Rooster Teeth Productions held their fifth annual event, RTX, in Austin, Texas this past weekend, and many eyes were on the writers, animators, and voice actors behind one of their flagship shows, RWBY.
In one of the very first panels of RTX, show writers Kerry Shawcross and Miles Luna joined animation lead Gray Haddock, as well as voice actresses Barbara Dunkelman, Lindsay Jones, Kara Eberle, and Arryn Zech in front of an audience inside the Hilton Grand Ballroom, which was filled to capacity. There was an empty seat on stage, dedicated to the late Monty Oum, the show's creator, who passed away in February. A moment of silence began the panel, and a memorial wall that all attendees could sign and show their creativity was on the floor of Austin Convention Center during the duration of RTX.
The team went on to talk about the show's success, which now has distribution in Japan. The Japanese voice cast was announced in June. While many claim it is the first American made anime to cross into Japan, the show's production team were quick to avoid any controversy surrounding the topic of whether or not RWBY is considered an anime or not by proclaiming that the show "is it's own genre".
Haddock showed off the newest of the RWBY figures from McFarlane Toys, Ren, which became available for purchase at RTX and soon to be available at the Rooster Teeth store. Ren is the last in Team JNPR to receive a figure, and now the complete set of Team JNPR and Team RWBY are available for purchase.
The pre-alpha of the RWBY video game was available for demo at RTX. The team gave no timeline as to the release of the game, but said everyone was working hard and that production of the game has gone favorably. Zech tweeted a photo of herself playing as Blake, the character she voices in the show.
Shawcross showed off the new set for Volume 3, which will feature the Vytal Festival and combat tournament. The festival has been alluded to in the past two volumes, and the art for the event was officially shown at RTX. The center stage, which will feature the combat tournament, is a hexagon that can change biomes that create challenging scenarios for the contestants. Shawcross also showed off art work of food stands and vendors within the festival, likely for scenes that do not contain combat.
Two new characters where showed off, as well as their voice actors announced at the panel. The first was Winter Schnee, the older sister of Weiss Schnee. She will be voiced by Elizabeth Maxwell, who has a long list of voice acting credits to her resume. Next was Uncle Qrow, who has been referred to over the past two volumes. He will be voiced by Vic Mignogna, one of the most recognizable English voice actors in the world.
In a more serious tone, the crew discussed the future of Lie Ren, who was voiced by Monty Oum. Haddock announced that the character will be voiced by Oum's older brother, Neath Oum. Haddock said that the character will sound different, but he hopes the community accepts Neath as the new voice of Ren.
"He's working really hard” Haddock said. “He’s not a professional actor, but he cares very, very much about doing right by the part."
In a seperate panel, it was announced that Rooster Teeth Animations, the creative arm of RWBY as well as their new show X-Ray And Vav will be teaming up with Frederator Studios, the creators of the hit web shows Bravest Warriors and Bee & Puppycat. So far, the partnership has only included merchandise, but more details will be announced soon.
The fandom of RWBY has exploded to heights even the creators are surprised to see, with cosplayers from the show being prevalent at conventions around the world. While Rooster Teeth has a community of fans that has been building since the release of their flagship show Red Vs Blue twelve years ago, many RWBY fans seem to exist outside that community. The popularity of RWBY has took the show from Youtube to Netflix and Crunchyroll, and the soundtrack to RWBY Volume 1 was number one on iTunes top seller list for soundtracks in November of 2013, beating out heavywight The Hunger Games. With a fan base growing in numbers, a global distribution plan, and a cast and crew continuing to be excited by the project, it is clear that Monty Oum's legacy continues to carry on as strong as ever.