Anime, Shows

RWBY Volume 2 Includes Best Food Fight Scene Ever!

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

RWBY Volume 2

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Intro

Volume 1 was a good beginning that nonetheless had major issues with animation and a simplistic plot. Volume 2 veers away from the simple, ups the stakes, and has somewhat improved animation. I watched this volume the first time with my siblings, a second time by myself, and a third time with my closest friend.

Warning! Although there are no spoilers for Volume 2 in this review, there are minor spoilers for Volume 1.

Background

RWBY is an American anime. Some people say anime has to come from Japan to be legit–I disagree. I share the opinion of many others that say anime is a style and not limited to the products of any one country.

The creator is Monty Oum, who developed the plot for the company Rooster Teeth. Originally the anime was an indie miniseries with a low budget, but it has become largely successful.

Volume 2 was released in 2014, and is available with subscription on Amazon Prime, and for free on Crunchyroll and Youtube.

Summary

Team RWBY is back and ready for their second semester at Beacon, but real life doesn’t stop there. Between classes and homework, they still have to find time to save the world. And between the White Fang, Roman Torchwick, and a mysterious new trio, they certainly have their work cut out for them!” 

ROOSTER TEETH quoted on Fandom

Basically, RWBY is about four young women who seek to become huntresses and defend the world of Remnant from shadowy creatures called Grimm.

Volume 2 consists of encounters with new villains, the ever-growing threat of the Grimm, a school dance, a mission that takes a turn for the worst, and preparations for the Vytal Festival.

Pros

  • Memorable heroes
  • Effective villains
  • Interesting character naming rules
  • Unique weapons and apparel
  • Phenomenal fight scenes
  • Team RWBY try their hands at a mission
  • Original music
  • Attractive intro
  • Balance of comedic and tense moments
  • Groundbreaking American Anime

Cons

  • Animation is still amateurish
  • Episodes shorter than the average show length

Observations

Heroes

Since I introduced the members of team RWBY in my review of Volume 1, for this review I will focus on team JNPR.

Jaune Arc is a generally unskilled aspiring huntsman. He grew up in a family with seven sisters, and even though he desires to be strong, his abilities are underdeveloped. According to Fandom, Jaune was also meant to be similar to the character Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender–a normal person among people with special powers.

Jaune Arc’s name alludes to Joan of Arc. The spelling of Jaune is also evocative of the French word for yellow. Arc may also refer to Jaune’s special symbol, which is a rainbow-shaped double-arc, displayed prominently on his shield.

Jaune is loyal to his friends and becomes an increasingly competent leader of Team JNPR.

Nora Valkyrie is a fun-loving, talkative young woman with immense skill using her hammer-like weapon. Her character alludes to Thor from Norse Mythology.

There are a couple of theories regarding her name. It may be a shortened form of Eleonora, from the Greek word meaning “light.” Additionally, Fandom suggests that it may be derived from the Arabic word for light or that it may come from the flower name Nora Barlow Columbine.

Nora has a close relationship with her friend Lie Ren with potential for future romance.

Pyrrha Nikos is a prodigy, skilled at melee and long-range fighting. She is basically a celebrity athlete, admired by many. Only Jaune seems to have no idea of her fame when he meets her, and this may be why she develops a very obvious crush on him. According to Fandom, Pyrrha’s name alludes to Achilles, who once took on the name Pyrrha while in disguise as a woman, and to Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory. Her name is also derived from a Greek word meaning “flame-colored.”

Pyrrha is compassionate, loyal, empathetic, and brave. Her semblance is Polarity, which allows her to magnetize and control metals.

Lie Ren is a talented young man who is able to fight easily long-range and melee. He ignores Nora’s obvious crush on him without being particularly cruel.

According to Fandom, his last name comes from the Japanese kanji word for lotus, while his full name is derived from the pinyin of the Chinese word for hunter. He was intended to allude loosely with Mulan.

Ren is quiet, thoughtful, intelligent, and stubborn. As shown in the food fight scene, he does have a side that is fun and spontaneous.

