- For the World of Remnant episode of the same name, see Aura (WoR episode).
Overview Image Gallery
Aura is the manifestation of one's soul in RWBY and can be used for a wide range of abilities. The specific abilities and their strengths differ from individual to individual and are dependent on a number of factors, such as experience, training and innate skill.
It is predominantly used for protection from harm. Some people develop an active power called a Semblance.
Aura is an ability that all those with a soul can use, at least with enough practice. Because Aura is the manifestation of the soul, it can appear very differently depending on who is using it. For example, the color of Aura differs from person to person: Pyrrha Nikos' is red, Jaune Arc's is gold and Lie Ren's is pink, among many others.
It is mentioned that anything with a soul has an Aura, including Humans, Faunus, and animals like Zwei; even synthetic people with souls, such as Penny Polendina, can generate an Aura. The Creatures of Grimm, being soulless, are the only known form of life that does not have Aura.
Skilled users of Aura can create their own barriers or even increase their own abilities in some way. Weapons and armor can also act as a conduit for Aura, allowing for an even wider range of offensive and defensive capabilities. This even applies to nontraditional "weapons", such as a loaf of bread or a leek, as seen during the food fight in "Best Day Ever".
It has been shown that the strength of an Aura degrades with continual use. This limits the applications of Aura in combat as, with time or heavy use, a person's Aura will decay to the point where they are left weakened or even incapacitated. Aura being completely depleted is visually represented as a colored sheen glowing along the length of a person's body or with colored particles flying off the body, indicating that they can now be physically injured. Aura flickering means it is close to being depleted.
Aura can be recharged and the time it requires to recharge is varies between each person.
Aura also can vary between individuals in terms of innate quantity of energy that can be used, with Pyrrha noting during the Beacon initiation that Jaune possesses an extraordinarily large reserve of Aura despite his complete lack of familiarity with the concept up until that point.
Similarly, one's Aura regeneration rate is dependent on the individual, varying per person.
The powers of a Maiden are tied to the person's Aura until their death, which then causes the power to separate.
While those using robotic prostheses such as Yang Xiao Long and James Ironwood are apparently able to shield their artificial anatomy with Aura, those who use Grimm transplants are not, due to their aforementioned soulless nature.
Aura is a necessary energy source for all Huntsmen, being a powerful ally in battle. It is also required in order to trigger the use of Dust. Aura, as demonstrated by various characters, can be used in the following techniques.
- Defense: Demonstrated by Ren in the Emerald Forest and explained by Pyrrha. Aura is mainly used for defensive purposes. Ren used his to block the fangs of a King Taijitu that was attacking him. While users of Aura will not be hurt as long as their Aura is up, they can still feel sensations such as pain and heat. It requires training to always subconsciously have a cloak of Aura on.
- Offense: Demonstrated by Ren in the forest, as he sends a shockwave of force propelling a fang through the snake's head, causing it to explode. Fox Alistair demonstrated a similar ability during the fight in "Breach", where a shock wave from his fist blew up an Ursa Major. Additionally, Pyrrha has stated that all tools and equipment are conduits for a person's Aura. This is demonstrated twice in "Painting the Town..." and "No Brakes" when Blake unleashes crescent-shaped slashes from her Gambol Shroud, increasing its range and strength.
- Unlocking Aura: One's Aura can be used to 'unlock' the Aura of someone else; as shown by Pyrrha, who unlocks Jaune's Aura. However, doing this appears to take a toll on the user. When unlocking Jaune's Aura Pyrrha recited a chant, and it is unknown whether it is an incantation or merely a personal mantra:
"For it is in passing that we achieve immortality. Through this we become a paragon of virtue and glory to rise above all, infinite in distance and unbound by death. I release your soul and by my shoulder protect thee."
- Healing: It also seems that those with a strong enough Aura can heal minor wounds. Jaune used this directly on a small cut after having his Aura unlocked. However, it appears that the healing is automatic and not caused at will.
