When Rooster Teeth’s animation superstar Monty Oum passed away recently at the age of 33, he left behind a remarkable legacy in the world of web animation. Some fans have been devotees of his work since his wildly popular video Haloid; others discovered him through his work on the internet classic Red vs Blue. But Oum is without a doubt best known and loved as the creator of RWBY, an action-filled anime series with a HUGE variety of female characters.
Now, we’re all in love with the idea of the strong female character. She’s tough, no-nonsense, and decidedly unfeminine (but never unattractive). But more often than not, she’s still mostly distinguished by her status as THE token female – or at least the only important one. And while the classic “cold-hearted bitch” heroine is always a pleasure to see, audiences and media alike seem convinced that this is the only way to write an empowered woman.
So, here’s the big question: can a female character be needy/emotional/naive/girly/insecure and still kick ass? RWBY says yes – all of the above.
Our heroine is the pure-hearted Ruby Rose, a young girl with a fairy tale-esque dream of protecting the world from evil. She’s joined by Weiss, a wealthy heiress whose more-than-occasional snobby perfectionism masks a heap of self-doubt issues. Their third teammate is Blake, a mysterious girl fighting to escape a past full of regret, pain, and darkness. And then there’s Yang, who made her debut appearance by holding a dude’s balls hostage and destroying an entire nightclub.
And those are just the main characters. Interesting women as friends? Rivals? Role models? Villains? RWBY’s got them all. Combine that with impeccably choreographed fight scenes and Tolkien-scale depth of worldbuilding and lore, and you’ve got yourself a show that’s definitely worth checking out.
Though the production status of the series is currently uncertain following Oum’s passing, I definitely encourage you to watch the show that continues the legacy of creativity and passion he put into his work.