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RWBY: Volume One – Review

by Dalton White

Students Learning to Fight the Forces of Evil

RWBY is definitely a unique creation: its a combination of anime characteristics with a computer program style. It sounds a little far fetched but it actually has some intriguing qualities. RWBY is a collaboration between Monty Oum, creator of Dead Fantasy and Haloid, and Roosterteeth, creators of Red vs Blue.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsy7VJheMBI]

Plot, Characters, and Setting

RWBY takes places in a mythical world called Remnant. This world is a mash up of steam-punk and magic: there are airships, high tech weapons and a mystical energy source known as “dust”. Remnant is plagued by monsters known as “Grimm”. They are basically evil looking animals, basically causing violence and destruction where ever they go. The humans that live in Remnant train to become Hunters or Huntresses, people whose job is to eliminate all Grimm threats. Our characters, mostly, all attend Beacon Academy, basically a school for learning how to become Hunters. The four main characters each represent the four letters in the title: Ruby Rose, Weiss Schneede, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long. Each of them is a warrior/huntress in training, has unique weapons, abilities and usually have problems working in a team. A lot of time in Volume One is devoted to introducing the various major and minor characters, their relationships between each other and the world they inhabit. However the villains of the story like a criminal known as Roman Torchwick don’t have much screen time and one of the bigger villains known as Cinder wasn’t even really revealed until the last episode.

Visual Style: Something New

The visual style has a variety of quality, sometimes the dialogue scenes seem awkward and clunky and other times the animation moves smoothly and flawlessly. The high points for the animation is during the fight scenes. These battles are gorgeous and bad ass at the same time. This isn’t really surprising, as Monty Oum is a master of animating fight scenes (Dead Fantasy is good example of that). The characters pull off jaw dropping amazing moves with their unique weapons and skills that are just amazing to watch. Look for yourself:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYW2GmHB5xs]

Audio and Music

The voice acting in RWBY is usually hit or miss. Some of the characters voices flow pretty well, but sometimes there are audio issues and the mouths of the characters are not quite in synch with their voices. The music used for the series is impressive to say the least. The musical score is composed by Jeff Williams and has a wide variety. The main themes for most scenes are not very noticeable, but the battle themes in particular can easily get viewers psyched up, excited and only adds to the already spectacular fight scenes.

Final Verdict

The First Volume of the series feels a lot like an introductory or prologue, basically explaining the world, lore and characters of RWBY. This isn’t a definite good or bad thing. Volume One gives the viewers context and explaining why all the characters do what they do, this makes some episodes a bit boring, especially ones that focus on character development. The episodes that have fight scenes are definitely high points, having some spectacular, epic and visually stunning battles. Volume One isn’t a flawless season or first installation of the RWBY series. However as prologues or introductions go, Volume One is a great preview of fight scenes, characters and interactions that will hopefully only get better in Volume Two, which has premiered at RTX this weekend.

RWBY Volume 2 Opening:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpAfCxXctlY]

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