Tag Archives: RWBY Ice Queendom

RWBY Ice Queendom Episode 1 Review

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here, finally ready to begin reviewing the RWBY Ice Queendom series properly. In all honesty, it was off to a shaky start when the first three episodes released as promotional hype.

You can read all about my RWBY Ice Queendom first impressions here. That’s just a broad look at the first three episodes, mind you. For now let’s dive into the actual and proper review, shall we?

To begin, I want to say that the first episode is as rushed as it could possibly be. I don’t think anyone should go into this anime as their first experience with RWBY. It isn’t exactly what I would call a strong start for those unfamiliar with the main series.

You see, we knew going into Ice Queendom that the first two episodes would rehash a lot of plot elements from Volume 1. My god, did it ever do that… but I’m going to be honest here. It is super fast, and it’s not for a non-fan to try to absorb.

No newbie can hope to truly understand the depth of what is actually going on without having seen Volume 1 of the original show first… so if you’re going to watch Ice Queendom, awesome!

Just… uh… watch Volume 1 first too, okay? I promise if you did feel a little lost, don’t be too concerned… even I felt a little lost, but we could have a diamond in the rough here, so let’s not be too hasty.

That said, we did get some pretty stellar moments, and we got some clunky ones. Spoilers ahead, be warned

If they were going to re-hash volume one, they should have done it from scratch. Enough is changed in this iteration to argue a complete and total overhaul. Here’s the thing, the first volume of RWBY is only two hours long. That means they could have rehashed all of what they needed to do in six episodes (no I’m not joking). They should have done that.

Take for example the Weiss battle from the RWBY White Trailer and compare that fight to this one. The battle is cleaner in Ice Queendom for sure, but it lacks some of the emotional character development we get from the Weiss Trailer and her introduction song. Also, the battle feels just a little rushed and choppy. Thanks to the break-away scenes with Blake and Adam running around doing a separate fight entirely, the combat feels very segmented.

Winter’s inclusion so early in Ice Queendom is a welcome addition, but it is just a little jarring without context… Winter wasn’t in the RWBY White Trailer and didn’t make an appearance until a later volume. The same is true for all the Schnee family.

It is very nice that some of these plot points were touched on in the first episode, but why not slow down and really contextualize it? I don’t understand the need to rush, and that is a bit annoying.

I do like this fight, though, and I think Studio Shaft had the best of intentions. It was merely that those intentions fell a little flat. The same is effectively true for a great deal of the first episode during the re-hash scenes. They’re a bit cobbled together, demanding you have some concept of the show to start with, and not particularly caring to slow down if you don’t.

That said, there is a highlight moment every now and then when Ice Queendom extrapolates where the original RWBY series never does. For example, at least Taiyang isn’t strangely absentee this time around, which is something I’ve brought up in my character analysis of him. His lack of development in the original series really paints him in a really bad light.

It’s nice to see him as the father we knew he could be, and not the complete jerk-ass father that the original series implies him to be. Again, super nice gem here. Whoever had the mind to add this in and push it through should get a standing ovation.

Taiyang’s scenes with Yang, and later Ozpin, really help to flesh out what Volume 1 failed to really cover earnestly.

However, a few good narrative calls doesn’t help the show when the rest of it can be somewhat crammed together at such a break-neck pace. There’s little room to breathe.

This may sound harsh, but I’m not trying to rip on the show here.

I’m just pointing out that there are some really good choices when the creators choose to take the time to flesh things out. When they do, it’s amazing. When they choose not to take that time, it’s obvious. In some ways that’s very annoying to me as a fan.

Ice Queendom is “canon adjacent” or so they call it. That means some canon remains the same, and some become different… when you do this, you need to be clear about what changes and how it changes.

You can’t be vague about this. Many of us aren’t coming into the series with fresh eyes. We’re coming in as fans from the original show. We have preconceived notions and biases that needed to be challenged under these new ideologies.

In any case when the fights are this clean, they’re pretty good. If you just want action with no combat choreography or subtext, this will do you just fine. It feels fun and it’s entertaining, that’s for sure.

Once again though, welcome to my biases at play here. I’m a huge fan of the original show, there is a lot to live up to here in terms of combat. This show has big shoes to fill and I’m not entirely sure that it could have hoped to live up to the original fight scenes.

If you want actual choreography that sticks with you and hits home, this just won’t hold a candle to a lot of the battles in Volume 1. Sorry, but for me it holds true. If you don’t mind losing some of the charm of choreography and just want a good brawl, this will do just fine as it is though… it’s serviceable.

In losing some of the charm in the fights, we do lose a little something in the characters too. That is the main issue here.

