A self-proclaimed vampire who possesses a wealth of knowledge, but is vulnerable in the morning. He has a strong connection with the comrades he considers family despite being so philosophically profound.
Dotes on his younger brother Ritsu Sakuma. With a mellow voice that entices the audience, his performance is tender yet powerful.
I am Rei Sakuma, an idol performing in the unit UNDEAD, working under the group, Rhythm Link. …Hm? Oh, my manner of speech? Well, I am a vampire after all. My speech patterns are akin to that of the elderly, due to my old age♪ Though fear not, for my seniority has no effect on our performances on stage. If something is expected of me, I shall execute. No matter what the desires of the audience may be… First and foremost, you should watch my live performance with your very own eyes.
Rei Sakuma-senpai is in charge of UNDEAD, and is our unit’s leader. He is a man full of mystery, and one simply cannot explain him in a handful of words. As an idol, Sakuma-senpai has plenty of skill and charisma, however he also occasionally partakes in odd activities, like sleeping in a coffin. …Will this suffice for an introduction? I still struggle a bit with speaking, so this was quite difficult… With all that said, I thoroughly respect Sakuma-senpai. I too, as a member of UNDEAD, will put forth my best effort to one day stand toe-to-toe with Sakuma-senpai.
Rei is a tall young man with a good build. He has slightly long, wavy black hair that stops at his shoulders and curves inward, and red eyes. He wears a black-striped, loosely-fit mid-sleeved shirt with a chain around his neck and tucked inside. He also wears dark-washed jeans with a long link chain clasped to the side and red stud earrings.
On stage, Rei wears UNDEAD's uniform, a black jacket with a small fur collar, silver accents and a dark purple lapel. The jacket has a black and gold epaulette with thin silver ropes flowing from it on the right side, as well as gray side strip on the sleeves outlined with silver, and a strap on the lapel tied and clipped to look like a small belt. Attached to the jacket is a long, black/purple layered tail coat with a silver outline. On Rei's left arm is a purple arm-band embroidered with a gold design. Underneath the jacket is a gray v-neck shirt. He wears a black belt with a silver buckle and chain accessory hanging from the loop. Rei wears black jeans with small yellow buttons, and knee high lace-up black boots with silver lining + gold buttons, a flap in the front and a small zipper on the side. Rei wears a black choker with gold designs that resembles a belt buckle, as well as a black pointed cap with silver lines. He also wears black palm gloves with gold lining.
Rei, at first glance, appears to be distant yet wise, taking upon the persona of an immortal vampire with boundless knowledge. He spends most of the daylight hours sleeping in his coffin, and is very disconnected from the rest of the school, and has a soft spot for his little brother, Ritsu. However, deep down, he is highly empathetic. He loves humanity greatly, yet consistently struggles with isolation and loneliness.
During The War, Rei was best described as a slave to humanity’s whims and his own empathy. During his last year at Yumenosaki Academy, he had become unnaturally distant and closed off as a means of self-preservation. Post-Repayment Festival, Rei finally becomes able to move forward, and consolidate these both extremes into one human, and enter society as himself; not as a god or a vampire high above society.
Most of Rei’s actions and feelings stem from a lengthy history of loneliness and isolation, ever since he was a child. Growing up, his disease prevented him from living a normal life outside and making friends; he instead developed an affinity with books and would read in excess. Even as just a child, he was considered more well-read and more intelligent than most adults.
He is a highly empathetic person, and loves humanity to the point that he cannot ignore a person who is suffering. However, this high emotional intelligence of his led him to his reputation as a “god”. His high intelligence and proficiency in giving advice resulted in him beginning to be exalted as a god-like figure, as adults would approach Rei to have their problems solved by him. Unable to refuse a person in need, Rei took on that emotional burden and began to attribute being a vessel for advice and guidance as a core part of his existence. Rei began to notice people his age fearing him and avoiding him, isolating him further.
