RWBY Volume 2 Review

rwby-volume-2-dvd-caseWe’ve previously looked at RWBY, but for those that haven’t seen or heard of the series, RWBY is the original animated series by the group behind the Red Vs. Blue Halo parody, RoosterTeeth. The series follows a group of students at a school that trains hunters, who are specially trained people for fighting monsters and other bad guys in this world. The series is directed by Monty Oum, and features some awesome fight choreography, as he is known best for.

In the last season of RWBY, the team was looking into one of the four main characters, Blake and her past with the White Fang, a terrorist organisation set about freeing her cat people for subjugation. This seasons story takes this overall story a little further, by looking into the White Fangs organisation itself, Blakes relationship with the group, and how the story showcases the groups role in how some of the world is affected by their actions. However, the White Fang are stills shown as the bad guys through their use of force and how they use terrorist actions throughout the story.

This season of RWBY opens up with what was probably the strongest episode in this entire season, at least for a little while. It does a really good job of showing the viewer what each character is like, the kind of world that they live in and how normal everyday physics go out of the window when it comes time for a fight. In this episode, that fight is a food fight, and is more than likely the best food fight in animated, no, any history. Of all time. Ever. However, after this, the story goes into a more expository phase for a few episodes, and many of the battles shown aren’t quite as epic as the opening fight for this series. Actually, the action doesn’t quite pick up again in a similar level until towards the end when the team is fighting on a train.

The world in RWBY has this magical element called Dust. Dust essentially comes in universal elements that allows for its users to cast magic and use skills, among other uses, to assist in combat. It’s this use of Dust that gives the characters in RWBY their unique skills. What’s interesting is that while the characters can battle magically, they often tend to use their melee and ranged weaponry. This makes the fights a bit less varied than they could be, with the only character that really goes all out her abilities being Blake, that can create duplicates of herself to take hits and other effects. This doesn’t mean that the other characters don’t use their abilities, but they don’t use them as much as they have in the previous season. Or at least that’s how it feels.

One of the things that was pretty cool in this season is that it set a lot of things up for the next season of RWBY. For example, there is some espionage that goes on at the academy, some new villains are introduced, some old ones have a sudden change in circumstance and there’re even new allies being made. What’s even more is it looks like there is some kind of military coup going to happen, or something along those lines. Maybe the defence forces are siding with the terrorists? This season makes the viewer ask some interesting questions in regards to what’s going on in RWBY.

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The new opening theme is a lot of fun to listen to, and the opening animation captures the feel of RWBY pretty well. What’s cool is that we’re pretty sure the ending song changes sometimes, and the ending credits often feature fan-art of the RWBY series in the background. This is some interesting attention to detail that you don’t really see too often, which is always good.

Quite often, the writers will use jokes and references in the dialogue to give each of the characters a bit of personality. Each of the main cast feel consistent with their established character personalities from the first season, and we are introduced to some characters that leave us with a different kind of impression. Returning late into this series is one particular professor/hunter that is one that doesn’t inspire much confidence (and we’re pretty sure he’s voiced by the same guy that did Caboose in Red Vs. Blue). In this season particularly, we see that he is less than incompetent, as his true strength is shown when the times get tough, and it’s quite hilarious and cool when he gets his moment to shine.

Much like in the last season, the animation quality in RWBY is a bit robotic at times and the models can be seen to have aliasing effects and look a little lo-res in some scenes. We’re not entirely sure why that is, it could be a limitation on the software the RoosterTeeth team use to animate, or, I dunno. However, it does work for the series as a whole, with it giving the season a look where it feels like it came out of a video game. Actually, like the last season, this feels like a bunch of video game cutscenes stuck together to tell a story. Even further, if you watch it with the Play All button in the menu, it trims the series together like a movie, so the opening and ending only play once. It’s really quite cool.

RWBY Volume 2 is a must watch series for fans of animation, video games and badass fighting choreography. The team over at RoosterTeeth have produced something that is definitely worth taking a look at and owning. While the season isn’t quite as strong as the first, it’s still really entertaining.

Rating: 8.0/10

RWBY Volume 2 is released by Hanabee here in Australia. The series is animated by RoosterTeeth and is available for purchase on the Hanabee website for ~$25. This review was done on the DVD release. Review copy was supplied by Hanabee for reviewing purposes.

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