The Dark Side of RWBY…Volume 4 Review

I have been a long time fan of Rooster Teeth content. When RWBY was announced I was pretty excited to see what they could produce. Now here we are after 4 volumes and the fan base has increased along with its popularity. There’s been a manga adaptation serialized by Ultra Jump and a Japanese dub aired by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Japan. Needless to say, RWBY has reached great heights and has no intention of stopping.

If you haven’t watched any of the previous volumes then I advise you don’t read this article. The spoilers will take away from your experience and I wouldn’t want that. The previous volumes are super easy to binge watch because production crew wasn’t as large so episodes are on the shorter end.

 

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Now on to the reason why we’re here, to talk about volume 4. The series continues after the tragic incidents of Vale and the fall of Beacon. The members of Team RWBY have gone their separate ways, Ruby has joined the remaining members of Team JNPR and the others have basically gone back home to reevaluate themselves. Based on just that statement, you can assume how this volume will unfold. My personal opinion is that it’s setting up the story for the bigger volume next time. I think the way they wrote for Volume 4 was to make the characters resilience be known after everything that has happened so far. At first, I was perfectly okay with it…until I actually had the idea to write this article. I skimmed through a few others opinions on this topic and I found that many people disliked this Volume compared to the previous ones. I can understand their criticism. Compared to the others, Volume 4 is very dark and focuses on how these young hunters/huntresses develop as individuals. There is little plot to speak of and the story that is there leaves some questions to be answered. It seems like it’s set up for the viewers to theory craft about what’s going to happen next time or how this ties into what happened before.

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For the real fans of the series they’ll probably see both sides of the coin. They’ll realize that this volume wasn’t meant to be as mind blowing as the last. I’ll say it again, more clearly this time. RWBY Volume 4 is about character and world development. It’s about the bigger picture and what’s next for the “good guys”. This becomes very apparent after the final episode. If you can’t realize that, then I don’t think you’re really watching the series.

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Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can actually talk about the content. Overall, I feel like it was a little above average for their standards. It also might be the first time the crew has done anything similar. I always have to point out that as the years go on, this series just looks better and better. If you had the first volume and this one side by side, you could really see the difference and effort they put into their work. I also really liked the script and the talent they acquired to play new roles.

One of the things that might have bothered viewers the most was the lack of action. For some it was the fighting scenes that drew them into the series, having the late Monty Oum at the helm of animation might have assisted with that. Comparing to the last volume, there is significantly less fighting. Though, of course, half of volume 3’s brawls are due to the setting of the tournament. That being said the two big fight scenes in this volume are pretty spectacular, and those fights seem to open up even more possibilities for the series. They virtually have no limit to what they can do with the series and it’s extremely exciting to think about where it will all end up. To close up my review,  volume 4 should be watched all together, if you’re not already binge watching the whole series. You won’t be left wanting more when watching week by week, at least that’s how I felt. That feeling comes after finishing the volume. If you’re a fan, please stick with it because I promise you that they will go harder and stronger for the next volume. If you’re new and wondering what the big deal is, don’t be afraid to dive in. Just know that RWBY is bigger than just a 3-5 episode test. It’s designed to be an immersive experience.

 

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