Villains

Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai are introduced in Volume 2 as part of Cinder’s faction. With the introduction of these two formidable foes, the threat level is amped up somewhat.

Naming

Almost all character names and team names follow Monty Oum’s color naming rules, which basically require that all names should be inspired by color.

Other interesting themes are that all character names or the characters themselves on Team JNPR are inspired by people who dressed as the opposite gender: Joan of Arc, Thor, Achilles, and Mulan.

Another name theme is references to flowers, which is more apparent in my review of Volume 1.

Weapons and Apparel

Other than Jaune’s weapon, which is basically a hand-me-down sword, Team JNPR’s weapons are impressive. (If you want to learn about Team RWBY’s weapons, check out my review of Volume 1.) It is worthwhile to mention that even though Jaune’s sword is boring, his expandable/collapsible shield is rather helpful and creative.

Nora’s weapon is called Magnhild, which is referenced in the Volume 2 song “Boop,” and functions as both a hammer and a grenade launcher. It utilizes pink dust that fits her character design. According to Fandom, the name comes from Old Norse, German and Norwegian and is based on the words for “mighty” and “battle.”

Nora’s clothing design befits her lighthearted character with the bright pinks and heart design.

Pyrrha Nikos’ weapon and shield are called Miló and Akoúo̱. According to Monty Oum’s Twitter, their names mean “speak” and “listen” respectively. Miló can change between sword, a javelin and a rifle, allowing long-range and melee attacks. Furthermore, the shield Akoúo̱ can be thrown like a discus.

According to Monty Oum’s Facebook, Lie Ren’s weapon is called StormFlower. It consists of two handguns with sickle like blades.

Like most weapons in RWBY, Stormflower is useful for close combat and long range.

Inspiration for his clothing was influenced by Chinese culture.

Fight Scenes

RWBY always has phenomenal fight scenes. Seeing Team CFVY fight had to be one of the highlights of the volume, though. Professor Oobleck was no pushover, either. Even just seeing Team RWBY against White Fang members and Grimm was impressive. They even have new names for their formidable new team techniques, such as Freezerburn, Checkmate, and Ladybug.

Mission

What I like about the mission that Team RWBY undertakes is that it forces them to confront the reasons why they seek to become huntresses. Additionally, I think it is kind of funny that they see these huge Grimm passing by at a distance at one point and are like–yeah, those beasties are a little too dangerous, let’s stay clear of those. Even talented fledging huntresses have their limits. It kind of reminds me of RPG games such as Final Fantasy that have monsters far too difficult to beat that you have to just avoid until later in the game.

Music

Unlike with many anime, the music in RWBY was created exclusively for RWBY, with foreshadowing built into the songs and songs that seem linked to specific characters.

The music was composed by Jeff Williams, and his daughter Casey Lee Williams does a lot of the vocals. According to Fandom, Jeff Williams does not regard the songs as canon and asserts that they should not be taken literally.

To me, that just seems like he is covering for himself and Rooster Teeth in case the story ends up veering too far from the lyrics, but I know that so far the songs fit the theme and story very well.

The best songs in Volume 2, in my opinion, are “Time to Say Goodbye” and “Caffeine.”

Intro

The intro for Volume 2 is beautiful, even if the animation still leaves much to be desired. The backgrounds are simple, but I appreciate how it switches art styles in the middle.

The music in the intro fits the anime and hints at a darker future for the show.

Comedy and Tension

The most comedic moment has to be the food fight that occurs in the first episode of the volume. It defies logic, and yet it is so hilarious that I do not care.

Humor is also shown in the dialogue, such as when Ruby addresses the group as “Sisters, friends, Weiss…”

There are plenty of tenser moments too, such as when Emerald and Mercury confront Tukson, when Blake worries herself into complete exhaustion, and when a Grimm attack threatens innocents.

Animation

The 3D animation of RWBY is made using Poser, and thus differs greatly from most other anime. The major consequence of a low budget combined with this 3D style was that it made the whole volume look underdeveloped.

