Two years after Rooster Teeth’s original anime series RWBY debuted online, series creator Monty Oum died at the age of 33 following an allergic reaction to a medical procedure, leaving the show’s production team to carry on without him. In an exclusive clip from the Blu-ray release of RWBY Volume 5, the team opens up about losing their friend, working through grief, and how work on Volume 3 was “the scariest thing ever.”

On June 5, RWBY Volume 5 will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and on digital storefronts. Among the special features is a short documentary titled “5 Years,” in which viewers get a close look at the history of RWBY, a fantasy-action anime recognized as one of the first major American anime exported worldwide. While the series became a sleeper hit and a boon for its home studio, Oum’s death hit the show’s creators hard, personally and professionally.

RWBY Volume 3 was the scariest thing ever,” says series co-creator, writer, and “Jaune” voice actor Miles Luna. “Monty was gone. And that changed everything.”

Luna continues in the clip: “At that point we were even more sure that people cared about these characters and stories. What we weren’t sure if they were going to stick around. We had to grow up fast.”

Producer Gray G. Haddock said Rooster Teeth “had to remain absolutely dedicated” to keep the show going. This included “pulling together memories and documentation” and all available reference material “to make sure the vision of the show would be maintained as closely as possible with what Monty had in mind.”

“I think we found a reserve of endurance and energy we probably didn’t know that was there before,” he said.

In a 2017 interview with Inverse at New York Comic Con, Luna also opened up about work on the show in the aftermath of Oum’s passing. “I think everybody expected the show to change,” Luna told Inverse. “We were gonna do what we always sought to do, which was tell a cool story and have fun while doing it. But you can only imagine the pressure that came with that.”

RWBY Volume 5* will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on June 5.


Photos via Rooster Teeth