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Yang Xiao Long is one of the protagonists of RWBY. She is a Huntress, having been trained at the now-defunct Beacon Academy. Her weapons of choice are a pair of Dual Ranged Shot Gauntlets, Ember Celica.
She made her first appearance in the "Yellow" Trailer, searching for clues regarding the whereabouts of her mother, Raven Branwen, who left her when she was a child. From Volume 1, Yang became a member of Team RWBY alongside Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna and her younger half-sister Ruby Rose.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Trivia
- 5 References
Yang is a tall, fair-skinned young woman with lilac eyes and bright golden hair that fades to pale gold at the tips with a cowlick sticking out at the top, greatly resembling her mother. When her Semblance is active, her eyes become red and her hair gains a fiery glow.
Original Outfit (Volumes 1–3)
During her attendance at Beacon, she wears a tan jacket that bares her midriff, with golden brown piping and short, puffy sleeves with black cuffs that feature two gold buttons. Underneath this, she wears a low cut yellow crop top with her emblem on the left breast in black.
She also wears a brown belt covered by a pleated brown piece of material reaching from hip to hip around the back of her waist, with her emblem emblazoned on the right-most pleat in gold. Underneath this is a long, white, asymmetrical piece of material reaching to her knee on the right side, as well as a pair of tight black spandex compression shorts that reach her upper thighs. She wears a pair of brown, knee-high boots and orange over-the-knee socks, with the right sock pushed down just below the knee. A gray bandanna is tied around her left knee. In season 2, she wears a purple bandanna around the same knee. An orange infinity scarf and black fingerless gloves complete her outfit.
While riding her motorcycle, Bumblebee, she wears yellow goggles and a matching helmet that bears her emblem in black on either side. While outdoors, she sometimes wears a pair of yellow-rimmed aviator sunglasses.
During her time at Beacon, Yang's pajamas consist of an orange tank top with her emblem on the front in red, and black boy shorts.
At her home in Patch, Yang wears another set of pajamas, which consist of a dark-yellow short-sleeved shirt with black shorts.
Alternate Outfit (Hunter)
This outfit consists of a deep-collared cream vest worn over a low cut black shirt; both are covered by a dark gray shrug with a raised collar, three-quarter sleeves adorned with a single black stripe down the outside of each sleeve, and gold cuffs. A black mini skirt is worn under the cream vest.
A pair of crooked black belts with gold accents are slung around her hip, with a purple piece of fabric attached to the left-rear section of the lower belt. She wears thigh high stockings attached to her miniskirt by garter-belts on the front and back of each thigh, decorated with four golden studs above her knee and her emblem on the outside of each thigh in gold. She also wears black ankle boots with multiple buckles and white ribbons on the back tied in a bow. Around her neck is a purple pendant set in silver.
During the Beacon Dance, Yang wears a short, white, halter neck dress with a pale gray hem and white pumps.
During her attendance at Beacon, Yang wears the same brown shoes, red tartan skirt, white blouse with maroon trim and thin red bow, a brown vest with gold buttons, and maroon blazer with gold trim as every other girl attending Beacon, alongside with a pair of thigh-high black stockings. She retains her fingerless black gloves, as seen in "Best Day Ever".
Post-Timeskip "DGAS" Outfit (Volume 4)
After the time skip following the Fall of Beacon, her new outfit consists of a gray jacket over an orange tank top that bares her hips. The jacket is tied at the right sleeve, indicating her missing arm. The jacket's left sleeve bears her father's emblem, indicating that it may have formerly belonged to him. Completing her attire are gray-brown cargo pants, which have ribbed knee paneling and show the rim of her dark undergarments. High on the left leg of her pants is a red shield-shaped patch with imagery of three Ursa masks, and her emblem is stitched on her right thigh. She wears white sneakers with purple laces, and her hair is pulled back into a messy ponytail with a purple hair tie.
She has also grown taller, surpassing her mother in height.
The stump of her right arm is covered by a circular, metallic plate.
