Anime of Tomorrow
RWBY and the Anime Style
Last Saturday, Rooster Teeth, the guys who make the Halo machinima comedy series Red vs Blue released the last trailer for their anime-inspired series about a group of female fighters called RWBY (pronounced “ruby”). Very little is known about the series thus far outside of what has been revealed in the four trailers themed after the colors of each of the main characters, red, white, black and yellow.
What is very clear is that this original series is strongly inspired by themes found in action anime. These include exotic weapons like Ruby’s scythe gun, a tendency to ignore realistic physics in favor of just doing things that look cool, powered-up color-changing hair and eyes and anime’s tendency to have the entire main cast be all female and for the girls to call each other “sis” instead of by their given names—a reference to a more literal translation of onee-san. The team that has created RWBY even comes right out and admits that they did some serious anime homework before writing, which included watching Gurren Lagann.
If you stopped watching Red vs Blue a long while back, you might be surprised by just how much Rooster Teeth has grown over the past 10 years and I encourage you to give them a second look because they’ve really upped their game. I can’t venture a guess as to how good the story will be for RWBY, but if the action scenes and the music in the four trailers are anything to go by, there’s reason to be very optimistic.
But what I’m hoping to get out of this anime-made-in-America is something of an outsider’s perspective on what typifies the average anime that appeals to American audiences. A lot of us otaku who have gotten deep into our anime fandom tend to watch through a lens that has been fogged somewhat over the years by the very Japanese-ness of anime as an entire genre unto itself. With RWBY I think there’s an opportunity to look at some of the core moving parts that we’ve taken for granted, which my feelings tell me will be wonderfully enlightening. For more info, I suggest checking out the RWBY Wiki.