RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 1

RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 1

Ruby and Yang

I always thought RWBY looked dumb, ever since it was first released. And that hasn’t changed. I still think it looks dumb. But, Shaft is animating this series and I get the feeling it will be somewhat popular, even if not rated highly. So, here we are.

It also should go without saying that since I’ve never watched RWBY before, I know nothing about it. Well, I know that each of the four girls has a corresponding color. There’s red, white, black, and yellow. But, other than that, I’m going into the series blind.

So, the first complaint I have with the series is the color-coordination thing. This isn’t unique to RWBY at all. And many anime also give characters names that connect to their colors — like Akari Akaza in Yuru Yuri. Aka is the word for red. And Akari has red hair.

Yang and Ruby from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 1
Yang and Ruby

So, why do I have an issue with this in RWBY? Because it’s in English. Ruby Rose is the name of the red character (surprise). And when these color-coordinated names are in English, it’s much easier for me to see how stupid they are. Though, that’s not to say I don’t find it stupid in Japanese, as well at times.

Anyway, I don’t know if one of these four girls is the true protagonist or if they’re all on the same level. But, if I had to pick one, I’d say Ruby Rose is a bit more of a protagonist than the rest so far.

Ruby also has a sister (adopted?), Yang, who’s two years older than she is. By the end of this episode, both Ruby and Yang enroll in an academy for Hunters, heroes who fight against the Grimm. And the only thing we know about the Grimm is they’re bad.

Weiss (The Ice Queen?)

Of the four main girls, Weiss might be my favorite so far. Yang is the worst, and Ruby isn’t much better. Weiss and Blake are the two good ones. But, for now, I’m going with Weiss because I found her fighting style to be more entertaining.

Weiss has a sword, uses ice magic, and potentially uses fire magic. That’s pretty neat. She also had one of the better fights of the episode. If Weiss vs. the Grimm knight was as good as the fight animation and choreography were going to get, I’d still take it.

But, Ruby actually had the best fight of the episode. When I saw Ruby’s fight, I immediately recognized Hiroto Nagata as the animator. He also animated all the best parts of Magia Record. His action scenes are pretty insane, so I’m looking forward to seeing more from him in this series.

Weiss Schnee from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 1
Weiss Schnee

Anyway, back to Weiss. I don’t know what the subtitle Ice Queendom refers to. But, I’m going to make a guess and say that Weiss is the “Ice Queen.” Her color is white, she uses ice magic, she’s from a wealthy family, and she has a crown-looking thing in her hair.

If the subtitle has nothing to do with Wiess, that would be a huge surprise. The problem, though, is that if the subtitle is about Weiss, you’d think she’d be the protagonist. She’s a protagonist. But, I didn’t get the feeling she was the protagonist from this episode.

Also, because I haven’t watched any RWBY before this, I don’t know if this series relates to the old series. It seems like a fresh start to me. So, maybe Ruby was the protagonist of the old series and Weiss is going to be the protagonist of this one.

Blake the Terrorist

While I like Blake’s character design, I have a few issues with her. First of all, there’s her method of fighting. She seems to use a gun that she throws and then pulls back to her with a leash, or something. It looks like the most impractical weapon imaginable.

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to take any fight scene with her in it seriously. By comparison, even Ruby’s gun/scythe makes more sense. And while I don’t know what kind of weapon Yang uses yet, it has to be better than this.

The second issue I have isn’t necessarily with Blake herself. It’s a separate issue that’s highlighted by her existence. You see, Blake is a terrorist. We meet her while she’s performing a raid on a train carrying Dust (magic stuff). But, she decides to betray her allies and seek a better life for herself by applying to Beacon Academy.

Blake Belladonna from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 1
Blake Belladonna

So, what’s wrong with the path Blake has chosen for herself? Well, it raises the question of how the admissions process for Beacon Academy works. We don’t know what Yang did to gain acceptance into the academy. But, there was no implication anything out of the ordinary happened.

Ruby isn’t old enough to attend and didn’t even apply. Instead, the headmaster scouted her after she thwarted a Dust robbery attempt. And Weiss fought a Grimm within the confines of her own home. So, I guess her family has connections and got her into the academy based on that?

What about Blake, though? She was somehow able to enroll in the school while acting as a terrorist? And there was no sort of background check for this? Was it a written exam that she could mail in? Was the headmaster impressed by her terrorist activities?


What do you think of RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 1? Have you seen the old RWBY series? Did you watch the first 3 episodes of this one when they came out early? And, which of the four main girls is your favorite so far? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 2 is available now.

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