- Dust Usage: To use the power of Dust, humans and Faunus must use their Aura to trigger it. The user's Aura allows them harness Dust and utilize their elemental power.
- Extrasensory Perception: In the Emerald Forest, Pyrrha explains that Aura allows you to feel like you were being watched without knowing that someone was there, while showing that Ren stopped walking and narrowed his eyes before a King Taijitu appeared behind him. Lie Ren was also able to sense Tyrian Callows approaching Team RNJR in "Tipping Point" and warn his team to prepare for battle. Fox is shown to use Aura to orientate and balance himself due to his blindness.
- Climate Protection: One's Aura can protect from cold weather, as shown by Team RWBY and others walking through a snowstorm in the mountains of Anima with thin clothing and showing no discomfort. As with combat damage, extreme weather will deplete one's Aura eventually, which required the group to seek shelter from the elements at Brunswick Farms. Weiss Schnee's aura had dropped to low levels and she was beginning to shiver from the cold as they entered the farmhouse.
- Sensing Aura: Fox Alistair is shown to be capable of using his Aura to sense other people's Auras almost immediately, describing Coco Adel's as "absurdly strong." Coco notes this is a high-level technique, displaying Fox's expertise in Aura usage.
- Identifying Aura: Fox Alistair is also shown to be able to identify specific Auras, provided he is well aware enough of the target's Aura. He is able to "see" the Aura in colors despite being blind and even identify interconnected Aura, such as the Asturias twins.
Other specific abilities, known as Semblances, appear to be unique to certain individuals. According to "Aura", the fourth installment of RWBY: World of Remnant, Semblance is the projection of Aura into a more tangible form. In "Extracurricular", it is learned that the first step in training is learning to activate their Aura after which they can attempt to learn and develop a Semblance. Semblances are reliant on a person's Aura pool to be used, in which they are unusable if a person's Aura is depleted.
In RWBY: Before the Dawn, Shade Academy students discover that Grimm are not only attracted to negative emotions, but also their very souls – their Aura. Powerful Auras are like Grimm magnets, causing them to drop their original targets in favor of the more powerful supply of Aura as though they were moths to a flame. It is unclear whether it is just unlocked Aura or locked Aura is unclear, and it's specified as only human and Faunus Aura, despite animals having it.
Additionally, attempting to transfer Aura to the Grimm instead causes them to attempt to drain it from you, as they are creatures of pure destruction.
It appears that Aura is able to manifest in different ways when in use and takes on the color of one's inner energy. It appears as a slight glow around the body.
It has been stated that the activation of an Aura requires training and willpower, though someone with considerable training can unlock the Aura of another person.
It has been shown that the strength of an Aura degrades with continual use. Extreme use of Aura, whether for offensive purposes, such as using a Semblance, or defensive purposes, like absorbing blows will eventually cause a person's Aura to decay to the point where they are left weakened or even incapacitated from exhaustion. When an Aura is completely depleted, it is visually represented as a colored sheen running through the body of the individual or with glowing particles flying off the body, indicating that they can now be mortally injured. In the case of individuals with Semblances, they will be unable to access their abilities. Some Semblances are so powerful that using them will quickly drain their Aura, as was the case of Tock.
When the Aura of a Maiden is depleted, they appear vulnerable to having their abilities stolen, as shown when Cinder Fall first broke Amber's Aura before using the glove on her to sap her powers. Although after receiving her Shadow Hand, that is no longer the case for her and could now siphon it directly.
Aura flickering means it is close to being depleted or the absorbed strike was particularly strong.
The former Kingdom of Atlas was performing serious scientific research into the nature and composition of Aura. Their research yielded experimental technology that was capable of "capturing" Aura from a person and transferring it to something or someone else. When the Penny project was singled out for production, it's creator, Pietro Polendina, was able to splice off part of his Aura and give it to his daughter Penny, making her the first synthetic person with Aura. However, doing so multiple times took a toll on Pietro's health and left his own Aura with holes. Because of this, Pietro thought that he couldn't bring Penny back if she died again.
