RWBY Volume 6 trailer focuses on Adam’s story
The Sixth Volume of RWBY by Rooster Teeth will premiere in October, but they gave us a tantalizing nugget to pacify us in the meantime. Adam is probably one of the most universally disliked characters in the RWBY canon. He was an abusive boyfriend to Blake. He helped turn both Blake and Ilia into terrorists, he brutally murdered his leader Sienna Khan (I’m still salty), and perhaps most offensive: he cut off Yang’s arm.
Let’s see a bit of his story up until now.
We get a lot here, but I’m going to start with SIENNA KHAN!! The tiger Faunus was built up as the leader of the White Fang civil rights organization gone terrorist, but she was summarily killed off seemingly without a care. In this seven-minute video, we see her in her prime before she led the White Fang, and as she became more violent in her ways, and ultimately died for encouraging Adam too far down this dark path.
This short initially reveals how Adam was the blunt instrument they needed to save themselves when attacked by militantly bigoted humans. He saved the life of Ghira Belladonna, but killed somebody in the process. Dark choice, but ultimately forgivable, especially in fiction, nobody likes bigots. This section was fascinating to see Adam, Sienna, and Ilia fighting alongside the pacifistic Ghira. This was probably a few years in the past. Ilia was probably just out of middle school years.
We then see him across the years as he becomes more and more violent. Blake Belladonna shows fear towards his increasing ‘accidents’ on missions when he spills blood.
We even see Ilia take off her mask in something akin to fear during a raid on the Schnee Dust Company’s train as Adam cuts down their attackers without mercy until Sienna cautions him to stop.
The action set pieces here are nice. They demonstrate Sienna, Ilia, and Adam’s brutal efficiency against multiple opponents, something we haven’t seen before. The color scheme goes from lighter hues to the blood red we now associate with Adam. Neither have we seen a White Fang raid led by three named characters, so that was nice.
The last bit we see is caught up to the current time as he limps away from the fight at Haven Academy, where both his proteges Blake and Ilia defied his ideology once and for all, sending him scurrying into the jungle, having lost everything.
As he limps away from the camera, his mask falls, and he doesn’t turn to pick it up. (Also, this image destroys a fan theory that Adam was actually a twisted human, that his horns were artificial and attached to the mask. They are not.)
A symbolic shift towards something positive? Perhaps. I’m not ready for an Adam redemption arc. But I’d be amenable for him to end up as an enemy of the Enemy to everyone that is Salem. I don’t want the writers to try and brush his past horrors under the rug by writing the other characters as somehow miraculously forgiving him.
But as Avatar Aang would say, “When we are at our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”
It’s also worth pointing out that this short is the first time we see real blood as a result of violence. Is this a darker turn for the series? But I’m jumping to conclusions.
RWBY returns October 25 in theaters and October 27 on their website.