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Unfortunately, the real world isn't the same as a fairy tale.
~ Blake, responding to Ruby's childhood dreams
Shut up! Do you think I like being alone? Every day... every day I think about them! Ruby, Weiss, Yang... they were my friends! I loved them like I never thought I could love anybody. And I hope they hate me for leaving. Everyone thinks they can help me, but they can't. You saw Ilia last night and she's not even the worst! No. No more. They're better off without me. I made my choices and I'll deal with the consequences because they belong to me.
~ Blake's reason of leaving her friends behind, to Sun.
We're not going to destroy the White Fang. We're going to take it back.
~ Blake, to Sun and her parents.
Blake Belladonna is one of the titular protagonists of the American webcartoon series, RWBY. Her weapon of choice is a Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe (VBCS) dubbed Gambol Shroud.

She is voiced by Arryn Zech in the English dub and Yū Shimamura in the Japanese dub.

Appearance

Original (Volumes 1-3)

Blake is a fair skinned young girl with amber eyes and long black hair. A ribbon is tied with a large bow on the top of her head, which acts as a cover for her Faunus heritage and disguises her black cat ears. She wears purple eyeshadow in catseye style.

She wears a black buttoned vest with coattails and a single silver button on the front. Underneath this is a white, sleeveless, high necked, crop undershirt and white shorts with a zipper on the front of each leg, emblazoned with the YKK logo of the real life Japanese zipper manufacturer.

She also wears black low-heeled boots and full stockings with a color gradation of black to purple at her ankles. Her emblem is visible on the outside of both thighs just below her shorts in white. On her left arm is a detached sleeve with a silver cuff around her bicep, and black ribbons are wrapped around both forearms. A small, loose scarf is wrapped around her neck and a gray magnetic backpack is strapped to her back, hidden by her hair.

Pajamas

Blake's pajamas consist of a black, long-sleeved, yukata-style shirt with white edging over a purple undershirt, and a matching skirt. A black obi is wrapped around her waist and tied with a black and white string. She wears her bow while sleeping.

Alternate Outfit (Intruder)

During the events of "A Minor Hiccup" and "Painting the Town...", Blake wears an alternate outfit codenamed "Intruder".

This outfit consists of a white, v-neck, zip-up crop shirt with a black hem and three quarter sleeves. Her emblem is printed in off-white on the left side of the shirt. She wears black pants that have a vertical gray stripe on the outer side of each leg and a black belt.

Attached to the rear of the belt is a black piece of fabric that covers her from hip to hip. Underneath this is a longer, translucent, purple piece of fabric. She also wears black high-heel boots with two straps and buckles and purple undersoles, reaching to mid-calf. She retains the black ribbons on her forearms and her black bow.

Dance

During the Beacon Dance, Blake wears a short, purple, asymmetrical, halter neck dress that is split up the right side and has a black collar. Translucent black mesh covers her shoulders, decolletage and back, and decorative black swirls cover the left side of the dress and continue up the left strap. The outfit is completed with black pumps and she wears a teal bow as opposed to her usual black one.

Uniform

Blake wears the same brown shoes, red tartan skirt, white blouse with maroon trim and thin red bow, brown vest with gold buttons, and maroon blazer with gold trim as every other girl attending Beacon Academy, alongside knee-high black socks.

Post-Timeskip (Volume 4 - Current)

After the timeskip following the Fall of Beacon, her new design features a long white coat with dark gray lining and a sleeveless black crop top. The crop top has rectangular and diamond shaped cutouts around the neckline. Additionally, she wears a white belt over black fitted pants. After the confrontation with Adam in "Heroes and Monsters", Blake has been left with a scar on her left abdomen.

Across her torso is a diagonal strap that contains a smaller magnetic clip used to sheathe Gambol Shroud. She wears thigh-high black heeled boots with gold-colored edging around the top. The left boot has a belt wrapped twice around the thigh. Each boot bears her belladonna emblem in white on the outer side of the thigh, and a white pouch is attached to the back of her belt.

In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", Blake removes her bow and throws it into the ocean.

Personality

The entire time Blake was at Beacon, she was afraid to open up to people. She tried to keep her past separated from us. She tried to protect us. Eventually, those walls she put up came down. And the moment they did, the one thing she was afraid of actually happened. The universe proved her right.
~ Weiss to Yang, about Blake in "Alone Together".

