A review of RWBY

By Jacob A. Allen, @jacobaallen


RWBY is an amazing show. In the age of the internet, many new animations come from streaming services. One of the most popular self-publishing video website is Youtube. While many people use it to show their animation skills and pilot episodes, not many Youtube animations have reached RWBY’s level.  RWBY is from Rooster Teeth, a studio located in Texas. They started by putting out simple stories using Halo video games on Youtube. The show was called Red vs. Blue, a comedy with not much action. It was not until they recruited a young animator who had a simple idea that came from a dream that the studio took off. In an interview with Monty Oum, he describes how he woke from a dream to tell his friends about an idea for a show about 4 colors: red, yellow, white, and black. This idea would form the basis of RWBY. Monty joined Rooster Teeth back in 2010. That same year, he pitched his idea for RWBY. It was accepted and production started.  

Back in 2013, I was at Super Con. I was waiting in line for the cosplay judging. I met a cosplayer who was dressed as Ruby, an RWBY character.  At the time, I did not know who she was dressed as. I asked her and she showed me a video of the trailer for RWBY. I was very impressed. Later that year, Rooster Teeth released the first episode of RWBY. Monty went on to direct and animate RWBY seasons 1 and 2. He also voiced Lie Ren, another RWBY character. Sadly, in 2015, Monty passed away(link) and many things in seasons 1 and 2 that foreshadowed future events were changed in later seasons. 


Now that you know a little about the back story, let me tell you about RWBY. RWBY is about 4 girls: Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long. In the first few seasons, the four girls train to become huntresses. They use these amazing fighting skills to battle Grimm. Grimm are monsters created by people's fear and hatred. Grimm are drawn to it too. People hire huntsmen and huntresses to fight these monsters. They use a specialized weapon and there is a semblance. Semblances are a manifestation of a person's soul. In simple terms, they are a cool random superpower that everyone has, but it takes training to have the superpower manifest.  There are schools all over the world that train students to fight Grimm. The girls train at Beacon Academy in the kingdom of Vale. At Beacon, the girls are joined by the second group of main characters, Team JNPR: Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Pyrrha Nikos, and Lie Ren. Students at the schools are randomly put into teams of 4 but our hero teams are given away in the opening credits.    

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There are two races of people in the RWBY world. The Faunus are people with animal ears and tails. They look like normal people with animal ears and tails, but normal people tend to not like the Faunus. Our heroes have multiple encounters with a terrorist group called the White Fang, a group of Faunus who want equal rights for all Faunus.  These Faunus are tricked by the bad guys into to being their army.  While the antagonist of the story changes each season, all of them are working together to destroy the world for a reason… If I say it, it would spoil too much.  Anyway, the story gets a whole lot more complicated and it would be too big of a spoiler to give away any more information.


Without going into any more plot, the animation style is interesting to say the least. It is done in 3D rendering. It improves with each season and some odd animation is fixed later on. The animation in the earlier seasons tends to put people off, but if you can stay with it, it does get a whole lot better. They even show off the animation getting better in the first episode of each new season. Also, the first season is rather slow compared to later seasons so stick with it.


There is a spin off called RWBY Chibi by Roster Teeth that makes fun of RWBY and anime/cartoon stuff. I recommend watching Chibi after you have watched RWBY since a lot of the jokes make fun of RWBY. RWBY Chibi comes out in between RWBY seasons and there is about a year in between each season. 


Overall, I do recommend checking out RWBY. It is pretty easy to catch up on it. The episodes are not all the same length. Most of them are pretty short. Currently, season 7 is coming out on Roster Teeth’s website where you can also find all the episodes from the previous seasons. You can watch it for free on their website. If you pay for premium, you get the newest episode a week ahead of everyone else. You can also find all the way up to season 5 on Roster Teeth's Youtube page. It is solidly written, well animated, and fun to watch. Check it out.