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Gen:LOCK (seasons 2-present)

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Gen:LOCK (seasons 2-present)
Basically a good lesson on how not to make everything darker and edgier for the sake of boosting subscriptions.
Genre: Mecha
Running Time: 209 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: November 4 - December 21, 2021
Network(s): HBO Max (2021)
Rooster Teeth First (2022)
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Starring: Michael B. Jordan
Dakota Fanning
Golshifteh Farahani
Maisie Williams
Kōichi Yamadera
Asia Kate Dillon
David Tennant
Episodes: 8

Gen:LOCK is an adult animated sci-fi mecha series created by Rooster Teeth. It first premiered on HBO Max on November 4th, 2021, and is planned to air sometime on Rooster Teeth First in the future.

While the first season was actually good and positively received by critics and fans, the second one received mixed-to-negative responses for the following reasons.


Many years have passed since the showdown between the Holons and Nemesis of the Union, and during that battle, Julian had been informed that there are several other Nemesi created by the Union, and then he and the rest of the Holons have been battling and killing one copy after another.

The war between Polity and the Union is still ongoing, and Julian still struggles to retain his sanity after losing his original body, which is no longer compatible with his mind, and is still being haunted by his past, and the interference with several Nemesi, which is causing his friendship with the rest of the gen:LOCK-compatible users to collapse.

