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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. As seen during the events of Volume 8, Neo had a purely business relationship with Cinder and her faction and cared very little for any of the other members aside from Roman. As seen from her willingness to abandon and use Emerald to fulfil her own goal and her later attempting to blackmail Cinder. Neo would eventually officially kicked out of the group after Cinder betrayed and attempt to kill her.

Salem's Inner Circle

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

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

As seen during the events of Volume 8, Neo showcased active discontent upon having been forced into joining Salem's faction and Cinder's own disregard for their original agreement. This eventually lead her to chose to betray the group in order to fulfill her own objective.

Family

Jimmy Vanille

Jimmy was Neo's father. In her early childhood, she didn't get along with her father at all as he physically abused her and demanded her to speak in her own words even though she's mute. It is hinted that Neo came to fear her father due to his abusive, arrogant, and controlling behavior over her.

Above all else, Neo's parents wanted her to be normal, to the point of keeping her in the shadows until she turned so. While Jimmy was abusive towards Neo, he genuinely didn't want his daughter to accidentally get involved with crime like he did with the Xiong Family.

Throughout the years up until she was 18 years old, she develops a strong hatred towards him to the point where she lets Little Miss kill her father by shooting the Dust inside the Vanille manor and causing a huge explosion. Afterwards, she showed no remorse for her father's death.

Carmel Vanille

Carmel Vanille was Neo's mother. In her early childhood, she was on neutral terms with her mother since she was the only one who didn't abuse her. However, her mother refused to look at Neo in the eyes when she talked to Neo out of disdain for Neo’s heterochromia. Neo's mother wanted her to be normal, to the point of keeping her in the shadows until she turned so.

When Neo was drugged by her mother years later, it was revealed that Carmel kept her true nature as a criminal a secret from her daughter and had no idea she was just using her and her father in an attempt to take over Vale's criminal underworld.

Throughout the years up until she was 18 years old, Neo came to hate her mother, to the point where she refused to save her mother and allowing her to be killed by Lil' Miss when she shot the Dust inside the Vanille manor and blowing it up with her inside.

Cinder's Faction

Roman Torchwick

Partners in crime

Neo was the partner of Roman. She is the only confirmed person Roman did not regard with utter contempt and disdain, and she quickly got him out of danger on multiple occasions. The two shared an inseparable bond, caring for each other’s well being deeply.[1]

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 claimed that the production for RWBY had 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 had "never been nailed down," but there was certainty that Neo is Roman's shadow and she has romantic feelings for him, "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.[2] Miles’s previous comments regarding the uncertainty of their relationship were later canonically contradicted through the novel Roman Holiday.

[1]Lindsay Jones once compared their relationship to that of a daughter and father, with Miles agreeing.[3] However, Jones has seemingly shown support for the two in a intimate relationship since then.[4] In another video chat interview on November 7th, 2020, Miles confirmed Neo and Roman in no way shape or form have a familial relationship[5], 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." Roman Holiday confirms the nature of their relationship as mutually amicable and positive in nature, rather than the abusive implications of the earlier Harley Quinn and Joker comparisons. Roman Holiday also confirms budding amorous intentions from both Neo and Roman, including a kiss on the cheek with Roman where he blushes. The author EC Meyers has also indicated his support a multitude of times for the relationship.[6][7]

Miles also affirmed in an interview in 2020 Neo deliberately has no canonical age and is meant to be "mysterious and nebulous." On September 13, 2014, Monty Oum stated in a comment on his Facebook "just because she's short doesn't mean she's young."[8] These two separate statements implies the intention of Neo being an adult, but without a specific age in mind. Roman Holiday confirms there is approximately a ten year age gap between Neo and Roman, reaffirmed by a Reddit AMA on November 10, 2021. Additionally, the timeline of the book in conjunction with RTX comments from EC Meyers confirms Neo is at least in her mid twenties by the start of RWBY.

Monty Oum has said she was designed due to the need for Roman to have a right-hand woman.[9] 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.[10] 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."[11] Also to the comment "Couple goals" on the post with Roman & Neo he replied, "Yeah, that's it". [12]

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."[13]

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

By "Witch", Neo, having become fed up with Cinder prioritizing her own goals over their initial agreement, secretly stole the Relic of Knowledge inside Monstra and used Hazel and Emerald's defection as a means to avoid Salem's detection. In "Ultimatum", Neo contacted Cinder and used the Lamp as blackmail in order to get her to follow her demands.

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, Cinder would make true with her promise of giving Neo the opportunity to kill Ruby by giving her the needed opening to strike Ruby down while she kept her distracted.

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 for having threatened her before. When Neo was dangling from the ledge, instead of helping, Cinder merely took the Lamp from her hip before kicking Hush into the void and stubbing her hand with the Staff, causing her to fall as well.

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.

In "Witch", Neo used Emerald and Hazel's defection from Salem as a cover when stealing the Relic of Knowledge inside Monstra, in order 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 nearly tortured for the Lamp's location.

Salem's Inner Circle

Salem

In "The Grimm Reaper", Neo was informed of Salem's existence by Cinder during her explanation, but the two would not officially meat until "Divide", after she was formally introduced to her by Cinder following their acquirement of the Lamp.

Despite this, Neo was not truly loyal to Salem and was merely there for her own ends. In "Witch", Neo steals the Relic of Knowledge inside Monstra and uses Emerald and Hazel's own defection to hide her tracks as she made her escape. Later in "Ultimatum", Neo uses the Lamp to blackmail Cinder into following her demands while Salem is reforming.

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.

As seen in the Volume 9 sneak peek, even when falling through the void with no guarantee of survival, Neo's hatred of Ruby was still present as she angrily tried to kill Ruby again even while falling. She also showed to have no qualms about transforming into people that Ruby's had strong emotional connection to, as seen where she transform into Oscar, Yang, and Penny, while trying to beat and strangle her to death in order to traumatize Ruby further.

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 Spider to do business with her, that being information on Cinder Fall.

Although their exact relationship is unknown, it's been implied that Neo herself has strong connections with Lil' 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 wide scale destruction she caused.

Although Lil' Miss and Neo were enemies through their opposite relationships to Roman Torchwick, their history spans further back in time and not all of it is bad. Because of this, they put aside their differences when Neo comes to Lil' Miss about Cinder.[14]

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.

"Neopolitan" (Trivia's Imaginary Friend)

Neopolitan was Trivia's only "friend" who understood, and played with her during her early childhood. It was later revealed that "Neoplitan" was in fact a secondary personality/imaginary friend created by Trivia using her Semblance to cope with her loneliness, isolation and abuse from her father and mother.

As time went on and Trivia trained her Semblance, she was eventually able to make other people see Neopolitan. However, her mother eventually decided to shatter her instead and Trivia was unable to recreate her. Despite this, she realized that Neo represented her "true self" and decided to embrace that part of her once her parents were killed while changing her name to Neopolitan in the process.

References

Characters
RWBY/Justice League
Minor Characters
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