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A First Impressions Review: RWBY

Tagged as: RWBY, Roosterteeth.

Written by darkness on July 19, 2013
RWBY (pronounced "ruby") is an animated series by Roosterteeth, the organization that brought us the vulgar and comedic Red vs. Blue. It is the brainchild of Monty Oum, who does much of the CG for Red vs. Blue.

RWBY takes place in a universe that is inhabited by some sort of "darkness", where humanity was able to overcome these obstacles with a miraculous substance called "dust" (and no, it's not a drug, least, no so far is the story goes). Four young girls are enrolled in a combat academy to become "huntresses", women who have mastered control over the powers of dust. Now, crime has increased, and it foreshadows the return of this old enemy.

In terms of the storyline, it is so far ambiguous and riveting. There is a distinct anime feel to it, one akin to Soul Eater. I don't think it makes it bad, since it just isn't anime per se; there's definitely a western twang in the story--mainly, the thugs don't seem eastern-idiotic, more western-idiotic. The story is so far a prelude to a bigger threat, so it's a good hook, but nothing's quite certain yet, other than the background for each of the four protagonist lasses.

The animation is modest. There are certainly flaws in the execution--one scene has Ruby Rose, the red protagonist, seemingly inhale cookies. Perhaps it's an attempt too far in replicating anime humor? Nevertheless, it seems unrealistic, and at times, disenchanting. Yet, even so, much of the art and movements don't clash, they are realistic, sometimes grandiose, but nevertheless impressive marvels. The pallet is bright and contrasting; this might be off-putting to some, but since color is a major theme, it's understandable, and can be very beautiful and attractive at times.

The combat is where it's at. It just seems like an amazing mesh of the best stuff of Hollywood and non-animated action movies, and archetypal anime fight scenes. There's none of that introspective stuff from anime that makes battles choppy and last a dozen episodes; a lull in battle is just that, a brief respite to catch one's breath or utter barely a word. Yet there's also that superhuman factor that just can't be replicated in movies because of limits of realism; the girls do high-gee acrobatics, wielding oversized and/or overpowered weapons that obliterate swaths of enemies with relative ease. It's the best of both worlds.

Overall, I'd give it 8.5/10. The setting is wondrously beautiful, with a compelling hook of a storyline and likeable characters. The animation could use a bit of work, but for not being some AAA gaming or movie company, it's pretty darn good stuff. It plays like a video game cutscene, which is actually better than it sounds; cutscenes these days in video games cut too much into the gaming aspect and often times make it too linear; it works much better in the viewing media than it is the gaming media. I'd definitely at least give it a shot.

(I'd love to give a YouTube video of the series here, but it's not YouTube, it's Blip, so if you want to watch the Red trailer you can follow this link: . I recommend watching all for trailers before giving a final verdict. Enjoy!)

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July 19, 2013
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