Thursday, November 26, 2015

RWBY Review: The Series So Far And Predictions

Heyoo, my awesomesauce people! It's a me, YanderePanda! Here with another review! Wooh! Yay!

Ah yes, RWBY, the web series created by the greatness of RoosterTeeth. Note: WEB SERIES. Note: CARTOON. Note: ROOSTERTEETH. Since this is a Western-Made animation, it is NOT AN ANIME, thank you very much. Just like how Avatar: The Last Airbender and its Sequel is not either, contrary to some noobs' beliefs. However, I do appreciate these Japanese-Inspired series, as it is bringing in more Western audiences.

Anyway, as I was saying... RWBY is an ongoing series, with two completed seasons and a third season that has just started a month ago. I'll just say that it is a pretty impressive series as of now, especially for a Web Series. At first, I was a bit skeptic of it, but given the praise and popularity, I decided to give it a go. Also, it was right up my alley, (Man, that was cheesy, especially for me.) being a fantasy-based, supernatural, Fairy Tale-inspired thing with a good plot and great characters, namely female Chuck Norris's.

Volume 1

Set in the world of Remnant, filled with supernatural forces and shadowy creatures known as "Creatures of the Grimm", with humans who have waged war against these creatures with power of a mysterious element called "Dust". During the time-period in which this series takes place, Dust is used to power abilities and weapons. The people who use such abilities are called Huntsmen, or the female equivalent, Huntresses. The series focuses on four girls, forming a team called RWBY, in an academy for potential Huntsmen and Huntresses, called Beacon. There are other academies too, and this world is also made up of four kingdoms, and Beacon takes place in one called Vale.
The concept is pretty cool, but it's been done so many times before, which made me a bit skeptic of the series at first, as the whole "kids going to school to train to become something" was kinda cliche. But keep in mind that cliches aren't necessarily a bad thing if done right, and done differently than expected. The story is pretty simple in this, so far at least, but I believe the main focus of the story is how it's conducted and the art and characters. We first start off with Ruby Rose, the main protagonist. She's admitted into Beacon as a first year, even though she's two years younger than them, because of her prodigious skills with a scythe. As you can tell, Ruby is based off Red Riding Hood. She's a cute, little girl who is naive, optimistic, and lacking in social skills. Luckily, she's entering Beacon alongside her older half-sister, Yang Xiao Long, this outgoing, motherly, confident, awesomeness, who is arguably the strongest of them all, using these fist-cuff, glove things. They both adjust as first years, meeting other people, being part of school life for Huntresses such as themselves, and enter this exam thing, to help determine teams. They are put in a team with Blake Belladonna, a somewhat anti-social, mysterious girl who eventually opens up (Loooooveeee herrrr), who wields dual blades and has these ninja-like reflexes, and Weiss Schnee, this stuck-up, rich girl, whose family owns a Dust Company, who wields a rapier, with a pretty awesome fighting style with grace and uses magical glyphs. She also ends up developing into a likable character later on. Ruby is appointed the leader of the group and the focus of the first season, is developing them as a team.

Ruby and Weiss don't get along at first, with Weiss trying to be the leader and with their fighting differences. But eventually, they end up becoming friends and Weiss ends up being nicer to her. We also get some more spotlight with the side characters in other teams, like JNPR, with this noob guy named Jaune and the prodigy, Pyrrha (LOVE HER). Jaune is appointed the leader of the group and Pyrrha, being the celebrity who is famous for her fighting ability, trains him. (I anticipate a future romantic relationship between these two. Hehehehe.)

Anyway, we get some introduction of the main villain in this season, this dude who wants something to do with stealing Dust. We also learn about the White Fang, an organization of this animal-like race, called Faunus, that started off as a peaceful protesting group that fought for equality between Faunus and Humans, but then became violent, when they got a new leader. Some robberies start to happen, and there's suspicion of the White Fang and possibility that the main villain, Torchwick, are connected. We get some development with Blake and Weiss especially, in these particular episodes. Blake is revealed to be a Faunus, hiding cat ears under her giant bow, and was a member of the White Fang, but defected. Weiss shows hatred for the White Fang, because of the crimes they committed for her families company, and also shows hatred for the Faunus. But eventually she gets over it and accepts Blake for who she is.
At the end of the season, we find out a bit more about White Fang and Torchwick and his men and get a few more allies: Sun, this Faunus who I believe will be Blake's love interest, and Penny, this android who helps RWBY.
*slaps knee

Volume 1: The Review

In Episode 1, the animation was a little bit iffy. Same goes to the dialogue and the voice acting. This continued for the next few episodes. (A girl was literally seen slurping a pancake... so...)