In her concept art for this outfit, her right arm is simply bandaged, and a bumblebee patch is in the place of her emblem. This same concept art refers to the outfit as her "DGAS" outfit.
Post-Timeskip Battle Outfit (Volumes 4–7)
In "No Safe Haven", Yang begins wearing a new outfit with a tan jacket with orange lining and gold edging, unzipped halfway to show an orange crop top. The coat has darker brown short sleeves, a thick collar that completely encircles her neck, and two long gold-trimmed rectangular tails that are shown to be detachable in "Lighting the Fire". She also wears fitted black pants, and her hair has been let down again like her original outfit.
Around her hips and over the tails of her coat is a brown belt, which has two pieces of dark brown material trimmed in gold attached to it. The first covers from her left hip to the back of the belt and is folded over the belt, and the second is attached from the right hip and almost around to the other piece of material. She wears knee-high brown boots with gold caps on the heel and toe, with the heel cap attaching to a gold strap across the front of her ankle, and a gold zipper on the upper half of the front of the boots. A single small buckled strap is on the upper outside of her boots, and a purple bandanna tied around her left knee. A pair of black fingerless gloves with long brown cuffs reaching to mid-forearm complete the outfit.
While riding Bumblebee, Yang no longer wears her helmet or goggles and instead dons a pair of yellow-rimmed aviator sunglasses. Before battle, Yang removes her coattails and cuffs, and she puts Ember Celica onto her left arm.
In the promotional material for Volume 4, Yang is shown wearing the same coat and pants shown in the series. A gold metal plate covers her missing right arm, which matches the accessories on the heels and toes of her boots.
In promotional material for Volume 5, her outfit includes her new robotic arm.
Atlas Outfit (Volume 7-Current)
After arriving in Atlas and meeting with James Ironwood, Yang obtains an entirely new outfit primarily consisting of khaki overalls, the gold zipper of which is unzipped just below the breast to reveal a white low-cut cropped tube top. Around the thighs of the overalls is a gold zipper and buckled strap that allows for the pants leg to be detached. The right leg is unzipped but still strapped to the overalls but the lower part is partially folded over. Over top of the coveralls, she wears a baggy, dark brown crop aviator styled jacket with fur trim around the neck and black-and-orange straps along the sleeves. Around her waist is a black-and-orange belt with black-and-yellow folded fabric on the sides, which runs behind her with a pouch attached to it and a golden buckle of her emblem. She wears dark brown knee-high boots with black laces and top trim. For accessories, she has resumed wearing her orange scarf around her neck and her purple scarf around her right leg, like she did with her original battle outfit. She also has a black/brown strap with golden trim and a pouch wrapped around her left thigh. Yang wears yellow and black socks with her emblem on as shown by the concept art. She is also seen wearing orange sunglasses in "Ace Operatives".
Yang's voice actress, Barbara Dunkelman, has said that when Yang's character was described to her, she was described as "the kind of person who would teach someone how to swim by pushing them in the water". This speaks volumes about how Yang approaches most things in life. She is very straightforward and confident.
Yang is also described as being a cheerful, energetic, and bright young lady. She is arguably the most flippant, carefree, and adventurous member of her team, frequently making sarcastic comments and jokes even in the heat of battle and often taking combat and hostile situations lightly. Yang is very sociable and extroverted, even in unfamiliar situations. Yang's love of adventure is the main reason that she decided to become a Huntress. Blake considers Yang the personification of the word "strength". According to Ruby, she snores loudly.
However, Yang's "brawler" fighting style is evocative of her personality. Her anger, one of her main assets in battle, can lead her to act predictably and has put her into danger repeatedly. She was easily frustrated when she couldn't land a hit on Neopolitan and could not attack precisely because of it, leading to her getting knocked unconscious and almost killed. Yang is also quite protective of her hair and shares a flaw with her mother: thinking strength is all that matters in a fight. When her hair is cut during battle, her resulting anger leads her to attack with straight, blunt force. Her thoughtless anger also led to the quick loss of her right arm in a short encounter with Adam Taurus after he angered her by injuring Blake. While recovering from her injuries, her father lectures her about this weakness and guides her in what she needs to do to start overcoming it along with her flaw that she shares with her mother.
