Renji has brown eyes and long crimson hair, which is usually kept in a high ponytail. As a child, Renji's hairline was leveled. Later, he styled it in a large widow's-peak. His upper body is covered in tribal tattoos, which have increased over time, starting from his early days as an academy student to covering his entire back, much of his chest, his extremities, and even much of his forehead. He wears a standard Shinigami outfit, though he usually includes some sort of headgear, usually expensive glasses, or a white headband when he is saving up to purchase some new glasses. Despite being of appropriate rank, Renji does not wear his Division's lieutenant badge. While out of uniform, Renji often wears a white kimono-like type of night clothing, with pink floral patterns on it, and a dark grey sash tied around his waist. It has also been said "that the women within his Division do not mind that he usually walks around in his night clothing."
Seventeen months after Aizen's defeat, Renji's hair has grown longer and he wears a maroon colored bandanna covering all of the tattoos on his forehead. He also wears long dark straps on each wrist with bandages over his arms.
Renji is quite dynamic. His personality varies from smug and cocky to disquieted and depressed after a major defeat, but shows himself to be an incredibly serious and determined fighter when confronted with an actual threat. Willing to fight, kill, and die for whatever he believes in, Renji is a dangerous man to those who stand in his way. Yasutora Sado compares his fighting style to that of Ichigo Kurosaki. Renji is determined to surpass his captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, and it's this determination that drives Renji to grow stronger. Renji likes taiyaki (a popular fish-shaped pancake usually filled with sweet bean paste), and has a dislike for spicy food. Renji also likes futsal, and in his free time works on assembling a team from the 6th Division, with success, more or less. The current members are himself, Rikichi, and the 4th, 8th, 13th, and 20th seated officers.
All of Renji's sunglasses are purchased from Seireitei's popular Gin Tonbo store and cost half a year's worth of his pay check. However, every time he wears a pair, they are broken in one way or another. On these occasions, he replaces them with a tied white bandana, until he can purchase a new pair of goggles. His dream is to wear a pair that he himself designed at least once.
Renji grew up in the 78th District of Rukongai, Inuzuri, with several other children. Having come to Soul Society alone, they helped each other to search for their families. One day, after stealing a jug of water, Renji and his friends were chased by a kama-wielding adult. Rukia Kuchiki tripped the adult and urged Renji's group to follow her to avoid losing the water. Rukia joined their group and they lived together as a family. They all hated Inuzuri and the people there. Renji disliked the fact that Rukia had spiritual power like he did. Ten years after Rukia joined their group, with all of their friends dead, Rukia proposed that they become Shinigami, which Renji agreed to do. As they were quite gifted with spiritual powers, they entered the Shin'ō Academy with ease, where they struggled to prove their worth among those from noble families. The night before the welcoming ceremony for the new students of the Academy, Renji slept in a tree, against Rukia's advice. The following morning, he fell out of the tree and landed on a headstone where a startled Izuru Kira had been praying. Having scored among the highest grades in the entrance exam, Renji was admitted into the top class along with Izuru and Momo Hinamori.
Two months after entering the Academy, Renji scolded Rukia for still not fitting in and informed her that he was going to the Human World for field training to practice the Konsō for the first time. Whilst being briefed on the field trip by Shūhei Hisagi, Kanisawa, and Aoga, Renji failed to recognize Shūhei, who was to lead the mission. Izuru explained to him that Hisagi was famous and a gifted student. Renji, Izuru, and Momo were assigned to the same group. When Momo joined them, Renji kicked Izuru because of how he greeted her, saying that he should not let his emotions show so easily. While in the Human World, Renji remarked that Konsō was a lot easier than he had imagined. He then lost his temper with the constantly fidgeting Izuru and punched him. As Shūhei called an end to their field trip, the group was attacked by a Huge Hollow, which killed Kanisawa and Aoga. Shūhei ordered the group to retreat while he stayed to fight the Hollow. When a second Huge Hollow appeared, Momo stopped and questioned why they were running away. Renji reminded Momo that the Hollow had just killed two sixth year students. When Momo rushed back towards Shūhei, Renji and Izuru followed her and helped to block the second Hollow's attack on him. When more Huge Hollows showed up, they were saved by the arrival of Fifth Division's Captain Sōsuke Aizen, and his lieutenant, Gin Ichimaru. When Momo wondered if they would ever become as strong as Aizen and Ichimaru, Renji laughed at the notion and insisted that captains and lieutenants were monsters.
Having passed an important exam, Renji rushed to find Rukia to tell her. However, when he found her, she was with several Shinigami, including Byakuya Kuchiki. As they left, Renji noted Byakuya's power, causing him to wonder who he was. Renji asked what they wanted and congratulated Rukia when she told him that they want to have her adopted into the Kuchiki Clan, have her graduate immediately and assigned to the 13th Division. Rukia thanked him and left. Renji told himself that Rukia finally had a family and that he should stay out of it. After Rukia left, Renji trained every day in a bid to beat Byakuya, but he was unable to defeat him even once.
Renji graduated from the Shin'ō Academy in its 2,066th year and joined the Gotei 13, where he initially served under Aizen in the 5th Division, along with Izuru and Momo. The rebellious Renji, however, was moved to the 11th Division and rose to the rank of 6th Seat. During his time in the 11th Division, he befriended Ikkaku Madarame, to whom he revealed that he wanted to become stronger than Byakuya Kuchiki. Ikkaku taught Renji how to fight and Renji became aware that Ikkaku had a Bankai, and requested that he use it to train Renji.
Forty years after Rukia's adoption into the Kuchiki Clan, in mid-April, Momo and Izuru presented Renji with a letter stating that he was to be promoted to lieutenant of the 6th Division. He formally accepted Momo's words, which caused her to tell him not to be so uptight. Ikkaku told him that he was now a step closer to Rukia and that his will has been strong for forty years, but now that he was a lieutenant, they should return to the type of relationship that they once shared. Izuru informed Renji that Rukia was leaving on a mission to the Human World that afternoon. When Momo urged him to hurry, Renji told her that he would wait until his promotion was made official a month later, and that when she returned, he would surprise her with it. On the 19th of July, Renji was sent alongside his captain to arrest Rukia and return her to Soul Society.
Agent of the Shinigami arc
Having been tasked with either arresting or killing Rukia, Renji travels to the Human World with Byakuya and discusses the merit of their orders. Using his goggles, Renji identifies Rukia and confirms that she is inside a Gigai. Renji reveals that he did not believe the information from the Image Office about this. Renji greets and attacks Rukia, saying that she was so lost in thought that she failed to notice a scout from Soul Society standing right behind her. He complains that she has become too soft in the months that she has been missing and demands that she summon the Human that she gave her powers to. When Rukia protests that no such thing happened, Renji questions why she is acting like that. While she is distracted by Byakuya, Renji attacks her, but lets her escape, saying that giving her powers to a Human is a very serious sin for a Shinigami and that they have been appointed to kill the Human. Renji tells her not to try to protect the Human and that his next attack will be serious, but he is interrupted by Uryū Ishida. After asking who he is, Renji cuts Uryū's explanation short and decides to kill him. Renji defeats Uryū in a single attack, and as he is about to kill him, he introduces himself and swings his blade down. However, he is stopped by Ichigo Kurosaki’s arrival.
Surprised to see another Shinigami and further shocked at the size of his Zanpakutō, Renji quickly figures out that Ichigo is the Human who took Rukia's powers, proceeding to attack him. Renji quickly and easily overwhelms Ichigo, injuring him. He states that once Ichigo is dead, Rukia's powers will return, but she will be executed in Soul Society. He ridicules Ichigo for showing up when Rukia was trying to protect him. Ichigo uses the moment to attack Renji, cutting his chin. Byakuya chastises him for being careless and reveals that according to their undercover forces, Ichigo had inflicted a scar upon a Menos Grande 33 hours earlier. Renji laughs this off and asks Ichigo the name of his Zanpakutō. Seeing that Ichigo does not understand him, he activates his Shikai and further injures Ichigo.
After explaining what had just happened to Ichigo, he moves in for the kill. However, Rukia jumps on him and urges Ichigo to run away. Ichigo instead gets up and continues to fight, becoming more powerful, much to Renji's surprise. Ichigo quickly defeats Renji and as he tries to deliver a finishing blow, he is struck down by Byakuya. Awed by Byakuya's abilities, Renji wonders how Ichigo became so powerful so suddenly. Renji stops Rukia from running to the defeated Ichigo's side, telling her that there is no point in her getting into more trouble over a dead person. Rukia protests that it is her fault that he is dead, surprising Renji. When Ichigo grabs Byakuya's leg, Renji is stunned that he is still alive. Rukia surrenders to Byakuya, prompting protests from Ichigo. Renji stamps on his back, telling him to stop making things worse and to be quiet. At Byakuya's behest, Renji opens a Senkaimon and they leave with Rukia.
