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|“||I'm combat ready!||„|
|“||I'm... not a real girl...||„|
|~ Penny, to Ruby Rose.|
Penny Polendina is a major supporting protagonist in RWBY who was introduced in the episode The Stray, when she was found lying on the ground after Weiss crashed into her, chasing after Sun Wukong. She later reappears and aids Blake, Sun, and Ruby in defeating Roman Torchwick and the White Fang, by destroying their ships carrying stolen dust cargo.
In "Painting the Town..." it is revealed that Penny was a robot, with her telling Ruby that "most girls are born, but I was made".
In "PvP", Penny is killed by her own weapon when Pyrrha Nikos used her polarity Semblance to deflect what she thought were thousands of Penny's swords coming at her, when in reality it was Emerald Sustrai using her perception manipulation Semblance to trick Pyrrha into using her Semblance to a devastating magnitude.
She returned in "The Greatest Kingdom" with a new look made by her father, who rebuilt her after the attack on Beacon. Penny became the official protector of Mantle and eliminates Grimm that invade the city.
She is voiced by Taylor McNee.
Penny was an android created by Atlas handyman Pietro Polendina with the aid of the Atlesian Military and General Ironwood. Designed to be the first synthetic person capable of generating an Aura. Her abilities were to be presented on an international stage at the 40th Vytal Festival in Vale.
Arrival in Vale
Weiss Schnee accidentally knocks over Penny while chasing after Sun Wukong in an alleyway in Vale. She greets them while still lying on the ground until Yang Xiao Long prompts her to get up and introduce herself to Team RWBY. They are all a bit weirded out by her mannerisms and begin leaving, with Ruby Rose off-handedly calling her "friend" as a parting gesture.
As they begin walking away, Penny suddenly appears in front of them, much to their shock, and inquires about whether she and Ruby are really friends.
When Ruby nervously agrees (against her other teammates' judgement), Penny instantly becomes very excited and overbearing at the thought, creeping the team out further. After she mentions that she is there to fight in the tournament, Weiss starts interrogating her about Sun and makes an off-handed remark about him that annoys Blake Belladonna. This remark eventually leads to a full-blown argument between Weiss and Blake as Penny, Ruby, and Yang watch on.
The next morning, Ruby, Weiss, and Yang are looking for Blake when Penny randomly and inexplicably appears before them and offers to help Ruby find Blake. While Penny is talking to Ruby, Yang and Weiss vanish, leaving Ruby alone with Penny. Penny spends the rest of her day asking Ruby questions about Blake's relationship while they try to find her.
Ruby tells Penny that she and Blake are friends, but that she isn't so sure what Blake is, as she had been keeping a secret from them. Penny replies that she doesn't have many friends and that if she did, she would want them to talk to her.
At nighttime, Ruby sees a nearby explosion at the harbor, prompting her and Penny to go investigate. There, they find Blake and Sun fighting Roman Torchwick. Ruby prepares to fight, but as she is warning Penny to stay back, Roman shoots her with an explosive projectile.
Angered by this, Penny steps forward to face Roman, despite Ruby trying to dissuade her. Penny reveals her weapons, a collection of identical swords that she controls with puppet strings, and leaps into the fray, defeating numerous White Fang goons. Two Bullheads open fire on Penny, but she deflects the bullets with her swords and anchors two swords into a nearby wall to pull herself out of firing range.
She then shifts her swords into a blaster-like configuration, forming a massive beam of energy that takes out the two Bullheads. The third Bullhead attempts to escape with a Dust shipment, but Penny embeds her swords in its side and pulls the Bullhead to the ground using the attached strings, much to Ruby's amazement.
After the battle, Penny is seen sitting cross-legged on a crate when Yang and Weiss arrive, but mysteriously vanishes while the others are talking. She is later seen in a nearby car talking to an unnamed man, who assures her that her time will come.
Team RWBY's Investigation
When Ruby drops her Scroll trying to get a picture of the Cross Continental Transmit System Tower, Penny picks it up, unaware it belonged to Ruby. After realizing this fact and Ruby addresses her in shock, Penny hesitates while Ruby begins to rant about Penny's sudden disappearance at the docks. Penny nervously feigns ignorance, stating her confusion, as an abrupt hiccup shakes the Scroll out of her hands, and retreats hastily. Ruby pursues Penny down the flights of stairs on the tower grounds, trying to get answers as to Penny's absence, to which Penny continues to act as if nothing happened.