 Next few episodes were a lot better, and the soundtrack was always pretty good. Animation became more smooth, dialogue became less cheesy, etc. However, the episode length should've been a lot longer, as most episodes were like 10-15 minutes, and this continues for the rest of the series, sadly. I mean, there's so much more development and characterization that you can have with a longer episode length.

   But anyway, it is what it is. Get over it, people. ANYWAY, I really liked the growth in RWBY as a whole. We got some development with Ruby, with her adapting a bit more as a leader. Sadly, Ruby and Yang didn't have much focus or development in this volume, as it was mainly focused on some of the side characters and Weiss and Blake. Weiss with her relationships and becoming kinder and more respectful, Blake with dealing with being a Faunus and blending in with everyone. Overall, I thought Volume 1 was enjoyable, but it was definitely the weakest out of the seasons. 7/10

Volume 2

Much better. Volume 2 is where stuff actually starts to happen, after the buildup in Volume 1. This is where the students actually start to get involved with what is happening and there is definitely far more development with the characters at this point. AND a lot more action! Yayyyy! Also, the dialogue, voice acting, and animation have improved!
So it starts off with General Ironwood, commander of Atlas' military and academy, from the kingdom of the same name. He arrives to discuss security of Vale with the Headmaster of Beacon, implying that the students will soon have a role in helping with the crimes. Blake starts to have much anxiety about the White Fang, and the stuff that the White Fang has done has put a strain on the poor girl. Ruby proposes for them to work together to discover what Torchwick is up to. Also, we get this trio of "foreign" students: Cinder, Emerald, and Mercury, who are here for an upcoming huntsmen tournament. They are seen doing some sketchy stuff, like sneaking around and whatnot. RWBY continues their investigation for the White Fang and we get some pretty awesome fight scenes and find out about Yang's semblance-basically these special abilities that are unique to each Huntsperson. Yang's is this Super Saiyan OP Awesommesauceness thing, where the more she gets beat up, the stronger she gets. Sounds pretty OP, I know, and kinda cheap, but the way it's shown in the show is pretty cool.
There's a dance that is coming up soon and everyone is excited except for Blake, who has become distant again, even though she started to open up and have fun with everyone earlier(And my poor Pyrrha, who is still being friend-zoned). She's still struggling with anxiety at this point, refusing to rest, until Yang decides to talk with her, explaining her childhood. Development for Yang! Yay!

