9. Volume 1
RWBY's volume 1 holds a special place in the hearts of many fans as the beginning of a grand adventure, but when it comes to ranking it amongst its successors, it understandably lands in last place. This ranking isn't a knock on its charm or significance but rather a display of how the series' grew incredibly over time.
Volume 1 was the foundation, the first step into the world of Remnant. It introduced us to beloved characters like Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang, setting the stage for their journeys. However, compared to the later volumes, it's clear that Volume 1 was just scratching the surface. The animation, while great for its budget, was still finding its feet. It had a certain raw, unpolished charm that endeared it to early fans but lacked the refined visuals and fluid combat sequences that attract viewers, as the later volumes have. The storytelling, too, was in its early stages – the plot was much simpler, the world-building just beginning, and the character arcs not yet fully realized. Treat it like the first two books of the Harry Potter series - kids being kids in school.
As the series progressed, the depth and complexity of RWBY's narrative grew exponentially. Later volumes brought more intricate storylines, deeper character development, and a richer exploration of the world of Remnant. In comparison, Volume 1 feels more like a prologue, an introduction to something much bigger and more intricate. This isn't to say that Volume 1 isn't enjoyable – it's filled with the charm, humor, and potential that drew fans to RWBY in the first place. However, when placed alongside the series' later achievements, it serves more as a reminder of how far RWBY has come. The series evolved from its humble beginnings into a saga with intricate plots, stunning animation, and mature themes.
Volume 1's place at the bottom of the ranking is not a reflection of poor quality, but rather an indication of the remarkable growth and evolution of RWBY as a series. It's the seed from which the rich, vibrant world of RWBY grew: beloved for what it started but surpassed by the heights the series later reached.