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RoosterTeeth is an online American studio, based in Austin, Texas, that produces online entertainment. Founded in 2003, they have produced some of the most successful series in YouTube history and with 35 million subscribers, they must be doing something right! I could write about their shows, streams, and award winning content all day. However, today I have chosen to talk about RWBY, an animated series that is posted on the RoosterTeeth website and channel on YouTube, and why you should be watching it right now!
1. The Art and Style
RWBY is a western animation. Therefore it should be in a western style, like The Simpsons, right?
There are no goofy, round, yellow characters in this (unless you're counting Yang); in fact, RWBY has been animated 'anime-style' and is the first anime series of its kind to be sold in Japan!
I'm not going to lie to you, it takes a while for the episodes to develop a definitive, professional-looking style but when it does, it's so worth it! In fact, in Volume 3 and 4 the style and art rivals that of modern TV shows that are aired in the hundreds!
RoosterTeeth also manages to, somehow, mix Japanese and western style when it comes to the designs of the characters and their weapons, taking inspiration from both and far afield. Making for an almost historic-fantasy world.
They also have a strong sense of fairy-tale inspiration which adds to this historic feeling. For one thing, the monsters in RWBY are called creatures of Grimm (for those who don't know, there's a very famous book of Grimm's Fairy Tales. If you'd like to know some more, it's worth the google!)
2. The Characters
There are four main characters in RWBY...
- Ruby is the main character, her look is based on little red riding hood. At the start of the series, she is 14 but as the series progresses, she grows up.
- Wiess is Ruby's reluctant friend and first teammate. She is the heir to a big company (The Schnee Dust Company) and is a bit of a princess. Again, as the story progresses, she changes into a more aware and supportive person.
- Blake is a quiet girl with a mysterious past. All there is to know in the beginning is that she likes to read books and wears a distinctive bow atop her head (as the story goes on, all is revealed).
- Yang is Ruby's older sister; she's a party girl with an explosive attitude and she doesn't have much character development until series 4 but when she does, it's some of the most harrowing you will ever see.
Together they are team RWBY; the kick ass, all female, weapon wielding quartet of badassery that attends Beacon Academy; one of the four schools in the show that train warriors to fight against the creatures of Grimm that threaten humanity.
They are, in my opinion, some of the most well developed and true to life characters that you will ever find in an anime-style show.
Of course, there are plenty more characters in the show but I may put them into a different article, so look out for that.
3. The Weapons
I don't even know how to explain how awesome the weapons are but here goes.
Ruby wields a scythe, a big red scythe, and other than slicing and dicing, it has a few other features...
It's also a gun.
Well, its "also a customisable, high-impact sniper rifle" that folds up for ease when carrying. oh, and its name is Crescent Rose. Y'know, just the usual for a 14 year old...
Wiess uses a dusty sword...
Well, she uses a sword that can be infused with several types of dust. Dust, in this case, is a stored crystalline energy source that helps humanity in its battle against the Grimm. To explain it a little simpler; her sword can set things on fire, or shoot lightning and (her personal favourite) freeze things.
Blake uses a combined blade and gun combination just like Ruby. However, hers is a little more manageable, a sword with a gun hilt and a sheath that can be used in battle as well make for a great defence on their own but there's more to Blake's weapons than it seems.
See those ribbons around her wrist? They're attached to her sword, allowing her to throw her weapon into a high place and swing from it. So, she's basically Spider-Man with a gun-sword.
Yang is a brawler with two monstrous gauntlets. Both sunny-yellow in colour, they fold into simple wristbands. However, when they are extended, they fold out into two shotgun shell firing guns.
Being motion activated, these gauntlets fire when the blonde brawler punches out, usually into someone's face.
4. The Story Progression & Character Development (WARNING: SPOILERS!)
Once the first few episodes are out of the way, the real character development and story progression starts. It takes until series 3 for any change of scenery but during those series, Ruby starts to mature, Weiss learns to relinquish control, Blake opens up about her cat ears and Yang... Yang is still the same as she was. This is minor character development, but gentle enough to not alienate the audience.
However, at the end of series 3, it all kicks off; everyone loses a dear friend, Ruby loses a new friend and Yang loses her arm while trying to protect Blake from her psychotic ex-boyfriend.
Series 4 deals with a whole host of new, more mature issues including; PTSD, suppression of emotions, grief, loss of control and past traumas are just a few.
The point I'm trying to make is that the story progression gives enough time for the audience to settle in and get used to how the characters change over time before throwing in a huge change at the perfect time. This furthers the story and allows the characters to deal with more important and true to life issues.
5. The Amazing Soundtrack!
RWBY's soundtrack is a combination of orchestral drama and rock. Most songs offer a deeper, emotional look at the newest episodes. This makes for an immersive and self-aware experience when watching and listening.
Episode One is Right Here.