TV Review: RWBY Volume 1

I remember I started this back in February…I thought the idea had potential, but the animation just sort of turned me off. But one day, when the website where I was watching my current anime series was being glitchy, I decided to revisit RWBY, remembering the short episodes…and became addicted. (Sigh). 

Summary: Using the power of Dust, Team RWBY led by Ruby Rose, trains to be the next generation of protectors called Huntsmen and Huntresses. Team RWBY trains to fight crime and monsters known as the Grimm. Together they will protect the world of Remnant.

Story: 3/5: I’m usually not the type for these kinds of stories, but I decided to give this a try anyway, because two of my friends absolutely love this. It folllows fifteen year old Ruby Rose, a talented girl who wants to become a Huntress when she’s older. During a burglary, she catches the eye of the headmaster of Beacon Academy, the school for future Huntsmen and Huntresses. She is invited to the academy, despite being two years younger than everyone else, and after a short mission, is paired up with three others girls and they become Team RWBY, with Ruby as their leader. She learns many valuable lessons on both hunting and friendship along the way.


There isn’t too much of a plot line in volume 1, it’s mainly introducing the characters and their roles in the story. It’s fine, but for volume 1, I think the short episodes actually helped it, as they made them easier to get through and were fast. (I just finished volume 2, it was definitely better). 

Characters: 4/5: The characters see the highlight of this series. In a season without the strongest plot line, it gave the characters time to shine. I also love how each member of team RWBY is based off a fairy tale character. 
 

First, we have Ruby, our main character. I really like her; she’s enthusiastic and motivated, and while she may not be the brightest of the group, she’s definitely the happiest and the glue that keeps the team together. Plus, she’s really people smart; she was the first one who was able to connect with Blake by talking about books. She’s based off Little Red Riding Hood. 

Weiss is the white haired girl. I’ll admit it, it took me a while to warm up to her. She was just so arrogant and full of herself that she ticked me off. But she has to learn a lesson that she isn’t as capable and good at hunting as she thinks, and she becomes much better after that. She’s based off Snow White. 

Blake was the most relatable for me, as we’re both not really good at talking to people and are bookworms. Let’s just say she has the most twists in this volume, and becomes much more developed at the end of the season. She has some major spoilers, so let’s say there’s more to her that meets the eye. She’s based off Beauty from Beauty and the Beast. 

Yang is Ruby’s older sister, and like Ruby, is also a happy, spontaneous person. She’s one of the most physically powerful of the team, and is supportive of her little sister. She also has a habit of being pretty spontaneous and impulsive, which can put her in some trouble, but she’s fine with that. She’s based off Goldilocks.

There’s also Team JNPR, which has Jaune, a guy who has no experience, Pyrhha, a girl who is the best fighter of them all, Nora, a cheerful, bubbly girl, and Nora’s best friend, Ren, who barely says a word.

Animation: 2/5: Okay…this is where my major complaint is. I hated the animation. It was so stiff, and could barely show emotion on the characters’ faces. If it weren’t for the art style (which I like) and the awesome choreography of the fight scenes, I likely would’ve given this a 1.5 even. It just didn’t agree with me. But I do know it improves by volume 2, and drastically in volume 3, so that’s good. 

Sound 3/5: I like the soundtrack by Jeff Williams. It’s pretty catchy and fits the show well. I also like the OP, “This Will Be The Day,” even if the vocalist (Casey Lee Williams) oversings at some points,  but I can overlook that. 


The voice acting was fine, but I think most of the voice actors were sort of…inexperienced, maybe? Sometimes they just sounded off, or like they were forcing their voices at points. But their voices did match the characters, they just needed a little more time to  sound convincing. Again, like the animation, they improve later on. 

World Building: 4/5: This was one of the best part of the show. The world building was really cool, and the laws and dynamics of hunting, Grimms, and Dust felt realistic. They weren’t overly explained, but weren’t under explained either; they hit the right balance perfectly.

Pros:

  • Awesome Fight Choreography : As much as I disliked the animation, the fight scenes were made beautifully. They were so unique and epic, I couldn’t help but love them. 
  • Cool Take on Lead Characters: Basing the four leads off of fairy tale characters was really creative, especially as you can’t guess who is who at first (except maybe Ruby). Plus, it leads to cool theories and probably a lot of foreshadowing, like ooh…
  • Made With Heart: While season 1 is by no means the best thing I’ve ever seen, I can tell that Monty Oum put his heart and soul into this. I can’t explain it, but I could tell there was a ton of effort in this. Enough heart that I was saddened to hear of his passing, even though I hadn’t seen much of this show by the time I’d heard.

Cons:

  • Animation: For me, the animation could be distractingly bad at times. It just felt so stiff and couldn’t express character’s feelings all that well. It could be bearable, but sometimes really distracting. It does improve in later volumes.
  • No solid plot: The plot lines begin to develop at the end, but it takes a while. It’s mainly character driven stories at first, but towards the end of volume 1, I could tell it was preparing for the main plot line of the series, which looks interesting.
  • Weaker Voice Acting: I did feel like the VAs were sort of forcing their words at points, making them feel stiffer than they should. But I have a feeling that most of them were fairly new to the VA world. It improves in later volumes.

Final Grade: 3/5: This has potential. My complaints are mainly superficial, and do improve in later volumes. I also finished Volume 2 last night, so you can expect a review on that soon.

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12 thoughts on “TV Review: RWBY Volume 1

  1. I might have to retry this, Kate, if you didn’t like it at first and then came back to it. The animation was my biggest complaint as well. I wasn’t a fan and I found it super distracting. But if you were able to come back to it and like it much better (based on the characters), then I will have to try again one day. Wonderful review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always thought the story had potential, but the animation was just so distracting for me I couldn’t get into it. But Volume 2 is definitely better than Volume 1, animation wise and story wise. You should retry it, and definitely try to get to Volume 2, because that’s when the story gets going.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooooooooooh, okay, I’ll have to do it. I used to know this girl that lovedddddddd it and convinced me to watch it, but I got really distracted. I’ll definitely have to get into it, though, because yay for volume 2!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa, I feel just a little bit stupid lol. I never once took in the fact that all four characters are from fairy tales. Ruby was obvious, and I thought maybe Weiss was as well, but after that I never bothered to spare a thought on who might be based off of who. Volume 3 is my favorite so far!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just finished Volume 4! I don’t understand why everyone seemed to like it the least; it wasn’t as good as Volume 3, but that’s sort of hard to do, when you consider how awesome 3 was. I also don’t think it helped that team RWBY was separated. I look forward to their reunion! I think this was a needed season though, if only for the sake of the character development after the twists and turns of 3.

        Liked by 1 person

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