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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 enrolled at Beacon Academy, where she becomes a member of Team RWBY alongside Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee and Yang Xiao Long.
Blake is a fair-skinned young woman with long, wavy black hair, amber eyes. Her Faunus trait is a pair of black cat ears.
Original (Volumes 1–3)
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.
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 cat ears. She wears purple eyeshadow in catseye style.
Blake's pajamas is 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. During her time at Beacon Academy, she wears her bow while sleeping.
Alternate Outfit (Intruder)
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.
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, and she wears a teal bow as opposed to her usual black one.
Blake wears the same brown shoes, red tartan skirt, white blouse with maroon trim and thin red bow, a brown vest with gold buttons and a maroon blazer with gold trim as every other girl attending Beacon Academy, alongside knee-high black socks.
Post-Timeskip (Volume 4 - Current)
After the timeskip following the Fall of Beacon, her design features a long white tailcoat 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. After the confrontation with Adam in "Heroes and Monsters", Blake has been left with an X-shaped scar on the bottom left section of her abdomen.
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.
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, which is 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 or not. 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. Although 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. After the Fall of Beacon, Blake discards her bow and does not cover her ears again, even around the presence of Humans, showing that she is no longer afraid to be seen as a Faunus.
Blake's past negatively influenced her personality, leading to moodiness, 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 Wukong persuades her to let her friends help her as much as she believes she is helping them. She uses this, in turn, to persuade Ilia Amitola to leave the White Fang and to confront Adam with others' help.
Her Faunus traits 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.
Powers and Abilities
Blake 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 her blade.
Blake also possesses remarkable reflexes, able to dodge a nearly point-blank strike from Adam by using her Semblance. She is also capable of jumping large distances, leaping from building to building and even on moving cars, as seen in "Painting the Town...".
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 for her and Sun to escape from Roman Torchwick and the White Fang.
- Main article: Gambol Shroud
Gambol Shroud has three forms. When sheathed, the 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.
She is also adept in using Gambol Shroud as a conduit for her Aura. Creating shock wave 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 her weapon. She can 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 she can grapple other opponents or objects from medium range to bring them into melee distance. She is quite accurate as well, for she is 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 uses her ribbon again in "Painting the Town..." to spin Yang around, which is part of Ruby's plan 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.
Ultimately, her weapon was destroyed in combat against Adam in "The Lady in the Shoe"; the blade being cut horizontally in half by Wilt.
Blake's most remarkable quality is her Semblance, which allows her to create Shadow-clones. Blake can use these clones to distract, shield or hide herself from the enemy for a brief amount of time, which is demonstrated during her fight with Atlesian Knight-130s and again during her fight against Roman.
Her first on-screen use of it is during the events of the "Black" Trailer when 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 and others, she propels from her shadows, confirming there is some substance to her copies. In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", a clone exerts a force on her, allowing her to reach greater heights.
It is unknown exactly how long a shadow copy can appear for or how far away from Blake they can exist. Though Blake usually uses them in her immediate area, she reaches rather far away from one she uses to trick Reese Chloris in a Vytal Festival Tournament match.
Blake uses Dust to give her clones additional abilities. Fire Clones are explosive, Earth Clones are more concrete defenses than normal clones, and Ice Clones are effective in trapping enemies, giving Blake the advantage in fights.
- Blake alludes to Belle from Beauty and the Beast. For more information on this allusion, as well as other choices the creators made for this character, see Blake Belladonna/Behind the Scenes.
- Blake means "black" in Old English. Bella donna means "fair lady" or "beautiful woman" in Italian, and it is also the name of a toxic plant commonly known as deadly nightshade. The plant commonly bears poisonous black berries, which lends to Blake's black color theme. It also commonly bears purple bell-shaped flowers, which lends to her Aura color.
- The Rooster Teeth crew said Blake is one of the hardest characters to write for.
- It was stated by Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross that Blake prefers drinking tea over coffee. In "Destiny", when Weiss suggests the pair get coffee, Blake opts for tea instead. It was also mentioned in the Fan Service Podcast.
- 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 in her original costume was a glitch with her character model. She does have one in her other costumes, though.
- 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 Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- Blake is a free playable DLC character in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.
- In the fourth episode of gen:LOCK, another animated series produced by Rooster Teeth, one of the main characters, Yasamin Madrani, can be seen dressed as Blake (Volume 4-current) in the Ether.
- ↑ RWBY Pre-Show Livestream
- ↑ "Seeing Red"
- ↑ 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"
- ↑ RWBY Crew Chat
- ↑ Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Players and Pieces"
- ↑ Arryn Zech's Journal
- ↑ BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle - ASW Fighting Game Award 2017 Trailer
- ↑ Arc System Works' Twitter
- ↑ Gen:Lock Episode 4