Dragon Ball is a series filled with heroes, but there are few that stand taller than its shortest one. Krillin might not be the star of the show and he pretty quickly gets overshadowed by literally every non-human character, but there is no denying that his character is at the heart of Dragon Ball.
This week’s Humpday Husbando is the bald-by-choice monk-turned-martial artist-turned-best dad of Dragon Ball, Krillin.
Who is Krillin?
Krillin was one of the first friends that Goku made during his early career as a martial artist and/or menace to society. Like most of his allies, the two started out as rivals, each vying for their place as a student of the famous Master Roshi. However, through their training together and facing off against a variety of dangers side-by-side, Krillin and Goku became best friends.
Though he is quickly overshadowed by much of the cast — even Gohan by the time they go to Namek — Krillin is never one to back down when people are in danger. Outclassed in every way, he still throws himself into the fray against Frieza, Cell, and Buu. In many ways, he is the bravest of the fighters in the show. Knowing he is in mortal danger every time a new enemy shows up, he still gives it his all every single time. No matter the danger or how dumb an idea it is, the little man is always ready to have his friends’ backs.
Why we love him
For fans who didn’t catch the original Dragon Ball — which didn’t air in many territories until after Z had become a massive property — Krillin might seem like an odd fit. His design is very different from the rest of the cast and he is decidedly on the short side. Certainly not an intimidating figure by any stretch — but he has been at the heart of Dragon Ball since nearly the beginning.
His relationship with Goku is so central to the core of the story that it is what sparks one of the most iconic moments in anime history. When Frieza somehow survives the Spirit Bomb on Namek, he takes out his frustration on Krillin. The sight of his best friend’s death triggers the emotional release needed for Goku to go Super Saiyan for the first time. Without Krillin, anime might never have the transformation trope that has been so popular ever since.
Why you’ll love him
Krillin might not be the strongest fighter in Dragon Ball, but he is the one who effectively wins at life. While Goku and Vegeta remain obsessed with training all the way through Super, Krillin manages to settle down and have what looks like a normal life with his smoking hot android wife. The two have a daughter together and as normal a relationship as you can get when the planet is in constant danger of exploding.
There are plenty of arguments about who is the strongest person in anime and none of them will ever include a good case for Krillin. But as a human in a world where humans don’t matter much, it would have been easy for him to give up, lay back, and let the Saiyans take care of things. But Krillin works twice as hard as everyone else to try to keep up and will always have their back even against the toughest monsters in the universe.
That’s the kind of man we could all do with having in our lives.
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