Duke Zaral is a recurring antagonist in the 1995 anime Cinderella Monogatari, which was produced by Tatsunoko Production and Italian animation studio Mondo TV.
Duke Zaral is a tall man with greyish-brown hair in a ponytail and a matching beard. He normally wears a purple coat and an ascot. He is also a wealthy nobleman. He has a daughter named Isabel.
The Duke knows about Prince Charles' adventures outside the palace, but keeps them secret. He wants to arrange a marriage between Isabel and Charles. However, Charles is not at all interested in marrying Isabel.
Duke Zaral is also plotting to overthrow the King and take over the kingdom, and uses a band of supporters as his henchmen.
Role in the story
In Episode 9, Duke Zaral is chased out of the palace because Prince Charles suspected him of replacing his tutors. Charles pursues Duke Zaral, and Cinderella helps. Duke Zaral then orders his henchmen to capture the prince. The henchmen overtake Cinderella and she overhears his plans. She is later rescued.
In Episode 12, The King and Queen host a ball so Prince Charles can find a wife. Duke Zaral pines to have Charles marry Isabel, and will threaten to tell Charles' parents about his adventures in town if he refuses. Cinderella finds out about this and, with the help of her fairy godmother Paulette, disguises her dog Patch as a lion to cause chaos at the ball. Patch chases Duke Zaral through the grounds, and the rest of the ball is canceled. This allows Charles to refuse Isabel.
Duke Zaral pays a visit to Cinderella's stepmother's house in Episode 16. Cinderella is sick with a fever, so Charles comes over to help. Charles tries unsuccessfully to prepare dinner. When Duke Zaral tries the soup, he is furious and criticizes the Duchess for serving him a disgusting meal, and promptly leaves the house.
Isabel, in the meantime, rebels against her father due to disagreeing with his actions, and in Episode 20 she leaves him and elopes with a rich young man she fell in love with.
The Duke finally unleashes his plans in Episode 23, where he attacks the palace. His men kidnap a commoner named Marcel, who is dressed up as the prince for a costume party. When the henchmen attack the palace, Prince Charles fight them off. At the same time, Cinderella learns that the prince was the same young man she had befriended earlier.
Duke Zaral's final appearance is in Episode 26. He and his men attempt to spoil Prince Charles' wedding to Cinderella. They kidnap Cinderella and seemingly kill Charles. But Charles is alive and defends his future bride from Duke Zaral. After a duel, Duke Zaral is knocked off of the castle. He falls to his death. Afterwards, the wedding plans go through, and Charles and Cinderella are married.