Share this article

The Chinese 'Noctis' Wannabe Who Sells Bulk Underskirt Stealthies

By Isabella Jiangcheng
Jun. 16, 2023 updated 04:08


On June 8th, the BBC Eye team released an investigative article and the documentary "Catching A Pervert: Sexual Assault For Sale". In the documentary, several journalists searched for evidence of groping and ultimately traced these activities to a highly active Chinese website operating in Japan. 

The website, calling itself "I can't hold it" in Chinese, has more than 10,000 paying members, most of whom are Chinese men. Its content mainly focuses on groping and sexual harassment videos, usually taking place on subways and buses and filmed in locations including Japan, South Korea, and China.

In addition, the website also offers services such as "customized" content for a fee, with a large amount of this tailor-made content being related to rape.

This website is still active as of press time.

The report has attracted a lot of attention in China domestically, and the authorities quickly removed tags related to this article from Weibo's trending chart, allegedly deeming the topic too sensitive to discuss. But it did not take long for Chinese netizens to find out who the men behind the website were. One name, Zang Xinyu, also known as Noctis Zang, stood out, particularly among the Chinese gaming community, for his unapologetic glued hair and overly air-brushed looks.

Noctis Zang's social media profile appeared in the documentaryNoctis Zang's social media profile appeared in the documentary

"I remember this person! Wasn’t he the official cosplayer for Noctis back then?"

And yes, they saw it right. Zang Xinyu was the appointed cosplayer for Noctis when "Final  Fantasy XV" was released in China.


Many people know Zang for one reason: he really, really, really wants to be a real-life Noctis. 

In 2016, the Chinese version of "Final Fantasy XV" was simultaneously released with the global version, allowing players to purchase the renowned game from local stores. This marked a significant milestone for the Chinese gaming industry, as players typically had to wait months or even years for an official Chinese version, assuming one was released at all.

Microsoft China and Sony China put forth substantial efforts to promote the game. Sony even invited two cosplayers who closely resembled the male and female protagonists to personally deliver physical copies of the game to the initial batch of pre-ordering players. These two cosplayers were Zang Xinyu and his then-girlfriend. 

At the time, the game garnered immense popularity, and the story of the cosplaying couple spread widely within the community, instantly propelling them to become a beloved celebrity couple.

During an interview in 2016, we spoke with Zang about his experience portraying 'Noctis.' He emphasized that he was not just a cosplayer but had adopted the name "Noctis" for over six years out of his genuine love for the character. Zang had also invested a significant amount of money in collecting Noctis merchandise.

Zang expressed how the character had influenced his aesthetic taste and even revealed that he had found his girlfriend based on her resemblance to the female protagonist, Luna, in the game.

According to Zang, being chosen to promote FF15 as Noctis in China was also meant-to-be. Sony immediately selected him as the face of Noctis in China upon witnessing his enthusiasm while trying out the game.

This story was considered a "dream come true" modern fairytale within the gaming community, establishing Zang Xinyu as the unofficial spokesperson for Noctis and earning him the nickname "The Prince" from many of his followers.

However, the fame did not last. Due to the game's declining reputation and poor quality, "The Prince" found himself in an awkward position, no longer receiving positive attention from his association with the game. Contrary to his previous claims during the interview, Zang's attitude toward his newfound fame was not as effortless as he had portrayed.

In the subsequent years, Zang continued using the ID "Noctis," maintained the same hairstyle, and diligently tagged his photos with Final Fantasy-related labels on social media. 

The only noticeable change was the abrupt absence of his then-girlfriend from the pictures, much like her character Luna in the game.


For most people, the next time they heard about Zang Xinyu was due to his involvement in a groping website. However, Zang never truly left the internet. On the contrary, he desperately tried to regain his internet sensation status and reclaim the Noctis spotlight.

He created his own account on Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing website, using the username Nokujiang (a Chinese wordplay on a cutesy way of saying Noctis in Japanese), and started posting videos on how to maintain a Noctis hairstyle. 

Initially, his channel gained some popularity. However, since Zang was fixated on being solely identified as Noctis, his commercial value was limited, and he soon found himself out of gigs.

Zang also attempted to criticize the disappointing performance of 'Final Fantasy XV,' focusing on how "the current Noctis does not match the impression given in the promotional videos," as if he were still the spokesperson for Noctis. However, these comments backfired, leading many loyal Final Fantasy fans to question Zang's motives for cosplaying as Noctis in the first place if he did not enjoy the game's story.

Zang soon labeled the criticism as a "cyberbullying" campaign against him.

In August 2020, Zang announced his plan to travel to Japan to form a visual kei band called The Versus. Initially, the band intended to perform only in Japan and had no plans to enter the domestic market, as Zang feared being “targeted by haters” due to his association with Final Fantasy XV. However, he was eventually "convinced" by others, and the band started selling singles through Taobao.

Over the next two years, The Versus released several singles, but the band remained niche even within its genre. What brought the band fame, albeit negatively, was Zang Xinyu's condescending remarks on various random topics. His tagline, "The Prince,” soon became a derogatory term used by his peers.

Even his own bandmates “betrayed” him.

In March of this year, Zang Xinyu’s Bilibili and Weibo accounts simultaneously posted a message claiming that a band member had stolen and sold Zang’s property worth 150,000 CNY, including a set of Noctis’s official battle suit, a collaboration between “Final Fantasy XV” and the well-known clothing brand Roen.

