Family (RWBY) – Overly Animated Podcast #278

By: Dylan Hysen


Dylan Hysen and Delaney Stovall discuss ChapterĀ 4 of Volume 4 of RWBY, “Family”.

Dylan is a software developer from the DC area who hosts the Overly Animated podcast discussing everything animation.



  1. Jon says:

    During your podcast this week, you touched on the fact that we haven’t heard much of Ruby’s story since season one. As I started thinking about this,it occurred to me that Ruby and Cinder don’t actually have their own stories. They act primarily as major chess pieces in a larger story about Ozpin and Salem. Within the context of the show, Ruby and Cinder are the tools that Ozpin and Salem hope to use to bring about their ends.

    Think about it. If you look at Seasons 1 through 3 as an introduction arc, the arc begins and ends with a conversation between Ozpin and Salem. In that extended conversation, Salem indicates that Ozpin is relying on a spark of hope to unite humanity in common cause. Salem on the other hand seems to be attempting to divide humanity into warring factions and defeat them one by one. Divide and conquer.

    Following Salem’s lead, Cinder has destroyed the communications tower, dividing the kingdoms. Using the White Fang, she’s increased the disharmony between the Faunus and the Humans. She’s scattered the students of Ozpin’s school across the continents. By taking over the Atlas military and attacking Vale, she’s created animosity between Atlas and Vale. To this point, all of Salem’s plans have been revealed and realized through Cinder. But we have no idea of what Cinder’s backstory is, nor do we know why she is helping Salem.

    Ruby is nearly identical, but on the other side of the coin. She is clearly Ozpin’s spark of hope. Her team RWBY united characters from Atlas (Weiss), Menagerie (Blake) and Vale (Yang). In fact, Ozpin’s method for getting them together was intentionally random, to help ensure that people from different walks of life had to interact with each other.

    From that point on, Ruby has been the driving force to go after the bad guys. She united her team to track down Torchwood to his hideout in the southeast. She discovered that Emerald and Mercury were still on campus after they had supposedly left to attend to Mercury’s fake injuries from Yang. When Phyrra was down after killing Penny and no one was doing anything, Ruby picked up Penny’s sword and fought back — the spark that led to all of the other student’s following her lead. Finally, instead of giving up and going home (like Weiss, Blake and Yang), Ruby got the remnants of team JNPR together to continue to take the fight to Salem (even though Ruby doesn’t even know who Salem is).

    So my point is simply this: to the extent that Ruby is driving people forward to Mistral or wherever just because that’s where the bad stuff is, we’re seeing Ruby’s story. She doesn’t have a backstory. She doesn’t have complicated personal reasons for being a huntress. She doesn’t care that her eyes make her super-powered, so she doesn’t sit around and dwell on what that means. She sees something that’s wrong, and she just moves forward to fix it. That’s her story. Every time we’ve seen Team RNJR or Team WTCH this year, we’ve been discovering the Ozpin / Salem story, and Ruby is at the center of it.

    That’s my $.02. Thanks for listening.

    • Dylan Hysen says:

      Really interesting stuff Jon! I could totally see this as what they’re going for on a big-picture level. And I think it could turn out to be really fulfilling in the end! Right now it’s probably hard to appreciate it, because we enjoy this show on such a micro week-to-week level, but yeah potentially I underestimate how much is going on on a big picture and thematic level.

  2. Steve says:

    I am glad Yang is doing better, though this is not over, this will never be over, remember when Korra was cured after Toph’s training and than you know what happened in the Zafou battle.

    I think someday down the line, Yang is going to fight Raven, is has to happened. Yang owes her for abandon when she was a baby.

    But Yang’s parents they look so young, Yang at least is going to age well. I am sorry every time I see Yang and her dad, I think that is her older brother.

  3. MrBabynova says:

    No, thank you for reading and thoughtfully replying, that is the rarest thing there is on the internet! Really appreciate these different takes on the show that I love and it broadens the viewing scope I watch it in!

