Publisher: VIZ Signature
Release Date: January 17, 2018
Price: $14.99
Creator: Shirow Miwa
Format: 250 pgs., B&W w/ Ltd. Color, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9512-2
Age Rating: Teen
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

The world of RWBY is one which doesn’t lend itself to the VIZ Signature line of manga very well. Rather than something more artistic, this is a very "normal" manga put into a fancier package.

That is not to say that this is a bad manga, only that it’s more expensively packaged than "regular" manga, costing more per page than its audience will be used to.  In addition, readers used to the more mature VIZ SIG line of manga may be disappointed in this more traditional "battle the monsters" story line.

The world of RWBY is not much different from other fantasy manga, other than that the monsters have gotten out into the world, and need to be beaten down while running around the countryside.  The book doesn’t explain the small teams or other aspects of the anime-style story, and barely defines the characters, so there is room for improvement during the series.

This volume contains the main fighting team [whose code name happens to be "RWBY" as well as their "competitors," JNPR, in situations where both are still learning their monster-hunting "trade."  That is a minor weakness in the story, because we don’t really see any more skilled hunters, and the story in the manga doesn’t make clear why that would be.

There is fan service and lots of cartoon violence against monsters, but nothing too grotesque.  Overall, this is a good manga that could be better, and the contents are suitable for teens and adults.

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