In the Sixth Division’s barracks, Renji berates Rikichi for failing to look after the Jigokuchō properly. He then visits Rukia in her cell. He tells her to eat something and becomes annoyed when she makes fun of his new rank. Rukia asks if she is going to be executed. Renji tells her that Byakuya is reporting to the Central 46 and that he will most likely appeal for her sentence to be commuted. Rukia disagrees, saying that he will not ask for leniency, surprising Renji. Byakuya later returns and reveals that Central 46 has decided that Rukia will be executed in 25 days time, stunning Renji. After Byakuya leaves, Rukia tries to cheer Renji up by saying that she is alright, as it only makes her more determined to escape and makes fun of his tattooed eyebrows, angering him. Renji leaves, truly saddened and noting that it is not possible for her to escape and that she will be executed. He wonders if this is truly okay with Captain Kuchiki.
Soul Society arc
When a group of Ryoka arrives in Soul Society, Renji is with Rikichi when he hears an alarm warning them about their arrival. He asks for his Zanpakutō, which Rikichi goes to fetch. Rikichi returns with Zabimaru and urges Renji to take it easy as he rushes off. However, he does not reach the Ryoka in time and only glimpses Captain Ichimaru repelling the Ryoka from the West Gate of Seireitei. 14 days before Rukia's scheduled execution, Renji escorts a group of Onmitsukidō guards as they transfer her to the Senzaikyū. Once there, he points out to her that they can see the Sōkyoku, which will be used for her execution, from the windows. The guards thank Renji and begin to leave. Renji stays to tell Rukia that there was an unconfirmed report that five Ryoka invaded Soul Society and that one of them matched Ichigo's description. Renji leaves with the guards.
As he walks away from the Senzaikyū, Renji wonders when he last saw Rukia's face light up like it had just then. Renji ponders if he should have told her this, as Ichigo would not have stood a chance against Ichimaru. His thoughts are interrupted by Aizen, who asks to speak to him privately. As Aizen looks around the room, he notes that they have not spoken since Renji's transfer to the 11th Division and asks if he is now in the 6th Division. Renji inquires what it is that he wants to talk about. Aizen reveals that he is aware that Rukia and Renji were close friends and asks if he thinks that she really deserves to be executed. He then reveals that there are a number of unusual aspects to her arrest and execution, claiming that there is a conspiracy. Shocked, Renji asks what he means, but they are interrupted when Aizen is called to an emergency captains' meeting.
Later, Renji receives an order to put on his lieutenant’s armband and attend a meeting of the lieutenants. He complains about this to fellow lieutenant, Tetsuzaemon Iba. Along with Momo, they are the first to arrive at the waiting room. When Rangiku Matsumoto arrives, Renji asks Iba who her captain is. Hearing that it is Tōshirō Hitsugaya, he remarks that he is a child genius and that it is bad. Momo asks him if he has seen Captain Aizen, which he denies. He tells Momo not to worry about him, saying that the meeting is probably not a big deal and that everything will be alright while asking himself what Aizen is up to. That night, Renji and the other lieutenants are shocked to hear an alarm announcing that there are intruders inside Seireitei. Several hours later, after no intruders were found, Renji and Byakuya witness the Ryoka enter Seireitei from the sky.
Yasochika Iemura announces to the gathering of the lieutenants the extent of the casualties inflicted by the Ryoka. Upon hearing that two of the Ryoka have taken a hostage and are heading towards the center of Seireitei, Renji quietly leaves the assembly. He leaves his lieutenant's armband in his office and heads out alone. He finds Ichigo and compliments him on surviving Byakuya's attack. As the two begin to fight, Renji asks him how he intends to save Rukia, questioning how he can be so confident about being able to save her. Renji unleashes his Shikai and knocks Ichigo back, informing him that his power is five times greater without the limiter placed on his powers when he was in the Human World and continues to attack Ichigo, blaming him for Rukia's troubles. As Renji becomes annoyed with Ichigo's insistence that he will save Rukia, Ichigo tries to exploit the gaps between Renji's continuous attacks in order to fight back, but Renji dodges his attack and strikes him. Ichigo barely dodges Renji's finishing blow, and grabs Zabimaru. He tells Renji that he is sorry for keeping him waiting as his Reiatsu begins to increase dramatically. Renji is hit by a point-blank unnamed Getsuga Tenshō which breaks Zabimaru and badly injures him. Renji, wondering what happened and how he lost, grabs Ichigo and admits that getting Rukia back is an impossible dream for him. He begs Ichigo to save her instead.
Renji falls unconscious and is found by Izuru and a small group of Shinigami, who concentrate on saving him rather than chasing the Ryoka. They bring him to a safe area, where Momo is shocked at his condition. She recommends contacting the Fourth Division to have him healed, but Byakuya tells them not to bother, but to throw him into jail instead. Captain Ichimaru, however, tells them that he will contact the Fourth Division for them. A restrained Renji is treated by a Fourth Division member while in his cell.
In his cell, Renji has a conversation with the materialized spirit of his Zanpakutō, Zabimaru. While Zabimaru is fully recovered and eager for a rematch with Zangetsu, Renji insists that they are no longer enemies. Zabimaru asks him who is his enemy, and who he will fight next, but Renji does not answer. He later breaks out of confinement, knocking out his guard, and finds his way to Ichigo, who is in an underground training area with Yoruichi Shihōin. Renji realizes that he is attempting to learn his Zanpakutō's Bankai. Renji tells them that he is there to train to attain Bankai as well and that Rukia's execution has been moved up to noon of the following day. Renji tells them that he is close to achieving Bankai, as he has already achieved the materialization of his Zanpakutō, and begins to train with the materialized Zabimaru. During a break in training, Ichigo tells Renji his reasons for wanting to save Rukia. After Renji achieves Bankai, he asks Yoruichi if Ichigo really can do the same. Yoruichi tells him that she believes that Ichigo instinctively knows how to achieve Bankai.
Renji leaves the training area and heads towards the execution site, defeating several members of his own Division, including Rikichi, in the process. He is intercepted by Byakuya, who refuses to allow him to rescue Rukia or to pass by. After blocking Byakuya's Senka attack, Renji activates his Shikai without using its release command in order to prevent Byakuya from activating his own Shikai. Renji then activates his Bankai, Hihiō Zabimaru, and declares that he will save Rukia. Byakuya dismisses this notion and evades Renji's initial attack. He blocks Hihiō Zabimaru and attacks it with his own Shikai, seemingly breaking it apart. However, Hihiō Zabimaru reforms and Renji continues to attack him. Byakuya uses Kidō to take advantage of Renji's inexperience with using his abilities, confusing the movements of Renji's Bankai. He then binds him with Bakudō #61 Rikujōkōrō and uses his Bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, severely injuring the immobilized Renji. Byakuya explains the nature of his Bankai and complements Renji on still being intact. Renji's Bankai disappears, which Byakuya explains is a sign that he is near death. Renji declares that he can still fight and tries to charge at his captain, but he is impaled by several blades from Byakuya's Bankai. Byakuya congratulates him, but tells him that he will kill him if he gets up again. Thinking of Ichigo, Renji says that he swore he would save Rukia and makes one last attack, but breaks Zabimaru against Byakuya's body before collapsing. Byakuya applauds his lieutenant on having struck him, and leaves a dying Renji with his scarf and acknowledges that Renji's "fang" had finally reached him.
After being healed by Hanatarō Yamada, Renji regains consciousness. Confused, Rikichi tells him that he snuck Hanatarō out of prison so that he could treat Renji. As Rikichi gives his lieutenant a uniform and headband, Hanatarō asks him to save Rukia. After Ichigo saves Rukia, Renji arrives at the execution site, knocking out several Shinigami. From the high perch of the execution stand, Ichigo throws Rukia to Renji and orders him to defend her with his life. Renji escapes from the execution grounds with Rukia in his arms after Ichigo stops several lieutenants from pursuing them. As they are escaping, Rukia protests that they must help Ichigo. Renji tells her to be quiet and tells her that Ichigo wanted to return what he owes to her. He tells her that nobody thinks badly of her and that she can depend on him and Ichigo.
Renji and Rukia are stopped by Kaname Tōsen, who teleports the three of them back to the top of the Sōkyoku Hill, where Aizen orders Renji to release Rukia and back away. Renji asks how Aizen is still alive and what he just said. He refuses Aizen's order, causing Aizen to draw his sword against his former subordinate. Renji evades the full force of Aizen's strike, but is still injured by it. Aizen praises his abilities and tells Renji that he does not want to kill him. After telling Rukia to be quiet, Renji refutes this, demanding to know why he killed Momo. Aizen reveals that Momo and Izuru were just his puppets, causing Renji to state that he is no longer the Aizen he once knew and refuses to hand over Rukia even if it costs him his life. Renji attacks Aizen with his Shikai, but Aizen blocks his attack and grabs Zabimaru with his bare hand. He cuts through the Zanpakutō and injures Renji, then informs him how he had used the three Shinigami. He offers Renji a final chance to release Rukia, but he refuses and as Aizen tries to kill him, Ichigo arrives and blocks the attack. After momentarily bickering, Renji tells Ichigo that he does not intend to run, but will instead attack Aizen. He uses his Higa Zekkō technique to attack Aizen, while Ichigo charges at the captain. Aizen, however, stops Ichigo and quickly defeats both of them.
