ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘RWBY: The Official Manga,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

RWBY The Official Manga

RWBY: The Official Manga Volume 1 is written and illustrated by Bunta Kintami, and published by VIZ Media. Based on the RoosterTeeth animated web series created by Monty Oum, RWBY – The Official Manga follows the adventures of Ruby Rose. Ruby is accepted into the prestigious Beacon Academy where she trains to be a Huntress. She soon forms a bond with three other students; her hyperactive sister Yang Xiao Long, the haughty heiress Weiss Schnee, and the mysterious Blake Belladonna.

RWBY – The Official Manga largely sticks to the events that happened in the series, namely the first eight episodes. However, it’s not afraid to deviate from canon. The biggest deviation is how Ruby acts. In the RWBY web series, she’s fairly shy and hates attention. In the manga, she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. The best example is when she first meets Weiss. Weiss insults her after the two bump into each other, and Ruby calls her “a stuck up princess” with “a prissy haircut”.

However, her motivation to become a Huntress remains the same as in the show; she claims she wants to “be a hero who saves everyone, like in the storybooks.” This determination is a common trait in many shonen heroes, particularly Izuku “Deku” Midorya from My Hero Academia. To see it with a female character is honestly refreshing and a good step forward for manga.

While the rest of Team RWBY isn’t as fleshed out as Ruby, they’re still very distinct characters. Weiss puts her pride above all else and slowly learns to soften up and depend on others. Yang is extremely energetic, providing several of the book’s laughs. And Blake, though blunt with her statements, is highly observant. RWBY fans will also see fan-favorite characters in the first volume including Pyrrha Nikkos and Jaune Arc.

Kintami also manages to introduce RWBY’s concepts in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming. There’s a lot of history in this fictional world, including the lore behind the Hunters, Dust, and Aura. Kintamani uses the action sequences to introduce these concepts, especially in the back half of the book. Since the action is the biggest draw of the book, Kintami can showcase an element of the lore and then expand on it.

Kintami favors two page spreads for most of her action sequences. This helps showcase the immense size of the monstrous Grimm; more importantly, it makes our heroines’ victories feel all the more impressive. Ruby gets the lion’s share of the action; she appears to leap from page to page, her scythe carving through Grimm with ease. Perhaps the most intense sequence features Team RWBY combatting a Nevermore, a Grimm that looks like a giant raven. Kintami writes the heroines as a single unit, pooling their multiple skills to defeat the Nevermore. It’s truly a sight to behold.

RWBY: The Official Manga, Volume 1 is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the television series. Hardcore Rooster Teeth fans and people looking to hop into RWBY will find a great jumping-on point with this book.

RWBY: The Official Manga, Vol 1 will be available on July 21, 2020, wherever comics are sold. It is also available to read on VIZ’s official site.

RWBY: The Official Manga, Volume 1
4.5

TL;DR

RWBY: The Official Manga, Volume 1 is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the television series. Hardcore Rooster Teeth fans and people looking to hop into RWBY will find a great jumping-on point with this book.