Coming full circle after creator, the late Monty Oum, sought to capture “the essence of the flat, line-drawn look of traditional anime” in its aesthetics and direction, Rooster Teeth has announced that their RWBY will officially be receiving a canon anime series from an all-star production team.
Officially revealed on March 25th after a premature announcement by Crunchyroll the day before, RWBY: Ice Queendom, a “canon adjacent” story featuring “new characters, new settings, new surprises, and (of course) new Grimm.”
Conceptualized by Gen Urobuchi, (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kamen Raider Gaim), RWBY: Ice Queendom will be animated by Shaft (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), directed by Kenjirō Okada (March Comes In like a Lion), and feature scripts by Tow Ubukata (Ghost in the Shell: Arise).
The series will feature characters designs conceptualized by illustrator huke (Black★Rock Shooter) and finalized for animation by Nobuhiro Sugiyama (Arakawa Under the Bridge), as well as visual direction from Nobuyuki Takeuchi (Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game), who alongside Yoshiaki Ito (Tenchi the Movie – Tenchi Muyo in Love) and Hiroki Yamumura (Kizumonogatari trilogy) will also serve as the project’s chief animation directors.
Nobuko Toda and Kazumi Jinnouchi (Netflix’s Ultraman) round out the production crew as the series’ composers.
RWBY: Ice Queendom will also see a number of RWBY core series’ English and Japanese voice actors return to reprise their roles, including Lindsay Jones and Saori Hayami as Ruby Rose:
Barbara Dunkelman and Ami Koshimizu as Yang Xiao Long:
Arryn Zech and Yu Shimamura as Blake Belladonna:
Kara Eberle and Yōko Hikasa as Weiss Schnee:
Hiro Shimono as Jaune Arc:
Sōma Saitō as Lie Ren:
Kazuhiko Inoue as Professor Ozpin:
Aya Suzaki as Nora Valkyrie:
And Megumi Toyoguchi as Pyrrha Nikos:
Mangaka Kumiko Suekane (Versaille of the Dead), will also adapt RWBY: Ice Queendom into manga form for Kadokawa’s Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine.
Elaborating on the series’ production in a post published to the company’s blog on March 28th, Head of Licensing and Consumer Products at Rooster Teeth Geoff Yetter told fans, “This moment has been a long time coming. Believe it or not, this new show has been in the works for almost a decade.”
“The story goes that, about 8 years ago, Monty was at a convention and stopped by the Good Smile Company booth,” he recalled. “He loved their products and wanted to explore a partnership with them. While they were talking, they started kicking around the idea of creating a new RWBY side-series. But rather than creating it in Austin with CRWBY, this new story would be traditionally animated in Japan by a world class studio.”
He continued, “Flash forward a few years and here we are, bringing this incredible new vision to life with some of the biggest names in anime: BANDAI NAMCO Arts, Good Smile Company, SHAFT, and Crunchyroll, with additional support from Warner Bros. Japan and KLab, Inc. Not only that, but we’ve assembled a dream team of anime heavyweights for the core creative team,”
“And of course,” added Yetter, “Rooster Teeth’s own Kerry Shawcross, Eddy Rivas, Erin Winn, and Christine Brent have been collaborating with the Japan team every step of the way.”
Noting that both fans likely had “a ton of questions” regarding the series, though being wary of the fact that many of them he was “not allowed to answer just yet,” Yetter then moved to answer two of the RWBY fandom’s main inquiries.
“First, the world of RWBY: Ice Queendom is NOT an alternate universe or a reboot,” he wrote. “While the story is set in the same universe as the main show, we’re calling it ‘canon adjacent.’”
“The new show is incredibly faithful to the original, while also taking some fun new liberties to switch things up a bit,” Yetter explained. “The first two episodes of RWBY: IQ will recap V1 – V2 before kicking things off into a bold new adventure, full of new characters, new settings, new surprises, and (of course) new Grimm.”
He further teased, “Not only that, but you’ll also see a ton of familiar faces, too. While changes made to the existing RWBY content are not technically considered canon, it’s a story that absolutely could exist alongside other RWBY content — we just wanted the Japan team to be able to have as much fun with it as they wanted. Now as to what the story of the show is all about….well you’ll just have to wait and see!”
Turning to the next burning question on RWBY fans’ minds, Yetter wrote, “Second, I’ve seen a lot of questions about when and where the show is airing. The show will release this summer; we’ll be sharing the exact release date in the near future.”
“It will premiere on Japanese television, with subtitled and dubbed versions available the same day to audiences on Crunchyroll and Rooster Teeth FIRST,” he confirmed. “New episodes will premiere weekly. It’s also worth noting that episodes will follow traditional anime runtimes.”
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