By Leah McDonald / February 14th, 2023
2019: Astolfo (Fate/EXTELLA Link)
2021: Goro Majima (Yakuza series)
What makes a Best Boy? Is it his good looks? His charming personality? His skills in battle? Or is it a certain je ne sais quoi? Whatever it is, this year, we here at oprainfall were able to narrow down our 2022 Best Boy candidates to three, and they are all more than deserving of this most illustrious title. But who will take home the prize and have bragging rights for the next year?
Noah (Xenoblade Chronicles 3)
NA Release date: July 29, 2022
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
I am a bad oprainfall staff writer who hasn’t played Xenoblade 3 yet, so I asked my sister to give me the low-down on what makes Noah the Best Boy and here’s what she had to say:
“As part of the Keves special forces squad we meet right at the outset, Noah already comes across as strong, smart, and kind. But it’s the strength of his bonds with his friends that really lets him shine. From his banter with his Keves crew, to the quiet moments he shares with his newfound allies, Noah stands out. His role as offseer has given him a sense of compassion few in his world hold, and an emotional maturity not often seen in the heroic teenage protagonist. His design is also quite pleasing, and has callbacks to previous Xeno protagonists while still being his own wholy unique character. Whether in JP or ENG, he’s quite enjoyable to listen to, as well.” Will Noah’s compassion and maturity be enough to win him the title of Best Boy?
Lloyd Bannings (Trails from Zero)
NA Release Date: September 27, 2022
Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Fellow editor Patrick was kind enough to give me the what’s what regarding the ever-charming Lloyd, and here’s what he had to say about the SSS member:
“From old to young, none can withstand the charms of the baby faced detective, Lloyd Bannings. The heart and soul of the SSS, Lloyd has proven time and again he’s ready to step up when needed, is always there for his squadmates, and is able to make sound decisions in the most dire of circumstances. He has good morals, good intuition, a strong body, and puts the needs of others over himself at all times. Not only is he a good person, he knows how to make a good, motivating, cheesy speech too. And who doesn’t love a cheesy speech? A quality leader, and a good lad, Lloyd is ready to fight for the crown of Best Boy. Was the SSS leader able to get over the barrier and take out his competitors?”
Albaird Bergholm (Star Ocean: The Divine Force)
NA Release Date: October 27, 2022
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Who doesn’t love a knight wholly dedicated to his princess? Albaird is staunchly protective of Laeticia Aucerius, his childhood best friend and current crown princess of the kingdom that bears her name. He’s testy and quick to anger, but don’t let his prickliness fool you: this tsundere has a heart of gold and a sweet tooth to match. A member of the kingsguard, Albaird is skilled at both his chakram and semiomancy, but he’s also a tactician and knows his way around a camp to survive the perilous journeys he, and the rest of his companions, face as they try to save not only his homeland, but even those who live among the stars. He’s rough around the edges and takes some time to build trust with, but once you have it, Albaird is a loyal and dedicated friend who will absolutely still argue with you, but at least he’ll do it lovingly. Can he win the hearts of our judges to be oprainfall’s 2022 Best Boy, though?
And this year’s best boy is…
Despite strong competition from one compassionate offseer and one tsundere kingsguard, Lloyd’s boyish charms were able to win the day to become oprainfall’s 2022 Best Boy. His cheesy speech skills were clearly too much for our judges to dismiss, and this natural-born leader easily swept to victory!
I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the featured image for these Awards on short notice. You should check him and his works out over on Twitter.
2022 oprainfall AwardsBest BoyOpRainfall AwardsStar Ocean The Divine ForceThe Legend of Heroes: Trails from ZeroXenoblade Chronicles 3