Rooster Teeth created a media empire it never expected. Red V Blue took over the world with its comedic action. But out of that something else was created, a very cared for but noted series. A series I hold dear in a lot of ways. Monty Oum was a legendary animator, a force in understanding fight scenes and ultimately, the man was a storyteller. It brings me great grief to type, Monty is no longer with us, he hasn’t been for a while. That doesn’t mean his wonder series isn’t. Carrying 8 seasons thus far and no end in sight, I am of course talking about RWBY.
Some may have noticed my posts have been rather light this week. That is mostly due to the fact I was binging 8 seasons of RWBY, and when you watch that much in 5 days, well time becomes short. However, watching the series something quickly became apparent by the time I was halfway through season 3, I really, really love RWBY.
If I had to describe the series it’s a mix of anime-inspired action, western comedy, Monty’s on-ass character design, and a heavy influence world from fairy tales of old. As the story unfolds names start to reminisce series such Grimm & Fisher’s Cinderella, added with interesting elements such as each team name being a color. Honestly, that isn’t a canon I fully subscribe to, RWBY, Red, White, Black (I whole ass put Blake here pre-edit), Yellow, makes sense. STRQ, you’re grasping. Either way, the point is the world has depth and a lot of it.
At the start, RWBY carries a very cartoon feeling. Following Ruby Rose, a bright and vibrant aspiring huntress who is one of the youngest to ever be accepted into Beacon Academy. It is kinda like the Yale of Remnant, it starts out as the typical run-of-the-mill shounen hero goes to school to become strong. It even has a tournament arc, real fun stuff. But the base story that RWBY lays in the first three seasons, though rather dull, really allows the gravity of the choices and events in the later seasons to land. Things become dire, and all four of them, Ruby, Weiss, Yang, and Blake, have extreme hardships they all have to overcome, and how they struggle with that is very real, and often hard to watch.
Though initially bubbly the world of Remnant is one that society struggles daily to get by. In that world is a species that exists solely to destroy. Attracted to negative emotions, huntress and huntsman exist to fiend off the Grimm, though initially design after basic animals, a species that become truly terrifying as different aspects of the beasts come to light. This is added with information of those who want to work with the Grimm, to see the fall of man and Remnant as a whole. Bad apples that much to my surprise, start off rather stupid but turn into complex and complicated characters. For anyone who has watched the series, I am specifically talking about Cinder.
Cinder is one of if not the main antagonists of the series. She is a power-hungry pathological liar who will gaslight and manipulate people in any way possible to get what she wants. A personality that in the beginning was heavily unrealistic and annoying. She really was just the bad guy to be a bad guy, but around season 4 Cinder starts to do things that make sense, that explains why she did those things earlier in the series, and unlike another baddie, Salem, it made me hate her even more. Generally speaking, when it comes to writing antagonist there is a tight rope to walk, you don’t want them just to be bad because then the reader can’t relate, but you want to keep the balance of ‘yeah this is why they do this but it is still wrong’ a REALLY well-written villain would be Light from Death Note, he was from the start the bad guy.
But what Cinder was able to do, really impressed me. As before mentioned there is another villain I’m not going to get super into because she appears, later on, Salem. Salem gets a rather detailed back story into her existent and role on Remnant, a back story that makes sense of why she is set out to do what she is doing, Cinder, on the other hand, is just an ass hole. Simply what Cinder wants is control, and she will stop at nothing to get it. This is both relatable and frustratingly annoying as she will expend anyone, no matter their loyalty or affinity for her to obtain it, making her even the antagonist of the antagonist. She was and is a broken human, and the series makes sure you see her that way.
Overall the characters of RWBY are references in some respect to either history or ice cream, but nonetheless deep and interesting. Ruby, who starts out as any Shounen protag grows a lot as the series goes on, gaining the respect of everyone around her as she time and time again puts the world on her shoulders and figures it out. Her half-sister, Yang, also grew on me. Originally Yang served the purpose of support for Ruby, the typical I will do anything for my sister bit. But given some events that occur, and the trauma she experiences, Yang grows into her own person in a lot of ways. Fighting through her PTSD she confronts her mom, Raven (I will get into her in a second) to help find her sister that left home months earlier. It’s around this time she becomes a rather complex entity, struggling with the fact her dearest friend (and romantic interest?) Blake left without saying a word, and ultimately she failed to protect the ones she loves.
I could rant about the Branwen twins forever so I am going to try to keep this neat. Ruby and Yang’s father, Tai, had two loves in his life, the first was Raven, whom he married and she had Yang. Raven was one of the 4 team members of STRQ, a bit of a legendary team of hunters. Summer, Tai, Raven, and Qrow. The older twin to Qrow, Raven is a master swordsman and one of the most fascinating characters to me. She is cold, cynical, and nowhere near the ‘mom of the year’ award. She has no qualms about dissing her brother or her former husband which makes me wonder, how they became a thing to start with? A wonder that sadly hasn’t been answered thus far but I digress. After the birth of Yang Raven leaves her husband and daughter to lead the Branwen tribe, yeah she fucks off to join a gang of bandits.
This event leads Tai to fall in love with his OTHER team member, Summer, in which they have Ruby. The Branwen family was not all lost, however, as Qrow, Yang’s uncle doesn’t follow the same thought process as his sister, and helps out team RWBY for most of the series. Oh, but he is also quite the cynic and a bit of an ass hole, I guess it runs in the family. The series gives a surprising amount of screen and storytime to what seems like supporting characters but doesn’t do so at the loss of back story for the mains. Everyone in RWBY gets a ton of development, they grow, mature, and it is truly wonderful to see.
I do want to say one of my all-time favorites of this series we don’t know a TON about but I absolutely adore is Neopolitan, get it? Like the ice cream? Anyways Neo is a 4’8 (in heels) parcel wielding bad guy who at every turn pretty easily beats the shit out of team RWBY throughout the series. She has to be one of the sassiest mutes I’ve ever personally seen written, her attitude carrying clearly and fluently in both her expressions and the way she fights. Using a mixture of subtle eye rolls and smug grins, anytime she was on screen I was hooked, even if she was beating up on my Weiss.
RWBY is a blast, it is a truly interesting world full of interesting characters, dope fights, creepy Grimm, and Rooster Teeth’s signature humor. Though I don’t consider it an anime of the truest of forms, it is a series that deserves respect and admiration, a series I will easily give an 8/10 overall. Going forward I really do hope we get a little more about Raven, as of right now she only really gets a single season but behind Neo, she was definitely my second favorite supporting character.
I hope all of you have been well, I still have Wonder Egg Priority to write about but after that, I am pretty much caught up on Winter 2021, finally. I’ve really been digging Nagatoro and I Shaved thus far for Spring, other than that only 86 has gotten my attention. As always, thanks for the read