|This article is about the show. For the technology, see gen:LOCK (technology).|
gen:LOCK is a 3D animated mecha sci-fi series created by Gray G. Haddock and produced by Rooster Teeth. It was announced at RTX Austin on July 7th, 2017, and the first episode was released on January 26th, 2019. The second season was announced on October 24th, 2019 to be released on HBO Max, with a premiere date later confirmed for November 4th, 2021.
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.
- Rufus Weller
- Raquel Marin
- Miranda Worth
- Leon August
- Miguel Garza
- Jodie Brennan
- Heng Li "Henry" Wu
- Fatima Jha
- Rob Sinclair
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 made using animation from the series. Instead, they were "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 was released on the Rooster Teeth website on August 3rd, 2018, revealed Yasamin "Yaz" Madrani.
Character Reveal Teaser 3, which was released on the Rooster Teeth website on September 15th, 2018, revealed Cameron "Cammie" MacCloud and Kazu Iida.
For main article, see Episodes.
Originally announced as premiering in 2018, the first season of the show was later pushed back 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. The first two episodes premiered together. While the first was free to watch upon release, the remaining seven episodes require a Rooster Teeth FIRST membership.
The series was announced to have been renewed for a second season on October 24th, 2019, later confirmed to premiere on November 4th, 2021. The season will be exclusive to stream on HBO Max for a 90-day span, before airing on the Rooster Teeth website for FIRST members presumably in February 2022.
Conception and influences
The original concept for gen:LOCK was pitched in the summer of 2016, with pre-production beginning in late 2016. 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. To this end, a detailed series bible containing concept art and backstory was created for the show. The show bears more similarity to "realistic" mech, drawing closer comparisons to Gundam and Aldnoah.Zero than "super" mech shows like Gurren Lagann.
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.
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. 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 - whose fan art gained the attention of the company - and concept artist Gavin Manners.
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.
The second season uses a 1.78:1 (16:9) aspect ratio, different from the first season's 2.39:1 (23:9) aspect ratio.
The music for the show's first season 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 and nerdcore rapper Richie Branson have also contributed songs.
gen:LOCK was publicly announced at RTX Austin on July 7th, 2017. A teaser was shown at Rooster Teeth's RWBY panel at New York Comic Con on October 6th, 2017. gen:LOCK was also included in the list of new shows in Rooster Teeth's 2018 lineup, though still no release date was given. 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.
On October 24th, 2019, the second season of gen:LOCK was officially announced, with Michael B. Jordan, Dakota Fanning, Maisie Williams, and David Tennant all confirmed to return. It was also revealed that the season would premiere on HBO Max, and remain as a 90-day exclusive before becoming available on Rooster Teeth First.
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 on September 19th, 2019.
- RTX Austin 2017 RT Podcast Panel
- RTX Austin 2017 RWBY Panel
- Rooster Teeth Twitter
- Fast Company
- Evan Bregman's Twitter
- AV News
- Gray Haddock's Journal
- The Hollywood Reporter
- RTX Austin 2017 Meet Rooster Teeth Animation! Panel
- io9 First Look
- Gray G. Haddock Twitter
- Lights Camera Austin
- Gray G. Haddock Twitter 2
- Gray G. Haddock Twitter 3
- Entertainment Weekly Jan 2018
- Variety Oct 2019