After Aizen's escape, Renji is treated by the Fourth Division. A week later, Renji waits in the hospital with a recovering Byakuya. When Byakuya asks if Renji wished that he was dead, Renji replies that he does not, and that if he were to die, then he would no longer have a reason to become stronger. Their quiet conversation is interrupted by Ichigo and Orihime Inoue, who are searching for Rukia. Realizing that Renji and Byakuya do not know where she is, they leave. When the Ryoka depart from Soul Society, Renji is among those present at the Senkaimon to see them off.
At some point after the defection of Aizen, Gin, and Tōsen, Renji asks Ikkaku to become a captain, but he refuses. Renji tries to convince Ikkaku that he is the only one who can fill the void left by the loss of the three captains and that he should replace one of them as captain. Ikkaku reminds Renji that he once told him that he did not want anyone other him and Yumichika to know about his Bankai. Ikkaku tells him that just as he wishes to surpass Byakuya, Ikkaku's wish is to fight and die under Kenpachi Zaraki's leadership and that if he understands that, he should not ask him again.
Bount arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
After the events in Soul Society, Renji is assigned to the Human World in Rukia's place. While he does not mention exactly why, he is angered at Ichigo's suggestion that he has been demoted from lieutenant. He claims that Ichigo's inability to hide his huge spiritual power attracts Hollows, and that he's there to lend a hand. During his visit to the Human World, Renji stays at the Urahara Shop where they give him the nickname of "nihongo" (freeloader) and constantly deny him second helpings of food by playing on his guilt. When Ichigo starts to feel down about his early defeat by one of the Bounts, Renji and Ganju Shiba provoke and attack him, forcing him to realize his strength again.
After the Bounts fully reveal themselves, Renji joins Ichigo's friends in confronting them at Kariya's mansion, where Jin Kariya sacrifices Yoshino Sōma to create the Bitto. While patrolling the city, Renji finds a child being attacked by the Bitto and defends him. The Bitto eventually withdraw on orders, but Renji is left seriously injured and the child is almost completely drained of his soul. Renji is healed by Hanatarō Yamada, but the child is left struggling to stay alive. Hanatarō eventually successfully heals the child.
Meanwhile, Izuru Kira, Shūhei Hisagi, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Yumichika Ayasegawa are assigned by Tōshirō Hitsugaya to defeat the Bounts in the Human World. The Shinigami find the hideout of the Bounts and enter, but are all disabled by Ugaki's doll, Gesell. Renji, Ichigo, and his friends enter the cave later on and are also attacked by Gesell. Most of the group is left to tend to their injuries while Renji and Ichigo continue on, finding the other injured Shinigami along the way. After Gesell almost kills Yumichika Ayasegawa, Renji remembers the fighting spirit he had when he was in the 11th Division and fights Gesell one-on-one with his Bankai. Yumichika keeps Ichigo from interfering, explaining that anyone who's been in the 11th Division believes their fights should be one-on-one, and that helping would be considered dishonorable. Renji manages to wound Gesell, driving it insane and causing it to kill its owner.
During the brief discussion period between Ichigo and the Shinigami after the Bounts enter Soul Society, an injured Renji (needing Yumichika's help to walk) tells the group he will also be returning to Soul Society. Although he does not enter Soul Society with Ichigo, he is later visited by Tōshirō Hitsugaya, who wants to know if Renji has any helpful information about the Bounts. In Soul Society, Renji, Hitsugaya, and Matsumoto investigate reports of strange activity in a forest in Rukongai. By the time the three of them arrive at the forest, the Bounts are gone. Maki Ichinose, on the other hand, is waiting for them, hoping to slow their pursuit and buy time for the Bounts. Though initially successful, he is engaged by Kenpachi Zaraki and abandons his plan for the opportunity to kill Kenpachi.
After returning to Seireitei, Renji fends off the many Shinigami possessed by the Bount Mabashi's doll, Ritz. After Mabashi is killed, he assists in caring for the wounded. He later helps take Rukia to the execution grounds, where Kariya and Ichigo were fighting. After the fight is over, he sits with Rukia and Ichigo and reflects upon his appointment as lieutenant of the Sixth Division before Ichigo leaves.
Renji, Rukia, Ikkaku, Yumichika, Rangiku, and Captain Hitsugaya travel to Karakura Town after receiving orders to link up with Ichigo and prepare for the battle with the Arrancar. The group arrives in Karakura High School in their Gigai, posing as students. Renji tells Ichigo why they are there, and rebukes Ichigo when he does not know what an Arrancar is, despite having fought one a few days previously. When Rukia kicks Ichigo and removes his spirit form from his body, Renji holds his body, commenting to Rangiku that Rukia can really foul things up. When the other students make comments about Renji's appearance, Ikkaku tells him to ignore them. When Ikkaku loses his temper when the same students call him bald, Renji repeats his own advice to him.
Later, at the Kurosaki Clinic, Renji, Ikkaku, Rangiku, and Yumichika enter Ichigo's room via the ceiling. With illustrations provided by Rukia, Renji explains about the Arrancar and how Aizen's use of the Hōgyoku has changed the situation. He also reveals that Soul Society had intended to bide its time and watch for Aizen's opening moves, but due to the attacks in the Human World, Captain Jūshirō Ukitake became uneasy and it was decided to dispatch a team to Karakura Town. Renji reveals that since the annihilation of the Central 46, the captains have taken over their responsibilities and that Captain-Commander Yamamoto was in charge of selecting the team. He states the reasons why each member of the team was selected, saying that he informed Ikkaku about the mission himself. When Tōshirō enters the room via an open window and takes over the explaining, Renji asks if he had expected it to be open and tells him that he should not have done that, as his age and hair color make him seem suspicious. As Renji and Rangiku marvel over Kon, he tells Ichigo that they will not be returning to Soul Society until the Arrancar threat is over. After Ichigo tells them that they cannot stay at his house, the group leaves. Renji tells Ichigo that he will see if Kisuke Urahara will allow him to stay, revealing that he wanted to understand how Urahara had brought Ichigo to his current level in such a short time, and saying that he had other questions for the former captain.
As he waits outside the closed Urahara Shop, Renji notices the approach of Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and his Fracción. Renji leaves his Gigai and is confronted by Yylfordt Granz. Renji uses his Bankai against the Arrancar, and is stunned when the latter deflects his Bankai's attack and slashes the lieutenant's chest. The Arrancar mocks Renji and his Bankai, before being attacked by Ururu Tsumugiya. Yylfordt releases his Zanpakutō and impales Ururu, stunning Renji. When Jinta Hanakari intervenes, Renji places his Bankai between Jinta and Yylfordt to shield the child and tells him to run away. The Arrancar breaks through one of the segments of Hihiō Zabimaru, injuring Renji, whilst revealing his name and number to him. Rangiku informs Renji that she has received permission from Soul Society for them to remove their power limiters. Renji promptly releases his limiter and explains to a stunned Yylfordt about how Shinigami captains and lieutenants normally have their powers limited to one fifth of normal while in the Human World. He attacks the Arrancar and uses Hikotsu Taihō, killing him instantly. Afterward, Renji notes to himself that the battle was a close one, attributing his victory to the commotion his limit release caused. He wonders if all Arrancar are that strong and begins to worry about Ichigo. Renji finds Ichigo, noting that his opponent had returned to Hueco Mundo and asks Ichigo if he won. When Ichigo replies that he lost, Renji rebuts this, saying that since he is alive, he did win. Ichigo refuses to accept this, saying that Renji would not say such a thing if their positions were reversed. Renji later watches on as Orihime Inoue heals Rukia, remarking on the speed of her healing ability
After the battle, Urahara allows Renji into his shop and requests that he train Yasutora Sado, saying that it would be awkward to have him stay there if he refuses. Renji questions why he should do it when Sado had asked him. Urahara replies that Sado needs the power of a Bankai to grow stronger. Renji responds that the former captain should use his Bankai, becoming agitated. Tessai Tsukabishi restrains him as Urahara explains that his Bankai is not suited to such tasks. He admits to avoiding Renji so that he did not have to answer his questions and proposes that if Renji does the chores at the shop for three months, he will answer any questions that Renji has. Renji insists that training is not a chore, but reluctantly agrees to train Sado and do the chores. As Renji fights Sado with his Bankai, he asks the overwhelmed Human if he is done already. Sado attacks him again, but Renji dodges, asking if he has gotten weaker. While Orihime is talking with Urahara, Renji knocks Sado into some rubble. When Sado refuses medical treatment, Renji tells him not to get carried away. As they continue to train, Urahara tells Orihime that she should stay out of battle, as Renji tells Sado that Urahara is correct, stating that the Fourth Division is trained for battle as well as healing. He comments that Orihime's demeanor is not suited for battle and that now may have been the best time to tell her that.