It is only after Ruby stops Penny at the bottom of the stairs, explaining the worries she has involving the people they fought and their intentions, and asks Penny to tell her as a friend, that Penny sighs in acceptance. After a quick scan of the grounds, Penny walks up and whispers that it is unsafe to talk there. Shortly afterward, Penny anxiously waits at a café within the city, where Ruby meets up with her.
Later, Penny walks with Ruby down a city sidewalk, stating she would like to help Ruby out with her investigation, but cannot because she does not know who she fought. Ruby interjects about her disappearance, asking if she was kidnapped, to which Penny alleviates her fears. Penny then tells Ruby she had never been to another kingdom before and was asked not to venture far by her father, out of loving protectiveness, a sentiment Ruby says she's all too familiar with.
When asked why she could not tell Ruby or her friends of her safety, Penny states she was asked not to talk to anyone by someone other than her father. As they reach the end of the city block, their conversation is interrupted by a demonstration of the new Atlesian Knight-200's and the Atlesian Paladin-290 promotion from afar.
While Ruby watches the demonstration in awe, Penny nervously attempts to get Ruby's attention, but to no avail. When Penny finally states they should go somewhere else, both are spotted by two blue Atlas Soldiers positioned near the demonstration, prompting the two girls to flee. When they make it a considerable distance from the soldiers, Ruby spots another alley opening; she then wall-runs to catch up to Penny and grabs her. Telling Penny to hold on, Ruby uses her speed to launch both through the alley, though this ends up taking more energy than she anticipated, resulting in her collapsing at the end of the alley.
Though Penny lands safely in the alley, Ruby's momentum carries her into the middle of the road, where a "From Dust Till Dawn" storage truck almost runs her over. However, Penny lunges out, pushing Ruby out of the street and stopping the truck in place with her bare hands. Penny asks if the driver is okay to which he responds affirmatively. She then turns and finds Ruby staring at her in shock at what transpired, while a group of people gathers at the scene. After looking at her hands, Penny sprints past Ruby in a panic. Ruby tries to chase her down, while the soldiers are held back by the group of people crowding in the street.
Penny finally stops at a clearing, still in a panic. When Ruby finally catches up to her and begins to ask what happened, Penny states everything is fine, hiccupping as she does so. She tells Ruby she doesn't want to talk about it, insisting that Ruby wouldn't understand.
However, as Ruby persists, Penny eventually turns to her, asking if she was really her friend. When Ruby responds affirmatively, Penny shows her hands to Ruby, showing large portions of the skin torn away revealing a metallic structure underneath. She explains she was made, rather than born, as the first synthetic person capable of generating an Aura. Though Penny doesn't consider herself to be a real girl, Ruby reassures her that this is false, that she still has a heart and soul regardless of what she's made of. Overjoyed at Ruby's response, Penny tightly hugs her for being a best friend.
When Ruby remarks on how her father would be so protective, Penny releases Ruby, explaining her father was the one who built her with help from James Ironwood, and that the soldiers chasing her were only trying to protect her. Penny also states one day she would have to save the world, but isn't ready yet. She states that this is why her father allowed her to visit other kingdoms, meet new people, and participate in the tournament in order to learn and test herself. However, when Ruby asks why the world needed saving, noting that they're in a time of peace, Penny states that Ironwood believes otherwise.
When the soldiers close in on them, Penny decides to hide Ruby, grabbing and throwing her into a nearby garbage bin. Penny tells Ruby she'll be fine since the soldiers are not bad people, but asks that Ruby keep her promise to not tell anyone else about her secret. After Ruby promises, Penny closes the lid on the bin just before the soldiers finally catch up to them in the alley. As the soldiers ask why she ran and who she was with, Penny feigns ignorance, saying she was all by herself, followed by another hiccup. After being lectured and showing her torn hands to the soldiers, Penny leaves with the soldiers.