Why It's No Longer The Next Step in Humanity's Evolution

  1. The pacing in this season is much more rushed than the last season. For example, Chase and the other Holons have apparently already started their battle against several Nemesi, which never even elaborated on how it even started beforehand.
    • Due to the rush of the pacing, almost everything seems to be resolved and a good majority of prominent characters were killed off throughout the season, making it highly unlikely that there will be anymore seasons after this one, making the series somewhat short-lived.
  2. While shifting to a darker tone isn't inherently bad, this show's take on that was poorly executed since it was originally rated TV-14 with mild swearing and blood, thus having a somewhat younger audience because of it. However, this season takes its mature content to a whole new level due to an excessive amount of F-bomb drops, more blood and gore, including the scene where the dog dies in the first episode, and even the infamous sex scenes with full frontal nudity being completely shown, all of which feel rather off-putting to fans who were used to the show's originally tamer content.
  3. Poor grasp of the source material: much like Gene Deitch's crew for Tom and Jerry, Larry Doyle's crew for Looney Tunes, and Kevin Smith's crew for Masters of the Universe: Revelation, the new writers for this season has never seen the first season of this show, which explains the many changes that are unfaithful to the first season.
  4. Battle Tapes, a band whose songs were featured in the last season, are nowhere to be heard in this one (except for Last Resort and Spa, which was briefly featured in the fourth episode, but without lyrics), not even in the opening. Speaking of which, the opening does not feature any lyrics, unlike the previous one, and features generic techno music. Not to mention that the scenes in the opening are recycled from the last opening, and other episodes from Season One.
  5. Some of the characters are flanderized. For instance, Julian went back to his rather insecure state and inability to let go of the past despite having already done so in the first season's finale, which defeats the whole point of his character development, and Cammie has taken her obsession with rabbits to a whole new level and you can't go through one scene without her being into rabbits.
  6. The Holons are less present than they were in the last season, and there are fewer fight scenes regarding them against the Union.
  7. Some scenes can come off as rather goofy and can be considered hard to be taken seriously, like Chase using a hologram of his sister singing Let The Good Times Roll in a male voice and Kazu and Val switching genders while having sex.
  8. Brother Tate is a rather bland and uninteresting villain whose motivation is rather weak.
  9. While still good most of the time, the animation is somewhat inferior to the last season and often lags during character movements similar to that of The Dragon Prince, though not as bad as the latter.
  10. Kazu Iida, despite being one of the main characters, dies way too early in this season after he had given up his insecurity and accepted his pansexuality.
    • It especially doesn't help the gen:LOCK team was being disrespectful to him at his own funeral by attacking the Polity soldiers right in front of him and even pushing one of the soldiers against his coffin.
  11. There are numerous plot holes throughout this season. For example, how was Kazu fatally wounded (albeit killed) in both body and mind while he was in his Holon, while Cammie was able to survive getting her Holon's head ripped off by Nemesis from the previous season while she was still in her mech?
  12. Besides Brother Tate, the leader of the Union, there are very few brand-new characters that are introduced to this season, let alone ones that contribute to the story.
  13. The main characters spend most of their time inside gen:LOCK rather than the outside world whenever they're not fighting, which is pretty unhealthy since they don't get to interact with other incompatible people and it looks like they can be lonely at times.
  14. The Polity, despite being the good guys, are portrayed as a lot more antagonistic than they should be due to their questionable choices such as sending unmanned prototype Holons to commit suicide by self-destructing, often causing collateral damage, and firing a laser at not only the Union soldiers and the Nemesi, but also some of their own soldiers, including Jodie, Miranda's current boyfriend after thinking her ex, Julian, had died years prior.
    • The suicidal Polity Holons were later revealed to be souls trapped by General Marin, the leader of the Polity, which only makes her character look even worse than it already is.
    • The whole idea of using expensive, hard-to-construct walking mecha as single-use weapon - instead of much cheaper drones or missiles - is painfully ridiculous.
  15. Cammie actually leaves the gen:LOCK team to join the Union due to her depression of her current life at the Polity and the traumatic experiences of watching those around her die, and even uses the Union's technology to kill herself.
    • What makes this worse is that there is an anti-depression PSA at the end of the episode after that scene, which is rather hypocritical considering that Cammie commits suicide while tearfully smiling and the Polity has been sending kamikaze Holons. To add more salt to the wound, Cammie actually returns in the next episode and even encourages her friends to be part of the Union's nanotech, which makes the PSA from the previous episode completely redundant and a total slap in the face to people who have suicidal thoughts or severe depression.
  16. The constant emphasis on the "planet is dying due to global warming" - which was never ever mentioned in first season - quickly became very annoying, not to mention portrayed rather unrealistically.
  17. Military actions are even worse than in first season, with zero attention paid to tactics.
  18. Miranda Worth, despite having a somewhat more prominent role than the later half of the previous season, has been flanderized into an even ruder and more narcissistic character, and never fully develops from it to a kinder person she originally was in in the first half of the series premiere, and never even gets back with her ex-boyfriend, Julian Chase, despite the death of her current one, Jodie, making her character wasted potential.
  19. False advertising: The first look trailer was released and showed Julian and the other Holon users fighting against the Nemesi, leading fans to believe that it would be the main focus of this season, but instead the trailer was re-used for the opening of the episode 1 and the central plot of the second season focused on something else entirely.
  20. Because of the flaws mentioned above, this season may have tarnished the reputation of the series as a whole.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The voice acting is as solid as ever, especially with most of the returning cast from the last season and Angus Sampson, voice of Brother Tate.
  2. Unlike the last season, we finally get to learn more about the main characters, including Yaz and her backstory about her and her family joining the Union.
  3. The animation during the fight scenes is still pretty fluent and nice to look at.
  4. Though flanderized, Julian has been given much more characterization regarding his role as the main protagonist of the show.
  5. The first two episodes were pretty decent, even though they had a lot of problems mentioned above.
  6. The fight scenes with the Holons are just as epic and fun as the ones from the last season were.
  7. As mentioned in BQ#3, one song by Battle Tapes makes a comeback, which is Last Resort and Spa, though the lyrics were entirely removed.
  8. The Holon users get to have more relationship with each other than they did in the last season, such as Kazu and Val falling in love with each other, due to the fact that they have similarly traumatic childhood experiences.
  9. Sinclair, the original user of the dark blue Holon, has more screentime than he did last season, and his story is starting to become rather interesting, and the character himself is very well-written.
  10. There are a few funny moments here and there, such as Cammue using her Holon to knock a Union soldier's gun out of his arms rather than outright killing him.
  11. Since this is series is basically military-themed, it does a well-done job at proving that not everything in life is black and white, which can be said for the military and wars in real life.


Critics gave this season a mixed reception while most audiences were more negative towards it due to its bleaker tone, flanderization of characters, and overuse of sexually explicit content compared to the lighter tone and more positive reception of the last season.

While critic scores have yet to be given on Rotten Tomatoes, the site's audience score is overwhelmingly negative sitting at a 29% rating followed by extremely critical reviews each containing a 1-star rating.


  1. This season was the second by Rooster Teeth that didn't premiere on Rooster Teeth First, their own platform. The first being Transformers War For Cybertron Siege on Netflix.
    • This is likely due to the fact that Rooster Teeth has no involvement in this season's development since it was moved to HBO Max with completely different writers.