Lee Sun-Jae: Crash Course in Romance character explained

Lee Sun-Jae reserves one vertex in the love triangle between him, Nam Hae-e, and Seo Geon-Hu. A character of steadfast principles, tumultuous upbringing, and a soppy little heart, here’s who Sun-Jae is and what his journey on Crash Course in Romance has thus far been like.

Lee Sun-Jae is one of Hae-e’s two best friends and has been friends with her for a long time. While their bond of friendship is quite formidable, it’s not as rigid for him as it’s for her, at least thus far in their lives.

Sun-Jae has had romantic feelings for Hae-e for quite some time, but feelings he could never express, thanks to several reasons. Meanwhile, other sources that stand to make his life hard are a new guy who also likes Hae-e, and his dysfunctional family of a troubled brother, a status-obsessed, alcoholic mom, and a distant father.

A romantic with repressed love

Lee Sun-Jae is a really bright student at Woorim High School and usually performs better than most of his peers. He’s best friends with Nam Hae-e and Jang Dan-Ji.

From the very beginning of Crash Course in Romance, it’s revealed that Sun-Jae has romantic feelings for Hae-e, made clear through his longing glances at her. However, he never gets around to making these feelings known to her.

The reason for the aforementioned contains layers, one of which pertains to Hae-e’s situation, which is a tough one, considering she hails from a family not as well-off as Sun-Jae’s, and therefore she feels so deeply to do better in her academics and get into a college.

Sun-Jae & Hae-e Crash Course in Romance
Image source: Netflix

Sun-Jae fears that his confession might also end up ruining their friendship, and also that it might hinder Hae-e’s academic performance. Dan-Ji has known all along that he has feelings for Hae-e and asks him to make them known to her before time runs out, or Geon-Hu takes her away, but Sun-Jae can’t do it right now.

A troubled brother

Sun-Jae’s family is rife with characters most compelling. Unknown to everyone outside his family, the truth about Sun-Jae’s elder brother is one that he reveals only to Hae-e, long before the whole world comes to know about it.

Before the entire fiasco that reveals his brother’s truth to everyone, Hui-Jae’s status and identity remain a mystery to the viewers. Everyone thinks that Hui-Jae has been abroad for higher studies all this time. However, that’s just a lie Sun-Jae’s mother has masked the reality with.

The truth is that Hui-Jae has been living like a shut-in after giving up on his higher studies. Furthermore, whenever he goes outside, he has found himself in the proximity of a serial killer carrying out his murders, which ends up putting the police’s target of suspicion on him, also leading to the truth of his situation getting revealed to one and all.

However, Hui-Jae is only mentally disturbed, and not a cold-blooded killer. In fact, he’s just as kind-hearted and good as Sun-Jae, and his problems with the authorities only come about after he tries to chase the serial killer who murdered the pet cat he was caring for.

An obsessed mother

Sun-Jae’s mother is a fierce lawyer with an ego too big for her to spend much time with words. In her family, her glares are enough, and in public, among other mothers, her snark and sass are carried out with carefully chosen, pointed verbal attacks.

However, as tough and formidable as she may seem on the outside, Jang Seo-Jin is nothing but a wreck on the inside. She’s an alcoholic who continuously fights with her estranged husband and keeps an all-too-tight leash on her sons.

Obsessed with a successful career for her sons, and the happiness that it would offer them, she drove her elder son to the breaking point, following which he had to withdraw from his higher studies and the resulting mental ramifications led to him becoming a shut-in.

Acting no differently to her younger son, Sun-Jae, she handles him with just as vigorous of a discipline, constantly mistreating him and compelling him to focus on his studies. When Sun-Jae focuses on things other than his exams (an understandable thing to do in the wake of tumultuous developments), she goes so far as to get his exam answers leaked.

This lands Sun-Jae into a great deal of pain and conflict since he inadvertently ends up getting Hae-e involved in this cheating as well. When Hae-e confronts her about it, Ms. Jang asks her to keep quiet about it, and when her son’s crush ends up getting hospitalized, she actually finds herself hoping for Hae-e’s condition to remain as it is.

However, Ms. Jang is also a victim, albeit of her own mind and tendencies, and by the end, she has somewhat come to her senses. Lee Sun-Jae, though, braces himself to do the right thing and inform the school about the leak that he ended up becoming a part of, in the process freeing himself of the substantial guilt he felt regarding Hae-e.

Also Read: Jeong Seong-Hyeon: Crash Course in Romance character explained

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