Considering my adoration and idealisation of any character who falls under the “sunshine” and “positivity overload” archetype, it will probably not surprise you to hear that the presence of a himbo in a video game or anime is a major selling point for me.
On top of being attractive, the himbo inevitably has a heart of gold, and is always more brawn than brains; they’re often lovable dorks despite not being the brightest of the bunch.
Here we will be celebrating them in all their glory, giving a brief background on the term, and picking out some favourite examples to better illustrate the term.
About the term
The term “Himbo” was coined in 1988, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and from thereon was used to define numerous popular and beloved characters in entertainment media.
Considering we’re all about Japanese and Asian popular culture and media here at Rice Digital, there are many examples we can draw from in the world on anime and manga; Dragon Ball’s protagonist Goku can be argued to be an early example, as can Gurren Lagann’s Kamina — and more recently, Mirio from My Hero Academia definitely qualifies. And there are even older characters who embodied traits of the archetype from before the term was even coined — characters such as Lupin and Speed Racer.
If you know any of these characters, then it will be no surprise as to why they are so well-regarded and enjoyed. And thanks to hit anime shows that renewed interest in the character type — shows like Ouran High School Host Club in the ’00s and the more recent Free!, still going strong with a new movie having dropped just last month — himbos will forever be loved and positively received for making everyone feel good as we bear witness to their adorkable selves.
They’re effortlessly lovable, often challenge toxic masculinity through being comfortable about their feelings and emotions, and never fail to make everyone feel better and happier both within their own world — and their optimism and sheer joy of living is infectious — we can all learn something from taking a positive attitude!
So without further ado, here’s a selection of my personal favourite himbos within Japanese video games!
Caspar from Fire Emblem: Three Houses
When it comes to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, I have already expressed just how much enjoyment I got out of the title by listing my top 10 pairings of the game earlier this year. But since I preferred Caspar romantically linked to Hilda over keeping him all to myself, what I may not have made clear is how much I’ve fallen for the guy too.
While Fire Emblem as a long-running franchise has presented plenty of lovable dorks that comfortably fit into the archetype (including Hinata, Balthus and Vaike, to name just a few who I still absolutely adore as some of my favourite characters of the franchise ever), Caspar is my favourite of the lot.
He is an absolute blockhead, impulsively running into trouble, or adding fuel to the fire in a situation despite his best intentions. At the same time, he has a nasty or endearing habit (it depends on the person closest to him at the time) of being obnoxiously loud. But these defining characteristics of his are not only being a morale booster in your unit’s team, but also a demonstration of his upstanding morals.
His support conversations do wonders in fleshing out these basic attributes that make him unapologetically himself. His support conversation with Hubert, for example, showcasing how his tendency to be loud and boisterous even on the battlefield can be valuable, whilst his encounters with both Petra and Shamir indicates his emotional vulnerability and ability to grow from his ignorance over his background.
It is clear that Caspar wears his heart on his sleeve, and he listens intently to others so he can learn and understand when his actions end up going south. He has a surprising knack of reflecting on his behaviour throughout the majority of his support conversations, largely prompted by the guidance and prodding of those who converse with him in these segments.
And on top of this, we get to witness plenty of moments that demonstrate his less than stellar intelligence, as he can be extremely dense. Witnessing him being unable to identify flirting is one such joy, as seen in his supports with the typically flirty Dorothea and Hilda.
He also is super underrated in his absolute glow up after the time skip. His pretty face and well-built physique is deserving of far more compliments and recognition.
Milo from Pokémon Sword/Shield
Some may not regard Milo as a fully fledged, legitimate himbo; many argue the game’s champion Leon is a much more fitting example of the trope, and there are plenty of reasons for that.
He has the standard personality you would expect of a himbo – a heart of gold and plenty of enthusiasm, and certain characteristics that hint to him not being all that smart, with the most significant factors being that he is absolutely awful with directions, and a very bad judge of character.
In comparison, Milo seemingly has far less going for him to accurately define him as this archetype. From what we can observe of him across the franchise, he is energetic, greatly cares for gardening — which further links him to his affinity to grass type Pokémon — and is noted to be one of the strongest Pokémon characters ever in terms of sheer strength, being able to effortlessly carry 770 pounds of hay in his gym.
We can also see how overtly polite he is to others, even his enemies when doing battle; he struggles in seriously fighting against his opponents with all of his might when there is a noticeable difference in skill level, which perhaps explains why he is the first gym leader. He just wants to have a good time and enjoy battling without all the stakes and high tension — since having fun is his philosophy of living.
His sheer adorable dorkiness can also be seen in his character design, with the Japanese code word of “yasai” being seen as a numbered print on his shorts, meaning vegetable. As a “people’s person”, he is said to be one of the kindest characters in the franchise too, further illustrated by him calling himself his biggest rival, potentially hinting at his unwillingness to provide a true sense of conflict, or stirring up bad vibes with any other Gym Leader. He simply wants the best for others, and looks good doing so.
On a final note, he really resembles my man, Mirio. Of course I’ll love him.
Gonta Gokuhara from Danganronpa V3
Easily the most obvious choice here for this archetype, we have Danganronpa’s most endearing giant, and that’s tough competition against the likes of Sakura and and Nekomaru! Gonta has a strong affinity and care for animals – a trait that will immediately have me liking the person without question. He’s the walking definition of a gentle giant who is kind to even the most suspicious and questionable of people (such as Kokichi) — and he suffers from an inferiority complex due to others babying him because of his perceived low intelligence and lacking social skills.
