The mecha anime series gen:LOCK is set to hit Adult Swim’s Toonami on Aug. 3. A forthcoming Blu-ray and DVD release will also include outtakes.
If you want to catch the series before its Toonami release, you can head to every anime lovers’ favorite online streamer, Crunchyroll, to take a look at the first eight episodes. But you’ll need a subscription for all but the pilot, so don’t get hooked too easily.
The show, helmed by WarnerMedia’s Rooster Teeth, stars Michael B. Jordan alongside a very diverse and lengthy list of talents, including Dakota Fanning, Maisie Williams, David Tennant, K?ichi Yamadera, Golshifteh Farahani and Asia Kate Dillon.
The dystopian series takes us to the future, where an international coalition called “The Polity” are fighting a tough battle against a hostile, autocratic regime called “The Union.”
The show zeroes in on the gen:LOCK program’s members, a daring team of individuals with unique mental make-ups, capable of having their mind uploaded into giant mecha armor suits. The powerful group of mecha pilots seem like The Polity’s last chance, but they have to sacrifice everything in order to save the world.
The series follows common mecha anime tradition alongside classic series including Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann Gundam and Code Geass, among countless others from the genre. But it has a more comic book feel, as opposed to conventional mecha anime drawing styles.
Directors Evan Narcisse, the journalist-turned-comic writer behind Rise Of The Black Panther, and Gray G. Haddock, the head of animation at Rooster Teeth known for his work on Samurai X: The Movie, are helming the series.
Since the show’s Jan. 26 release on Crunchyroll and season wrap-up in March, droves of fans have already brought gen:LOCK cosplays to convention floors and bought up piles of merchandise, including a limited-edition hoodie that sold out in a flash.
In other news, DC Comics also said they’d publish bi-weekly episodes of the gen:LOCK comic online to give fans a look at the wider world of gen:LOCK beyond the central characters of the animated series. These episodes, which will be set after the happenings of the series, will then be bundled up into print issues by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, the duo behind Green Arrow, Nightwing and Gotham City Garage.
While there’s no word yet on time slots or on a second season, we did get a slick new promo for the show’s Toonami release on Sunday.
The promo, bathed in a scarlet-tinted glow, starts off with a man staring at a computer interface layered with maps and the information of the team members on the ground—Razzle, Chaser, Tempest and Gale. On the other side, we can make out a list of wounded people and fatalities in the mobile forces, air forces, ground support and among civilians.
Next, we get to see the hulking gray-and-red suits of mecha armor, followed by an aerial view from one of the mecha pilots and a sneak peek at a battle zone.
The first eight episodes of the series are titled “The Pilot,” “There’s Always Tomorrow,” “Second Birthday,” “Training Daze,” “The Best Defense,” “The Only Me I Know,” “It Never Rains” and “Identity Crisis.” While the show clearly draws inspiration from Japanese animation, it actually picks up and moves settings to Japan for an opening storyline titled “Siege” as the giant robot team joins up with Japanese forces to defend the island country. One of the characters, Kazu Iida, voiced by Yamadera, left his homeland of Japan on shaky terms, so the storyline seems like it will be a rough homecoming and character-building arc for Kazu.
If the 15-second promo isn’t enough, you can find the first eight episodes here via Crunchyroll. The show’s initial trailer and first episode, introduced by Michael B. Jordan himself, are below.