As fans of ‘RWBY’ wait for the release of volume 9 in 2022, it’s the perfect time to go back and review the web-series, both to refresh your memory on the events that took place and to live a new experience of the story after knowing where it is headed so far. The characters in the series have come a long way since RWBY premiered in 2013, both in terms of animation quality and character development. And now that so much “RWBY” content has been released (with eight volumes going about 24 hours in total), there is a way for fans to enjoy the story again but with a different experience: in form. movies rather than episodes (aka, ‘RWBY’ done).
Watching ‘RWBY’ as a series of eight feature films offers many new perspectives. For one thing, the pace of “RWBY” has always been an odd experience, especially for those who have been fans from the start and watch the series as it releases every week. A lot about ‘RWBY’ has changed over the years, including the length and focus of the episodes. Most of the volume 1 episodes are about 6 minutes long; It wasn’t until volume 4 that the average episode length reached a more consistent 15 to 20 minutes, and most of the volume 8 episodes were a traditional 22 minutes long for cartoons / anime.
For this reason, the rhythm of the first volumes seems strange; viewers watch a bigger story broken up into smaller pieces. This visual experience, while digestible, moves the plot forward extremely slowly. This is admittedly useful for writers when the story is brand new and has the potential to go in many different directions, but after three volumes of wondering what the plot will be, the mystery ages.
Watching the show as a movie presents the story as a more cohesive experience, especially in the early volumes. The movie version of the show doesn’t include the intro or credits between each chapter, so each storyline runs smoothly into the next. Suddenly little storylines that span multiple episodes and only lead to tiny resolution are smaller road bumps on the bigger journey. Volume 2’s food fight and dance seem out of place when presented in an episodic format, but when they appear as little quirks throughout an entire movie, they’re not as distracting as they are fun.
Watching an entire volume in one sitting retains its charm and makes the light tone of the first three volumes all the more enjoyable. This first act (volumes 1-3) seems shorter and more deliberate. Enjoying the series as a series of films greatly improves the pace.
Important characterization points are also more clearly visible this way. Each volume has its own set of main characters, and they shine more in the context of a feature film. Volume 4 is a perfect example. Episode by episode, the focus is not as clear as the characters are separated for the first time, during their own journeys to different parts of the world. Several episodes could go by before returning to an important character arc, like Blake’s (Arryn zech). There are many important characters and, due to the short duration of the episode, not enough time to explore them all in full, especially when volume 4 doubles the number of villains and adds Oscar (Aaron Dismuke) as the new main character.
As a feature film, it’s easier to see how each character’s struggles and ability to navigate those struggles culminate. Like Ruby (Lindsay jones) new team, RNJR (the largest group of important characters that initially totals four and later adds a fifth), travel through Mistral, they are all forced to go through the trauma of the past and focus on the present. Ruby struggles with the harsh truth that sometimes stories don’t end happily forever, and Jaune (Miles Moon) continues his training despite the loss of a dear friend. Despite Nora (Samantha Ireland) having little to do in this volume, she remains a constant and constant source of support for the team. The most important moment of RNJR’s character revolves around Ren (Neath Oum), who desperately seeks to escape the memory of his family and his village slaughtered by the Nuckelavee, but must face it to save his new family.
Episode by episode, Ren’s confrontation with the Grimm that decimated his childhood comes out of nowhere, while other episodes before the encounter featured other characters, some of whom are from the main RWBY team. But without the interruption of the opening and ending credits, and looking at the story throughout a single shoot, the story’s progression towards Ren’s confrontation is subtle, yet noticeable, and that event is. the perfect way to finish the volume.
Later volumes have longer run times as ‘RWBY’ approximates the standard 22 minute episodes. As the story begins to move towards a climax (and possibly in future volumes, a conclusion), the series becomes more cohesive with the technical aspects, not only in terms of episode length, but also in terms of terms of animation and character expressions. It took a long time for the series to solidify the overall plot, but now that everything is clear and the characters are fully motivated, the story is in full swing. The episodes have become more coherent in their structure, having more of a beginning, a middle and an end.
Watching Volumes 5-7 would involve over 3 hours each in a single session, and Volume 8 is 4.5 hours in total, RWBY’s longest volume to date. However, given that this is the point where the story culminates and the characters are on the move, watching these latest volumes as feature films infuses an MCU-like feeling, The Lord of the Rings, Where Star wars marathon: the longer run time is worth the uphill action. In the case of volume 8, this film could easily be split into two films, as often happens towards the end of a film franchise (for example, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Where The hunger Games: Mockingjay).
In all fairness, “RWBY” is a compelling, charming and fun series, whether enjoyed episode by episode or as feature films. There are strengths and weaknesses in both methods. For example, watching the film versions of “RWBY” would mean missing intros and repeat releases, and it would also take away the weekly excitement of watching episodes as they are released. Enjoying “RWBY” as an episode-by-episode series has its advantages.
However, the next time they listen to “RWBY” in preparation for Volume 9, viewers may gain a unique and different experience of the show when they watch each volume as an entire movie. If you love the series and want a new perspective, try the feature film experience and see how ‘RWBY’ changes.
Additionally, ‘RWBY’ Vol. 8 and 9 have officially received the green light from Rooster Teeth.
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