|Race||Shinigami (Seijin Status)|
|Occupation||Captain of the Fifth Division|
|Previous Occupation||Commander of the Shinsengumi|
|Previous Partner||Tenjirō Kirinji|
|Base of Operations||Seireitei|
|Relatives||Ichirō Yamato (adoptive son)|
- "Strong and loyal, yet deceptively cunning." - Ten Tails
Renge Kondō (近藤蓮華, Kondō Renge) is the current Captain of the Fifth Division in the Gotei 13, as well as a former member of Master status in the Seijin Order. As a Seijin, Renge was revered under the moniker "Renge of the Blood Rose" (血薔薇乃蓮華, Chibara no Renge). His lieutenant is Kintarō Hijikata.
As the Captain of the Fifth Division, Renge wears a customized captain's haori with torn and jagged edges. It is different from traditional haori worn by captains in that it is trimmed with blue and has two horizontal blue stripes across the back. He also wears several bandages around his lower stomach, white pants, and traditional tabi. Renge himself has spiky brown hair with a red headband tied to his forehead, and piercing brown eyes.
Renge is normally a comical, caring, and protective individual. He is fiercely loyal to his comrades and his Ring. His leadership skills are unquestionable, as is demonstrated by his selection by the Captain-Commander, Shunsui Kyōraku, to be a Captain. He is very determined to remain responsible in his command. He always makes sure a mission is complete and holds every member of his Ring responsible for it's completion. Despite this, he has also proven to have a deceptively cunning and serious side to his personality whenever the situation demands. He always speaks politely to both his superiors and his subordinates, though in the case of his friends he can sometimes be sarcastic and will occasionally pick on them.
About a thousand years ago, his personality was almost the exact opposite, showing the changes that he's been through since his becoming a marshal. Back then, he had just exited the Kidō Corps and joined the Gotei 13 and was very shy and silent. He often stuttered when he talked and he rarely completed his missions with his whole heart. He gained a love for healing and began developing his own Kidō as this interest grew. His personality developed even more when he was promoted to captain of the Third Division. The quick thrust into a leadership position helped his leadership skills and became much more responsible for his division's missions. He also developed a cunning nature to his battle strategy.
Renge usually shows up in important situations, especially when his comrades are in need. During decisive battles, however, he tends to prefer to stay on the sidelines as he hates intense combat. He only intervenes if the situation gets out of hand or if he see's an opening.
Most of Renge's past is unknown. He was said to have lived during the formation of the Gotei 13 era, where Renge received tutelage under Tenjirō Kirinji prior to the man's promotion to the Zero Division, learning much of Kidō and the healing arts. It was said that Renge was once considered for the position of Fourth Division Captain due to his prowess.
- The Beginning...
- Departure to the Dunes
- The Gallant Cook and the Gentle Lotus vs. The Blood Rose (filler)
Body-Regulating Pills: A type of special medicine that Renge invented to prevent unnatural changes to his body from occurring. For example, if a technique from either Zanpakutō, Kidō, etc, is meant to change his body temperature, alter his blood flow, introduce toxins to his blood stream, change his molecular make up, or even catch him in an illusionary world via messing with his brains signals, the pill's medical properties will negate them, allowing him to stay perceptive and unharmed by such trickery. He states that he usually takes one before each battle to make sure he's ready for combat.
Powers & Abilities
Tremendous Spiritual Energy: As a Captain of the Gotei 13 and former Seijin Master, Renge has absolutely tremendous amounts of spiritual energy at his disposal. His reiatsu is noted to be several times larger than a typical Gotei 13 Captain and can disable Lieutenants and below with just it's sheer volume. It is so immense in its quantity and density that it is comparable to that of the Fifth Division's previous Captain, Sōsuke Aizen. When released in large volumes, it can cause the wind to kick up and the ground to tremor slightly. His reiatsu is also known to be very dense and heavy. One seated officer of his Division had once said, "It is as if an anvil weighing two tons was dropped on my shoulders." When manifested, his spiritual energy is colored crimson and often manifests as a twister around him or a wave if he is in combat. It also has healing properties to it. When focused on a small wound on either his person or on another person, it will heal the wound as if it had never been there to start.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While used less often, he has shown great proficiency in hand to hand combat. When training with the captains in his Ring, he often uses this style of combat due to his Zanpakutō's rather destructive nature. When mixed with his skill in Shunpō, Renge is a very dangerous hand to hand combatant.
