The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs the Original Series

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs Original
Credit: Shaft

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs Original
Credit: Shaft

RWBY: Ice Queendom is not a reboot but a 'canon-adjacent' adventure that takes us back to the early days of RWBY. But what are the main differences between RWBY: Ice Queendom and the original Rooster Teeth animation?

Different Art Styles

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs Original Art
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The art style of the original RWBY has developed quite a bit since the early days when passersby were mere sketches due to budget constraints.

The fantasy anime influences of RWBY were clear from day 1, in the characters' big eyes and colored hair, costumes, and so on, but the series was still 3D animated and produced in the West.

In that sense, RWBY: Ice Queendom almost feels like a logical progression; everyone knew RWBY would make a great anime. But still, the 2D animation looks quite different, reminding us that the original wasn't a Japanese anime.

Which style serves the story and characters better? This is a matter of personal preference, and we do expect some debates.

RWBY: Ice Queendom Fleshes Out the Beginning of RWBY

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs Original Beginning
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Credit: Rooster Teeth

The original RWBY didn't dwell on the gritty details of characters' backstories until several episodes and sometimes seasons in.

Weiss's struggle to forge her own path as a Huntress - without her family's support - was not depicted in the original. Neither was the turning point in Blake's life when she decided to leave her boyfriend Adam and the organization they were both parts of when it became an extremist group.

RWBY: Ice Queendom sheds some light on the girls' struggles early on, making them all more relatable.

Differences in Episode Pacing

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs Original Pacing
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Credit: Shaft

As an anime, RWBY: Ice Queendom has 24-minute episodes. Nowadays, the original also has anime-length episodes most of the time but this wasn't always the case.

The first episodes were only a few minutes long, making it harder to feel fully immersed and causing pacing issues. Thankfully, this got fixed later on.

The Orginal Still Had a Less Rushed Start

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs Original Rushed
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Credit: Rooster Teeth

It took a little while for the original RWBY show to prove itself, but this isn't to say that it didn't have its own merits, with many fans considering even the initial seasons to be an underrated gem.

Nowadays, if you watch the entire first and second seasons of RWBY as a movie, the pacing issues won't even be that prominent.

And while, as we mention above, RWBY: Ice Queendom did a good job at introducing backstories early, it still feels a bit rushed, especially when it comes to minor characters.

Jaune's lying about his abilities in order to enroll in Beacon, his relationship with Pyrrha, Penny's introduction, and the team's reaction when they find out about Blake's identity were all a bit more fleshed out in the original.

Granted, the first episodes of Ice Queendom are a bit of a recap, and, since it already added detail where the original lacked, it couldn't be expected to do everything - especially where the original did just fine anyway.

A long-time RWBY fan will have no trouble understanding what's going on in the first three episodes of Ice: Queendom but a newcomer might find it a bit information-rich and too fast-paced if they aren't familiar with the setting.

Weiss's Character Development

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs Original Weiss
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Credit: Shaft

Both shows portray Weiss as a defrosting ice queen who starts off proud and snobbish but learns to express her feelings and trust her teammates early on.

RWBY: Ice Queendom thankfully averts excessive drama in that regard, but, so far, Weiss feels a little more calculating and a little less honest in her attempts to connect with her team.

This, of course, might be partly due to her infection by Grimm, an element that didn't exist in the original, as we don't expect her personality to unfold too differently otherwise.

Related: RWBY Volume 9 Theories and Predictions

New Characters

The Differences in RWBY: Ice Queendom Vs the Original Characters
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Credit: Shaft

RWBY: Ice Queendom introduces Shion, a which-like character who specializes in defeating Grimm that affects people's dreams.

As RWBY: Ice Queendom aims to tell a new story, it's expected to have its share of characters we haven't met in the original; but who knows? The release date of RWBY Volume 9 might even reintroduce them!

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