REVIEWED: SEASON 1 (ALL EPISODES) | STARRING: MICHAEL B JORDAN, AISA KATE DILLON, MAISIE WILLIAMS, DAKOTA FANNING, DAVID TENNANT | WHERE TO WATCH: CRUNCHYROLL PREMIUM, ROOSTER TEETH.COM, DVD, BLU-RAY
In the year 2068, one of earth's remaining free society's is attacked by the Union; an authoritarian force, vows to take over the world - to combat this, Dr Rufus Weller (David Tennant) creates the gen:LOCK program led by Julian Chase (Michael B Jordan) which allows compatible pilots to upload their conscience into giant mechs in order to save planet earth.
This series is the latest from Rooster Teeth Animation (the studio behind the smash hit RWBY) and is arguably there strongest entry to date in terms of characters and most importantly, standard of animation.
The first thing that will stand out is the smooth, cell shading and fluid animation that the studio has crafted as their own style in the latter seasons of their other work. Within this world of mechs, this style works wonders with the action sequences flowing and popping off the screen. Think of it as a true American form of anime with a slight hint of Japanese flair.
Whereas the set up of the story, as previously mentioned, is nothing entirely original, as its basic concept screams the plot of Pacific Rim, what allows gen:LOCK to blossom beyond its peers is its story, characters and emotional relationships. Chase (Jordan) who is at the centre of this story has a rocky relationship with his girlfriend Miranda (Dakota Fanning) and as the series progresses, their bond is put to the limits amongst this war that they are both fighting.
The Voice talent of this show is simply one of the best ensembles put together in an anime. With Tennant, Jordan and Fanning leading the lines, they are joined by the likes Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams who plays the foul mouthed scot Cammie and John Wick 3's Aisa Kate Dillon as the fluid sniper Valentina. Everyone involved puts in a great performance that truly gives there characters life and the dialogue between them evokes memories of classic commeraderies seen in TV and Film. However, within the first season, it's clear to see that there is much more history and exploration of this world that is to come and with a second season on its way, series creator Gray G. Haddock has only showed his first hand.
Even though the shows principal concept isn't entirely original, gen:LOCK possesses great animation, brilliant performances and interesting characters which keep the audience invested for the full eight 30-minute long episodes with plenty of room to grow in subsequent seasons.
The Blu-Ray edition of gen:LOCK Season 1 features a host of behind the scenes interviews and featurettes which are an interesting addition for not only fans of the series but fans of Rooster Teeth as well.
- gray:LOCK [4:17] - A Directors Cut of a scene from Episode 2.
- Listen Carefully: The Art of Sound in gen:LOCK [6:46] - behind the scenes interviews with audio personnel including Audio Lead Chris Kikkinos.
- gen:LOCK - Behind the Scenes [3:02]
- Michael B Jordan on his character Julian Chase [2:26] - lead actor talks about taking on his role.
- Michael B Jordan answers classic Rooster Teeth questions [5:46] - the lead actor tackles hilarious questions from Rooster Teeth's long history.
- Michael B Jordan talks Anime [4:17] - lead star discusses his first experience with animation and his love of anime.
- gen:LOCK Character Reveal Teasers [6:32] - the main characters each received a Teaser reveal before the show originally aired in early 2019.
- gen:LOCK Episode Commentaries (including animated commentaries for episodes 6 and 7).