DVD Review: RWBY – Volume 2
01/02/2016 Leave a comment
After several delays the UK release of RWBY – Volume 2 has finally arrived; but was it worth the wait? Well let’s take a look in our latest DVD review.
Team RWBY is back and ready for their second semester at Beacon, an academy that trains the world’s strongest fighters. But real life doesn’t stop. Between classes and homework, they still have to find time to save the world. And between the White Fang, Roman Torchwick, and a mysterious new trio, they certainly have their work cut out for them!
For me the second volume of RWBY offers a real variation of content and storytelling; majority of which is shrouded in mystery and deceit that, even once finished, still provides no clear cut answer. The comical banter, the action-packed and amazingly animated fight-scenes return but unlike the first volume (season) something feels missing… and when new characters enter the fray without any prior introduction things just get even more awkward. Still with this being said RWBY – Volume 2 provides the right amount of entertainment at the right time; just don’t try watching it all at once as it is quite long.
With the events of the first volume long-since-forgotten (quite literally) a new series of events begins to unfold itself on screen; and some more progressive than others. The main talking point of this volume is the threat of White Fang causing a disruption within the city; but elsewhere a bigger threat looms in the form of Torchwick’s boss and her minions – all three of which have infiliated Beam academy and begun their plan of attack. What exactly this ‘plan of attack’ is remains to be scene but there are still plenty of other topics at hand to keep your attention.
As mentioned Torchwick’s attack on the city is the main talking point of this volume; as it sees Team RWBY independently becoming a recon team, and bending the rules slightly, in order to uncover their true motives of attacking the city. This task, which no-matter how you slice it, fills up most of this volume, but surrounding it is the affection and well being of key characters from within the school grounds; namely involving Blake and Jean. In order to drive-up moral, and bring everyone together, team RWBY organize a school dance and during which we see more of Blake’s personal side show on screen as well as Jaune Arc open up his feelings about Weiss to other characters; we even get to see the ‘mighty’ Prryha show her soft side as well. It’s an interesting look into the ‘personal’ side of these characters but it is ultimately short-lived.
While there is a nice-balance between investigative action and school-room banter, including an exceptional amusing moment which sees ruby’s dog delivered by mail as well as a ten-minute food fight, the volume as a whole doesn’t feel as complete as the previous release. The lack of introduction, and build-up, to some key characters within the show loses some of its overall appeal and the unprogressive nature of events means that we only get to see half of the action unfold on screen. Torchwick’s plan of causing destruction with Grim is fun to watch; but it’s only half the story being told… and now we’ve got to wait for the third volume (or watch it on Rooster Teeth’s chanel) before finding out what happens next.
While the events of this volume left me wanting something more ‘conclusive’ the amount of bonus content included remains on par with the previous volume. To accompany the release we have a selection of behind-the-scenes documentaries, cast-commentaries and a selection of trailers for other Rooster Teeth productions; all of which are separated into different areas of the disc.
The main extra features list showcase ‘World of Rement’ and ‘Production Diaries’; both of which explore deeper into the world of RWBY. The world of Remant for instance splits off the different nations and gives the viewer a brief explanation of each-one; Produciton Diaries on the other hand see various staff, including the creator, provide explanations on the production process of making this second volume a reality and the changes made from the first volume.
Commentaries, which are found in the audio setup menu, for instance are separated into Directors, Animators, Cast and Tech Team; with each one offering their differences of opinion and analyasis of the show. For instance when watching the cast commentary we discover what it was like doing the voice over for the show and challenges that were met; but when watching the animators commentary we see (or technically hear) them explaining how certain scenes were created and differences from the past season. Basically there is lots of interesting stuff to be heared; and it adds a further 11 hours onto a nearly 3 hour presentation already.
Rounding-off the selection of bonus content is of course a selection of trailers; namely promotional content for other Rooster Teeth productions, as well as a general trailer for Season two (aka Volume 2) of RWBY. All-in-all it’s a nice selection of content and while it may not be as expansive as the previous volume it does offer quality; especially if you are keen to know more about the show itself.
Media: DVD 9
Running Time: 2:32:11
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 44kbps & Dolby Digital 2.0 96kpbs (English)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
To someone who had never seen RWBY the first volume was an interesting surprise; as it magically combined elements of both Japanese and American cultures for a splendid show that could be loved by all. This second release, otherwise dubbed as Volume 2 (or Season 2 if you prefer) allows us to return us to this world to future explore the issues at hand; however just like a traditional American TV series a conclusion isn’t at hand and now we have to wait for the next volume. Of course this isn’t a bad thing; but when the first volume offered a nice conclusion (from what i recall) it is a bit disappointing that this isn’t the same.
The story here is that Team RWBY are attempting to track down White Fang and put a stop to their plan; with their plan in question being to lure Grimm into the city to cause chaos. However this isn’t the true story at hand; as Torchwick’s boss has infiltrated Beam academy and managed to do something of her own; what exactly we do not know at this time. Alongside this ‘detective’ story we see notable characters get closer together in preparation for the schools ballroom dance as well as the usual inclusion of banter between characters. The action, the comedy and the characters all remain true to form; it’s just the secretive and inconclusion nature of the story that lets it all down. An ending exists; but it’s not the one we want and even the post credits scene leaves us asking more questions.
In regards to this DVD release by Animatsu then i can’t help but feel its lacking in presentation quality. The picture and sound quality remain consistent throughout, with the amount of bonus content being more than sufficient to please die-hard RWBY fans; but the layout of the DVD disc menu just seems so basic and amateurish. For starters RWBY can be played in two different forms; as a film or as the original broadcast episodes; however instead of being separated as such it’s simply Play, Scenes and Chapters. Play is to play the film itself and scenes is in references to scenes (chapter markings from the film) and Chapters is supposed to be the ‘episodic format’ however it is pretty much laid out the same as the scenes section. Furthermore when looking at the layout for the bonus content it is all simple text and, albeit nice, artwork; nothing fancy of expressive. Maybe i am being too difficult; but it just screams basic.
I was looking forward to Volume 2 of RWBY; but the events that unfolded in this particular season do not match in quality to those of the first, which is a real shame as the traits are all there. In regards to this DVD release then it is a great way of having your favourite web-show on a disc and available to watch at anytime; the inclusion of 5.1 Surround – which actually makes a difference – was also a great choice; however the relatively basic and clumsy nature of the DVD menu tends to let this release down slightly.
RWBY – Volume 2 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD within the UK.