RWBY is an American CGI web-cartoon meant to pay homage to Japanese anime, created by Monty Oum of Rooster Teeth. A lot to chew? Well, RWBY is all that and more. Not without its flaws, RWBY is something you’ve never experienced before until you try it. And like I said last week, you’ll either love it or hate it. I’ll admit to not being a huge fan of the idea at first, or even the first few episodes… But the show is fantastic, and holds excellent promise for the future. If anything, Volume One (or season one) was a practice run for the series. Or at least that’s what it seemed like to me.
RWBY puts itself on the map very strong. But it isn’t afraid to hide its weaknesses either. In fact, it’s actually that gritty unfinished quality of it all that makes the show so standout-ish. Many times the characters animated that don’t have a direct correlation to the episode or story will be complete silhouettes. And not silhouettes like it was the trick of the light – they’re actually just blacked out people in the background. Thankfully this animation flaw will be done away with in Volume Two (or so I’ve heard), because it does remove yourself from the intricate world created therein.
Another occasional flaw was the writing and/or voice acting. Sometimes the lines were just extremely corny and you either had to ignore it or roll your eyes. But after the first few episodes you do surprisingly get used to it and you actually learn to expect the ridiculous lines from the characters. The voice overs don’t always line up perfectly with mouth movements, but again, this is a problem that gets patched up further down the line.
RWBY is about a handful of gifted first years in a school where they’re trained to be ‘Hunters’. The characters get split into teams of four, but as the season moves forward they all coalesce and interact together more fluidly. Each character has his/her personality pros and cons, and some are more endearing characters than the others. One thing I found I enjoyed more upon watching the season a second time around was that the characters had small arcs, where they were just slightly more tailored to one persons emotions and backgrounds. It’s subtly done, and that really helps you stay in the mindset of the drama. Some of the characters are surprisingly extremely deep.
And you don’t realize how big the world they created for RWBY actually is until you get to the end of the 16 episode season, and it’s done almost solely via character development. The creativity of the plot, the technology, the scene-scape and the culture was enough to get me hooked. But despite all the draws the show brings, there’s one area that the show works better than all the rest: the fight sequences.
Watch episode 8 and tell me you weren’t glued to the brilliance of the animation. For a show so obviously under-budget they give the fight scenes 110%. In fact I’d go so far as to say these scenes are more memorable than many Hollywood blockbuster fights. The dynamics and skills of all the players working together against a common enemy just fit PERFECTLY. And on top of that, you’ll never see weapons as creative and strange as the ones used on this series. To name just a few: a mechanized scythe that doubles as a rifle; a large mallet that shoots cannons, and is also used to propel oneself to and fro; nunchucks that form into a staff, that also double as pistols while being used as nunchucks… Mind blown. In this department RWBY excels.
But in the end, my biggest concern for this season was a fairly under-utilized villain. Aside from the first and last episodes, he (and his goons) barely show up, and his motives aren’t explained. Instead he was used primarily to set up Volume Two.
In short however, I loved RWBY, and want to share that love with you guys, so as to help Monty Oum and the Rooster Teeth staff fund their program further, improve on their mistakes, and make a gem in the rough shine. Watch the series guys. You can stream it free with a Crunchyroll subscription. Or you can grab the Blu-Ray over at Amazon for $15.96. Below are some promotional videos to whet your appetite if you’re not already convinced. Let me know your thoughts below.
RWBY “Red Trailer”
RWBY “White Trailer”
RWBY “Black Trailer”
RWBY “Yellow Trailer”