He did enjoying wearing this battle suit all lotHe did enjoy wearing this battle suit all lot

According to Zang’s statement, the battle suit was stolen by a band member and sold on a second-hand platform. Despite reporting the incident to the police, they were unable to recover the suit. In his plea for help, Zang wrote, “What upsets me is that the dedication of these 15 years has ended up like this.” 

The video garnered over 300,000 views, and many viewers expressed sympathy, acknowledging that the once glorious “Prince” had also experienced a shattered dream, both on and off the screen.


However, every story that Zang tells seems to be filled with twists and turns.

The band member Hyun, who was at the center of the controversy, immediately released a video denying all allegations. Since there was no concrete proof on either side of the debate, the feud quickly escalated into a battle of who could reveal the most scandalous information about the other. It was during this time that Hyun revealed that Zang had, and possibly still was, operating a groping-themed website.

Titled 'Debunking an influencer on how he lied to everyone around him', Hyun's video got 100,000 views quick and easyTitled 'Debunking an Influencer on how he lied to everyone around him,' Hyun's video got 100,000 views quick and easy

Surprisingly, this was not the first time Zang had been accused. Just a few months earlier, a photographer claiming affiliation with the band had also accused Zang of framing innocent people and running an illegal adult content website. Strangely, this photographer’s account was mysteriously banned shortly after making these claims.

Proof quickly surfaced as screenshots of the band’s conversations were leaked on social media. In these chats, Zang exhibited vulgar behavior, frequently sharing videos related to groping and prostitution. He also boasted about obtaining the personal information of his “haters” through illegal networks in order to engage in cyberbullying. 

"Pretty girl, masturbatable material," Zang said in chat"Pretty girl, masturbatable material," Zang said in chat

Furthermore, the previously mentioned groping website was frequently found in Zang’s browsing history.

Despite the rumors around him, Zang continued to appear in person and respond with confidence. When confronted with these allegations, he has often made excuses, such as claiming that his computer was hacked or that the images are photoshopped, in an attempt to evade responsibility.

However, due to his previous fame, Zang still enjoyed a certain advantage on social media. Moreover, allegations against him mysteriously disappear from the internet. His online presence does not seem to have suffered significant damage. He continued to manage his various platform accounts and quickly disbanded The Versus, forming a new band. Zang wrote in his farewell post, "I will come back with the truth.”

'He's so good-looking I bet he doesn't need to do these to get chicks. So he is obviously framed by his peers. Use your brains!' Said Zang's loyal fan.'He's so good-looking I bet he doesn't need to do these to get chicks. So he is obviously framed by his peers. Use your brains!' Said Zang's loyal fan.

Nevertheless, BBC's reporting on the matter was faster than Zang's own version of the truth. In a documentary, Zang revealed a completely different side, boasting about things he had previously denied.

After being exposed, Zang did not deny the allegations made by BBC as he might have done in the past. Instead, he deleted a substantial portion of his online presence. His most recent social media post, a selfie with the caption still tagging 'Noctis', was over a week ago.

The only activities we can trace are his interactions under Hyun's videos, where he issued ultimatums and warned others not to mess with him. He has even joined Hyun's followers’ discussion group, proclaiming that they will have to face the consequences for their actions "in the end." 

It is worth noting that this man, who previously refused to cosplay any characters other than Noctis, has oddly changed his profile picture to Obito Uchiha from Naruto. 


It is evident that Zang was truly obsessed with "Final Fantasy" and his portrayal of Noctis. He began imitating the character even before the game was released, and he achieved success in doing so. In addition to being the official cosplayer, he also became a model for Roen, a clothing brand associated with the Final Fantasy series.

Zang went to extreme lengths to maintain his connection to the game and even used an official Shinra notebook to keep track of the uploaded groping videos on the website.

During disputes with his former band members, Zang consistently emphasized his status as a spokesperson for Noctis, sometimes going as far as claiming that he was Noctis himself in order to assert superiority. On his personal account, he continues to prominently feature "Final Fantasy-related tags". Regardless of the content, his Instagram posts always include the tag "Noctis."

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, he planned to create a Japan travel vlog in the style of "Final Fantasy," believing that it would "break the internet.”   

Unfortunately, Zang has only scratched the surface of the character. This 30-year-old man seems to be living in a delusion of being a real prince. He may still believe that the person he sees in the mirror is the embodiment of Noctis while failing to recognize the irreparable harm he has caused in reality.

What Zang sees in Noctis is the title of a crown prince, and perhaps, a handsome face. It is hard to believe that Zang actually spared any time to understand this character, and the sorrowful but unregrettable journey Noctis has been through in the game. 

He did not spare any time to understand that true heroes do not need to possess a protagonist-like appearance. 

One comment wrote on Weibo:

This is the happiest day of my life. As women, we cannot do anything to these scumbags most of the time. I know you have a lot of connections on your telegram, or you might use the dark web to find out my personal information. But I don’t care. I will fight back this time, even if that means using what little strength I have to light up the last match, and I will burn myself to powders if that’s what it takes. You reap what you sow. I hope you spend the rest of your life with all the scumbags out there cause, Zang Xinyu, that is what you deserve. #respectwomen