Six of the best comfort characters: boys edition

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Discussing this topic has been a long time coming; of late, I’ve been finding a lot of my time, energy and attention devoted to these characters when I’ve felt the need for a bit of cheering up during the worst of times. So I present my personal favourite comfort characters from across video games, anime, TV and movies.

As a self-imposed rule to prevent me just filling this list with otome game love interests, there are no characters from that genre of gaming; those lucky boys will have their own separate list sometime in the future, in all likelihood. I also took the liberty of avoiding mentioning any character we’ve already covered in our Hump Day Husbandos writeups — so if you think I left out an obvious favourite (like Knuckle Bine), you can likely find them there instead!

Before we get into it, extremely minor spoiler warnings for each entry.

Vander from Arcane

Vander from Arcane

I’ve been wanting to talk about Vander at some point and in some place for a while now, and if the one way I get to do it is by talking about my beloved comfort characters, then so be it!

Vander is the father figure to Vi and Powder, the two main characters of the 2021 TV series Arcane, along with the two not blood-related brother figures Mylo and Claggor. Together, they make up a hard-pressed but cosy “found family” unit.

Vander led a failed rebellion against the Piltover enforcers — those who live in and guard the more progressive and stable city up top. Blood was spilled and the losses heavily affected those who lived in the undercity district of Zaun. The rebellion cost the lives of many from Zaun, including Vi and Powder’s mother, and this helped Vander to realise that violence and retaliation would only lead to more suffering for Zaun after this monumental defeat.

In the present day, Vander has shelved his gauntlets and is instead focused on raising his adoptive family the best he can. He nags them to steer them in the right direction in order to spare them from further pain, considering their past losses and their current struggles in poverty. And through his work as a barman, he continues to guide the people of Zaun as a community leader who strives to keep tension to a minimum, supports fellow residents by having their back during troublesome business interactions, and actively seeks neutrality with Grayson, the sheriff of the enforcers.

It goes without saying that Vander is a great guy. He’s a natural protector whose desire to fight comes from an earnest and sincere place after having learned a harsh lesson. He does not back down from the challenges that come from having to build bridges after his past failures, and he faces up to the consequences of his decision-making that led to such disaster in the past.

While all this eventually catches up to him — which tends to make me skip episode 3 and simply repeat the first two episodes for all the wholesome and uplifting Vander scenes — fingers crossed we get to see him again in some form in season 2.

Donquixote Rosinante from One Piece

I’m a little late in appreciating the appeal of Donquixote Rosinante (or Corazon), I must admit, but he’s the one and only reason for my immense hatred for one of the series’ major villains: Doflamingo, his brother. To solidify just how much of an irredeemable crapbag Doflamingo is, Corazon is his polar opposite, in terms of his personality, motivations and intentions.

This is all spoiler territory, so we’ll keep it vague, but since his relevance is mostly to Law’s character — and especially his origins that are revealed during the Dressrosa Arc — early indications about his links to Law can and will hint to his true nature. Despite the super-endearing amount of clumsiness he possesses and exhibits on his introduction — such as catching himself on fire when smoking, or simply falling off his chair and tripping — Corazon is perfect is so many other ways, comedic faults and all.

He’s just so damn kind. He’s always been unlike other Celestial Dragons, and he is absolutely the furthest thing from Doflamingo. He holds no prejudice towards others, is empathetic to the most misunderstood of people, and never conforms to people’s ideals despite what others think, say and believe. He’s a virtuous and strong individual I look up to.

Taishiro Toyomitsu from My Hero Academia

Taishiro Toyomitsu, better known as Fat Gum, is one of my favourite characters from My Hero Academia. In my typical way, I find myself caring about and focusing on support characters over major characters because they tend to be the most sidelined in any piece of work by their very nature. Fat Gum was a “love at first sight” kind of deal for me, because he embodies everything one would think a hero is meant to be.

When it comes to his general attitude, Fat Gum is a ray of sunshine, always being pleasant to those around him. If it’s work-related, he’s quick to flip the switch and get into serious mode. He finds it easy to praise and support those he works with, especially if he’s in a mentor position, such as the one he enjoys with Eijiro. He’s highly empathetic, passionate about his work and is a super protector of others. Are we seeing a theme here already…? Perhaps.

On a closing note, I don’t know who needs to read this, but Fat Gum is just as valid if not actually more so than Fit Gum. Embrace Taishiro in his entirety please and thank you!

