As a fan of anime, and all things Rooster Teeth, I was very excited for their new anime series, RWBY. After watching the first episode, I was truly blown away. Monty Oum, the lead animator of Rooster Teeth and creator of RWBY, really outdid himself with this one. Cheers!
RWBY is an acronym in which each letter stands for one of the four colors of the four main characters of the anime, as well as their names, which are Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang. Ruby seems to be more of the center point of the anime; this can be seen simply after viewing only two episodes. All four of the characters are girls that attend Beacon Academy, a school where students are trained in the arts of fighting and magic. They all use different weapons: Ruby wields Crescent Rose (a High Caliber Sniper Scythe), Weiss wields Myrtenaster (a Multi Action Dust Rapier), Blake wields Gambol Shroud (a Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe) and Yang wields Ember Celica (two Dual Ranged Shot Gauntlets.) The weapons are all uniquely designed and visibly potent.
Episode 1 of RWBY starts off with a long narration providing the backstory, including a little explanation as to what exactly is going on. I had to watch it twice to fully grasp it, but it was worth it. Prior to the events in the series, there were the shadowy creatures of the Grimm, who were waging war on humanity. The narration explains the concept of something called “dust” which has powers that allowed humanity to effectively fight back. This “dust” is what fuels the magical powers and weapons that the characters possess.
*Warning – Spoilers from here on out*
After the narration, the scene cuts to a man and his gang, who intend to rob a dust store. It turns out that the leader of the gang, Roman Torchwick, is a wanted fugitive who wields a very nasty cane that doubles as a gun. In the process of robbing the store, the gang catches Ruby listening to music. After they unsuccessfully try to rob her, she retaliates and whips the gang like there is no tomorrow! After a little confrontation from Ruby, Roman manages to escape. Ruby gives chase, and a Huntress comes out of nowhere and tries to help Ruby. After putting up an amazing fight, Roman manages to flee.
The fight scene was incredible. All of the magic, gun shots and fire made it feel like I was a part of the action. What I saw reminds me of a futuristic western. No, I am not talking of something like Cowboys & Aliens, but just elements taken from the style of a modernized western.
After the action scenes, the anime headed in a more humorous direction. This is good, actually, because in any type of anime there needs to be a balance of action and humor. I really liked this approach, because it keeps many types of audiences interested with multiple moods and lightens the darkness brought by some of the action scenes. Unless, of course, you’re the type who finds humor in Ruby chopping off the heads of Beowolves.
After the fight, the Huntress takes Ruby to what looks like an interrogation room, to figure out who Ruby is. During this, a man walks in and interrogates Ruby as well. This man is the head of the Beacon school, and he goes by the name of Professor Ozpin. Professor Ozpin allows Ruby early access to his school, so that she can train and he can keep an eye on her.
At the conclusion we are treated with meeting Yang, Ruby’s sister, who is also attending the school. They have a brief talk about how Yang is excited for Ruby, and then a guy throws up on the airship that they are traveling on. Classic. There’s always that one person!
All in all, the ending of episode one was kind of dull, but development is needed with any story; this was the pilot episode, and I’m sure that we’ll soon be complaining about the immense suspense that fills us as we follow the RWBY gang deeper into the story. The characters were voiced by many of the Rooster Teeth staff members, which is quite cool, and not in the least surprising. My only complaint is that the girls’ voices sounded whiny at times. I found Yang, who was voiced by Barbara Dunkelman, to be incredibly whiny and screechy. I’ll admit, I didn’t care much for the voice-over, but it is tolerable and doesn’t take away anything from the anime. It is noteworthy to point out that the narrator of RWBY is Jen Taylor, otherwise known as the voice of Cortana from the Halo gaming series. Awesome huh?!
RWBY is a modern western, and I absolutely love it. The creativity, action, storyline and humor really bring out a lot of Rooster Teeth’s potential. Monty Oum and his team have done an outstanding job, and I look forward to many more episodes of the series. I’m sure everyone else does, too. Here’s to more episodes of dust-fueled, flashy, loud showdowns and intense storylines!
**Special Thanks to Shalini Tavington who contributed to this article.