Despite this, Yang is quite mature. She is extremely nurturing and motherly, particularly toward her younger sister, Ruby. Yang pushes her into being outgoing and also worries a great deal about her sister across the many battles they fight in. This protective and encouraging nature extends to Blake and Weiss as well. Yang is worried about Blake on several occasions, such as when she runs from her team and when she suffers from sleep and appetite problems, opening Yang to discussing her stubborn past. What Yang does not reveal is that she suffers from abandonment issues, blaming herself for her mother not sticking around.
Yang is also quite guile as she was able to teach Weiss on how to play Remnant: The Game by explaining to her how to use her cards in the game only to better trick Weiss into wasting her armies. She later used a laser to attract Blake so they would be able to talk and even tricked a bandit into revealing the location of Raven's camp. She is also perspicacious as she saw through her mother's facade and attempt to manipulate her into staying with the tribe during their first meeting, recognized her in her corvid form at Haven, and quickly deduced that her mother was the Spring Maiden and had killed the former maiden.
However, after the deaths of Pyrrha Nikos and Penny Polendina, the Fall of Beacon, the losses of her right arm and her partner Blake, Yang sunk into a reclusive depression. The mention of her missing partner agitates her and she gives Ruby the cold shoulder and even outright ignores her sister when she says, "I love you". Over months, Yang rebounds from this reclusive nature. Though she suffers from PTSD, she tries to keep moving forward, partially for her father's sake when feeling she holds him back. After overhearing her father and Bartholomew Oobleck talking about Ruby outside her window, she accepts the earlier wisdom of her father, Oobleck, and Professor Peter Port and dons her new robotic arm.
When training with her new limb, she learns how to balance her driven and positive nature without overconfidence or agitation. She paints her arm to match her style, changes to a new outfit, and headed to Mistral although Taiyang Xiao Long believes she has not overcome the personality flaws that cost her arm. Fortunately, she has shown to not be as quick to blind anger in combat anymore and now fights displaying good strategy and intelligence, as seen with her rematch against Adam and when she fought the Ace Ops. While traveling to Mistral to reunite with Ruby she continues to struggle with her PTSD, which manifests in her left arm shaking when she encounters stress. She however appears to have overcome it some time after she and Blake have reluctantly killed Adam.
Yang is extremely sensitive about being abandoned and her "simmering anger" stems from these abandonment issues. For the better part of nearly two decades, Yang spent her life searching for her mother, trying to understand her reasons for leaving. Their first reunion in "Lighting the Fire" also demonstrated how low her opinion was of Raven, reacting with anger after Raven said that Yang finally decided to visit her, making it sound like she was the one responsible for her mother not being a part of her life. She even ignored Raven's attempts at lightening the mood and became hostile upon her father, uncle and Team RWBY being insulted in "Known by its Song". Even after her team's reunion at Haven, Yang was still guarded and kept some distance from Blake, stating in "Argus Limited" that their relationship would need time to heal. After a rematch against Adam in "Seeing Red" however, Yang fully accepted her partner's apologies, understanding that Blake was not like her mother.
Despite her fear of Salem, she was still strongly willing to continue fighting against her and to take the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas, despite knowing that it may put a target on her back. Even after learning about Salem's immortality and knowing that she wasn't a match for her, Yang still went against her in order to allow her friends to escape and did not hesitate to call Salem out on her actions. She also has a good degree of heroism and selflessness, being willing to takes the attacks from an Ursa and from Neo to protect Ruby as seen in the "Volume 5 Yang Character Short" and "Worthy" respectively, and even attacked Salem to save Emerald despite her enmity and distrust for her actions.