The animated movement was occasionally awkward, even though Volume 2 showed improvements over Volume 1. There are no longer just silhouettes for background characters. However, in the dance scene there are copies of some partners, giving it an overly simplistic feel.

Episode Length

Each episode in Volume 2 is 12 minutes long. That’s still short for an anime episode, and there is no reason they shouldn’t have just combined episodes to make them longer.

Contribution to Anime

RWBY is unique because it is one of the few American anime. It is filled with references to Western pop culture and folk tales. Additionally, its animation style, while underdeveloped, sets out on a separate path from typical anime.

Conclusion

Volume 2, while it is better than Volume 1, is not as great as the later volumes, mostly due to poor animation. If you’re not sure about the show after watching 1 and 2, I would say you should at least try Volume 3 before reaching a final judgment.

That being said, Volume 2 is fun, enjoyable, and totally worth your time. I would recommend this Volume for ages 13 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Related Articles

Anime, Shows

MHA’s Season 2 Super-Powered School Schedule

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

My Hero Academia Season 2

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Intro

My Hero Academia (also known as MHA) is my favorite anime. I watched Season 2 for the second time with my dad, and I had a great time–despite the fact that my sister had me doing jumping jacks during all the intro and outros.

(I made her my coach during winter break, which was both the best and worst idea ever.)

Warning! Although this review has no spoilers for Season 2, it does have spoilers for Season 1.

Background

My Hero Academia Season 2 was released in 2017. It was produced by the studio Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki. The plot is based on the graphic novels by  Kōhei Horikoshi.

You can watch My Hero Academia on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Summary

UA high school students participate in a sports festival, internships, and final exams.

Pros

  • Likeable characters with diverse personalities
  • Get to see a bit more of Class 1-B and the General Studies, Support, and Business classes
  • Intimidating villains
  • Creative quirks
  • Fantastic dialogue
  • Balanced plot with light-heartedness and darker aspects
  • The UA Sports Festival Arc is the best arc in all of Season 1 and 2
  • For once, the UA girls get a chance to shine
  • Actual consequences for poor decisions
  • Catchy music
  • Attractive outros and intros
  • Original art style

Cons

  • Mineta being his usual pervy self, sexual harassment basically treated as a joke
  • Mei Hatsume has a habit of getting uncomfortably close to people and being super touchy, an instance of probably unintentional harassment of the male characters

Observations

  • Maybe Midoriya was not quirkless–maybe his quirk was superpowered crying
  • Midoriya uses the most boring visualizations to try to control his power
  • And yet he’s still breaking fingers…

Review

Characters

Season 1 had so many great characters, and Season 2 not only developed them further, it added a host of new characters to enjoy. I especially appreciated that I got to see a bit more of Class 1-B and the General Studios, Support, and Business classes.

Hitoshi Shinso is a student of the General Studies department. He has a quirk that would be perfect for a villain, but that he wants to use to become a hero. However, he failed the entrance exam for the hero course because his quirk does not work against robots, even though it is highly effective against people. Shinso is an underdog character I couldn’t help rooting for even though he was pitted against Midoriya.

Mei Hatsume is assertive, stubborn, and incredibly intelligent. She is a student of UA’s Support Class, and her calls her inventions her “super cute babies.” Her quirk is that she can zoom her eyesight to be able to see things far away. Her main focus in the UA Sports Festival is advertising her inventions for pro heroes and investors to see.

Itsuka Kendo is the class rep of Class 1-B and is part of the hero course. Her quirk is Big Fist, her ability to make her hands larger, which allows her to be better able to block and attack. She keeps Class 1-B in line and is on good terms with Class 1-A.

Neito Monoma is an obsessive, rude, and stubborn student from Class 1-B. He takes his rivalry with Class 1-A really seriously, frequently mocking them. It’s a running joke that Kendo repeatedly knocks him out when he tries to pick fights with Class 1-A. He is particularly effective against Bakugo and has proven that he can stay cool in intense situations.

