Affiliations

Cinder's Faction

Neo is seen working with Cinder after Roman's incarceration. She fights as the fake Haven team's fourth player in the Vytal Festival, and pilots the Air Bus ambulance taking Mercury Black away after his match against Yang Xiao Long.

Salem's Inner Circle

Upon revealing the existence of Salem by Cinder, Neo is now actively assisting Cinder in her goal to redeem herself before her and retrieve the Relic of Knowledge in exchange for her obtaining vengeance for Roman on Ruby Rose.

Later upon transporting Cinder to Monstra, Neo met Salem for herself and has shown active unsureness for her working with them due to seeing the full scope of their plans as well as Cinder acknowledging her as someone with "useful abilities" to Salem.

Cinder's Faction

Roman Torchwick

Partners in crime

Neo was an affiliate of Roman. She seemed to be the only person Roman did not regard with utter contempt and disdain, and she quickly got him out of danger on multiple occasions.

Neo and Roman were also shown to work fluidly together in combat, working off one another's attacks in a organized display. This is depicted during "Heroes and Monsters", where both fight against Ruby and overpower her with relative ease.

In a video chat interview, Miles Luna claims that the production for RWBY has differing ideas as to what Neo's relationship with Roman is, "maybe she has an unhealthy crush on this older guy," he continued, "other ideas are like, maybe it's strictly platonic." The exact specifications of their relationship has "never been nailed down," but there was certainty that Neo is Roman's shadow and he has likely had romantic feelings for her, "there is definitely a love there." In both this video chat and the Volume 3 Cast Commentary, Miles compares their relationship to that of Harley Quinn and the Joker from DC Comics, in that it's not a healthy relationship.[1] In addition, Lindsay Jones also compares their relationship to that of a daughter and father, with Miles agreeing.[2] In another video chat interview on November 7th, 2020, Miles confirmed Neo and Roman in no way shape or form have a familial relationship[3], and reinforced Neo "definitely" loves Roman. He later reiterated each writer had their own very different ideas on their relationship, from Harley and Joker to Mathilda and Leon from Leon the Professional, where a hitman's younger apprentice makes romantic advances, but "nothing was ever really nailed down."

Miles also affirmed Neo deliberately has no canonical age and is meant to be "mysterious and nebulous." However, in a fan interview on August 20, 2020, Miles indirectly contradicted this by saying Neo is an adult. In addition, on September 13, 2014, Monty Oum stated in a comment on his Facebook "just because she's short doesn't mean she's young."[4] These two separate statements implies the intention of Neo being an adult, but without a specific age in mind.

Monty Oum has said she was designed due to the need for Roman to have a right-hand woman.[5] Neo is also the only character towards whom Roman has exhibited any genuine concern, as he cried out in horror when Ruby activated her umbrella atop an airship during the Fall of Beacon, sending her flying.

In the non-canon RWBY: The Official Manga, Roman is shown to threaten Neo with killing her if she interfered in his fight with Ruby, showing a willingness to execute her.

In "The Coming Storm", Neo has not gotten over Roman's death and she wears his hat, and later on his grey scarf, in remembrance of him. She attempts to enact vengeance on his behalf by trying to kill Cinder, who convinces her to instead target Ruby, citing Ruby was the true reason why Roman was killed.

According to RWBY: Amity Arena, Neo is said to be sweet, loving, and loyal, though her loyalty is limited only to Roman himself. Amity Arena also reinforced the romantic implications between Neo and Roman through the release of Roman and Neo themed Valentines Day content, such as the "Dum-Dum" player title covered in hearts and the matching Valentines outfits for the two.[6] Furthermore, the Partners in Crime card artwork portrays Torchwick affectionately placing a hand on Neo's shoulder. Concerning this, Amity Arena's concept artist, uyalago, explained he "wanted to express the pretty love between Roman and Neo that was not achieved in the animation. Like Roman protecting Neo."[7] Also to the comment "Couple goals" on the post with Roman & Neo he replied, "Yeah, that's it". [8] Additionally, on November 17, 2020, a fan directly messaged the official RWBY Amity Arena page on Twitter and asked whether they "got approval from CRWBY for the Dum-Dum title and matching Roman and Neo Valentine outfits", to which RWBY Amity Arena replied: "Yes, Roman and Neo were always meant to be romantically viewed when we pitched our first Valentine's event to CRWBY. It was approved, so as far as we're concerned, they're canon". [9]

On November 7th, 2020, a fan asked Miles Luna if "Roman having romantic feelings towards Neo was an open possibility," to which he replied, "Yes! I love the dedication! I would consider it a possibility, but it'd be a bigger conversation with the other writers. Again, it goes back to Neo being sort of nebulous." The fan exclaims "she's a harlequin!" to which Miles says "Yeah!"[10]

As seen in "The Final Word", Neo was outraged upon Ruby being seemingly oblivious to the reason to why she was attacking her and working together with Cinder, showing how much she cared for Roman and how much his memory meant to her.

