October 2014 Prof. Cassandra Lobiesk

I've recently gotten addicted to watching RWBY, and I have my best friend to thank for that.

Okay, I guess she's not the only one to blame, considering I have seen reviews of the series all around, especially where my blogging stalkerfeed was concerned. So I would have gotten to this show at some point, just sooner now that my friend had recommended it to me.

RWBY (pronounced "ruby") is aptly named for the four characters in Team RWBY, consisting of Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long. Yes, their team is named after the first letters of their names, and yes, they are designated by color (red, white, black, and yellow). Yes, it does seem as simplistic as it sounds, and on a superficial level, the series looks like a bunch of girls in a band with distinct stylistic qualities.

What the title of the series doesn't tell you is that these four girls are on their way to being Huntresses--which, in RWBY-speak, equates to "completely badass females who can wield weapons and magic and fight out of danger like nobody's business." Just looking at Ruby Rose and her custom-designed scythe-gun is probably enough to tell you that her team isn't a bunch of pushovers. Alone, an all-girl team of badassery makes the show interesting enough. But that's not the only thing that kept my interest.

The story of RWBY takes place in Remnant, a world filled with supernatural creatures loosely based off of fairy tale monsters--which makes sense, considering these creatures are called "Creatures of Grimm." Historically speaking, Remnant had been at odds with the Creatures of Grimm up until the discovery of Dust, which gave the humans the abilities to fight back against the monsters, which in turn yielded to a group of humans with the capabilities of wielding Dust and of protecting their kind from extinction. This is, of course, just a general backdrop, and by present day, Huntsmen and Huntresses are groomed throughout Remnant in variously located academies.

Enter Ruby Rose, the official main character, a Huntress-in-training at Signal Academy. After thwarting an attempted robbery in a local Dust shop, Ruby is recruited to join the prestigious Beacon Academy, a school that her sister Yang has already enrolled in for the year. There, she meets Weiss, an heiress to a mega-Dust corporation, and Blake, a quiet reader with all the gloomy mystery of someone who's got a lot to hide.

That's really as much as I can say without giving away too much of the first season, since Volume 1 of RWBY was mostly in its experimental stages. Episodes ranged from six to fifteen minutes in length, and truthfully, after the first episode, things didn't fully pick up until episodes 7 and 8. Fortunately, each subsequent episode after the first was around five minutes in length, which made for short viewing, and it gets really easy to breeze through the entire season in one sitting (I almost did).

Personally, what got me addicted has been the artwork, fighting style, and music. Oh, and the strong female roles, of course, but that was already a given. The animation is a cross of old-school anime and modern 3D rendering, which kind of gives the action sequences a more epic look than usual (not that old-school anime doesn't have its moments of epicness). And the music? Yeesh. There's only been a set number of songs in the show, but I have seriously listened to them over and over and over again.

As a YouTube series, RWBY has garnered quite a bit of a following. By season 2, Rooster Teeth--the company responsible for the show's production--has gained enough momentum to keep each of their episodes at around fifteen minutes in length, and a bigger budget means the ability to flesh out the world and the characters to a greater degree. I've only gotten halfway through Volume 2, but I already love the story progression.

Since it's easily watchable on YouTube, I'm going to go ahead and leave a link to the first episode below. You be the judge.