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|Pre Timeskip | Post Timeskip|
188 cm (6'2")
78 kg (172 lbs.)
31th August (Virgo)
Lieutenant of the 6th Division
Byakuya Kuchiki (Superior)
|Base of Operations|
|Japanese Voice Actor(s)|
|English Voice Actor(s)|
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 widows-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, 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 amongst 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 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 family, 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 family, 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 Byakuya and that his will have 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 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, Ichigo 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 quite. 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 that attack and strikes Ichigo. 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 he 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 achieve Bankai. Yoruichi tells him that she believes that he 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 sneaked 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 refuse to hand over Rukia even if it costs him his life. Renji attacks Aizen with his Shikai, but Aizen blocks his attack and then 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.
Renji, Rukia, Ikkaku, Yumichika Ayasegawa, Rangiku, and Tōshirō 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, only to lose his temper when they call him bald, Renji repeats Ikkaku's 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 he deflects his Bankai's attack and slashes the lieutenant's chest. The Arrancar mocks Renji and his Bankai, but he is 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 him 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. He allows them 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 use 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 she 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 Szayel Aporro Granz. Renji falls down into a large chamber where he is greeted by Szayel. 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 Szayel talks to them, Renji interrupts him, saying that he came there to fight Szayel and his allies. Renji activates his Bankai, but it explodes. Szayel 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. Szayel draws his sword and prepares to attack. Renji uses his Shikai, but is injured by Szayel, 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 Szayel, slightly injuring him and demands that he move aside.
As Szayel 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 Szayel neutralizes Uryū's bow, Renji blocks an attack aimed at him and asks the Quincy if he can find any way to counter Szayel'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 Szayel's attention by wrapping himself and Szayel 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. Szayel staggers into a trap laid by Uryū and is engulfed in an explosion. As Uryū and Renji exchange pleasantries, Szayel emerges from the smoke and eats one of his Fracción to heal himself, stunning his opponents. Szayel then leaves the chamber to change clothes, much to Renji's surprise.
As Uryū, Renji, Dondochakka and Pesche run away from Szayel'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 Szayel, where the Espada is waiting for them. After explaining that he rearranged the corridors, Szayel 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 Szayel'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 Szayel, 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. Uryū is ensnared by Szayel's wings and notices him producing a doll of the Quincy. Renji is stunned when Szayel uses the doll to inflict injuries on Uryū and tries to attack, but is also caught by Szayel's wing. Szayel crushes several of Renji's internal organs before he finally collapses when his Achilles tendon is damaged. As Szayel continues to torment Renji, he is attacked by Pesche and Dondochakka, surprising Renji. Renji is shocked when Pesche manages to cut Szayel, and when Uryū complains to Pesche, Renji comments that he has more left in him than he thought. Afterwards, Mayuri Kurotsuchi arrives and attacks Szayel with his Bankai, causing Renji and Uryū to become infected by its poison and Mayuri gives them an antidote. After Szayel 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. Amongst 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.
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.
Fake Karakura Town arc
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 Lieutenant Isane 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, Ishida and Inoue 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.
Beast Swords arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Gotei 13 Invading Army arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
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, attacking her with the hilt of Zabimaru, 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 Tadaoki 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 Vandenreich 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 Stern Ritter. He dodges its 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. Renji then 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 captains orders simply stands by and watches Byakuya in his battle verses 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 unnamed Vandanreich member from before. He is launched a considerable distance before losing consciousness in the debris.
Powers & Abilities
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Renji is a highly skilled combatant in various swordsmanship techniques. He was trained by 3rd Seat of the 11th Division Ikkaku Madarame when he was relocated to his division. Before becoming a lieutenant, his skills grew 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 also the only current lieutenant to develop enough skill to attain Bankai (with the exception of Chōjirō Tadaoki Sasakibe).
- Whip Mastery: What makes Renji so effective is the unique method in which his Zanpakutō operates, in the manner that his Zanpakutō is more of an amalgamation of a whip and a sword. Renji is versatile because of this, and to effectively wield it is a testament to his skill. Renji has stated that his Zanpakutō is an extension of his body, both his arms and legs and to that point, 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 an opponent by surrounding him from various angles and then retracting in order to crush his adversary.
Shunpo Expert: Knowing that Zabimaru's Shikai attacks leave him open for counter-attacks, Renji has become highly proficient at 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 can also use 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.
Enhanced Strength: When he swings Zabimaru toward Ichigo in their second fight he is able to easily toss him into the air, and subsequently push him through an entire building about a dozen meters away, with relative ease. During the fight with Szayel Aporro's unique Fracción, Renji protects Uryū from a direct punch by one of the stronger Arrancar using both hands, and throws him aside. Later, by spinning Zabimaru above his head, Renji is able to cause enough force to generate a whirlwind, blowing all of Szayel's Fracción several yards despite their massive size. Szayel commented that this was as a result of Renji's "brute force." Later, after seventeen months of training following Aizen's defeat, Renji's raw strength has grown enough to nonchalantly block Jackie's strongest Fullbring-enhanced strike, which had enough force to unearth a large portion of the ground from 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.
Enhanced Durability: During his fight with Byakuya, he 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 also had enough confidence in his resiliency to use a full-power Hadō #31 on Szayel at point-blank range, willingly taking damage as well. Seventeen months after Aizen's defeat, Renji's training has pushed his endurance to new levels, allowing him to take a direct ground-shattering strike from Jackie's enhanced "Dirty-Boots" Fullbring unfazed.
High Spiritual Power: Being a lieutenant of the Gotei 13, Renji already possesses high spiritual energy. Upon learning Bankai, this power increased on a scale from 5-10. Rukia even comments after feeling his defeat that it was so high, she could not recognize it until it decreased which caused it to become more familiar to her.
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 (spirit).
- 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 at the back. Zabimaru's segments 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, though 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 - which makes him fairly vulnerable during this time interval. To make up for this, Renji usually relies on Shunpo for evasion 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 other Zanpakutō wielded by the other lieutenants, Zabimaru is the most difficult to master.
- Shikai Special Ability: Zabimaru has a special technique rarely used known as:
- Higa Zekkō (狒牙絶咬, Bite of a Broken Baboon's Fang; Viz "Baboon Fang Bite"): Renji can also use his spiritual power to take the disconnected or broken segments of Zabimaru and levitate them into the air, allowing him to execute a one-shot omnidirectional attack, but states that this is damaging to Zabimaru and leaves Renji defenseless. Byakuya later comments that using this technique will prevent him from reactivating his Shikai for an unspecified duration.
- Bankai: Hihiō Zabimaru (狒狒王蛇尾丸, Baboon King Snake Tail; Viz "Baboon King"): transforms Zabimaru into a massive version of its Shikai form resembling a skeleton of a snake. Zabimaru gains many more segments, which are much larger resembling a mix between a snake’s vertebral column and the pick-like protrusions of his Shikai segments, and 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 thus, the ape's skull could 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 has also proven capable of inflicting heavy damage through biting.
- Bankai Special Ability: Zabimaru also gains special techniques when in Bankai form such as:
- 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 even destroyed, Renji can simply detach it and reform Zabimaru.(Unnamed)
- Enhanced Higa Zekkō: He can also use a much more powerful version of Higa Zekkō, where all the segments detach, glow and sharpen using 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.
- 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 Szayel Aporro 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) "A man who raises his hands on a woman is trash. If I have to become trash in order to survive... It'll be just like dying."