“RWBY” is a show that I ended up enjoying. It was made by Rooster Teeth, which is the same production company that created “Red vs. Blue” and you tell that they put a lot of passion into this. The story does have issues, that I’ll get into later, but as a base concept it looked like they were trying to create an epic cell-shaded anime and they succeeded mostly.
The show was created by Monty Oum, who was one of the directors and writers as well. Kerry Shawcross was the other writer and director and Miles Luna was the last writer.
The story takes on the world of Renmant in a battle between the darkness and light. There is a school that trains warriors to becomes Hunters and Huntresses to fight the darkness and protect Dust (which powers magic and weapons) and fight the creatures of Grimm and we follow Ruby, the younger trainee at Beacon Academy and others must stand against them as the plot of the darkness unfolds.
The Pros: The Animation – The cell shaded animation is really neat. I haven’t seen anything like this outside of “Windwaker” and they handle the diverse array of characters and technology really well. It can be a little slow at times, but they make up for it in how flowy so many of the fights are.
The Soundtrack – Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams did a great job on this soundtrack. It gives an epic final fantasy feel to the series, which works as that seems to be where it got a lot of it’s inspiration from.
The World – The World of Renmant is cool as it has a deep mythology of taking on the Darkness and Grimm, which it implies will always be around and uses people and changes things around it. It’s a lot like The Dark Side in “Star Wars.”
The Creatures of Grimm – The creatures look pretty awesome as they are black, hairy and have crystal protrusions. They look like mutated animals too, which works for what the Darkness is supposed to do.
The Characters – There are a few characters I didn’t like or were forgettable but the characters who work, really work and I enjoyed seeing them in action.
Professor Ozpin – Ozpin is the guy who brings Ruby to the school and set up the challenge that lead to the different teams. We see he is manipulative and is hiding something and seems to be quite passive. Curious to see what he’s hiding and what his long game is.
Pyrrha – Pyrrha is probably my favorite character on the show. She’s a master of magnetism (we learn at the end) and should really be the leader of her team, not Juane Arc who is incompetent and a coward. She likes him though (which is annoying). The only reason he has any wins at all is because of her talent and leadership.
Glynda – Glynda is the serious teacher who takes on the big bad at the beginning and does a great job of it. She is much more aware of the students and their flaws and takes a lot to impress. Curious to see her in action down the line and learn more about why she became a Huntress.
Yang – Yang is Ruby’s older sister and is high energy and popular. She is a lot of fun too and sticks up for Ruby to Weiss and on many other occasions. She should have been in charge of Team Ruby in my opinion as she is a commander and easily the strongest of all the people on the team.
Blake – Blake is a Faunus and was once part of an organization fighting for their rights. She hides the fact that she’s a faunus and calls out Weiss for her racism. She’s a pretty cool character too and very much the outsider of the group. Where this will go in the future remains to be seen now the Darkness is using the organization she used to be a part of.
Ruby – Ruby is the youngest student at the Academy and her arc is learning to be a leader and take responsibility. She is a huge help to everyone around her and her greatest weakness is just wanting to be liked. She still hasn’t got to the point of letting go of what others think of her, which I think will play a part later.
The Antagonists – The main antagonists are Cinder and Roman and both are interesting. I can’t wait to see how they are explored next season.
Roman Torchwick – This guy looks like he’s straight out of “A Clockwork Orange,” from the eyeliner, the white suit and the cane and general love of causing chaos. The character is a lot of fun and as a normal human being he does a good job holding his own against all the people with special weapons and powers. He hasn’t been caught yet.
Cinder – Cinder is who seems to be the big bad so far as she saves her servant Torchwick who is stealing Dust and she manages to take on Glynda and Ruby and come out of it fine. She’s really powerful and the Season ends with her coming to Torchwick for the next part of their plans.
The Cons: Anime Tropes – In the beginning there were some major tonal clashes, which they stopped doing as the series progressed but some of the tropes I hate were complete animation change for excitement and fetishising the characters. By the end this wasn’t going on as strong, so the writers and animators must have learned.
Jaune Arc – Juane Arc is the awkward nerd who is made leader of his team in the school for some reason, which he quickly fails at when he lets a bully blackmail him as he wants to be tough. The guy is a joke, though he does have a moment of awesome at the end whe he manages to take on a creature of Grimm.
Weiss – Weiss is an entitled brat who is also racist. When one of her friends is part animal and used to be part of an organization fight for their freedom she just dismisses her and bullies her. This doesn’t even include all her needless cruelty throughout Season 1. Seriously, she’s intolerable and a terrible human being.
The first Season gives us a very promising start as we see the different factions that make up this world and how they relate to one another. I’m curious to see what the forces of Darkness and Grimm have in store and what they will use the Dust for and I want to see our main characters continue to grow. The show got better about having less of the anime tropes after the first few episodes and it was stronger because of it. It is okay to take inspiration from something, but so much of what makes something great is is it finding it’s own beat and not being wholly derivative. By the end of Season 1 I felt that “RWBY” had found that uniqueness within itself. I look forward to the future Seasons.
Final Score: 8.6 / 10. Solidly really good.