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Neopolitan, better known as Neo, is an antagonist as well as an associate of Cinder Fall and formerly Roman Torchwick in RWBY. Her weapon of choice is called Hush, a parasol 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.
Neo's eye colour seems to remain unchanged and stable, as well as keeping her green eyeshadow throughout Volume 7.
Original (Volumes 2-6)
Neo wears a white tail jacket with a pink interior, button 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.
Neo's hair is also styled differently. It is noticeably thicker than before with shorter bangs and missing her white streaks.
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. Later, in RWBY: Amity Arena, it was revealed that she wore large, thick white socks over her shoes.
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. In "Cordially Invited" and "As Above, So Below", Neo disguises herself in a Schnee waitress uniform with black shoulder-length hair clipped with two barrettes and green eyes.
In "Out in the Open", it is shown that Neo can disguise herself as already existing characters. Neo is capable of taking on forms of different genders, however she has never been seen impersonating anyone with extreme size or build differences.
Neo exhibits a stern, business-like demeanor and is shown to have immense confidence when she intervenes to help Roman following his fight "No Brakes". She also appears to be playful, wearing a self-assured smile and politely bowing in the battlefield and smiling throughout the fight as she silently mocks and taunts her enemy. She displays confidence before the fight, not only against Yang, but also when she reveals herself to the trio despite being outnumbered three to one.
Neo is also shown to have a sadistic side, as seen in her smile as she prepares 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. She is rather perceptive and is able to recognise superior abilities to her own, despite her confidence.Neo is 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 reveals her Maiden powers.
Neo is highly determined when completing a task, as she is able to deal with any problems presented to her efficiently and competently. Neo was also shown to be particularly enthusiastic about executing Roman's orders. However, this does not mean she is unable to think for herself, as she displays exasperation when Cinder doubts her plan for infiltrating Atlas. The only time she has appeared to depart from her initial goal was when Cinder convinced her Ruby was to blame for Roman's demise, and even then her overall aim didn't change - to exact revenge for Roman. Additionally, she is extremely ruthless, easily turning to murder as a means of achieving her goals and was even willing to harm a child, like Oscar Pine. It can be noted that in this case while she did attempt to stab him, Neo did not go out of her way to kill Oscar and merely incapacitated him.
Neo was extremely loyal to Roman and appeared to be close with him. She willingly carried out his demands and he was the only character she did not show contempt towards. Likewise, Roman never got upset with Neo like he did with the other characters, and they were very proficient in wordlessly coordinating attacks. Neo was shown to be devastated after his death, and wears Roman's hat in memory of him. Currently, she is solely driven by a need to exact revenge for what happened to him, and has gone to near suicidal lengths to do so, including facing Cinder alone. Based on the lyrics of her theme, "One Thing", Neo had a previously horrible, lonely, life until she met Roman, though after his death her life returned to said state. This is further proven by her dishevelled appearance in "The Coming Storm".
Neo is often seen throughout the series, skipping or having some sort of playful, or entertainer-esque demeanour when she moves around, or experiences interactions. It may allude to happiness, or is most likely just her habitual mannerism. An example of her playful demeanour she leaves the Schnee Manor in "Out in the Open".
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 four back to Cinder in a mostly-even fight, only backing down when Cinder resorted to the use of her Maiden Powers. Cinder also commented Neo had 'grown stronger'. An example of that was shown in "The Enemy of Trust" with despite being completely outnumbered by both Oscar Pine and Team JNR, she easily evaded, parried and dodged their attacks and overpowered and outmaneuvered them with quick and powerful strikes while doing so in a joking manner, hinting that Neo herself was not taking them seriously and was toying with them during the majority of their battle.
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 resembling Bartitsu with the way she blocks with her parasol, and Capoeira with her acrobatic kicks.
While using her weapon in sword form, Neo has displayed a sword style similar to Victorian Age Fencing, as seen during her battle against Team JNPR and Oscar Pine, where Neo held one of her hand behind her back as she made several swift sword stabs, jabs and swipes at her opponents. Notably, during her first few appearances, Neo never used Hush's blade to fight, only to down fallen opponents like Yang. Later, she is seen using it once, for a split second against Cinder and afterwards begins employing it regularly in fights.
- Main article: Hush
Neo's weapon of choice is Hush, a parasol containing a long, thin blade hidden within the length of the parasol’s tube, which can also project the blade from the top end of it.
