Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review: RWBY


ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley
LETTERS: Evan Waldinger and Walden Wong
EDITOR: Joel Enos
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9512-2; paperback (January 2018); Rated “T” for “Teen”
250pp, B&W, $14.99 U.S., $19.99 CAN, £9.99 U.K.

“RWBY” is an American animated series that is streamed on the World Wide Web (or simply “web”).  The series was created by the late Monty Oum for Rooster Teeth Productions (an American company), which is known for its animated streaming or web series.  “RWBY” is produced in a Japanese anime style, although some consider it an actual anime series.  It was the first western-produced anime series to be distributed to Japanese television.

“RWBY” is set on the world of Remnant, which is beset by “Grimm,” horrific monsters bent on the destruction of humanity.  The kingdoms of Remnant have risen to combat these monsters by training powerful Huntsmen and Huntresses at academies around the planet. “RWBY” focuses on Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long, four such Huntresses-in-training.

Shiwa Miwa, the creator of the manga Dogs and Dogs: Bullets & Carnage, produced a manga based on “RWBY.”  Miwa's story was based on the initial four trailers that were released to promote the “RWBY” anime shortly before it release.  Miwa's manga debuted in the November 2015 issue of the manga magazine, Ultra Jump, and concluded in the same magazine in January 2017.  VIZ Media collected Miwa's RWBY manga in a single-volume, paperback graphic novel in January 2018 (and my VIZ Media rep gave me a copy for review).

RWBY (Chapters 1 to 12) introduces Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long.  They are four Huntresses-in-training at Beacon Academy, one of four academies that train Hunters who subdue the monstrous Grimm and maintain peace.  Together Ruby, Weiss, Black, and Yang are Team RWBY.

We see a unique side of each member of Team RWBY.  Later, the quartet is put through a grueling training test that forces them to work with RWBY's rival, Team JNPR.  Their adversary is a giant, multi-headed serpent that seems impossible to defeat.

I had not heard of “RWBY” until I received a VIZ Media press release that it was going to publish Shirow Miwa's 2015-2017 manga adaptation of the anime.  I must be honest with you, dear reader; I was not interested in reading it.  Then, VIZ Media came calling with a way to force me to read the RWBY manga.

RWBY Graphic Novel is actually fairly entertaining.  My experience with Shirwo Miwa is mixed.  He can produce visually striking manga action art, but sometimes his narrative is shallow or even dull.  RWBY has a slow start, but then, it really takes off when Miwa starts using separate chapters to delve into the mysteries of each of the series' four stars:  Ruby, Weiss, Black, and Yang.  The giant snake battle is a blast to read and makes me ready for more RWBY manga.  [VIZ Media will start publishing an RWBY manga anthology this coming summer.]

Fans of the “RWBY” anime and fans of the manga of Shirow Miwa will want VIZ Signature's single-volume RWBY graphic novel.

7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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