Anime Taste Testing: RWBY – Ice Queendom

While most new anime kicking off during the summer season won’t start for another 1-2 weeks, RWBY: Ice Queendom delivered its first 3 episodes a bit earlier than initially scheduled. And it’s… well, not very good, unfortunately.

I’ll try and make this one relatively quick and painless, which funnily enough is the opposite of what the premiere of the RWBY anime adaptation felt like. Sort of. See, for whatever reason, the writers and/or production team decided that instead of simply adapting the original story into anime format, they would blitz through the entire first season, as well as part of the second, within a 3-episode premiere, and then (I assume) take the story at a (maybe?) less breakneck pace from there.

What this means for pre-existing RWBY fans is that a lot of the emotional payoff from scenes that once made them genuinely care about some of these characters is gone, as are some of the best action sequences (which, let’s be honest, was kinda one of the main points of RWBY in the first place). What this likely means for viewers totally new to the franchise is that the story is a confusing and disjointed mess in the best-case scenario – and more or less incomprehensible otherwise – with characters as flat and two-dimensional as the current artwork.

To add insult to injury, said artwork and animation, frankly, take away a lot of RWBY’s original (albeit awkward) charm. We’re left with character designs and a setting that feel utterly generic and fight scenes that lack any kind of grit whatsoever. And while I certainly don’t claim to know what Monty Oum was like or envisioned for his creations, from what little I do know of the guy, it seems that showcasing sweet animation via cool fight scenes was more or less his whole shtick.

I’m morbidly curious enough to watch another episode, if only to see if the pacing calms the fuck down for a second to reveal a story actually worth watching or characters actually worth being invested in. However, considering how deeply unimpressed I was after over an entire hour of this, I’d say RWBY: Ice Queendom is on pretty shaky ground.

Score: 5/10

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