evacuated. Using his Semblance to reach that many people takes quite a bit out of him and he falls forward, as Yatsu catches him. Yatsu asks if he's OK, Fox says that he can still fight. Yatsu says that's not what he asked, but it's good enough for him.

    I'll mostly gloss over the fight that ensues. Like other fights in this book, it might look cool if it were animated, but just having it described isn't that exciting. Highlights include Yatsu chopping a bat Grimm in half with his sword, Fox punching a camel Grimm in the hump so hard that it pops like a zit, and a three-headed giraffe Grimm using prehensile tongues to pick people up. Coco is also running low on ammo. This is a problem when you're using a weapon the goes through ammunition as a large machine gun does. And most of the people of Feldspar made it out. Hooray for life. This left Team CFY fatigued and wiped out though, and the Grimm are still following the evacuees. We even see signs that it might be getting to Coco. She takes off her shades and Yatsu gets a look at the dark circles under her bloodshot eyes. In this pretty rare look at Coco being... actually vulnerable she remarks that they could have avoided all of this. Fox offers the reassurance that they can only do their best. This reassurance does little for Coco. She wants her best to be better.

    What's the plan now? The evacuees went west from the north side of the settlement, so they go northwest to lure the Grimm away from the evacuees and regroup. With any luck they'll get the Caspians and the people of Feldspar safely to the city of Vacuo. As long as they stick to the plan. Heh.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, I did say that I'd talk about the thematic elements that seem to be emerging. Not having a degree in literature I'm not exactly qualified. I'm probably not even using the word "thematic" correctly. However, I can provide an internet hot-take on what the book is actually about. After the Fall is a story about mental illness. Between the Grimm being drawn to certain emotions which causes people to suppress and deaden those emotions and not seek help, even fearing their own feelings... it feels a lot like living with depression. Edward and Yatsuhashi's mother losing their memories and even their sense of self is about that fear of losing yourself as memories slip away. Even Coco has moments where she's worn down and almost beating herself up, maybe even downplaying her self-worth.

    When you yourself are mentally ill, it can feel tempting to isolate. Even as people in your life say that they want you around and they'll help you recover. This feels like what the Caspians' choice of either going to the city of Vacuo or the remote lighthouse in the wilderness was meant to represent.

    Now, is After the Fall a good story about mental health? Eh... I feel like it doesn't hit its mark all of the time. It's an ambitious topic for sure, but like much of RWBY it doesn't always treat its more serious topics with the care and sincerity they deserve-- see Zodi's comment about Edward regressing to a doddering toddler.


    Next time it's Chapter Eight! Another full chapter flashback! Send help.
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-11-22 at 10:03 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Chapter Sleven

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    The backstory stuff with Yatsuhashi is not that bad, but could have been in a different part of the story to have received better impact (like when he's hemming and hawing about the possibility of hurting people with his Semblance, for example). It's actually a really interesting background and explains a fair bit about his character, since his ability seems to be used by talking. He's a big silent bruiser because he's afraid of mind punching someone if he says something the right way. It's neat! In a story that was more focused on showing us who these characters are as people I might even say it'd explain why someone with this power IS using such a big smashy sword. His self hate led to him emphasizing his strength over his mental abilities.

    After the flashback we get back to the action- theoretically anyway. Narration notes there is no time to talk, and they spend upwards of around five pages standing around talking instead of fighting the monsters, up to and including Bertilak being such a **** head that Yatsu goes to take a swing at him. At least within the scope of this chapter it's never brought up that this delay right here is almost certainly why a fair number of the nameless NPCs died during this grimm attack. I hope it does get brought up, beyond the rather pithy line from Coco that "I want my best to be better". That said, it's fun to have to see, after all the fighting, that our heroes are... you know, tired. That's almost something we never see in the show.

    As for the fighting itself... it continues to be serviceable, if hard to follow at times, fight writing. Benefits from not being overly flowery this time, but still not being very punchy. And while like Fury I find some of these monster designs hilarious (three headed giraffe that is fifty feet tall!!!!) I also find them all to be kinda bad. The Grimm as an enemy has never really interested me, at most being edgy Hollow knock offs or just a regular animal but slightly spooky. The more interesting Grimm are the one that like, Do Something Actually, which none of these really are. Also as a personal note I hate that they reference Fox doing a "punch a grim and it explodes like a balloon" thing, it made no sense in the show and it makes no sense here!

    ------

    As for the thematic stuff, since Fury brought it up, I'm going to say outright that I agree. This book is definitely About This. It's just that... that is the absolute limit of its scope though. It is About Mental Issues in much the same way a hamburger is About Beef. The content exists- it has nothing to say. Not even going to say "nothing of value" because it hasn't SAID anything yet. It is just a thematic thing that exists; memory sure is a thing huh? Velvet has sad memories of those photos of hers, and doesn't want to use up and lose them. Yatsuhashi can wipe memory from a person, possibly changing who they ARE. Edward... is a plot device who alternates between fairly reasonable example of "I'm an old man" and horrible stereotypical "people with dimentia aren't alive" and there is no real in-between on that.

