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Blake Belladonna

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We're not going to destroy the White Fang. We're going to take it back.
—Blake, to Sun and her parents

Blake Belladonna is one of the main protagonists of RWBY. Her weapon of choice is a Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe (VBCS)[2] named Gambol Shroud.

She first appeared in the "Black" Trailer alongside Adam Taurus, her then-boyfriend,[3] partner, and mentor[4] 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.

AppearanceEdit

Original (Volumes 1-3)Edit

V2 09 00048

Blake is a fair skinned young girl with amber eyes and long black hair. A ribbon is tied with a large bow on the top of her head, which acts as a cover for her Faunus heritage and disguises her black cat ears. She wears purple eyeshadow in catseye style.

She wears a black buttoned vest with coattails and a single silver button on the front. Underneath this is a white, sleeveless, high necked, crop undershirt and white shorts with a zipper on the front of each leg, emblazoned with the YKK logo of the real life Japanese zipper manufacturer.

She also wears black low-heeled boots and full stockings with a color gradation of black to purple at her ankles. Her emblem is visible on the outside of both thighs just below her shorts in white. On her left arm is a detached sleeve with a silver cuff around her bicep, and black ribbons are wrapped around both forearms. A small, loose scarf is wrapped around her neck and a gray magnetic backpack is strapped to her back, hidden by her hair.

PajamasEdit

Blake's pajamas consist of a black, long sleeved, yukata-style shirt with white edging over a purple undershirt, and a matching skirt. A black obi is wrapped around her waist and tied with a black and white string. She wears her bow while sleeping.

Alternate Outfit (Intruder)Edit

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Alternate Outfit "Intruder"

During the events of "A Minor Hiccup" and "Painting the Town...", Blake wears an alternate outfit codenamed "Intruder".[5]

This outfit consists of a white, v-neck, zip-up crop shirt with a black hem and three quarter sleeves. Her 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 a black belt.

Attached to the rear of the belt is a black piece of fabric that covers her from hip to hip. Underneath this is a longer, translucent, purple piece of fabric. She also wears black high-heel boots with two straps and buckles and purple undersoles, reaching to mid-calf. She retains the black ribbons on her forearms and her black bow.

DanceEdit

During the Beacon Dance, Blake wears a short, purple, asymmetrical, halter neck dress that is split up the right side and has a black collar. Translucent black mesh covers her shoulders, decolletage and back, and decorative black swirls cover the left side of the dress and continue up the left strap. The outfit is completed with black pumps.

UniformEdit

Blake wears the same brown shoes, red tartan skirt, white blouse with maroon trim and thin red bow, brown vest with gold buttons, and maroon blazer with gold trim as every other girl attending Beacon Academy, alongside knee high black socks.

Post-Timeskip (Volume 4 - Current)Edit

Blake Timeskip

Blake's timeskip outfit

After the timeskip following the Fall of Beacon, her new design features a long white coat with dark gray lining and a sleeveless black crop top. The crop top has rectangular and diamond shaped cutouts around the neckline. Additionally, she wears a white belt over black fitted pants.

Across her torso is a diagonal strap that contains a smaller magnetic clip used to sheathe Gambol Shroud. She wears thigh-high black heeled boots with gold-colored edging around the top. The left boot has a belt wrapped twice around the thigh. Each boot bears her belladonna emblem in white on the outer side of the thigh, and a white pouch is attached to the back of her belt.

In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", Blake removes her bow and throws it into the ocean.

PersonalityEdit

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 does not lack a humorous side usually in the form of dry wit and sarcasm. Blake is a righteous person, respecting other people's lives regardless of whether they are Faunus. She strongly despises those who judge and discriminate based on racial prejudice. Blake is outspoken, going so far as to indirectly insult the Schnee Dust Company in front of its heiress and defend Faunus of any kind.

Blake is shown to be an introvert. Though she reads books to distance herself from the discussion at hand, as the series continues, she is shown to be more facetious and friendly. Blake appears most conversant when discussing the history and plight of her people.

As a Faunus, Blake has faced discrimination in the past and wears a bow when around humans in order to be treated for her character and not her species. However, despite having no hate for Humans, she has seen how the real world works and wonders how she can undo so many years of hate and pain.

Blake's past negatively influenced her personality, leading to stubbornness, sleep deprivation and trust issues at times; however, she has a strong sense of righteousness. As a member of the White Fang during its former peaceful leadership, Blake strongly disagrees with the level of violence and hatred they exhibit toward humans. She sees her Semblance as a prospect of her tendency to avoid conflict, especially when caused by the White Fang, but Sun convinces her to let her friends help her as much as she believes she is helping them.

Blake's Cat-Faunus features also seem 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. Another time, she is distracted by and instinctively decides 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.

Abilities and PowersEdit

SemblanceEdit

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Using her Semblance in mid-air to launch herself toward a Nevermore

Blake's most remarkable quality is her Semblance, which allows her to create Shadow-clones.[6] 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 series proper is during "Players and Pieces" when she fights the Nevermore. During the latter battle, she is able to jump off one of her shadows to reach the Nevermore, confirming that there is some substance to her copies and they are not just illusions. In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", a clone exerts force on her, allowing her to reach greater heights.

Blake uses this skill again frequently in "Black and White" against Roman, but he easily deflects 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 uses it against Pyrrha during a food fight between both of their respective teams.

WeaponEdit

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Blake dual-wielding the sword and sheath

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.

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Using the blade of Gambol Shroud

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.

OtherEdit

As a Faunus, Blake possesses the ability of night vision, granting her the ability to see proficiently in the dark, as is 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 to give 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.

TriviaEdit

  • Blake alludes to Belle from the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.
    • When she is first introduced in the regular series, she is seen having a love for reading, 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".[7]
    • 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) and beauty, 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 Oum, Blake's alternate outfit is based on SNSD member Yuri's clothes from the music video of the song "The Boys".[8]
    • 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 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.[9]
  • 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.[10] 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.[11]
  • Monty stated during a livestream that Blake's lack of a belly button was a glitch with her character model.[citation needed]
    1115 The Stray 16760

    Blake's cat ears in The Stray.

  • 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.[12] Cats have the chance of having heterochromia iridum, and those who have it are called "odd-eyed cats". Some documented odd-eyed cats have a yellow eye and a blue eye, just as the aforementioned concept art of Blake. This trait was ultimately transferred to Neopolitan.

ReferencesEdit

Characters
Minor Characters

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