Throughout the production of a series, a lot goes on behind the scenes in regards to planning and design, which often go through multiple stages before resulting in the final version that is seen on screen. Some concepts and ideas can have an effect on the show and characters, and unexpected occurrences during production can also lead to changes and additions to the plans for the show.

Character Basis

Yang Xiao Long alludes to Goldilocks[1] from the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which follows Team RWBY's theme of fairy tale allusions. This allusion has had the following influences on the character and the show:

  • The "Yellow" Trailer, which serves as an introduction for Yang, takes place in Hei "Junior" Xiong's nightclub. During the course of the trailer, she knocks out a DJ who is wearing a bear mask and fights Junior. The literal translation for Junior's name, from Chinese to English, is Black Bear. That, added with his nickname, Junior, makes him the "Baby Bear" to her Goldilocks.
  • Yang's first fight in the series proper is against a pair of Ursai, bear-like Grimm, in the episode "The Emerald Forest". This, again, is another allusion to the three bears in the story of Goldilocks.
  • Yang places great value on her long, thick, golden-blonde locks of hair.
  • Her Volume 4 "DGAS" outfit has a patch on the left leg of her pants depicting three Ursa masks, thus referencing the three bears.
  • In "Welcome to Haven", there is a fuel station called "Just Rite". In the fairy tale, Goldilocks tries the bowls of porridge, chairs, and beds successively, each time finding the third "just right". In the same episode, Shay D. Mann and Yang herself describe her body as being "not too bulky, not too lean, but just right".

Appearance Basis


Yang Xiao Long Emblem.svg

Yang's emblem is a burning heart. This emblem appears on some of her possessions:

  • Original battle outfit - on the left breast of her shirt and the front right of her leather half-skirt.
  • On her motorcycle helmet.
  • Pajamas - on her tank-top.
  • "Hunter" alternate outfit - on the outer side of each of her stockings on the thigh.
  • Timeskip "DGAS" outfit - on the right leg of her pants.
  • Luggage - on the side of the luggage she has in Volume 6.
  • Atlas battle outfit - on the belt buckle.

Image Gallery


Original Battle Outfit

An old piece of concept art by Einlee shows one outfit with two different color palettes and two different scarves. This version of her outfit has seven differences from her battle outfit in the series:

  • The one on the right has a regular scarf with strips hanging from the end.
  • Her outer skirt parts on her left side and covers the front, instead of being open in the front.
  • The inner side of her right boot has no visible zipper.
  • Her belt goes through a wide leather article.
  • There is no pouch on the side of her belt.
  • The long fabric hanging from the back of her skirt appears to be plain white, rather than pale blue fading into white.
  • The long fabric hanging from the back of her skirt appears to be longer.

There also appears to be a difference in physical appearance:

  • Her eyes are a darker, much more vivid, purple than they are in her final design.

A second piece of concept art by Einlee shows an outfit that much more closely resembles the final design, with ten differences:

  • The inner side of her right boot has no visible zipper.
  • The scarf tied around her left leg is cyan, rather than a dull purple-gray.
  • Her burning heart emblem is not present on her shirt.
  • The image of her emblem on her leather half-skirt is black instead of yellow.
  • She appears to be wearing arm warmers.
  • Her belt appears to have engraved designs on it.
  • Her belt goes through a wide leather article.
  • There is no pouch on the side of her belt.
  • The long fabric hanging from the back of her skirt appears to be plain white, rather than pale blue fading into white.
  • The long fabric hanging from the back of her skirt appears to be longer.

Image Gallery


Childhood concept art by Kristina Nguyen

Yang's outfit from the flashback in "Burning the Candle" can be seen more clearly in a piece of concept art by Kristina Nguyen.

Yang is depicted wearing a light brown shirt with puffy sleeves, similar to her battle outfit's jacket, that appears to be coming apart at the side. The split in the side of her shirt is held together by a crisscrossed stitching of black thread. Over her shirt, she is wearing an orange belt. She is wearing a pair of long, dull, dark brown shorts that end at the knee and have a notch on the inner side of the bottom of the leg. Her footwear consists of brown shoes and a pair of orange, folded-down socks. Her accessories are a yellow bandanna around her neck and a pair of orange ribbons tying her hair up into pigtails.

This childhood outfit bears similarities to Yang's battle outfit, most notably the sleeves of the shirt, the bandanna, the shoes, and the socks.


Yang's timeskip outfit, by Einlee

Throughout most of Volume 4, Yang wears an outfit that her concept art refers to as her "DGAS" outfit. Said concept art was drawn by Einlee. The final version that is seen in the show has the following differences from the concept art:

  • Her hair is tied up in a ponytail.
  • The patch on her left leg is a red shield with three Ursa masks arranged in a triangle.
  • The patch on her right leg has been changed from a bumblebee to her burning heart emblem.
  • Her shoelaces are dark purple instead of white.


  • In the "Yellow" Trailer, the photo that Yang shows to Junior is the "Transient Princess", a piece of artwork by Monty Oum based on Final Fantasy VIII's Rinoa Heartilly with "hair that transitions into the threads of a feather". The artwork is used as a placeholder for the character Yang is actually searching for, who is later revealed to be Raven Branwen.
  • Initially, Ruby and Yang were not meant to be blood-related. This was changed by Monty sometime during June 2013, as the show was developed further.
  • In order to get ready to voice Yang, Barbara repeatedly yells Ruby's name.
  • In the Volume 1 Director's Commentary, Monty mentions that, when he chose Yang's voice actress, he said "Barbara should play Goldilocks." According to J.J. Castillo, Monty had a habit of referring to characters by the names of who they are inspired by, rather than their actual names in the show. [3]
  • Barbara has said that Miles Luna, Kerry Shawcross, and Monty "knew [me] very well, and they wanted to transfer a lot of [my] character and personality traits onto Yang", with her role as a community manager inspiring the fact that the character acts motherly towards Ruby. [4]
  • In the original Volume 1 Opening storyboard, Yang hops onto her motorcycle, winks at the camera, and drives away. She later appears standing with Weiss and Blake, looking at Ruby, whom she reaches out to and takes the hand of.
  • Monty reused his idea for shotgun gauntlets from an old project that was never finished.[5]
  • Originally, they were going to do more with Raven Branwen and Yang Xiao Long in Volume 3, but weren't able to due to time restraints.[6]
  • After Volume 3, Rooster Teeth changed the animation software from Poser Pro 2013 to Autodesk Maya. With this change, the animation department also made all-new models for RWBY. The Yang Xiao Long model's eyelashes were given a slightly different shape, and her face has lips modeled on.
  • Although for somewhat goofy reasons, Yang gets her purple eyes from Tai's being blue and Raven's being red. [7]
  • When remodeling all of the characters for Autodesk Maya, they were mostly kept the same in terms of their faces and hair. Yang was the only one who had a significant change done to her hair and originally Ruby's hair was changed in a way so the lighting would look better and it could move better, but it didn't feel right and the change for Ruby was reverted.[8]
  • The sounds that Yang's robotic arm and her gauntlets make when she shoots were created by mixing together sound clips of silenced machine gun shots, bullets hitting metal, and jackhammers.[9]

Image Gallery


RWBY/Justice League
Minor Characters