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: He is easily considered a master at using his Zanpakutō. His battle style is very graceful and yet his blows are fierce and are difficult to block. He is able to, without much effort, fend off two Gotei 13 captains and keep them on their toes, which isn't surprising considering he is a High Marshal. His speed often makes his first strike the most deadly, though he is shown to be very lethal no matter the strike when combining his speed with his swordsmanship. Due to the nature of his Zanpakutō, he has trained himself to fight off opponents in his sealed state as much as possible, even if that opponent has gone into their released forms; a testimony to his skills. His achievement of Bankai during his time in the Fourth Division tremendously increase the lethality of his blade. He is on very good terms with his Zanpakutō's spirit and the two often work in complete unison which yields many fruits on the battlefield. Once he releases, his swordsmanship becomes his primary means of fighting and he becomes extremely dangerous. Rarely does he ever have to use Bankai, as his Shikai alone is extremely deadly. Whenever he enters, what he considers a decisive battle, he will often release a type of shockwave after drawing and swinging his blade. He is shown to be able to do this in both his Zanpakutō's sealed state and in it's Shikai.
Shunpō Master: His speed is tremendous, as is his mastery of Shunpō. He can easily keep up with Captain-level enemies. When using his Shunpō to it's maximum it almost seems as if he has simply vanished and then reappeared elsewhere. He has stated that only other High Marshals and perhaps the Captain of the Second Division could catch him or even amount to his levels of speed. He has even been shown to be able to keep up with Vizard-type opponents with their masks on and even Espada-level Arrancar in their released forms, attesting to his tremendous skill at using Flash Steps.
Kidō Master/Inventor: One of his more noticeable traits is his immense skill with using Kidō. He has been talented with it ever since his days in the Shinō Academy, which led to him joining the Kidō Corps at the start of his career. During his time in the Fourth Division, this skill vastly improved to the point that he could make several of his own Kidō. By the time he became a High Marshal, he has created dozens of his own unique Kidō and has the power to use level 90 kidō without incantation and still retain the majority of the spell's power. It is thought that his tremendous spiritual energy aids his use of large level kidō. He is also shown to be talented at weaving Kidō together in crafty ways during combat. Before releasing his zanpakutō, this is his primary fighting style and becomes his secondary fighting style after releasing Shikai and Bankai. His kidō is noticeably more stable than most Shinigami with Kidō abilities, and therefore it doesn't breakdown at all and is not easily deflected. Renge has commented on this, saying that his Kidō is bound by energy that is so uniquely bonded that it is completely impossible to breakdown by means of another technique or ability. Using a unique form of Kidō, it would appear that Renge possesses varying degrees of telekinesis. He can attract objects towards him, such as his zanpakutō, as well as repel attacks and objects away from him. During his time as Kirinji's student, Renge worked on and completed several unique Kidō which he began using for healing purposes. As his life went on, he developed several other Kidō techniques both offensive and defensive. He has proven himself highly capable of using them at their full potential. One of his hobbies is to think up and even create new and powerful kidō, though he often makes them in preparation for certain fights.
- Cero: An energy blast that is typically used by Hollows and Arrancar. Renge has demonstrated the ability to use it despite not being either a Hollow nor Arrancar, nor even a Vizard. He states that he always had a fascination with the Cero technique and, after much research, learned how to preform it. His Cero is similar in power and appearance to the Cero Oscuras of Espada fame, though he states that it is just an average Cero. It is black with a red outline, just like most of his attacks, instead of the plain red color of a standard Cero. It's incantation is, "The right hand that commands the legions of the dead, counter with the heart of those of the living mortals, and bring everything into absolute zero." In his Bankai form, he can bypass saying the incantation and just fire the Cero blast from his fingertip.
