Given who's behind it, RWBY has a lot of hype to live up to. Does it? Not quite in this season, but it shows enough potential to keep up with. The good:
- The fight scenes are amazing; the choreography is great and the animation is gorgeous. The character designs and general feel of the world are all intriguing and unique.
- The concepts underlying the setting are all interesting and add a lot of depth to the conflicts that drive the story.
- The main characters (once they finally get established, see below) are very well-rounded and interesting, and they have some great interactions in the later episodes.
- The music is pretty much awesome the whole way through.
- Outside of fight scenes, the animation feels a bit... unpolished. It might just be a quirk of Monty's style, but as a whole it feels very video-game-cutscene like. The character models sometimes look a bit stiff, and outside of fights/weapons, the characters' interactions with props and such is minimal. Like there was one scene where Weiss holds up a book, and rather than holding it, she puts her hand out and the book sticks to it, Magnet Hands style. Then you have stuff like this◊, which is so blatant that I'm not sure whether it's intentional or not. The characters are so much more detailed than everything else that it feels a bit incongruous.
- The voice acting is iffy early on. It gets better in later episodes, but the first half is rough.
- The pacing is rough. The short episodes should have been combined; they don't have enough content to stand on their own. And as a whole, the season takes forever to get going. The characters feel like anime archetypes (Genki Girl, Cool Big Sis, Tall, Dark and Bishoujo, etc.) and don't feel memorable until over halfway through. It spends too much time on school shenanigans, and not enough time on establishing characters. Characters get a focus arc, then suddenly stop being important (e.g. Jaune). It isn't until the last six episodes that the characters get real development and the Myth Arc starts to materialize, and then the season ends.
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