She first appeared in the "Black" Trailer alongside Adam Taurus, her then-boyfriend, partner, and mentor in the White Fang, a Faunus terrorist group. After leaving the organization, Blake enrolls in Beacon Academy, where she becomes a member of Team RWBY alongside Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee and Yang Xiao Long.
Original (Volumes 1-3)Edit
Blake is a young girl of light complexion, similar to Ruby Rose and Weiss Schnee. She has long, wavy black hair, and her eyes are amber, complemented by light-purple eye shadow flaring backwards. Her eyes are slightly tilted upwards at the ends, giving her a somewhat catlike appearance.
Blake wears a black ribbon tied in the form of a bow which she almost never takes off, even when she goes to sleep. The bow is a cover for her Faunus heritage, a pair of black cat ears.
She wears black low-heeled boots and stockings that start off black at her hips, but gradually fade to purple as they near her shoes. On the outside of her stockings, there are white emblems that are most likely belladonna flowers. She wears black ribbons on both of her arms, with a black detached sleeve and a silver band on her left arm.
Blake wears a black buttoned vest with coattails, and a white sleeveless undershirt that exposes part of her midriff with white shorts that may be connected to her shirt, although it is partly obscured by the vest. Her shorts have a zipper on the front of each leg, but it is unknown if these zippers serve a purpose or are simply decorative. Her zippers are emblazoned with the YKK logo similar to the real life Japanese zipper manufacturer. She also wears a detached scarf-like collar around her neck. She also has a gray magnetic plate strapped to her back like a backpack, for holstering Gambol Shroud.
Blake's sleepwear appears to be a black yukata, with gray and white as a secondary color setup.
Alternate Outfit (Intruder)Edit
During the events of "A Minor Hiccup" and "Painting the Town...", Blake wears a white v-neck zip-up shirt that is black along the bottom and has mid-length sleeves. Her belladonna flower emblem is printed in off-white on the left side of the shirt. She wears black pants that have a vertical gray stripe on the outer side of each leg, and she wears a black belt with them.
Attached to the inner side of the belt is a black, somewhat curved, banner-like piece of fabric that hangs from the back and extends forward to her hips. On the underside of this is a thinner, longer, similarly-shaped purple piece of fabric. Her black high-heel boots come halfway up her calves and have a pair of belted straps across them. She still wears her black ribbons on her arms and her black bow over her cat ears.
This outfit was codenamed "Intruder".
Post-Timeskip (Volume 4 - Current)Edit
After the timeskip following the Fall of Beacon, her new design features a long white coat and a black crop top. The crop top exposes her midriff and has rectangular and diamond shaped holes surrounding her neck. Across her torso is a diagonal strap that contains a smaller magnetic clip used to sheathe Gambol Shroud. Additionally, she wears a white belt and pouch over dark, tight stretchy pants. She wears thigh-high black heeled boots with gold-colored edging around the top. The left boot has a pair of belted straps tightly wrapped around the thigh. Each boot bears her belladonna emblem in white on the outer side of the thigh.
In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", Blake takes off her bow and throws it into the ocean.
Blake is described as being "mellow" by her voice actress, Arryn Zech. She displays a cool, reserved, and serious personality most of the time, but doesn't lack a humorous side. Blake is a righteous person who has respect for other people's lives. Regardless of whether they are Faunus or not, she treats everyone equally and strongly despises those who judge and discriminate based on racial prejudice. Blake is also an open person and is not afraid to speak her mind, going so far as to indirectly insult the Schnee Dust Company in front of its heiress.
Blake is shown to be an introvert, as she prefers to be alone rather than socialize. Even in a group, Blake usually stays to the shadows, excluding herself from conversations. She tends to show no interest in the discussions at hand, especially when she is engrossed in her books. She is extremely fond of books, as she brings a large collection of books with her to Beacon and reads them frequently. However, as the series continues, she is shown to be more facetious and friendly. She displays a dry wit, stating the obvious or pointing out details in a sarcastic manner, at the expense of other people. Blake appears most conversant when discussing the history and plight of her people.
Due to her strongly held beliefs, she can also lose her temper if provoked, causing her to speak her mind in the heat of the moment. Blake may have also been mistreated when she was younger, due to her being a Faunus. This is suggested by her response to Weiss' comments on Faunus, accidentally letting slip "we were just tired of being pushed around." Her beliefs are also seen when she tells Ozpin that she doesn't want to be seen for what she is, but for who she is.
Blake seems concerned about people learning she is a Faunus, attempting to hide her Faunus traits and running away when she accidentally lets the truth slip out. However, she still insists on defending the Faunus whenever someone mistreats or speaks ill of them, regardless of them being a member of the White Fang or not. As of the events depicted at the end of Volume 2, only Roman Torchwick, Ozpin, Bartholomew Oobleck, Sun Wukong, Neptune Vasilias, Penny Polendina, and the members of Team RWBY and Team JNPR are known to be aware of her Faunus heritage. However, despite having no hate for Humans, she wonders how she can undo so many years of hate and pain, which is one of her worries of being a Faunus as well.