When the Arrancar attack again, Renji refuses to allow Sado to fight in the battle, saying that he has used up to much energy and that he will go in his stead. However, Urahara tells both of them to stay and rest, insisting that he will go instead. The following day, Renji and the others gather in Orihime's home where they learn of her disappearance from Captain Ukitake. When Captain-Commander Yamamoto states that Orihime has most likely joined Aizen's side of her own free will, Renji stops Ichigo from protesting, saying that he will only make it worse. He requests permission to for the team to travel to Hueco Mundo to retrieve Orihime. Yamamoto, however, denies this request and orders them to return to Soul Society. Renji is surprised to see Byakuya and Kenpachi Zaraki emerge from a Senkaimon behind them. Byakuya tells them that they have orders to use whatever force necessary in order to make them return. Renji hurries Rukia through the Senkaimon as they leave. In Seireitei, Byakuya states that he did not receive any orders beyond returning them to Soul Society and that they may do as they wish. The captain then allows Renji and the others to return to the Human World.
Hueco Mundo arc
Urahara opens a Garganta for Renji and Rukia, and shortly after arriving in Hueco Mundo, they find Ichigo, Sado, and Uryū fighting Runuganga. Rukia defeats the Hollow and then she and Renji both punch Ichigo for leaving without them. Rukia explains that they both had planned to return by any means necessary. Renji explains to Ichigo how they got there. Along with Nel Tu, Dondochakka and Pesche, the group uses Bawabawa to reach the walls of Las Noches, which Ichigo and Renji attack with their Shikai. After breaking through the wall, Renji notices that there is wind coming through the hole. As the group run through the breach, Renji uses Kidō to illuminate the area, but he is only able to produce a small light, prompting taunts from Uryū, Rukia, and Ichigo. To Renji's dismay, they emerge at a junction of five pathways. When Ichigo disagrees with Rukia's suggestion that they split up, saying that they stand a better chance against the Espada if they stay together, Renji tells him to be quiet, insisting that showing concern for a warrior's life in battle is an insult to the warrior. As they prepare to split up, Renji decides to recite a chant before they go any further. Saying that it is a Gotei 13 tradition that is falling out of fashion, he insists that it is appropriate and that they should do it, despite thinking that it is lame. After swearing that they will meet up again, they each go their separate ways.
As Ichigo is fighting Dordoni, Renji senses Ichigo's Reiatsu. He then notices a screaming Dondochakka following him. His appearance and attitude is enough to freak Renji out, convincing him to run with the Hollow chasing after him. Startled, Renji asks what he is doing there. Dondochakka replies that he was searching for Nel, prompting Renji to say that he is a lost child, and that if Nel went after Ichigo, she is safer than anywhere else. The two start to bicker with each other as Renji continues to run from him. Upon sensing Nel's Reiatsu, Dondochakka throws Renji over his shoulder and then slams him into the ground head first. Dondochakka then notices that Pesche is not with him. Renji tells him that Pesche has not been with him since the start, correcting him when he misunderstands what Renji meant by this.
When Sado is beaten by Nnoitra, Renji takes note of his defeat. Later, Renji senses Rukia releasing her Zanpakutō and stops, only for the two of them to fall into traps set by Szayelaporro Granz. Renji falls down into a large chamber, where he is greeted by Szayelaporro. Despite trying to avoid him, Dondochakka exits the trap and falls on top of Renji, who kicks him out of the way, complaining that his face is very hard. As Szayelaporro talks to them, Renji interrupts him, saying that he came there to fight Szayelaporro and his allies. Renji activates his Bankai, but it explodes. Szayelaporro explains to a stunned Renji that he cannot use his Bankai in this room as he had set up a mechanism that would prevent its activation, using information from his brother, Yylfordt Granz. Szayelaporro draws his sword and prepares to attack. Renji uses his Shikai, but is injured by Szayelaporro, who reveals that he has received a report stating that Rukia and Aaroniero Arruruerie had killed each other. Shocked and angered at this revelation, Renji attacks Szayelaporro, slightly injuring him and demands that he move aside.
As Szayelaporro damages a tired Renji's Shikai, he grows bored of the fight and summons his Fracción to fight in his place. Uryū shoots one of the Fracción and comments that Renji looks worse for wear. When Szayelaporro neutralizes Uryū's bow, Renji blocks an attack aimed at him and asks the Quincy if he can find any way to counter Szayelaporro's abilities. When Uryū replies that there is, Renji beats back one of the Fracción and tells Uryū that he will trust him. At Uryū's request, Renji attempts to hold Szayelaporro's attention by wrapping himself and Szayelaporro with Zabimaru, tying the two together. Explaining that Kidō is not one of his strong points, Renji uses Hadō #31, Shakkahō at point-blank range, injuring them both. Szayelaporro staggers into a trap laid by Uryū and is engulfed in an explosion. As Uryū and Renji exchange pleasantries, Szayelaporro emerges from the smoke and eats one of his Fracción to heal himself, stunning his opponents. Szayelaporro then leaves the chamber to change clothes, much to Renji's surprise.
As Uryū, Renji, Dondochakka and Pesche run away from Szayelaporro's palace, Renji comments that they will have to rescue Rukia and Sado on their way. However, the four find themselves back in the same chamber where they fought Szayelaporro, where the Espada is waiting for them. After explaining that he rearranged the corridors, Szayelaporro uses his Resurrección and creates quasi-clones of his opponents. As they struggle to tell the quasi-clones apart from the originals, Renji dodges an attack from Dondochakka and rebukes him for it, only to be kicked by Pesche. Uryū stops the three from bickering and reveals the differences that he has noticed between the replicas and themselves, leaving the three stunned that they had not noticed the large differences. Renji notes that it is a big mistake and questions Szayelaporro's intelligence, but the Espada hears him and explains the reasons for these differences. While listening to this, Renji fends off an attack by one of his duplicates and tells Uryū that the chamber is too small to fight with so many opponents. Realizing that the quasi-clones are mimicking his attacks, Renji activates his Bankai, a move which his duplicates replicate, destroying the structure. After Uryū compares him to Ichigo, Renji remarks that it does not sound like praise when Ichigo's name is mentioned. Uryū comments that he was actually insulting him, but Renji simply states that Dondochakka and Pesche should be alright, but to watch out for Szayelaporro, who duly emerges and destroys the duplicates.
Renji comments that it does not feel good seeing himself explode, even if it is a fake. Following Uryū's example, Renji tries to attack the Espada, but they are blocked by two of his Fracción. As Uryū is ensnared by Szayelaporro's wings, Renji notices the Espada producing a doll of the Quincy. Renji is stunned when Szayelaporro uses the doll to inflict injuries on Uryū and tries to attack, but is also caught by Szayelaporro's wing. Szayelaporro uses his newly-created Renji doll to crush several of Renji's internal organs, before the lieutenant finally collapses when his Achilles tendon is damaged. As Szayelaporro continues to torment Renji, he is attacked by Pesche and Dondochakka, surprising Renji. Renji is shocked when Pesche manages to cut Szayelaporro, and when Uryū complains to Pesche, Renji comments that he has more left in him than he thought. Afterwards, Mayuri Kurotsuchi arrives and attacks Szayelaporro with his Bankai, causing Renji and Uryū to become infected by its poison, to which Mayuri gives them an antidote. After Szayelaporro is defeated, Mayuri heals an injured Nemu Kurotsuchi in a manner that surprises Renji and Uryū, who complains to the captain. Renji tells him not to get worked up over it, as their guts are still crushed. Among the rubble, Mayuri opens a still intact door, leaving Renji shocked as to its contents. As Nemu and Mayuri are about to heal Uryū, Renji requests to be treated first so that he can assist the others against the Espada, but is warned against interfering in Kenpachi Zaraki's battle.
As he is being healed, Renji hears Aizen's announcement via Tenteikūra that he is departing for Karakura Town and that Orihime, now located in the Fifth Tower, is no longer of any use to him.
The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
As Ichigo is surrounded by the Exequias outside the Fifth Tower, a healed Renji, along with Sado and Rukia, assists him and frees Ichigo. Renji and Sado then battle a continuous stream of Hollows. Once the Hollows stop spawning, Battikaroa appears. Renji and Sado attempt to fight him, but his sand properties make him immune to their attacks. Seeing their attempts starting to be more successful, Renji and Sado decide to combine their efforts, using their strongest attacks to finally crack the whole of Battikaroa's body and head, defeating him. More Hollows then emerge from the sand. When their battle is interrupted by the arrival of Yammy Llargo, Sado identifies the Arrancar. Renji recognizes the name from Hitsugaya's report, and questions Sado's assertion that Yammy has grown in size. Upon sensing Ulquiorra Cifer's death, Yammy grows even larger in response to this, ripping apart what is left of his jacket to reveal his tattoo. Renji asks Sado and Rukia if they have faced off against Espada, remarking that Yammy is the weakest Espada, and that they should be able to defeat him with relative ease. However, Yammy activates his Resurrección, revealing that he is the 0 Espada, stunning Renji. Renji is defeated quickly and left lying unconscious on a pile of rubble. Renji is then healed by LieutenantIsane Kotetsu along with another injured Yasutora Sado and Rukia in a barrier, as Kenpachi Zaraki and Byakuya Kuchiki face off against the giant Espada.
