If you were paying attention to the Rooster Teeth crew over the last couple of days you might have seen them talking about their SaturALLDay Cartoons stream on RoosterTeeth.com. If you were REALLY paying attention you might have seen animation boss Gray Haddock being slightly (and by slightly I mean MASSIVELY) teasing on twitter.
— gray (@graymartigan) December 22, 2018
Well it turns out he wasn’t kidding when he talked about his restraint becoming legend. This morning (CST), directly after the most recent instalment of RWBY Vol. 6 aired for non-First members on the stream they surprised the entire community with the ENTIRE FIRST EPISODE of brand new mecha-anime gen:LOCK. Those numbers in the RT tweet? That was the exact time the episode began!
I guess the big clue should have been that literally every single RT staff member was in the chat. Things were moving great until everyone realised that we weren’t just getting a few seconds of footage, but the ENTIRE first episode.
I’m going to try not to give away any spoilers, and you’ll have to forgive me if I misremember things. I was watching live, totally invested in the moment (so much so I closed the chat cos I wanted full-screen glory). It only occurred to me later to write some kind of review!
Well? Was It Good?
Credit where credit is due, and that’s to both the writing and animation teams because both knocked it out of the park. There are both big action moments and quiet character moments, all while we are finding out about the way the world works now. There is little extraneous exposition to waste time, characters are introduced as and when needed, without fanfare. I did feel like maybe I could have used a little more time getting to know the Vanguard unit before things really got going though. It’s going to take a little more time to get familiar with the members of the unit besides Miranda, Chase and Razzle.
Animation wise – well it’s fricking beautiful. Gray and his team have done an insanely good job. It’s immersive, nothing felt out of place. There are a couple of big fights and neither felt like just machines knocking the crap out of each other. Which is what they are. Not that giant robots knocking the crap out of each other wouldn’t be awesome of course. By the time of the first one I was already pretty invested in the characters inside the mechs so it had more resonance.
Come the second one, especially THAT moment about halfway through, I knew I was officially a member of the #fanguard. If you caught the stream you know which moment I mean. If you didn’t, well when the premiere rolls around on January 26th, hopefully you’ll think about this and go “OMG THAT’S WHAT SHE MEANT!”. But I won’t be offended if you don’t, because you’re going to be WAY caught up in the story and the visuals!
gen:LOCK premiere review
Overall, I rated the episode pretty highly, although I guess a lot of that could be down to the surprise element, and my excitement levels being through the roof. The animation and action are slick. The episode moves at a great pace, and the main characters are developed quickly. It’s also a decent length, 30 minutes. Compared to some RWBY instalments which run at around 12, it really allowed you time to get sucked in.
Downsides – like I said some of the second tier characters needed more development, but I’m sure that will come. That was honestly my only gripe. Well that and the fact that I couldn’t watch it again IMMEDIATELY!
Miss the stream?
If you wanna check out the footage that’s been released so far, in the form of various character teasers, then we have assembled them all in a post over HERE. Apart from that, sadly, you’re going to have to keep your eyes on Rooster Teeth on twitter and see if they let anything else slip before the premiere. gen:LOCK premieres EXCLUSIVELY on RoosterTeeth.com on January 26th.