RWBY: Ice Queendom

RWBY: Ice Queendom

RWBY: Ice Queendom anime series cover art
RWBY: Ice Queendom

Series Overview

RWBY: Ice Queendom (RWBY: Hyousetsu Teikoku / RWBY 氷雪帝国) is an original-ish anime series. RWBY as a series has been around for 9 years now. But, Ice Queendom is an original story set within the canon of the series. I think it takes place between volumes 1 and 2.

This is also the first entry in the RWBY series that I’m going to consider to be anime. The Japanese animation studio Shaft was responsible for creating Ice Queendom. And, to no one’s surprise, this is the best RWBY has ever looked. Unfortunately, RWBY is still a dumpster fire of a show.

If you’re a RWBY fan, maybe you should stop reading this review here. I’m not going to be saying many nice things about it. In fact, of the 14 anime I watched during the summer season, RWBY is the worst. That’s saying something considering I intentionally chose to watch other bad anime.

Ruby Rose from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom
Ruby Rose

RWBY: Ice Queendom isn’t one of the series I picked up knowing that it would be bad. I’ve never watched RWBY before. I’m not a fan of RWBY. But, I am a fan of Shaft as an animation studio. They’ve animated many of my favorite series.

I picked up RWBY because Shaft was the studio making it. If any other studio animated it, I wouldn’t have considered watching it.

Anyway, what’s the series actually about? It’s about Team RWBY. They hunt monsters or something. But in this series, they hunt Nightmares inside dreams.

From my understanding, the first 3 episodes cover volume 1 of the original series. Episodes 4-11 are the new content. And episode 12 starts volume 2. Those 8 episodes of original content take place inside Weiss’s dream world. There, Ruby, Yang, and Blake must save Weiss from a new kind of Grimm.

Bad Enough to Drop

I’m not sure when the last time I dropped a series from my weekly review schedule was. It’s definitely been over a year since that last happened, though. But, I had to break that streak when it came to RWBY. I made it 8 episodes in before I couldn’t take reviewing it anymore.

Believe me when I say that I really wanted to drop RWBY altogether. Not only did I not want to review it each week, but I also didn’t want to watch it at all. However, I don’t like to review anime I haven’t finished.

As far as I can remember, I’ve never reviewed a series I haven’t finished. So, I decided to power through the final 4 episodes to make this review possible. If I’m going to call an anime trash, I at least want to have seen the whole thing to confirm it’s trash to the end

Negative Weiss from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom
Negative Weiss

So, what’s wrong with RWBY: Ice Queendom? Well, pretty much everything. The story isn’t any good. The characters are all boring and cringe. And the dream world setting of the series tries way too hard to be “wacky.” It genuinely feels like the target audience is 5 other than the violence.

If you haven’t started Ice Queendom, I recommend you keep it that way. If you have, I can assure you that it doesn’t get any better. And if you’ve already finished it, I’m so sorry. There’s no way to get back the time you wasted on this series.

I’ve learned my lesson. I now know not to watch anime solely because Shaft animated them. And if another season of RWBY ever gets made, I can assure you that I will not be watching it. RWBY always looked bad to me, and now I’ve confirmed that.

One Redeeming Quality

We’ve made it to the part of the review where I say something positive about the RWBY anime. Actually, I have 2 positive things to say about it. The first is that the OP song is pretty good. Only the song, though.

The visuals are nice as well, for the most part. But, the problem I have with them is that all the best parts of the OP visuals are directly from the first 2 or 3 episodes. The OP recycles the good animation from the start of the series. Most of it isn’t unique to the OP.

Now, this leads to the other positive thing I have to say about the series, it has some great animation. Don’t get me wrong, most of the series doesn’t have good animation. It has what’s known as bad animation. But, a few good animators did work on RWBY, most notably, Hiroto Nagata.

Blake and Yang from the anime series RWBY: Ice Queendom
Blake and Yang

Hiroto Nagata did some work on episodes 1, 2, 10, 11, and 12. His animation style is instantly recognizable. It’s far better than any of the other animation in RWBY. And, if you guessed all the good parts of the OP are from his cuts, you’d be correct.

The one redeeming quality of Ice Queendom is that Hiroto Nagata worked on it. But, you don’t need to watch the series to appreciate his animation. You can instead watch his cuts over on Sakugabooru. That’s a great way to see the best parts of the series without having to suffer through the rest of it.

I’m actually hoping there isn’t another season of RWBY coming — at least not one animated by Shaft. I’d much rather see Nagata animate a good series instead. I’d also rather see Shaft make better anime than they did this season in general.


Overall, I gave RWBY: Ice Queendom a 2/10. I really wanted to give it a 1. But, I’m going to add a point for the animation of Nagata. He carried the series. And it would feel wrong to give something a 1/10 that includes his work.

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