Gamers may already be familiar with the name Rooster Teeth Productions from their classic Halo parody machinima Red vs. Blue and the numerous internet-based comedy projects that followed. Well, apparently they’ve decided it’s time for something different. Starting in November of last year, they began teasing one of the coolest-looking webseries I’ve ever seen, beginning with the above image. Shortly afterwards, the first of four trailers for the mystery project was shown.
Even after 8 months and three more trailers, followers of RWBY (pronounced “Ruby”) had precious little information to go on. But then again, I think the stylish short action films with amazing soundtracks that have been used to introduce each of the four leads pretty much speak for themselves. In fact, this mysterious approach had me practically foaming at the mouth to see this show, so clearly they were doing something right to get me fanatically devoted before the first episode was even released. So let’s review what we’ve got to go on so far.
This was the first of the trailers and it instantly hooked me. The appearance is that of a last-gen video game, but I’ve got to say that I’d go buy a PS2 right now to play it if that was what this was. So a Red Riding Hood figure (named Ruby) with a massive gun-scythe battling werewolves. Could there be anything less wrong? Hayabusa and Dante are both green with envy after that display.
Let me again point out what a great soundtrack that was. The lyrics represent a clear theme for the series to set the mood along with the beautiful symphonic track, and then the instrumental epicness accents and punctuates the action flawlessly. Bravo.
One thing that impressed me about the action was the use of momentum. Ruby’s huge weapon gives a massive kick when fired and she uses that in conjunction with the blade to drive it right through her opponents while keeping herself airborne and in constant motion, making her a hard target for the slavering beasts that surround her. The use of rose petals to represent the blood and gore is also a very nice artistic touch.
Let’s see if her sisters are up to following that act.
This one is even artsier than the last, opening with White (named Weiis) alone on a stage performing a low-key operatic ballad for a packed house. I absolutely adore how this one transitions to her reflection, which then comes to life, where it is facing a massive armored opponent.
White’s more elegant fighting style has her using superior mobility and precision. Accordingly, her weapon of choice is a rapier. She also has the ability to create mid-air footholds for herself to launch from. But when her opponent’s unexpected speed and resilience begins to wear her down, her blade has a few more tricks up its hilt.
The final, devastating assault utilizing a variety of powers from Weiis’ sword is a thing of beauty and matches the sudden change in the tempo of the song nicely as well. After the ballet of awesomeness, she closes her eyes and the scene fades back to the stage where White looks surprised to see all of these people applauding her performance, having been reflecting on her past battle. Cue dainty curtsy, and close the curtains. It’s appropriate that this one dropped on Valentine’s Day because I loved it.
Black, you’re up.
First off, let me point out how much I love the opening quote, “Your hopes have become my burden. I will find my own liberation…” So rest assured that Black (Blake) is to be portrayed as an independent woman. After being shown a beautiful scene of the heroine surrounded by blood-red autumn leaves and rose petals blowing in the wind, we finally get dialogue in the third trailer. Blake is not alone in this one either, as she is joined by punk samurai partner in boarding a moving train to battle robots. This is looking more like an animated version of Zak Snyder’s Sucker Punch all the time. And I actually mean that in a good way.
The soundtrack this time is more electronic and futuristic sounding with spurts of anthemic vocals that sound like punk rock anime themes. Blake’s weapon of choice is a rectangular chopping sword with a ribbon for some stylin’ long range attacks and her partner uses a blade that has a shotgun for its scabbard.
This one is weaker than the others. First, I’m not sure the sparse dialogue adds much to the outstanding visuals other than to break the artistically speechless spell of the first two previews. Second, the addition of another character takes the focus off of the lead. Hell, the guy was arguably cooler and even got to finish the big bad in dramatic fashion while Blake simply provided distraction.
The trailer ends with Blake severing the train car and bidding her partner a sorrowful goodbye. She was probably upset at being shown up in her own debut.
Let’s hope Yellow fares better when she brings it on home.
Oh. Yes. Yellow (Yang) brings the thunder, stepping off of her motorcycle and into a club playing a dance remix of the first trailer’s theme. She immediately begins trolling the yakuza with a bubbly I-just-don’t-give-a-f*** attitude. Any excuse to kick some ass is a good one, I suppose.
Her unveiling of massive bracer armguards as a weapon has her going full Dragonball on the dance floor, cueing a disco beatdown. Yang’s hand-to-hand combat style uses momentum from the firearm-like projectile devices in her bracers that add concussive force to her punches.
The machine-toting DJ appears to be an homage to popular electronica whiz DeadMau5, but instead of dropping the bass, he just gets dropped. A pair of martial-arts valley girl twins step up, but also get put down in dramatic fashion. And with the appearance of a rocket-launcher/baseball bat our tour of awesome combo-weapons is done for now. It appears the yakuza boss took fighting lessons from Don Flamenco (old school gaming reference alert!) because he can’t seem to get out of the left-right-left-right combo.
This last trailer showed that in addition to creating something visually arresting, Rooster Teeth can also give these characters personality and charisma. The black-and-white and red-eyed all over flourish for the final KO punch was killer too.
deviantART is already somewhat awash with RWBY mania, and there’s even some cosplay going on already. Thank shrimpheby for this particularly nice piece.
After four displays of video game-influenced animation like that, I’m not sure I even care about the story so long as I can have more of the same. Something like RWBY would likely never get made for television outside of Japan, and that, ladies and gentlemen, if why I love the Internet.
Yellow meeting Red at the end brings the epic teaser series to an end having gone full circle and just leaves one important question unanswered: WHEN CAN I SEE IT! Since the time I originally posted this article, the show has bee going strong and you can watch it here.