Cinder Fall

Partners in revenge

Neo is part of Cinder's team during the Vytal Festival. While they have not been shown interacting much, she apparently works well with Cinder as a team in combat.

Neo's affiliations with Cinder's faction continued while Roman was imprisoned by the Atlas Military.

In "The Coming Storm," Neo wants revenge on Cinder who she believes is responsible for Roman's death. After Cinder reveals her Maiden powers, Neo agrees to work with Cinder to kill Ruby. They later seal the deal with a handshake in "The Grimm Reaper". In "Our Way", Neo impresses Cinder when she demonstrates her Semblance on a Mistralian airship by changing its appearance into an Atlesian airship. According to the Volume 6 Commentary, Neo was brought back at this point in the story "to make Cinder's storyline more interesting and to give Cinder a partner."[11]

Neo displays exasperation when dealing with Cinder, usually rolling her eyes and taking her time when giving Cinder a response. Furthermore, while Neo was visibly happy when working with Roman, she is shown to be often annoyed and somewhat resistant to Cinder.

Cinder has been able to take advantage of Neo's anger to manipulate her, using her as a tool to regain favor with Salem by promising her vengeance on Ruby. During "Out in the Open" when Neo attempted to rebel against her orders, Cinder was able to get her under control by assuring her she would get to kill Ruby after they finished her mission. Once Neo procures and presents the Relic of Knowledge in "The Enemy of Trust" she receives not a hint of gratitude from Cinder, annoying her even further.

In the Volume 7 Commentary, Miles mentioned Neo and Cinder stayed in a "high life style apartment."

Upon meeting Salem in "Divide", Neo shows increased frustration and dislike towards Cinder due to Cinder's self-centered actions, such as claiming credit for retrieving the Relic of Knowledge even though Neo did all the work. Later, Neo was deemed simply a "useful asset" by Cinder instead of an equal partner in a conversation with Salem.

As seen in "Fault" and "Amity", Neo is shown to be more independent in response to orders from Cinder, as seen when Neo showed resistance when Cinder made up her mind to go behind Salem's back to go after the Winter Maiden and accompany her to Amity Communications Tower. Later, Neo refused to go with Emerald to provide support for Cinder during her fight against Penny. Instead, Neo opted to fight against Maria Calavera in order to extract information about Ruby.

Neo blackmailing Cinder into following through with their original deal

As seen in "Ultimatum" and "Witch", Neo, having become fed up with Cinder's selfishness and her now prioritizing her own goals over their initial agreement to help her avenge Roman, has now begun taking actions to force Cinder to follow through with their original deal.

Planning to force Cinder into cooperating, Neo secretly stole the Relic of Knowledge from Salem during the Chaos of Oscar escape with Hazel and Emerald's help. Neo then contacted Cinder with the demand that she assist her on getting revenge against Ruby by offering to give her he name of the entity within the Lamp and return the Relic to her in order to offer it back to Salem. Who would likely be enraged to learn that the "asset" selected by Cinder was the cause of the Lamp's disappearance once she regenerates herself from being obliterated by the gigantic blast of Oscar's magic.

In "Worthy", Neo ultimately chooses to trust Cinder when meeting her after she promised to get her Ruby Rose that day. This is seen where Neo willingly handed over the Lamp to Cinder after she offered to use its question to get her what she wanted. She would then work together with Cinder and Watts to take the Atlas Command Center to further their plans.

Later upon infiltrating the evacuation hub created by Ambrosius on the request of Ruby and her friends, Cinder would make true with her promise of giving Neo the opportunity to kill Ruby to avenge Roman by giving her the needed opening to strike Ruby down while she kept her distracted, delighting Neo.

Cinder double crossing Neo for having threatened her and outliving her usefulness to her.

However as seen in "The Final Word", Cinder would ultimately betray Neo in the end in revenge for having threatened her. After successfully cornering Ruby but her having unexpectedly causing her to dangle in the edge of the evac hub's void, Cinder would take advantage of the situation and attack Ruby from behind and cause her to nearly fall into the void herself, but managed to grab Neo's foot before falling. Cinder having approached her "partner" to "help", Neo attempted to reach her hand towards her, only for the latter to spitefully state that she should never have tried to threaten her as she took the Lamp and mockingly kicking Hush into the void instead. Seeing the opportunity to finally rid herself of Ruby, Cinder stubbed Neo's hand using the Staff and causing both her and Ruby to fall to the abyss.

Neo, while initially expecting her to help her and showing shock at her betrayal, Neo soon showed defiance for Cinder for her double cross and scowled at her one last time as she threw her into the dimensions abyss.

Emerald Sustrai

Emerald and Neo were in the same team together during the Vytal Festival. Aside from them being teammates, there was no direct interaction between the two.