By his first year in Yumenosaki Academy, he was disillusioned with the world, and by his second year, he was bored of the world and continually sought out excitement. However, he never was able to distance himself from humanity, and continues to take on burden after burden of helping others. Hyper-aware of his place in the world, Rei felt he had to continually prove himself out of fear. If he couldn’t respond to the constant demands of people around him, he was scared he would be deemed a failure, and lose his place.
And so, he disciplined himself and responded to every demand in order to “affirm his existence”. This need for affirmation ultimately led to his destruction and execution during The War. Every time Rei went abroad, he would make acquaintances, get deeply and emotionally involved in them, and then become loved and relied on by everyone. The emotional burden of catering to everyone’s needs, and then having it be weaponized against him, finally took its physical toll on Rei; resulting in the Rei we see in the !-era.
Rei from then on resolved to change himself, as a means to protect himself. He began to make efforts in distancing himself from humanity, no longer meddling in others’ personal matters—and if he did, he would take a backseat approach. He begins to take on the persona of an “old man”. When asked about it by Tsumugi, Rei tells him that it’s because he's physically weakened from The War . In truth, this new persona of Rei’s grants him the image of feebleness, so people wouldn’t demand or expect things from him. Through this, Rei is able to alleviate himself of the unconscionable burden of his intelligence and prowess. In another attempt to detach him further from humanity as he heals, Rei also strengthens his vampire persona, taking on an inhuman identity and describing himself as more akin to a monster.
In the end, however, Rei cannot fully reject his core values, and remains to crave connection with others. He still continues to meddle with other’s affairs, often without permission, as seen in Setsubun Festival and Romantic Comedy.
As time passes, Rei’s able to rediscover his own humanity through both UNDEAD, and later Ritsu. By the time the Repayment Festival comes around, Rei’s persona as an “immortal vampire” has broken down, and he is able to accept himself as human. Using Keito’s words; time begins to move forward again for him, and Rei’s growth is able to come to fruition.
Rei's first name (零) means "zero". “Saku” (朔) in his last name refers to the first day of the lunar month, which begins with a new moon. “Ma” (間) refers to an “interval of time”. Together with his first name, this gives a meaning of a moonless night. The moon motif also complements the Tsukuyomi imagery that he represents in the Three Oddballs.
- He shares the same birthday as Izumi Sena.
- Rei is the only one to not have a spoken line in the first verse of Melody in the Dark.
- He can play the violin, and, like Ritsu, he can play the piano. In a 4koma, it is shown he can also play the drums.
- He can't stand the taste of blood and takes iron tablets instead and prefers tomato juice.
- In Wataru Hibiki Birthday Course - Party at the Agency it's revealed that Rei uses kaomojis in his texting habits, having sent one to Wataru when telling him he couldn't be at his party.
- In the CN story, In the Dark, Rei is shown to be so careless he'll forget to eat and drink expired tomato juice without paying attention.
- In Summer Live, Rei wanted somewhere cool to sleep and ended up sleeping on the cafeteria floor despite Mao's concerns about how that may be unsanitary.
- In stories such as Blood Banquet and the official 4koma, both UNDEAD and the Aoi twins are shown to look after Rei, who teasingly plays up how helpless he is (being elderly) without assistance.
- In stories such as Pirates and Setsubun Festival, it is shown that Rei often does make genuine blunders as well and does require physical assistance. However, he acts as if he were merely playing up his old man persona so he is often not taken seriously.
- Rei states that his coffin, built by Natsume, also doubles as a living space, and by tricking it with excellent arranging skills, he's able to fit in items such as manga borrowed from one of the Aoi twins, gardening magazines, clothes and even a refrigerator full of dry-cured ham. His coffin also has wheels.
- Madara is Rei's successor.
- Rei, despite his vampiric persona, is actually not adverse to garlic. Once with the light music club, he begins admiring garlic bulbs that Koga had grown before Adonis comments on it, reminding him that garlic and crosses are not something vampires should come into contact with.
