I HEAR MY HUSBANDS NAME. I CANNOT HOLD BACK.
general opinion: fall in a hole and die | don’t like them | eh | they’re fine I guess | like them! | love them | actual love of my life | I’ve never been this so hard in love with a fictional character help me
hotness level: get away from me | meh | neutral | theoretically hot but not my type | pretty hot | gorgeous! | 10/10 would bang | 11/10 would ride him like an untamed stallion
hogwarts house: gryffindor | slytherin | ravenclaw | hufflepuff
best quality: I actually played the game in the recommended order, so Zen was my first route. And I wasn’t excited at all the first few days. But the more time passed, the better parts of his character were revealed. I think the turning points for me were: The VN that showed him as a child with his brother and the VN where he’s showing you the stars on his rooftop and telling you about his family. And I haven’t been able to let go since
I’ve known a lot of narcissistic characters in anime and games. But the way Zen was written made me see him as not the usual “narcissist wearing a mask.” Because the narcissism is still a part of who Zen is, it’s not a lie. He knows he’s hot and he’s not ashamed of it. Yes, it may be overexaggerated as a result of his circumstances with his family and to also ease his own insecurities. But the narcissistic side of Zen is as real as the insecure Zen. He’s not like Seven who hides behind a happy facade. Does that make sense?
I think the thing that drew me to Zen the most is how he kept persevering down the path of life that HE wanted even though there were so many circumstances against him. Because that’s how much he loves what he does and also wants to prove himself to the world.
He has zero support from his family, he had to resort to doing “bad things” when he was part of the gang in order to survive, he had to work jobs to support himself when he was just starting out as an actor, and often his looks are put above his actual skills (which does bother him.) I also had the impression that Zen was really lonely before he met Rika and V.
But despite all that he kept on going, and even during the game (when his circumstances have improved) he still continues to work hard.
AND Zen doesn’t let his past experiences influence his behavior. He may have insecurities and flaws, but he’s not a 100% bitter or negative person who is constantly angsting. He doesn’t demonize his family either. For the most part, Zen is the type of guy who will tell you what he thinks and feels straight up, regardless how cheesy or how petty it may seem. Maybe too straight up.
Zen will make sure you know how single he is.
And that’s the kind of person I would prefer to be around in real life. Someone who isn’t constantly reveling in their bad past and is instead moving forward. Someone who is honest and will tell you what they’re thinking. And especially someone who is shameless and proud of who they are and how they feel.
And oh god I can write even more about how much he seems to really love MC in every route (except Jaehee’s) and how that ending in the Apirl Fools DLC broke me more than anything I’ve ever played because of how well written it was and how much Zen just loves you.
He’s perfect whatchu talkin bout!?
The worst thing about Zen is that he can be extremely petty about things and is quick to jump to certain conclusions. When he doesn’t like someone, he comes off as the kind of guy who will make up like 50 different kinds of assumptions about that someone in order to justify why he doesn’t like them. Even when he barely got the chance to know them well. Remember in the Christmas DLC when he was bitter about the couples and even wanted to give such an amazing performance that will cause all the couples to break up??? All because he didn’t have a lover on Christmas. Zenny that was all adorable, but even I was close to saying “Dude, omg chill.”
And regarding the matter of “jumping to conclusions”: if you tell him you’re spending alone time with either Jumin or Seven in their respective routes, “THEY’RE GOANNA BANG” is pretty much the first thing Zen thinks of. And not gonna lie, I thought he was a bit insensitive to Jumin in Jumin’s route.
Not to mention he seems to get offended (even slightly) when you or the other RFA members aren’t on his side. Like the easiest way to break his heart is to simply stay on Jumin’s side of things, whether it be on simple opinions or actual arguments. He also has a terrible habit of trying to make normal conversations in the chat about him.
I think his bad ends also exemplify a dark side of his loyalty and love. He’s so desperate for your affection, that he’ll take all your crap and still find a reason to love you. This man won’t leave you, even if you treat him like a toy.
On the side of less serious (but still very notable and hurtful) flaws, he gets disheartened very easily and is quick to give up on hope or blame himself when something goes wrong (he treats spraining his ankle like some sort of punishment.) He’ll jump back onto his feet for sure, but when he gets into a slump, he gets into a slump.Not a characteristic worth picking on, but it’s definitely one of his more definite flaws.
ship them with: MC, in-game there’s no one else Zen can love as deeply.
brotp them with: Pretty much the entire RFA. I just want him to be loved.
I don’t ship them at all (borders on NOTP for me), but I do love Zen and Jaehee as supportive buddies. Their interactions in Jaehee’s route were sweet and Zen (along with MC of course) can provide Jaehee with the encouragement she desperately needs.
I actually like seeing Zen as the wanna-be big bro to both Seven and Yoosung, more so with the latter. He brought cookies for Seven when he went to stay at his house, and he’s not quiet about how much he worries about Yoosung and his issues with both the gaming addiction and love.
And while he and Jumin don’t get along past Zen’s route, the civil and friendly conversation they had was really sweet. I still think they’d be great as “love-hate” friends.
needs to stay away from: He desperately wants to reconnect with his family, but I wouldn’t blame him if he never wanted to see them again.
Also, hey there Echo Girl.
misc. thoughts: I knew I was too deep into Zen after I got that ending in the April Fools DLC. I didn’t sob sob (though I was pretty close to crying), but I didn’t feel…Okay. It’s hard to describe, but it was like I lost someone important and suddenly I was cold. It’s a flipping dating sim!! Cheritz, why do you hurt me this way????
Another fun fact: I went into MM gunning for 707 because his personality resembled the guy I was in love with during the time the game came out. Turns out what I really needed was a guy like Zen in my life. Whoops.