- Chibara no Tate (血薔薇の盾, Blood Rose Shield): A defensive kidō that takes the form of a black (with red outline) hexagon. The shield is said to be stronger than the Bakudō #81 spell, Danku. It can withstand kidō spells up to level 96 without seeming damaged and Renge speculates that it could possibly handle high level energy blasts from a Zanpakutō's Bankai with only mild cracks and damage. He has also demonstrated that it can be preset to appear if an attack nears a certain part of his body, though this form of use is only good for one use before having to be reset.
- Kumabachi (熊蜂, Wasp): This kidō generates a black energy lance that can be used in sword combat or thrown with extreme piercing properties. It has been shown to be very sharp.
- Nijūshin (二重身, Doppelganger): A distractive kidō that allows Renge to instantly generate hundreds of afterimages which all seem to have the exact same reiatsu signature as Renge himself, thus making it impossible to tell the difference between the copies and Renge, except by defeating each doppelganger.
- Kakuremino (隠れ蓑, Magic Cloak of Invisibility): A small invisible barrier that covers Renge and erases all traces of his spiritual energy as well as the spiritual energy of his zanpakutō. He uses this for hiding and reconnaissance.
- Kātsusuiro (加圧水炉, Pressurized Water Reactor): A destructive kidō that fires several highly pressurized crescent waves of water. The water is capable of cutting through at least two buildings.
- Hibashira (火柱, Blazing Column): An intense binding spell that creates a gigantic column of fire that engulfs up to ten targets, that are very close to one another,and prevents them from leaving it's wall of flames. It can hold opponents of immense strength for extremely long periods of time. Water is useless against this column.
- Hakaiteki Rikujōkōrō (破壊的六杖光牢, Destructive Six Rods Prison of Light): A variation of the standard Bakudō #61 spell, the spell summons six thin, wide beams of light that slam into a target's midsection, holding them in place. The target is then unable to move any part of their body including the parts that were not struck by the beams. After this, with a wave of his hand, Renge will cause the beams of light to explode, causing a sizable eruption that is fatal to the trapped target.
- Kazāna (風穴, Wind Hole): A strange kidō, invented by Renge. While most Shinigami use a Senkaimon to move from world to world or even place to place and most Arrancar use Garganta to do the same, Renge uses neither. Instead he has developed his own technique to get from world to world or place to place even quicker than both methods mentioned. When this kidō technique is employed, a large hole is formed by having a section of space the size of the hole collapse in on itself, creating a direct link between Renge's location and his desired destination. His technique is so different from Garganta and the Senkaimon that it is speculated to even be capable of slipping through Seireitou's Tsugi no Sekai - Soonnim Shikai power.
- Shinra Āru Zenshō (森羅彼全焼, All things in Nature are entirely destroyed): Perhaps Renge's most powerful and devastating, self made, kidō spell. It creates a blast that can destroy an area the size of Karakura Town, leaving a tremendous scar in the earth and virtually decimating all life forms in the area of the blast. Despite it's effects, it has a major weakness. It take a tremendous amount of time to prepare. So much time, in fact, that it is impossible to use it in mid combat. Instead, he will usually use several clones either in the form of his zanpakutō's Decoy, Shinibana technique or via the Nijūshin to distract a foe long enough to set up the technique. He will only use this kidō as a very last resort for obvious reasons.
High Intellect: Despite his usual comical and cool personality, Renge is very cunning and analytical. His greatest strength, says one of his Ring members, is that he can come up with complex plans in an extremely short time and usually has two or three plans set up for engaging one opponent before they even draw their blades. This may be due to the sheer number of abilities he has (zanpakutō and kidō wise), thus making him more versatile in setting up his plots, whereas most Shinigami have one ability that they are extremely good at and thus have to rely on the same strategy constantly. Renge is never cocky and always fights to analyze his foe's skills before cutting loose and going all out. He has commented that during his days as a Captain in the Gotei 13, if he knew he would be facing a powerful opponent, he would often make a kidō spell specifically to counter the abilities of his foe, showing not only his perceptiveness of a foe's skills, but also his preparations for battle.