Gran Torino is another person worth mentioning, but I cannot go into the details of his character without spoiling him. It’s enough to say that he was a mentor to All-Might.

The main villain of Season 2 is an effective, terrifying foe.

Hero Killer Stain is a villain with actual ideals, disgusted by heroes who lack the pure intentions and true spirit of heroism. He kills those who fail to meet his frankly way-too-high standards.

Dialogue

My Hero Academia Season 2 has plenty of quotable moments. This one is from Midoriya, and sums up what being a hero is all about.

Meddling when you don’t need to is the essence of being a hero.”

There is also plenty of Midoriya being a funny awkward teenager.

I can’t believe I talked to a girl on the phone. It was like she was whispering in my ear!”

And who could forget All-Might’s ring tone?

A phone call…is here!”

Plot

Season 2 starts with the UA Sports Festival, which in my opinion is the best arc of Seasons 1 and 2. Why? Several reasons.

First, we get Todoroki’s backstory. If there were awards for the best backstory, it would have to go to him.

Second, Ochaco gets to take part in an amazing battle. Finally, a girl gets her chance to shine!

Third, Bakugo meets his match more than once. It’s satisfying to see him humbled somewhat by the impressive skill of his opponents.

Fourth, Midoriya makes a decision that leads to permanent consequences. That’s nice to see, especially since until that point, he experienced no lasting ill effects from using his immense power.

Right after the festival arc, there is a really fun episode when students choose their hero names and it is revealed how Eraser Head got his name.

The next arc involves the student internships. It’s nice to see most of the characters exhibit some growth through their experiences. As may be expected from My Hero Academia, this arc tends to be more on the dark side, but is neatly balanced with humor.

The final arc focuses on final exams, which include both studying for pencil-and-paper tests and practical exams. Momo gets a chance to show what she’s made of in the finals.

Music

Unlike the first season, Season 2 uses four theme songs, all of which I have enjoyed thoroughly. Click on the links if you want to listen for yourself. The music is upbeat, gets stuck in one’s head, and fits the intros and outros perfectly.

  1. Peace Sign by Kenshi Yonezu
  2. Dakara, Hitori ja nai by Little Glee Monster
  3. Sora ni Utaeba by amazarashi
  4. Datte Atashi no Hero by LiSA

If you ever need music to exercise to, My Hero Academia‘s playlist would be a phenomenal choice. I still exercise to this music.

Intros and Outros

The first intro for this season is mostly just the characters stretching. I love it though, because it gives some insight into the training the young heroes have to put themselves through on a daily basis.

The first outro highlights scenes with the girls of My Hero Academia, which is long overdue since the show tends to underrepresent the achievements of the female characters. My favorite part is finding Toru Hagakure, The Invisible Girl, in all of the scenes. It also emphasizes how the school is a positive environment where most of the students have become close friends.

The second intro is attractive with color themes and glimpses into character memories and foreshadows future events. Overall, it does not disappoint.

The second outro is My Hero Academia reimagined into the Fantasy genre. It’s clever, funny, and beautiful. It’s my favorite of all the outros I have seen in the four seasons of My Hero Academia I have watched so far.

Style

All Might Highlights Boku no Hero Academia My Hero Academia

According to IMDb, the animation was done by Studio Bones, which also did the style of Fullmetal Alchemist, another of my favorite anime.

The style is different from Fullmetal Alchemist because it uses bold, bright colors and deep shadows for contrast. The pupils of characters are much smaller than in most anime.

Perverted Aspects

Yep, Mineta is a perverted little freak as usual. He happens to be quite smart and score high on one of the exams, which prompts another character to say that perverts like him are only likeable if they are dumb.

I disagree…I would despise him just as much if he were dumb.

The fact that the girls sometimes fall for his tricks makes it even worse. In Season 2, Mineta fools all the girls of Class 1-A into wearing cheerleading suits.

Hatsume, on the other hand, is so touchy it’s almost as uncomfortable as the scenes with Mineta. At the very least she’s seems unaware she is being that way, which makes her somewhat better than Mineta.