Blake is described as being "mellow" by her voice actress, Arryn Zech. She displays a cool, reserved, and serious personality most of the time but does not lack a humorous side usually in the form of dry wit and sarcasm. Blake is a righteous person, respecting other people's lives regardless of whether they are Faunus. She strongly despises those who judge and discriminate based on racial prejudice. Blake is outspoken, going so far as to indirectly insult the Schnee Dust Company in front of its heiress and defend Faunus of any kind.

Blake is shown to be an introvert. Though she reads books to distance herself from the discussion at hand, as the series continues, she is shown to be more facetious and friendly. Blake appears most conversant when discussing the history and plight of her people.

As a Faunus, Blake has faced discrimination in the past and wears a bow when around Humans in order to be treated for her character and not her species. However, despite having no hate for Humans, she has seen how the real world works and wonders how she can undo so many years of hate and pain.

Blake's past negatively influenced her personality, leading to stubbornness, sleep deprivation and trust issues at times; however, she has a strong sense of righteousness. As a member of the White Fang during its former, peaceful leadership, Blake strongly disagrees with the level of violence and hatred they exhibit toward Humans. She sees her Semblance as a prospect of her tendency to avoid conflict, especially when caused by the White Fang, but Sun persuades her to let her friends help her as much as she believes she is helping them. She uses this in turn to persuade Ilia to leave the White Fang and to confront Adam with others' help.

Blake's Cat-Faunus features also seem to give her other aspects of a cat, such as climbing up to Ruby's bed to stay away from Ruby and Yang's pet dog, Zwei. Another time, she is distracted by and instinctively decides to follow a laser pointer light to a waiting Yang in "Burning the Candle". She also has a great love for tuna, as shown in "Round One" where she drools over a bowl of noodles topped with tuna fish

Powers and Abilities

Blake shows above-average agility, speed and endurance, as shown when fighting multiple enemies yet maintaining motion and energy without fatigue. She also exhibits a high level of skill when handling Gambol Shroud. She can slash away at opponents with startling speed and deflect incoming machine gun fire using just her blade.

Blake also possesses remarkable reflexes, able to dodge a near point-blank strike from Adam Taurus by using her Semblance.

As a Faunus, Blake possesses the ability of night vision, granting her the ability to see proficiently in the dark, as is shown after shooting out the power during the White Fang Faction Meeting, using the dark as a means for her and Sun to escape from Roman and the White Fang

Weapon

There are three forms to Gambol Shroud. When sheathed, her weapon is able to slice opponents in two with its cleaver-like cover. However, when unsheathed, it becomes even deadlier, and Blake is able to use both the blade and sheath in tandem against her opponents. Blake is also capable of jumping large distances, leaping from building to building, and even on moving cars, as seen in "Painting the Town...".

She is also adept in using Gambol Shroud as a conduit for her Aura. Creating shockwave like attacks of varying intensities in conjunction with her swings, these attacks have been shown to be extremely effective and versatile as Blake has used them against Grimm, missiles, AK-130's and human opponents. Given that Adam demonstrates a red variant of this attack in the "Black" Trailer, it is possible she learned this technique from him.

She also appears to be able to freely and quickly change the way she grips her weapon. She can fold the blade into a gun-blade which is attached to an extending ribbon, similar to the Japanese kusarigama or sickle-and-chain. Her technique with this form of Gambol Shroud is similar to Ruby's with Crescent Rose: she uses the recoil from the gun attached to her blade to increase the speed of her attacks, and can slice multiple enemies with Gambol Shroud from the ground or in the air through a whirling attack.

Additionally, she uses the momentum of the weapon on the ribbon as an anchor to maneuver herself in midair, and she can grapple other opponents or objects from medium range to bring them into melee distance. She is quite accurate as well, for she is able to kill an Ursa with one strike during her meeting with Yang in the Emerald Forest. Though she is very talented at using Gambol Shroud offensively, it requires a lot of concentration, lowering her defensive capability and making her more susceptible to attacks overall. Blake uses her ribbon again in "Painting the Town..." to spin Yang around, which is part of Ruby's plan to distract and defeat Roman.

Because the sword portion of Gambol Shroud folds into a sickle, the end of the blade is double-edged, and she can use this double edge when it is in its sword form. This is seen in "Black and White" when she attempts to interrogate Roman by placing the back of the blade to his throat while pointing her gun toward the White Fang members to keep them at bay.