Despite her being a former White Fang member, Blake strongly disagrees with the level of violence and hatred they have exhibited towards humans, seeing the group as heavily misguided. Which also led to her abandoning the organization, and her former lover, Adam Taurus. Due to her Faunus heritage, she is a realistic person who has seen how the real world works, which also contributes to her stance as a skeptic on the possibility of attaining a righteous world.
As such, the White Fang has become one of her main concerns, knowing that they are planning something with their enemies, and even went as far to propose to her team that they do something to stop them, all of which agree to help her, leaving her relieved. Even though she is the quieter of her team, Blake is seen to only do stuff with her team and has a great amount of trust in them, confiding with them several secrets, such as her past, that being her previous affiliation with the White Fang, as the same goes to Sun, who is the only other character to know of this. Despite this, Blake is a very suspicious and untrusting person, finding it hard to trust even her own teammates at times due to her past relationships with the White Fang and Adam in particular, as shown in "Destiny" when she struggles to believe Yang's statement of self-defense against Mercury Black.
Blake also seems to be easily stressed and/or extremely driven, as seen in "Extracurricular", where she has had trouble sleeping (to the point of dozing off watching sparring matches), being sucked into her notebook (which she stares at even while walking), and overall being cranky at everyone (rejecting Sun and Team RWBY's proposal for her to go the dance to relax). After being confronted by Yang, Blake took up the offer on going to the dance, and appeared the next day dressed, already having been relieved of such stress.
Blake's Cat-Faunus features also seems to give her other aspects of a cat, such as climbing up to Ruby's bed to stay away from Ruby and Yang's pet dog, Zwei, showing a possible dislike of dogs. Another instance seems to be when she was easily distracted by, and instinctively decided to follow a laser pointer light to a waiting Yang in "Burning the Candle". She also has a great love for tuna, as shown in "Round One" where she drools over a bowl of noodles topped with tuna fish, attempts to sneak said bowl off when Weiss couldn't pay, and desperately accepts Pyrrha Nikos' offer to pay despite Yang saying she didn't have to.
Because of her Semblance, Blake adds that it leaves a copy of herself, which reflects on how she always runs from everything, like when she told her team she was a Faunus, and after her oldest partner became a monster. She describes her Semblance as also leaving a shadow of herself, something that takes the hit instead of herself.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Blake's most remarkable quality is her Semblance, which allows her to create Shadow-clones. These clones can be used by Blake to either distract, shield, or hide herself from the enemy for a brief amount of time, which is demonstrated during her fight with the Atlesian Knight-130s and Roman Torchwick.
Her first true use of it occurred during the "Black" Trailer, where she utilized it against the Spider Droid. Blake's first recorded use of her "Shadow" ability in the actual series was first seen during "Players and Pieces", while she was fighting the Nevermore. During the latter battle she was able to jump off one of her shadows to reach the Nevermore, confirming that there is some substance to her copies and they aren't just illusions.
Blake uses this skill again frequently in "Black and White", where she used it to her advantage in her fight with Roman, but he was able to easily deflect most of Blake's attacks regardless. It is unknown exactly how long a shadow copy can appear for or how far away from Blake they can exist. So far they have only appeared in Blake's immediate area, normally right next to her. Blake also slightly used it against Pyrrha, during a food fight between both their respective teams.
Blake also shows above-average agility, speed, and endurance, as shown when fighting multiple enemies, yet maintaining motion and energy without fatigue. She also exhibits a high level of skill when handling Gambol Shroud. She can slash away at opponents with startling speed and deflect incoming machine gun fire using just her blade. There are three forms to Gambol Shroud. When sheathed, her weapon is able to slice opponents in two with its cleaver-like cover. However, when unsheathed, it becomes even deadlier, and Blake is able to use both the blade and sheath in tandem against her opponents. Blake is also capable of jumping large distances, leaping from building to building, and even on moving cars, as seen in "Painting the Town...".
She is also adept in using Gambol Shroud as a conduit for her aura. Creating shockwave like attacks of varying intensities in conjunction with her swings, these attacks have been shown to be extremely effective and versatile as Blake has used them against Grimm, missiles, AK-130's and human opponents. Given that Adam demonstrates a red variant of this attack in the "Black" Trailer it is possible she learned this technique from him.
She also appears to be able to freely and quickly change the way she grips them. She can then fold the blade into a gun-blade which is attached to an extending ribbon, similar to the Japanese kusarigama or sickle-and-chain. Her technique with this form of Gambol Shroud is similar to Ruby's with Crescent Rose: she uses the recoil from the gun attached to her blade to increase the speed of her attacks, and can slice multiple enemies with Gambol Shroud from the ground or in the air through a whirling attack.