Skilled Inventor: Proving that he is always well equip and ready for any situation, Renge has invented numerous devices which only he himself can use in combat or even out of combat to tip the scales in his favor. Though he is not as skilled at inventing as former 12th Division captains, Urahara and Kurotsuchi, he has proven to be much more inventive than most other Shinigami in Soul Society.
Enhanced Durability: He has shown the ability to endure heavy assault from enemies and still be able to bounce right back into a fight. More noticeably, he can withstand high level Kidō and even powerful Cero blasts without receiving a large amount of damage. On a lighter note, he has been shown to take comical beatings from his friends and subordinates and seem to be alright with it, even laughing about it on occasions. Renge built up a lot of his strength during training with Kirinji, where the latter had repeatedly punched the former in the stomach, among other areas, in order to build up an internal resistance to brute force.
Enhanced Strength: As his appearance might suggest, he is very strong. He is capable of lifting large boulders and tossing them with only one arm and, by focusing his spiritual energy into his fists and feet, use devastating punches and kicks which often leave a foe's bones broken and even rupture their internal organs. He has also been shown to be able to catch forceful punches and kicks with ease.
Shinibana (死に花, "Blooming Cut Flower"; also translated as "Glorious Death"): Renge's Zanpakutō takes the form of a standard katana with a round guard, purple hilt, and purple sheathe. It is one of the few zanpakutō to have a female spirit and be owned by a man. Renge has described his Zanpakutō spirit as "beautiful and cunning". He has also commented that Shinibana has the "most techniques" of any Zanpakutō in Soul Society, though whether or not this is true hasn't yet been proven. He has also claimed that his Zanpakutō is very "Hollow-like", referring to the fact that many of it's Shikai attacks are made of a similar energy to a Hollow's Cero and that his Bankai can be compared in many ways to a Hollow in it's properties and appearance. Renge and Shinibana are very closely connected. In battle the two seem to be in perfect harmony, which adds to their performance in combat. They talk in Renge's inner world very often, which boosts their relationship with one another. Renge has made the comment that, in a sense, Shinibana is his closest confident and most trusted companion. The sheathe of Shinibana can absorb Kidō and Cero through it's opening and reflect it back on whoever made the original attack, a deadly addition to Shinibana's capabilities.
- Shikai: Renge releases Shinibana with the phrase "Blossom" (花, hana). Shinibana's Shikai takes the form of a standard katana with no guard and a curved hilt, retaining it's purple color. It has a short, crimson, chain that dangles down from the bottom of the hilt. At the end of the chain dangles a penny-sized medallion with the kanji for flower upon it. Shinibana's blade is a slight bit thinner than a regular katana and is sharper than a usual zanpakutō, making cutting an opponent much easier. In addition to these changes, it gives Renge a wide array of abilities.
- Shikai Special Ability: Shinibana's ability is to create several energy based techniques for various purposes. These techniques are generally either a crimson color or black. Renge has said that the energy is very similar to the energy used by Hollows and Arrancar in their Cero blasts. It can also be compared to Kisuke Urahara's Benihime in that it's techniques use command phrases rather than have names; of it's many techniques only one, Hyakkaseihō, has a name.
- Decoy, Shinibana (桜死に花, Sakura, Shinibana): This ability allows Renge to create an exact clone of himself. The clone can do anything he normally can do, but mainly acts as a distraction. When the clone disperses, it creates a large crimson blast that is fatal to anyone too close.
- Hyakkaseihō (百花斉放, Hundred Flowers Campaign): The only named technique that Shinibana has, it creates several hundred spherical blasts of crimson energy that erupt from Shinibana's blade and can cause immense damage to anyone it hits. It has also been shown to be immensely damaging to the surrounding area of which it is fired. It should also be noted that Renge has compared the speed of the blasts to an Arrancar's Bala.
- Sprout, Shinibana (芽立ち死に花, Medachi, Shinibana): This technique absorbs as much spiritual energy as it can from both Renge and the surrounding area to create a large, black, energy blast. He can control these blasts as well as change their shape, size, and intensity. It can match and cancel out an Arrancar's Cero and Bala and can also be used in a similar fashion to Ichigo's Bankai Getsuga Tenshō, by keeping the blast within the blade and using it to argument the strike of Shinibana. When this technique strikes the ground, it can cut a very deep, leaving a trench in it's wake.