Penny appears at the dance in a dress, where she is flanked by two Atlas soldiers and is dancing to herself. Penny later dances "the robot" with one of the soldiers.
Vytal Festival Tournament
Penny is seen following General Ironwood as he stops the fight between Winter Schnee and Qrow Branwen. She curiously watches the unfolding drama in the Beacon Academy courtyard. After the commotion is finished, she briefly smiles and waves to Ruby before leaving with Ironwood and Winter.
Penny is revealed to be competing for Atlas in the Vytal Festival Tournament, alongside her team. After her team successfully progresses past the team round, Penny and Ciel Soleil are selected to represent them in the doubles round. Penny is briefly seen on Cinder Fall's Scroll as she rigs the next match of the doubles round.
Penny and Ciel fight against Russel Thrush and Sky Lark of Team CRDL. Penny uses her swords to lift Russel and Sky into the air on the rocks they take cover behind and slam them into the ground, knocking both opponents out.
After the match, Ruby finds Penny to talk again after their brief meeting in front of Beacon. Penny rushes for her, slamming her to the ground before introducing her to her teammate. Ciel gives them a minute to talk. Ruby asks if she is Penny's friend, and Penny affirms this but also notes that Ciel is ordered to accompany Penny. Ruby asks if Ciel knows Penny is a robot, but Penny responds to the negative, saying General Ironwood does not want anyone to know. Penny remembers a moment when a magnet almost exposed her, forcing her to wear a hat for a while to conceal it.
As their minute expires, Penny tells Ruby that she wants to stay at Beacon, but Ruby tells her it would be impossible to convince Ironwood or her father. Penny tells her she has a plan to convince them.
Penny moves onward to the singles round, where she competes against Pyrrha Nikos. While the former greets her happily, the latter doesn't respond. The fightappears to be going in Penny's favor, who manages to momentarily disarm Pyrrha with a relentless onslaught of swords and lasers. Pyrrha manages to hold her own using her polarity Semblance.
As the fight continues, Emerald Sustrai, watching from the crowd stands, uses her hallucination Semblance to multiply the amount of swords by the dozens in Pyrrha's view. Pyrrha attempts to use her polarity to throw back the swords, but she uses far too much force due to the sheer number of them that she sees. As a result, the wires wrap around Penny and tear her apart. Ruby witnesses the aftermath of the incident, and upon seeing Penny's lifeless body, falls to her knees and breaks down in tears.
Attack on Beacon
In the ensuing chaos of the Grimm invasion of Vale, a giant Nevermore attacks Amity Colosseum. Penny's remains are blown away by the Nevermore, but Ruby uses one of her swords to fight off the beast.
In the destroyed village of Kuroyuri, Jaune Arc tells Ruby the way she handled Penny's death is one of the reasons for her giving him, Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie courage.
Later, Leonardo Lionheart says all of Mistral was affected by seeing her death.
Although her body was badly damaged, Penny's core was recovered from Amity Arena and placed in a new body. This new body includes abilities such as flight without the use of her jetpack, and powerful energy weapons, which she used to assist Team RWBY, JNPR, Oscar and Qrow in fighting a pack of Sabyrs in Mantle.
Penny had short, rather curly orange hair with a small ahoge on top that came down to her chin, and she wore a pink bow on the back of her head. She also had bright green eyes, light skin and freckles. She wore a whitish-gray old-fashioned blouse with short gray feminine overalls, as well as a black and green collar with a matching pair of stockings. A layer of skin concealed her metallic structure and spherical joints, and her irises bore similarity to the shutter of a camera.
The green lines on the side of her stockings also appear to glow at times. She had what appears to be a small and thin backpack, though it has only been seen when she came to the aid of Ruby Rose in "Black and White" and when she fought against Russel Thrush and Sky Lark in "Never Miss a Beat". Otherwise, she is not seen to have this backpack; only her normal clothing is shown.
After the Fall of Beacon, Penny was rebuilt by her father. Her hair is now significantly longer and more rounded at the tips, and she now wears a black bow with pink accents. The ahoge remains and is more prominent.