The existence of this technology was highly classified, but many of those who did know of it viewed it as ethically immoral. Regardless, this technology was intended to play a key part in preventing the Fall Maiden power of Amber, which was linked to Aura, from falling into the hands of Cinder Fall by transferring the powers to Pyrrha Nikos. It was stated that if the plan was successful, it might have had unknown effects on Pyrrha's psyche and personal identity, merging them with that of Amber, although said consequences were never seen since Cinder killed Amber before it could finish.
The machine was later seen in the medical room for Fria, the Winter Maiden who was dying from old age. Initially, James Ironwood had Winter Schnee to be the only one to interact with her so her powers would go to her naturally. However, once Salem revealed that she was on her way to Atlas, Ironwood declared martial law and ordered Winter to obtain Fria's powers using the transfer machine. Before the process could begin, Cinder arrived and tried to kill Fria, with her powers eventually going to Penny Polendina instead.
In the episode "Jaunedice", it is revealed that Aura strength, as a proportion of maximum potential, can be electronically monitored and displayed on a Scroll. This has enabled the development of a competitive sport amongst Huntsmen and others.
Because Aura can protect its user against some of the force of physical blows, it is possible to duel using fully combat-ready weapons without risking death or serious injury. Such tournaments are closely monitored by a referee and, should a combatant's Aura strength fall below a certain red-line where they may no longer be sufficient to protect their users, the match is automatically halted and the combatant with the highest Aura percentile remaining is declared the winner.
The duel between Jaune and Cardin Winchester proves that Aura does not provide 100% protection against concussive blows as Jaune is visibly hurt and left winded by a blow to the abdomen from The Executioner. However, Glynda Goodwitch halts the match before Cardin can strike again, indicating that Jaune's Aura at about 20% power would not stop another full-strength blow.
There is at least one known major international competitive tournament, the Vytal Festival, at which students at Beacon Academy are permitted to compete as representatives of the region of Vale. Another known tournament is the Mistral regional tournament, won by Pyrrha four years in a row.
These tournaments and practice duels have revealed that once a person's Aura drops below a certain percentage, they are disqualified due to their protection against fatal blows no longer being guaranteed. In "Round One" and "New Challengers...", this percentage was shown to be 20% for the team rounds. The percentage is lowered to 15% for doubles and singles rounds, as shown in "Never Miss A Beat" and "Fall".
However, Aura may occasionally drop to 0% in matches, such as Weiss' during her fight against Flynt Coal. Mercury Black is also infamously injured by Yang Xiao Long after she attacks him when his Aura is depleted to 0%.
Known Aura Colors
- It can be compared to the real-life principle of Chi/Ki or Chakra, as used in other forms of media.
- Miles Luna stated that he got the Aura monitor from the shield system in the Halo series. When one's Aura is low, the bar flashes red. The same goes for the shield used by the Spartans. Aura was also adapted in RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, albeit, slightly changed.
- The effect of Aura and the Halo shield are also very similar visually.
- It has been stated by Kerry Shawcross that it is possible to increase the amount of Aura someone has but that it is impractical. He further stated that most users of Aura train to use it more efficiently rather than simply trying to get "a bigger gauge".
- The color of someone's Aura and Semblance can differ from each other:
- While all characters in RWBY have color associations, their associations and color can differ. For example, while the colors of Ruby and Yang are red and yellow respectively, Weiss and Blake have blue and purple Auras, despite their representative colors being white and black accordingly.
- The reference to 'achieving immortality' in Pyrrha's chant implies that she was merely using a mantra to focus her Aura, as she is inspired by Achilles, who attempted to earn god-like immortality by gaining fame as a hero, but ultimately only achieved immortality in being remembered.
- Pyrrha's chant is referenced through some of the lyrics of the song "Rising": "We are the paragons of virtue and glory; death can't bind our endless story; infinite and unbound".
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