Observations

From the beginning of My Hero Academia, Midoriya has been known to cry a lot. Now personally, I do not think that is a bad thing. And it doesn’t mean he is weak. Anyone who can break their bones repeatedly and keep fighting is not weak.

Seeing how impressively he cries in Season 2, I can’t help but wonder if he had a quirk before One-for-All–super-powered tears. Anyone who can spout such volumes of water from their eyes is pretty special.

Midoriya’s visualizations of microwaves are a recurring thing in Season 2. I cannot imagine a more boring metaphor.

And if you were hoping poor Midoriya would be done breaking fingers by the beginning of Season 2, you’re out of luck. Ew….

Conclusion

I fully recommend My Hero Academia, especially for anime fans. It would best fit an audience of ages 13 and up due to violence, serious injuries, and a perverted character.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Shows

Korra: The Polar Opposite of Aang

Spoiler-Free Show Review:

The Legend of Korra Season 1

Rating: 9.0 out of 10 stars

Intro

The first time I watched The Legend of Korra I had such high expectations because it was in the same world as Avatar: The Last Airbender, that I felt a sense of disappointment. It just wasn’t the same.

The second time I watched it, I was able to appreciate it better because I accepted that it could not be the same as Avatar: The Last Airbender. I watched Season 1 with my roommate and we had a great time.

If you go into this show expecting it to be the same as Avatar: The Last Airbender, you will not be satisfied. But if you go into the experience embracing the new and relishing the old, you will see that The Legend of Korra is a fitting sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender.

If you haven’t watched Avatar: The Last Airbender yet, don’t watch the The Legend of Korra. Go watch Avatar: The Last Airbender first.

From now on, for simplicity’s sake, I will often refer to Avatar: The Last Airbender as ATLA and The Legend of Korra as LoK, the acronyms commonly used by fans.

Background

The Legend of Korra was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. It is a sequel to the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Characters in this show are either benders, who can control one of the four elements, or non-benders, who cannot control any elements.

It is a unique blend of anime style with the style of American cartoons. It draws from Inuit, Japanese, Chinese, and Tibetan culture.

Summary

Beginning 70 years after the events of ATLA, LoK follows the journey of 17-year-old Korra, who is the new Avatar and grew up in the Southern Water Tribe. In Season One, she travels to Republic city seeking to learn airbending.

Pros

  • Entertaining, appealing characters
  • Character who has the same voice actor as Zuko
  • In some ways it is the same world as ATLA, but it has changed
  • Considers how those without bending ability live in a world of benders
  • Creative ways of using bending
  • New types of animals unique to the world, old ones make a reappearance
  • Fitting villain who is both charismatic and frightening
  • Catchy music

Cons

  • Because of ATLA, LoK was held to a very high standard that it couldn’t quite reach

Review

Characters

Korra is not just a reiteration of Aang. She is strong-willed, often defiant, powerful, and very much a teenager. She’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind, and she’s willing to take chances.

Korra’s biggest obstacle at the start of the series is her struggle to airbend. In ATLA, Aang struggled to learn earthbending because it was so different from airbending. In LoK, Korra struggles to learn airbending because it contrasts so strongly with her personality.

Mako vs Bolin - Battles - Comic Vine

Mako is a firebender who is typically untrusting, aloof, and somewhat short-tempered. He will often act without thinking in a way that hurts or offends those around him, even though he is a good guy at heart.

Television Screencap Image For The Legend of Korra Season 1 | Fancaps.net |  Legend of korra, Bolin legend of korra, Korra

Bolin is a fun-loving guy who is more laidback than his brother Mako. He’s a strong earthbender. If you’re thinking he’s just a replacement for Sokka, he really is not. He might have the best sense of humor, but he’s not the sarcasm guy.

Asami Sato | Asami sato, Legend of korra, Korrasami

Asami is sweet but tough, a non-bender who came from a rich family.

Tenzin and his family are helpful mentors to Korra as she seeks to master airbending and figure out how to be a good Avatar, but they also serve as comic relief!