- Root, Shinibana (根底死に花, Kontei, Shinibana): Shinibana creates several vines of crimson energy which bind a foe and prevents them from moving. These vines cannot be cut through by a normal zanpakutō. Another noticeable trait of this technique, is that the vines seal off the opening in the body which allows reiatsu to flow out of the body, which could damage the target substantially.
- Seed, Shinibana (実死に花, Mi, Shinibana): This technique creates a crimson energy ball with a black outline that burrows itself beneath the ground. When an opponent is located directly above it's location, standing on the spot it is under, or at Renge's command, they will detonate, creating a tremendous explosion that leaves a sizable crater. He can plant more than one of these at once.
- Pollinate, Shinibana (受精死に花, Jusei, Shinibana): Every time an opponent is cut by Shinibana's Shikai, it leaves a small trace of energy in the wound. When this command is given, the energy left behind in the wounds erupts, causing massive and even fatal damage to whomever it is on. It should be noted that if Renge were to ever cut himself, Shinibana would not detonate the energy on his person as he is it's master.
- Wither away, Shinibana (衰死死に花, Suishi, Shinibana): This ability instantly causes anything binding or restricting Renge to be destroyed, allowing him to move freely again.
- Bloom, Shinibana (華死に花, Hana, Shinibana): The last of Shinibana's shikai powers, it fires a wide crimson or black blast from the tip of Shinibana that is similar, but stronger, to a Cero.
- Bankai: Gūren Shinibana (紅蓮死に花, "Blooming Cut Crimson Lotus Flower"): In Bankai, his appearance changes radically. He now wears a form fitting black cloak that splits into four sections near his waist. It covers his entire body, even his arms, legs, hands and feet. This robe is part of Renge's Bankai and the damage it can take is directly proportionate to the remaining strength and level of Renge's Reiatsu, similar to Ichigo's Tensa Zangetsu. The Zanpakutō itself does not change in appearance. When he wants to release the full power of his Bankai, he will call on a full head mask by gathering spiritual matter on his face and pulling down, very similar to how Vizards dawn their Hollow masks. This releases the true power of his Bankai and makes him very dangerous. The mask form fits his head and has a cross like marking in it's center. Also in Bankai, his sclera turn red and his irises turn green.
- Bankai Special Ability: While in Bankai, he can use all of his Shikai techniques, which are explosively strengthened with the power of his Bankai. To use them, he uses their given command, but says "Gūren Shinibana" instead of "Shinibana". His energy attacks in Bankai are black with red outlines, combining the two Shikai colors. He also gains several new abilities.
- Power Augmentation: In Bankai, Renge's abilities have all increased by vast amounts, allowing him to reach the maximum increase factor of ten times the Shikai's might.
- Hyper-Speed Combat: In Bankai, his speed is tremendously increased, as he can now fight on par with Shinigami such as the Second Division's captain. He can outstrip several captains speed wise and says that only the likes of the Kawahiru family (knowing their skills) could even hope to keep up with him.
- Enhanced Spiritual Power: It is said that Bankai increases a user's spiritual energy by ten times. His spiritual energy is now completely overwhelming to anyone lower than a Captain, and even some captains have a hard time dealing with his power.
- High Speed Regeneration: A testimony to his earlier statement about his Zanpakutō seeming Hollow-like, Gūren Shinibana's robe and mask have the ability to regenerate wounds on his body with ease, though they cannot restore the internal organs.
- Thorn, Gūren Shinibana (針紅蓮死に花, Hari, Gūren Shinibana): This technique creates dozens of thin energy beams which can cut through almost anything. The blasts are also extremely fast. He can also use a larger version of this, by gathering all of the energy beams' collective energy into the blade and firing it as an energy lance that can pierce through anything.
- Connecting, Gūren Shinibana (開栓紅蓮死に花, Kaisen, Gūren Shinibana:): The last of the Bankai's upgraded powers. This technique is used after Renge has released two techniques from his Zanpakutō. It allows him to weave together two or more of Shinibana's techniques making them far more deadly and even more unique.
