Rooster Teeth is well known for being a media company that carved out a name for itself on YouTube. Starting off with the machinimation classic Red Vs Blue, a show parodying first person shooter games, the company itself has exploded since its foundation in 2003, with a wide variety of different projects. One of those is an anime-style series called RWBY.
Created by the late Monty Oum, the series was unlike anything the company had attempted to do before and grew popular even before the first episode, getting a lot of interest from fans with the Red, White, Black and Yellow trailers that were released before the first season. Now, after an almost year-long hiatus, RWBY is back with the first episode of season six: ‘Argus Limited’.
Obviously, spoilers ahead for RWBY.
‘Argus Limited’ opens up with a brief fight scene on a train, where team RWBY and their friends are defending a public transport from monsters in the middle of a snowstorm. The scene cuts briefly to one of the antagonists Adam Taurus having killed off members of the White Fang, a radical group he was previously a leader of, enraged from his defeat in the previous season before going back to team RWBY in a train station. Here, they briefly wrap the events of the previous season and set up the journey of the current season, where they plan to go a place called Argus, delivering with them an artefact called the relic of knowledge.
We then see team RWBY on the train, enjoying some down time and showing how the previously separated protagonists are reacting to each other as a team again. It is here the episode picks up where the episode started, when a group of Grimm – a species of monster that remain a persistent threat throughout the show – attack the train. After defending the transport for as long as they can from the Grimm, it eventually ends up crashing with all of the members of RWBY and company surviving, including an elderly woman who is a stranger to us.
The series is a lot of fun to watch, and to anyone who hasn’t seen the show, you should absolutely give it a taste. Though the quality of the show doesn’t drop in ‘Argus Limited’, the pacing of it feels a bit all over the place, going from intense action to more relaxed exposition and development, then back to action again. It’s hard to make the first episode of anything a masterpiece as the story needs to be set up while also moving the plot along, and this is a small but noticeable issue with this episode. Additionally, the two new Huntsman characters could have easily been written out, especially as one of them only lasts a couple of minutes.
As for catching up fans in the slower moments, it is definitely handled well. Though it is action heavy, the return of the characters and overarching story is done in a light manner without cramming too much down the audience’s throats. It reacquaints existing fans while reassuring new ones that, while watching the previous seasons isn’t strictly necessary, it would paint a more detailed picture for them. It was sweet after seeing the protagonists back together after being separated for so long, and the tone of the scenes leading up to the battle is the most light hearted the show has felt in a while. After seeing the characters suffering so much loss and conflict previously, this is a nice alleviation.
The show has always mirrored elements of fairy tales. While it’s reflected in the inspiration for the main characters (like the relationship between protagonist Blake Belladonna and Adam Taurus, inspired by Beauty and the Beast), another prominent aspect is the creatures of Grimm. A clear reference to the classic stories of the brothers Grimm, these are a species of monster that remain a persistent threat throughout the show, and each season brings a new design of unique monsters. Volume Six is no different, introducing giant, fire breathing, winged beasts called Sphinx, which are artistically very impressive. This constant changing of the formula keeps the show fresh while expressing the character’s developments as Huntsman and Huntresses, with each season bringing on increasingly more difficult beings to fight.
This is a great return for a well-loved show. Though ‘Argus Limited’ as a premiere feels just as conflict-heavy as the opening episode of the previous season, it is nice to see the characters we all love back together in some light-hearted scenes before the show steps on the gas pedal and throws us quite literally back into the series. While the audience departs from some characters that they followed last season, it’s nice to see the latest chapter in this story begin with new mysteries, adventure and a whole load of action.
While not available on YouTube yet, you can watch the first episode for free on the Rooster Teeth website. The second episode is also out on the Rooster Teeth website, which you can watch by signing up for Rooster Teeth First.
A promising start with a few nit-picky issues that can easily be overlooked.