There’s also a character voiced by Dante Basco, the same voice actor as Zuko from ATLA. Listening to him is a nostalgia overload.

Worldbuilding

Avatar The Legend of Korra Newbie Recap Pilot | The Mary Sue

The most notable way LoK differs from ATLA is the advanced technology that has allowed cities like Republic City develop. Sato-mobiles are the cars of the Avatar universe. Radio and telephones have become the major way people hear the news and communicate.

There is also a police force mostly comprised of metal benders. Seeing them in action is actually pretty cool.

Lin Beifong | Avatar Wiki | Fandom
Lin Beifong, Head of the Police

Another thing I love about the worldbuilding of LoK is the inclusion of modern spectator sports–namely, pro-bending. The game is more than just two teams beating each other up with fancy elemental bending. There are plenty of unique rules and ways to incur penalties. Watching it is more exciting than seeing an actual sports game, at least to me.

Korra and friends in pro-bending garb

Animals

The animals of LoK are just as lovable and fun as those in ATLA, although there are not many introduced in the first season. We meet two animals who are pretty much mascots for the main characters.

Naga
Pabu

Naga is a polar bear dog that belongs to Korra, while Pabu is Bolin’s pet fire ferret and the mascot for the Fire Ferrets probending team.

Villain

Amon is the major villain of Season 1, and without spoiling anything, I can only say that he is basically the leader of a militant group of non-benders. He is formidable and terrifies Korra despite her usual courage.

Music

The music is unique to LoK, completely different than ATLA. There’s some jazz music, for example. It’s all instrumental, which I prefer for shows like this.

Conclusion

A lot of people hate on Korra and complain that LoK is not as good as ATLA, but I promise you, it is well worth it even if ATLA was better. ATLA was a hard act to follow, but the creators did a good job nonetheless.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

  1. Review of ATLA Season 1
  2. Review of ATLA Season 2
  3. Review of ATLA Season 3
Anime, Shows

RWBY Volume 1: A Shaky Start to a Great Anime

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

RWBY Volume 1

Rating: 6.8 out of 10 stars

Intro

Let me start by saying that RWBY is one of my favorite anime. However, even I have to admit that the quality of the first volume is lower than the quality of later volumes.

Basically,

Low Budget + Slow Start = Lackluster Beginning

Yep, it’s the same issue as with the original trailers. For my review of the trailers, click here.

RWBY Volume 1 is available on Crunchyroll and Amazon Prime.

Background

RWBY is an American anime. Some people say anime has to come from Japan to be legit–I disagree. I share the opinion of many others that say anime is a style and not limited to the products of any one country.

The creator is Monty Oum, who developed the plot for the company Rooster Teeth. Originally the anime was an indie miniseries with a low budget, but it has become largely successful.

Volume 1 was released in 2013, preceded by four color-themed trailers that established some character development and worldbuilding.

Summary

A young hero, an exalted heiress, a troubled rogue, and a party girl–These are the four members of RWBY, a team brought together and trained for the sole purpose of combating the rampant evils that plague the fantastic world of Remnant. If these four girls want to graduate Beacon Academy they’ll have to learn to work together both on the battlefield and in the classroom.” (1)

Rooster Teeth

Basically, RWBY is about four young women who seek to become huntresses and defend the world of Remnant from shadowy creatures called Grimm.

Pros

  • Fantastic worldbuilding with mythological inspiration
    • A world with its own mythology
  • Memorable characters
    • Character names and design that allude to fairy tales
  • Unique weapons
  • Elaborate fight scenes
  • Original music
  • Humorous dialogue
  • Creative design for the monsters called Grimm
  • Groundbreaking American Anime
    • Helping to define a new category of anime

Cons

  • Poor animation
    • Merely shadowy silhouettes of non-essential characters
    • Very little detail, especially in backgrounds
    • Occasionally very awkward movement
  • Ridiculously short episodes
  • Cliché aspects of the plot

Review

Worldbuilding

Map of Remnant (2)

The map of Remnant was developed by squirting ketchup on a napkin at an IHOP restaurant (3). As such, the landmasses are complicated shapes that make up a creative, unique world.

