Monty Oum and the Future of RWBY

What next for the beloved anime series?

Monty Oum in 2013
Monty Oum in 2013 (Photo by John Anderson)

When fans and creators gather in Austin for Rooster Teeth's annual RTX conference, there will be one face missing. Monty Oum, creator of the breakout anime-inspired success RWBY, died unexpectedly on Feb. 1.

When Oum suddenly passed away after a freak allergic reaction, the whole RWBY family was devastated. Rooster Teeth founder Burnie Burns called Oum "a pure artist," adding "there was no way that anybody could be emotionally prepared for anything like that."

However, the team had to come to terms with moving forward with his work. For RTX co-director Barbara Dunkelman, who also voices cheery, gun-toting Yang in the series, this year's gathering will be an opportunity to showcase the next stage of Oum's legacy. Moreover, it's a chance to confirm that, yes, the show will continue, and there will be a RWBY panel with new material. She said, "It would be a disservice to Monty not to carry on, just because he invented this amazing world and this amazing story."

Oum joined Rooster Teeth in 2010 as an animator on their Halo-inspired Red vs. Blue series. He was an immediate jolt to the arm, supplementing the show's comedy themes with tight action choreography. Burns said, "He helped revitalize a series that was 8 years old, which is longer than 90% of all television programs run." After three seasons on RvB, Oum started looking for other projects. Burns said, "He didn't like to work on stuff for very long, and he always had new ideas." That was the genesis of RWBY. However, just as he had moved on from RvB, with season 3 of RWBY in pre-production, Burns said, "We were at the point when Monty was starting to look at other projects. ... That's the real tragedy here. That we'll never get to see those shows that Monty never told us about. RWBY will continue and it will be fantastic, but I will forever miss those things that are now lost to time."

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Monty Oum, RWBY, Rooster Teeth

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