King Schultz from Django Unchained

This might be a truly out of left field selection, if not a bit cheeky to include, but have you seen Django Unchained — or more specifically, the utterly charismatic and heroic King Schultz? I’ll take your answer in the form of either the movie or comic, because I can’t stop thinking about the charmingly good-hearted dentist turned bounty hunter in either form.

As both a smooth talker and a smooth operator, King Schultz is always calm and collected when gunning down his targets, and remains cool under pressure even when questioned and challenged. He makes a great partner to the recently freed Django, who is off on a personal mission to locate and save his beloved wife Broomhilda, and King encourages him every step of the way.

He shares what knowledge he can, including a German tale based on her name: it tells the story of a princess who is saved by a rescuer who climbs mountains, goes through hellfire and slays dragons all for her sake because “she’s worth it”.

King introduces Django to bounty hunting, teams up with him to share profits, and teaches him how to make his gun skills truly hit their potential before things get chaotic down at the beyond cursed Candyland. He’s yet another stellar mentor character with a heart of gold, and I love to see it. King is one of the only good eggs in the IP, since every other character who is not a minority just has to show how they feel superior by being grossly violent and repugnant due to their mere differences in skin colour.

King is the embodiment of the warmest of safety blankets, both in the comic and movie. He’s welcome and respectful of everyone equally and wholeheartedly. His absolute loathing of racism, his ability to quip back with the wittiest of remarks even to those he truly despises and his wonderful sense of camaraderie with Django are all beyond delightful, and the only reasons for making me feel a shred of hope during the story’s finale.

Elliott Witt (Mirage) from Apex Legends

Elliott Witt from Apex Legends is a lot of things. He’s a himbo I missed out on including in an article from last year, he’s the character who represents the extraordinarily useless Mozambique (at least at the time of when I was religiously playing it on its initial release back in 2019) and an unintentionally charismatic individual who has so many layers that the majority of its player base does not appreciate nearly enough.

What makes Mirage so damn endearing and appealing comes from some very revealing dialogue lines that show he is playing up his persona for the entertainment of his fans and the audience in general; he likes to come across as a playful joker, but in reality he’s anything but. This means his teammates’ patience often wears thin with him, and this is often clear in his appearances in the cinematic trailers.

He always sounds and acts unsure of everything he says and does, and inevitably ends up getting wrecked in every single trailer — but he keeps at all the games with a positive and happy-go-lucky attitude.

If you look a bit deeper into his character, more of his complexities and insecurities are teased. We can theorise that this stems from him being the youngest of four brothers, and that understandably led to him having to battle his siblings for attention and praise. That trait is still present within him, even as an adult.

As the only remaining son, his mother helped him make use of the technology he fights with, and as such he’s a massive mama’s boy who is partly involved with the Apex games to make her proud. His vain jokes easily translate to him just wanting to be liked, and he embodies a sense of fake confidence with his frequent stuttering while putting on a smug face. He tries to present himself the best way he can for respect and attention. He’s everything to me.

Oliver Collins from Code Vein

Art credit goes to 恭菜

Oliver Collins may be the weirdest pick for the list considering just how small of a role and how little screen time he has in Code Vein, but when the topic in question is so personal, no further explanation is really needed. Oliver blanketed me during my initial run through Code Vein, an anime-styled Souls-like game. His presence and personality was filled with warmth and a careful, considerate approach, and he becomes familiar to the player character, offering them benefits and protection.

He’s our first true ally in the game: the first NPC you partner up with as the introduction to this mechanic. You can later switch out these partner characters, but if I had my way, Oliver would have been our one and only ally throughout, all because of how he looks out for us, fights together with us and defends us from the more ruthless revenants during the prologue alone. During gameplay, he constantly checks up on the player character, asking them if they’re hurt when they’ve both been kicked down into the underground — and of course, he constantly pleads for them not to fall down the holes in the ruins.

For a character initially simply termed as the “Good-Natured Revenant”, the game manages to showcase his positive traits within barely half an hour, and make you care about him in return. He reminds you more than once of Io waiting for your return, and that you need to go back for her no matter what. He’s always concerned about the player character, wanting to make sure their mask is not too tight on them.

He’s completely unprepared for what he’s literally kicked into and struggles through it, but still puts on a brave face to support and uplift the player character who he’d met just a moment prior. Despite this, his caring nature is ultimately his undoing — but it also makes him an unforgettable and cherished character despite him only appearing for a short period.

When you’ve got characters like Louis and Yakumo who are naturally better candidates for the Hump Day Husbandos column because of how much story relevance they have in comparison, Oliver being more memorable and important to me really says something.

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Lilia Hellal
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