Welcome back to Otaku Thursday! Today, I am coming at you with yet another rant. Last week it was all about Shaman King and how bad that was…this week I’m not talking about how bad something was. I’m talking about how pointless I think it was: and that show is RWBY Ice Queendom. Let’s break it down.
Okay, so first off, I want to take a moment to talk about the fact that RWBY Ice Queendom is an anime based off of a cartoon that was designed to look like a Japanese anime. Now, when I say based on–I really do mean based on. Ice Queendom isn’t exactly an adaption–I’d almost even call it a side story or something. They start the anime off pretty close to how the original web cartoon starts. We are missing some characters, but like, it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. Because the main eight are there, and that’s all that matters. Plus it’s not like they actually keep the plot so it REALLY doesn’t matter. ANYWAY, so we get to episode two–and that’s where things start feeling weird. It just like felt it had skipped a forward in volume one a lot–but also maybe it hadn’t? I couldn’t tell. Again, didn’t really matter because suddenly here comes the new plot. It could’ve been really good–it could’ve been something epic–something that really builds character or does something different and it was–a dream. Fucking dreams.
Now, what I mean by that, is that the majority of this anime took place in a dreamworld/nightmare sequence. One of the main conflicts was that there was some sort of curse that was affecting the hunters and huntresses (or at least Jaune and Weiss). It was taking their insecurities or inner thoughts and trapping them into dream worlds that they had to be saved from. We got a teaser of what the dreams were and how to solve them through Jaune and his team. And then we reveal Blake’s heritage as a faunus and reveal how that’s like a big no-no for Weiss, and then Weiss is suddenly asleep in her nightmare world. Which, by the by, for those of you unfamiliar with RWBY–Weiss is not the main character. Ruby is. BUT Ice Queendom? All about Weiss. Which, I didn’t mind at first.
HOWEVER, the dream experience inside her head felt like a video game. The characters would go in, solve ‘puzzles’, fight things, wake up, and then have to try again with the stakes getting higher and higher of Weiss being able to never wake up. The dream Weiss was having was very Through the Looking Glass, highlighting some of the coolest parts of RWBY but with no context. For instance, Atlas–Weiss’ homeland which we just saw in RWBY volume 7 and 8, was animated. We saw her family drama–her dad, brother, sister, drunk mom. We got to see Jaune’s insecurities about himself (and yet not that he cheated his way into Beacon). We got to see Blake as part of the White Fang and have her kind of lean into it in the dreamworld and become a powerful ‘nightmare’ to face Weiss. It felt very messy and just–why? As a fan of RWBY–it just felt like an odd direction for the anime. And for a non-RWBY fan…it felt like you were missing so many things. I don’t know. It was just…weird. Also, it felt like time JNPR was an accessory–like they had no real business even being in the anime, which was unfortunate. They really felt like they were being forced into the story for certain things.
The good news is that the animation really was nice–most of the time. Well, maybe I should actually say that the action sequences were nice. I thought they looked really good, and it was delightful to see Monty’s action sequences in actual anime form. However, I felt that–and maybe this was a stylistic choice–sometimes their heads just looked weirdly BIG. Like, only in certain moments but it was like hella distracting. I will also say that even though it looked cool, I thought that Ruby herself almost looked too soft and cute. Even Yang was much softer featured than I anticipated design-wise, but I still liked the overall style of the show. Plus, Weiss got probably one of the best outfits she’s ever had from this show in that commander looking coat and hat combo. Pure perfection.
Overall though, I was let down pretty hard by Ice Queendom. Whether I looked at it from the standpoint of a RWBY fan or a newbie…something just didn’t quite sit right with it. Which is a shame, because it could’ve been incredibly good for a side story. Still, I’m glad I watched it–and I’m glad it was made. However, I’m going to sit over here and look forward to Volume 9 instead.