RWBY (EP 1-13) Review
I came across RWBY through a site called Superpower Wiki. I was riffling through the Weapon proficiency section, and came across scythe proficiency. There, I saw an amazing GIF of (what I found out later on to be) Ruby herself. I was so amazed by this, which I looked up. Two days later, I finished thirteen episodes of the first season.
I will not be continuing.
RWBY is a popular web series done by Rooster Teeth and directed by Monty Oum. I was never familiar with Monty Oum’s work prior hand, so I was a newbie. But I found out that he directed Final Fantasy and the battle scenes were also incredible.
I wish that I could say that I cannot compare RWBY to other animes, or to western animation but it simply cannot be done. I have got no choice but to compare it to what I already know. It is impossible to not be able to compare. The only way this could work is if RWBY was the very first “cartoon” that I have ever watched. I would probably have been amazed. But obviously, my opinion of it would change as time passes by and I watch more shows.
Here is my honest opinion on RWBY.
|This. THIS! ...|
I hated the animation. There, I go at this with a bang. I won’t beat around the bush with this web series. I hated up, upside-down, and backwards. I hated it with all my might. However, I am talking about the animation WITHOUT action scenes. That is another matter entirely. The animation was flat, bland, with no shadowing. It was just a color palette, and I swear, you might as well have colored every grey, black, and white for all I cared. The movements were stiff, like marionettes and incredibly cringe-worthy. It was often seriously difficult to look at. It was so distracting, that I could spend minutes on it reflecting on how they move like furniture.
|Compared to THAT!|
There was nothing fluid about it. It was plain terrible, period, I do not pardon it. The general population stating such thing as: low budget, small cast of people, small production value etc., does not matter to me. I don’t care. These are just excuses. I won’t even get to the part where it seems Ruby “eats” cookies by disintegrating it with her damn “mouth.” They could have done a better job at this. I could sit through an entire episode of an anime with absolutely NOTHING happening if at least the animation is decent. I can, and Attack on Titan pulled sh*t like this the entirety of episode 12. That episode was the single most boring thing I have watched in a while, but guess what? I didn’t even care! Why? The animation of SNK is the single best I have EVER seen.
|She goes at it with a bang|
However, the same cannot be said about the action scenes. This is the selling point in the whole series. They are gorgeous and f*cking beautiful. They are bloody amazing and they rival even the best action scene of an anime you could ever think of. The hit combos, the fluidity of the movements, the speed, and the camera work: it was all damn perfect. Some of the stunts these girls pull are Kill la Kill insane. You don’t see this often, and I always dreamed someone would put on screen what I imagined really good action scenes. They are flawlessly directed. The animation here reaches A-1 quality. I don’t understand why it can’t be this good for the non-action sequences. This is why I will not excuse this show on animation. It felt like freaking hypocrisy, and even if this series is supposed to be an action series, it can do better.
|DON'T TOUCH THE HAIR|
The weapons of RWBY are, hands-down, hat-low, the best weapons I have ever encountered in anime. They are ridiculously original and my favorites are obviously Yang’s Ember Celica. Whoever came up with the idea of SHOTGUN GAUNTLETS and weapons with an insane amount of RECOIL deserves a gold medal and Absolute Ballistic Intelligence. The idea was simple: take anything you could take as weapon and add the gun factor into it.
|Recoil has never been no cool!|
A gun scythe (Crescent Moon), gun Katana (Gambol Shroud), a Rapier with a revolving chamber, and a baseball bat that turns into a mini rocket-launcher type thing. I am fawning over these things, I am not even kidding. Seriously, they are bloody, goddamn brilliant.
I am going to turn this show into the ridicule. Get ready: if you are someone with high standards, turn away. If you are one of these stupid people that don’t care about the story, or plot lines and are in it for the action only, hope you have really, really bad ears. Bust your eardrums, and watch the action scenes. Or you may stare at the pretty girls (they are quite pretty). Or if you are like me who recognises something that is so bad, you can’t help but laugh—heck, you can’t even laugh—stay.
I strongly disliked the characters, hated the dialogue, wanted to annihilate the VAs, and...actually liked the character designs.
