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Blake Belladonna is one of the protagonists of RWBY. She is a Huntress, having been trained at the now-defunct Beacon Academy. Her weapon of choice is a Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe (VBCS) named Gambol Shroud.
She first appeared in the "Black" Trailer alongside Adam Taurus, her partner and mentor in the White Fang, a Faunus terrorist group. After leaving the organization, Blake enrolled at the now-defunct Beacon Academy, where she became a member of Team RWBY alongside Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee and Yang Xiao Long.
Blake is a fair-skinned young woman with wavy black hair and amber eyes. Her Faunus trait is a pair of black cat ears on top of her head.
Original Outfit (Volumes 1–3)
During her attendance at Beacon, 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 black detached sleeve with a silver cuff around her bicep, and black ribbons are wrapped around both forearms. A small, loose, black scarf is wrapped around her neck, and a gray magnetic backpack is strapped to her back, hidden by her hair. She often keeps her weapon attached to the magnetic backpack when she is not using it.
A black ribbon is tied with a large bow on the top of her head, with her cat ears hidden inside the loops. She wears purple eye shadow in cats eye style.
During her attendance at Beacon, Blake's pajamas are 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. While at Beacon, 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 under roles, 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 on her head as opposed to her usual black one.
During her attendance at Beacon, 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 Outfit (Volumes 4-7)
After the timeskip following the Fall of Beacon, her design features a long white tailcoat with dark violet inner lining and a sleeveless black crop top, as well as a belt attached from behind. The crop top has rectangular and diamond-shaped cutouts around the neckline, which have purple outlines beginning in Volume 6. 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 just above her left hip.
Across her torso is a diagonal strap that has a smaller magnetic clip on the back, which is 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.
From Volume 4 onward, Blake's cat ears have a tendency to fold down or otherwise move in sync with her emotional state, much like the ears of an actual cat.
Atlas Outfit (Volume 7-Current)
After arriving in Atlas and meeting with James Ironwood, Blake cuts her hair to a shoulder-length bob. She changes her attire to a purple sleeveless catsuit with attached boots that has light purple soles and trim. The catsuit has a high neck with a single short silver zipper alongside matching zippers that run from her thighs to her ankles on the front of the legs. A pair of knee pads, matching color to the catsuit with silver studs on them are attached to the knees of the catsuit.
Her long, white tailcoat has desaturated purple detailing on the chest, sleeves, sides and collar alongside a dark purple detailing on the back. It has a narrow belt around the collar and a wide white belt loosely secured around her waist through the coat's belt loops. The belt has two pouches attached to the back. The coattails end in a point and the inside lining is vivid purple. The front zipper of the coat is upside down and extends to the very bottom of the coat, and there are additional zippers along the lower half of the sleeves with a single purple line running between the zipper and her shoulders. Around each wrist is a dark purple belted wristband and has a desaturated purple magnetic backpack on her back.
Blake is described by her voice actress Arryn Zech as being "mellow". 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. Despite her generally quiet demeanor, she can be surprisingly charismatic, as when she rallied the Faunus to defend Mistral against the White Fang after the attack on her home.
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. She also has self-loathing issues, viewing herself as a criminal hiding in plain sight because of her past with the White Fang until her teammates convinced her that they still trusted and cared for her despite her being a Faunus and a former member of the White Fang. She also viewed herself as a coward who ran from her problems, as her Semblance was a prospect of her tendency to avoid conflict. She had even felt unworthy of her parents' love after leaving them behind for the White Fang's cause. However, her strong sense of righteousness led her to strongly disagree with the White Fang's increasing level of violence and hatred towards Humans, especially Adam's. It was thanks to her realization of seeing how spiteful and uncaring Adam was for Human lives she left the group and finally decided to fight back after discovering Adam was planning to overthrow Sienna Khan and gain total control over the White Fang.
Thanks to her parents' unconditional love and Sun Wukong's support of her, Blake began to grow out of her self-loathing issues and mistrust for others, with Sun persuading 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 and to reunite with her teammates at Haven.
Due to her time in the White Fang, Blake holds a bias against Atlas and its military as a whole. This is most noticeable regarding her double standard in keeping secrets. In "A New Approach", she goes along with Ruby's decision to lie to James Ironwood and keep Ozpin's disappearance, how many questions left in the Relic of Knowledge, and Salem's immortality a secret. Yet in "Worst Case Scenario", she and Yang have no trouble spilling information on the Amity Communications Tower to Robyn Hill despite Ironwood's insistence on keeping it secret, due to the former sympathizing with her nature as a vigilante. These acts are one of the reasons why Ironwood eventually loses trust in them.
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 high 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, as she is 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...". Her fighting style takes advantage of her agility and reflexes, evading opponents' strikes until she is in the best position for a counter-blow.
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.
Blake has somewhat enhanced hearing as well, having more than one set of ears. During her battle with Adam in "The Lady in the Shoe", she hears Yang's approach before Adam does, as indicated by her twitching cat ears.
