‘RWBY: Volume 3’ Blu-ray Review
“Red. White. Black. Yellow.” These were the words Monty Oum muttered to a colleague in a half-dazed stupor, as he struggled to wake up from a dream; a dream where people from different kingdoms train and battle to retain peace and tranquility in a previously war-torn world. Since that moment, we have 3 volumes, thousands of cosplays, and a motivated fan base with a strong and undying love for team RWBY. ‘RWBY: Volume 3’ was released on May 3, 2016.
The Movie Itself:
We see no hesitation to the action and story in ‘RWBY: Volume 3’ as it picks up right where Volume 2 left off. Consisting of 11 episodes ranging in duration from 15-20 minutes, with the last episode clocking in at almost 30 minutes, Volume 3 delivers nearly 3 hours of action-packed story and leaves its audience wanting more. Volume 3’s story arcs around the Vytal Festival—a festival between the four kingdoms from across the world of Remnant. In the festival, the four kingdoms highlight their best students demonstrating their skills and abilities in celebration of the peace between all four kingdoms. Despite the Vytal Festival being organized for peace, a mischievous plot hides in the shadows of the celebration and will push the limits of the students’ strength, skills, willpower, and most importantly, their determination to survive.
‘RWBY: Volume 3’ I feel is a volume of transition and progression (both good and bad). Visually, we see the series look far better than it ever has before; more detail, crisp, and more fluid and almost natural. The directing and screen shooting far surpasses volume 1 and 2 combined, but with this positive, there is also a negative. When a series is based solely on cool fight sequences and battle-driven, the dialogue will more than likely take a hit, and that is clearly what happens in ‘RWBY: Volume 3’; the dialogue is somewhat basic and borderline predictable.
Though the dialogue is somewhat basic at heart, the actual story of ‘RWBY: Volume 3’ is pretty solid, with the back-end of the volume taking a severe left and awesome dark turn. There was an aggressive, almost abrupt shift in content from light to dark in the span of less than 5 minutes and it goes full steam for the remainder of the series. There has been a lot of building up in Volume 1 and 2 with minimal and quick resolve, but it finally spills over here. With this spilling over, the volume instantly becomes a lot more…real; it was after the series began to highlight the struggle in the story, here is when I got onboard for Volume 3. This is when things can take an unpredictable turn and have drastic consequences, because up to this point, it was all straight forward chutes and ladders. But now with this struggle, we learn more about the main cast as well as the occasional secondary character, a good bit of backstory as well as the occasional sign of (gasp!) emotion and longing for connection as our characters put their skills and strength to the test.
What stood out for me almost instantly was the amazing choreography for the fight scenes; I mean, the volume started right out with a 4 vs. 4 fight. Despite some personal qualms with the animation (though I will say, about halfway through, it didn’t really bug me anymore and I became comfortable with the style), I thoroughly enjoyed the fight scenes throughout volume 3. However, I must say that although the choreography was still good, they fail in comparison to those orchestrated by Monty (Monty Oum, the show’s creator, passed away early last year and the show was in limbo as to whether it would continue). Although Monty was unable to contribute to Volume 3, in a sense, he was still able; all the lives of the choreographers he touched and interacted with, he was able to transmit a small piece of himself into the continuation of the series. Despite this transmission, the choreography will be similar, but it will never be Monty.
Another thing that I thoroughly enjoyed was the soundtrack. Good lord! It was phenomenal and accentuated every scene, battle, and heartfelt moment. Nothing was out of place when it came to the careful orchestra of music (kudos to Jeff Williams and Alex Abraham for their phenomenal work on the OST for Volume 3).
The story was relatively slow and at times, predictable. As I mentioned above, the dialogue at times was predictable and seemed very elementary in structure. There was the occasional tongue in cheek break for humor to lighten the mood of something serious, but it seemed forced and not genuine. This could come from lack of exposure of character development of just bad writing; either way, the first time it was worth a few light and low chuckles to myself in my apartment, but quickly after, it just became tedious and cringe-worthy.
If you had never seen RWBY Volume 1 or 2, Volume 3 can be hella confusing because they do little to nothing to explain or set up the premise for Volume 3. In the eyes of the creator, it was a direct continuation from one volume to the other and no need for explanation. For those interested in jumping in midgame are going to experience some confusion.
‘RWBY: Volume 3’ comes in with DTS HD: Master Audio 2.0 and at 5.1. The voice acting and the synching of the audio to lip movement was pretty solid. As discussed in more detail above, overall, Volume 3 is far better than volume 1 and 2 regarding crispness, fluidness, and overall feel. It just looks and feels more natural, whereas shots in volume 1 and 2 were still somewhat…well, just bad.
The extra features for ‘RWBY: Volume 3’ were phenomenal! They have TONS of extras to better help the viewer get a feel for the World of Remnant as well as get into the heads behind the creative process of RWBY. Actually, I was highly surprised by how much extra features ‘RWBY: Volume 3’ had as it was quite extensive.
3, 2, 1 Begin!
- Talks about the production and thought process of the development of RWBY
- For the whole volume …all 3 hours; that’s dedication, folks.
The War of Remnant
- A comprehensive story of the world of RWBY. This as SUPER helpful and for those new to the RWBY series, I would highly suggest watching this to get a better idea of the general world. It does not go into much details as to what happened in Volume 1 or 2, but provides good general world information. It also gives good information and detail on some key terminology, its origin, and purpose. “Like all history, our story starts with war…”
The Fall Maidens
- A short story on the fall maidens and their tale of a wizard.
Though initially feigned interest, by the end of the volume, I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next. I would highly encourage everyone to pick up ‘RWBY: Volume 3’ ASAP and if you have not seen Volume 1 or 2 just yet that is fine; y’all have a good bit of time, as Volume 4 was officially announced on April 1, 2016 and is set to premiere in Fall 2016.