RWBY Ice Queendom Episodes 1-3: S1 Anime Recap

We got a surprise early premiere of the first three episodes! While I have no intention of comparing the anime with the original web series a lot of the first three episodes was like an abridged recap movie of the first season with the end being a setup of the new plot. Instead I’ll try to keep it simple while going over relevant details.

Ruby and Yang

Gist of the setup. Humans lived relatively peaceful lives until one day the GRIMM emerged from the darkness to wreak havoc. When all hope seemed lost they gained access to elemental energy they dubbed “Dust” used to combat the GRIMM among other beneficial uses. The story began with main heroine Ruby Rose at her mom’s grave (because of course the main protagonist of an action show has to have a deceased parent) talking about her big sister Yang Xiao Long (aka best girl) enrolling at Beacon Academy to become a Hunter to protect the world from GRIMM. She hoped to one day join her as she already had combat skills and a sick gun scythe weapon.

Weiss SchneeNext we joined Weiss Schnee on her way to proving to Big Douche Schnee she had the skills to become a Hunter. This scene served to show her family was a mess.

Winter SchneeEven her stoic and magnificent older sister Winter whom she respected most besides her butler. Best part of the Japanese dub (English dub will be uploaded at a later date) was hearing Weiss call Winter “Onee-Sama”. Fantastic. Weiss’ test was a giant robo knight where we got our first glimpse at the excellent animation during fight scenes. She had a tough time, even got scarred, but pulled through as Big Douche begrudgingly let her enroll. Oh yes. She had a sniveling little brother too. I am two Volumes behind on the Original but if I recall he’s like the “Euram Barrows” of the series. Could be wrong but right now it’s not important.

Blake BelladonnaLast or the main quartet was Blake Belladonna. She’s on a train heist mission with Adam to steal Dust from a Schee company cargo. They’re part of the White Fang, former defenders of Faunus (Beast people) rights until they went extremist and now essentially terrorists. This is why as soon as they got the Dust Blake cut the cargo from the train and resigned from the White Fang. Adam was like “She’ll come back eventually.”

Badass RubyBack to Ruby. While out shopping for a gift for Yang the shop was attacked by Torchwick and his thugs.

Thug gets Ruby's attentionBy the way this part made me laugh.

Ruby kicked thug booty and seemed to have Torchwick cornered but he had a bomb ready to blow her to a crisp.

Glynda saves RubyFortunately one of the Beacon Academy teachers, Miss Glynda Goodwitch, used a barrier to block the explosion. Also thank you SHAFT for making her hotter than she already was. While scolding Ruby for playing hero they’re approached by Principal Ozpin who surprised our heroine with an invitation to join Beacon after seeing her impressive skills. That and he recognized her silver eyes. Pops was proud of his girls both joining but had a bad feeling as he saw them off.

Ruby and Yang meet BlakeWhile I’m fairly certain WhiteRose will be the main focus in this universe part of me hopes them including this legendary first Bumblebee meeting (different location but still the same) is more than fanservice. Sadly because it now happened on the airship Yang didn’t get to compliment her pajamas. So before the students could get to Beacon they had to take an initiation test. They’d be sent into the Emerald Forest where GRIMM lurked, grab a Chess Piece and make it to the goal. There’s a catch. While in the forest they’d team up with the first fellow student they saw.

Weiss meets Pyrrha and JauneShowing Jaune because he’s one of the main secondary characters along with Pyrrha and two others. Point of this scene was Weiss wanted to team up with Pyrrha because she’s a great warrior and celebrity when Jaune made his move, annoying her. Pyrrha though secretly thought he’s cute, especially because unlike others he treated her like a cool chick and not a superstar. Later on Weiss would fail to join the same team as Pyrrha.This was Strike One.

Weiss dragging RubyRuby being the kindhearted (shy) cutie she didn’t make a good first impression on the haughty and serious tsundere Weiss. So naturally the first people they saw in the forest were each other. Weiss tried to cheat but because the next person she saw was Jaune settled with Ruby. Yang and Blake meanwhile found each other.

Shion ZaidenNow is a good time to meet the OG character in this universe, Shion Zaiden. They’re (non-binary) on the lookout for a particular type of GRIMM which happened to be in the forest. We would see them and them (Nightmares) again in Episode 3.

