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RWBY is a MMD-stylish web animation series about a group of teenage monster hunters created by Monty Oum of Rooster Teeth Productions which premiered in July 2013. The show details the lives of four teenage girls studying to become monster hunters in the fictional world of Remnant.
On November 7th, 2012, the first of four promotional videos for RWBY (shown below, top left) was posted to Rooster Teeth’s YouTube channel depicting a young girl, later revealed to be Ruby Rose, battling a pack of wolf-like monsters known as Beowolves. Between February and June 2013, three more trailers were released, introducing the characters Weiss Schnee (shown below, top right), Blake Belladonna (shown below, bottom left) and Yang Xiao Long (shown below, bottom right) fighting with their weapons of choice.
The first episode (shown below) explains that the world had been overtaken by monsters of all shapes and sizes, introducing the four girls as students at the prestigious Beacon Academy, a facility to train fighters against these threats. Together, the girls comprise Team RWBY, requiring that they live and train together throughout their four years of school.
The series premiered at the RTX convention on July 5th, 2013 before being made available to stream on Rooster Teeth’s official site on July 18th. A week after the episodes go live, they are uploaded to YouTube. In August, Crunchyroll announced the episodes would be simulcast on their site on their initial release date. Within its first month, RWBY caused a 9% increase of views on the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel, making them the fifth most-viewed channel on the site the week of August 16th. As of October 2013, 14 episodes of RWBY have been released online, while a DVD of the first volume is scheduled to be released on November 12th, 2013.
Death of Monty Oum
On January 23rd, 2015, Monty Oum suffered a severe allergic reaction that left him comatose in the hospital. On January 30th, Rooster Teeth’s founder Michael “Burnie” Burns posted a blog post on the website, linking to a GoFundMe page to support Oum’s medical bills and his family. While the fundraiser surpassed its goal of $50,000 by double the amount within the first 24 hours, Oum passed away at 3:34 PM (EST) on February 1st, 2015. His passing was subsequently announced by Rooster Teeth founder Matt Hullum on the next day. All Rooster Teeth content was put on hold for the day in remembrance, with the exception of the Rooster Teeth Podcast.
On September 24th, 2012, a Facebook fan page was created in anticipation of the show, with its first posts appearing on November 7th. The page has since gained nearly 150,000 likes. Also in November, the /r/RWBY subreddit launched, attracting more than 4,600 subscribers as of October 2013. After the first trailer was released, discussion of the series took place across a number of 4chan boards including /co/ (Comics & Cartoons), /v/ (Video Games) and /vg/ (Video Games General). On November 8th, a wiki and a deviantART group anticipating fan works for the show were both established.
Also that November, the first single topic Tumblr blog dedicated to the show, Fuck Yeah RWBY, was created. However, it only updated that month was succeeded by a second Fuck Yeah RWBY that December. That March, a RWBY confession blog launched, followed by a handful of ask blogs for certain characters as well as shipping blogs. In September 2013, an RPG forum based on the RWBY universe was launched on RPG Motion. Between September and October 2013, #RWBY has been used on Twitter more than 7,000 times, peaking on Thursday evenings when the new episodes go live.