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Aldebaran (real name unknown), commonly known simply as Al, is a major anti-hero in the 2014 Japanese dark fantasy light novel series Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, as well as its anime television series & manga adaptations of the same name. He also appears in various related works, including video games and short stories all based in the narrative universe of Re:Zero.
Eighteen years ago, the man known as "Aldebaran" was transported from Earth to another world. This new world, which was technologically and culturally reminiscent of the middle ages, was full of magic and strange creatures often seen in fantasy fiction. Shortly after arriving in the world, Aldebaran lost his arm and served as a gladiator in the Empire of Volakia. After spending ten years fighting as a slave of the sword, Aldebaran escaped captivity.
Eventually, after participating in a tournament with around fifty other people, Aldebaran was chosen as the knight of Lady Priscilla Barielle. Barielle was a woman of steep ambition whose exact goals were almost as enigmatic as Al's and who inspired fierce loyalty in Aldebaran. Alongside five other women, Priscilla was a candidate to become the forty-second ruler of the Kingdom of Lugunica, a more benevolent nation located to the north of Volakia. As her attendant, Al was considered one of her most loyal supporters in her bid for the throne.
After eighteen years of time spent in the other world, the middle-aged Aldebaran met Subaru Natsuki, a Japanese teenager who had similarly been summoned over a month prior. Naturally, Al quickly grew to like the boy, as he was the only connection he had to his old world. By that point in his life, many mysteries surrounded the helmeted warrior Aldebaran, as he apparently had some sort of history with the malignant Witch Cult and the young demon woman named Ram.
In the first season of the anime adaptation, Aldebaran was voiced by the late Keiji Fujiwara in Japanese and by Keith Silverstein in the English dubbed version. Since Fujiwara's passing, Al has been voiced by Tomokazu Seki in Japanese. Fujiwara's other heroic roles included Leorio Paladinight in the 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter, Maes Hughes in Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Shiro Fujimoto in Blue Exorcist, Shuichi Aizawa in Death Note, Hinahoho in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, and Eledore Massis in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. Seki's other heroic roles include Gilgamesh in Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, Sanemi Shinazugawa in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, teenage Black Jack in Black Jack, and Toya Kinomoto in Cardcaptor Sakura. Silverstein's other heroic roles include Robert E. O. Speedwagon in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Vector the Crocodile in the Sonic franchise, Arsène Lupin III in the Lupin the 3rd franchise, Zasalamel in the Soulcaliber series, Masrur in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Bash and Bop in Skylanders, and Simon Belmont in the Castlevania series.
Aldebaran stood at five feet and eight inches tall, making him the same height as Subaru Natsuki. As a man from Japan, Al was likely of Asian ethnicity. When meeting Subaru for the first time, Al was pushing forty years old. Al's frame was stocky and his body was covered in thick bulging muscles that gave him an imposing impression. After an unfortunate incident in Volakia, Al lost his left forearm. Instead of resorting to a prosthetic limb, Al had the stub where his forearm used to be covered in bandages. There were various other scars scattered across his body, including a pair of claw-like marks on his right forearm and a vast assortment of scars on his face that left him disfigured. His overall shabby look, including his clothes and unshaven legs, made him look like a bandit or some other kind of lowlife. It could be said that his appearance was the polar opposite of his mistress Priscilla Barielle's.
Every piece of clothing Aldebaran wore gave a slightly different impression. His ensemble consisted of a pair of green split-toe sandals with yellow buckles, sand-colored linen trousers, a bandage around his right wrist that matched the one that went around his missing limb, bandages of the same assortment that were rapped around his feet like socks, an open green linen vest with yellow lining and a hem of white fur, and a shabby yellow mantle that reached down to his hips. Additionally, he wore a brown belt with a golden buckle that had a collection of green pouches attached to it. Al's weapon of choice, a beautiful sword with a fat blade that resembled a Chinese crescent sword, was fastened in its sheath at the rear of the belt. Perhaps Al's defining physical quality was the pitch-black helmet he used to conceal his scarred face. The helm in question, in contrast to the rest of his clothing, was very refined and featured a plume of neat red hair as a crest.
