First Look: RWBY Chibi
With three seasons of the award-winning anime RWBY under their belts, May 2016 saw the Rooster Teeth Animation team launch the series’ younger sibling – RWBY Chibi.
RWBY Chibi is a series of short, non-canonical skits set in the RWBY universe. It’s cute, it’s fun, and best of all, it’s what happens when enthusiastic creators write fanfiction for their own show.
This is new territory for Rooster Teeth’s Animation Department. Previous offerings, such as Red vs. Blue, X Ray and Vav, and even The Strangerhood all follow the usual conventions of storytelling to help build their overarching plots. Other animated Rooster Teeth offerings such as the long-running RTAA and Minimations are based on conversations pulled from the weekly Podcasts or Achievement Hunter Let’s Plays. RWBY Chibi, however, is the first step in an entirely new direction; it has to be purpose-written, and it has to be written efficiently.
Each episode contains three to five sketches featuring team RWBY and friends. The show is a light-hearted way to get to know the characters of Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang, without the perpetual heart-stopping fear for their safety in Remnant. Writers Kerry Shawcross and Miles Luna have taken the characters they know inside out and removed their context, letting their fictional personalities shine and allowing for the over-the-top hijinks that fuel Chibi.
The fight scenes RWBY is famous for are replaced with adorable counterparts, such as those shown in “Weiss and Yang Training”, and “Reloading”. With the darker tone that the main series has recently adopted, it’s almost a relief to see Chibi‘s emotional one-eighty that is at its best in the heartwarming segment “The Fourth Wall”, and Yang’s fiery reaction in “Marshmallows”.
It’s early days yet, but in every episode you can see how much fun the production team has had bringing RWBY Chibi to life. The show’s greatest strength lies in the fact that it is very much the kind of content the community has come to expect from Rooster Teeth over the years. The stories are good fun, the animation is well polished, and the episodes are presented in easy to digest three minute blocks. RWBY Chibi is, without a doubt, a fantastic addition to the RT Summer of Animation lineup.