Following Aizen's defeat, Renji, Sado, Rukia, Uryū, and Orihime go to Karakura Town and meet Ichigo, who is resting after recent battle. Suddenly, Ichigo collapses and screams in pain, as Renji and the rest of the group is running towards him. One month later, Renji returns to Soul Society and begins with regular training with Hisagi in order to able to fight Aizen.
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
Renji is initially seen engaging Byakuya Kuchiki in a training session while other members of their division and Captains Ukitake and Kyōraku look on. After a few strikes, Byakuya ends the battle, stating that they are done for the day. Later, like many of the other members of Gotei 13, he is called to Sōkyoku Hill for an emergency meeting. There, he first meets Muramasa and watches on while he declares war on the Shinigami, using the Shinigami's own Zanpakutō. Renji escapes from the hill with Rukia Kuchiki, and they encounter Kazeshini and Gonryōmaru. While Renji seems to hold his own against Kazeshini, Rukia quickly falls. However, before Gonryōmaru can continue to attack, Byakuya arrives and stops him. Muramasa, looking on, takes note of this and sends Senbonzakura to fight Byakuya directly. With Rukia, Renji watches on while Byakuya seemingly loses to his Zanpakutō.
The following day, Renji returns to the scene, looking for Byakuya, and while there, he is confronted by his Zanpakutō Zabimaru. Initially, he succumbs to their insults and attacks, afraid to destroy the source of his power. While they beat him up, he ponders why he's even bothering to fight at all. He decides that his source of power and his desire for strength is so he can best Byakuya. Encouraged by this, he blocks an attack from the snake end of his Zanpakutō. Zabimaru is surprised, and Renji states that his current weakness is irrelevant, because he will get stronger no matter what it takes. Renji says "Howl Zabimaru," and surprisingly, his Zanpakutō goes into Shikai state. As Renji began to gain the advantage, Zabimaru unleashes their Bankai, completely overwhelming Renji. Being surprisingly crafty, Renji begins relying on Kidō despite his limited control on rapid usage. Renji then takes advantage of Zabimaru's overconfidence by using his Shikai's special attack to finally defeat his Zanpakutō and return them to normal.
Renji later battles the rogue Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Senbonzakura in the 6th Division barracks, with the help of Zabimaru. When Byakuya fights Kenpachi Zaraki later on that night, Rukia runs towards their battle. Renji follows her and tries to protect her when they are caught in the poison mist of Ashisogi Jizō's Bankai form. When Retsu Unohana arrives she mentions that she has already developed an antidote to Ashisogi Jizō's poison. Renji asks her if others have been caught in the poison mist.
Renji next appears in the Human World with his fellow Shinigami for a final face-off against the now Hollowfied-Muramasa. Renji and Zabimaru set about slaying the Gillians. When Byakuya appears nearby, Renji voices his delight at seeing his captain. As he tries to tell Byakuya something about his actions, Byakuya tells him to just concentrate on the mission at hand. Zabimaru openly mocks Renji's attempt to act "cool". After it becomes clear that the Garganta has to be sealed, Byakuya and Senbonzakura try to use their Reiatsu to close it. Renji joins his captain and allies in using their Reiatsu to seal the Garganta. After wiping out the remaining Gillians, Renji and his allies turn their attention to Muramasa, who continues to grow in size. After Renji and his allies defeat the remaining Gillians, Ichigo emerges from the destroyed dome with a defeated Muramasa.
Beast Swords arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
Following Muramasa's defeat, the Shinigami are given a day off to recover and party. Renji, although happy his captain has returned, decides to let Byakuya do as he pleases. Renji also notes to how much the Seireitei has already been repaired, to which Rukia proudly stated it was thanks to Kuchiki Clan. The fun is short-lived, however, as several rogue Zanpakutō Spirits, called "Tōjū", begin attacking Soul Society. After several of them escape to the Human World, Renji is one of the Shinigami sent to take care of the problem. To increase their numbers, Renji has the spirits of Zabimaru remove their chain to move independently. However, the childish Hebi half becomes too interested in having fun in the Human World to be of any help against the Tōjū. When Hebi decides he does not want to return to being a normal sword for Renji (after being tricked by a Tōjū), he runs off. While the Saru half of Zabimaru is worried, Renji insists that Hebi should be allowed to deal with this on his own. Later, the same Tōjū attacks Hebi. Renji arrives in time to save Hebi and deal with Tōjū.
Gotei 13 Invading Army arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
When a time gap is discovered in the Dangai, Renji is ordered to assist Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi in his study of the problem. Along with Byakuya Kuchiki, Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Kagerōza Inaba, he enters the Dangai. When they reach the point where they were supposed to meet up with Mayuri and his group, he is not there. They find Ichigo Kurosaki's Substitute Badge nearby and return to Soul Society. They are greeted by a group of Shinigami and are informed that contact has been lost with Mayuri and that a state of emergency has been declared. Renji accompanies Byakuya and Tōshirō to Captain Yamamoto's office where Byakuya presents the item to the Captain-Commander.
Renji appears later in the Human World before Ichigo and Rukia, after the former is defeated by Kagerōza Inaba, as the real Gotei 13 arrive. Later, Renji heads the Shinigami Imposter Crisis meeting held in Ichigo's room, in which he is berated by Ichigo for holding a meeting within his house. After forcing Inaba to flee, Renji initiates the Gotei 13's meeting in Ichigo's room in which they discuss Inaba. When Kon races to find out where Nozomi Kujō is, Renji is puzzled by his erratic behavior. When the Reigai counterpart of Rangiku is about to finish off Nozomi, Renji intervenes alongside Rukia and Ichigo, forcing her into a retreat. He then joins the others at the barbecue.
Renji, along with the other lieutenants, searches for Nozomi when she goes missing once more. He comes across Sado and the Reigai version of himself battling and decides to get involved. Using their teamwork, the two are able to defeat Reigai-Renji so that he reverts back to a red pill. Renji comments that he feels odd defeating himself and that the pill is no ordinary Gikon. Later, Renji joins the others as Urahara gathers information on the situation in Soul Society. After Ichigo disappears, Sado asks if they should go to Soul Society, but Rukia and Renji say they should trust in the captains.
When Urahara says that he still cannot detect Ichigo's Reiatsu, Renji asks if it means he is dead, but Urahara says that he cannot say. As everyone worries, Renji says he is the most worried, prompting a fight. Later, when Urahara detects Reiatsu like Ichigo's he asks Renji to accompany him. Renji goes with Urahara into the Dangai where they find Ichigo and bring him back. As Ichigo awakens, he yells out, only to find Renji and the others sitting before him. Ichigo asks Renji if he was the one who rescued him, but Renji says no.
Renji participates in a meeting with the other Shinigami and Ichigo's friends where they are updated on the situation. Later, he reports to Ichigo, Sado, Rukia and Uryū, who are training Nozomi that the enemy is attacking. He states that they need to bring Nozomi to somewhere safe, but she tells Renji that if the Reigai are coming, then there is no safe place and she needs to regain her Shikai. Seeing that the others agree, Renji reluctantly decides to help too. Eventually, their efforts help Nozomi release her Shikai.
Afterwards, Renji joins the battle. There, he is aided by Rukia as they face the Reigai-Byakuya. Despite their combined efforts, they are easily forced back by their opponent and they regroup with their allies. Seeing how bad the situation is, it is hesitantly decided to rely on Nozomi's Reiatsu-absorbing Shikai. They all launch their attacks at Nozomi, who then uses the collected energy to defeat all the Reigai, except for Reigai-Byakuya who uses the "Dankū" to narrowly block it. Reigai-Byakuya then blasts everyone knocking out Renji and everyone except for Ichigo and Nozomi. They are saved by the arrival of Yamamoto, who instantly defeats Reigai-Byakuya by blasting it with his flames.
Unable to get up, Renji is forced to watch as Nozomi and Ichigo fight the captain Reigai and later Inaba. This effort costs Ichigo too much energy, causing him to plummet to the ground. Renji manages to get up and catch him. Determined to stop Inaba, Renji joins Rukia and Ichigo. As Ichigo voices his refusal to let Inaba take Nozomi as she doesn't want to go with him, Inaba states that it is laughable they act like they understand her. He declares that he and Nozomi are created from the Reiatsu of the same Shinigami. Renji joins Ichigo and Rukia in charging at Inaba, only to be quickly defeated in their weakened state.
Ultimately, Inaba succeeds in capturing Nozomi, and in the process destroying the remainder of Ichigo's powers. After getting his wounds treated by Unohana, Renji insists that they attack Inaba while he is still injured. Unohana, however, voices that they cannot attack so reckless with several high-ranking Shinigami, including Yamamoto, currently incapacitated. Later, Renji joins Rukia (in his Gigai) to check on Ichigo. While Ichigo tries to act calm about losing his powers, it is clear how pained he is by this. Renji and the others then go to Urahara's to discuss the situation. Renji listens as Kisuke theorizes that they can restore Ichigo's power by using the remaining Reishi instead the Kōtotsu, which shocks him. Renji is present when Ichigo successfully returns from the Dangai.
