RWBY Volume 4 – Ep 1 Review

rwby

A SOLID START

It’s been up on Rooster teeth for around a week at time of writing but RWBY has only been back for a few days for us with season 4!

To those not familiar with the show: Do you like bizarre fantasy weapons, questionable physics and cool powers all combined with some funny and very creative writing? If so, check out RWBY! Even after the untimely death of the series’ creator Monty Oum in 2015, the show has continued to excel.

One word of warning, though. If you’re just starting at season 1, don’t be too taken in by the cutesy feeling. By the time season 3 rolls around, shit gets pretty damned bleak. 3 seasons might seem like a lot to get through, but the episodes are generally short, so it’s not a massive commitment.

Now, on to the new season. Obviously, if you’re not caught up, you may want to reconsider reading because we will be going into SPOILER territory.

This first episode, titled ‘The Next Step’, is pretty much exactly that. It’s not only a new act in the plot, but it also shows off some seriously improved animation. One thing you’ll note right away is that the show has never looked better. In fact, the opening shot of the ‘birth’ of a Beowulf is particularly impressive for the show.

Also, surprisingly, we got some actual insight into the antagonists.

The first part of the episodes is basically a business meeting in hell, as the antagonists plan their next move. As we’ve only seen them once so far it’s a bit hard to judge if they’ll be interesting or not, but they do seem to fall into the stereotypical role of the snob, the silent one and the lunatic.

nutcase

This guy must be fun at parties, though.

Salem also makes an appearance, but we don’t learn a lot about her, aside from the fact that everyone is scared shitless of her. Speaking of which, Emerald and Mercury seem pretty freaked out too, so there’s a good chance we’ll try to see them back out of this in later episodes.

What surprised us more than anything, though, was the state of Cinder. Not to put too fine a point on things, but she got the shit kicked out of her. Whether something happened after the bright flash Ruby released in Season 3’s finale, or if the flash itself hurt her, it apparently took her eye and damaged her throat severely.

Apparently we won’t be seeing her as our primary antagonist for a while, so let’s hope the other three can carry the role well enough.

The second half of the episodes focusses on Ruby and the remaining members of team JNPR, dealing with a new kind of grimm called a Gheist, during their journey. It’s a pretty cool action scene, showing off how some of the characters have upgraded their weapons or learned new tricks.

Supposedly the characters have aged a little since season 3, but the only real indication of this appears to be that some of them have longer hair now.

However, Jaune did get some nice changes to his look. The gold accents to his new armour, the red sash and especially the image of Pyrrha’s circlet on his shield is a nice touch. It’s a good nod to a beloved character and a representation of the impact of her death.

jaune

In a way, Pyrrha’s still along for the ride.

We honestly have no idea where the show will go from here and how long it’ll be before we seem team RWBY reunited, but the show is off to a good start. It gave us the information and the emotional moments we needed, without delving too far into exposition, and even introduced us to what will probably be our main antagonist this season.

Here’s hoping it started as it means to go on.

What did you guys think of the first episode? Any ideas what the other members of team RWBY might be up to? Let us know in the comments below!

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