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Disambig-icon.png This article is about the show. For the technology, see gen:LOCK (technology).
Genlock-logo
Fifty years in the future, an oppressive authoritarian force threatens to conquer the world. A daring team is recruited to pilot a new form of weaponized neuroscience that powers devastating mecha, but they must be willing to sacrifice everything to save the world.
gen:LOCK
Genlock-poster

Promotional art by Dishwasher1910

gen:LOCK is a 3D animated mecha sci-fi series[1] created by Gray G. Haddock and produced by Rooster Teeth. It was announced at RTX Austin on July 7th, 2017,[2] and the first episode was released on January 26th, 2019.[3] 

Summary

On the losing side of a global culture war, an Experimental Science Unit is pushed to identify a team of young pilots who can control a variety of prototype, next-generation mecha—giant, robotic, weaponized bodies. The recruits will find, however, that their newfound abilities come at no small cost.

Global Culture War

In gen:LOCK, a war of beliefs is being fought within populations around the world. There are no direct land borders, but clashes instead occur between those of alternate perspectives within the same location. The Union organizes in order to do a territory grab and form mono-culture areas, and the opposing side, the Polity, resists them.

The cultural nature of the war is based on identity and the ability to fight while still preserving your own. This is tied into the pairing of people and the world's gen:LOCK technology, which is a technological breakthrough on the protagonists' side of the war.[4]

Main Characters

Trailers

Prior to Season 1, four trailers were to be released to introduce characters and concepts before the premiere. Unlike regular previews, the trailers for gen:LOCK were not cut using animation from the series, instead being "virtual reality phone calls" held between Doctor Weller and Colonel Marin.

Character Reveal Teaser 1, which was released at the end of the RWBY Volume 5 finale on January 20th, 2018 for FIRST members, revealed Julian Chase. It featured Monica Rial as Marin, though she had not been revealed as the voice yet. However, David Tennant had not yet signed on to voice Weller. The trailer was later re-released with Tennant's voice on November 23rd, 2018.

Character Reveal Teaser 2, which released on the Rooster Teeth website on August 3rd, 2018, revealed Yasamin "Yaz" Madrani.

Character Reveal Teaser 3, which released on the Rooster Teeth website on September 15th, 2018, revealed Cameron "Cammie" MacCloud and Kazu Iida.

Character Reveal Teaser 4, which released on the Rooster Teeth website on November 26th, 2018, revealed Valentina Romanyszyn and Rob Sinclair.

Episodes

For main article, see Episodes.

Season 1

Season 1 Poster

gen:LOCK Season 1 Poster

Originally announced as premiering in 2018, the first season of the show was pushed to January 26th, 2019. It aired on the same day as the final episode of RWBY Volume 6 and ran for a total of eight episodes.[5][6] Both the first and second episode premiered together. While the first was free to watch upon release, the remaining seven episodes require a Rooster Teeth FIRST membership.[7]

Production

Conception and influences

The original concept for gen:LOCK was pitched in the summer of 2016, with pre-production beginning in late 2016.[8] The series explores high-concept science fiction and features more mature themes compared to the concurrently running Rooster Teeth show RWBY.

An emphasis is placed on the self-consistency and logic of the rules and technology of the world.[9] To this end, a detailed series bible containing concept art and backstory was created for the show.[1] The show bears more similarity to "realistic" mech, drawing closer comparisons to Gundam and Aldnoah.Zero than "super" mech shows like Gurren Lagann.[8]

Other anime cited as influences include the cyberpunk series Ghost in the Shell and Psycho Pass, the strongly character-oriented storytelling of Kiznaiver, as well as the science fiction anime work of Gen Urobuchi. However, writer and director Gray G. Haddock emphasized that it would not adhere strictly to any genre conventions and draws from a diverse range of inspirations and ideas.[9]

Art and Design

While both are 3D animated shows, the art style of gen:LOCK is intended to be more realistic and detailed than RWBY.[9] As such, it features many lens flares and a darker color palette when compared to RWBY's vibrant and soft colors. In addition to concept art created internally by Rooster Teeth artists, the team sought out collaborations with other artists such as Bach "Dishwasher1910" Do[10] - whose fan art gained the attention of the company - and concept artist Gavin Manners.[11]

Cinematography and Animation

gen:LOCK is animated at 24 frames per second and uses a 23:9 aspect ratio. It sometimes uses a special technique in 3D animation called animating "on twos", where certain assets are only animated once every two frames. This evokes a 2D animation style in the 3D environment. This technique is mostly applied to slower, conversational scenes, whereas fast-paced scenes have assets animated "on ones" for a smoother look.[12]

Music

The show's soundtrack is composed by David Levy. RT employee Josh Ornelas, who also had brief voice roles, provides guitar. Artists such as electronic rock band Battle Tapes[13] and nerdcore rapper Richie Branson have also contributed songs.

Publicity

gen:LOCK was publicly announced at RTX Austin on July 7th, 2017.[2] A teaser was shown at Rooster Teeth's RWBY panel at New York Comic Con on October 6th, 2017.[14] gen:LOCK was also included in the list of new shows in Rooster Teeth's 2018 lineup, though still no release date was given.[15] On June 20th, 2018, Rooster Teeth announced a window of January 2019 for gen:LOCK's release. At New York Comic-Con 2018, they set the premiere date as January 26th, 2019.

Media

Comics

A comic book adaptation of gen:LOCK in partnership with DC comics has been announced, written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, and art by Carlo Barberi. The first issue came out in September 2019.

Images

Promotional material

Concept art

Social media

References

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