Afterwards, Renji and the others agree to act as diversions through the Dangai while Ichigo and Kisuke sneak into Soul Society. Inside the Dangai, they are confronted by two Reigai, who realize that they are decoys and withdraw. Later while waiting for news from Kisuke, Renji and the others become concerned. After some convincing from the Tessai and the healed Shinigami, Renji and the others decide to go to Soul Society. There, they find that Ichigo has again transformed into a Hollow and has been subdued by a man who bares a resemblance to both Inaba and Nozomi. The man, Yushima, quickly displays his incredible power by completely overwhelming Renji and the others.
After the Hollowfied Ichigo surprisingly saves Rukia from Yushima's attack and returns to normal, albeit deprived of his Reiatsu again, Renji comes to and joins his friends to protect Ichigo. Renji follows Uryū's lead in setting up for his "Sprenger". While succeeding in restraining Yushima long enough to use the technique, Yushima counters with a "Hajokuri" spell to dispel the attack and subdue his enemies again. Kon then arrives and gives Ichigo a Mod-Soul pill of his Reishi, restoring Ichigo's powers. As Ichigo manages to fight evenly with Yushima, Kon convinces everyone to help Ichigo. Renji and the others launch group attacks on Yushima. Their attacks are ultimately defeated, but it give Ichigo an opening to strike Yushima hard. After a final clash, Ichigo is able to defeat Yushima.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc
Renji is present when Rukia is ordered to observe Ichigo.
After Ichigo appears to regain his Shinigami powers, he is mocked by Kūgo Ginjō that it only looked that way as he had stolen all of his powers and Rukia would only manage to give him some of her power. However, Renji then reveals his presence and the presence of other Shinigami including Ikkaku, Kenpachi, Hitsugaya, and Byakuya that are observing the scene. Renji states that they all gave some of their Reiatsu to the sword that Urahara created in order to restore Ichigo's powers when he was stabbed with it.
Later, he pairs up with Jackie Tristan as Xcution faces off against the Shinigami. As their battle begins, Jackie berates Renji for not attacking her. He states that he refuses to attack a woman first, whether she is stronger than him or not. He then asks about the exhaust pipes on her shoulders, and Jackie expresses her surprise at him knowing about them. The pipes then secrete a large amount of sludge, covering her body completely. She then stomps the ground, causing the rock formations nearby to topple, while telling Renji that he'd better drawn his sword. She attacks, managing to land a kick on Renji, though it appears to do nothing to him, shocking Jackie. She launches a second attack, kicking at Renji, only for Renji to easily block her, the aftershock destroying a huge stone column. Renji then attacks her with the hilt of Zabimaru, which knocks her out, while telling her that he'd been training the past seventeen months to fight Aizen, and that her lot "just doesn't cut it".
Renji carries Jackie as he searches for a way out of Yukio Hans Vorarlberna's dimension, stating that he had expected an exit to appear after defeating her. Jackie tells him it is likely because she is still alive. Surprised that she is conscious so soon, Renji praises her toughness. He declines her offer to kill her, before noticing that the sky is folding. Jackie states that Yukio had been watching them and is now erasing the dimension they are in. She urges him to kill her so that an exit can appear, but Renji again refuses, insisting that they will leave by force. Jackie comments that he is a good man before there is an explosion.
After the explosion, Ikkaku, Kenpachi, and Yachiru notice Renji coming out of some bushes as Ikkaku scolds Renji of his condition. Renji apologizes and explains that he got out of the dimension he was in, but couldn't move for a while. Ikkaku asks Renji if he defeated his opponent and Renji assumes that she died. Shortly afterwards, Byakuya appears with an unconscious Rukia, while Renji runs towards him, worried about her. Byakuya then leaves her to him, ordering him to take care of her. He stays with Rukia until she wakes up, asking if she is hurt. They then look on as Ichigo breaks apart Yukio's dimension by activating his Bankai. They later witness the climax of Ichigo and Kūgo's battle. Renji brings Kūgo's body to Soul Society as per Yamamoto's instructions. Later, Renji is surprised to see Ichigo in Soul Society and demands to know why he is there. Along with Rukia, he accompanies Ichigo to the captain meeting where the latter requests to retrieve Kūgo's body.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Renji and Byakuya attend the official funeral of Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe. Renji listens as Byakuya tells him about Chōjirō's background and loyalty to Yamamoto. Later, while the captains are in a meeting, Renji watches Rukia pacing impatiently and tells her to calm down. Izuru interrupts them by asking about the recent disappearances in Rukongai.
When the Wandenreich attack Seireitei, Renji notices the blue pillars of flame caused by their assault and worriedly wonders what it is. When Sternritter F, Äs Nödt, appears and kills several Shinigami, Renji protects the final survivor. He attempts to fight Äs, but finds that his Shikai's attacks are ineffective. Renji decides to use faster attacks, but is suddenly ambushed by another Sternritter. He dodges his initial strike, but is attacked again. Byakuya uses his Shikai to protect Renji from the attack and tells Renji to simply crush the enemy. After being saved by Byakuya's arrival, he is advised by his captain that should his Bankai be sealed by the Sternritter, then he should use his own to help counteract the seal. Renji responds by wondering if they should just not use Bankai to begin with, but is left shocked as Byakuya explains that the enemy they are engaging cannot be easily defeated without Bankai. Shortly after Byakuya's Bankai is stolen, Renji begins to activate his Bankai, but Byakuya instructs him not to, saying that he must not lose his Bankai as well. Renji protests, asking how they can hope to win otherwise.
As per his captain's orders simply stands by and watches Byakuya in his battle versus the Quincy. Renji finally decides to intervene when his captain is brutally attacked by Äs, using his own Bankai against him. Renji activates his Shikai and attempts to go on the offensive, screaming that the Quincy is not worthy of using the power of Senbonzakura Kageyoshi. Renji attempts multiple times to strike Äs Nödt without success. He eventually decides to use his own Bankai against the Quincy, but before he can Renji is blindsided by a double kick from the side by the Sternritter from before. He is launched a great distance before losing consciousness in the debris. When Ichigo Kurosaki finally enters Soul Society, Renji's status is checked on by Ichigo and is confirmed to be still alive. Sometime after the battle's conclusion, Renji (alongside Rukia) is operated upon by the 4th Division because of the severity of their injuries. While Ichigo comes to see how they are, he remains unconscious for the duration of his visit.
Senjumaru Shutara later brings Renji to the Royal Guard's Tenchūren along with Rukia and Byakuya so that they can be taken to the Royal Palace. Unohana notes that their condition is too critical for them to leave Seireitei, but the Royal Guard insist on taking them. Upon arriving in Reiōkyū, Renji and the other wounded are taken to Tenjirō Kirinji's headquarters, where they are placed in his "Blood Hell Pond" hot springs, allowing its unique healing properties to treat the wounded Shinigami. Later, Renji is fully healed and deemed ready to move on with Ichigo by Kirinji.
As they arrive at the next domain, Renji and Ichigo notice that Kon sneaked along. They are greeted by Kirio Hikifune, who quickly treats them to a banquet. Ichigo voices his feelings of guilt for just relaxing and eating while the Soul Society is preparing for war. Renji helps him get over it by explaining that one must first get healthy before they can train. Kirio returns, shocking them with her new slender and attractive appearance. She explains that while it may only appear to be relaxing, she has imbued them with powerful Reiatsu. She also warns them that they are going to the palace of the unpredictable Ōetsu Nimaiya, the man who created the Zanpakutō.
Later, Renji, Ichigo, and Kon arrive at Nimaiya's domain. They are left embarrassed by his flashy antics, and even more surprised that he has surrounded himself with dozens of beautiful women. He brings them to a small hut. Once inside, Renji and his friends find themselves plummeting into a pit. Nimaiya reveals that he took Renji and Ichigo's Zanpakutō without their knowing and smashes them. As Renji and Ichigo notice that they are surrounded by menacing eyes, Nimaiya tells the two Shinigami that if they can escape, he will reforge their Zanpakutō. Nimaiya reveals that the beings surrounding them are in fact Asauchi, all of which he made himself and that they are angry at how Ichigo and Renji treat their Zanpakutō as tools.
After battling the Asauchi for about three days, Nimaiya congratulates Renji on passing his test, thus earning the right to have his Zanpakutō reforged. Ichigo on the other hand, failed and was left battered. Deciding that Ichigo was not a true Shinigami, Nimaiya blasts Ichigo through a portal back to the Human World. Nimaiya afterwards states that Ichigo must first return to his roots. Realizing how Renji feels, he asks him why he didn't protest Nimaiya decision before concluding that Renji grudgingly agrees with him. Explaining the nature of how a Shinigami gains a Zanpakutō, Nimaiya concludes that Ichigo must first find where his soul is.
