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Neo Politan is an antagonist as well as an associate of Cinder Fall and formerly Roman Torchwick in RWBY. Her weapon of choice is an umbrella with a concealed blade. She first appeared in "Painting the Town...".
Neo, themed after Neapolitan ice cream, has the appropriate trio of colors in her hair and on her outfit. While sometimes altered via illusion for disguise, her hair color is typically half pink and half brown, with white streaks on the pink side.
Neo's natural eye color changes between brown, pale pink and white, and they can alternate coloration in differing combinations, with this ability apparently being entirely under her control. Because of this, she often appears to temporarily have a condition known as heterochromia iridum, where the eyes of a subject have two different colors. In her case, it is complete heterochromia, where one iris in its entirety is a different color from the other. In Volume 3, she is seen wearing green eyeshadow, starting with her paramedic disguise.
Original (Volumes 2-6)
Neo wears a whitetail jacket with a pink interior and one wide broad tail, brown pants, black gloves, and black and white boots with very high heels and multiple buttons on each side. Under her jacket is a brown corset, curved in the middle and at the bottom, exposing her hips. She also wears a multitude of necklaces, which hang haphazardly around her neck.
Neo is also rather diminutive in stature, compared to the rest of the main cast, including Ruby Rose, as shown in the height chart presented by Monty Oum. This is demonstrated in "No Brakes", when she stands off against Yang Xiao Long, as Neo is only able to reach her chin despite wearing high heels.
In "The Coming Storm", Neo undergoes a slight outfit change: she now wears Roman's hat, seemingly in remembrance of him, and her clothing is shown to have been torn up over the time since her last appearance, especially on her jacket's left shoulder, her coattail and leggings. During her fight with Cinder in this episode, she hides the damage and Roman's hat with an illusion until they move the fight into an alley.
Post-Timeskip (Volume 6–Current)
In "Our Way", Neo sports a new outfit while still wearing Roman's hat. It consists of a brown jacket that ends just below her shoulders and above her chest and has pink trimmings on top and is pink on the inside, two brown belt shoulder straps, a gray scarf similar to Roman's, and a vest, gloves, a belt, pants and heeled shoes of a matching white color.
While participating in the Vytal Festival Tournament, Neo has a completely different appearance. Her hair is black with lighter streaks where her white streaks would normally be, and her default eye color is green, though she can change it to pink, brown or white at any time. Her hair is done up in a twin tail hairstyle with white bows, and her bangs are still in the same usual style from her original appearance.
She wears an outfit with a black and white color scheme. Her attire consists of a sleeveless black blouse with white frills on the chest and collar and a black ribbon bow hanging from the front of the collar. The blouse exposes her midriff, and she wears medium-length black armbands on both of her wrists. Along with the blouse, she wears a knee-length skirt fastened with a white belt. She wears black shoes with a triple tomoe emblem on the soles, with white legwarmers.
In "Beginning of the End", she disguises herself in a paramedic uniform, with a cap on top of her short hair, and her eye color changes to magenta. In "PvP", she assumes her regular appearance but dons the uniform of an Atlesian Military officer. In "Our Way", Neo is briefly seen in a Mistral Police uniform.
Neo exhibits a stern, business-like demeanor at the White Fang meeting. However, when intervening to help Roman following his defeat, she wears a self-assured smile and politely bows to Team RWBY, showing confidence on the battlefield. Neo's confidence was also seen in her fight with Yang, smiling throughout the entire fight, as well as silently mocking and taunting her. She displayed confidence before the fight, not only against Yang, but also Weiss Schnee and Blake Belladonna, as, despite being outnumbered three to one, she revealed herself instantly to the trio and was prepared to fight them.
Neo is also shown to have a sadistic side, as seen in her smile as she prepared to stab Yang. However, she does seem to exhibit fear and hesitance when she knows she is outmatched, fleeing if her opponent proves to be as such. This can be seen when Raven Branwen appears and engages her on the White Fang cargo train. Neo was also seen to have a vengeful side by her attempt to kill Cinder in "The Coming Storm" for her part in Roman's death only stopping when Cinder revealed her Maiden power.
Powers and Abilities
In "No Brakes", Neo proves herself to be a highly skilled combatant, able to defeat Yang in a one-on-one fight, seemingly playing with her opponent as she was able to defeat her without taking anything more than a glancing hit. Neo also displays incredible reflexes and speed, dodging several of Yang's attacks with ease, even when holding her umbrella in one hand. This is further shown in "Heroes and Monsters" where she is easily able to keep up with and defeat Ruby almost single-handedly, and in her fight with Cinder in "The Coming Storm", with Neo taking two hits and delivering three back to Cinder in a mostly-even fight.
