Blake Belladonna is one of the main characters and the third character introduced in RWBY. Her weapon of choice is a Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe (VBCS) dubbed Gambol Shroud.
She, along with her previous partner, Adam Taurus, first appeared in the "Black" Trailer on March 22, 2013, during the PAX East 2013 event, where they both infiltrated a train and confronted Atlesian Knight-130s.
Blake is a young girl of light olive 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 cat like 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. Faunus tend to be discriminated against, so she decided to hide her 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 symbols 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. She also wears a detached scarf-like collar around her neck.
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."
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, 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. 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.
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," and a love of tuna in "Black and White."
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 Powers Edit
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 AK-130 Androids 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 against Grimm, missiles, AK-130's and human opponents respectively. Given that Adam demonstrates a red variant of this attack in the "Black" Trailer it is possible she learnt 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 may possess the ability of night vision, granting her the ability to see proficiently well in the dark, as was proven true 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.
During the raid, Blake helps Adam fight off an army of Atlesian Knight-130s in order to reach the cargo hold and find what Adam was looking for. However, upon discovering Adam's plans to blow the train up, along with the crew, Blake starts to have doubts.
They are then attacked by a Spider Droid and forced outside, where Blake distracts it long enough for Adam to charge an attack and destroy it. When he turns around, Blake decides to sever their connection and the train car, saying goodbye as the train pulls away without Adam.
Blake later tells Sun: "I decided I no longer wanted to use my skills to aid in their violence. Instead, I would dedicate my life to becoming a Huntress."
- Monty Oum has 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. He eventually settled on Blake, as it means "black" in Old English.
- Like the other members of Team RWBY, Blake is in part inspired by a fairy tale character, Belle from Beauty and the Beast:
- Blake's last name, Belladonna, means "fair lady" (bella donna) in Italian, and it is also the name of the toxic plant, commonly known as "deadly nightshade."
- 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, referring to Lumière from the Disney adaptation.
- Since she is a Faunus, it can be said that she is both a beauty and a beast.
- The lyrics to "Red Like Roses" supports the connection to Beauty and the Beast by referencing Blake as "Black the beast."
- Plus, the "Red Like Roses" lyrics of "descends from shadows" may have connected with Blake's theme "From Shadows;" both the title and their lyrics of "From Shadows we descend upon the world."
- In the video game BlazBlue Crosstag Battle, the reference is pushed full circle as one of Blake's alternate colors is based on Disney's Beauty and the Beast, namely Belle's outfit in the dance scene.
- Blake's symbol on her stocking seems to have a holographic sheen to it. This can be seen in "Players and Pieces," when she throws Gambol Shroud to Yang, as well as the multiple times it turns red during the "Black" trailer.
- Blake's book "Ninjas of Love" may be a reference to the fictional "Makeout Paradise" novels from the Naruto series.
- The Rooster Teeth crew said Blake is one of the hardest characters to write for.
- It was stated by Miles Luna that Blake prefers drinking tea over coffee.
- Blake's ability to make shadow clones of herself is fairly similar to C.T.'s (from Red vs. Blue) armor enhancement. However Blake's Semblance allows her to make solid clones, while C.T. can only make holograms.
- Until the episode "No Brakes," Blake had never fought on her own, beforehand every battle in which she had partaken had been with an ally.
- When asked about her bow by a fan in 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.
- She tells Ozpin that she grew up outside of the kingdoms of Remnant and had to fight to survive. Her fighting skills led her to be one of few people to be accepted into Beacon without going to a prior combat school. It is unclear if this is true or simply Blake's way of explaining her well-developed combat skills.
- In "The Stray," Blake's ears are depicted as violet in color. It is assumed that this was done for artistic contrast, making it easier for the viewer to spot them.
- 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 doesn't have any known siblings.
- As evidenced by the episode "Field Trip," Blake is uncomfortable around dogs. Her being scared of dogs may be a result of being half-cat due to her Faunus heritage.
- As well as the fact that she likes to eat fish, tuna in particular.
- RWBY Chibi made many jokes regarding Blake being a cat in Season 1, to the point of making Blake play inside of an empty box.
- Blake has expressed that everything about her denotes running away. This includes her semblance, creating hard light copies of herself to fight while she runs away. Although they have much more uses than that.
- Arryn Zech's father Charles has a tattoo of Blake in his calf. Arryn in turn has in her arm a bumblebee, representing the ship between Blake and battle partner Yang.