Later, Renji is training with Rukia in Ichibei Hyōsube's palace, in which both note that they have difficulty keeping their composure and moving. Renji is informed of Byakuya's recovery, which prompts him to have a flashback of his experience in Senjumaru's palace. He stops having the flashback just before he strips down. He then accepts Ichibei's offer to be personally trained by him. During his training with Ichibei, the Royal Guard member reveals that Zabimaru has only partly acknowledged Renji and has not shared the true name of its Bankai to him, leaving Renji surprised. Determining Renji to now be strong enough and worthy of wielding Zabimaru's true Bankai, Ichibei teaches him its name.
Renji and Rukia later head for Soul Society. Afterward, he and Rukia arrive in Soul Society. When Mask attempts to use his Star Flash on a heavily wounded 3rd Division Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi, Renji blocks the beam with Zabimaru before introducing himself as a villain.
Renji tells Rukia to treat Rose and Kensei Muguruma and leave Mask to him. As he and Renji exchange insults, Mask has James heal him with his cheers. Mask tries to attack Renji, but the lieutenant dodges the attack before elbowing Mask into the ground. Proclaiming Renji has made him angry, Mask punches him while explaining how this anger strengthens his punch. Blocking the blow, Renji taunts Mask, who becomes even angrier and attacks in blind rage. Escaping the attack, Renji inflicts multiple wounds on James. When Mask again calls him a coward, Renji notes all villains are just cowards before slicing Mask across the abdomen.
Seeing Mask squeeze himself back together after the cut, Renji watches in disgust as new versions of James appear out of James' sliced-up body and cheer for the Sternritter. Empowered by the cheers, Mask takes on a new form. When Mask states that he now remembers Renji from the last invasion and wonders how he became so strong, Renji notes that Mask fought without even knowing who he was. Mask then attacks Renji and sends him flying. After activating his Quincy: Vollständig, Mask unleashes another attack, which Renji blocks with the release of his true Bankai, Sōō Zabimaru.
Upon Renji's release, Mask states that his Bankai is dangerous and that his heart is currently burning with the desire to defeat him in the name of justice. He immediately charges at Renji, but is stopped by Renji's Hihiō, which generates a large skeletal arm that crushes Mask's own arm and throws him to a nearby building. With Mask angry at him for breaking his arm, Renji activates Orochiō and stabs Mask with Sōō Zabimaru's new serrated blade. He follows up with Sōō Zabimaru: Zaga Teppō, scorching Mask's body and chomping him in half, ultimately killing him.
After defeating Mask, Renji, remembering what Rukia told him about waiting after the fights to prevent the Sternritter getting the first move, hides away in a building and falls asleep. When morning comes, Renji wakes up and says that he has stayed hidden long enough before setting out to find a new Quincy to fight. Later, Renji looks on in shock as the meteorite which Gremmy Thoumeaux summoned hurtles toward the Seireitei, and wonders what is going on. When Ichigo arrives, Renji senses his Reiatsu and looks up into the sky.
Soon afterward, when Bazz-B catches Ichigo by surprise and fires Burner Finger 1 at him, Renji appears and deflects the blast with Zabimaru. After dismissing how he nearly hit Ichigo with this attack, Renji tells Ichigo to go after Yhwach and states he will handle the Sternritter, prompting Ichigo to depart. When Bazz-B and NaNaNa Najahkoop attempt to follow Ichigo, they are interrupted by the arrival of Rukia, Hisagi, Byakuya, Yumichika, and Ikkaku as Renji repeats his statement. After most of the Sternritter activate their Quincy: Vollständig and rush forward, Renji and the others prepare to fight them.
However, the combatants are scattered by the enormous explosion that occurs when Yhwach, Haschwalth, and Uryū depart for the Soul King Palace. Afterwards, Renji pushes rubble off of himself and Rukia with Hihiō before noting that they were separated. When Bazz-B appears and offers to help them kill Uryū upon hearing Rukia wondering why he betrayed them, Renji throws some rubble at him and declines before insulting his mohawk. When Renji compares an enraged Bazz-B to a chicken, Bazz-B compliments his eyebrows, causing a shocked Renji to sincerely compliment him as being a nice person. However, Bazz-B proclaims it is too late and uses Burner Finger 4, creating a massive explosion.
Ōken Clothing: After training with the Royal Guard, Renji dons special clothing in order to safely return to the Seireitei. These clothes are made from the bones and hair of the members of the Royal Guard, and they possess incredible defensive power, allowing Renji to withstand the friction that results from breaking through the 72 barriers between Soul Society and the Soul King Palace without suffering any damage; Yhwach notes that no Shinigami could hope to wear greater garb. These clothes take the form of a striped bandanna covering his forehead, a black visor covering his eyes, and a striped, fur-hemmed jacket and white double-breasted white cape worn over his standard Shinigami attire. They are destroyed when Mask De Masculine blasts Renji with his Star Flash: Super Nova.
Powers & Abilities
Master Swordsman: Renji is highly skilled in various swordsmanship techniques. He was trained by the 3rd Seat of the 11th Division Ikkaku Madarame when he was relocated to his division. Before becoming a lieutenant, his skills were great enough to fight on par with Ikkaku's Shikai and earn the rank of 6th Seat Officer in the 11th Division. Renji is able to hold his own against captain-level fighters, and is one of three lieutenants to have attained Bankai (alongside Chōjirō Sasakibe and Rukia Kuchiki).
Whip Mastery: What makes Renji so effective in battle is the unique method in which his Zanpakutō operates; Zabimaru is an amalgamation of a whip and a sword. Renji is a versatile fighter because of this, and to effectively wield it is a testament to his skill. Renji has stated that Zabimaru is an extension of his body, like his arms and legs, and he has used it in a variety of ways. He can use its extension ability to attack an opponent from behind, or either the left or right, without giving away the variation of his attack until it is too late. He has shown considerable skill in using his extension capabilities to constrict opponents, surrounding them from various angles and then retracting Zabimaru in order to crush his adversaries.
Shunpo Expert: Knowing that Zabimaru's Shikai attacks leave him open to counter-attacks, Renji has become very proficient in Shunpo to compensate for this weak point. Renji can even keep up with captain-level Shinigami for an indeterminate amount of time. He knows enough to be informed on their higher level techniques.
Kidō Practitioner: As a student at the Shin'ō Academy, Renji showed poor skill in Kidō. Later, he is skilled enough in the use of the level 31 Shakkahō spell without incantation, but has difficulty using it in rapid succession, as some will explode on him indiscriminately. He also uses a low-level Bakudō spell to restrain multiple targets (albeit they were all unseated officers). Renji also has enough knowledge of Kidō to manipulate it for purposes other than fighting, such as using his Shakkahō spell to illuminate the dark corridors of Las Noches. However, he is only able to create a small light without reciting the full chant.
Great Spiritual Power: Being a lieutenant of the Gotei 13, Renji possesses high spiritual energy. Upon learning Bankai, this power increases on a scale from 5-10. Rukia comments that it was so high, she could not recognize it until it decreased by the end of Renji's fight against Byakuya, which caused it to become more familiar to her. This spiritual power significantly increases again when Kirio Hikifune provides him with her Reiatsu-induced food, her noting that his power is completely different from what it was before. This is proven when Renji overpowers Mask, a captain-level combatant who previously defeated Renji soundly, with his Shikai alone during their second encounter. His Reiatsu is light red in color.
Enhanced Strength: Renji possesses great physical strength. When he swings Zabimaru toward Ichigo in their second fight, he easily tosses him into the air, and subsequently pushes him through an entire building about a dozen meters away with relative ease. During the fight with Szayelaporro's unique Fracción, Renji protects Uryū from a direct punch from one of the stronger Arrancar, using both hands, before throwing him aside. Later, by spinning Zabimaru above his head, Renji creates enough force to generate a whirlwind, blowing all of Szayelaporro's Fracción several yards away, despite their massive size. Szayelaporro stated this was a result of Renji's "brute force." Later, after seventeen months of training following Aizen's defeat, Renji's raw strength allows him to nonchalantly block Jackie's strongest Fullbring-enhanced strike, which had enough force to unearth a large portion of the ground with the shockwave, with just the back of his wrist, and effortlessly knock her out with a simple blow to her stomach using the hilt of his sword. After training with the Royal Guard, Renji's strength increased to the point where he created a large crater by elbowing Mask De Masculine in the back of the head after the latter attempted to use his Star Rocket Headbutt and stopped Mask's Star Satsujin Punch with just his bare hand.
Enhanced Endurance: During his fight with Byakuya, Renji is hit directly by every blade from Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, and when he continues to fight he is pierced by five more blades. Even after such terrible damage, he makes a last ditch effort attack, almost piercing Byakuya with Zabimaru, and finally falls defeated. He had enough confidence in his resiliency to use a full-power Hadō #31 on Szayelaporro at point-blank range, willingly taking damage as well.
