5. Volume 4
Volume 4 holds a respectable fifth place in the ranking of the series' best volumes, and there are some pretty solid reasons for this placement. This volume marks a significant shift in the series, both in terms of story and animation style.
After the intense and emotionally charged events of Volume 3, Volume 4 takes a more introspective approach, going deeper into the characters' individual journeys and struggles. It's like a moment to catch our breath and really get to know these characters we've been rooting for. We see Ruby struggling with leadership responsibilities, Yang facing the trauma of her injury, Blake confronting her past, and Weiss struggling against her family's expectations.
This volume is rich in character development, showing us the more vulnerable sides of our heroes and allowing us to connect with them on a deeper level. However, it ranks fifth because, while it excels in character exploration, it steps back from the high-octane action and intricate plot developments that the series is known for. The slower pace is necessary for the story's progression, but it's a bit of a shift from the adrenaline-pumping excitement of previous volumes.
Also, Volume 4 serves as a bridge between the first arc of RWBY and the new challenges that lie ahead. It introduces new elements to the world of Remnant, such as the concept of the Relics and the deeper lore of the Maidens, setting the stage for future volumes.
The animation upgrade in this volume is incredibly noteworthy - the shift to new animation software brings a more polished and sophisticated look to the series, enhancing the visual storytelling and making the incredible battles in the show even more stunning. But, this transition also means that Volume 4 has a different feel compared to its predecessors, which might not resonate as strongly with all fans.
It's a volume of transition and growth, both for the characters and the series itself. While it may not hit the top spot due to its more subdued approach and the change in animation style, Volume 4 remains a crucial and beautifully crafted chapter in the RWBY saga.