|Also known as||LEN (online gaming alias)|
|School||Toumei High School|
|Occupation||High School Student (First Year)|
Rin Aoi (twin sister)
|Manga Debut||Chapter 41|
Ren Aoi (青井 連 Aoi Ren) is a first-year student at Toumei High School, and the identical twin brother of up-and-coming teen model Rin Aoi. He, along with his twin sister, work part-time service jobs at the gym their father owns. Due to her kindness and overall gentle yet determined personality, Ren has developed a secret crush on his senior, Mei.
Ren is a teenage boy of average height. He has a slim build and slim eyes. He spends a lot of time indoors gaming, so his skin is not as darkened as some of the other male cast. He has black hair which he wears at chin length, with a center-part that frames his face. He also sometimes wears it parted to the side. In looks, he is said by others to be "average" to "not very attractive," despite being the identical twin brother of a model known for her beautiful face and sex appeal. In his case, it likely has something to do with his personality and lifestyle habits.
For clothing, aside from the Toumei High uniform, Ren tends toward simple shirts and straight-leg jeans, sometimes pairing the outfit with a hoodie or overshirt. He often pairs dark colors with each other, to the degree that people gawk at him for wearing "all black." He commonly has to don the gym's uniform of capris, a polo, and a nameplate during his hours at work.
Ren is a gaming otaku and is rarely seen without his handheld console. It is later revealed that he is famous online for being the highest ranking player in the country for a certain video game.
Ren himself is a very stoic and asocial individual. Due to his familiarity with his sister Rin's popularity and happy, outgoing personality, Ren often focuses on the contrast between their two personalities, his being the more reserved and stilted of the pair. Because of this, he's developed a sort of inferiority complex toward his sister, avoiding prolonged interactions with his peers on principle since he notes that the majority of them only wish to speak with him in order to get closer to his sister, which he can't stand the idea of.
Not much is known about the Aoi twins, but Ren, like his sister, recently enrolled in Toumei High School as a freshman. He is constantly glued to his video games and doesn't talk to many people, believing himself to be unable to make any friends of his own merits.
When he finally believes himself to have made a few good friends with some fellow online gamers, it turns out that they only wanted to meet him so they could exploit his popularity, since the one who approached him knew that Ren was the famed number one player of Japan. When Ren finds out that his friend has been posting pictures of their hangouts on message boards without his permission, he expresses his disapproval and hurt, asking him why he would do something like that. His friend then coldly turns his back on him, telling Ren that if he didn't want to stand out, then he should just hurry up and disappear, and leave the number one spot to people who "deserve it."
After this exchange, Ren says to himself that he will quit gaming, and he is no longer seen walking around with his console at all.
Ren's first appearance is in Chapter 41. A small girl named Hiro Aoi is seen crying outside of a library, and Mei tries her best to help the little one find her older brother. Eventually, Hiro's older brother shows up: he is later revealed to be none other than Ren Aoi. Ren thanks Mei and Yamato for returning his sister to him, and apologizes for the inconvenience he caused.
When Mei later approaches him at the gym where he works, he comments that he remembers her as the "nosy girl" who returned his little sister Hiro to him when he lost her at the library, and the two later strike up a conversation. As thanks, Ren gives Mei a lot of helpful workout and body advice to help her reach her goals, and hands her over a dozen free gym passes to get her started, acknowledging that a day pass would not be enough for Mei to lose any weight. Seeing Mei's stunned expression, he assures her that the passes are not a big deal for him since his father owns the gym, and he has way more passes than he knows what to do with. After he is through advising Mei, Ren leaves her with a good luck and a "see you later." When Mei thanks Ren and tells him that she has reached her last day of training, Ren asks Mei if she has reached her goal weight, to which she responds that she has, minus one pound. He then congratulates her, and once again tells her, "See you around." Mei seems mildly confused.