Neo angered by Emerald and Cinder

In "Amity", Neo and Emerald worked together under Cinder's command when Cinder made up her mind to go against Salem's orders to acquire the Winter Maiden powers. Despite this, Neo showcased active annoyance at Emerald and ignored her.

After Cinder's defeat to Penny, Emerald ordered Neo to take them back to Monstra. Neo was annoyed and angered by the two of them, but nonetheless complied.

Later in "Witch", upon successfully spying on Emerald and Hazel confirming Oscar's information about Salem's true goal and the power of the Lamp, Neo was shown to have made up her mind to use Emerald and Hazel's defection from Salem for her own advantage. After observing Oscar uttering Jinn's name in the Lamp's vault Monstra and upon Oscar, Emerald and Hazel leaving, Neo would then steal the Lamp and use Emerald and Hazel's betrayal as a cover to hide her tracks and avoid Salem's wrath while she made her escape with the Relic.

This eventually led to Salem believing that Emerald had taken the Lamp and leading to her being nearly tortured by Salem for the Lamp's location.

Salem's Inner Circle

Salem

As seen in the events of Volume 6, Neo was informed of Salem's existence and her overall influence in the events of the world and her objective of gathering the Relics by Cinder, Neo then unofficially became apart of her shadow war against Ozpin and his faction upon agreeing to work together with Cinder to obtain her vengeance for Roman against Ruby and her agreeing to assist the latter in regaining Salem's favor by claiming the Lamp.

And as of the beginning of Volume 8, Neo has shown to have officially joined and become affiliated with Salem and her faction upon being formally introduced to her by Cinder. With Salem having more or less agreed to her involvement after Cinder stated that Neo was a "useful" asset to help accomplish their plans.

As seen during the events of Volume 8, despite officially joining her faction, Neo herself has showcased active frustration, hesitation, and doubt at the thought of working under Salem. This was mainly due to Cinder's self absorbed attitude and gradual disregard for their original agreement to help her avenge Roman, with Neo having largely shown to have a complete, barely hidden look of dissatisfaction and impatience as she was forced play along at being Salem's subordinate to avoid angering her upon seeing her immense power. Showing that Neo herself hold no true loyalty to Salem or her cause.

In "Witch", upon desiring to focus on her own objective rather than continue going along with Salem or Cinder's orders, Neo would then directly go against her and steal the Relic of Knowledge from the Monstra's vault and using Emerald and Hazel's own defection to hide her tracks as she made her escape. Effectively and subtly defecting from Salem's faction.

As seen in "Ultimatum", Neo has shown to make full use of Salem's temporary death in order to blackmail Cinder into following her demands.

Team RWBY

Ruby Rose

Neo and Ruby first see each other in "Painting the Town..." when Neo rescues Roman with her Semblance.

Later, when she discovers Ruby on their stolen airship, she sends Roman a message with Ruby's picture and the text "Guess who?"

When the two fight, Roman later joining in, Neo is easily able to disarm and overpower Ruby. When it looks as though Neo is readying to kill her, Ruby saves herself by pressing Neo's umbrella open and sending her off the airship via the high winds.

In "The Coming Storm", Neo is convinced by Cinder that Ruby is the one responsible for Roman's death, prompting her to team up with the Fall Maiden to hunt down and kill the Huntress.

Neo infiltrated Atlas with Cinder in order to have her revenge on Ruby. She aided Cinder by spying on everyone during "Cordially Invited", and smirked as she watched Teams RWBY and JNR go off to fight the Grimm in "As Above, so Below". Later that night, Cinder ordered Neo to take the Relic of Knowledge from Oscar, however Neo immediately became upset and took on Ruby's appearance to illustrate her wish to prioritize her revenge.

In "Amity" during her fight against Maria, Neo transformed into Ruby as her answer when the elderly woman asked what she wanted after she destroyed her Mech and her ignoring Emerald's call to provide back up for Cinder during her fight against Penny. Showing that despite everything, Neo is still completely focused in her goal of revenge against Ruby and is most likely still angling to kill her herself.

As seen by the time of "Witch" and "Ultimatum", Neo has already begun making her own plans to get her revenge with Ruby. With her having made the necessary arrangements to force Cinder into helping her.

As seen in "Worthy", Neo's extreme hatred for Ruby is fully shown in her attempt to kill her while her attention that kept busy by Cinder. Where even after Neo had successfully dispatched Ruby's elder sister Yang and threw her into the abyss of the other dimension created by Ambrosious, Neo herself was still enraged that her killing blow towards Ruby was blocked by her and she immediately engaged Ruby in battle to kill her herself.

Neo enraged upon seeing Ruby's apparent obliviousness to the reason for her hatred for her.

