Who is Denzel?

Denzel was first introduced into the franchise of Final Fantasy VII in the DVD movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children that follows the story of Cloud and his friends two years following the end of the FFVII plotline. His story is also taken up in the short anime novella that was released a few years later called On the Way to a Smile and in Case of Denzel.

In the movie, Denzel is introduced as a child suffering from the Geostigma curse that had befallen the population. He is taken up by Tifa and is considered a member of the family that contains herself, Cloud and Marlene. In the animated film, we get to see the exact circumstances of how Denzel really gets to be like an adopted son to Tifa and Cloud.

Denzel was the son of wealthy man employed by the organization called Shinra. After his parents died in the bombing of Sector 7, he was taken care of by a very kind old woman and later Gaskin, both dying due to the Geostigma. Denzel had to grow into an early adolthood due to his hardships in the ruins and among the other survivors. One day he finds Cloud's cellphone and motorbike, Fenrir, parked in front of Midgar's abandoned church. He uses the phone to call one of the numbers, which happens to be Tifa's but collapses while talking to her. Fortunately Cloud finds him just in time and after talking to Tifa takes him to the 7th Heaven bar where they lived. He begins to idolize Cloud and to really care for Tifa and Marlene and tries to protect his family whenever he can, although the Geostigma may hold him back.

I chose this screenshot for the fanlisting's layout because I think that it really represents two parts of who Denzel is: that of his life with his birthparents and that of his current life in 7th Heaven although the latter is hard to see since I had to darken the background for the font.