The next time Ren runs into Mei is in the hallways of Toumei High School while she's walking with Yamato Kurosawa. Mei, utterly surprised, asks him what he's doing there. Ren informs her that the "see you around" was in reference to the fact that they would be attendees of the same school. He calls her senpai and then cites her exact height and weight for Yamato to hear, before walking off. Mei, of course, is completely mortified.
Again, Ren meets Mei in the hallway, this time just as she's coming out of a meeting with a teacher to discuss some options for her future. He asks her what she's doing coming out of the staff room and remarks that she doesn't look like she would have business there. Mei gets huffy and vaguely states that third years have a lot of things to do, but Ren guesses immediately that she must've been talking with a teacher about job hunting or university. After expressing her shock that Ren saw through her so easily, she confides that although the teacher recommended a job where she faces people, she's really not sure if she can do that or not, since she believes she isn't good at talking to people. Ren asks Mei if she wants to become a NEET: he says that stopping yourself before you've even tried anything is a surefire way towards limiting your own potential. He says that he doesn't know her very well, but harbors no ill will toward her. He asks her if she likes children, and they are shown exchanging numbers.
Before the two part, he tells her that the kindergarten his little sister Hiro attends is always accepting volunteers, and that he can contact the teacher and relay info to Mei about the listing if she's interested. He later texts her with some information about the job, and he includes a cat emoticon at the end, surprising both Mei and Yamato as they read the easygoing, almost friendly message from the normally-emotionless Ren.
When they exchange future messages Mei tries to make friendly gestures toward Ren, which he coldly brushes off. This is mainly because when he first starts attending Toumei, many students flock to his sister, Rin, while he stands quietly on the sidelines. That is, until some male classmates approach him, and immediately start asking him about his sister and what she's like. This annoys Ren, and he instantly rejects the classmates, telling them that he doesn't wish to hang out with them (due to the fact that they're only interested in Rin). Because of this, and other occurrences, Ren has not been interested in making friends.
Nevertheless, due to certain circumstances, he and Mei see more and more of each other, and Ren begins to grow more fond of Mei and, to a lesser degree, Mei's friend Asami.
Ren's identical twin sister, who works as a model and is very successful. She is far more emotional, outgoing, friendly, and open to others than her brother Ren, and the differences between them are painfully obvious to him. He often vocalizes, both to himself and to Rin, that he wonders how the two of them ended up with such contrasting personalities when they were raised in the same environment and given the same things.
In spite of his insecurities, however, he and Rin are very close when they're alone together and seem to be perceptive of each others' emotions. They are capable of getting along but they also tease each other and bicker a lot.
Ren's younger sister, currently an elementary school student. She seems mainly unfazed and overall understanding of her brother's gloomy, brooding personality and she loves her brother very much in spite of it.
Mei is the first person Ren talked to since enrolling in high school, and is one of the only people he talks to aside from his twin sister. The two seem to have grown closer over time in a strange way, though Ren may feel more strongly toward Mei than she feels toward him. As of Chapter 55, it is confirmed that Ren has developed a crush on her despite her having a boyfriend, and finds her very beautiful.
Asami begged Ren to allow her to accompany Mei for the teaching day, and he agreed that he would ask the teachers. He later tells Asami that the teachers were okay with it, to which she expresses much joy. Ren seems to find Mei's friend loud and a little too cheerful, but he doesn't seem to dislike her.
Kai is a fellow student at Toumei High and his sister Rin's current boyfriend. He saw Kai a lot at the gym where he works and knew of him before anyone else in Mei's group due to the former having a membership. He initially wonders if Kai is Mei's boyfriend and is surprised to hear that Yamato is instead.
- "I'm Hiro Aoi's... brother."
- "155 centimeters. *** kilograms." (citing Mei's height and weight, in front of Yamato)
- "Do you want to become a NEET? Because even before you think about working, aren't you already trying to lower and put a stopper on yourself? You haven't even done anything yet. No one's even telling you [to think like] that." (to Mei, when she doubts her own abilities to advance)