Anime

Why RWBY makes me happy

I need a palette cleanse after the serious post I did yesterday, so something very relevant for me now is that I am rewatching through RWBY in preparation for watching volume 4. And if you have not seen this brilliant web anime show, seriously, go watch a few episodes, it’ll only take you half an hour because they’re so short (in fact I believe Volume 1 comes in at a total length of about an hour and a half). With the caveat that while you should start at the beginning, the first few episodes are quite cringeworthy but they’re worth going through for the drastic improvement in the second volume and beyond.

I won’t spend long on it but yes this is going in anime, yes I count it as an anime (I mean, it’s basically magical girl fighting personified), and I’m still sad I can’t add it to My Anime List… which is something I’ve never linked here before. You know, might as well while it’s relevant.

I got introduced to RWBY at the beginning of this year, recommended by a few friends and I found that more people than I expected were already watching it. It actually shares some remarkable similarities with the way I first encountered Game Of Thrones, it was airing midway through its third season when I first learned of its existence, and more people than I expected (although less for RWBY than that juggernaut obviously) were talking about it. And, similarly to Game Of Thrones, it rapidly knocks up the stakes of the show at about that time. At time of writing, I’ve just finished my rewatch of volumes 1 and 2, in merely a few days, I’m rarely that fast with rewatches or watches of anything but the show is just so easy to watch.

And part of that is… well… take the character of Neptune. He is introduced as being effortlessly cool. Which he is, but there’s some vulnerabilities in there. I take Neptune as a metaphor for the entirety of RWBY’s presentation, effortlessly cool with some interesting character interactions beneath the surface to pad out the breathtaking animation.

Said breathtaking animation at the best of times has me replaying each ten seconds of the show over and over again just to take in more fully the rush of movement that comes from the characters leaping into action to fight. Normally I don’t look forward to fights in shows, but in animation and particularly RWBY, it becomes an exercise at marvelling at the talents of the artist and the speed at which the characters move. That certainly makes me happy.

What also makes me happy is characters working together and being nice to each other, I don’t think there’s a (human/faunas) character in RWBY I don’t want to see do well. Even the villains. Even when they are bastards, Torchwick, Cinder, Mercury, Emerald, they’re all so charismatic and own the screen when they’re on it. And that’s before you get to the main four/eight, who are so well characterised that I can’t really pick a favourite or a least favourite. But I’m going to and if it’s not obvious from the picture I chose… it’s Weiss, because I find I can identify with her a lot. It is often that sort of character, with her background (and, like all the main four she has a well developed background) and class that I find so irresistible, and I find myself hanging onto every word she speaks. Her fighting style is also very fun to watch, seeing all the practiced fencing stances she takes, combining with her glyph style.

However my absolute favourite character has to go to Professor Oobleck. Becauase I mean, come on. I want to be that sort of person when I get older, if not a teacher, in some sort of job when I can be so excited about sharing knowledge such that I get slightly incoherent (and his coffee mug weapon is… awesome, he’s like me but older and in the RWBY universe). But yes, that’s kind of natural, even if you know nothing about me but this blog… I run a blog that is half about history and trying to impart historical knowledge on anyone who finds it. Therefore his philosophy about knowledge being the most important thing is something I wholeheartedly agree with.

So that’s the main bare bones of why I love RWBY. It doesn’t have the strongest plot and it does rely a lot on its influences and callbacks to popular legends and other media. But that’s part of what makes it so strong and watchable, I love recognising all of the references. It’s a very feel-good show. And I suggest you watch it all the way to the end of volume 3 to find out why. I can’t wait to get properly started on volume 4 because 2 was a massive improvement on 1 and 3 was a massive improvement on 2, so 4… I don’t think from what I’ve heard it will be another massive improvement but staying at the same level as 3 will still be incredible.

And I haven’t even talked about the music! Will have to do that another time. Because that’s also a big draw of the series for me.

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