RWBY: Ice Queendom is an action/fantasy anime produced by Shaft. Having been infected by one of the GRIMM Nightmares, Weiss fell into a deep, coma-like sleep. Determined to save her teammate, Ruby has entered her dream with the help of Shion. But Ruby may not be ready for what she finds within the realm of Weiss’s mind in RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 4.
Coming out of the series’ initial three-episode drop, Weiss is easily the most complicated character. Torn between the expectations of her family and her own goals in life, the girl comes off frequently as aloof and cold. The choice to take the series into her mind and explore who she is feels like a good one. But, just as trying to get a clear picture of who Weiss is on the outside is difficult, finding the real Weiss within the dreamscape that has been tainted by the GRIMM Nightmare doesn’t look like it’ll be a walk in the park for Team RWBY’s fearless leader either.
The first imagery we get from RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 4 is one of Ruby, garbed in her usual red and black, standing in the middle of an endless blanket of snow. The blue tinge of everything around her gives the landscape a cold, unwelcoming feeling. Ruby never ceases to stand out throughout this episode, as most of her surroundings fit in with the cold and dispassionate landscape we are greeted with.
Even though the bulk of the imagery we see in Weiss’s dream is cold and distant feeling, we are treated with a vibrant and radiant sky above it all. The deep purple hue that the sky takes feels completely contradictory to the world below it. Hopefully, a subtle sign of the complexities that are to be found within Weiss herself.
While the bulk of this episode’s time is spent with Ruby as she attempts to navigate the maze-like city that dominates Weiss’s dream, we do get to spend some time with Weiss herself. What we are shown here is the cold, authoritative proper heiress Weiss is “supposed” to be. While I presume this will ultimately be shown to be a mask over what the young woman truly is, I hope the series can layer a fair amount of nuance into Weiss’s complicated personality.
The only thing that weakens RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 4 look into Weiss’s subconscious is the reason for it. Due to the presence of the Nightmare that is infecting her, what is naturally Weiss and what is present due to the Nightmare’s influence is unknown. This feels like it will ultimately muddy the waters around what is shown and allow the series to write off anything negative in Weiss’s mind. While I think Weiss will ultimately come to be a good character with emotional struggles due to her upbringing, I think it would be perfectly fitting if she was allowed to have some negative sides to her and not just have them written off as the Nightmare’s influence.
The visual designs throughout continue to deliver the eye-catching pop that was present in the opening episodes. The animation is smooth and the brief moments of combat have all the style to them I could ask for.
When all is said and done, RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 4 begins the next arc of the series with an excellent setup and opening look into the mind of the show’s most complicated character. I hope nothing gets held back as Ruby’s attempt to free Weiss from the Nightmare dives deeper into who Weiss is.
RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 4 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 4
RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 4 begins the next arc of the series with an excellent setup and opening look into the mind of the show’s most complicated character. I hope nothing gets held back as Ruby’s attempt to free Weiss from the Nightmare dives deeper into who Weiss is.