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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

'RWBY' V4 BD: Rooster Teeth Presents The Mother of All Girl Power Anime

The June 6, 2017 Blu-ray release of  the web series "RWBY: Volume 4" from Rooster Teeth once again shows that Japan lacks a monopoly on entertaining high-quality anime. The production values alone on "RWBY" show why BD exists. The colors are indescribably vibrant, and the sound is crystal clear. Fans can look forward to V5 webisodes in a few months.

The following YouTube clip of the "RWBY" V4 intro. highlights the style of the show and provides a sense of our heroes.

This latest chapter in the saga of the titular fierce warrior with the heart of a lion and the soul of a tween picks up soon after the events of V3, which is part of the Unreal TV reviewed September 2016 BD Steelbook V1-3 release of "RWBY." V4 is understandable on its own, but watching the lore that the earlier chapters establish puts the most recent adventures in better context.

Our fierce huntress and her small band of merry dudes and babe are mystical weapons for hire en route to complete the Hobbit-style quest that almost surely is the focus of V5 episodes. An early battle that pits them against a particularly vicious species of the monstrous grimm reinforces the lesson of teamwork in this series whose core audience includes tween girls.

This group further encounters a foe who greatly contributes to the lore of the series and adds context to the V1-3 events. One spoiler is that our group learns about the yin and yang creation story that includes the origin tale of the grimm and the current plans regarding those big bads.

Meanwhile, the peers of the core group become anime boomerang kids following their V1-3 training to become the hunters and the huntresses charged with protecting the general populace from things that go bump in the night (and in broad daylight.). In many respects, this is as if the girls of the '80scom "The Facts of Life" mostly return home on their graduating from the prestigious all-girl Eastland Academy.

The aforementioned Ruby is the sassy and tough but inherently naive "Tootie;" the evolving rich girl "Blair" of the group returns to the home of her not-so-upstanding industrialist father. Things are going fairly well until the V1-3 exposure of "Blair" to the real world prompts her to act out in a manner that puts her at odds with Daddy. Her step-brother benefiting from this falling out adds another awesome "old money" element to this tale, which ties into the bigger picture.

The reformed tough girl with a past "Jo" returns to the seeming paradise where her parents live; this storyline provides the best moment in V4. Banners that represent a modified rainbow flag are flying high as a pretty blonde boy with abs of titanium who is tagging along expresses his awe that everyone is welcome in this community. The sad truth is that scratching the surface reveals that the powers-that-be are less magnanimous than represented. 

Similar to the adventure of "Blair," "Jo" opens the eyes of her parents to the nature of the nefarious White Fang gang who still are a part of the lives of said 'rents. This leads to an epic rooftop battle with an incredibly cool ninja. 

The fourth member of this group is the "Natalie" only in that she is having a tough time moving on from the wounds that she sustains in her earlier adventures. She is living with Dad, who is supportive and kind. This also is the setting of a raucous mini-reunion that refers to fun times at "Eastland."

Quickly getting down to business at the beginning of V4 keeps things moving ahead. The manner in which the good folks at Teeth begin tying everything together at the mid-way point helps build events to what almost certainly will be an awesome V5.

The most obvious girl power aspect of this series is having it revolve around fierce teens who can kick ass with the best of them; a related aspect is having the (mostly pretty blonde) boys take a backseat to our warrior princesses while still having their backs.

The copious BD bonuses include "behind-the-scene" features.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "RWBY" V1-4 is encouraged to email me; you also can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.