RWBY Official Manga Anthology: Volume 3 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux
Nov 29, 2018 - 4:18

Viz Media
Writer(s): Various, Joe Yamasaki, Jason A Hurley
Artist(s): Various
Letterer(s): Evan Waldinger
Cover Artist(s): Ein Lee
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0281-7
$12.99 U.S., $17.99 CAN, £8.99 U.K., 168pp, B&W with some color, paperback
Rating: T (Teen)

RWBY Anthology Graphic Novel Volume 3 cover image

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Based on the animation from Rooster Teeth Productions; RWBY created by Monty Oum

Streamed over the Internet, “RWBY” is an American animated series.  The late Monty Oum created the series for Rooster Teeth Productions (an American company), which is known for its streaming and web animated series.  “RWBY” is produced in a Japanese anime style, although some consider it to be an actual anime series.  It is the first western-produced anime series to be distributed to Japanese television.

“RWBY” is set on the world of Remnant, which is beset by “Grimm,” horrific monsters bent on the destruction of humanity.  The kingdoms of Remnant have risen to combat these monsters by training powerful Huntsmen and Huntresses at academies around the planet. “RWBY” focuses on Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long, four such Huntresses-in-training who are collectively known as “Team RWBY.”

RWBY The Official Manga Anthology collects original short manga and comics set in the world of RWBY.  Each graphic novel in the series showcases a particular member of Team RWBY.  RWBY The Official Manga Anthology, Vol. 3 is subtitled “From Shadows.”  It focuses on Blake Belladonna, the RWBY member who belongs to a race known as the “Faunus.”

The stories reveal how Blake initially worries about how she will fit in with her human teammates, who are also her roommates.  A few of the stories reveal that Blake uses her hair ribbons to hide the most obvious sign of being a Faunus, her cat-like ears.  In the story, “Curiosity Killed the Cat,” Blake tackles a school legend about a cursed mirror – with help of her teammate, Yang Xiao Long's dog, Zwei.  In the story, “Proof of a Black Cat,” an early period story, Blake learns to trust a new teammate when it comes to helping with her sword work.

[This volume contains commentary one-panel cartoons from the cartoonists that contributed to this volume.  It also includes “Message from Ein Lee.”]

THE LOWDOWN:  As I have stated in previous RWBY manga reviews, I had not heard of “RWBY” until I received a VIZ Media press release that it was going to collect Shirow Miwa's 2015-2017 manga adaptation of the anime.  My VIZ Media press rep has sent me all three volumes of the RWBY The Official Manga Anthology manga published to date.

RWBY The Official Manga Anthology Graphic Novel Volume 3 is, thus far, my favorite volume of the series.  Why?  For one thing, I think the manga/comics contained within this volume, short as they are, seem the most focused.  Many of them have a plot or solid concept, and only a few of them seem to be nothing more than a gathering of girl friends having a chat and a laugh.

I think another element that makes Vol. 3 strong is that Black Belladonna belongs to a persecuted minority.  Thus, the cartoonists can take various aspects of Blake's character or life and create conflict or drama about her fitting in at the academy or learning to trust her fellow RWBY teammates.  Even something as simple as Blake's hair ribbons can yield interesting moment and vignettes.  I would actually enjoy more Belladonna stories like this.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of the “RWBY” anime will want the VIZ Signature title, RWBY The Official Manga Anthology.

7.5 out of 10

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