Rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars
Let me start by saying that RWBY is one of my favorite anime. However, even I have to admit that the quality of the trailers and the first couple of volumes is lower than the quality of later volumes.
Low Budget + Slow Start = Lackluster Beginning
That being said, if you delve into RWBY, you shouldn’t skip the trailers or any of the episodes.
Why? Because unlike most trailers, the RWBY Volume 1 trailers are actually part of the story and provide character development and backstory. Sure, they offer a window into what Volume 1 will be like, but they are so much more than that.
RWBY is an American anime. Some people say anime has to come from Japan to be legit–I disagree. I share the opinion of many others that say anime is a style and not limited to the products of any one country.
The creator is Monty Oum, who developed the plot for the company Rooster Teeth.
The trailers were released in 2013 can be found on Crunchyroll and Youtube.
RWBY is about four young women who seek to become huntresses and defend the world of Remnant from shadowy creatures called Grimm.
The Red Trailer features the main character Ruby, who is visiting her mother’s grave. On her way back home, she is attacked by Grimm.
The White Trailer features Weiss, who is performing for a large crowd by singing the song “Mirror, Mirror.” The scene fades and is replaced by a fight scene between her and a mysterious knight.
The Black Trailer features Blake alongside Adam. They conduct a two-person raid on a train and fight through numerous robotic enemies.
The Yellow Trailer features Yang, who enters a club to interrogate a man named Junior. The situation escalates quickly and ends in a fight.
- Functions as part of the storyline instead of just a sneak peak
- Insight into characters
- Creative weapons
- Elaborate fight scenes
- Original music
- Poor animation
- Off-putting, inappropriate attack (Yellow Trailer)
- Awkward dialogue (Yellow Trailer)
These trailers are unique because they function as actual story components. Most of the time, trailers just show glimpses of what is to come, while these trailers provide backstory and context.
I have never seen a trailer that functioned in this way before–it is really quite creative.
The trailers begin the character development that will continue into future volumes.
Ruby Rose is established as a character with a deep care for family, revealed in the way that she visiting her mother’s grave despite the great danger. The area is infested with Grimm.
She is also shown to be a highly skilled fighter, and even seems to enjoy the battle at times.
Weiss Schnee, from the song of her trailer, is shown to be an extremely lonely, potentially famous person.
She is a talented singer, and the only one who is shown to actually sing one of the songs of the series.
The way that she battles is calm and collected.
Blake Belladonna is introduced as a rebel engaging in an attack on a train in perhaps the most revealing trailer.
This is because the trailer associates her with Adam Taurus, shows her empathy compared to his idealism, and establishes her as a skilled fighter.
Yang Xiao Long is established as a prideful, powerful young woman who has no qualms about using violence to solve her problems.
She’s the sort who gets things done and works hard to get what she wants.
Fight Scenes and Weapons
The fight scenes in the RWBY trailers are phenomenal. Even though movements seem awkward during other parts of the trailers, the fight scenes are graceful, true works of art.
In the Red Trailer, Ruby uses her weapon Crescent Rose to eliminate dozens of Beowolves, which are a type of Grimm. Crescent Rose is a scythe that doubles as a gun.
In the White Trailer, Weiss uses Myrtenaster, a Multi Action Dust Rapier, to fight a mysterious knight. Dust allows one to add elemental power to an attack.
In the Black Trailer, Blake fights through various droids using her weapon, Gambol Shroud, which has two different sword forms and a gun form. Even the sheath is used as a weapon.
In the Yellow Trailer, Yang uses Ember Celica, her Dual Ranged Shot Gauntlets. She is a powerful melee and long range fighter. One of her attacks on Junior is likely to make people uncomfortable, but it does fit her character, so it’s not exactly out of place.
The 3D animation used in RWBY certainly improves over time, but in the trailers it is very rough and looks amateurish. The colors are bold to the point of looking completely unrealistic, and the simplistic animation on top of that makes it look badly made.
Movements outside of battle are awkward as well.
Unlike with many anime, the music in RWBY was created exclusively for RWBY, with foreshadowing built into the songs and songs that seem linked to specific characters.
The music was composed by Jeff Williams, and his daughter Casey Lee Williams does a lot of the vocals. According to Fandom, Jeff Williams does not regard the songs as canon and asserts that they should not be taken literally.
To me, that just seems like he is covering for himself and Rooster Teeth in case the story ends up veering too far from the lyrics, but I know that so far the songs fit the theme and story very well.
There is no dialogue in the Red Trailer or the White Trailer (unless you include singing).
The Black Trailer includes sparse dialogue that nonetheless provides some character development.
The Yellow Trailer has pretty natural dialogue at the start, which is very fitting for Yang’s character. Yang’s interaction with Ruby is awkward and unrealistic, however. The voice acting comes off as fake and the words themselves seem unnatural.
If you decide to watch the trailers and they don’t peak your interest in RWBY, still give the first few seasons a chance. Most of the people I’ve talked to are more distracted by the animation than anything else. Once you get used to that, you can appreciate the rich storytelling and worldbuilding of RWBY.