Enhanced Durability: Renji is a very durable fighter. Seventeen months after Aizen's defeat, Renji takes a direct, ground-shattering strike from Jackie's enhanced "Dirty-Boots" Fullbring unfazed. Likewise, he was able to resist the unique healing properties of Tenjirō Kirinji's hot springs without rotting away after being fully healed for a noticeable period, as well as enduring one of the Royal Guard member's punches while remaining mostly unfazed, a feat that greatly impressed the man. Later, after his training with the Royal Guard and during his fight with Mask, Renji emerged unharmed after withstanding the onslaught of Mask's Star Lariat and being hit by his Star Flash Super Nova.
Zabimaru redirects here. For the female and male manifested spirit that appears in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc and the Beast Swords arc see Zabimaru (Zanpakutō spirit).
Zabimaru (蛇尾丸, Snake Tail): Zabimaru's sealed form resembles a typical katana. It has a rectangular bronze tsuba with a jagged design, and a red handle and sheath.
Shikai: Zabimaru's Shikai command is "Howl" (咆えろ, hoero; "Roar" in the English dub). In its Shikai, Zabimaru transforms into an even longer 6-part segmented blade; each segment is wider than the one preceding it from the hilt, with 2 pick-like protrusions on the front and back of each segment, with the ones on the front much longer than the ones on the back. Zabimaru's segments can grow in number almost without limit. The segments are connected by a stretchable thread, making Zabimaru more useful as a whip than an actual sword, however, it can serve as a regular sword just as easily, thanks to Renji's swordsmanship. Zabimaru's guard and handle remain the same in its Shikai release. While Zabimaru can be stretched to incredible lengths in its whip form, Renji has a limit of three consecutive attacks before having to bring the segments of Zabimaru back together for recovery - leaving him fairly vulnerable. To make up for this, Renji usually relies on Shunpo to evade attacks as he retrieves Zabimaru's segments. Renji's Shikai, while durable to an extent, can ultimately sustain serious damage the longer the fight drags on. While it can withstand dangerously prolonged combat, it has limits in enduring high-level attacks that are conducted by either the enemy or by Renji himself. Because of these many drawbacks, Renji states that out of all the Zanpakutō wielded by the lieutenants, Zabimaru is the most difficult to master.
Shikai Special Ability: Zabimaru has a rarely used special technique known as:
Higa Zekkō (狒牙絶咬, Bite of a Broken Baboon's Fang; Viz "Baboon Fang Bite"): Renji can use his spiritual power to levitate the disconnected or broken segments of Zabimaru into the air, allowing him to execute a one-shot omni-directional attack, however, Renji states that this is damaging to Zabimaru and leaves him defenseless. Byakuya later comments that using this technique will prevent Renji from reactivating his Shikai for an unspecified duration.
Bankai: Sōō Zabimaru (双王蛇尾丸, Twin Kings Snake Tail): The true form of Renji's Bankai takes on a more compact form that is predominately worn. On his right wrist, Renji gains a gauntlet resembling the top portion of a snake’s skull, with a cowl of red fur surrounding its base. A long, bony tail composed of vertebra-like structures protrudes from the back of the skull, and trails behind him. At will, Renji can extend a large blade from the snake’s mouth. Renji also gains a large cowl of light fur that hangs down from his left shoulder. Additionally, he gains a pair of pauldrons that form an armored collar, as well as additional vertebral cords that hang down from his waist.
Bankai Special Ability: Zabimaru gains special techniques when in Bankai form.
Hihiō (狒々王, Baboon King): The cowl portion of the Bankai transforms into a large, skeletal arm that follows the movements of Renji's own left arm. Its hand possesses considerable power, having enough strength to crush bones.
Orochiō (オロチ王, Great Snake King): The blade portion of the Bankai changes into a larger, serrated form.
Sōō Zabimaru, Zaga Teppō (双王蛇尾丸蛇牙鉄炮, Twin Kings Snake Tail, Snake Fang Iron Gun): Upon impaling the enemy with his blade, Renji clenches his fist, forming a jaw of spiritual energy behind him. These jaws then close down on the enemy, forming the visage of a large, serpentine skull, crushing them with its fangs. Simultaneously, Renji fires a blast of spiritual energy through the enemy. The attack is powerful enough to reduce its target to ashes.
Former Powers & Abilities
Due to Renji not possessing the full name of his Zanpakutō he was not able to effectively use his Bankai nor did it take its true form. Thus from the onset of his development of Bankai he was fighting with an "unrealized" Bankai.
Hihiō Zabimaru (狒々王蛇尾丸, Baboon King Snake Tail; Viz "Baboon King"): Renji's Bankai transforms Zabimaru into a massive version of its Shikai form, resembling a skeleton of a snake. Zabimaru gains many more, much larger segments, resembling a mix between a snake’s vertebral column and the pick-like protrusions of his Shikai segments. It also gains a snake-like head about the size of a small car. Renji is also slightly transformed, gaining a fur cowl around his neck. The cowl appears to be the fur of an ape, and the ape's skull can be seen over Renji's left shoulder, while the rest of the fur extends to cover his right arm. Zabimaru itself, in Bankai form, does not literally "cut;" Renji usually catches his opponent with the snake-head of his weapon and smashes his opponent into the ground with it. The head is capable of inflicting heavy damage through biting.Mayuri Kurotsuchi states that the segments broken during Renji's fight with Byakuya Kuchiki have been missing ever since.
Bankai Special Ability: Zabimaru gains special techniques when in Bankai form.
Bankai Reconstruction: Unlike its Shikai, Zabimaru's segments are held together by Renji's spiritual power, allowing him to separate and reattach them at will. The segments themselves are extremely tough, making it extremely difficult to destroy Hihiō Zabimaru. Even if a segment is damaged, knocked off, or destroyed, Renji can simply detach it and reform Zabimaru.(Unnamed)
Hikotsu Taihō (狒骨大砲, Baboon Bone Cannon): Renji fires a dense blast of concentrated spiritual energy from Zabimaru's mouth. The technique requires a substantial amount of energy from Renji, which usually breaks the segments out of formation in the aftermath.
Enhanced Higa Zekkō: He can also use a much more powerful version of Higa Zekkō, where all the segments detach, glow and sharpen with spiritual energy. They surround the opponent and execute an omni-directional attack of blades of spiritual energy. After use of this attack, Hihiō Zabimaru reconstitutes itself.
Reiatsu Ropes: Renji can separate his Bankai segments and use them to surround his opponent. By linking the segments together again with his Reiatsu, Renji is able to bind the target. He uses this technique on Yammy Llargo, but it is easily destroyed.(Unnamed)
His theme song, as chosen by Tite Kubo, is HAZU feat Ill-Bosstino's "Stray Dog".
Renji ranked consistently high in the first few character polls, making the top 5 twice, but has now fallen from the Top 10 most popular characters. He ranked 23rd in the 1st, 3rd in the 2nd, 4th in the 3rd and 11th in the 4th.
His Zanpakutō, Zabimaru, in Shikai placed 7th, and its Bankai placed 36th, tying with Senna's Mirokumaru.
In the Bleach best bout poll Renji's fight with Ichigo tied for third place while his fight with Byakuya made it in sixth place.
Renji is nicknamed red pineapple by Jinta Hanakari, a reference to the way his crimson hair is kept in a pineapple top-like ponytail. Renji also occasionally wears a shirt with 'Red Pineapple' printed on the front.
Renji had a serial article in the Seireitei Communication titled Let's Do Shikai, a much-touted, three-part series in which Renji gave tips on the essentials of battle.
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Don't make me laugh! It is your fault that Rukia lost her power. That's why her sentence is so heavy. Don't you get it? It's all because of you that Rukia is going to die! What right do you have to say you want to save her? Quit joking around."
"I am really a tramp down to my bones. I hate myself. I bark at the moon, but I don't have the courage to jump and grab it."
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "I never won once against Captain Kuchiki. Ever since Rukia left, I trained every day, but I still failed. He is too strong. Fighting to get Rukia back is nothing but an impossible dream to me. Kurosaki, I'm probably shameless for doing this, but I have to ask you. Please, you have to save Rukia!"
(About Byakuya Kuchiki) "I have always been afraid, always been pretending to follow you closely, always been pretending to sharpen my teeth, when the truth is, I am scared to death just treading on your shadow."
(To Byakuya Kuchiki) "For a long time now, before I joined the Gotei 13, the only person that I have always wanted to surpass is you, Captain Kuchiki!"
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Showing concern for a warrior's life on the battlefield is an insult to that warrior."
"We at this moment head into the decisive battle. Have faith that our blades will not shatter. Have faith that our hearts will not waiver. And even if our paths should diverge, we all share a heart of iron. Swear that even if the ground beneath us should be rent asunder we will live and return to this place again."
(To Szayelaporro Granz) "What the hell are you on? I didn't come here to chit-chat with you. I came here to beat the hell out of you guys. I don't give a shit about your life story. If you wanna chat, you can do it all you want while I kill you. But I'm not gonna go easy on you."
(To Jackie Tristan) "Only a piece of trash would slaughter a woman in cold blood. To live on as a worthless piece of trash would be just as bad as dying here now."