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[personal profile] talvin
(Much of what I will talk about is "off-screen" knowledge. I will avoid major spoilers.)

Heather and I are both enjoying RWBY, while Jane is loving the soundtrack. It has a lot of little surprises and Easter Eggs in it. For a company that openly admits that their previous works have been "a sausage fest", they are working hard to create something that appeals to girls like Heather.

Each character is based on a figure out of myth, legend, or history. Each character is also based on some role in an RPG party, as admitted by the show's creators. The roles are usually pretty easy to guess.

The main characters are part of "Team RWBY" (pronounced "Ruby"), composed of Ruby Rose (Red, inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, Leader), Weiss Schnee (White, inspired by Snow White, Weapons Specialist), Blake Belladonna (Black, inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Ninja/Scout), and Yang Xiao Long (Yellow, inspired by Goldilocks, Heavy/Tank).

The supporting team (which gets a lot of screen time) is Team JNPR (pronounced "Juniper"). Jaune Arc (male, Joan of Arc, Leader), Nora Valkyrie (female, Thor, Heavy/Tank), Pyhrra Nikos (female, Achilles, Weapons Specialist), and Lie Ren (male, Hua Mulan, Martial Artist/Scout).

Wait, what? That's right, all of the major characters are either female (Team RWBY) or the opposite gender of the characters they are loosely based on (JNPR). Every inspiration for JNPR spent time disguised as the opposite gender. Even Thor, and I hadn't know that prior to this. Nora is also the comic relief. Thor, in a pink skirt, with a hammer/grenade launcher (weapons transform in this universe) that shoots shells with little pink hearts on them. Nora is the "Heavy" of her team, with the strength, endurance, and damn-the-torpedoes attitude to go with it. Yang, the RWBY heavy, is the sort of girl that would jump into a monster's mouth and brace its jaws open so she could punch energy blasts down its throat. No, really.... So they are playing with some gender expectations, here.

The world is called "Remnant", and it is most definitely not Earth. So, you wouldn't expect the same attitudes about race that we have here. I was disappointed at first to find only (what we would call) Caucasian characters. Volume 2 introduces some people of color. The end of Volume 1, Episode 15 (The Stray) and Episode 16 (Black and White) tie together some loose story elements and shove them right in your face: Race, and many of the problems WE have with it, are very, very much an important part of the world of Remnant. It caught me rather off-guard.

For a group that made their name doing parodies and reviews of console games, Rooster Teeth has done quite well with this. I look forward to Volume 2 next month.

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