Spoilers of RWBY Season 1-8.
One of the most interesting things about the world of RWBY is how much, we as viewers, don’t get to experience. Neopolitan is hands down one, if not my favorite waifu of the series narrowly beating out Weiss, and here is the kicker, we know little to nothing about her. The mute, illusion casting, parcel combating lass is a well-regarded villain but where she comes from and why she fights for who she does is shrouded in mystery. This isn’t isolated to just Neo, however, Raven Branwen, the bandit mother of Yang is another character that has a brief moment in the spotlight, but in general, is cast just as a simple coward. But even with those two, there is a whole team that we end up seeing little of, the glimpse being brief but dope. I am talking about the ace team of Beacon, Team CFVY.
The first time we really see this team in action is after the White Fang, along with Roman Torchwick highjack a train leading a mob of Grimm out of the underbelly and into the city outside of Beacon. An event titled ‘Breach’. To protect the citizens, RWBY and many other teams from Beacon are deployed. It is at this moment we see an airship carrying the team leader, Coco, dropping moments before transforming her weapon, Gianduja from its subtle carry bag into a massive gatling cannon, as the team dispatches the Grimm. We are left with this moment for a while as the next time we see the team is in the duo brackets of the tournament arc, Coco and Yatsuhashi getting their butts handed to them by Emerald and Mercury.
Fast forward to The Fall Of Beacon, the story shifts heavily away from this interesting and talented team, focusing on RWBY as they struggle with coping and figuring out their next move. Blake trying to find her way knowing the White Fangs part in the event, Yang’s PTSD of losing her arm, Weiss’s room imprisoned by her father leaving the youngest Ruby, to figure it all out. It is at this point in the story we don’t really know what CFVY is up to, or even where they are. That is where RWBY After The Fall novel comes in, and that is what I’m here to talk about.
After The Fall follows Coco, Fox, Yatsuhashi, and Velvet as they leave Beacon a lost cause to continuing their training at Shade Academy. In the middle of Vacou, it is a part of Remnant that is known for being desolate and unforgiving. Answering a distress call CFVY finds themselves in the ever-shifting dunes, tasked with aiding nomads as they venture through Grimm and beast-covered lands. What starts as a seemingly simple search and rescue becomes more complicated as the ever-moving village finds themselves experiencing ‘mood bombs’ random times where negative feelings swell within them, causing fights and direly, attracting Grimm. As CFVY delves into solving this crisis while reflecting on themselves and the team as a whole, the book paints a neat and interesting picture of what is occurring during the show but for the other huntsman in Remnant.
I think that is where the real value of the novel series lies, in the fact it follows the order of the show but in different locations, referencing back to events of team RWBY overcoming. With this type of narrative, we can experience the story adjacent to what is happening within the show, the assuming outcome they will once merge. This assumption of course coming from the fall of Atlas that lead to the refugee flooding into the deserted area that is Vacou. As far as reads go, I was pleasantly surprised by how well, though simplistic, the story was told. Both books one and two, the second being Before The Dawn, still follow Coco Inc but adds Sun and Team SSSN since he decided to reunite with his crew after hanging out with Blake for a season. Book two of the series is more or less a continuation of the two teams, focusing more on SSSN which honestly just means I cared a lot less.
If you are an RWBY fan, find yourself wanting to know more about CVFY, their back story, and what they are up to in correlation to the show, the novel series does a really good job of painting that picture. What is even more important in my opinion, is the release of book three that is coming this September 2021. We, as a community, are finally getting the back story of dear Neo, a book I’ve already pre-ordered and know damn well will be talking about here as soon as I can.
As always, thanks for the read!