I’ve always been a nerd. I love maths, I love video games, I love books, and fantasy – I’m not ashamed. I even play Dungeons & Dragons. But I’ve never been one of those nerds. You know… an animé nerd. Well, that’s how I used to think anyway, back when I was 17 and cared what people thought of me. Now, however, I’m pretty sure I’d try watching any animé if the premise was interesting enough. What caused my drastic mentality shift, you ask? It’s all down to one little, independent, online show: RWBY.
Back in 2013, an American animation company, RoosterTeeth, aired their first episode of the fast-paced, action, anime-style cartoon. Over the following years, it has grown immensely in popularity, and has even featured some big names in the voice-over world – Yuri Lowenthal of Naruto, and Laura Bailey of Critical Role, to name a couple.
But why should you watch RWBY? Here’s a small collection of reasons why I love the show…
RWBY boasts a very large cast of characters; much, much more than just the brilliant four title ladies, Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang. There are arguably over 10 main characters – and that’s just the good guys; there is a large and eclectic mix of baddies to match.
It’s not the size of the cast that makes the show so amazing, though; it’s more that each and every character is well-rounded and unique. Each character has a theme, a colour which they’re based around, a personalised weapon with which they fight, a fully developed personality, as well as fully fleshed-out backgrounds, aspirations and motivations. It’s a true sign of excellent writing when every character is your favourite character.
Finally, as a woman in the nerdy scene, it’s so refreshing to see that a good majority of the RWBY characters are female. RoosterTeeth have continuously done an amazing job in keeping representation high in their character design priorities. Not only do we have plenty of well-written, strong women (whose existences don’t revolve around men), but we also have varying types of people: different races, backgrounds, abilities and sexualities. There’s really something for everyone to connect with.
When I first sat down to try RWBY, one thing that I didn’t expect to define my experience was the music.
In fitting with the themes of badass action and fast-paced fight sequences, Jeff Williams, and his daughter, Casey Lee Williams, have created exceptional tracks to complement RWBY. For 8 whole seasons, the pair has consistently created soundtracks that bring a whole new level of immersion to watching the show. From the intense guitar solos to Casey’s incredible vocals, the music engrosses me almost as much as the show itself. The new soundtrack is one of the reasons I get so excited for each new volume.
Anyone who has watched RWBY is probably familiar with the phrase: ‘Just get through volume 3, it gets better…’ Usually, it’s in reference to the animation style and its humungous leap in quality between volumes 3 and 4, but I think it’s an apt statement for the plotline, too.
Having watched (and re-watched many times) all the episodes of RWBY to date, it’s clear to see the sheer amount of plot foreshadowing in those early seasons, which makes them a joy to witness time and again. However, for newbies, those first episodes can be confusing. There are a lot of characters, and a lot going on, with little explained until later on…
The story is totally worth sticking around for! After the season finale of the third volume, everything kicks up a gear; from plot twists and back-stabbing to life and death showdowns, the RWBY cast’s world gets turned upside down, and the following volumes (particularly volume 6) reveal a massive amount of world lore to really tie everything together in one of those super satisfying, oh shit moments.
When Monty Oum first conceptualised and created RWBY, his vision focussed on the cinematic masterpieces that are the fight sequences. And, thankfully, even after his passing, RoosterTeeth have kept this part of the show at the forefront of their production.
The battles in RWBY are what made the show so popular and iconic. From the over the top, animé-style choreography, to the interesting and unique weapons and powers each character possess, the fights are excellent at keeping you glued to the screen.
RWBY is just an all-round, heart-warming, and wholesome experience to watch. With plotlines which are continually driven by themes of love, humility, kindness, and an abundance of light, the show is life-affirming, easy to watch, and a great source of warmth that we all need.
If you’ve not yet watched RWBY, I hope I’ve convinced you to see it. And if you’re already a fan, then here’s to Volume 8!