New 'gen:LOCK' Casting Hints at Non-Binary Anime Hero

Rooster Teeth is forging new ground in its sci-fi anime gen:LOCK with a new member who could introduce a non-binary hero to the show’s diverse ensemble.

On Wednesday, Rooster Teeth announced the addition of Asia Kate Dillon (Billions) and Golshifteh Farahani (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) to gen:LOCK, premiering in January 2019 on FIRST. They join a stacked cast that already includes Michael B. Jordan, David Tennant, Dakota Fanning, Maisie Williams, and Kōichi Yamadera (Cowboy Bebop).

In a statement introducing the new characters, Valentina “Val” Romanyszyn (Dillon) and Yasamin “Yaz” Madrani (Farahani), Rooster Teeth describes them both as new recruits with shady histories as field agents. Emphasizing the diversity of the series, Val is from the Ukraine while Yaz hails from Iran.

gen:lock cast news release date
Dillion (left) and 'gen:LOCK' character Val (right).

Compellingly, the press statement uses non-binary “they” pronouns for Dillon’s Val. Their description reads: “Dillon will voice Valentina ‘Val’ Romanyszyn, a former Ukranian covert agent who thought they were done fighting.”

Dillon, who was nominated by the Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Supporting Actor for their role in Showtime’s Billions, identifies as non-binary and uses singular they pronouns. Based on the press release from Rooster Teeth, it seems Val may as well.

Rooster Teeth also released a video reveal of Val, which you can see below.

“There’s so much we want to do with these characters, and exploring together to find just the right approach has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” said series showrunner Gray G. Haddock. “I’ve bonded so much with Valentina and Yaz, and what Asia and Golshifteh have brought to the parts. I can’t wait for everyone to meet these characters.”

In Rooster Teeth’s gen:LOCK, the last free society on Earth recruits a team of young pilots to take control of the next generation of weaponized mechas.


gen:LOCK will premiere in January 2019 on Rooster Teeth’s FIRST.

Media via Rooster Teeth, Showtime