RWBY Review (Volumes 1-3)

RWBY Review (Volumes 1-3)

Is Rooster Teeth's international sensation as good as the Internet says it is?

Rooster Teeth

Category: TV Show

Rating: Unrated

Overview: "RWBY" (pronounced “ruby”) is an animated web series created by the late Monty Oum for Rooster Teeth Productions, popularly known for their "Halo" parody "Red vs. Blue." Set in the fantasy world of Remnant, where monsters called the Grimm terrorize humanity. In order to combat the Grimm, young men and women are trained to become Huntsmen and Huntresses, using a pseudo-magical substance called Dust to enhance their weapons and a chi-like energy called Semblance to boost their combat abilities.

The Grimm

The show follows a young girl named Ruby Rose, who is accepted into the Grimm-hunting school of Beacon at an early age due to her combat prowess. Ruby, along with her older sister Yang Xiao Long and two other teammates, Weiss Schnee and Blake Belladonna, form the Huntress team RWBY and train to fight the Grimm while also uncovering a secret plot to wipe out humanity.

From left to right: Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiao Long

Review: When Volume 1 of RWBY first came out in 2013, I wasn’t terribly impressed by it. Probably the most interesting aspect of the show was the weaponry that characters used. Each weapon functioned as something short range (like a sword or a scythe) and also as some sort of gun or cannon. The characters would use the recoil from the gun aspect of their weapons to help propel themselves into attacks with the short range aspect of their weapons.

Ruby and her weapon Crescent Rose

While Monty Oum’s great fighting choreography stood out during the action, more passive scenes lacked the same level of animating refinement. It was weird seeing these characters go from doing backflips and cartwheels while fighting giant monsters to watching them move all stilted and slow like they were being weighed down. On top of that, background characters and even parts of the setting were only given outlines for models, leaving them completely blacked out. This was disconcerting because the main characters just stood around in swarms of shadowy figures, making them stick out way too much.

Gee, I wonder who the main characters are?

Additionally, Volume 1’s plot and characters, while charming, were pretty formulaic. The “kids go to a special school to learn how to save the world” concept has been done to death since "Harry Potter" first took off. The primary antagonist of Volume 1, while charming, wasn’t too much of a threat to the main characters, and as a result there wasn’t too much suspense or tension.

Roman Torchwick and his henchmen

Ruby is the typical naïve child figure who’s somehow extremely talented, but she does begin to develop into a more fleshed out character as the show progresses. Yang was a bit more complex as she was both the easygoing fun-lover and the protective sibling to Ruby. I would have liked to see a bit more tension between them, maybe Yang having mixed feelings over her younger sister being the leader of the team, but for what she is, she’s a fun character. Weiss and Blake were probably the most one-dimensional of the main cast, with Weiss being the snobby rich girl who thinks she’s better than everyone and Blake being the silent loner with a mysterious past.

Weiss in particular seemed to mostly just act as a foil to Ruby, constantly questioning her ability to lead.

Aside from team RWBY there’s Team JNPR (pronounced “juniper”), and while they’re a fun group, most of the focus on them centers on a very conventional love triangle between team leader Jaune, his partner Pyrrha, and Weiss of Team RWBY.

From left to right: Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Pyrrha Nikos, Lie Ren

Volume 1 was fun enough and had some decent humor, but if it hadn’t been made by such a small studio with such a low budget, I probably wouldn’t have given it that much attention. Volume 2 managed to make some good strides forward overall, but there were still some problems. Background characters and settings were given fully realized models and we finally got some more depth to the main characters, as well as a bit more focus on side characters like Headmaster Ozpin, a mysterious girl named Penny, and the new antagonists. The love triangle between Jaune, Pyrrha, and Weiss reached something of an open conclusion, and the action scenes only got more frequent and better executed.

Including an awesome and hilarious food fight to start out the season

While the plot did become more complex and the motivations of the antagonists became a genuinely interesting mystery, there was still a notable lack of risk or suspense. At no point did I seriously worry about the safety of any of the main characters or even any of the side characters, and even though the season finale took place in a populated city, there didn’t feel like there were too many consequences.

Volume 2 finale

With Volume 3, the creators finally pulled through on the suspense factor while still keeping the series fun and funny. The animation, both inside and outside of combat, has gotten much better since the series began. New characters, including Ruby’s charming rogue of an uncle Qrow, and new conflicts were introduced that not only threatened the wellbeing of the main characters but the world of Remnant as a whole.

Qrow caught drinking

We finally get to see Team RWBY deal with some more serious scenarios that force them to change and adapt. Yang and Weiss in particular get some much needed development, and the romance between Jaune and Pyrrha escalates into something that tugs at the heartstrings of the audience. The antagonists reveal their plans, raising the stakes throughout the whole season and culminating in a finale that has long-lasting consequences for the series.

As well as the introduction of a new antagonist

RWBY is above all else a series that has grown and will hopefully continue growing. It’s great to see smaller companies like Rooster Teeth create something so charming and fun and manage to improve upon it as they obtain more resources and opportunities to grow. I think that, given another volume or two, RWBY can evolve into an incredible series on par with anything put out by a larger studio.

Score: 7/10

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments