oren

I’d like to take a moment to talk about a gay superhero.

Friends, followers, and fucking nerds, I’d like to introduce you to Oren Pierre Alfonzo. He’s a former soldier who runs his own pastry shop, and, importantly for the genre, he turns into

Kamen Rider Bravo!

Oren is gay. I mean really, really gay. Not just being somewhat homoerotic, I mean he legit spends most of the series swooning over another man.

And you know what? None of the jokes that come out of it are about him being gay. When jokes in that regard happen, it’s just because he has the worst timing for trying to flirt, and is an incorrigible show-off. He is every effeminate-but-still-kickass playboy character trait in one character.

All of the threat he provides to the main characters are because he is an ex-soldier with a ‘do what needs to be done’ streak. He’s never reduced to just being a joke or comic relief, even when power creep brings him down from an A-list threat to a supporting character. He’s never annihilated or humiliated just to show how strong New Bad Guy is. Oh, and did I mention that, in a series where about half the main cast dies by the end, Oren survives. He isn’t buried. He lives, keeps his pastry shop, and takes over as a mentor for a teenage boy with PTSD. 

He never does anything sexual towards the teenager, either. He’s just an older man who knows what war does to people,and wants to keep this poor kid out of trouble. (The worst thing he does is steal the kid’s transformation belt and replace it with a version that hits him with a washing pan when he tries to make a suicidal death charge into a fight he can’t win.)

Yes, he’s a bit of a stereotype, and yes, he’s a tiny bit problematic, but Oren Pierre Alfonzo is a strong, capable homosexual man, in a genre where we’re lucky if one female character gets superpowers and doesn’t die. He’s not perfect, but he’s a hell of a step in the right direction, and I’m legit salty that I don’t see more praise for him in the fandom. I love him and y’all should, too.

TL;DR: Oren Pierre Alfonzo is the best character in Gaim and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.