I admit that when I first heard that Rooster Teeth made a serious anime called “RWBY” (pronounced as “Ruby”), from a friend, I had my doubts since I’m more familiar with their comedic work in “Red vs Blue.” So for them to make a much more mature style show, I was instantly curious.
So about two Sunday’s ago, I started watching it all for free on Youtube and I was instantly hooked!
RWBY’s story is loosely based around the Brothers Grimm’s fairytales yet with heavy twist to the lore by incorporating heavy sci-fi elements and anime visuals. The show follows teenager Ruby Rose, her older sister Yang Xiao Long, an uptight heiress Weiss Schnee, and a mysterious loner Blake Belladonna, as they attend the prestigious military academy, Beacon and learn how to become Huntresses in order to stop evil monsters plaguing their world. Along the way they are joined by both their professors and classmates who soon become by proxy, their friends and family. Yet at the same time they uncover a growing conspiracy by revolutionist known as the White Fangs that could cause a civil war between all the races.
The show was originally conceived by the late Monty Oum, who was the then cinematographer for season 10 of Red vs Blue and was known for his short animation fan films that mashed up Dead Or Alive characters with Final Fantasy characters in his videos called, “Dead Fantasy”.
In RWBY the fight scenes are pure delight to witness rivaled only by what you see in Final Fantasy cutscenes and the best of classic Dragon Ball Z fights. Its fast and frenetic, yet easy to follow as each character in the scene brings something new to the fight.
But the action isn’t really what keeps you coming back to the show, it’s the characters and their stories, there’s a real human element to it all. By end of the third season I was in tears over what was happening to each of them, since in the two seasons prior you end up bonding with them and getting use to the status quo. Sadly that doesn’t last and you are left wondering how they would make it out of their plights.
Animation wise, the series is constantly evolving and changing as Monty’s team learns new techniques, further enhancing the series by leaps and bounds. If you compare the first season with the current fourth and soon to be fifth seasons, it is night and day on how far they’ve come as a team. I wouldn’t be surprised if they release a stand-alone movie for this one day to really test their own abilities as animators!
The voice acting is no slouch either. While the initial cast consisted of Lindsay Jones, Kara Eberle, Barbara Dunkelman and Arryn Zech as the core four girls of RWBY mentioned above, it grew to incorporate notable talent such as Vic Mignogna (Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist), Jason Douglas (Beerus, Dragon Ball Super) and even well-known cosplayer, Jessica Nigiri. Eventually the voice actors all settle into their roles and it’s hard to imagine the characters without them now!
Two of the best things that I love about the series is the charm it has and the many nerdy/geeky references it has scattered about. The characters are self aware and sometimes even quip things that the viewer would be thinking, causing for hilarious moments and memorable one liners. And just within the first season there are a slew of Final Fantasy references from VII and VIII in the game series.
Other interesting tidbits I’ve notice is that the writing is very tight, almost like a Joss Whedon vibe I get from it all. It has a very Buffy The Vampire Slayer style of going about the story, where the first season is very light, fun and team building but by the second season things get slowly darker and consequences start to occur for Ruby and the others..
Only thing that I wish was different was how short the episodes were for the first and second season, while some would be near 17 minutes others would be only 10 minutes or less. Luckily I was able to binge these two seasons in one go and didn’t have to wait weeks at a time; but I could only imagine how long the wait for each new episode felt for viewers who watch those first few seasons on initial release years ago. Sadly after finishing season four, I’ll now have to wait until Oct. 14 to find out what happens next in season five; it’s one of worst feeling ever!
RWBY, in conclusion, is a wonderful series to get into if you’re itching for a more action oriented/heavy plot and lore type of show to watch. The characters are fantastic, the fighting is frantic and the cliffhangers are in spades making you want to know what happens next.
You seriously can’t go wrong with watching RWBY. So what are you waiting for? Go, watch it!