Semblance

Blake's most remarkable quality is her Semblance, which allows her to create Shadow-clones. Blake can use hese clones to distract, shield or hide herself from the enemy for a brief amount of time, which is demonstrated during her fightwith Atlesian Knight-130s and again during her fight against Roman Torchwick.

Her first on-screen use of it is during the events of the "Black" Trailer when she utilized it against the Spider Droid. Blake's first recorded use of her "Shadow" ability in the series proper is during "Players and Pieces" when she fights the Nevermore. During the latter battle and others, she propels from her shadows, confirming there is some substance to her copies. In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", a clone exerts force on her, allowing her to reach greater heights.

It is unknown exactly how long a shadow copy can appear for or how far away from Blake they can exist. Though Blake usually uses them in her immediate area, she reaches rather far away from one she uses to trick Reese Chloris in a Vytal Festival Tournament match.

Blake uses Dust to give her clones additional abilities. Fire Clones are explosive, Earth Clones are more concrete defenses than normal clones, and Ice Clones are effective in trapping enemies, giving Blake the advantage in fights.

Quotes

Don't be so dramatic...
~ Blake, to Adam Taurus.
What about the crew members?
~ Blake, to Adam.
Are you sure?
~ Blake, to Adam as the latter tells her to buy him time.
Goodbye...
~ Blake, as she abandons Adam.
Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company: one of the largest producers of energy propellant in the world... The same company infamous for its controversial labor forces and questionable business partners.
~ Blake, explaining to Ruby Rose who Weiss Schnee is and her future company.
Aren't you that girl that exploded?
~ Blake, to Ruby.
Yes - it's lovely! Almost as lovely as this book... That I will continue to read... As soon as you leave...
~ Blake, failing to get Ruby and Yang Xiao Long to let her read her book in peace.
Did your sister just fall from the sky?
~ Blake, talking to Yang about Ruby.
Did that girl just ride in on an Ursa?
~ Blake, after seeing Nora Valkyrie.
Did she just run all the way here with a Death Stalker on her tail?
~ Blake, after seeing Pyrrha Nikos.
It's tougher than it looks!
~ Blake, about the Nevermore.
(lifting her suitcase) We still have to unpack. (the suitcase opens, spilling its contents) Aaaand clean.
~ Blake, explaining Team RWBY's first mission to Weiss.
It does seem efficient.
Banzai!
~ Blake, with Yang.
Fight well!
~ Blake cheering on Weiss.
He's not the only one.
~ Blake, commenting on Cardin Winchester.
Perhaps, if he'd paid attention in class, he wouldn't have been remembered as such a failure.
~ Blake, remarking on General Lagune's failure to Cardin.
The White Fang is hardly a bunch of psychopaths. They're a collection of misguided Faunus.
~ Blake, defending the Faunus.
Stop calling him a rapscallion! Stop calling him a degenerate! He's a person!
~ Blake, defending Sun Wukong.
There's no such thing as pure evil! Why do you think they hate Humanity so much? It's because of people like Cardin - people like YOU - that force the White Fang to take such drastic measures!
~ Blake, defending the White Fang.
Well maybe we were just tired of being pushed around!
~ Blake, accidentally revealing her Faunus identity.
So... you want to know more about me.
~ Blake, to Sun.
We were being treated like equals, but not out of respect. Out of fear. So, I left. I decided I no longer wanted to use my skills to aid in their violence. Instead, I would dedicate my life to becoming a Huntress. So here I am, a criminal hiding in plain view, all with the help of a little, black bow.
~ Blake, telling Sun why she left the White Fang.
No, I think deep down I knew. I just didn't want to be right.
~ Blake, on her suspicion on the White Fang's activities.
Brothers of the White Fang! Why are you aiding this scum?
~ Blake, to the White Fang with Roman.
Weiss, I want you to know that I'm no longer associated with the White Fang. Back when I was with the-
~ Blake, explaining herself to Weiss.
I was raised outside the kingdoms. If you can't fight, you can't survive.
~ Blake, to Ozpin on her upbringings.
With all due respect, you need to start taking some larger strides. Until then, I'd rather avoid any unnecessary attention. I want people to see me for who I am, not what I am.
~ Blake, to Ozpin on keeping her identity a secret.
And we may never be ready! Our enemies aren't just going to sit around and wait for graduation day. They're out there, somewhere, planning their next move, and none of us know what it is, but it's coming! Whether we're ready or not!
~ Blake, to Team RWBY regarding the White Fang.
The White Fang has regular faction meetings to hand out orders and recruit new members. If I can get in, I can hopefully find out what they're planning.
~ Blake, on infiltrating the White Fang.
The masks are a symbol. Humanity wanted to make monsters out of us, so we chose to don the faces of monsters.
