Episode 2 came out today, huzzah.
Blegh I still have two short summaries to write for Yamato 2199. That post has taken a month to write. If it took me three hours to do one GuP post with screencaps and whatnot, I dunno how breaking down 7 episodes into three to four paragraph summaries with the barest of info is taking me longer.
Anyways, back to episode 2, “The Shining Beacon”
Ruby is my kind of girl. Cute, badass, and totally obsessed with weapons. The little chibification of her going ga-ga over various people’s weapons was a nice touch. And the whole Yang abandoning her to her own was funny and actually reminded me of situations in school. Sucks being a freshman with upperclassmen friends. There’s always that divide. We also get to hear and see Weiss and Blake.
Weiss is the heiress to the biggest Dust mining company. Fun, it means not only is she an idol, but rich. No doubt her fighting style has been influenced by the family fortune. And with that, she comes off as a prima donna. Scolding Ruby for accidentally knocking over some of her suitcases containing Dust, a rapid fire tirade of information that serves not only inform the viewer of the world…but also to promote an elitist attitude over Ruby. Blake comes in, explaining that she knows of Weiss, and her family’s less than reputable practices.
So having been abandoned already by the rest of the main characters, some solace comes from John, who was originally referred to as ‘vomit boy’ due to a motion-sickness episode aboard the airship in the pilot. Comparing weapons, well, she got a high-tech, hard-to-use sniper scythe, while he got…
A sword and shield. So if she’s like, a level 20 adventurer or something…he’s fresh off the character sheet. 😄 Just underscoring how ‘different’ she is. She alluded to it in the pilot, in how she might be treated differently because she was advanced two grades, and even more amazing in that she DESIGNED the weapon. John meanwhile, is using the old family weapons. The dialogue at this point is Ruby no doubt trying to ease his fears about being sub par if anything. He’s cheerful, and probably will come to his own in time, but for now, he’s a dorky kid who met a nice girl and is somewhat surpassed by her in every way.
In all, I’m liking this, which segways into something I’ve noticed in RC’s coverage of the pilot episode (Ruby Rose). And that are the negative comments.
I agree with Stilts that this isn’t anime. It’s anime-esque. Much in the way that early American cartoons were the inspiration for Anime, this draws from the many flavors of Anime to create. It’s to be noted that while RoosterTeeth is big, it isn’t in the league of say, Production I.G., Kyoto Animation, etc etc in terms of sponsors and budget. Most of their content is focused on their eponymous Red vs Blue series, and RWBY was only given the green light after Monty fulfilled his obligations with RvB Season 10. To say it isn’t anime is correct. To put it down because it isn’t what you’re used to is wrong.
Flexible minds. A lot of fans I’ve seen nowadays seem to not have it. If it’s not being followed by someone, or if it isn’t from Japan, it becomes ‘bad’ in some eyes. If it doesn’t have the character speak in cutesy, slow Japanese with subtitles in the bottom, then it’s not anime, and by that vein of thought, not good.
“How dare they copy anime and make this?” “This crap isn’t anime! It’s garbage!”
Exaggerations sure, but no doubt some are thinking it. Just the sheer fact it is made by folks best known for the Halo machinima will put them off (although I’ve been a fan of Monty since Haloid and Dead Fantasy) and I’ve heard so much complaints about the voice acting. I actually like it, there is even a commentator on RC that says the animation was subpar. The CGI so horrible that some alleged friends can do better. To be honest, this to me is great. Why? I look at it as an evolution of technology. It isn’t the super-complex CGI programming utilized at Pixar Studios, nor is it some similar tech utilized at the big name studios, but rather a COTS (commercial, off-the-shelf) product that fits with Monty’s background.
And I totally understand the comparisons to MMD. MMD, Poser Pro, Autodesk Maya, etc. These COTS 3D animation products allow a novice to do what they want to do. Allowing a small team (have you SEEN the amount of staff Monty has in his disposal? It’s a pinprick compared to even RvB!) to easily create this series. In terms of star power, getting back to the VAs, they were natural to me. All things considered. The biggest star they have is Jen Taylor, who may be doing this due to her long time association with the Halo franchise. The voices for Ruby, Weiss, Blake, Yang, and John don’t seem to be seasoned VA, but they fit their roles. Unlike dubbing companies who may or may not get it right. I cringe at bad dubs, but I didn’t here. I just cringed at the haters.
And speaking of which, plot-wise? I expect another interesting universe. The equivalent of ONE episode has passed (episodes one and two, as well as the trailers if anything) if we are to compare it to anime, but many have already dismissed it. What plot can be obtained when they’re still giving us the hook? People are quick to jump to conclusions because it’s different. It isn’t what they’re used to, or some other flaw they see because it isn’t Japanese Anime.
I think that’s it really. Stilts made the sin of featuring the pilot episode for what is going to be a nice and interesting show, especially since the show is, to me, what I see is part of the future. Online distribution, CGI done by COTS products, small team of artists and producers, a niche market getting by word of mouth and interesting hooks. A step into the world of small studios with a tight budget and barely any sponsors, but allowing for the creative taps to open up.
So I don’t get this argument. I’ll call it ‘purity’ for some stereotyping. Nothing is ever pure. Much like anime was many different styles brought together and then expanded on its own, it’s now the basis of a new generation of things to come.
And to be frank, I’ll end with this from Monty (via the Austin Chronicle)
“I joined Red vs. Blue four years ago, I had the choice of working on the new Tomb Raider, which just came out, or Red vs. Blue. I’ve released three seasons of Red vs. Blue, and have been able to tell a decent story that people seem to enjoy. Meanwhile, Tomb Raider just came out – and it’s a phenomenal game – but it just came out. I can’t imagine having worked for four years on one thing that may or may not be good. If I have a choice, I’ll start with the smaller, more frequent stories. You get more chances.”
I’m giving RWBY its chance. And so far, it’s holding true to its promise. I’ll keep Attack on Titan (or whatever it is) in the back-burner.