All of the characters feel watered down and distilled in ways that just pull me out of the experience. Yang especially feels so watered down I don’t even recognize her as Yang anymore. We just don’t have the time with her to really get a sense of who she is, what she wants, or how she feels as an aspiring huntress.

There is no combat at the bar scene to really amp up her temperament, or showcase some of her poor decision making. To highlight my point look at these two comparison photos.

Let’s be real honest here guys, which one best represents the Yang that’s adventuresome, ready to throw down in a fight? Yang is a complicated, deep character. She spends all of volume one trying to get Ruby to go out and make friends, find her own way, get on her own team, and become a huntress. That’s not the Yang I see portrayed in Ice Queendom even slightly… she doesn’t get enough screen time to get that portrayal.

Now, that’s not to say I expect Yang to be the same… or any character for that matter. At this point in time, I just don’t know who she even is as a character. I’m a huge RWBY fan. I should have a very firm idea of who Yang is, but she’s not really anything at the moment.

I want to know who these girls are in this iteration of the show, and the show itself doesn’t seem to want us to know.

It’s like that with all of the characters to one degree or another, even Weiss… considering Weiss is supposed to be the focal point, that’s a problem here. I’m only using Yang as just the most notable problem with this in the first episode… and I know it will be a problem with JNPR in episodes two and three because I’ve already seen those episodes.

You can’t scream canon adjacent in one breath, and fail to really take the time to flesh out these characters in the earliest episodes. I just don’t think that’s the best way to endear fans to a series that we’re not coming in completely blind on.

So my final thoughts on RWBY Ice Queendom are simple. Let’s wait and see. It might be a trash fire, it might get really good. As of right now, there’s just no way to tell. There are enough tidbits to make me feel like we’re going to get something good, and enough red flags to have me concerned. Either way, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Another take on episode 1 can be found here, reviewed by DoubleSama. I’m not entirely sure that they have seen the original RWBY series, but I do think their take adequately describes some of the confusion a person might feel if they are going into RWBY Ice Queendom entirely blind, or rusty on the wider show. That’s why it might be worth it to give it a look.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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RWBY Ice Queendom First Impressions

This is not a review, as I don’t want to give spoilers for the first three episodes released today on Rooster Teeth and Crunchyroll for paying members. These episodes don’t release properly until July.

Therefore, the following statements are just very vague opinions, as I can’t dive into details right now. I don’t want to ruin the show for anyone… plus, this is a hot-take, obviously, as this series just went public today.

I want to start off by saying if you have never seen RWBY before, this IS NOT the place to start. RWBY Ice Queendom is canon adjacent. After viewing the first three episodes, I firmly believe you will be best served if you have some concept of the show and universe going into it. Failing that, and you will probably be lost…

These first few episodes condense down key aspects of RWBY‘s Volume 1, but without all of the context required to assess what’s actually going on here. I’ll be honest it is very interesting, but sometimes it’s just sloppily done as well.

While the show does diverge a fair bit from its other animated counterpart, and gives viewers new bones to chew, to me that’s not enough to go into this completely unaware of RWBY.

if you don’t know who these characters are… it’s a tough sell…

These early episodes do a very piss poor job of conveying key character traits and personal motivations to the viewer… but rehashing old content is not the draw of this show. I may be harsh in my above statements, but I do love what we have.

I just don’t believe this new series has a simple entry. I don’t believe it is made for someone who isn’t already a fan of the series. But, we already have RWBY as a series after all, we don’t need a carbon copy of the same show in a two-dimensional anime format.

RWBY Ice Queendom needed to do more than that, and do it quickly. Therefore, I’ll forgive the rush feel of the narrative, and the sloppiness of bouncing around doing scenes.

There’s a lot to like here, particularly with our favorite characters coming back to tell this story. That’s not to say that you should expect deeply beloved characters to be the same though. Even looking at Klein, you can tell he isn’t the same man we all know from the RWBY series. He’s much more stern in appearance and very much a “butler”. He’s not the jovial impressionist that will crack jokes while attempting to cheer her up.

All of the cast is this way. There are firm and clear differences between the RWBY characters as we know them, and the way they’re presented in Ice Queendom. We can’t hold these characters to the standards we’re used to. That’s the takeaway I’ve gained from the viewing experience thus far.

The animation is okay, but the Grimm monsters in the show look like complete and total crap. They feel like a bargain bin, rejected Pokemon to me… the fights are lackluster too. Again though, that’s because they feel rushed, poorly planned and have a lot to live up to.

RWBY Volume 1 did one thing astoundingly well and that was to offer the fans amazing fight choreography. You just can’t rehash or breathe life into thought old fights and expect them to objectively hold their ground. We’re all going to have our preferences… Ice Queendom fails in this regard for me. I don’t like the combat here.