Outwardly, Aldebaran was an overly friendly man who spoke pleasantly to most people he conversed with. He wasn't quick to anger, as he usually brushed off the insults of Priscilla and Subaru Natsuki without placing any kind of stock in them. Because of his light-hearted tone and friendly disposition, Al was a man who was easy to get along with even when taking his eccentric behaviour into consideration. However, his attitude also portrayed him as a childish man who needed to shape up and act his age. Despite happily wearing strange clothing that labelled Al as a suspicious character upon first sight, the man from another world did care somewhat about his appearance, as he demonstrated insecurity regarding his disfigured face several times. He adored the helmet that he wore on his head, as he felt that he wouldn't be able to have face-to-face conversations without it.
According to the man himself, Aldebaran was rather naïve and inexperienced when he was first transported to the other world, two traits that cost him his arm and his freedom. After spending nearly two gruelling decades in the other world, Al's experiences had morphed him into a hardened survivor. He never hesitated to take the lives of his opponents, especially those who threatened the life of his mistress Priscilla. That being said, being covered by the blood of his enemies was a horrible feeling for him, regardless of however many times he cut down his foes. The one-armed wanderer was a figure of mystery, as he subtly displayed several times that he was hiding important parts of his past behind his friendly demeanour. One example of this was when he discovered that both Ram and her twin sister Rem were still alive, a fact that saw him briefly lose himself in anger despite the fact that both sisters didn't recollect meeting him before.
|“||Subaru: Wait, wait, wait! You can't just go and hit on Mili while I'm away you jerk!
Aldebaran: Looks like your buddy's got a screw loose, little lady. He's more worried about losing you to another guy than happy to see you. The man's heart is so complex, its a frill to watch.
Subaru: You've got a pretty messed up fashion sense, doncha mister helmet.
Aldebaran: Now that's no way to talk to someone. I can overlook that since I'm a cool, good-natured man, but some might lop off your head for that.
|~ Al and Subaru Natsuki having a verbal spat.|
|“||You sure are lucky, bro. Be grateful for this coincidence. We just happened to be on our way to the castle, too.||„|
|~ Aldebaran and Priscilla picking Subaru up.|
List of Appearances
Chapter 3: Truth of Zero
- Al received his namesake from Aldebaran, the brightest star located in the Taurus constellation. Al wasn't the only character in Re:Zero who was named after a celestial body, as every individual confirmed to possess a Witch Factor (with the exception of Satella) also was. Witch Factor bearers included Subaru, the Witches of Sin, and the Sin Archbishops of the Witch Cult. Whether or not Al's name implies a connection between him and the Witch Cult or the Witch Factors in general is unknown.
- Aldebaran was the first of the Royal Selection knights to be featured on a cover of the main light novel series. He made his cover debut in the background of the fourth volume cover, as opposed to Felix Argyle who first appeared on the fifth volume cover and Reinhard van Astrea who first appeared on the eighth volume cover. Subaru Natsuki and Julius Juukulius have yet to appear on any light novel covers.
|Anastasia Hoshin · Hetaro, Mimi, and Tivey Pearlbaton · Julius Juukulius · Ricardo Welkin|
|Crusch Karsten · Felix Argyle · Wilhelm van Astrea|
|Beatrice · Emilia · Frederica Baumann · Garfiel Tinzel · Otto Suwen · Petra Leyte · Puck · Ram · Rem · Subaru Natsuki|
|Felt · Old Man Rom · Reinhard van Astrea|
|Aldebaran · Priscilla Barielle|
|Archi Elior · Cecils Segmund · Fortuna · Fourier Lugunica · Marcus Gildark · Shaula · Theresia van Astrea · Vincent Volakia · Volcanica|