Another Hump Day Husbando piece, another otome love interest! This time around we are tackling one of the most popular titles within the genre of recent times: 707 from Cheritz’s Mystic Messenger.
Released way back in 2016, Mystic Messenger was an immediate hit on the mobile platform, bringing international attention to the otome genre unlike anything seen before. And it’s no surprise as to how and why it succeeded.
Mystic Messenger establishes a world not too far off from our own reality, portraying an intriguing set-up with plenty of mysteries but still grounded the modern day, and exploring topics such as technology, mental health and overcoming past traumas. The narrative is mostly delivered through text message conversations; this evokes a feeling of authenticity with its characters, solidifying them as something more than simply caricatures.
Mystic Messenger’s overall presentation is a perfect fit for mobile, as will likely be obvious, but its characters each have extremely grounded issues and traumas its main character helps them to accept and move on from.
In simple terms, Mystic Messenger is an otome game for those with a saviour complex, so if you enjoy the journey of the prince Dimitri from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, you will understand the sort of thing you will be getting yourself into.
Ultimately, Mystic Messenger has a surprising amount of depth due to its relatability. Characters go through hardships most of its players can sympathise with including workplace pressure, depression, and the loss of a loved one, making the game all the more appealing for its players, allowing them to acts as a helping hand to guide its traumatised characters.
But this is not without its own issues; most notably, the concerning amount of uncomfortable development that reveals the darkest possible outcomes to aligning with and helping these troubled individuals.
Some can go from sympathetic and lovable to problematic and terrifying in a matter of moments, not at all unlike how disturbing Piofiore: Fated Memories got with its own bad endings. So it’s no surprise as to who the best boy is in Mystic Messenger, right? If you did not already know why, let’s give you a run-down.
Who is 707?
707 is the creator of the Mystic Messenger app that players find themselves a part of. We’re suddenly tasked with organising a party for the RFA (Rika’s Fundraising Association) after downloading the app to find a place to chat with some cute guys. We then take on the role of the deceased founder, Rika, as the group’s party organiser, and are expected to plan this party by inviting individuals over the course of 11 days.
707 was one of the five original routes in the game, and one of only two that are locked due to heavy story revelations — into which we will avoid delving any further to keep this piece spoiler-free. But it should at least be obvious from the setup that 707 is significantly tied to the events of Mystic Messenger — much more so compared to his love rivals.
Additionally, 707 is arguably the game’s “poster boy”. No matter what route you end up on, 707 will still flirt with you, and you retain the option to humour him back still. Further proof of him being the canon love interest is seen in the game’s opening, with the animation and lyrics seemingly being from 707’s viewpoint — and to cap it all, two of the game’s secret endings answer some important questions that follow on from his good ending. It seems the question of who is best boy has always been answered.
Why we love 707
So, we meet 707 at the same time as the rest of the RFA members, and he makes for an impactful and memorable first impression. The intrigue of the title is almost completely captured in how 707 presents himself in the chatrooms — he is extremely vocal in his enthusiasm, giddiness and overall happy-go-lucky nature, but out of all the possible love interests, the way he puts himself across feels most obviously “wrong” and false.
He sticks out for his playful joking and very youthful behaviour in the chatrooms, such as using emojis, spamming and being humoured at inside jokes between the MC and him. This in itself is an immediate draw to him, as he initially comes across as the genki archetype – an archetype close to my heart for their sheer optimism and positivity in regards to everything. It’s comforting, but this could not be any further from the truth in relation to 707.
Without spoiling anything substantial, 707 embodies one of the best takeaways of Mystic Messenger. His character development is arguably the most poignant and relatable; he feels like he needs to distance himself from others — including the main character — due to not believing that he deserves love or anything positive in his life. Doubtless this will resonate with many players of the game.
Alongside his personal journey is a route that is one of the most entertaining in the game. It manages to establish tropes only to make them into much more complex elements that serve to deepen the depths of 707’s character.
For example, 707 comes across as a tsundere at times, as his apparent ignoring the main character completely goes against his blatant disregard for his own safety when it comes to helping her. He is quick to disregard his feelings of affection for her in the early stages of his route, which is understandable given his background and underlining trauma. It does not make it any less cute, however!
But this is just an example of one of 707’s many sides — and those many facets form the backdrop to the self-improvement he experiences throughout his route.
And in the end, he also happens to be the most deserving of his happy ending because of how many hardships and misfortune he has faced in the past, and what transpires in the events of Mystic Messenger.
Why you’ll love 707
707’s bubbly and energetic personality displayed across a mobile screen is tough not to fall for. I was 20 when the title first came out, and his self-deprecating humour, trolling of the other RFA members, and usage of the system’s functions all made for a relatable fellow I wanted to romance right off the bat. He felt immediately familiar, warm and inviting. And it only got better from there, as the layers to 707’s character begin to subtly crumble away and reveal a truly complex and layered love interest.
The sheer amount of pleasure felt at seeing a character’s true self come through after learning to accept themselves is wonderful; coming to see them understand that they’re just as rough and imperfect as everyone else really pulls at the heartstrings.
What was once a character that appeared as yet another archetype became a truly captivating and authentically flawed human being, whose self-loathing and unacceptance of himself — not to mention his unwillingness to allow others to even attempt to understand him — makes for enthralling character development. He learns to accept living as the multi-faceted person that he is instead of an exaggerated but ultimately false persona.
But most importantly, his journey teaches a very important lesson to its player — that there are others who will be accepting of you, wholeheartedly and completely. It’s okay to be the true you — including every side and facet of your personality, for better or worse.
It’s okay that we are not perfect, and it’s okay that 707 is as flawed as he is. We all love him for it.
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