Hey, Gamers! I think you guys liked my last Mystic Messenger post (and with the recent release of Ray’s after ending) so I thought I would go ahead and start talking more in detail about the characters and their routes and what’s special about each of them. Since I assume a lot of my followers haven’t played this game, I thought I would start with a common route character before jumping in the deep end with all the issues I had with Another Story and Ray’s route. The character we are going to be discussing today is Jaehee Kang. I thought I’d start with Jaehee because I know a lot of people have a not so good opinion of her route. From what I understand, it’s because you cannot romance her like you can with the other (male) characters. This blog post is going to explain why that isn’t a bad thing (apart from the obvious homophobic connotations of having a romance gaming but not being able to romance the only female character that has a route), and how Jaehee’s route is actually pretty damn good. We all know this blog is here to spread some positivity and break down the stigma that surrounds gaming, so I thought this was the perfect place to start with Mystic Messenger.
The main point of Jaehee’s route is that what she really needs is a friend, and I feel like a lot of people miss that point. There is justification for each of the boys to have a relationship- Zen and Yoosung are both practically desperate, and Seven and Jumin both do better with MC than without (let’s not talk about Another Story in this post. I want to keep this positive). Jaehee, however, stated time and time again that she did not want a relationship, and that she did not have time for a relationship. To dig into this a little deeper, let’s take a little detour and look at Jaehee and her background.
Jaehee Kang is a 25-year-old who works as Chief Assistant to Jumin Han, heir to C&R (a very large company in the Mystic Messenger universe, one that owns several other companies). Jaehee grew up, from what we can tell, without much of a father figure. Her mother also died when she was around 15 (9th grade in Korea), her mother passed away after getting into a car accident. She then moved in with family, her uncle and aunt. Her aunt thought that she was a burden on the family, but her uncle felt like he had to take care of Jaehee for his sister’s sake. From flashbacks in Jaehee’s route, we see that her aunt had strong objections to anything she did, such as living with them and going to college instead of getting a job. This is important as this likely made Jaehee feel like a burden. This feeling is one she will likely hold for the rest of her life. Nonetheless, Jaehee gets a scholarship to go to university. She actually got into a top university and graduated a whole year early. From there, she was immediately employed by Jumin Han, who was looking for an assistant after being let down by his last one. He picked Jaehee after his best friend, V, made the suggestion after looking at her CV.
Jaehee has worked hard her whole life so that she did not have to burden anyone. Something you see in pretty much every single route is Jaehee working late. She doesn’t have time to look after herself, because she has to work so that she is not a burden on the company like she was made to feel like a burden to her family. She makes herself sick just to not feel like a burden.
I believe that the fear of being a burden is what stops Jaehee from getting into a stable relationship. It’s the reason I feel like she would not be in a position to be in a relationship with MC. In relationships, you need to be able to rely on the other person without constantly feeling like a burden. I don’t think Jaehee has the ability to do that. Even in the after ending, and probably after, when Jaehee and MC have a café together… I think Jaehee would already feel like she was burdening MC by asking her to give up her life to start a café with her. Even after working on herself, I really don’t think it would be enough. I think she will always have this issue, of feeling like she is a burden.
Now that I’ve covered why Jaehee cannot be in a successful romantic relationship, let’s look at what she actually needs to help her, and how that can be successful: friendship.
See, sometimes people just need a friend. Jaehee is so busy, regardless of the route, she needs someone to check up on her from time to time without the feeling of her being a burden. MC can do that regardless of the route, but in Jaehee’s route… they clearly have a special kind of friendship. In Jaehee’s route, she won’t have to worry about whether she is taking MC away from another character, or if she’s taking her away from something else. MC makes it clear how much she cares for Jaehee and Jaehee’s happiness in her route, which is different from the other routes because she’s much more on the guidelines as she is focused on the other characters.
The right kind of friendship could help Jaehee not only overcome the feeling of being a burden that was inflicted on her by her aunt but also – I believe – could help her overcome the trauma that came with the death of her mother. A good friend could encourage her to go to therapy without making it a requirement of their friendship. A good friend could be a shoulder to cry on when Jaehee feels comfortable enough to, but there’s the option to leave if she feels like it is too much. A good friend knows how to install boundaries for both parties, and that is the one thing that will help Jaehee in the long run, more than anything.
Jaehee’s route is easily the best because it is the most different. There’s no rushed romance, no worrying if you’re going to say the wrong thing and they end up killing you and themselves (yeah, I’m looking at you, Yoosung). It is just… chill. It’s lovely.
So, my dear readers, I urge you to give Jaehee’s route another chance while keeping all of this in mind. It’s different because you can’t date her, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad because you can’t date her (other than the blatant homophobia previously mentioned). I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments, and don’t forget to like for me to do a little happy dance, and follow for more content like this!
Real quick personal note: this week, my blog has hit 100 likes and 50 followers! This is a huge accomplishment, and I want to thank each and every one of you. I was unmotivated and scared before coming back off my break, but you guys have blown me away with the love and support I’ve received. I hope to keep posting cool stuff that you guys like and/or find helpful. Thanks, Gamers 🙂