RWBY Retrospective: "Ruby Rose"

Hello, ladies and gentlemen and others, and welcome back to the RWBY Retrospective, a series that looks at the series created by the late Monty Oum and produced by Rooster Teeth Productions, one of the entertainment groups that ensures Texas is not solely associated with bad weather, worse music, and an even worse education system. This time around, we are going to look at the pilot episode, “Ruby Rose”. While the trailers were what had hooked everyone, this episode was the one that showed the potential promise being fulfilled. For those new and old, sit back and enjoy the show.

So the plot of the episode is rather straightforward: we are introduced to our protagonist Ruby Rose, as she has the desire to become a Huntress and the skills to make it worthwhile. After she thwarts a robbery committed by Roman Torchwick’s gang, she is approached about skipping two years in her training in order to enroll at Beacon Academy. She quickly accepts, joining her half-sister (yes, half-sister; this will be a plot point later) in the process. The episode ends with all flying off into the distance, even as a guy who has clearly never flown before gets sick.

What can be gleaned from “Ruby Rose”? Well, besides (or perhaps because of) the major fight scene, it is very light on the exposition. This is mostly due to the fact that said exposition is spread all throughout the volume, which is often a focus of criticism. There are two different approaches to alleviate this problem. The first approach is to be a true blue fan and just stomach your way through it all. The second approach is to just skim through it and get it from the other fans in a much more palatable way. There is a third approach, but that makes you someone who makes the type of person who traffics in dabs and dank memes. Or to quote Winston Churchill, “The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whiskey. By diligent effort, I learned to like it.”

And this was also a showstopper performance for the show’s first antagonist, the criminal Roman Torchwick. The interesting thing about this was that he was only meant to be a minor villain at the beginning that would be offed faster than a Game of Thrones character whose actor asked for a raise. However, Gray Haddock managed to infuse Torchwick with a certain Tim Curry-type of funny yet slightly threatening charisma, especially when he is talking to Ruby. Naturally, the fans quickly latched onto him and Rooster Teeth accordingly gave him a much longer shelf life.

Not to mention that even with the triumphant tone at the end, this is only the beginning. After all, Ozpin’s conversation with the narrator voiced by Jen Taylor is pretty much a set up for the main event. He concluded with the statement, “But perhaps victory is in the simpler things that you’ve long forgotten. Things that require a smaller, more honest soul.” Whether that ultimately proves to be the case or the means to achieve the victory are still unknown variables, even for the hardcore fans. But for now, Ruby and company are going to take the small victory for what it is worth.

So, what do you think?


David Baker

David Baker

David Baker is a freelance writer and editor, with a major passion for movies and the other pillars of popular culture. As such, he knows bad writing when he sees it.