RWBY Volume 7 – Episode 2 ‘A New Approach’ REVIEW

What’s the next move for team RWBY?

rwby a new approach

While the previous episode was a sweet balance between story and action, A New Approach is all story, setting the board for future episodes in the volume. Though it may be a little dry – especially compared to the previous episode – the audience gets some much-needed answers as to where the volume is intended to go.

Obviously, spoilers ahead for RWBY.

Cultured Vultures spoilers

A New Approach starts off with the gang being dragged off to an unknown location via airship. While discussing their predicament, a fellow prisoner overhears their conversation and speaks up. It is here the audience learn that the Ace Ops who captured RWBY are not just any huntresses, but the best of the best and ‘Ironwood’s Attack Dogs’. He also points out that Mantle is being exploited by Atlas and there is a resistance movement led by a… Robyn Hill. Really? While RWBY does take a lot of its inspiration from existing fairy tales, this is just a little too on the nose. Can the audience expect an episode where this resistance, say, robs from Atlas and gives to the people of Mantle?

However, as the prisoner points out, the airship doesn’t take them to prison but instead, Atlas Academy. Here, the group are taken to Ironwood for a meeting. Despite the initial brutality of their introduction to Atlas, the general welcomes the group with open arms. Winter Schnee also makes her first reappearance since her short time in volume 3. Though she and baby sister Weiss get a wholesome reunion, she seems a lot colder as a person than she was when the audience first was introduced to her character. However, the wholesomeness doesn’t stop there: Ironwood and Qrow share a hug at the end of this scene. More to the point, Ironwood runs the gang up to speed on his plan: without Ozpin there to lead them, he has taken his own initiative as to the next steps in the war against Salem.

Firstly, he plans to take the Amity Arena (which also hasn’t been seen since volume 3) and turn it into a communications satellite, re-establishing global contact over Remnant. After that, he plans to tell the world about the secret war against Salem, hence why he pulled back the military, to quell any panic that may arise from the situation. Clearly, anyone can see this is going to be a huge point of conflict in the future. Qrow also reveals to Ironwood that Oscar is Ozpin’s future incarnation and though he isn’t speaking at the moment, Ironwood promises to protect Oscar. Judging by the opening animation however, we can only assume this arrangement isn’t going to go well either, especially considering what we’ve seen of Ironwood’s judgment in the past.

However, team RWBY agree to help in Ironwood’s plan, and in exchange, Ironwood promises upgrades to the team’s equipment, as well as giving the relic of knowledge back to Ruby. This seems counter intuitive: wasn’t Ironwood dead set on recovering all of the relics in the third volume? Why would he give back an item he sees as key in the war effort back to what are basically children in his eyes? With that being said, it will be exciting to see the new costume changes for this volume. Plus, it’s nice to see elements that have been left in previous volumes making a comeback and making the series come full circle.

The Ace Ops briefly reconvene with RWBY before they are given a tour of Atlas Academy campus, apologising for their initial encounter as well as expressing how they are looking forward to working alongside team RWBY. Though they aren’t given much development, it will be interesting to see how this team will fit into the rest of the story.

The final scene of A New Approach shows the antagonists of the piece finally rearing their heads. The camera follows Doctor Watts as he travels through the streets of Mantle, communicating with Tyrian. It is here the audience learns that the reason the code that caused so much disaster in the past was so easily manipulatable because Watts helped write it. That, and despite all the events of that have occurred throughout the world of Remnant, Atlas still haven’t bothered to change their code up. Really? The most technologically advanced civilisation in this universe and they don’t bother to change up their code for protection after a terrorist attack?

A New Approach closes with blood running out from under a door that Tyrian just walked out of. We get it. He’s a dangerous psycho. Anyone who has been following the series knows this. However, that also means that the likelihood of RWBY and the two antagonists bumping into each other has grown that much higher. Also, does Watts still work for the Atlas military or are they aware of his betrayal? Throughout this sequence, certain cameras and traffic equipment is being altered throughout the area as he walks by. Is he simply doing this so that he can’t be placed in those locations in the future or is it a mild taunt?

Compared to the first episode – which had a nice balance of story, action and exposition – A New Approach at best is fairly slow and at its worst, a little boring. No doubt the pacing will pick up in future episodes, but this was a fairly weak one. With that being said, it does catch up the audience on necessary details about where the story is going to go, just at a leisurely pace.

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rwby a new approach
A New Approach is a quieter episode that arranges the rest of the volume but needs a little more thought in its delivery.