She has an opposition to keeping secrets. In "Uncovered", she is upset with Ozpin for keeping the nature of the Relic of Knowledge a secret from the group. In "A New Approach", she was willing to trust Ruby's judgement in not telling James Ironwood the full truth about Salem and the Lamp, but questioned this decision privately later. When sent to apprehend Robyn Hill in "Worst Case Scenario", she and Blake instead revealed Ironwood's plans for the Amity Communications Tower to her.
Despite her good qualities, Yang has a tendency to deflect. In "Divide", she deflects blame by criticizing Ruby's decision to keep secrets from Ironwood, despite the fact that it was due to her and Blake's actions with Robyn that partially led to him losing faith in them and bringing about the current situation. In "Fault", when Ren brings up some concern that they were not ready and that their actions will lead to people dying, Yang avoids his direct criticism and tries to deflect by offering counterpoints without addressing his actual arguments.
However, unlike her mother, Yang is capable of admitting her wrongs as well as recognizing the qualities of others even when their opinions are different from hers, admitting to Blake that her obsession to search for her mother nearly got herself and Ruby killed when they were young, and during her discussion with Ruby in "Risk", she admitted that her own plan didn't work either after Ruby lamented the failure of bringing Amity Tower up and running, even telling Ruby that her blind optimism wasn't a flaw when she believed she wasted time with it, as it was a necessity in life.
Powers and Abilities
Yang's fighting style is much more aggressive than that of her teammates. She uses a barehanded fist-fighting style and her weapons; Ember Celica. She is quite agile, able to dodge an onslaught of Ursai and gunfire with ease. Since gaining her prosthetic arm, Yang has taken to using its armored surface defensively, shielding herself from firearms, and staving off attacks to gain greater ground on her opponents, incorporating its advantages into her improved fighting style following further instruction from her father, Tai.
She is also physically the strongest of the group. Her strength is displayed on numerous occasions, such as when her punch sent a fully grown man several feet into the air and through a glass pillar without the enhancement of her weapon, and in "Players and Pieces", where she was able to keep the mouth of a Nevermore open with one arm long enough to deliver multiple shots down its throat.
Like all Huntsmen and Huntresses, Yang has had her Aura unlocked, coating her body with a shield powered by her soul, which helps protect her, especially when her aggressiveness gets her into bad situations. Though she already has the highest level of durability in her team, with her Aura unlocked, her durability is particularly high, as showcased in her doubles match with Weiss against Flynt Coal and Neon Katt during the Vytal Tournament, where she withstands numerous hits from Neon during the bout's opening stages and powers through the effects of Flynt's weapon, knocking him out and securing victory for her side shortly after. Due to the nature of her Semblance and the high durability, Yang would typically absorb enough hits through her Aura to empower herself and then finish the fights with her Semblance, which her father criticizes due to her over-reliance in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back".
Since the end of Volume 3 and her mental recovery at the end of Volume 4, Yang's fighting skills had improved immensely after training again. Notably, she has incorporated more kicking and dodging. Her new robotic arm also gives her a higher degree of strength, able to send full-grown men flying from the intensity of her blows. During her rematch against Adam, she defeats him despite his superior speed by adapting her combat technique and avoiding attacking him until he uses up the energy from his Semblance so that she can disarm him, showing her improved intelligence in combat.
Her fight against Elm and Vine with Blake further showcases her more pragmatic approach to battles. She coordinated her attacks with Blake and refrained from using her Semblance until the last moment to destroy the ground Elm had anchored herself to and deliver the finishing blow. Since Volume 3, her use of her Semblance overall in battle has gone down, as she tends to activate it only as a last resort. Even when she does, rather than absorbing blows to her body (which, though empowering her Semblance, depletes her Aura faster and causes her harm) she now tends to deflect or absorb blows with her forearms, as she did in her final battle with Adam Taurus. This enables her to use her Semblance more efficiently and runs less risk of her exhausting her Aura when she does so.
- Main article: Ember Celica
Yang's weapon of choice is Ember Celica, it is radically different compared to those used by her teammates, being a pair of gauntlets which can retract into bracelets. Yang's fighting style involves combining her punches with explosive shots from Ember Celica for moderate or short-ranged attacks.