- Main article: Gambol Shroud
Blake's weapon of choice is Gambol Shroud, a sword that has three forms. When sheathed, the weapon is able to slice opponents in two with its cleaver-like cover. However, when unsheathed, Blake is able to use both a sword and sheath in tandem against her opponents. It can also transform into a gun. Gambol Shroud was damaged in combat against Adam in "The Lady in the Shoe"; the blade being cut horizontally in half by Wilt, and later received an upgrade in Atlas. Using the black ribbon that extends off the weapon's grip, Blake can convert Gambol Shroud into a kusarigama, a grappling hook to swing herself or her friends, or ensnare or tangle her opponents. In "The Final Word", Gambol Shroud's ribbon is burned in two by Cinder; it is briefly taken up by Weiss, but is subsequently lost to the Void when the Evacuation Central Location dissolves.
- Main article: Shadow
Blake's Semblance, Shadow, allows her to create shadow-clones of herself. These clones push her in the direction of her choosing and can be used to trick and disorient opponents.
Blake can use Dust to give her clones additional abilities. Dust allows the clones to copy an element, with her afterimages becoming completely solid or even completely intangible depending on the chosen form of Dust. Fire Dust allows her to create fiery clones that explode on contact, Ice Dust allows her to create solid ice copies of herself (which opponents can get their weapons stuck in), Earth Dust allows her to create a clone of solid stone, and Lightning Dust zips her to another location quickly.
Although Blake does not appear to have many physical weaknesses, her Gambol Shroud does in its kusarigama form. If she is using it to grapple and leap around, one can knock it out of its intentional trajectory to make her lose momentum. One can even cut its ribbon and force Blake to fall whilst she is swinging.
Some of her Dust clones through her Semblance can also be used against her, as seen when she was knocked aside by her own Ice Dust clone in a fight against a Cenitaur.
- Blake alludes to both Belle and the Beast 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 is a variant of "black" from Middle English. Belladonna means "fair lady" or "beautiful woman" in Spanish and 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.
- Blake's name and love of literature may be a coincidental reference to the noted English poet William Blake.
- 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.
- Blake's Huntress license number is 63600-23412-56709.
- During RTX 2020 RWBY Panel, Blake's birthday is confirmed to be on January 19th, making her a Capricorn.
- 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.
- Miles Luna wrote the majority of Blake's scenes in Volume 4. When Blake is slapping Sun in "A Much Needed Talk", Miles only intended it to be softer slaps on the shoulder, so he was quite surprised by the end result.
- The Rooster Teeth crew said Blake is one of the hardest characters to write for.
- 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.
- Blake was originally going to have heterochromia iridium, with one of her eyes being yellow and one blue. This trait often appears in cats.
- On a Galaxy Con Livestream, Arryn says that she's pretty similar to Blake to which Barbara responds, "Arryn also likes the men and the women," implying that just like her voice actor, Blake is bisexual. Barbara follows up with, "I think it's pretty obvious that Blake likes all people." Though since some thought this to be a headcanon from the voice actors, a Reddit AMA with RWBY's co-writer Eddy Rivas answers a question that asked, "...we've learned the sexuality of both Coco and Blake, with Coco being gay and Blake being Bi, [will we] learn about the sexuality of other characters either in the show or books?" Eddy goes onto answer with a simple "yes!" and didn't deny the canonicity of Blake's sexuality.
- 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 4-7) in the Ether.
- On July 19th, 2019, a limited event collaboration between RWBY and SMITE was announced. Team RWBY is confirmed to appear as voiced skins with Blake as a skin for Amaterasu.
- Blake Belladonna has appeared in the 144th episode of Death Battle, where she fought Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan. She was able to emerge victorious thanks to her speed, versatile weapon, Aura and Semblance.
- Blake also appeared in DBX, where she fought Inuyasha from the series of the same name and lost because people voted and it ended 51.6-48.4.
- On June 29th Blake joins her team, Salem and Qrow as playable skins in Paladins during a crossover with RWBY. She appears as a skin for Saati.
- During group fight scenes, the music often switches to dramatic piano scales when the 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, alongside Ruby, Nora Valkyrie and Jaune Arc, is one of the characters who owns an object sold in the Rooster Teeth store: her backpack. It is now sold out.
- It is possible that Blake's Shadow Semblance was inspired by C.T.'s hologram armor enhancement from Red vs. Blue which functioned and was used very similarly to Blake's Semblance.
- RWBY Pre-Show Livestream
- RTX 2020 RWBY Panel
- "Seeing Red"
- Monty Oum's Twitter
- Rooster Teeth RWBY Interview: PAX East 2013 9:42
- Monty Oum's Facebook
- Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Players and Pieces"
- Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Players and Pieces"
- Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 8
- RWBY Crew Chat
- Arryn Zech's Journal
- RWBY GalaxyCon Livestream at 21:54
- RWBY Reddit AMA with Eddy Rivas
- BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle - ASW Fighting Game Award 2017 Trailer
- Arc System Works' Twitter
- gen:LOCK Episode 4
- Official RWBY Twitter
- SMITE's Twitter