We just got a question on (cf. Wikipedia). Is RWBY on-topic?

Relevant facts:

  • RWBY is not anime, because it is not Japanese.
  • RWBY is (or claims to be?) inspired by and/or patterned after anime.
  • We accept questions on , which seems similar to RWBY as far as "anime-ness" goes.
  • There was an old meta thread on this topic. It is not authoritative, but it does contain some opinions that may be of interest.
  • There was also a more recent meta thread that has a very good breakdown of the issue by LoganM.

Having never seen RWBY, I have no opinion on this matter myself.

  • 1
    A more recent meta discussion which is relevant: meta.anime.stackexchange.com/questions/415/…. I don't know if RWBY fits the criteria in my answer (I'd never heard of it before today) but that's what we should base the decision on IMO.
    – Logan M
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 19:15
  • 1
    RWBY is not anime, because it is not Japanese. this should be an invalid argument, if you translate anime it becomes cartoon, there should be no limitation in that regards. Anime is not Japanese animation or at least to Japanese people its simple animation or cartoon as it would be called in the US.
    – Prix
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 13:12
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    @Prix Now that's just silly. Are you arguing that Spongebob Squarepants should be on-topic here?
    – senshin
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 17:24
  • There is a huge difference between being silly and wording something completely wrong and yet trying to make it feel right and technically speaking yes it should be open to any cartoon, there is a difference between Japanese animations yes but there is quite a list of nice animations made else where as well and its no like people will start posting about Tom & Jerry or Mikey Mouse and even if they did or do I don't see a single problem with that, after all it will be achieving its goal.
    – Prix
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 17:28
  • @Prix I suppose if that's your opinion, that's fine, but I'm pretty sure you will find huge opposition to the idea of allowing questions about all cartoons irrespective of their origin. That just isn't what this site was created for.
    – senshin
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 17:29
  • Then the first thing that should change is the name and goals, either way it will be down in a few months. Like it or not your statements still stands wrong RWBY is not anime, because it is not Japanese. you should at least change to RWBY was not made in japan, should we consider it off topic? or something alike.
    – Prix
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 17:31
  • @Prix, your argument is relativist, and therefore fallacious. You have to draw the line (get it?) somewhere and you can't be all-inclusive. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 18:31
  • @NobleUplift yep I may be, however the wording RWBY is not anime, because it is not Japanese. is not right, regardless.
    – Prix
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 18:43
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    I definitely have to say RWBY is an anime whether anyone likes it or not. Anime is just another word for cartoons. there's are some differences, but really not that much. Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 9:36
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    This discussion should be carried out on the meta that @LoganM linked, not here. This particular topic is about whether or not RWBY fits our existing criteria. If anyone wants to discuss what those criteria should be, please post on the relevant topic.
    – anon
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 14:55
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    @Prix I think whether RWBY is anime or not is not a grey area, or an opinion. Almost all definitions of the word anime that I've seen boil down to basically "cartoon made in Japan" oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/anime In Japan, they might call all cartoons anime, but in English that isn't the meaning. Some cartoons might be in the spirit of anime, and even indistinguishable from anime unless you knew otherwise, but they still wouldn't be anime.
    – Qiri
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 21:43

5 Answers 5


I skimmed the trailer for it and would say that it should qualify as on topic.

The characters are pretty anime-poi.. most of the time. The backgrounds are not, and reminds me of samurai jack, but then it's a web series, and I'd say the style has to do more with production constraints.


It's hard to say whether or not RWBY is on topic for the site by definition alone. The series itself is very derivative of anime culture, but it stands out on it's own as a genre... in the West at least.

If anything I think we should count it like a self-published work similar to doujinshi works from Japan. Now I'm not saying or claiming RWBY is doujinshi (a self-published work). While it's unique on it's own being the first published web series of it's kind by an American production company, it like the many forms of self-made doujinshi content from Japan, RWBY was made and developed by fans of the subculture just like Touhou and Vocaloid developed in Japan.