- Main article: Semblance#Neopolitan
Neo's Semblance, Overactive Imagination, allows her to create "physical illusions that can be seen by everyone". Neo's Semblance seems to have evolved slightly, becoming more resilient to damage. While fighting Cinder, the illusion concealing Neo's outfit was not dispelled even after taking hits from the Fall Maiden. This was revised however, in Volume 7, as her disguise was dispelled upon receiving a punch from Oscar Pine.
Later Neo displayed her new mastery over her Semblance, where she managed to completely disguise and cover an entire Mistral Airship with her Aura to physically resemble an Atlas Manta ship, where she then implied that she could maintain the facade long enough to fool the Atlas Military and cross the continental border checkpoint into Atlas.
Later Neo displayed that she also uses her Semblance when communicating with others in lieu of her muteness, as seen in "Out in the Open" where she transformed into Ruby when arguing what to prioritize with Cinder, showing that Neo can completely transform into a another person and not just alter her own physical appearance for disguises.
Unlike Emerald's hallucinations, Neo's illusions seem to have some physical properties. At one point, Oscar was able to grab and hold one of the illusions in an attempt to restrain Neo, though it was quickly shattered after a hit from Ren.
Neo herself proves to be a competent getaway driver, as shown in "Beginning of the End", where she, disguised as a paramedic, drives Cinder, Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai away to an unknown location in an Air Bus after they initiate their plan to frame Yang.
Similarly, Neo has proven twice that she is capable of hijacking vehicles and easily infiltrate military compounds no matter how well guarded they are. One of the best examples is when she is shown walking through an airship full of Atlesian soldiers she presumably killed to free Roman and later Neo again shows her skills in infiltration and hijacking, when she manages to easily acquire a Mistral airship after presumably infiltrating a Mistral air base to steal it without being detected or noticed by the Kingdom's military or officials.
Despite being mute, Neo has displayed a level of cunning and skill in acting when using her Semblance, as seen when she observes and notices the close relationship between Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie and is able to use it to emotionally manipulate Ren into giving her an opening to attack and escape.
With the aid of her Semblance, Neo is shown to have expertise in pickpocketing, as she is easily able to steal the Relic of Knowledge off Oscar without him knowing until it is too late.
- For information on choices the creators made for this character, see Neopolitan/Behind the Scenes.
- Whenever Neo appears to be fighting or initiating combat, there seems to be a waterphone-esque instrument that plays in correspondence to her movements.
- Neo's full name has been written in two different ways.
- 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. This spelling is used in all media directly created by Rooster Teeth, including merchandise and RWBY Chibi.
- The staff of the mobile game, RWBY: 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 incorrectly spelled her name Neo Politan, with Politan being her last name, a spelling also used in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.
- The debate was resolved by The World of RWBY: The Official Companion, which settled on the single-word spelling of her name.
- This also makes her one of two villains to have no last name given, the other being Salem.
- 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 was created for a "casting opportunity", she has not spoken once onscreen. She does make some nonverbal sounds in the episodes "Round One" and "Heroes and Monsters".
- In The World of RWBY: The Official Companion, it is revealed that the casting opportunity was going to be Sarah Silverman, though Neo was opted to have been made mute instead.
- 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 to 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. 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.
- On August 4th, 2019, Neo, along with Yumi from Senran Kagura and Akatsuki and Blitztank from Akatsuki En-Eins, were revealed as Season 2 DLC for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. She is voiced by Casey Lee Williams.
- The animation for Neo's Semblance has improved over the course of the show, with three different versions. The first version appeared as a line of light moving over Neo's body while spitting out small fragments, then became a more complicated line made up of pink fragments in Volume six. In Volume 7, it changed drastically, appearing as an amorphous pink shape and losing its glasslike properties.
- According to The World of RWBY: The Official Companion, Overactive Imagination was created because Monty needed Roman and Neo to exit during "Painting the Town..." but having them escape was hard to animate, and it was decided having them shatter instead would be easier.
- ↑ Kerry Shawcross on Twitter
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The World of RWBY: The Official Companion
- ↑ Volume 3 Directors Commentary
- ↑ Monty Oum's Facebook
- ↑ RWBY: Amity Arena's Twitter
- ↑ Monty Oum's Twitter
- ↑ Monty Oum's Twitter
- ↑ Monty Oum's Twitter
- ↑ RWBY Aftershow
- ↑ Blake Belladonna Concept Art
- ↑ AfterBuzz TV
- ↑ Kerry Shawcross Tweet