Let me explain before you call me a hater. The characters are exactly what I dislike in characters: copy-paste clichéd pieces of undeveloped –
Ruby is Red Riding Hood; Weiss is Snow White, Yang is Goldilocks, and Blake is Bell. Blake is your typical standoff-ish, solo wolf who turns out to be a able to speak her mind, the spunky big sister, the bitchy rich queen, and your MC that wishes to go unnoticed (oh hey, Bella Swan, how is it going?). They are slightly better than SAO, and that is not saying much. They are so flat and boring, I can’t even notice them. All I know when I watch the scenes is that I see a bunch of shapes moving. Their bodies are more rounded than they are. How would I able to convey how bad they are to me? Apart from Yang, all other characters are a -2/10. Remember, that negative is kindness and nothing more. Yang is my favorite character. Actually, she is, to me, the only character in the show. I don’t know: her spunky personality is very reminiscent to mine. I also love her character design (sexy) and her weapons are what I would have loved to have.
The character designs I actually really liked. They conveyed the ...personalities of the characters: Ruby’s modest but cute, girly attire: Weiss’s I-am-rich-pure-and-white attitude, Yang’s I-don’t-give-a-damn-I’m-so-badass-attitude and Blake’s cold side is reflected through her dark clothing. They are pretty sweet, but I won’t go through too much detail about this. They are also quite attractive and I have to say that Ruby’s eyes are the best to me.
The lip synch is probably one of the worst things that I have ever seen. It makes you not want to watch it. The dialogue is cringe- worthy and the voice acting, in the words of Levi, sounds like someone taking a long crap. The lines are delivered so badly that I remember spending an entire episode once just leaning back hard against my couch. I said I finished 13 episodes in two days. If you know me and my history of watching anime, you would know that I watched SNK in two days and Kill la Kill is two days. These are 20+ episode animes. Thus, if I watched a bunch of episode that are on average less than 10 minutes long in two days... that is terrible.
I don’t know whose fault it is: the VAs, the director, I don’t know. But this show is really badly written, and I don’t think I am blowing any minds by saying that. Amateur lines such as: “Let’s do it together!”, “We have to defeat it!” or something original like “You’re gonna pay for this” IS NOT good writing. Especially when they are delivered so badly. I don’t need excuses for this. It’s bad, so it’s just bad! Another suggestion is stretching the episodes. A 5-minute-long episode is lazy work. Maybe that would help these characters develop actual personalities: some that they are in dire need of.
World Building/Plot Points:
There aren't any original ones. This should not come as a surprise to many. Here is one word to describe the plot and the world building: clichés. Let me explain. So these sexy girls (what show doesn’t have some?) with incredible weapons and insane move sets, who are also capable of physics-breaking stunts get discovered (any typical fantasy lining) and are drafted into Beacon (Hogwarts) to learn about the usage of dust (magic) and perfect their skills. They will go through trials to demonstrate their strengths, and the world’s worst...villains show up to shake things up a little...and make it exciting! If you are sitting here reading this and can’t think of movies/books/fan fictions with this VERY same plot line, you live on Mars. The Hunger Games explored these tropes. Harry Potter came up with the magical boarding school idea. Even hunters that...umm... “join forces” (cough, cough: sounds like something one of those characters would say) to fight the...evil creatures is something even part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Calling magic “dust” is not original. It’s magic, freaking period. Don't call it dust and say that it is it's own thing.
I really don’t care about the premise of the show. It’s boring and even a five-year-old could have written something better. I can’t go on with this. Even I get tired of bashing/hating on things sometimes.
Final Thoughts: I loved the trailers so much! Until this day, watching Yang rip through this club leaves me with a feeling of utter amazement. It never goes away. The soundtrack is okay, I liked the OP, but the ED never stuck with me. I don't necessarily want to expand on that: it is not that interesting to me. I might do an analysis of the trailers and the fighting one day, but I don’t know.
I will not be continuing RWBY unless I hear that it gets soooo much better in the future. Then maybe, just maybe, I might get back into it.
Rating: 4.5/10 for the weapons, action scenes, character designs and Yang Xia Long.