RWBY (pronounced Ruby) is a web animation made by a western production company, Rooster Teeth, that borrows many tropes and themes from anime. It is created and directed by Monty Oum.
The show itself takes place in a futuristic fantasy world setting where the majority of the human population is living in fear of the Grimm, creatures of darkness that emerged sometime in the past through unknown circumstances. To combat the Grimm threat, humanity has created “Huntsmen” a group of super powerful humans that are strong enough to go toe-to-toe with the Grimm with their unique and extraordinary weapons.
Now the setting of RWBY feels like it’s been taken straight out of Final Fantasy with its characters using magical weapons very improbable in real life to combat monsters in a world not so different from Earth.
As we speak, RWBY currently has 4 volumes with Volume 5 announced this coming December. You can watch the show’s episodes directly in Youtube as Rooster Teeth has posted it there.
The entire animation style for RWBY isn’t hand drawn unlike certain anime and cartoons. It’s very much in 3D CGI much like we’re watching a typical JRPG for the PS3 era in the middle of gameplay. Not to say that this is a bad thing however. The show does still come out as glorious despite it all and manages to become more and more beautiful as the series progresses.
Contrary to what most might expect, the show actually takes full advantage of its limited budget and still manages to give us jaw dropping and well choreographed fight scenes courtesy of non other than Monty Oum himself who is responsible for many amazing animations such as Haloid and Dead Fantasy before being hired by Rooster Teeth to work on Red vs. Blue before working on this show. In fact, monster slaying here can be somewhat similar to games like Devil May Cry with no one ever really running out of bullets.
“Just weapons? They’re an extension of ourselves! They’re a part of us! Oh, they’re so cool.” – Ruby Rose
The nearest most accurate way to describe the weapons used in RWBY would be gunblades (just find the biggest blade on a stick you can find and then jury rig that with whatever type of firearm of your choosing) which would also be an inaccurate definition, because weapons here can be a merge of anything with one character even wielding a purse that turns into a Gatling gun as shown in the picture above. This kind of weapon construct allows for more versatility in regards to combat and are apparently easy to make for the people of this world.
With so much weapon flexibility, you will see fights erupt like you’ve never seen them before. If you think Final Fantasy had some interesting weapon designs, you haven’t seen anything like RWBY has to offer. The show really does take advantage of what it has to give us the best it has to offer.
Unfortunately, fight scenes do start to falter significantly during Volume 3. For Monty to have set the bar so high, RWBY wasn’t quite the same after his passing. Though fights are still well choreographed and great in their own right, they’re just aren’t the same caliber as before.
(The new powerpuff girls)
Now in RWBY, we have four main characters that the show centers around on. We have Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang composing the name RWBY. Each of them are color coded and the chemistry between each character blends well with each other. None of them ever feels out of place and the show takes advantage with each of their unique personalities to build up the story. They all have their own interesting backgrounds which does add to their depth.
Each heroine of our four-girl ensemble is introduced to us in a trailer showing off their combat skills and setting the tone for what you’d expect in RWBY’s amazing animation. Each trailer is color coded for each of our heroine: Red, White, Black, Yellow that you can find on Youtube. Each of this trailer is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on you as it gives you a fiery spectacle with each heroine showing their specialties off as well the abilities of their weapons.
The fact that so many weapon types can be combined to make something else entirely different just adds individuality to each character in the show. No characters, even supporting ones, feel the same. Unfortunately, due to the show’s limited time slot not every character is given much time to be fleshed out no matter how interesting they might be.
The music in RWBY is no short of excellent. You have a variety of rock music and original lyrics that Rooster Teeth came up with themselves that times well with the combat on screen and gets your blood pumping. Even if you’re not watching the show, they are most definitely worth listening into and can put a lot of anime original soundtracks to shame. This really shows just how much effort such a small production team is putting into their show regarding every aspect of it.
Voice acting is also well and originally in English. Though, the show is also dubbed in Japanese with English subtitles that’s not hard to find around the net for those who want to see what it’s like.
If anything can be said about why this show is so great, it can definitely be pointed towards its characters. You have a great variety of them without having too many to count. They are just so interesting out right with each having their own unique quirks and personalities. Watching them can be fun, and there’s never a moment on the screen where things get boring and stale. However, as mentioned, not many of them get too much screen time to be fleshed out.
However, Rooster Teeth has taken advantage of their quirky characters and parodies them by making a side show called RWBY Chibi which derives its humor by flanderizing the personality of the characters on the show.
While this show might seem fun and action packed at first glance, but it’s not all sunshine and gunpowder with the plot truly starting at Volume 3 and only getting darker from there. For those who are looking for a well balanced show to watch, they can look no further than RWBY.
For a show made by a not too big production studio, it is truly impressive. Though it isn’t perfect and does have its flaws, RWBY is certainly better in comparison to many anime out there through presentation alone. We really do recommend you give it a watch. You won’t be disappointed. Hell, the show was good enough to warrant its own hack-and-slash for consoles called RWBY Grimm Eclipse.
With all things considered, Sirus Gaming gives RWBY an 8.7 out of 10.