In the beginning, the people of Remnant were created from dust, and were forced to contend with the darkness, which took its own form in the creatures called Grimm. The power that allowed them to fight back was given the name Dust.

Dust is an energy source activated by Aura. It can be used to add elemental power to attacks, and it is extremely valuable to supplement weapons.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dust-crystals.png
Dust Crystals

Every person who has a soul in Remnant has an Aura, though some are better using it than others. Aura is basically the energy inside a person that can be used to protect oneself or attack. A person’s aura shows a certain color–for instance, Ren’s Aura is pink and Jaune’s is white.

Ren using his Aura
Jaune using Aura for the first time

According to Pyrrha,

Aura is the manifestation of our souls.”

Aura is what lets the people of Remnant use their semblances, which are special powers. For instance, Ruby’s semblance Petal Burst allows her to turn into a fast-moving cloud of rose petals, and Pyrrha’s semblance is called Polarity, the ability to mess with magnetism.

Characters

Ruby Rose is a spunky, determined teenager who tends to be a bit silly and childish. At age 15, she is the youngest of Team RWBY, but she should not be underestimated.

She is truly what Monty Oum wanted her to be, “a badass Red Riding Hood” (4). She obliterates Grimm who stand in her way with the fighting skills she learned from her uncle Qrow.

The name Weiss Schnee comes from German and literally means “white snow.” Her name was chosen to allude to the character of Snow White.

Weiss is a bit of a spoiled rich kid. However, her childhood was darkened by the attitude of her father and the depression of her mother. She tends to think highly of herself and look down on others, but is willing to change her mind.

Blake Belladonna had a troubled past that she tries to put behind her when she enrolls at Beacon to become a Huntress.

She loves reading, which makes her awesome in my opinion. Her character alludes to both Beauty and the Beast, which is definitely more subtle than the previous two characters (5). Belladonna is a type of flower, a poisonous plant that’s part of the nightshade family.

Yang Xiao Long is a laidback party girl with an intense side. Her character alludes to the character of Goldilocks, another fairy tale allusion that is not as obvious as that of Weiss and Ruby (6).

She is the older half-sister of Ruby Rose. She is particular about her hair to the point where she will pretty much kill anyone who messes with it. When angry, her eyes turn from purple to red.

Weapons

In RWBY, weapons are truly extensions of the characters. They reveal and deepen the characters’ development and personality, and make all those freakin’ awesome fight scenes possible. Most of the weapons in RWBY can be used multiple ways and generalize in both long-range and short-range attacks.

Just weapons? They’re an extension of ourselves.”

Ruby Rose
Crescent Rose | Heroism Wiki | Fandom
Crescent Rose

Crescent Rose is Ruby’s weapon, and functions as both a scythe and a sniper rifle. What is even more amazing than seeing this weapon in action is the fact that Ruby built the thing.

Myrtenaster

Myrtenaster is Weiss’s weapon of choice – a Multi Action Dust Rapier (7). Weiss can use dust to add elemental power to her attacks. The reason it looks like a fencing sword and that Weiss fights like a fencer is apparently because of Monty Oum’s own background in fencing (8). A Myrtenaster is a flower found in Germany, and is likely the origin of the name (9).

Gambol Shroud | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
Gambol Shroud

Blake’s signature weapon is Gambol Shroud, which has two different sword forms and a gun form. Even the sheath is used as a weapon.

Ember Celica

Yang uses Ember Celica, her Dual Ranged Shot Gauntlets (10). When inactive, they appear to be bracelets, but when activate they cover her arms. The ammunition explodes on contact with the enemy. There apparently is a Celica flower that has a double bloom–possibly that’s where they got the name? Just a theory.

