RWBY First Impressions


I have had the honor of watching the premiere episode of RWBY Volume 4.The new episode, titled The Next Step, features a brand new animation style that blows the previous three volumes out of the water.  This makes the new character designs for the cast really stand out.  The premiere granted us a look a darker, grittier version of Remnant than the one we are used to but it was more than welcome given the events of the previous season.  We also get to see the the Legion of Doom-esque  council meeting where in we find out about the aftermath of the battle of Beacon.

By the time we catch up to team RNJR, or team JNRR, we find them doing what huntsmen and huntresses  do best with a new type of Grimm.  The fight was noteworthy as it showed of our new team’s dynamic and the growth of their skills since the time skip.  We even get to see the team pay homage to the late Pyrrha Nikos in both a comedic and a rather somber fashion.  As RNJR continue their trek to Haven  the viewer is left with a short look at Weiss Schnee who seems rather depressed.  Rather this stems from the fall of Beacon or a less-than-stellar return home it is apparent that the Snow Queen of Beacon Academy has been brought down.

I feel that the premiere of volume 4 set a standard by which all proceeding volumes of the series can be judged.  Rooster Teeth has manged to impress me not as a viewer ,but as a critic.  I sincerely hope that they can maintain this caliber of animation.  If so, it will be worthy of the late Monty Oum’s legacy.

Is RWBY an Anime?


With the current buzz surrounding Roster Teeth’s widely-acclaimed animated series RWBY I felt it was the perfect time to question its legitimacy as an anime.  The community regards the series with a mixture of love and disdain due to the fact that it was produced by a team in the United States while blatantly employing stylistic and cultural tropes found  in anime.  To understand why the anime fandom is so split on the issue one must understand the difference between traditional anime and anime as a style.  Once those guidelines are established I will explain how RWBY corresponds to the stylistic guidelines of modern anime. Finally, I will give my thoughts on RWBY as an animated property.


RWBY‘s Stylistic Showings

As discussed in my Anime 101 article What is Anime Anime is the animation style that is localized to Japan.  This means that, traditionally, anime is exclusively Japanese.  As such Rwby would not be an considered a traditional  anime. However, when one considers that it is an anime-inspired series the facsimile anime feel gets close to the tradition.  While it was produced in America It feels like something produced by Gonzo or Madhouse.  From a viewer’s stance it feels like a piece from the 2000s.

Stylistically speaking, RWBY really shines as an example of great quality animation  and storytelling.  The story of RWBY takes in a world besieged by aspects of darkness called the Creatures of Grimm .  Four kingdoms rose with the help of the magical material known as dust and monster hunters known simply as huntsmen and huntresses.  The series proper fallows the titular Team RWBY  as they train to become huntresses. It is from this setting the show draws both its main cast and main villains.  Like most anime, we are first introduced to these main concepts but there is more depth than we know.

As it progressed, RWBY grew darker taking on undertones of political and racial tensions that converged in its third season. With each season, the animation and thus the fight scenes have improved greatly which made for a grand representation of character growth and combat education.  Below I have posted RWBY Red Trailer and volume four’s character short to compare this growth.

RWBY Red Trailer


RWBY  Volume 4 Character Short

These accurately portray the evolution of the main character.  Given that she evolves in appearance and personality we can see how  she has progressed.  This is noticeable in a lot of  anime with teens becoming ace pilots or warriors gaining powers.  Darker story-line and deep character growth  are a hallmark  of anime.  Ergo, it has the tags of of an anime in a stylistic since.

My Thoughs

So is it an anime?  Traditionally no, RWBY would not fall into that category.  Stylistically, it hits the mark for story and design.  In my my view it is an anime that evolves every year.  Even Cronchyroll notes it among its  stable.  Therefore, stylistically it is an anime.


Season four has premiered as of this post.  I invite you to watch it when it is available.  It is available of Crunchyroll.  Also Rooster Teeth offers early viewing now for First members. Either way you watch it I hope you enjoy it.

Section 23 Sale


The fine folks at Rightstuf ar putting on another large-scale sale.  This time the company offering products is Section 23.  For those unaware that is the company responsible for the production of series like Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya.  If you want some of the best shows of the 2010s I envite you to enjoy this sale,  You can find it here