What I do like are the themes being toyed with and the possibilities offered to us from the new show. So many changes were made, even to simple scenes we come to expect from the show. While old fans will remember the scenes fondly and get a boost of nostalgia, we’ll also get a new spin on the old formula we’ve come to expect.

There will come a time when old expected habits, patterns and routines will shift over to an entirely new story. This small taste certainly feels like that story is coming sooner rather than later. RWBY: Ice Queendom gives us a good peak at what we’re in for, and as I said, no spoilers…. but I’m excited to see it.

I’ll give a proper cohesive and reflective opinion on the series episode by episode, but for now, we’ll just have to see how it goes.

Here’s to hoping the story it has to tell is a good one, I believe it will be.

I’m Excited for RWBY Ice Queendom

Hey guys, gals and others, it’s Kern here. I don’t know about you, but I’m eagerly awaiting the RWBY Ice Queendom series that’s said to be coming out in 2022. We don’t have an official release date yet, but I can honestly say that I’m excited to see how the anime compares with the core material of the RWBY show we’ve all come to know and love.

I’ve been waiting to make a blog post about this, even though I wanted to for a while now. I didn’t want to be seen as hype chasing though, as this blog is small and even though riding the hype wave is a good way to get readers, it’s also not my style to do that.

Besides that, at first, I had a lot of conflicted thoughts about the show and what it might turn out to be. Therefore, I just wanted to sit and collect my thoughts. It can be really easy to become over excited or overly critical of new content before it releases, and I wanted to be impartial in my thoughts of this new impending series.

First of all, if you haven’t seen the trailer for RWBY Ice Queendom, you should do that first so that you know what I’m talking about.

Watched it at least once? Okay cool, so by now you’ve likely figured out that this is a upcoming Japanese animated series (anime) that’s being co-created by Rooster Teeth Productions (who also serves as producers for the show) and Studio SHAFT. This new anime is set to be released in 2022. That being said, we have no firm release date yet.

I’m of two minds for this upcoming show. The first is that I’m excited. I love RWBY, and I particularly love the early volumes before the show got too big for its own narrative footing. Getting a chance to reexamine this series with a fresh coat of paint will be something spectacular, I’m sure. There’s a lot of moments that you’ll notice look very self-same, and I’m sure that they’ll want to cover some of those key plot points anew, just as many series tend to do.

This isn’t a reboot, mind you. It won’t be purely the same cannon, either. It is being called “canon adjacent”. To my understanding of what I can pick up via social media and chit-chat among the fandom, RWBY Ice Queendom will stand someplace in the middle of pure canon and an alternate universe. I think that suits the situation just fine.

I know a lot of people are a little edgy about it, I was too at first. However, in truth I think that the RWBY series is at its strongest when it isn’t crammed into tight fitting boxes, or perfectly fitting labels.

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Personally, I feel that allowing the RWBY universe to have some sort of fluidity, and being more open with what is and isn’t canon lends to this series and its strengths. It also mitigates some of its worst weaknesses as well.

For example, if the Faunus plight is handled with a better hand here, we gain quite a bit. If we have a chance to see it better addressed, and with more nuance offered when it comes to the opinions of Faunus have in general, then that’s a win across the entirety of all the series within RWBY as a material. There’s nothing to lose from that.

Literally, we only have the opportunity to gain here unless a garbage fire well and truly occurs, which I doubt it will. If the Faunus plight is done worse or just as sub-par in some places than the show we’ve already got, well, we’re still where we were before… the fandom will pick up the slack just as we always have.

However, if it is done better, then we have something better to contextualize the RWBY universe with. We may end up with more avenues to explore regarding this, paving the way for new fan fiction angles and fan art alike.

We’ve only go gain with this fluid mind set, and unlike written material, this show will be much more easy to access for viewers who may hate the idea of reading. Therefore the RWBY fan base who don’t read the books in the wider universe will have more material to enjoy as well. The same goes for the games. We’re not all gamers, so the canon material found there may be lost to some people. This show can serve as a deeper gateway into wider lore, and we should see that as a bonus, not a loss.

The end of the trailer though, that’s what interests me. When Weiss sees herself at the end, it brings to mind the callback of her original trailer we had from all the way back before Volume 1 aired. It really excites me to think we may have deeper extrapolations of characters and their metaphors on our hands here.

If there is little else though, this new series can and will breathe new life into the fandom. We desperately need that most of all. For those of us that have been around since the earliest days, enjoying the RWBY series for all that it has to offer, even the most die-hard fan can agree that not everything is perfect. There was always a little something lacking across the volumes here and there. At the end of the day, love it or hate it, RWBY Ice Queendom will provide fans of RWBY a new bone to chew. That alone is worth giving it a try in my opinion. As someone who likes to dive deep with the RWBY universe, this is what excites me the most.

All we have to do is wait for it to come out.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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