Ruby decapitates Crow GRIMMI am not doing the action scenes justice but trust me, the ones we do see are awesome, like the soon to be Team RWBY vs giant crow GRIMM.

Ren and NoraI mentioned two other important side-characters. They’re Ren and Nora. Ren is serious but a cool dood and Nora’s full of energy. They joined the same chess piece as Jaune and Pyrrha, the Rook, so they formed Team JNPR (Juniper), led by Jaune, which he wasn’t exactly thrilled about. More on that next episode.

Team RWBYMeanwhile our heroines conveniently picked up the Knight chess piece becoming Team RWBY, led by RWBY. As we would soon see in Episode 3 that was Strike Two for Weiss.

Weiss acts nice to RubyShe tried to be a team player but it didn’t take long for Weiss to get upset she wasn’t made team leader. While Ruby got advice from Principal Ozpin to do her best as leader Weiss got kind of a scolding to work on her snobbish attitude.

Pyrrha supports JauneMeanwhile during combat practice Jaune got badly beaten in an exhibition. Weiss wondered how such a “weakling” could be the leader of a team with Pyrrha in it and thought she’s pitying him, thus the above screen grab of Weiss pretending to be nice to Ruby. Though puzzled she didn’t question her sudden change of heart.

Jaune tormented by the Nightmare GRIMMBack to Jaune. Pyrrha’s support wasn’t enough to cheer him up. Deep down a dark root grew until it covered his entire body. Shion returned and introduced themselves to the main teams. They’re a Nightmare Hunter. Nightmare were GRIMM that preyed on negative emotions. The more negative thoughts, the easier the target. Jaune was consumed by self doubt and bullying by his father and older brothers (school bullies too like the one in the exhibition though it wasn’t made clear here). The only one who supported him before Pyrrha was his older sister. OG fans know why I hope she makes a cameo. Anyway Shion set up a ritual circle and had Jaune’s homies, because similar to Shamiko’s “Operation Inception” only people the victim trusted could enter their dream world. Saving him was surprisingly easy though the plot cleverly explained it’s because he hadn’t tapped into his magic power yet. Were a Nightmare to possess someone with greater control over their power…Hold that thought.

Weiss and Blake arguingSomething else I didn’t mention until now was Weiss and Blake’s little beef. There were news reports of several robberies besides the one Ruby was involved in and the prime suspects were the White Fang. Weiss immediately suspected them because Faunus were savages but Blake called her out on her discrimination saying it’s because the Schnee Company messed with their land and them. This was put on hold until the second half of Episode 3 where it boiled over. It’s a complicated “both sides did bad things” argument as Weiss mentioned employees suffered too. Blake pretty much revealed her Faunus identity when she said “We were tired of being pushed around”. In case new viewers didn’t notice she hid her ears under a black ribbon. A monkey boy from earlier spotted where she ran off to and helped her locate the robbers’ next target. They of course were Torchwick and the gang.

PennyOne last character to mention in these three episodes was Penny. She is a android. She is an awesome android. We only got a small glimpse of her awesomeness. Newcomers must be made aware of her awesomeness in greater detail at some point.

Weiss apologizes to BlakeAfter the robbers were foiled (off screen) Weiss apologizes to Blake and the two make up. Team RWBY was restored…OR WAS IT!?

Weiss and Nightmare WeissShe tried to hold it in but “teaming up with a Faunus” was Strike Three. Enter Nightmare Weiss. She had a dark root too…

So the premiere was pretty much an abridged retelling of Season 1 of the OG show with some alterations here and there. Some parts here and there, Shion Zaiden and the Nightmare GRIMM are new to this universe. The rest are slightly altered highlights of the first season. While not entirely necessary I suggest newcomers look up RWBY Season 1 on Youtube to get the full picture on things such as Jaune’s bullying and Penny’s debut.

Hopefully with the setup done things will flow more naturally going forward. Good premiere. Excited for more.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
This entry was posted in Episodic Anime posts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to RWBY Ice Queendom Episodes 1-3: S1 Anime Recap

  1. The long-awaited day is finally here! Like you, I really don’t intend to compare this and the OG series either. They are individual entities, while obviously being connected by a loose thread. To my understanding this new series is meant to be considered “canon-adjacent” according to RT. Basically meaning this can be considered to have happened in the OG timeline, but was an untold story until now. Others are free to see it as an AU as well. I personally plan to treat it as its own thing, but this will also depend on how things progress.

