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Neopolitan, better known as Neo, is a major 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...".
Appearance[edit | edit source]
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. As of Volume 6, Neo's hair is also styled differently. It is noticeably thicker with a slight wave to it along with shorter bangs and missing her white streaks.
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 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.
Original (Volumes 2-6)[edit | edit source]
Neo wears a white cropped wide, broad tailed jacket with a pink interior, collar, a single gold button and large pink cuffs. She wears brown pants with a dark belt that has a gray buckle and an additional narrow belt under it. Under her jacket is a brown corset, curved in the middle and at the bottom, exposing her hips. She also wears a multitude of black beaded necklaces, which hang haphazardly around her neck. Neo also wears black and white spat styled under the knee boots alongside black gloves.
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)[edit | edit source]
In "Our Way", Neo sports a new outfit while still wearing Roman's hat. It consists of a chocolate brown jacket that starts just below her shoulders and above her chest and has a pink interior, two brown belt shoulder straps and twin gray button seams. She wears a gray scarf similar to Roman's, and a white three gray button-up vest style top that is strapless and cropped exposing her midriff. She also wears a pair of chocolate brown detached sleeves with puffy tops and pink trim alongside a pair of white funnel cuffed gloves with gray button detailing. She also wears white belted pants and black and white spat styled ankle boots with cutout detail just above the ankle. The back of Neo's jacket is shown to have a small, coned ice cream keychain that is usually covered by her hair.
Notably, Neo's eyes no longer switch colors between each other in her natural state, while she keeps her green eyeshadow.
Disguises[edit | edit source]
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, a mitsudomoe, 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 Atlas 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 i.e Ruby Rose. In "With Friends Like These", Neo is shown to be capable of taking on forms of different genders as she takes on the appearance of Oscar, however she has never been seen impersonating anyone with extreme size or build differences.
Image Gallery[edit | edit source]
Personality[edit | edit source]
Neo exhibits a stern, business-like demeanor and is shown to have immense confidence when she intervenes to help Roman following his fight in "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 stated to be cruel, vicious, and highly sadistic, 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 recognize 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.
A diminutive psychopath who appears to take a sadistic amount of pleasure in the pain and fear of her enemies, Neo constantly displays a smug kind of cockiness both on and off the battlefield which is admittedly justified given her skills and will not hesitate to finish an opponent regardless of whether their incapacitated or not as shown when Neo planned to mercilessly stab Yang Xiao Long to death despite her being unconscious at the time and unable to defend herself. This is seen again during the Vytal Festival when going up against one of her opponents she continued to brutally stomp on his face with a cruel smile despite him being physically unable to continue their match.
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 should be noted that in this case while she did attempt to stab him when he got in her way, Neo did not go out of her way to kill Oscar and merely incapacitated him.
Neo possesses a desire to be validated whenever she accomplishes a task, as well as to be treated as an equal by a partner or superior. She was happy with working with Roman Torchwick, as he often acknowledged her for completing a job. However while working for Cinder, she was irritated by the Fall Maiden's lack of recognition or respect towards her. Neo was further angered when Cinder took the Relic of Knowledge from her without a word of gratitude and failed to give her credit for successfully stealing the Relic, as well as taking credit for her accomplishments to redeem herself before Salem. These actions eventually resulted in Neo going against her orders for her own wishes.
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", it can be assumed that Neo had had a previously horrible, lonely, life until she met Roman, and that after his death her life returned to said state. This is further proven by her disheveled appearance in "The Coming Storm".
Neo is often seen throughout the series, skipping or having some sort of playful, or entertainer-esque demeanor 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 demeanor is when she leaves the Schnee Manor in "Out in the Open".
Currently, Neo seems to take fights slightly more seriously. During her fight with Yang, Neo toyed with her before knocking the girl unconscious and afterwards unsheathing Hush. Similarly, in her fight against Ruby Neo opted not to use her sword to fight, and later used it to threaten Ruby, which ultimately turned out to be her undoing when the huntress used Hush to send her flying. In later fights, while she continues to mock her opponents, Neo uses her blade more frequently and is shown dispatching foes much more quickly and no longer dragging out fights any more than necessary.
Neo has also displayed a cunning streak and a level of observation whenever doing jobs and assignments, especially whenever she gets into fights and is outnumbered. During her battle against Team JNPR, Neo took notice of Lie Ren's protectiveness of Nora Valkyrie and took advantage of that by transforming into her using her Semblance to make him hesitate.
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
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 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 displayed 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.
However, Neo has also been shown to immediately back out of a fight she knows she can't win. She instantly retreated upon seeing Raven in "No Brakes" and stopped attacking Cinder in "The Coming Storm" when she activated her maiden powers, despite instigating the fight in the first place. It also appears that she has more difficulty against opponents equipped with a melee weapon, as opposed to barehanded fighters; she easily bested Yang in "No Brakes", but had a more even contest against Ruby in "Heroes and Monsters" until Roman arrived to reinforce her. During her fight with Cinder in "The Coming Storm", Neo initially held the initiative, but Cinder gradually gained the advantage once she equipped herself with dual swords. During her duel with Maria Calavera, Neo was consistently outmatched (despite the latter's advanced age) until Maria became distracted.
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, 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.
Weapon[edit | edit source]
- 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's tip from the top end of it. The canopy of the parasol is made of an extremely dense, durable fabric that can repel minor Dust explosions, allowing Neo to use it as a shield or a glider. Unlike many of the weapons shown in RWBY, Hush does not appear to contain a concealed firearm or projectile weapon, therefore it can only be used for close-quarters fighting.
Semblance[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Semblance#Neopolitan
Neo's Semblance, Overactive Imagination, allows her to create "physical illusions that can be seen by everyone", as opposed to Emerald's Hallucinations, which usually only affect a single target. 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.
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. As noted by Cinder, by the time of their reunion within Mistral, Neo had considerably increased the power of her Semblance alongside her fighting skills.
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. Also unlike Emerald's hallucinations, Neo's illusions do not affect a person's hearing, as she is not able to mimic sound or voices; thus, if she is disguised and someone tries to talk to her, her muteness might give her away. Her illusions also seem to be limited in their range; they typically only cover Neo herself, and either a short distance around her or something she is touching, such as the Atlesian airship that she disguised as a Mistral Airship in "Our Way". However, as seen in her battles against Yang, Ruby and Cinder, she can maintain an illusion after moving away- until something makes contact with it, after which the illusion will shatter. Similar to Blake's semblance, Neo frequently presents an illusion of herself around her own body for her opponent to target, while she escapes or moves unseen to another point of attack; it is unknown if she can use the illusion to push herself away as Blake does, however.
As shown in "Witch", Neo herself has showcased the ability to create a camouflage illusion across her entire body to hide in plain sight with her Semblance, with her creating a skin of illusion across her body that matched the colors of the background of the environment she was standing in to obsrve and spy on Emerald, Hazel and Oscar and see the Lamps' power.
Other Skills[edit | edit source]
Neo herself proves to be a competent getaway driver and a highly skilled infiltrator, 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.
These has been proven to be one of Neo's greatest talents, this is seen where she showed that combined with her Semblance, she could easily infiltrate military compounds no matter how well guarded or secure 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. Later she showcased that she could even easily infiltrate the highly secured Atlas Academy and later escape from it with no one noticing her at all and managed to again hijack and steal an Atlesian Manta.
Neo has displayed a high 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 of Oscar without him knowing until it is too late.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- 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 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, 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 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 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.
References[edit | edit source]
- Kerry Shawcross on Twitter
- The World of RWBY: The Official Companion
- RWBY: Amity Arena Neo card bio
- 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