~ Blake, explaining the White Fang mask to Sun.
I don't have time for a stupid dance. I thought YOU of all people would get that.
~ Blake, rejecting Sun's invitation to the dance.
You don't understand! I'm the only one who can do this!
~ Blake, to Yang.
I knew you'd look better in a tie.
~ Blake, to Sun.
Please keep it away from my belongings.
~ Blake, towards Zwei.
There's too much wrong in this world to just stand by and do nothing. Inequality, corruption... Someone has to stop it.
~ Blake, to Bartholomew Oobleck on why she wants to become a Huntress.
When I leave the Academy, what will I... how can I undo so many years of hate?
~ Blake, regarding her future.
I was born with the ability to leave behind a shadow of myself - an empty copy that takes the hit while I run away!
~ Blake, to Yang.
But she could!
~ Blake, when Yang politely tries to decline Pyrrha's offer to pay for their meal.
Let's see. Grimm invasions, violent extremists, a destructive sociopath...
~ Blake summarizes the events of the previous two semesters.
Neptune's... afraid of the water.
~ Blake, on why Neptune is in shock before the battle.
Emphasis on dork.
~ Blake, referring to Sun.
I want to believe you...
~ Blake, when Yang asks her if she believes her.
I had someone very dear to me change. It wasn't in an instant, it was gradual - little choices that began to pile up. He told me not to worry. At first, they were accidents, then it was self-defense. Before long, even I began to think he was right. This is all just... very familiar. But you're not him. And you've never done anything like this before. So... I want to trust you. I will trust you. But first, I need you to look me in the eyes and tell me that he attacked you. I need you to promise me that you regret having to do what you did.
~ Blake explains her reasoning for doubting Yang.
I'm not running.
~ Blake, to Adam.
I never wanted this! I wanted equality! I wanted peace!
~ Blake, to Adam.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
~ Blake, to Yang.
Won't be needing this.
~ Blake, as she drops her bow into the ocean.
Ugh. Just shut up and fight.
~ Blake, responding to Sun's flirting mid-battle.
Have you been following me?!
~ Blake, to Sun.
That's not the point, Sun! We asked to be equal, to be treated just like everyone else! Instead, we were given an island and told to make do. So we did the best we could. We came together and we made a home where any Faunus could feel welcome. But this island, this town, will always be a reminder that we're still not equal. That we're still second-class citizens.
~ Blake talks about Menagerie to Sun.
Who says I'm done fighting?
~ Blake, to the Albain brothers.
I should have left the White Fang with you and Mom. I should've listened to you, and I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.
~ Blake, to Ghira Belladonna.
I told you, I'm not here to fight the White Fang, I'm not here to fight anyone. I'm here to rest, to figure things out, and to see my family.
~ Blake, to Sun, about her reasons for being in Menagerie.
No, no, no, not again, please! Help! Somebody! Hold on, Sun, just hold on.
~ Blake, after Sun is wounded.
You're going to have to make me.
~ Blake rejecting Ilia's advice to flee Menagerie.
Whatever happens at Haven is going to affect them whether they like it or not. If Adam gets his way and Haven falls, it’s only going to make things worse for the Faunus. Everywhere.
~ Blake on the consequences of Adam's impending assault.
At first I thought Adam was “justice”, then I thought he was “passion”. But over time, I realized I was wrong. He wasn’t any of those things. He was “spite”. Not “hatred”, not “rage”, “spite”. He won’t accept equality, only suffering for what he feels the world did to him, and his way of thinking is dangerously contagious.
~ Blake on seeing the truth about Adam.
It’s about time I saved my friends for once.
~ Blake, vowing to save Ilia.
Ilia, I know you’re scared, but you don’t have to be. My family and I, we can keep you safe.
~ Blake, to Ilia.
Because we’re trying to protect people?! In what world do you live in where attacking the innocent is the right thing to do?!
~ Blake, to Ilia.
Because I run away too much.
~ Blake to Ilia, on why she did not leave Menagerie in "True Colors".
Humans didn’t do this. We did this. Faunus. We did this to ourselves. We’re just as capable of hate and violence as the humans but I don’t think any of us would jump at the chance to point that out. So why are we letting Adam do it for us? By doing nothing and staying silent, we let others speak and act in our place. And if we’re not proud of the choices they make, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

This is the message Adam Taurus will bring to the world if no one stops him. But we can stop him! You have to understand that all of you are looking for simple answers to a very complicated problem, and I can’t give that to you. I don’t know how to make hate go away, I don’t. But I know that this kind of violence is not the solution.