Ember Celica has powerful recoil, which Yang can use to augment the force of her punch and accelerate her movements. The force is powerful enough to launch her high in the air. The recoil also reloads and prepares the gauntlets for the next shot.
She can also use her Ember Celica as a form of armor when defending against attacks in unarmed combat. After the events of "Heroes and Monsters", Yang only has one Ember Celica, due to her lost arm.
- Main article: Burn
Yang's Semblance, Burn, as Ruby states during the events of "Painting the Town...", lets her absorb kinetic energy from every blow she takes and use it to make herself more powerful; this is a form of kinetic energy absorption, with Yang subsequently redirecting said energy against her opponent with double the amount of force. As a side-effect of her Semblance, Yang's eyes turn red and her hair sometimes begins glowing and even becomes covered in flames. Yang's Semblance does not make her angry, but anger has sometimes led her to impulsively activate it.
Prior to the Fall of Beacon, Yang often used her Semblance to finish a fight, after absorbing enough damage from blows to overpower her opponent. However, after the Fall of Beacon, she begins to use it far less often and more as a final attack due to her improved training in fighting smarter rather than harder with Taiyang. This is demonstrated during her fights against the bandits and the Grimm between Haven and Argus where she doesn't use her Semblance to fight. At the end of her second and last fight with Adam Taurus, she uses it to disarm and overpower him with a very powerful punch.
- Main article: Yang's Prosthetic Arm
After losing her arm in the Battle of Beacon to Adam Taurus she was given a new robotic arm by James Ironwood. She initially refused it due to depression, but after some time to reflect and heal, at least partially, Yang chose to use it, spray painting the new limb yellow to match her remaining Ember Celica.
Created by Pietro Polendina, Yang's cybernetic limb possesses great strength. Its power is shown in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", where a single blow sent her father, a fully trained Huntsman, skidding back several feet even though Tai blocked the attack. It is also outfitted with most of Ember Celica's features, including a shotgun. As seen in "Rest and Resolutions", the arm can detach from her bicep and can even be fired like a projectile. It is also durable enough to take a fully charged strike from Adam's Moonslice Semblance and continued functioning even after its damage.
In Atlas, Yang's arm is modified. It is now larger with more mass and more gold plates around. It more resembles the design of Ember Celica.
Although Yang gets stronger from taking damage, her frustration and anger can be exploited by skilled opponents. This weakness is perhaps best expressed in her very brief first confrontation with Adam, her anger causing her to recklessly charge him and lose her right arm in the process. However, this drawback is more or less under control after her father Taiyang told her to focus on using her opponent's force against them.
Aside from that, knocking her unconscious before she can reach her final stage completely negates her Semblance. Yang is also noted to be weak against kick-based fighting styles, seen when she struggles against Neo, Melanie, and Mercury Black. As time progresses however, she has since adapted to kick fighters.
As seen in her fight with Neo, fighters well-versed in dodging attacks can frustrate Yang, making her attacks predictable and easily avoided, which also renders the added power with her Semblance useless. The fact that she fights barehanded as opposed to using a melee weapon also limits the reach of her close-quarters attacks, enabling opponents with greater agility to evade her strikes.
While not necessarily a form of weakness, her emotions can also cause her to unintentionally activate her Semblance even if she is not in a battle. Examples of this include her frustrated outburst in "Players and Pieces", her moment of anger toward Blake in "Burning the Candle" and two times in her doubles round tournament fight in "Never Miss a Beat". In "Worthy" she instinctively activates her Semblance to protect Ruby from Neo's attack, breaking her Aura and being knocked into the Abyss.
Taiyang somewhat jokingly defines her Semblance as "basically a temper tantrum" and a liability against stronger and more experienced opponents; if they can evade or outlast the duration of her onslaught, she is left weak, tired, and vulnerable to a counterattack. For this reason due to her improved fighting style in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", Taiyang tells her it's best left as a last resort rather than a crutch like how she used it in the Vytal Festival and due to her over-reliance of using it to win every fight before.