Yang reveals that Ruby's mom was a huntress, but never came back from a mission and that Yang's mom left when she was a baby and she was always trying to find her. She kinda went crazy trying to find her, and almost got she and Ruby killed when they were little, during the search. She compares her obsession with Blake's and then is able to convince her to lessen her obsession a little, but to not give up entirely. Nice! We see more maternal aspects to Yang's personality. Not only to Ruby but to Blake too. 
The dance happens and we see some moments between my anticipated pairings. *squeals Ruby catches Cinder trying to sneak into this big tower that's for the Schnee Company and hacks into it and does some other bad, criminal stuff. She is able to sneak back into the dance without Ruby being able to recognize her.
Following the events of the security breach, Ruby and Yang receive a package. And then it pulls a Doctor Who and then a cute corgi appears out of nowhere! Their family dog, Zwei. (Not to mention an OP dog. Must nerf.) The Headmaster Ozpin announces that the four kingdom academies are now allowed to shadow real Huntresses and Huntsmen on assignments. RWBY is allowed to go shadow their history teacher (This weird dude who has like drugged coffee or something), after bending the rules, since first years are not allowed, but their Headmaster is awesome. 
They set out on their mission and go off to Mountain Glenn, this area in Vale that is now abandoned, being overrun by Grimm. They are forced to fight the Grimm, and meanwhile, the Crazy History Teacher asks them why they wanted to be Huntresses. Yang loves the thrill and doing the right thing, Blake believes that it's better to do something than to do nothing and for the name of Faunus, to show that she doesn't want to run away anymore, Weiss does it for the sense of duty and wants to restore the moral dignity to her company, due to the poor working conditions issued by her dad.
Eventually, Ruby gets captured by the White Fang, and there is revealed to be an underground hideout where Torchwick resides, and it appears that Torchwick is their leader. The rest of RWBY catches up with her and they rescue her, and they fight the forces, in this cool, train fight scene with bombs and flying, firey corgis. Also get some cool fights inside the train with Weiss, Blake, and Yang. Yang loses for the first time, against this strange girl with heterochronic eyes, named Neopolitan, and gets saved by a masked woman. Blake uses her semblance- these shadow clones, and wins in her fight against Torchwick and helps Weiss. The train crashes at the end, and creates a hole up above, into the middle of Vale.
The final episode of Volume 2 has these epic, awesome fight scenes including the Beacon Administration, RWBY, JNPR, some other teams, some second years, and for some reason, Emerald and Mercury. In the aftermath, Torchwick gets arrested, and Cinder, Emerald, and Mercury discuss White Fang's future. Also, this mysterious guy named Adam, who worked with Blake in the past appears, revealed to be the White Fang's true leader. In the post-credits, Yang is seen talking to the masked woman, now unmasked, resembling Yang. I assume that she is her mother.
REALLY need some merch

Volume 2: Review

Volume 2 was loads better than Volume 1, improved in all aspects as said before. It was far more interesting, more build-up, and with more foreshadowing for Yang's character especially. I just loved the interaction with RWBY members, their relationships with the Headmaster, other teams, the still unknown objectives of the White Fang, etc. Everything flowed pretty nicely, from one thing to another, making a well-written plot and presentation. Overall, I give this season an 8/10

Volume 3: Predictions

So far, there are three episodes of Volume 3, and wow... It is pretty amazing so far. The animation and soundtrack and fight scenes are just on point. So much of an improvement. Volume 3 starts out with the tournament between the academies, introduction of Ruby and Yang's uncle, and Weiss's older sister. I'm excited to see what will happen in this volume as the opening is clearly hinting quite a few things. 
From what we have so far, I'm assuming that we will find out more about this Adam character and Blake will definitely get even more development as she's been focused on so much with Volume 1 and 2 already and it's clear that she and Adam will reunite, but I'm hoping that she will get less focused on, to allow the rest of the team to be the center of attention. I'm also predicting more growth for Yang, as she currently is the least developed of RWBY, and it's foreshadowed that she meets her mother again. Despite her lack of development so far, she's a very layered character and I respect that. She's a thrill seeker, as she claims, but also shows this mature, maternal nature most of the time. She also had that goal about wanting to find her mother but doesn't let her goals get in the way of everything. Her anger gets the best of her and even though her Semblance is crazy powerful, it can also be her weakness if she lets her excitement get the best of her, as seen in her first seen loss against Neo, which in a way, is a form of development. At that part of the story, we see RWBY lose for the first time and struggle, which is good. We shall find out more about her and why she disappeared. She appeared in the White Fang train, so I'm assuming she disappeared because of them and has a role with that particular fiasco. As seen from Episode 3, Cinder, Emerald, and Mercury seem to know Ruby and Yang's uncle, so they will definitely be more present later on. We'll probably expect to see a little bit more with Weiss as well, with her sister being thrown in. Perhaps we will meet the rest of her family and some more will be shown with the company as well. But overall, I'm mainly looking forward to a Yang development and possibly Ruby, since she was shown talking to her mom's grave in Episode 1 and in the opening, there was a part where she looked sad with everyone and another part where she had her eyes open while everyone else's were closed. I just feel like this volume will start to become much darker, and perhaps Ruby will start to see things in a grey area, rather than a black and white one. Must mean something, right? Much expectation, much anticipation, much hype.
@any of you people who still complain about episode length

Peace out, and Happy Turkey Day!

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