- Bankai Stage 2 (卍解二准, Bankai Nijun; literally "Final Release Level 2"): Upon his release into this form, Renge claims that he is the only Shinigami in the Gotei 13 to have a second Bankai form. He also states that he uses this form so rarely, that no one who has ever seen it is still living, not even the Captain-Commander. He refers to this form as a "crushing defeat" for his foes due to the sheer amount of spiritual energy it releases. He retains the black outfit from his regular Bankai form, only now it has sprouted two black wings from it's back which he can use in flight. The mask he could optionally put on in his Bankai is now permanently on his head. His Zanpakutō retains it's Bankai name, and it's form remains the same, however, the color of it's blade becomes crimson red.
- Overwhelming Spiritual Power: Renge's already vast spiritual energy is almost doubled in Bankai: Niban Dankai. It becomes so great that it has been said to be incomparable to regular reiatsu. Beings for miles around with spiritual prowess can feel the tremendous weight of his spiritual energy. When in this form, his spiritual power takes on a jet black color, completely losing it's crimson properties.
- Trump Card Techniques: In his Stage 2, Renge has very few new techniques, but each of them are considered to be on a league of their own in comparison to his Shikai and Bankai techniques. Kintarō Hijikata stated that each of them are "one-shot attacks".
- Branch, Gūren Shinibana (支部紅蓮死に花, Shibu, Gūren Shinibana): This technique gathers black energy into the blade of Shinibana. When Renge swings the blade, the energy is released quickly like a whip. The energy can cut through virtually anything and the whip extends outwards up to a maximum of one-hundred feet.
- Inhale, Gūren Shinibana (吸う紅蓮死に花, Sū, Gūren Shinibana): This ability allows Renge to absorb, via Gūren Shinibana's blade, any energy attack that comes near Renge. He can then charge the energy attack with his own and fire it back at his enemy in his own fashion.
- Exhale, Gūren Shinibana (息を吐く紅蓮死に花, Ikiwohaku, Gūren Shinibana): This technique is possible the most devastating in all of Shinibana's arsenal. Guren Shinibana will expel a black energy blast with a crimson outline, that is made to match Renge's reiatsu levels in Bankai: Niban Dankai which, as stated above, is immensely overwhelming to a foe. The blast is also very quick moving, being the fastest technique he has displayed thusfar. Upon contact, the blast that ensues erupts into the sky, and is of similar size to Ulquiorra's Lanza del Relampago blast. He can control the size and shape of the energy blast as well as the direction it goes in.
Use of Seijō Reiryoku
- "A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world."
- "If you fear death, I suggest you run. I cannot be responsible for what happens to you if you fight..."
- (About Ryan) "Ah, yes. There was one by that name a while back. He was young and naive, with little on his mind except protecting his friends. A good lad, but he never discovered the true secret to success. If one wants to protect their friends, then that one must kill thier friend's enemies before that enemy has a chance to strike. That is true loyalty."
- (About Seireitou) "That man, as aloof as he may seem, is dangerous. He is unnatural in his cunning, it's almost as if he's reading your heart rather than your mind."
- (To Yōshoku and Hokōra) "Neither of you shake. Do not break stance, do not retreat, do not blink. Face forward, sharpen your swords, and fight as if your life depends on it."
Behind the Scenes
This character was originally meant to take the place of Ten's previous lead characters. He had based Shinibana on numerous things. Ten based its techniques naming and characteristics on Kisuke Urahara's Benihime, the color scheme on Ichigo's Bankai, and the Bankai appearance on Aizen's new form's appearance. As for the flower theme, which permeates throughout the naming of the Zanpakutō and its release phrases, Ten chose these because he likes to use flower analogies when comparing things to life.
His Bankai: Niban Dankai, is based off of Ulquiorra's Second Release form.
According to the original author, Renge's official Bleach OST is Comical World as well as Splaaash Boogie. He also has an OST from Bleach OST Three that would be played while he released his sword into any of it's forms. This song is La Distancia Para Un Duelo.