In "The Final Word", Neo showed visible outrage and anger upon Ruby stating "whatever it is you wanted, I hope it was worth it", indicating that she was enraged that Ruby herself was oblivious to who she was and that she was trying to avenge Roman. Her rage affects her judgement and causes her to fall straight into Ruby's trap, allowing the latter to disarm her and knock her off the path.

Yang Xiao Long

Although the two have only interacted in battle, Neo seemingly enjoyed fighting Yang, even to the extent of toying with her in the midst of combat. Yang's temper came out in reaction to this and Neo used it to her advantage. After the battle ended, Neo gave a sadistic smile as she prepared to kill Yang.

In "Worthy", Neo's anger for Yang would increase when she prevented Neo from dealing a killing blow to Ruby, with Neo showing visible anger at her for her interference.

Team JNPR

Jaune Arc

Neo attempted to convince him and his team that she was Oscar to allow her to escape with the Relic she had stolen, before Oscar himself arrived and destroyed the illusion. Upon seeing Neo's true form, Jaune appeared upset, and after confirming he knew of Neo, he explained he had 'not heard good things' about her. They proceeded to fight, and Jaune was able to use his gravity Dust-empowered shield to protect Oscar and blast Neo away, though he did no lasting damage. After stealing back the Relic, Neo, under the guise of Nora, met Jaune in the halls, but easily evaded him escaped.

Nora Valkyrie

Neo impersonated Oscar after taking the Relic from him and was discovered by Nora, who excitedly ran to meet Neo before Oscar arrived and destroyed her illusion. Nora immediately and angrily identified the girl as Neopolitan, apparently already aware of Neo's identity. While they fought, Nora took two shots at Neo, which were blocked before Neo took her out. Later, Neo took on Nora's appearance to steal the Relic from Oscar and prevent Ren from attacking her.

Lie Ren

Neo properly met him during her attempt to steal the Relic from Oscar, when the team showed up to fend her off. In the ensuing fight, Neo silently, yet blatantly, mocked Ren feigning shock before gleefully dispatching him. Neo met him again later in the fight while impersonating Nora, and used her disguise to manipulate Ren into preventing him from attacking, and thus allowing Neo to escape. Afterwards, Ren was seeing crying out of guilt.

Others

Raven Branwen

Neo, before retreating after confronting Raven

In "No Brakes", Neo immediately became fearful and retreated from the train car after Raven arrived via a portal to stop her from killing Yang. In the Volume 2 Director's Commentary, it is stated that she retreats because she can tell that Raven is someone she cannot defeat. This is evidenced by her opponent's superior speed and Omen, her telescopic blade.

Lil' Miss Malachite

Likely due to her time working under Roman Torchwick, Neo has strong ties with the criminal underworld and has shown to have the necessary connections to get in touch with Lil' Miss Malachite's Organization to do business with her, that being information on Cinder Fall.

Although their exact relationship is unknown, its been implied that Neo herself has strong connections with Lili'Miss Malachite or her gang due to her being given priority as her client despite the multitude of others who were actively hunting Cinder due to the Widescale destruction she caused.

Oscar Pine

Neo vs Oscar

Neo was tasked by Cinder to locate the Relic of Knowledge, which she found was in Oscar's possession, though she seems to have no personal feelings towards Oscar. When Cinder charged Neo with taking the Relic of Knowledge from Oscar, she rebelled, apparently seeing the task as less important than her revenge. However, after being assured she would get to kill Ruby, Neo relented and went after Oscar.

Offscreen, Neo attacked Oscar and stole the Relic before impersonating him in front of Team JNR. However, Oscar had not been incapacitated and attacked her, shattering her illusion and revealing her identity. This also knocked the Relic from her and Oscar took it back, telling the rest of the team what had happened and calling Neo a 'crazy girl'. After dispatching Ren and Nora, Neo fought with Oscar, attempting to get the Relic from him, but failed as Jaune stepped in and blasted Neo away. The group proceeded to run, and unable to keep up, Oscar was almost seen by a couple of Atlas soldiers, but Neo, impersonating Nora, pulled Oscar away and stole the Relic before attempting to stab him. Oscar dodged the attack, but was then swatted aside by Neo, who then escaped.

Maria Calavera

Neo vs. Maria

In "Amity", Neo fought against Maria during Cinder and Emerald's raid on Amity Communications Tower.

During their fight, Neo tried to extract information from Maria about her main target of revenge, Ruby. As seen where she transformed into Ruby's form, when Maria asked her on what she wanted and her ignoring Emerald's call to provide back up for Cinder.

During the battle, Neo showcased active annoyance and frustration against the old woman due to her attitude and her constantly out maneuvering her in battle. Later after Neo successfully threw her off her feet due to Maria being distracted due to being concerned for Penny. Neo attempted to kill Maria using her sword before being knocked out cold by Penny's energy blast.

References

Characters
Minor Characters
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