For various reasons, I have gotten a little behind with some animated shows I follow, especially RWBY (pronounced ‘Ruby’). I had to pause the series mid-way through season 3, and haven’t been able to pick it back up. I’m now multiple full seasons behind, and I’ve found out via social media etc that there’s some big changes at the end of season 3. Here’s why that matters: RWBY: After the Fall is a light novel side story of sorts that takes place after the events concluding season 3. So, if you’re up to date at least through season 3, or you don’t’ mind some suggested spoilers, then you’ll be fine.
This novel take up the story of team CFVY (pronounced ‘Coffee’), a team of Hunters and Huntresses in training a year ahead of the RWBY team who are the focus of the main series. I liked the story since it expanded the world of Remnant without giving a lot away about the main plotline, and it’s a chance to get to know some side characters who turn out to be pretty interesting themselves. The basic premise is that in this fantasy world, humanity lives under threat of the Grimm, shadowy demonic monsters, and you can go to school to train to be a hunter or Huntress, a professional killer of Grimm/defender of people. Beacon Academy is where the main story starts, and some significant changes happen towards the end of season 3 that results in the students’ scattering. Team CFVY (Coco, Fox, Velvet, Yatsuhashi) end up at Shade Academy in Vacuo, which is basically a barren desert area. The team has been sent out in response to a distress call, and they find a group of travelers who are trying to cross the dessert areas in search of a safe place from the Grimm and all the other natural threats that surround them. The team decides to help out a bit, and discovers that something is not right, and naturally must get to the bottom of things to protect the innocent and stop the villains and monsters.
The characterization is what’s mostly interesting. Coco is the cool on the outside leader, who has some serious doubts about her leadership abilities, Fox is a blind fighter from Vacuo, Velvet is a Faunus (human with animal attributes, in Velvet’s case, rabbit ears) who seems like the weak link of the team but has her moments, and Yatsushi is the big powerful guy who actually has all kinds of personal doubts about his abilities and how people seem to perceive him. None of these things are terribly original in themselves, but they do make for a light, entertaining combination.
The plot itself is a little slow and drags a bit in places, but the reveals and eventually conclusion work out pretty well. It’s not something to pick up if you don’t have some familiarity with the animated series by Rooster Teeth, but it’s some generally harmless light entertainment if you do.