Neo has also shown herself to be very acrobatic and exceptionally skilled in hand-to-hand combat, relying on her agility to dodge and misdirect enemy movements and attacks, before retaliating with her own kick-based attacks.
Neo's weapon of choice is an umbrella containing a long, thin blade hidden within the length of the umbrella's tube, which can also project the blade from the top end of it, with the crook handle serving as the hilt. The canopy of her umbrella possesses high defensive properties, demonstrated by its ability to block an incoming blast from Yang's Ember Celica and Cinder's fire powers. In close quarters combat in "No Brakes", Neo utilizes her umbrella's open form in parrying Yang's attack which opens her up to counter blows.
Neo's Semblance allows her to create "physical illusions that can be seen by everyone". Her illusions are perfect enough to pass as real and shatter like glass when she dispels them or someone breaks them. She is first seen using her Semblance in "Painting the Town..." when she creates an illusion wall that depicts herself and Roman as a distraction while the two flee to an airship. Cinder referred to it as "materializing", in response to her new outfit not being optimal for the climate of Atlas.
Neo is skilled enough to use them as misdirection during a fight, casting an illusion of herself that the opponent thinks is the real person and attacking from their blind spots.
Her illusions are not limited to images of herself or others, as she can also change the appearance of her outfit or the color of her hair, eyes, and skin. In "Round One", she takes on a radically different appearance with black hair, green eyes, and a different skin tone, and she dispels the illusion on her eyes, returning them to their usual pink and brown coloration. In "PvP", she disguises her outfit as an Atlesian military uniform and later dispels the illusion in "Heroes and Monsters". In "Our Way", Neo furthers the extent of her Semblance, using it on a Mistral airship to briefly change its appearance to that of Atlas. But she only uses it for a few seconds, as it seemingly exhausts her for a while afterwards.
Neo herself proves to be a competent getaway driver, as shown in "Beginning of the End", where she, disguised as a paramedic, drove Cinder, Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai away to an unknown location in an Air Bus after their plan to frame Yang was initiated.
- For information on choices the creators made for this character, see Neo Politan/Behind the Scenes.
- Neo's name has been written in different ways in different places. It was originally spelled Neopolitan by Monty Oum in an image album that he uploaded to Facebook, which featured images of her model from different angles. It has also been a single word in every merchandise. However, the staff of Amity Arena later revealed that the reference files they received from Rooster Teeth labeled her as Neo_Politan leading them to question Rooster Teeth on the matter. They have revealed that the correct spelling is Neo Politan, with Politan being her last name.
- From the 8th to the 11th of July, 2014, Monty hinted at Neo's Neapolitan ice cream theme by tweeting pictures of Neapolitan ice cream, long before the character's first appearance in the show, a few days after her appearance in the Volume 2 Trailer.
- It is possible that this may have been in response to some fans noticing Neo in the Volume 2 Trailer (published July 4th, 2014) and discussing her, as these tweets began shortly after she was noticed.
- Neo- (νεο-) is also a Greek prefix, meaning "new". In English, neo- is also used as a prefix to denote something that is contemporary, recent, modern or new. The word "Neopolitan" itself derives from the Greek Neápolis (Νεάπολις), meaning "new city". Neo also means 'young' and 'immature' in Greek, usually in medical terms.
- Neo can change the color of her eyes at will, usually alternating between pink and brown. They can also turn white (completing the ice cream theme) although rarely; one turns white as she removes the sword from her umbrella, and both turn white when Raven appears. Later, she also changes her eyes to green as part of her tournament disguise and magenta as part of her paramedic disguise.
- Though Gray G. Haddock has confirmed that Neo has a voice actress, she has not spoken once during her screen time. Whilst she never makes any vocalizations whatsoever in Volume 2, including grunts in combat, she does make some nonverbal sounds in the episodes "Round One" and "Heroes and Monsters".
- Although Neo is currently the only character known to have complete heterochromia, Blake was originally going to have it as well, as evidenced by early concept art in which she had a yellow eye and a blue eye.
- It has been confirmed that Neo does not allude to the Cheshire Cat.
- During the first update in the mobile game, RWBY: Amity Arena, where Neo and a handful of other new cards were added to the game, the last part of her description talks about how she may or may not be capable of speaking, but after a recent update, this bit has been since then removed for unknown reasons.
- Neo's parasol contains a blade connected to the handle. This type of cane sword was originally called a "dolon" and was first used by the ancient Romans. It is yet unclear whether this design choice was a deliberate allusion to her partnership with Roman Torchwick.