The year is new and Baltimore is white. It’s almost poetic. So in the sense of literature, why not pick up a book? Why not a freshly bound one, from the Gilded Age? Until January 19th, join the Walters Art Museum for Book Bindings from the Gilded Age. Seriously, who doesn’t like a handsome book cover and binding? Just remember the cardinal rule, don’t judge a book by its cover. And in the light of face values, let’s take a look at our first anime of the year, RWBY.
In the sense of the new year, a new series is right up the ally which led to the pick of RWBY, as seen on crunchyroll.com. RWBY is an anime inspired story made by the same machinima group that did Red vs Blue, Rooster Teeth. From the start, the story introduces you to the four lead heroines in a way that tells no story but says a lot. One of the most appealing things about this series is in these first four episodes, the fighting. Choreographed by famed machinimist, Monty Oum, RWBY is just stellar in the way that you watch these people go at it. But then, it’s no surprise coming from the man that did Haloid and Dead Fantasy.
Admittedly, the story is a slow start. It takes about three or four episodes into the actual series to get all that’s going on. It’s not that the first few episodes are bad, but they do a lot of world building. Part of the fathomable reason for this is due to the variety of the backgrounds the world stems from. The story world draws much from many of the western fairy tales some of us have been brought up on. The main character’s name is Red, as in Riding Hood. There’s also the green wearing, somewhat know it all, Ozpin (Like wizard of Oz), and even a Glynda Goodwitch. All of this focuses around the girls building strength and teamwork at the school to take on this evil organization bent on doing something. The story for the most part seems straight forward: defeat the bad, save the day, live happily ever after with this cool looking magical bullet firing weapons. The only thing is who the story is ultimately following. While the episodes are funny, they also leave a lot of setup for things to happen. This, of course, leads us into characterization.
One of the up and downsides about the series is the variety of characters. It’s great that each of the characters we encounter is unique, even beyond physical means. Personality and especially fighting style vary in mostly everyone. The problem lies in knowing more about them. We learn mostly about the four, but then there’s the support characters. The support characters seem to come to survive this pivotal role outside of just helping out the girls, but trying to tie down what that is boggles the mind. Given the amount of story in Jaune, for example, it’s not quite sure where the story will lead with him. Then you have the bad guys, and there after the Grim. While the Grim are explained, all the bad guys in the series sum to add up to naught but people or things to shove bullet holes into. While no less fun to watch, you’re hoping that something truly maniacal happens. Even still, as the first volume rolls through to a close, you start seeing the rifts forming between characters but also the surrounding world.
Boiling it down, RWBY is visually stunning. The story as the first volume came to an end really left you hungry for more. The cinders of a forgotten war smoldering while Grims attack from one direction and evil organization attack from the other is an amazing cliffhanger. Plus, who doesn’t like watching overpowered teens wreck through a horde of bloodthirsty nightmarish creatures? Not this guy. So give it a watch, give a whirl. Tell what you think of it and disagree with it when you see fit. Or agree with it when you don’t. Or just enjoy it for what it is. Till next time, and Happy New Year.