- Yang alludes to Goldilocks from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. For more information on this allusion, as well as other choices the creators made for this character, see Yang Xiao Long/Behind the Scenes.
- Yang's name in Chinese is Yáng Xiǎo Lóng (Simplified: 阳小龙; Traditional: 陽小龍), which can be roughly translated to "Little Light Dragon" or "Small Dragon of the Sunshine".
- In "Family", Taiyang calls Yang his "sunny little dragon".
- Yang's name may be a reference to Bruce Lee, whose given name is also Xiao Long (小龙).
- Despite having a Chinese name, Yang's given name and surname are inverted. "Yang" would be the surname and her given name would be "Xiao Long". Furthermore, Chinese surnames are usually only one character. This can be explained by Remnant not following real-world customs.
- Despite Yang's name being Chinese, it is not pronounced in typical Chinese. This is due to the fact that since there is no China in Remnant, the proper Chinese pronunciation does not apply.
- The characters 阳小龙 appear on an official T-shirt released by Rooster Teeth parodying Akira.
- According to Lindsay Jones, a little bit of the power for Yang's Semblance comes from her hair, similar to the story of Samson and Delilah. They said that the reason Yang's hair glows is because "it's basically charging up her energy."
- Yang's Huntress license number is 63600-13592-88610.
- At the RTX Australia 2016 RWBY Panel, Yang's Skype username was Fireballin17.
- During RTX@Home 2020 RWBY Panel, Yang's birthday has been confirmed to be July 28th, making her a Leo.
- Yang was a contender in the 54th episode of ScrewAttack's web series Death Battle, where she fought against Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII. Her Aura granted the ability to endure Tifa's strongest attacks long enough for her to activate her Semblance, granting her the victory.
- After the fight ends, Yang dons a pair of custom, pixel-shades from the "Deal With It" Meme. Barbara Dunkelman, Yang's VA, owns the same pair of glasses in real life.
- The opening of the fight is similar to the "Yellow" Trailer in RWBY. Yang enters a bar looking for someone and orders a strawberry sunrise with no ice. The only difference is that this time Yang doesn't mention wanting her drink to come with a "little umbrella".
- Yang also appeared in season 6 of One Minute Melee against Katsuki Bakugo from My Hero Academia, a battle of which she won.
- The same matchup happened in DBX,where Yang lost because people voted and it ended 50.1-49.9.
- There was an alternate ending where Yang won the DBX.
- The same matchup happened in DBX,where Yang lost because people voted and it ended 50.1-49.9.
- Yang has so far appeared in two Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures episodes. First in "Racial Super Texas" where she can be seen in a bar, with her missing right arm and again in "Spooky Scary Ghost Stories", where a doll of her and her missing arm can be seen on the bedroom floor.
- Yang and Cinder appear in the trailer for Red vs Blue: Zero shown at the Rooster Teeth Comic-Con@Home 2020 Panel as commenters for the characters' live stream, under the handles Yang4Real and Cinder_2u, respectively.
- Yang is a free playable DLC character in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.
- On July 19th, 2019, a limited event collaboration between RWBY and SMITE was announced. Team RWBY is confirmed to appear as voiced skins with Yang as a skin for Terra.
- Gaia Online has an Avatar item based on Yang called "I Burn Within". She is the second character to have an item, the first being Ruby.
- RWBY Pre-Show Livestream
- RTX 2020 RWBY Panel
- "Volume 5 Yang Character Short"
- RWBY Crew Chat (at 45:28)
- Monty's Facebook
- RT Ladies RWBY Podcast
- "RWBY #1" on Page 10
- Rooster Teeth Tumblr Q&A October 5th, 2017
- The World of RWBY: The Official Companion
- GeekVengers Television Interview
- RWBY Crew Chat (at 10:05)
- RWBY Pre-Show Livestream
- RWBY After Show - Volume 2 Episodes 3 & 4
- ScrewAttack's Instagram Page
- Arc System Works Twitter
- Official RWBY Twitter
- SMITE's Twitter