Additionally, Penny wears a Victorian-era dress. The abdominal region is black with four golden buttons; the upper blouse remains silver, but the vertical lining now extends well down from the collar. Her collar piece does away with the green accents and is instead finished with a black ribbon, a power button at its center. Penny now wears black fleece gloves with circular golden accents at the knuckles. Her footwear are now jet-powered boots, with the green lines on her stockings now illuminating exclusively when she uses them.
|“||You're not like those things we saw back there. You've got a heart, and a soul; I can feel it!||„|
|~ Ruby, declaring that Penny is a real girl.|
She also seemed to place great value on friendship, for she is greatly angered at the sight of Ruby getting knocked down by Roman's flare in "Black and White". She also placed trust in Ruby based on the latter promising that she is her friend in "A Minor Hiccup".
Furthermore, Penny seemed to be immensely curious. Upon hearing that Blake has run away, she asked Ruby numerous questions, all related to Blake and friendship in general. Despite being told not to wander off, she still wandered Valeon her own.
Penny showed insecurities about her artificial nature. Upon confiding in Ruby that she is a synthetic being, Penny was worried about how she would take the news. However, after seeing Ruby take it rather well, she was glad that Ruby did not care she was a machine, for what matters is her heart and soul.
In "Dance Dance Infiltration", she was shown to enjoy dancing as she is seen dancing by herself between two Atlas Soldiers. Later that night, she's seen doing "the robot" with one of the soldiers.
Penny's most notable trait was her kindness. She greeted the recently met Team RWBY with a jovial "Salutations!", complimented Weiss' hair, and offered to help Ruby track down Blake. In addition, she saved Ruby from a truck before asking the driver if he was okay, thanked Team CRDL during the Vytal Festival for the time she had, and told Pyrrha Nikos in the finals that it was a pleasure to finally meet her.
Penny's stranger social quirks tone down as the series progresses. While her early appearances had her depicted as cheery, curious, and unfamiliar with most aspects of social interaction, these aspects appear to diminish with each subsequent appearance, and by the time of the Vytal Festival, Penny was barely distinguishable from her former self's naivete and volatile emotional state, sharing a conversation with Ruby about her plans to stay at Beacon and her teammate.
Powers and Abilities
As seen in "Black and White", Penny was able to control numerous swords, kept in what appears to be a small mechanical backpack, with simple movements from her hands. She was able to manipulate every sword simultaneously without any difficulty at all, and could fire energy blasts when she brought them together, with the swords going into a special rotating configuration. This blast of energy was powerful enough to simultaneously slice multiple Bullheads in half, shooting them down. She could also put her swords into smaller rings in order to fire multiple weaker beams.
The swords were connected to her, and possibly operated by, the use of thin strings attached to the hilts. Penny's 'strings' seemed to be quite strong and durable, as they were able to pull down a Bullhead and cut through Penny herself easily. The swords were able to fold in half lengthwise for easier storage.
She could allow the swords to pull her around or anchor herself and use them pull large objects, including pulling down an airship in flight despite the mass and thrust power of the vehicle. Such feats seemed to indicate enhanced strength as well as the ability to anchor herself in some way to the terrain. She could also use her weapons as thrusters, allowing her to move extremely quickly through the air.
Penny was able to jump great distances, with the force of her jump being enough to break the ground. She could also use her wires to catapult herself. She also seemed to have a high amount of speed or stealthiness, as seen when she appeared in one spot before quickly showing up in another. Examples of this are when she appeared in front of Team RWBY out of the blue and when she inexplicably appeared behind Weiss, Yang Xiao Long and Ruby two days later.
In Chapter 14 of the Manga, Penny is shown to combine her swords together into a jetpack.
Penny possesses immense physical strength, made evident when she managed to bring the From Dust Till Dawn truck in "A Minor Hiccup" to a complete stop with her bare hands, even causing the ground beneath her feet to buckle and crack. Her strength was attributed to her being a robot, which she admitted to in the same episode.
In the episode "Painting the Town..." Penny was revealed to be the first synthetic entity to be capable of generating an Aura. According to other references to Aura, this could also imply that Penny truly did have a soul and that she could also wield a Semblance.
