Monica Rial Talks GEN:LOCK, Chris Sabat, and More

I recently had the amazing opportunity to sit down and talk to Monica Rial over the phone about her latest project, gen:LOCK. This is Rial’s second time working with Rooster Teeth (she voiced Sienna Kahn in RWBY), and it sounds like it won’t be the last. I had recorded the interview, but unfortunately, technology isn’t perfect, and the recording ended up being silent for the whole duration of the interview. Here are some highlights though.

Rial was exploding with excitement as she talked to me about gen:LOCK and her character, Colonel Raquel Marin. When asked to describe the show, she paused for a second in order to not give any spoilers and stuck to things in the trailers and pilot episode. Basically, we can expect some awesome mech on mech action as well as some deep character moments throughout the show. It sounds perfect for anyone who enjoys mech anime (she wants more mech anime by the way, and I agree). When asked about her character, Col Marin, Rial talked about how we’ll see a lot of depth from her as Marin may seem like a rough and tough military person, we would see some more motherly moments from her.

Since Rial has been in the voice acting industry for so long, I also asked her about her favorite types of characters to play. To this she said that she’s always loved playing small children, but these days, she’s really liking rolls that challenge her. She even told me that she’s going to studios and asking them to challenge her with roles. My natural follow-up question was if she had a favorite character to voice. This one boiled down to she loved her different characters for so many different reasons that it was next to impossible to choose. However, she did do her voice for Tsuyu Asui from My Hero Academia and it was fantastic.

We continued to geek out about anime and how it used to be a much more closeted interest but is now finding more and more footholds in the “mainstream” of things. Dragon Ball Super: Broly just came out (she voices Bulma by the way) and its opening day made more than $7 million. That’s crazy when you think about how people used to not really know what anime was and called it “Japanimation.”

Of all the people she has not worked with yet, Rial did mention that she would love to work with Stephanie Sheh (Orihime from Bleach, Hinata from Naruto) while the honor of her favorite person to work with went to her Dragon Ball husband, Christopher Sabat. What’s fun is that she talked about how they’ve worked together on so many things together and their characters are often romantic partners, but Rial and Sabat are more like a sister and brother in their friendship. She even shared a story about herself, Sabat, and Sean Schemmel eating at a restaurant together and someone mentioned to the waiter who the three of them were and people started coming up to talk about Dragon Ball with them including a chef showing them his Vegeta tattoo.

During the interview, I also learned that Rial does not speak Japanese, but she does understand some of it as she used to be an ADR director. Also, when asked the ever-important question, subs or dubs, she gave a great answer about how she likes watching both for an anime. The subs are great, but they have to cut some details out of the dialogue because otherwise it would move too fast for viewers to read and then the dub is able to sometimes bring those details back in.

If you ever have the opportunity to meet Rial at a convention, I recommend that you do. This interview was an absolute joy and there’s a good chance she’s worked on a show you love.

Rial was recently the voice of Bulma in Dragon Ball Super: Broly which is in theaters now, plus she will be Colonel Marin in gen:LOCK which premieres on January 26, 2019, on Rooster Teeth.

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