This is the first in two reviews of RWBY’s fourth series. I am reviewing and giving my opinions on this first episode and then on the series as a whole when it has finished, so my opinions may change in the next review and most likely will.
I was very intrigued going into this episode, as very little was revealed in the trailer and at the end of last series. Lets get the minor points out of the way first.
Usually I like the idea of a timeskip in a series like this, it allows the series to freshen up and brings in a bunch of new character designs, which are usually improvements. And I do like the new designs (that’s not something I particuarly wan’t to talk about as it is a subjective topic ) but there was no real reason for a timeskip to happen, in fact it could have been more interesting if there wasn’t one. It wasn’t built up to well and it just happened really. One Piece built up to a timeskip well as it had an several story arcs built around it spanning over a hundred episodes, RWBY had half an episode.
The soundtrack: one thing no one can argue about RWBY is that it’s always had a good soundtrack and has only got better with each series. From what was in this episode the soundtrack sounds great so far, with the opening theme being one of the best songs they’ve ever done. Also the sound design is better, the weapon sounds and many of the Grimm noises sound much better, much cleaner than they have in previous seasons. There is also a lot more sound, a lot of ambience and non important sounds that just add to the series over all. The voice acting, while subjective has always been one of the shows weaker points. I cant comment on the older characters as they are kind of hit and miss in terms of quality but the new ones are really good ( I do hope they get Arin Hanson to do a roll in a future series though). There is also more effects on the voices as well giving the illusion of depth that wasn’t there previously.
Also the animation is better, with there being a heavy focus on particle effects this time. I understand that Rooster Teeth started using Maya instead of Poser with series 3 but you couldn’t really tell, now you can. The colours appear much brighter and the flow of animation is much better, instead of simple tweens for much of the animation there is a lot more key-frames. This is evident in the fight scenes and where characters are simply talking. I understand Rooster Teeth use motion capture for a lot of the animation, and whether they got better actors, took more takes or have better character models, those parts are noticeably better.
And with that out of the way lets get into the actual review.
One thing I think rooster teeth managed to do very well in this episode is give us a lot of exposition without out right saying that’s what it was. One such example of this was when Weiss was shown at her house, we didn’t need to be told why that had happened and therefore it makes sense that we weren’t. We weren’t given a lot of major plot points in this episode with us following Ruby for its majority, therefore we will be given it over multiple episodes. Which makes sense, and if they are to dedicate an episode to each character for the first few episodes, that’s very smart on their part.
This episode is fairly light hearted in its approach, as is the series as a whole. But what I do like is that they didn’t have a joke for the sake of having one, with one exception. the comedy made sense and was quite clever in parts. There were some stereotypes in their but their put to the back of more important things going on.
There was one scene in particular that made no sense to me. I’m not sure if it’s leading to something else and if so why would you have it now but it really seemed pointless. If it is leading to something I have no idea what that would be. I’ll have to see but it did stick out as bad in a very good episode.
Overall this was a very good set up of an episode to what is looking like it will be a very good series.