Fight Scenes

RWBY blasts its way to mainstream success with side-splitting comedy,  heart-rending drama, and adrenaline-pumping action – The Reflection

The fight scenes in the RWBY trailers are phenomenal. Even though movements seem awkward during other parts of the episodes, the fight scenes are graceful, true works of art.

Music

Unlike with many anime, the music in RWBY was created exclusively for RWBY, with foreshadowing built into the songs and songs that seem linked to specific characters.

The music was composed by Jeff Williams, and his daughter Casey Lee Williams does a lot of the vocals. Jeff Williams does not regard the songs as canon and asserts that they should not be taken literally (11).

To me, that just seems like he is covering for himself and Rooster Teeth in case the story ends up veering too far from the lyrics, but I know that so far the songs fit the theme and story very well.

The best songs in Volume 1, in my opinion, are Red Like Roses Part II and This Will Be the Day (12, 13).

Dialogue

The humor of the dialogue in RWBY contributes to the lighter tone of Volume 1 compared to the other volumes.

Ruby’s dialogue reveals her childish nature. For example, when she says:

I don’t need people to help me grow up. I drink MILK!!!”

Jaune’s naïve tendencies are demonstrated by his words, such as this eyeroll-worthy statement:

My dad said all women look for is confidence.”

And how could I be a RWBY fan if I left out this quote by Nora:

We’ll break his legs!”

Monsters

The monster called Grimm come in a variety of forms and dissipate into darkness when defeated. Some are pretty puny in Volume 1 compared to the heroes…others are worthy foes.

Beowolf | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
Beowolf
Nevermore | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
Nevermore

Beowolves are pretty common in RWBY. Nevermores are not rare either, but they boast more unique characteristics, such as sharp, hard feathers that can pin prey to the ground.

Death Stalkers | Villains Wiki | Fandom
Death Stalker

Death Stalkers are ridiculously tough and take a lot of ingenuity to conquer.

Animation

Unimportant background character is a silhouette

The 3D animation of RWBY is made using Poser, and thus differs greatly from most other anime. The major consequence of a low budget combined with this 3D style was that it made the whole volume look underdeveloped.

Characters without importance were denoted using shadowy silhouettes without any details. This made it obvious from the beginning which characters would be recurring, making the series more predictable.

Backgrounds had very little detail as well, making the scenery less interesting.

The animated movement was occasionally very awkward.

Plot

The plot is similar to many magical school kind of shows. Some of its terribly predictable, such as the way the bullying episodes progressed and the way they ended. That’s not to say there’s nothing unique–it’s just that the first volume is more predictable than the rest.

Episode Length

Episode length varies from around 6 minutes to closer to 12. This is annoying, but avoidable if you watch the whole Volume as one. It is available in that format on Amazon Prime. If you try watching this on Crunchyroll without Premium, you’re in for a ridiculous amount of commercials.

Contribution to Anime

RWBY is unique because it is one of the few American anime. Additionally, its animation style, while underdeveloped, sets out on a separate path from typical anime.

Conclusion

If you decide to watch Volume 1 and it doesn’t peak your interest in RWBY, still give the next few volumes a chance. Most of the people I’ve talked to are more distracted by the animation than anything else. Once you get used to that, you can appreciate the rich storytelling and worldbuilding of RWBY.

Even as a RWBY fan, I rated Volume 1 relatively low because its poor animation quality and predictability. It took me awhile to get into it…but it gets better, trust me.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

  1. Rooster Teeth Quote – Source: Fandom
  2. Remnant Map – Source: Rooster Teeth
  3. Remnant Development – Source: Fandom
  4. Interview with Monty Oum
  5. Blake’s Development – Source: Fandom
  6. Yang’s Development – Source: Youtube
  7. Myrtenaster – Source: Twitter
  8. Weiss and Fencing – Source: Twitter
  9. Image of Myrtenaster Flower – Source: Wikimedia Commons
  10. Ember Celica Info – Source: Twitter
  11. RWBY Soundtrack Info – Source: Fandom
  12. Red Like Roses Part II – Source: Youtube
  13. This Will Be The Day – Source: Youtube

Related Articles