A year ago, Rooster Teeth rolled out X-Ray & Vav as a test. They claimed that they wanted to gage audience reaction, and if people liked it, it might encourage them to make more.
It's safe to say they got the reaction they were hoping for.
X-Ray & Vav had an incredibly well received season one, but for the creators of Red Vs Blue and RWBY, the prospects of creating a second season of their Saturday morning cartoon presented new challenges. How can they introduce new characters that fans will attach themselves to? How do they develop their characters and create long running story arcs? The show now needed to grow if Rooster Teeth planned on making this a long term production, and season two would be vital to determine whether or not the show would succeed. How did they do?
They knocked it out of the park.
Creators and directors Jordan Cwierz and Lindsay Jones knew exactly what was needed to make the show serious while also keeping to its goofy premise. They introduced many positive things, while only really having one or two misses throughout the season.
Let's start with the main characters, X-Ray (voiced by Ray Narvaez Jr.) and Vav (voiced by Gavin Free). The two are incredibly flawed characters, which makes them immediately relatable. X-Ray and Vav both try to save the world and solve crimes while also dealing with the fact that they're A) not that strong, and B) not that smart. Narvaez and Free make these characters believable, and the two are instantly likable as the unexpected heroes of the city.
Perhaps the greatest asset the show has, however, are the two main supporting characters, Hilda and ORF. Hilda and ORF act as X-Ray and Vav's brains and muscle, as they not only help create the technology they use and plan their schemes, but also, in the case of ORF, help provide positivity and friendship when needed. Hilda is voiced by show co-creator Lindsay Jones, while ORF is voiced by community manager Barbara Dunkelman. This is not the first time Dunkelman and Jones have teamed together - they play sisters Yang and Ruby, respectively, in RWBY. The team of Dunkelman and Jones was the best casting choice in the whole show. They bring the two characters to life, and each infuse a bit of their personality into the role they are playing. The two perfectly contrast each other, and it is clear as to why Rooster Teeth enjoys pairing the two together.
The main villain, The Mad King, is a returning character from the previous season. The Mad King, who is voiced by Ryan Haywood, at times seems like a cliché - greedy CEO who wants to use his power to take over the world. Haywood's infusion into the character, however, makes the character slip from greedy to insane throughout the course of an episode, and makes The Mad King a lot more unpredictable.
Two major characters were introduced in season two - Mogar, a forest dweller on a quest to find his mother, and Ash, a newspaper reporter who quickly becomes involved in the antics of X-Ray and Vav. Mogar is voiced by Michael Jones (Lazer Team, Fairy Tale), while Ash is voiced by veteran voice actress Jessica DiCicco, who has been in hit shows and video games such as Gravity Falls, Adventure Time, and Final Fantasy XIII. While Ash plays a pretty typical role of reporter who finds herself decided between her morals and her career, Mogar is a character is far more complex, and blurs the lines between hero and villain. At times, the Ash character borders on becoming a cliché, but the character becomes more unique closer to the end of the season. There will be plenty more to build off if the character returns next season. For Morgar, he provides the perfect compliment to X-Ray and Vav, and is useful in showing off their weaknesses, as well as their strengths.
A few other characters make appearances to liven up the show and give more depth - Rusty (Gray Haddock), a homeless man who helps X-Ray and Vav in their planning, Dragonface (Kerry Shawcross), a little kid who is a big fan of the crime fighting duo, and Flynt Coal (Colton Dunn), a detective who only speaks in 1950's noir tones.
For any animated project, the animation has to be good in order for it to have any chance at being successful. The team at Rooster Teeth Animation did a fantastic job in this department. The animation is a flash back to the Saturday morning cartoons the audience remembers growing up, and, while completely different than the style they use for RWBY, has a level of professional quality that equals that of a major production.
X-Ray & Vav is a must watch for anyone who is a fan of the ever increasing adult animation genre. The show is available on the Rooster Teeth web site, as well as on Rooster Teeth's official YouTube page. Now that the fan base has been created, Rooster Teeth must continue their development of this show. It is rare when a company is able to create more than one project that is of incredibly high quality and is instantly accepted by fans. For Rooster Teeth Animation, every project they touch seems to turn into gold.