The original RWBY was an anime-inspired western production that became a sensation among a lot of early Rooster Teeth fans. It lacked the polish but it was making it up with passion. Then the original creator died and those who carried on with the show made a huge clusterfuck that alienated most fans with its loose plot and lack of direction. The anime version of RWBY seemed to be a reboot at first. They remade the early episodes with a far higher budget and expanded certain events for fleshing out the characters and for introducing the world in a smoother way. On paper it was a remake that could surpass the original if they intended to rewrite the rest of the plot in a more tight and comprehensible way. Something which they didn’t.
Plot-wise, the anime starts as a fast-paced reboot and after a few episodes turns into a slow-paced side story that can very easily be labeled filler. Everything takes place in a dreamland, meaning whatever happens in it has no importance and no effect on the world of the series. It matters for the character who dreams of the world and it helps in the fleshing out of her character, but that aside it has no impact on the events of the core plot. That effectively killed most of the interest in the show since the community didn’t feel like it was important to know what happens in a damn dream that will pop out of existence as easily as it was created.
Visually-wise, the most obvious change was the switch from motion capture which was making everyone to be constantly moving or shaking even when they weren’t talking or fighting, to typical android animation that has the characters being frozen when they speak. So basically, everyone moves a lot less and the explosions are a lot more impressive. Aesthetically-wise though, this anime has no value. The appeal of the original was an amateur creating a low budget show, inspired by everything he liked about anime, back when Rooster Teeth was a studio by fans for fans, and not the failure of a corporate cashgrab at the brink of collapse it ended up becoming. Basically, being cheap and cringy was part of the appeal of RWBY, since you were seeing the passion of the creator more than you were seeing the overall quality of the show. The new version on the other hand is clean, made by a corporate studio, with a mainstream appeal in mind. Even if you try it out without knowing anything about the original it will not feel special in any way, it’s another fighting chicks anime in a medium with hundreds of similar shows that will come and go before you know it. And sure, you can still enjoy it for the occasional sakuga moments even if they are nothing special when you compare them with something like Symphogear.
Speaking of sakuga, there’s not that much of it. The first episodes have most of it and then the animation quality gets halved as soon as the dream filler begins. Supposed the pandemic was the cause for the sudden drop in quality but the end result would be bad either way since this show can’t compete with its contemporaries no matter what it does. Plus it doesn’t reuse the same soundtrack. You could describe the original as having passable animation and plot but the music score was amazing. The anime version doesn’t have it, it replaced it with generic and forgettable songs that alienated the fans even further.
As a whole, anime RWBY was a dud. The fandom expected a better retelling of the western version and all they got was a stiff-looking filler arc. Without sticking out from other fighting chicks anime, and with the plot going nowhere, it became yet another throwaway series that everyone forgot almost immediately.
I (newcomer to RWBY) watched this series with my husband (huge OG RWBY fan) expecting a better and proper retelling of the OG series. I thought with a series as massivly beloved and popular as RWBY and with pretty excellent staff members in the production, Crunchyroll would pull all the stops and go all out in creating a masterpiece. The final product is nothing but a kick in the gut for OG fans and a forgetable anime to newcomers.
The first 4 episodes were decent opening to the story but by episode 5 until final episode it goes downhill really fast.We're stuck in Weiss's Dream arc, that's 3/4 of the series' main story arc, a painfully drag slow paced arc (which is only 3 episodes worth of relevence) is nothing but a filler arc. I was bored and zoning out while my husband was bored, angry and dropped the series at episode 9. Other features that made OG RWBY memorable ie music, fight scenes and character developments were taken away and reduced to bland generic filters throughout the series. The series as a whole is just a bland, forgetable, souless and generic action anime that doesn't stand out from others in the genre and ignores the core elements of RWBY's story, identity and spirit.
If you're a fan of the OG RWBY, spare yourself the heartache and skip this. If you're not a RWBY fan, don't bother with the anime you'll be bored anyway and just check out the OG cartoon if you're curious. The cartoon is far from perfect and has its many faults but at least it was made with passion, charm and has a lot to offer for a fun time.
RWBY Ice Queendom would've been much better off as a movie or being substantially shorter than it is, the story could've been good in that format. Weiss is attacked by a Grim that puts her into a coma, the only way to save her is to enter into her dream and destroy the grim there, however, much like inception, Weiss' subconscious makes up the people in the dream and they fight against team RWBY as they try to save her. This could've been something like a RWBY-themed inception movie, but instead, it's a 13-episode series and the issue is that the story is too simple for that. So, even though I did enjoy the show, there are too many episodes that feel like a bit of a waste of time.
I like how the characters looked but the animation felt clunky at times, and the pay off to the build-up was let down by the animation.
Nice soundtrack and voice acting, but nothing too exceptional.
There's a lot of good dialogue and banter between the girls, though I don't know if it's just because of how atrocious the main RWBY dialogue is making this show look so good or if it's actually good. They captured the essence of their personalities really well, somehow, better than the main show. I would've liked to have seen more of this, my favourite episodes mostly involved characters just talking to each other, because the action sequences were a letdown. It may have served the show better if the focus was almost exclusively on team RWBY, as the other characters did not really get to shine but somehow took up a lot of screen time anyway.
It's a shame that this isn't a reboot, as they really nailed the characters and I would easily watch more of this, however, as a standalone, this isn't amazing. The slow pacing mixed with the repetition and then the lacklustre payoff makes for a mediocre end product. I enjoyed it and never thought about dropping it, and I think if you've got time to kill and low expectations then this show can work.
The alternate title to this anime should be RWBY: Ice Queen's Nightmare.
After finishing this, I can say it's worth the watch if you're a fan of RWBY. But for me, the characters are generic and the story is rushed so fast I got whiplash at the start of episode 4. After that it drags for the next five episodes. It was like watching a Dragonball Z fight that takes 5 episodes to charge up. 😩 The same scene was repeated three times. Twice would have been fine, but by number three I was thinking, "Not the sign post again."
I haven't watched or read anything from the RWBY series before, so I did not know what to expect. I surely wasn't disappointed, but this definitely could have been better paced. It wasted a lot of potential with the fight scenes. One was teased but then skipped over. That was a bummer especially after getting a taste of how visually detailed the fights can be since episode one. What fighting we got was very good and epic, but frankly the best fight was the food fight in the last episode.
The highlights are the songs and the food fight. If I remember anything from this series it wil be the song Mirror Mirror and the food fight. Them some ultra strong bread sticks!