    So, now for my thoughts on these first few episodes. I think they were really great! I feel they did a pretty great job of summarizing the major plot points of S1, while expanding on some character developments. I like that they showed more of the Schnee family from the start, and showed the family dynamic early on. I think this was important in providing context as to why Weiss started out with such a snotty attitude and supports her growth as the series progresses.

    I really love Shion as the first of our new character additions! I think they are so interesting, as is the concept of the nightmare grim. I suspect they will have a significant role in helping RBY save Weiss after she turns to the dark side. It kind of seems they are setting up for the plot that they will need to enter Weiss’ dream similar to team JNPR, in order to save her. In that dream world is where I guess the Ice Queen Weiss plot will play out. Either way, I think we’re in for a really interesting time.

    Now, for the Yuri aspects. I definitely see ALOT more chemistry between Weiss and Ruby here than we did in the OG series, and I hope that’s a good sign of things to come. However, I actually found myself feeling pretty optimistic that BBY will still get some shine as well, but will just take a back seat. I suppose time will tell, but despite it being a Shaft production, I have faith RT made them understand the importance of their relationship no matter what timeline they’re in.

    Overall, I think this was a fantastic start to this alternative story, and I’m liking the new direction. Seeing the characters and the animation as a whole in 2D is different, but nice for a change. I will say I did miss some of the music in certain scenes, but at the same time, that’s something that will always keep the OG series relevant. No reason to compare when we can enjoy both in parallel. Excited to see the continuation of Ice Queendom when the official premiere catches up to us.

    Also, this is fairly new info, but it seems RT Execs did confirm Shion as Non-Binary in a Q&A Livestream they did earlier today. I got that impression while I was watching, so I think it’s pretty cool that I guessed correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      For now let’s go with AU. It’s easier and more fun to imagine a RWBY Multiverse.

      As a highlight of the important moments of S1 it was good. Seeing characters appear who show up much later was interesting but for Weiss made sense as she’s the central character.

      It’s possible a lot of this story will be inside Weiss’ dream world. Could be a side-story if that’s the case. We shall see.

      Hope for plenty of WhiteRose and some love for Bumbleby.

      We got a vintage RWBY song for the ED and maybe there will be one for the OP.

      I love the 2D art. So good.

      Wait will surely be worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tbiscut74 says:

    This was a great premiere!

    I really like Shion’s design!

    The animations great!

    I am so pumped for some WhiteRose scenes!

    Excited to see where this is going.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. opaco1234 says:

    If start very well, probably how the original author want it look, is also seen more Weiss centry since they give the time of other character like Blake to her.


  4. cirno9fan says:

    They’ve really changed up quite a lot. Even if RT is giving some PR, I’d trust it about as much as FF7R’s PR. This is definitely an AU. Too much is not what it was in the original (e.g. they did the test before they even made it to beacon. The show even said as much)

    That aside, these first three episodes moved through the plot way way too fast. Anyone watching this that didn’t watch the original, at least the first volume, probably more, will likely be pretty lost. JNPR being best of friends in less than 24 hours is pretty jarring. At least RWBY are taking it slower (except I guess Yang and Blake)….it’s mainly just Weiss and Ruby that are slowly and more naturally developing their relationship. Hopefully it’s not gonna follow in the footsteps of the original, and put all that development to waste as some annoying guys take the limelight.

    The action scenes were definitely amazing~ I am loving how they’re handling Weiss so far! Just hoping this time things work out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kotori_Sonoda says:

    My friends were already fans of RWBY while I was a total newcomer, I guess they sort of encouraged me to watch this!
    Action is pretty damn cool, and of course we have the misfits team of main characters that will grow closer over time.
    Eps 1-3 move at a breakneck pace. Maybe too fast! Was able to follow the story but it really seems like they want to put in as much story as possible (and reading statements above, its basically a rush retelling of the original series’ first season so no wonder!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      That’s what I said in the introduction. These 3 episodes were a like a recap movie of the first season with extra scenes setting up the new story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s