RWBY (pronounced “Ruby”) hit the scene last year and made huge waves, attracting a lot attention.
For starters, it’s an anime-style, CG original web animation by the fine folks at Rooster Teeth, the creators of such favorites like Red vs Blue and Rage Quit. It is also the creation by the ever-talented Monty Oum, of Haloid, Dead Fantasy, and Red vs Blue Season 10 fame. If you have seen any of those previous animations, then you know that RWBY has some pretty awesome fight scenes. However, you have to remember that RWBY is not being made by a gigantic studio. Rooster Teeth is a talented production team but it is nowhere near as big as a Pixar or even a Studio Shaft.
This begs the question, what did RWBY do right to earn its huge fanbase?
RWBY has done 2 huge things right: how it started, and how it shows its money shots. Before release, RWBY had an amazing opening trailer that popped up unexpectedly a few years back. Instead of showing bits and pieces of a half-baked idea, it started RWBY off with a bang, a finished original production with a beginning, loads of action, and a conclusion to that action. Monty Oum attested that because he showed the trailers as full products, it showed how much more potential the series had and that it wasn’t just some idea with false promises. It fulfilled those promises BEFORE promises were made and hinted at more. This was how Dead Fantasy, one of Monty Oum’s bigger solo projects before RWBY, attained a massive cult following.
This ties into how well RWBY is paced. After the release of the Red Trailer, it took a few months before the White Trailer came out. The moment the first trailer stopped being relevant, another one popped up, making both trailers relevant in the minds of fans. The actual show came out last year and you can still see this same level of pacing. You can get hooked on the episodes with slower build up like the “bully-arc” because you know that the whole series is going to end with a bang, which it did by dropping huge plot and action sequences by the end of season one.
The production team on RWBY is also unafraid of doing anything to bring out the best parts in each fight scene. Monty, when asked if he liked physics, simply replied that he “appreciates physics enough to want to break it”. RWBY has little gems of animation in each fight scene. Yes, there are the grand attacks, epic blocks, and loud bangs, but there are also tons of minute detail in scenes that lead up to those more action oriented frames. In the Yellow Trailer, there was a span of ten seconds in a battle sequence featuring two characters; no one attacked each other, but both characters were trying to find an opening in their opponent’s defense. This helped build flow in the fight scene, showing that a fight isn’t about simply attacking and defending. Truth be told, Monty motion captured both sides of the scene, which may be a lesson for future animators.
RWBY is by far the biggest unofficial production I have ever seen, even having whole tables filled with character pairings, fan art, and fan fiction rivaling the numbers Naruto and Bleach have had for years. You can find RWBY, for free, on “roosterteeth.com” Rooster Teeth’s YouTube channel, and Crunchyroll. If you’re the kind of person who will only watch shows when they finish, good news for you! RWBY’s Season 2 finale will be landing on October 30th! If you skip this series because you didn’t really like season one, give season two a look. Season one is less than two hours, and season two improves on everything, especially in length as each episode is thirteen to sixteen minutes each.