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Anime / RWBY: Ice Queendom

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Untold tales of RWBY
Defeat the "Nightmare" that dwell in one's heart
Rescue the one that is trapped in a dream

RWBY: Ice Queendom is an anime based on Rooster Teeth's RWBY by Studio Shaft and co-produced by Rooster Teeth, GoodSmile Company, and nitro+ that premiered on July 3rd, 2022; an early preview of the first three episodes premiered on June 24th, 2022.

The anime begins as a compressed retelling of Volume One, telling the story of four girls who would form Team RWBY in Beacon Academy. However, things start to deviate upon the introduction of Nightmare, a type of Grimm who tries to possess people by crawling into their host's dreams and feeding off their nightmares. Weiss Schnee, the heiress of the Schnee Dust Company, ends up being infected by a Nightmare, forcing her teammates Ruby Rose, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long to enter her dreams to free her from her nightmares.

A manga adaptation of the anime by Kumiko Suekane is also being produced and will be serialized in Kadokawa's Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine from June 27th, 2022.

Tropes pertaining to the main series should go on the main page.

Ice Queendom contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects:
    • A few background elements and some generic Mooks are rendered in 3D, compared to the main series, which is almost completely 2D. Yang's bike also remains CGI in this series.
    • A couple of wide shots in Episode 6 render Ruby, Blake and Yang in 3D as they encounter Nega-Weiss. Some of the fighting that happens afterward also have all the girls' actions done with CG outside of closeups. Episode 10 brings the CG back for Ruby and Yang as they charge Big Nicholas on Bumblebee.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: At the climax of Ruby's final battle against the Nightmare Grimm infecting Weiss, right as it has her in its grip, her silver eyes trigger, destroying the Grimm's defences and freeing Ruby to land the final shot to destroy the Grimm.
  • Adaptation Deviation: While a few things are shuffled around, truncated, cut or glossed over to speed things up the main differences start with the introduction of Shion Zaiden, a Huntsman who is specialized in chasing a unique type of Grimm called a Nightmare.
  • Adaptation Distillation: By the third episode, all of the first volume's main events are covered, with multiple scenes and plot elements either severely truncated or skipped. For example, the leadership argument between Ruby and Weiss is truncated, and Ruby's talk with Ozpin severely distilled in favor of focusing on Weiss having an expanded learning curve; Jaune's bullying plotline with Cardin is limited solely to the class fight that introduces Aura bars and a new storyline involving him that helps introduce the show's AU plot.
  • Adaptation Expansion: A few elements are expanded upon, fleshing out things that aren't clear in the original show's early episodes and trailers.
    • Ruby is at the Dust shop Roman tries to rob because she's looking for a present for Yang, who just got into Beacon. Also, Ruby visibly uses her Semblance, and Yang is seen to be among those who witness the fight between Glynda and the Bullhead.
    • While it was previously trivia and mentioned in other spin-offs, Weiss' fight against the giant knight is clearly stated to be a (rigged) test against a Grimm to get permission to go to Beacon. Whitley and Winter are also present, which could at best be inferred in the original.
    • Blake is seen staying in an abandoned shack in the Grimm-filled wilderness after parting ways with Adam, and that's where she's living when she's accepted into Beacon.
    • Barring Blake, the girls' families are shown to have a direct impact on the plot. Taiyang tells Yang to try and make Ruby more independent and talks to Ozpin about Ruby's acceptance into Beacon, while the Schnees (sans Willow) watch Weiss' test against the knight.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: By having a good amount of episodes of the original RWBY's Season 1 being Adapted Out in "A Nightmare Comes", there are some things that simply come off as confusing since any context is not given:
    • Jaune's aura is noted to be exceptionally weak for a Huntsman, and he is shown having severe doubts in himself which is brought on by the Nightmare Grimm. However, by the series skipping over important notes such as the fact Jaune both cheated his way into Beacon (and therefore was not at a level to enter) and that he hadn't even discovered how to use his aura until Pyrrha helped him, it can leave viewers confused as to why Jaune is at such a disadvantage compared to his peers.
    • Likewise, the moment of JNPR coming to save Jaune from his Nightmare Grimm coming soon after the teams had been formed leaves it a question as to whether they were close enough to even save their leader considering how quickly events unfolded, in contrast with the original show, which showed the team bonding and Jaune confessing his secrets to the others as a sign of his personal growth.
    • Lastly, Penny's attack on Roman and the White Fang comes off as odd due to the episode skipping out the scenes of Roman hurting Ruby which then caused Penny's rampage to begin with.
  • Adapted Out: Certain events of the original show are cut. Examples include Ruby's lone battle in the Red Trailer, the Yellow Trailer, and the "Jaunedice" subplot; although Cardin gets a cameo, Velvet is one of the few Volume 1 characters who does not appear in the first three episodes, with the "traumatized Rabbit Faunus" storyline instead being given to Jaune as a way of introducing the powers of the Nightmare.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the final episode, school continues as normal and the Female Narrator and Ozpin reiterate their pilot episode discussion about how victory doesn't lie in strength, but in a simple soul. This narration occurs over a recreation of the Food Fight that opens the original show's Volume 2, but with an extra scene to show how Weiss kicks off the fight in a manner that proves how much she's grown.