Additionally, she uses the momentum of the weapon on the ribbon as an anchor to maneuver herself in midair, and can grapple other opponents or objects from medium range to bring them into melee distance. She is quite accurate as well, as she was able to kill an Ursa with one strike during her meeting with Yang in the Emerald Forest. Though she is very talented at using Gambol Shroud offensively, it requires a lot of concentration, lowering her defensive capability and making her more susceptible to attacks overall. Blake used her ribbon again in "Painting the Town..." to spin Yang around, which was used as a plan from Ruby in order to distract and defeat Roman.
Because the sword portion of Gambol Shroud folds into a sickle, the end of the blade is double-edged, and she can use this double edge when it is in its sword form. This is seen in "Black and White" when she attempts to interrogate Roman by placing the back of the blade to his throat while pointing her gun toward the White Fang members to keep them at bay.
Being a Faunus, Blake possesses the ability of night vision, granting her the ability to see proficiently well in the dark, as was shown after shooting out the power during the White Fang Faction Meeting, using the dark as a means to escape from Roman and the White Fang along with Sun.
In "No Brakes", Blake utilizes Dust giving additional abilities to her clones, a Fire Clone was used as an explosive, an Earth Clone creates a stone statue of Blake, and an Ice Clone trapped Roman's weapon inside it so Blake could unleash a final attack.
- Blake alludes to Belle from the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.
- When she is first introduced in the regular series, she is seen reading a book, much like Belle. It is also shown that she has a candelabra in her possession, referencing Lumière from the Disney adaptation. In the Volume 1 directors' commentary, Miles Luna stated that they were trying to surround her with lots of "Belle-related items".
- The lyrics to "Red Like Roses" supports the connection to Beauty and the Beast by referencing Blake as "Black the beast".
- Blake means "black" in Old English. Belladonna means "fair lady" (bella donna) in Italian, and it is also the name of the toxic plant, commonly known as "deadly nightshade". This plant commonly bears extremely poisonous black berries, which lends to Blake's black color theme.
- According to Monty, Blake's alternate outfit is based on SNSD member Yuri's clothes from the music video of the song "The Boys".
- The name is a possible reference to the "Black" Trailer when Blake and Adam infiltrate the train, security AI asks them "Intruder, identify yourself".
- Blake is the only member of Team RWBY that is a Faunus instead of a human.
- Monty Oum said that Blake's name was the hardest to make. In fact, Belladonna was originally planned to be her first name but was changed because it didn't feel sharp enough for her character.
- The Rooster Teeth crew said Blake is one of the hardest characters to write for.
- It was stated by Miles and Kerry that Blake prefers drinking tea over coffee. In "Destiny", when Weiss suggests the pair get coffee, Blake opts for tea instead.
- When asked about her bow by a fan during the Blake Week AMA, Arryn answered that Blake has a closet full of bows all neatly aligned on the walls.
- Monty stated during a livestream that Blake's lack of a belly button was a glitch with her character model.
- In "The Stray", Blake's cat ears are depicted as violet in color.
- In the episode "Field Trip", Blake is shown to be uncomfortable around, or even scared of, dogs, most likely because she is a cat Faunus. This aspect is played up for comedy in episodes of RWBY Chibi.
- During group fight scenes, the music often switches to dramatic piano scales when focus shifts solely on Blake, as seen in episodes such as "Players and Pieces", "Best Day Ever", "Painting the Town..." and "Round One". This could be a leitmotif of sorts for Blake.
- On the first night at Beacon, Blake tells Ruby her book is about a man with two souls. The first line of the right hand page of the book reads "He raised the glass to his lips." a direct quote from Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- Blake was originally going to have complete heterochromia iridum, as evidenced by early concept art of her with one yellow eye and one blue eye. Cats have the chance of having heterochromia iridum, with those who have it are called "odd-eyed cats", with some documented odd-eyed cats having a yellow eye and a blue eye, just like the aforementioned concept art of Blake. This trait was ultimately transferred to Neopolitan.
- ↑ Monty Oum's Twitter
- ↑ Volume 3 Directors Commentary 2:26:40
- ↑ |Rooster Teeth RWBY Interview: PAX East 2013 9:42
- ↑ Monty Oum's Facebook
- ↑ Volume 1 Directors Commentary Players and Pieces
- ↑ Volume 1 Directors Commentary The Shining Beacon, Pt.2
- ↑ Monty Oum's Twitter
- ↑ Monty Oum's Twitter
- ↑ Volume 1 Directors Commentary Players and Pieces
- ↑ Arryn Zech's Journal
- ↑ Blake Belladonna Concept Art