RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 5

RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 5

Positive and Negative Weiss

RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 5 wasn’t a good episode. I haven’t been a fan of the series so far. But, it’s been tolerable. Now that we’re 5 episodes in, I can feel my tolerance beginning to wane. Unless there’s some crazy animation, I’m not all that interested.

At the start of the episode, we get an explanation of Positive Weiss and Negative Weiss. Positive Weiss is the real Weiss. Negative Weiss is the Weiss that resides within the dream world. Why is this an important distinction to make, though?

For us, this distinction doesn’t matter all that much. We know the difference between the real Weiss and the dream Weiss. But, for Ruby and the gang, the line between what’s real and what’s fake is blurry. To them, it feels like the Weiss they meet within the dreamscape is real. How she acts could be how the real Weiss feels.

Positive and Negative Weiss from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 5
Positive and Negative Weiss

This is why the distinction is important. Team RWBY needs to remember that Negative Weiss is not their friend and team member. Negative Weiss only exists in the dream world because of the Nightmare’s influence. It could be problematic if they mistake Negative Weiss for the real thing.

Now, I don’t like the names Positive and Negative Weiss. This implies that the two are complete opposites. But, that’s not actually the case. Instead, Negative Weiss is an extreme manifestation of Weiss’s negative thoughts and emotions. It’s not the real her but it’s not entirely fake either.

Although it’s a bit cliché, Dark Weiss is a better name for Negative Weiss. Having a normal Weiss and a Dark Weiss doesn’t come with the same polar opposite implication. Or, they could even call her Dream Weiss. The name doesn’t matter as long as there’s a distinction.

Team RWBY Enters the Dreamscape

After settling on a name for Negative Weiss, all 3 remaining members of Team RWBY enter the dream world. For the first reconnaissance mission, Ruby went on her own. It was better to send only one person in to avoid detection.

Now that they have a pretty good idea of where the Nightmare resides, it’s time to take it out. And for that, the whole team is going to be necessary. Though, Ruby initially tries to convince Blake and Yang to let her go in alone again.

It’s a good thing Blake and Yang didn’t listen to Ruby. Ruby blew through her coins the first time around. And she was going to do the same this time, as well. But, Blake and Yang were able to stop her from wasting her coins. She wanted to use one almost immediately.

Blake, Ruby, and Yang in the dreamscape from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 5
Blake, Ruby, and Yang in the dreamscape

Another good reason for Blake and Yang tagging along is that they’re far stronger than Ruby. Well, at least they are within Weiss’s dreams. I guess this explains why Weiss doesn’t view Ruby as being fit to be the team leader. She views Ruby as the weakest of the bunch.

This also brings up a question about how Ruby’s weapon manifested within the dream. Does it fire out of the wrong end because Weiss thinks Ruby would get mixed up like that? Or, does it fire out of the wrong end because Weiss doesn’t understand how it works? I hope it’s the latter.

Finally, Blake and Yang are also the ones who make finding the city’s interior possible. Ruby spent all her initial time in the dream wandering around lost. Blake and Yang are much more observant. Ruby may be the leader, but those two know what they’re doing.

RWBY Is Pretty Cringe

No part of the episode was particularly good. But, the worst part of the entire thing was the part with Pyrrha. And that’s unfortunate because I’d say Pyrrha is one of the better characters so far. At least this bad part involved dream Pyrrha and not real Pyrrha.

Ruby finds Pyrrha in Silly Jail — the jail for sillies, of course. The last time Ruby found herself at a Silly Jail, the other 3 members of Team JNPR were there. But, notably, Pyrrha wasn’t. I assumed this was because Weiss didn’t view Pyrrha as a “Silly.”

Now that we’ve seen Pyrrha is in Silly Jail too, I don’t know what to think. But, that’s irrelevant right now. What I actually want to complain about is Pyrrha breaking out into song. Randomly breaking out into song is cringe. And so is the stuff Pyrrha was singing about.

Pyrrha Nikos in the dreamscape from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 5
Pyrrha Nikos in the dreamscape

Pyrrha’s song was all about being lonely and included a lot of mirror symbolism. Her song was about how Weiss feels. And the problem I have with this is that we didn’t need this spelled out for us. The song adds nothing other than making Weiss’s feelings very clear.

Was this something we needed? Not at all. How Weiss feels should be clear enough from the way she acts. We can infer her feelings from her interactions with her teammates and others around her. And we can also infer this from what the world in her dreams looks like.

I hate when series go out of their way to explain the obvious to the viewer. You’ve definitely heard this before, but it’s better to show than to tell. And the fact that Pyrrha had to explain what was obvious to us in with a song made it much worse.


What do you think of RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 5? Do you have a better name for Negative Weiss? Which of Team RWBY’s dreamscape designs do you like the most? And how do you feel about spontaneously breaking out in song? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 6 is available now.

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