RWBY: Official Manga Anthology - Red Like Roses Vol. 1 TP
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 23, 2018
Price: $12.99
Creator(s): Monty Oum, Rooster Teeth Productions
Format: 184 pgs., B&W w/ Color, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0157-5
Age Rating: Teen
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

This is a book whose core audience will be the existing fans of the RWBY manga series, but perhaps not even all of those.

The strength of this anthology is that it permits a variety of creators to try to add depth to the cast of characters from the core manga series.  The weakness is that it has very little of the action/adventure aspect of that manga.  Thus, it is rather like a school story about the heroes of an adventure tale, not necessarily what the readers want, even if it’s very enjoyable.

In this case, the tales are mostly clever and interesting, but with an odd mixture of emotions and humor.  Serious tales about why the characters are at the school for monster hunters are mixed with stories about a major female character being weirdly desperate for an immediate boyfriend, or other personal tales of team costume choices.

So, RWBY fans who want to get a deeper look into the world in which the manga takes place will find a lot in this anthology.  Those who have not yet begun to read the main story will be utterly baffled.  Fans who just want the adventure story just won’t care.  The quality of the writing and art varies, but not too wildly.  Only the subject matter wanders far afield, from tale to tale.

For teens and up who are fans of the main RWBY series.  Limited violence and fan service.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.