- In Crossroad, it is shown that Rei, Keito, and Koga were once a part of a unit called DEADMANZ (also translated as "Deadman's" and "Deadmans"). In Resurrection Sunday, it is shown this unit was later transformed into UNDEAD.
- Leo states that Rei would often fall unconscious around school and Leo would often be the one to find and help him.
- Ever since Rei was a child, he was "beautiful" and intelligent. He would wander around graveyards and adults would come to him for advice, and he accidentally developed a following of devotees who would live by his every word despite his young age. This continued even as he grew.
- Keito describes this as being reduced to "zero," like Rei's namesake, as Rei was so capable and intelligent that, in his opinion, it meant there was no point in existing so long as Rei did.
- Koga states that, while in the previous year (such as during Crossroad), Rei spoke and behaved in a free-wheeling, punk-like manner, but, after "breaking down," Rei began to speak like an old man.
- It was stated in Element and then shown in Crossroad that Rei used to be the student council president until Eichi took over.
- Rei states he only took over this position because Keito asked him to, as he considered Keito a friend from childhood.
- Rei implies his fondness for Keito initially from the fact that, whereas the people around him would be taken in by his charisma and grow dependent on him, Keito, as a child, would continue to try and defy Rei.
- In Crossroad it's revealed that Ritsu and Rei's vampiric condition is a genuine illness that makes them nocturnal, weak to sunlight, and thirst for blood as sustenance.
- This condition is hereditary, and Rei explains that much of his family, which worships vampire mythos, sees it as a mark of pride.
- Their family believes themselves to be vampires, and perform a "blood drinking" ritual on Easter, and have a yearly reunion in Transylvania.
- Because of this condition, he has a coffin which he sleeps in a lot. The only way to wake him up is the sound of a flute or when it’s night time.
- In Crossroad, it's revealed Rei's year spent "studying abroad" was spent largely:
- Meeting with researchers overseas to seek a cure for his and Ritsu's condition;
- Resolving conflicts out of obligation and offering help to those who asked it of him;
- Performing and doing idol work;
- And, once the War began, resolving conflicts in Yumenosaki's sister schools across the globe. Eichi reveals in Element that these conflicts were artificially created to force Rei to exhaust himself and remain away from school.
- In Crossroad it's shown that this constant cycle of being forced to prioritize others over himself caused Rei's physical state to weaken to the point of near-collapse. In Element, however, we see he's unable to stop himself from helping others, even if being unable to commit to a handful of people in order to help a larger number of people caused the students at Yumenosaki, as well as Ritsu, to hate him for not being "there" for them in their perspectives.
Voice Actor Comment
"I felt that this is a character very worth portraying. He speaks like an old man; he has to repeat a grade; everyone treats him like a weirdo; and most of all, he's Dracula. I had a lot of fun acting out this character with so many quirky traits. Sakuma Rei... a great character, indeed." (Enstars!)
"Congratulations on the release of the new chapter of Ensemble Stars!! Basic and the new application Ensemble Stars!! Music. There's still so many doors waiting to be opened, and nothing could make me happier than performing as Rei as he continues to change. Thanks for all your continued support, so strong that it even rivals the way they always keep trying their best!" * (Enstars!!)
|UNDEAD||Rei Sakuma • Kaoru Hakaze • Koga Oogami • Adonis Otogari|
- Official Profile
- Crossroad - Curse 8
- Crossroad - Chaos 1
- Operetta - Birthday 8
- Black Tea - A Spoonful of Sweet Poison 6
- Devils - bright complex 1
- Operetta - Birthday 4
- Operetta - Brothers 8
- Repayment Festival - Before The Setting Sun 4
- Element - Even in Hell 2
- Rei Sakuma Sub Story 1
- 1001 Arabian Nights - Surfer of the Desert Hills 5
- Return of the Demon King
- Dark Night Halloween
- Repayment Festival
- Resurrection Sunday