Gonta’s goal is to be truly regarded as a gentleman, and it is evident despite his low self-esteem and negative opinion of himself that he really is one; his continuous efforts in wanting the best for everyone, having a heart of gold and being outwardly willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of everyone else are all proof enough of this. His kind-hearted nature is evident in how he looks out for others, is extremely protective of them, and wants to be there for them as support and comfort — he’s even saddened if he is unable to make them content.
His mentality does not necessarily translate to having a low IQ, but more being unfortunately easy to manipulate due to being so very gullible. His tendency to misunderstand things and his unsatisfactory knowledge of certain subjects makes him extremely critical of himself for not being of help to others — and this often leads to him being perceived as more of a child despite him trying his very best to please everyone.
And while he always has the very best of intentions, he has very poor control of his strength due to his emotions, even resulting in scaring a few characters due to an outburst here and there, along with sudden, intimidating expressions. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Insect Meet and Greet segment.
The extent of how significant this archetype is to his character is well explored and tragically emotional as he wants to be valued and seen as more than his insecurities, and unfortunately, we never get to see him with the recognition he deserves in the game. He is the series’ blessed cinnamon roll, and to put it simply, it is such a shame to see a character as pure and sympathetic as Gonta be involved in a killing game.
Chris Redfield from Resident Evil
Will I be offending many by having the one and only Chris Redfield as a part of this selection of fine himbos? Probably, however he has never done himself any favours, particularly as the Resident Evil series progressed. Now, where to begin?
Even from the stilted English dub of the first game that provided some absolute gems of cutscenes back in the day, nothing could prepare us for how far south Capcom would go when making Chris more of a dummy with each and every installment of the franchise. We’re talking about a man who punches rocks — and became an unexpected comedic icon for the rest of his existence in the process — but also one who wants to protect the innocent, and one who is absolutely floored in Resident Evil 5’s story. He experiences a traumatic loss so severe he has no option but to open himself up to emotional vulnerability. All classic himbo signs.
He is quite literally becomes the embodiment of the himbo classifications – he adopts the look of a hulking bodybuilder by Resident Evil 5, is a true hero as a reoccurring protagonist with others’ interests at the forefront of his actions, has had multiple design changes that almost never took away the shallowness of deeming him attractive (Resident Evil 7’s Chris is the only reason I cannot fall asleep some nights), and he becomes progressively dimmer with each appearance within the franchise.
I have been previously critical of Resident Evil Village, and a prime reason for it in retrospect is what Capcom did to a well established and well regarded prime character of the series. He is forced by the narrative to make some questionable decisions, such as taking his sweet time in telling Ethan of the reason behind him shooting Mia, and forcibly taking Rose — and he’s somehow always multiple steps behind Ethan during the story, making me question what on Earth he has been up to all this time despite having more resources and intel compared to him.
It makes for some serious lampshading for the convenience of the plot, especially when his own comrade points out the illogical choice of him not disclosing the plan to Ethan much sooner.
But I can’t help but love him each and every time he appears despite the decline of his mental capabilities. For all of my complaining, it is the exact reason I love this knucklehead so much. You do you, Chris.
Decadus from Drakengard 3 (plus bonus Cent)
You know what, it is always a good feeling to be validated despite such questionable taste, but Decadus from Drakengard 3 fit the bill as this archetype despite his fellow comrade of Cent being much more frequently mentioned and better regarded as the himbo of the title. I’m determined to close this list off with a more obscure pick, and backing up the reasons why may be the most shallow take of the entire lot because, to put it simply, Decadus has almost nothing going for him, much like his fellow disciples.
Decadus is the disciple of Four before joining Zero’s cause after her defeat. He is yet another typical case of a Himbo being fully adept at delivering a good fight (and fittingly doing so using nothing but punches), and he maintains an honourable, well-mannered, gentlemanly outward appearance. Obviously for anyone who already knows of Drakengard 3, his character is not completely without shame, since he derives pleasure from pain; he’s the masochistic counter to Dito’s sadism.
But on the other hand, he remains as possibly the most unproblematic of all of the disciples, as he never becomes agitated or confrontational with Zero or the rest of the gang. He is instead fiercely loyal to whoever he aligns himself with, showcasing his thoughtfulness — and he also seems to be the only disciple to genuinely care for both Zero and Mikhail, so there is automatically even more points for his kindness being an obvious trait here.
If there’s one thing that is amiss for him being categorised as a himob, it’s his intelligence. Unlike Cent, he is far more mature, and at times even wise in certain scenes and dialogue — so maybe it’s perhaps more appropriate to include both Decadus and Cent in this list.
In short, Cent is an absolute moron, as requested by the series’ creator himself, Yoko Taro, to combat his attractiveness. There is no shortage of his idiocy, providing plenty of ironic “comebacks” such as his hate for idiots, whilst labelling himself as once as he shouts at the top of his lungs that his inability to understand anything not basic is because of his simple mind. His warm heart is more well disguised, as he is completely and utterly loyal to Two, and shows plenty of kindness at least with her, wholeheartedly wanting the very best for her.
But I’ll just simply say it – it is for entirely shallow reasons that I prefer Decadus.
And with that, we’ve come to the end of celebrating the himbo archetype in video games. Did I miss out your favourite from the world of gaming? Let us know down in the comments — or write us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!
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