  4. MrBabynova says:

    I actually didn’t mind Tai Yang, becuz from the start I already knew that not all of these characters are great, but I like to rationalize to myself why they are like this, and looking at Tai Yang it sorta makes sense? I mean his trauma isnt the same as Yang losing an arm, but its pretty damn similar. He opened his heart out to a woman, conceived a child with her, and it may have been a fling, but to know that she basically dumped her child onto your doorstep and disappeared leaves a scar in someone. He named his daughter his little sun dragon and while cute it’s a little disconcerting given what happened. Then he opens up his heart to another woman, heal up and conceived another child, and then she dies. Surely losing a physical arm is a lot different than losing a wife, but he lost two wives, one when he was probably a young confused teenager, and another time when he was a young man trying to come to grips with his new responsibilities and fixing battered sensibilities. And we know he ‘shut down’ after Ruby’s mom died, and we know Yang nearly died if it wasn’t for Qrow. And we know how Qrow is, and most likely he’d been standoffish with Tai when he brought the kids back. It was probably Qrow saying words like that influenced him into getting better, (I.e becoming more attached to his children) and given what was shown of Qrow, that he lived in a pretty sadistic village, then you can see where the problem arises. It’s not excusable, but hey we all do things that aren’t excusable, after all, no one is iinfallible. I do think Miles writing is still a problem, but the thing is there is enough breadcrumbs for me to be able to reationalise it on a more wider angle, given everything I know of the characters. This is all conjecture on my part, but at this point we all have to rationalise it somehow when the show doesn’t do it for us. And while I know a lot of people don’t Winter (i love her though) and I know a lot of people also don’t like Qrow, I think since Volume 3, this show has been showing a lot of how abusive raising can go for people. Sure people can be productive members of society, and can still be sensible people, but at the same time you can tell they’re damaged on the inside. HOw Winter casually resrots to physical abuse yet shows obvious care for Weiss, a lot of people shout abuse, and blame Winter for it, but it definitely goes way back. In the end the person behind them affect the person in front of them, and whether voluntarily or not, RWBY actually portrays this very well. Also, this is a guess on my part, but apparently Miles was very hyperactive as a child and was bullied for it? Perhaps because people thought it was effeminate of him? I don’t know, it seems like a complex for him honestly, because his humor on live shows is a lot more “I’m HERE’ type of jokes.

    • Dylan Hysen says:

      This is a great defense of Tai Yang and I can totally buy it. I’m definitely fine with presenting him as a flawed character, but like we talked about on the podcast I think the bigger problem is the show as a whole taking on his viewpoint.

      • MrBabynova says:

        Yea that does seem like a very obvious problem. But honestly speaking I’m pretty sure most of the general RWBY public don’t take things at face value, either because they don’t trust Miles or because the show is so vague they instinctively try to come up with theories on their own. And hey, if it’s one thing the RWBY community has, is massive dung piles full of theories. Also, just a moral question, and i’m really sorry if I appear offensive, because that is not my intention, but does Dellany just not like male characters, at least in RWBY particular? I’m bringing this up because I showed this to a friend, and he seems deadset on Dellany being a misandrist. Mostly being how, when she brought how she didn’t care about RNJR, she brought up Nora in specific (he’s perfectfly fine with Jaune bashing but Ren didn’t seem like he deserved to be ecluded from his quintessential pair with Nora) and the comment of Tai Yang at the end where she says she didn’t appreciate it kinda baffles me. I mean, contextually, Tai Yang can’t just go running off to find Ruby when Yang is struggling at home, and he can’t call on people to help because most likely they’re all working to fix Beacon, so the line was just there to explain why he can’t chase after Ruby. At least, that’s how I see it. I’m not in any way discrediting any real feministic issues in the show, and while the show does make a habit of putting in male characters, they are still one shot cardboard cutouts, for the most part, and seem to exist purely for the amusement of the audience and the girls themselves. I also agree that they are all useless, but Tai Yang isn’t yet proven useless, and that dialogue isn’t exactly there for no reason. He is a dad after all, and there should be a reason why he isn’t chasing after his own daughter. I mean audience wise, we do know Qrow is tailing her, but world wise, neither Yang or Ruby knows that. I hope my reasoning is enough to explain my intentions. I do believe that women should receive more equal standing, but I also don’t beleive in fighting bigotry with bigotry. But I don’t believe it is so, and is mostly miswording or humor on her part. You know coming from the internet and from the crash course of 2016, people like that do tend to pop up a lot nowadays and I’ve grown wary of them.

        • Dylan Hysen says:

          It’s all character-specific. No, neither of us hate male characters, obviously. Both of us are frustrated with the typical way males are presented in shows, either annoyingly cocky or hyper-masculine. Neither of those types of characters are sympathetic to me and that’s a loooot of male characters. Delaney doesn’t hate Ren, she just isn’t interested in seeing him that much, and I agree for the most part. Same thing with Tai Yang, when we say he’s useless, we mean his function as a character in the context of the show. Not like, hate him as a person. There’s just not a lot of sympathetic male characters for us on this show. I’ve grown on Sun a lot but he’d be outside my top 10 characters or whatever. I guess check out our Star or SU coverage for male character love as Steven and Marco are two of our favorites. Also: loving female characters and being frustrated by the way male characters are presented isn’t misandry, that’s really BS and not good thoughts, but yeah.

          • MrBabynova says:

            Yea I do think that is something of a problem and am happy you’ve cleared that up. I’ve gotten very wary over the stretch of 2016 stomping into misandristic wet lands and I’ve started to grow split ends at the people I’ve encountered over the span of this year. As a guy myself, it’s a little bit of a sore point for me, I have no problem with frustration over how males are presented in media, and I pretty much agree that, overall, there is a problem with how male characters are presented in this era. It’s just that most of my thick skin has been whittled down to absolutely nothing the more I wander into landmines. I apologise greatly if I upset you in any way, criticism in general is very hard to find nowadays and I don’t mean to interrupt that for you guys in any way.

          • Dylan Hysen says:

            No it’s definitely okay, it was a good discussion. Thx for appreciating our coverage and thanks for having an open mind about this type of stuff, it’s pretty rare lol.

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