Monyreak “Monty” Oum was an animator and writer for a lovely production company called Rooster Teeth. Emphasis on the “was.” The world sadly lost this talented American artist exactly one year ago today to a severe allergic reaction during a medical procedure. Monty’s reaction occurred on January 22nd, 2015 which caused him to be hospitalized for a whole 12 days until February 1st, 2015 where he was pronounced dead. Since today is his one year anniversary, I wanted to inform everyone about a wonderful animation that Monty left behind for people to enjoy.
RWBY is an animated web series that was created by Monty himself. Volume 1 Episode 1 was aired on the Rooster Teeth website on July 4th, 2014. This action packed tale follows around the lives of students who are training to be Hunters and Huntresses in order to defend their home towns and school campus from the monsters of their world. Students are separated into teams of four based on how well they survived their first creature encounter. These creatures are labeled as “Creatures of Grimm,” but have different names depending on what species the creature is.
One of the teams of Beacon Academy, the school at which the students attend, is labeled Team RWBY (which is pronounced as “Ruby”). This team consists of Ruby Rose (the leader of Team RWBY), Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long. As you can see, the acronym for this team is made up of the first letter of the first names of the main characters. These four characters are voiced by the talented ladies of Rooster Teeth; Lindsay Jones, Kara Eberle, Arryn Zech, and Barbara Dunkelman respectively.
Another team that protects people against the “Creatures of Grimm” is Team JNPR (which is pronounced as “Juniper”). This team is made up of the characters Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Pyrrha Nikos, and Lie Ren. Hey would ya look at that? The acronym for their team is the first letter of their first names as well. And just like the voice actresses from Team RWBY, the members of Team JNPR are also voiced by the Rooster Teeth gang. Miles Luna, Samantha Ireland, Jen Brown, and Monty Oum respectively voice the amazing supporting characters of Team JNPR.
Sometimes when the voice actor of a character passes away, the voice of the character will be put to rest as well out of respect for the actor. An example of this situation is when Jim Henson passed away. The beloved character Rowlf the Dog had less speaking lines and eventually stopped talking completely after Jim left. Instead of putting the voice of Lie Ren to rest, Monyneath “Neath” Oum, the younger brother of Monty, took over the role of his older brother’s character. This decision allowed both Monty and Ren to live on in the RWBY universe.
Rest in peace, Monty Oum. Thank you for the amazing storyline and even better characters.