  • Antagonist Title: Or "Subtitle" in this case. "Ice Queendom" refers to Weiss's inner turmoil as it is forcibly manifested by the Nightmare. It is therefore Weiss and her inner conflict which provides the bulk of the conflict in the story.
  • Deadly Scratch: While fighting in Weiss's dream-world, Ruby takes a light scratch to her hand, which remains with her even in the real world. She ignores it at the time, which comes back to haunt her later. The scratch is caused by one of the Nightmare's vines, which leaves her infected and trapped in her own dream inside Weiss's dream.
  • Fairytale Motifs: The Nightmare Grimm is themed around Sleeping Beauty, entering with a prick and trapping its victims in an endless slumber. While they slumber, a thorny bramble pattern grows across their skin and permeates their dreams, just as brambles grew to hide Sleeping Beauty's castle. When Shion creates the web for team JNPR to enter Jaune's mind, a spinning wheel is briefly seen in the threads.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Ruby won't end up recalling her Silver Eyes going off, as Qrow explaining them to her at the end of Volume 3 was a plot point.
  • Foreshadowing: In the dream world, Ruby's gun has the barrel on the wrong side. At first she takes it as a sign that Weiss doesn't respect her or care about how her weapon is designed, but a later apparition with Weiss inside the dream says that "everything happens for a reason". As it turns out, it's a clue to where the Nightmare is actually located: right behind the one facing it, hidden in their shadow.
  • From Bad to Worse: Episode 8 finds the heroes failing to get through to Weiss as the Nightmare increases its power and hold over her. Losing ground against her is bad enough, and then it's revealed that a person trapped inside her dream can also become trapped inside their own if the Nightmare infects them. This happens to Ruby when her scroll is infected by the Nightmare while she's trying to communicate with Jaune. It leaves her questioning her selfishness and lack of consideration for Weiss's feelings as she sinks into a Nightmare-infested dream-world of her own.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The White Fang members who are present in Weiss' dream resemble humanoid Grimm, having black skin and clawed hands and feet, with bony spikes jutting from their backs.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Shion's dreamcatcher, in conjunction with their Semblance, allows them to transport Huntsmen into the dreamscape of a Nightmare's victim to combat and expel it.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Inside the dream-world, Weiss and Blake are manipulated into fighting each other in order for the manipulator to achieve a very specific goal. The manipulator is Blake herself. As the Nightmare infecting Weiss is too powerful for Team RWBY to defeat before they run out of coins or Shion's Aura, Blake decides to get infected by the Nightmare that attacked Jaune. Her plan is to let her anti-SDC Nightmare clash with Weiss' anti-White Fang Nightmare, forcing the pair of them to fight on such equal terms that they might be able to bring each other to their senses.
  • Loose Canon: While the show is intended to be its own standalone story, and is free to take some liberties, the show is meant to take place in the same universe as the main show. It is described as "canon-adjacent" by Rooster Teeth, who state that it can fit alongside the main show's continuity without issue.
  • Mythology Gag: In Weiss' dream, the "extras" that aren't based on real people look like shadows moving around, similarly to how the show's first season used black cutouts to represent background characters.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: Outside of some additional post-production tweaks, the Grimm vocal effects are otherwise unaltered from the original Japanese voice track.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The final fight with Roman from Volume 1 is cut. Instead, Penny is seen walking through the flaming aftermath withdrawing her swords as he flees in an airship.
  • Post-Final Boss: Weiss' Nightmare is defeated halfway into the penultimate episode. To get out, the girls have to defeat Blake's own Nightmare.
  • Shout-Out: While walking through Vale, Ruby flashes back to a scene of her rocking out in front of a TV set up showing Black★Rock Shooternote .
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: The Nightmare world has locked away the feelings and desires that Weiss has suppressed for being childish, personified as a jail with a carnival atmosphere populated by child versions of herself. While some of the feelings they express are childish, such as wanting sweets or to play all the time, others decidedly aren't, like wanting a happy family, freedom, and to make friends with all types of people. The fact that Weiss has lumped them all in together indicates how she views those parts of herself, and Team JNPR frees the children to wreak havoc and help Weiss.
  • Softer and Slower Cover: The cover of Mirror, Mirror in episode 5 is done in a slower acoustic orchestral style, giving the song a more somber and haunting vibe compared to the original track by Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams.
  • World of Symbolism: The plot takes place inside Weiss's mind, a dream-scape that symbolises her fears, prejudices and perceptions of the people and world around her. A few examples include: the White Fang becoming unstoppable Grimm-Faunus hybrids; the alcoholic Willow is a haunting, inaccessible shadow; Whitley as a pesky bat and Winter a book of rules; Jacques as a dictator with eyes everywhere while Nicholas is an enormous, worshipped idol; Pyrrha as a projection of an idealised Weiss whose teammates are reduced to minor irritants; and Ruby as a snowboarding child with a chaotic weapon.