    Ultimately it will matter how this book shakes out... but for reference we're half way in and as Fury teases next chapter is a full chapter flashback to Before The Fall, so... you know. I'm reading the room here, so to speak.


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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    Been kind of neglecting this thread, but I have been doing my reading. In any case, it's time for a write up on Chapter Eight. Let's dig in.

    Spoiler: Chapter Eight
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    As I mentioned in my last post, this is a flashback chapter. Oh boy. In particular it's about teams CVFY and RWBY planning the Beacon Dance, which you got to see if you watched Volume 2. CVFY was originally tasked with planning the event, but Coco had signed them up for an extra mission. No biggie, they should be done with more than enough time to finish up planning for the dance. Forgot to knock on wood there, Coco. Velvet thinks that it's a good idea to have a backup plan though, so she gets Yang and Weiss in the planning. Coco is raring to go, and reminds her team that a Bullhead is waiting for them. From later chapters I found that a "Bullhead" is one of those aircraft we see in early seasons of the show. I forget if that's ever mentioned in the show itself, maybe one someone deeper into RWBY lore than me can help me out here?

    Now, it's important to mention that the Beacon Dance is an important social event. Or at least Weiss thinks so. Second only to the Vytal Festival. Our characters disagree somewhat on which is more fun, fighting or dancing. Yatsuhashi and Ruby seem to be firmly on the side of "fighting is fun." Yang remarks that dancing is like fighting, but with music and... hormones?

    Ruby's got her own idea of how to make this dance extra fun. Instead of the Beacon Dance, what if it were the Beacon Battle Club? It would be good practice for the upcoming tournament and they could play music while they actually fight. Ruby remarks that all the best fight scenes on TV have awesome rock songs playing that reflect the themes of the episode and the hidden yearnings of the characters. I actually hit myself in the face with the book when I read that.

    Velvet gets Yang and Weiss up to speed on what the decorations should be like. Weiss adds doilies to the list which previously included streamers, tablecloths and flowers. Yang nixes the idea, pointing out that doilies are absurd and elitist. "Doily" is a funny word. Doily, doily, doily.

    Now, as those of you that are familiar with this book or reading along with me noticed, Fox's characterization is a little surprising. In the show, he doesn't have enough screen-time to really establish his character and the book presents him as kind of snarky with a sardonic sense of humor. Ruby points this out as well. Every team needs its comic relief as Fox notes. This sends Ruby into a spiral of existential dread. Is she her team's comic relief? No, impossible! After all, Yang's got puns, I guess? And Weiss has gotten a few zingers in? Also Ruby's the team leader. Leaders can't be comic relief. Fox brings up Jaune as a rebuttal. "I am the comic relief!" Ruby declares in despair.

    Don't worry, Ruby. I don't think you're funny.

    Meanwhile as roles for organizing the dance are discussed, Blake has fallen asleep behind a textbook. A textbook that's hiding the fact that she's reading smut. This is when it's revealed that Blake actually has shared the fact that she's a cat Faunus with CVFY. Fair enough, I guess. There's not much else that's factually true about Blake aside from that. This is during the time that Blake was worried to death about The White Fang and Torchwick and was in serious danger of burning herself out. Yatsuhashi remarks that Blake must have needed a catnap. Velvet is there to point out that's not a cool thing to say. Using animal puns to refer to Faunus? Not cool.

    Yang thinks that there should definitely be a fog machine. Weiss and Team CVFY are not having it. CVFY leaves on their mission, which of course they'll be back in a few days. Yes, sir. A few days. That's when they'll be back.

    Coco ducks her head in at the last moment to say, "No fog machine."

    And that's the end of our chapter.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What can I really even say about this chapter? Nothing much happens. If you like this book's humor, there's plenty of that I suppose. If you don't, there's not much here for you. The structural stability of the fourth wall seems greatly compromised as well. Maybe we should have that looked at. It's not immediately obvious since I'm going through this book chapter by chapter but there is a segue into the next chapter, and the format that I've chosen kills that a little bit.


    Stay tuned for Chapter Nine. It's back to sandy-land.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club 2-- Reading RWBY: After The Fall

    O h b o y. Chapter Eight!

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    There's really not much I can say about this chapter that Fury hasn't already put quite well; this chapter exists purely and solely to segue into the next chapter, and it does so in the flimsiest senses. It continuously does that thing where it bounces around who is actually the POV character, all so we can... learn more about what team Not Appearing In This Book has to think. It's gotten to the point of genuine irritation.

    To put it bluntly, the fourth wall breaking humour/allusions to the show proper have also entered that realm. It was cute to see Fox go "man this catapulting us into a death forest business sure is silly" but I mean, it's just not that funny. It's this strange attempt at creating sadly-ironic-in-retrospect flares into a book that... genuinely does not need them. Less elbow poking about "hey did you get that we're referencing the thing we referenced the thing" and more actual plot and characterization, please. And for our protagonists, please, I beg of you. There are interesting things we can do with these characters!

    The fact that I've had to say that twice in my experiencing RWBY, and know for a fact I'd be saying it more so if I was watching the show proper, is disheartening.


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