Due to Penny's nature as an android, she is significantly more resistant to fatal injuries. According to her father, Pietro, she can survive injuries and damage as severe as dismemberment and even decapitation, so long as her core remains intact. This is evident as her core survived her previous form's destruction and gruesome injuries unintentionally inflicted by Pyrrha in "PvP", an incident which led many to believe Penny was dead
|~ Penny, greeting Team RWBY.|
|“||You called me friend! Am I really your friend?||„|
|~ Penny, after Ruby Rose calls her a friend.|
|“||Sen-sational! We can paint our nails, and try on clothes, and talk about cute boys!||„|
|~ Penny, in reply to Ruby's half-hearted offer of friendship.|
|“||Oh... you mean the Faunus girl.||„|
|~ Penny, to Yang Xiao Long after Yang announces that they are looking for Blake Belladonna.|
|“||That's terrible! Well, don't you worry, Ruby my friend! I won't rest until we find your teammate!||„|
|~ Penny, to Ruby about Blake.|
|“||Is she a man?!||„|
|~ Penny, about Blake.|
|“||I don't have a lot of friends; but if I did, I'd want them to talk to me about things.||„|
|~ Penny, to Ruby.|
|“||Ruby, are these people your friends?||„|
|~ Penny, to Ruby.|
|“||Don't worry, Ruby. I'm combat ready!||„|
|~ Penny, to Ruby just before engaging the White Fang.|
|“||Most girls are born, but I was made. I'm the world's first synthetic person capable of generating an Aura! I'm not real...||„|
|~ Penny, explaining herself to Ruby.|
|“||Thank you for a wonderful time.||„|
|~ Penny, after she trounces Russel Thrush and Sky Lark.|
|“||There was an incident with a magnet, but I was able to play it off.||„|
|~ Penny, about hiding her robot nature.|
|“||Ruby, there's something I've been wanting to talk to you about... I want to stay at Beacon.||„|
|“||Salutations, Pyrrha Nikos! It's an honor to finally meet you! This is going to be so much fun!||„|
|~ Penny's last words before her original death.|
- Penny will be participating in the upcoming Vytal Festival tournament.
- Her name might be a reference to Pinocchio.
- In her debut episode, when Ruby Rose tells Penny that she is her friend, Penny exclaims, "We can paint our nails, and try on clothes, and talk about cute boys!", which is a callback to Weiss Schnee's sarcastic rebuttal of Ruby's friendship in The Shining Beacon, Pt.2.
- She noticed that Blake is a Faunus while most of Team RWBY (as well as others) didn't.
- Penny bears several similarities to the Murakumo Units from the Blazblue fighting game series. Like Penny, the Murakumo Units are female artificial humans who fight using multiple telekinetically controlled swords which bear a striking resemblance to Penny's weapons. The Murakumo Units also have robotic speech patterns, albeit much more robotic and emotionless than Penny's.
- The way Penny wields her weapon is similar to Naminé from Dead Fantasy, another project that Monty Oum worked on. Her fighting style is also very similar Naminé's from which Monty took from Nu-13 of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (the only BlazBlue game Monty ever played).
- Coincidentally, Penny has a few elements to the old TV cartoon show, Inspector Gadget.
- Penny shares the same name as one of the protagonists in the show.
- Penny has bionic parts built inside her body like Inspector Gadget.
- The last scene shows her leaving with an unseen man in a vehicle, which is similar to the antagonist, Dr. Claw, though we have yet to know if the unseen man is a friend or foe.
- Her hair color and potential allusion to Pinocchio have led some to speculate a relation to Roman Torchwick, who draws inspiration from Pinocchio's best friend, Candlewick. Though there is some doubt now that she has fought Roman.
- In RWBY Volume 3 Episode 9: PVP, Penny dies in the singles rounds when she was fighting Pyrrha Nikos as Emerald makes the illusion to Pyrrha that Penny is using at least one hundred of her swords (she only has a few, not close enough to what the illusion insists) causing Pyrrha to use her semblance to propel what she is seeing backwards, causing Penny to copy Pyrrha's stance (considering she is a robot and the metal Penny is made of is being affected) and the wires from her swords wrapped around her left arm and torso, causing her to be cut in half. This is probably the first death within the episodes that we can view/witnesses and is not told to us like Summer Rose's death was told to us.