So, I hear that Monty Oum has passed.

Well… crap.

At time of writing, it’s only been a few hours since I learned of it and, by God, is it frustrating, especially since – somehow – I knew it was coming. I had a terrible feeling that it was going to happen and it did. Up yours, sixth sense. Why can’t you ever predict a miracle recovery for once, you sod?

It might be hard for those who read this site and have seen the strong words I’ve had too say about his most recent project, RWBY, to believe what I’m about to write but I honesty do believe that Monty Oum was a pretty great animator. Haloid was awesome, Dead Fantasy was pretty sweet, and I liked how he handled the action scenes on later seasons of Red vs. Blue. Heck, after the writing went down the plughole, they were the only things I liked about them. The man clearly had a talent and, even though I didn’t like his biggest project, I can’t knock him for using it. In fact, it’s because he was a talented man that I felt the need to criticise RWBY so much.

I’ve criticised a lot of things over the years: Final FantasyKingdom HeartsHaloGears of WarSonicSword Art OnlineDragonball ZNeon Genesis Evangelion… The list goes on. However, I don’t tear these things new arseholes just because it’s fun (well, except in the case of Final Fantasy fans), I do it because I adamantly believe that criticism is a powerful force for good.

To me, criticism isn’t the mark of a cynic but one of an idealist: someone who is willing to waste their precious time on this planet to point out everything they don’t like about something in the hope that things will get better. Criticising things helps people, and especially creative people, to understand what works and what doesn’t so that the next thing they make shines all the brighter. That’s why, despite all my problems with RWBY, I kept coming back to it – because Oum had a real talent and I wanted to see his show get better. I wanted to see it improve. I wanted it to be as great as all the fans kept telling me it was. I really, really did.

And now I’m not going to see that happen. And that makes me sad.

Wherever you are, Monty Oum, I hope you’re at peace.