I understand that to ask you to leave your homes and protect Haven Academy is asking you to put your lives at risk, but that’s what’s at stake. So I’m going, and I’ll stand by myself if I have to.

~ Blake, giving a speech to the Faunus of Menagerie.
This isn’t what’s right for the Faunus! Stop what you’re doing and we can end this peacefully.
~ Blake, to Adam.
...Yang?
~ Blake, seeing Yang again.
I’m here for Haven, not you.
~ Blake, to Adam.
You can try and make me regret coming here, Adam, but honestly… I’ve got more important things to deal with.
~ Blake, to Adam

Trivia

  • Blake is the first of the four girls to actually have speaking lines, compared to Ruby who was mute in her trailer, and Weiss who was singing (though not in her actual voice) and could only be heard grunting during the battle in the White trailer.
  • Blake means "black" in Old English. Belladonna means "fair lady" (Bella donna) in Italian, and it is also the name of a deadly nightshade.
  • Blake seems to follow the pattern set by Ruby and Weiss in that the characters are in large part inspired by fairy tale characters: Blake's last name, Belladonna, may have been based on Belle, the name of the Beauty in Beauty and the Beast Just Like Tyler Klause Is Based On Jason Lee Scott Yami Yugi From Mighty Morphin Power Rangers And Yugioh.
    • Additionally her partner in the trailer, Adam, also shares his name with the Beast.
    • When she is first introduced in the regular series she is seen reading a book, much like Belle.
    • It is also shown that she has a candelabra in her possession, possibly referring to Lumière from the Disney And Shoen Jump adaptation.
    • However, it has also been speculated that the pair are alluding to the Grimms' tale The Thief And His Master.
    • The lyrics to Red Like Roses supports the connection to Beauty and the Beast by referencing Blake as "Black the beast."
  • "Bellona" (a potential root word in Blake's last name, Belladonna) is the Roman goddess of war.
  • Blake's symbol on her stocking seems to have a purple holographic shine to it. Seen in Players and Pieces when she throws Gambol Shroud to Yang.
  • Blake's book "Ninjas of Love" may be a reference to the fictional "Makeout Paradise" novels from the Naruto series And Tyler's Book Goosebumps refers to Rl Stine.
  • She has her own official Twitter account at RT_BlakeB, like Ruby, Weiss, and Yang.
  • The RoosterTeeth crew said Blake was one of the hardest characters to write for during Volume 1, because they wanted her to be calm, but not "boring," so they eventually settled on giving her a snarky sense of humor.
  • It was confirmed in Episode 15 that she is a Faunus with cat-like features (ex: cat ears that are usually concealed under her bow).
  • The lyrics to Red Like Roses supports the connection to Beauty and the Beast by referencing Blake as "Black the beast."

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           RWBY Heroes

Team RWBY
Ruby Rose | Weiss Schnee | Blake Belladonna | Yang Xiao Long

Team JNPR
Jaune Arc | Nora Valkyrie | Pyrrha Nikos | Lie Ren

Team SSSN
Sun Wukong | Scarlet David | Sage Ayana | Neptune Vasilias

Team CFVY
Coco Adel | Fox Alistair | Velvet Scarlatina | Yatsuhashi Daichi

Team STRQ
Summer Rose | Taiyang Xiao Long | Raven Branwen | Qrow Branwen

Beacon Academy
Professor Ozpin | Glynda Goodwitch | Peter Port | Bartholomew Oobleck | Qrow Branwen

Atlas Academy
Penny Polendina | Ciel Soleil | Flynt Coal | Neon Katt | James Ironwood | Winter Schnee

Other
Oscar Pine | Cardin Winchester | God of Light | Ilia Amitola | Whitley Schnee | Zwei