We mustn't necessarily dismiss RWBY or works like it as "not anime" simply because it's not from Japan. Sure, in a purely technical sense RWBY is not anime because it doesn't come from Japan. This doesn't mean that it can't become a part of the subculture because it's not from Japan. The subculture has become what it is today not solely, because of Japan (although it is responsible from much of the content) fans from all over the world have made anime what it is today by talking, sharing, parodying, and creating their own content. Some do it by emulation, while others use it for inspiration. It's thanks to the fans anime has become what it is today. Much like sports, it'll never get anywhere without it fans.

RWBY may see cheesy and "unanime-like" at first, but people worked hard on it -- let it grow and develop, perfection is an art yet to be mastered by people. We're already in agreement that doujinshi is on-topic for this site. So instead of arguing whether or not it's anime in a technical sense, why not give RWBY a chance and see if it belongs in the culture? If it's something we like we can keep it, if it's not what we wanted we can shelve it. Don't just think about anime and manga just by where it's from or who it's by, think about anime and manga as a culture. While opinions may vary, it the voice of the community as a whole that determines it's culture.

tl;dr Let's see RWBY for the culture it represents not where it's from and see how it goes from there.


I think the fact that it's in the anime section of Crunchyroll and is anime-styled, like Avatar means that it should on topic.

If you didn't know it was an American production, it'd be a pretty safe guess to say it'd originate from Japan, whereas many other Western animations are easier separated visually.

  • 3
    I don't think "it's in the anime section of Crunchyroll and is anime-styled, like Avatar means that it should on topic" is a definitive guideline... They're a business, its in their interest to reach as wide an audience as possible. We're a special interest group, which means we need to be a bit more selective to stay relevant. It is however, IMO, a valid and relevant point.
    – anon
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 16:51

I'll post up what i have researched, it should be noted that this is incomplete as i tried to limit spoilers as i have yet to see the series (it has been bumped up on my "to watch" list to be watched after Katanagateri)

RWYB is sold in Australia by anime distributor Hanabee, that being said, Hanabee also sells Red VS Blue which is another production by Rooster Teeth which is clearly not anime however RWYB is also simulcasted on Crunchyroll which is focused on streaming East Asian media including anime, manga, drama, music, electronic entertainment, and auto racing content but i don't watch Crunchyroll so i have no idea what other exceptions they have made.

Now to quote Logan M's Post in the Maid Café (メイド喫茶)

IMO for the purposes of this site, we should think of anime/manga as a subculture rather than as media. It's a question of whether RWBY fits into the interests of that subculture.

Thing brings up a very good point, if we look ad Anime as a media then we can only accept animated series made in japan which means Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Aang and The Legend of Korra shouldn't be accepted anymore.

But if we look at Anime as a subculture then we can accept Avatar cause it contains the same feel that an anime carries, ofcause purests would disagree to that. The Boondocks on the other hand looks like anime, both the comic strip and the cartoon were influenced by the creators love of anime and manga and Huey has fantasies which seem quite reminiscent of Afro Samurai (at least from the few episodes i saw), doesn't have the same feel as what Avatar has.

Appleseed which is anime doesn't the same visual style as we normally associate with however it does have that feel which shows that the visual styles is not what make an anime feel like an anime. in RWBY's case it does have that feel of it being an anime (from what i've seen in the trailers) so in my opinion i do believe it should be on topic.


I think it should be counted as on topic.

Right now we are also accepting close to manga things such as Manwha/ Korean web strips.

I think anime like and anime inspired series should be allowed aswell.

  • 1
    This isn't a question about whether or not anime-like or anime-inspired is allowed or not, but more of does RWBY count as anime-like or anime-inspired. Just cuz wiki says they're anime-inspired doesn't mean its true.
    – anon
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 14:54
  • @ton.yeung I would say yes. Even though it is not fully anime-ish I think the anime style is still dominant in the series and should be counted as anime inspired
    – Dimitri mx Mod
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 15:01

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