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Tao Ren(道 蓮, Dào Lián, known as Tao Len in the English anime and English video games) is a character in the manga and anime series of Shaman King. Ren was born on January 1, 1986 and is the main heir to the Tao Family.

Appearance

Tao Ren is the same hieght as Yoh and most of his friends, at 5'7", but he seems to look taller when the length of the spike in his hair is added up. This spike is a part of his hairstyle called tongari.

He is relatively thin, and his spiked hair is a shade of dark purple. Ren's eyes are golden in the anime, but in the manga's colored pages, they usually appear gold, brown or the same color as his hair.

His street clothes are his school uniform; a pair of black shorts, a tucked-in, white dress shirt, a yellow jacket, a dark green tie and a pair of brown shoes. When he was to travel to America, his old jacket was worn-out, so his mother gave him a similar one. When traveling through the country he wears a black coat, a yellow scarf, long pants and brown leather shoes.

When he left to America, he also brought with him a new battle uniform, that is inspired by kung fu cloth. It consists of black pants, with an open triangular pattern along both sides and yellow lining, that are tied with a thin white scarf. He also wears a black vest tied together in a triangular pattern that also has yellow lining with a midsection revealing his midriff. The vest also has an opening in the back outlining his Tao tattoo. Even though he brought it with him from before the start of the Shaman Fight, the reason why he never wore it during the fights in America was because they were all so sudden, that he never had the chance to change.

In the anime he wears a similar battle uniform during the second round of the Shaman Fight, only difference being that he wore a red vest, and simple black pants. Although of this, he is still seen a couple of times wearing this suit in the manga series as a casual outfit during the Second Rounds of the Shaman Fights.[1]

Personality

He is serious, logical, and emotionally aloof. He has become like this because of how he was raised. Because of his father Tao Yúan (Tao En), Ren had adapted a deep hatred towards humanity and a strong yearning to eliminate them all. He also believed that his spirit companion, Bason, was only meant to be used as a tool and to treat him as a friend would only result in the spirit taking advantage over him. Ren's anger and hatred came from his father (or uncle in the English anime). Forced to train and study at a very young age, Ren had his childhood stolen from him. He hated Tao En for all of his suffering.

Ren tries hard to maintain a tough and confident exterior and is aloof, but deep down would risk his life for his allies. Ren is a particularly impatient person with a very short temper, and isn't afraid to hurt the source of the anger.

Ren is an egotistical person and usually doesn't care that people think that he's overly proud. He even named his own team, Team "The Ren", much to the annoyance of his teammate, Horohoro. His overflowing self-confidence annoys some of the other characters. In addition, Ren is also very intuitive, quick-witted, and sometimes stubborn. He is also very defiant. He rarely listens to what anyone says or takes their instructions. Before and during the process in which he befriended Asakura Yoh, he even was bold enough to disobey his father on various occasions.

As the Shaman Fight progresses, Ren begins to trust others more. Out of all his friends, his bonds with Yoh and Horohoro seem to be the strongest. Ren often fights with Horohoro and the two do not seem to get along at all. However, after Ren is fatally stabbed by Peyote Diaz, it becomes apparent that they really do care for one another. As Faust VIII worked to try to save Ren's life after the incident, Horohoro did his best to protect the dying Ren.

Abilities and Powers

As a human Ren has a very strong body as evidence by his tough and constant training. He is very skilled in martial arts and sword fighting, in addition to also learning techniques by just watching them as he was able to learn many of Mikihisa Asakura's techniques simply by experiencing them firsthand, and also learning to use Oversoul by just seeing Chrome use his. It is mentioned that Ren is skilled in more than one area of combat. He is a powerful shaman capable of doing things most shamans his age would not be able to. He is one of only a handful of shamans that can actually stare straight into the heart of the Great Spirit without fainting. The only others that can do this would be Iron Maiden Jeanne, Asakura Hao, and possibly Lady Sati.

In the manga, he becomes one of the Five Elemental Warriors and gains the Spirit of Thunder. His element is reflected in his weapon, the Hou Rai Ken (Jewel Thunder) sword, and according to Pascal Avaf, The Spirit of Thunder follows the way of taoism.[2] While fighting his way through the Plants, Kyōyama Anna looked through the Furyoku values of Ren and the others. There it is revealed that his Furyoku is about 100,001 though it might be higher due to him dying a few times and being brought back.[3]

Spirit

See More: Bason|Spirit of Thunder

Bason(馬 孫, Mǎsūn) is the spirit of Tao Ren. A fierce warrior from the era of Kublai Khan, Bason has always served the Tao family, even now in death. Like Amidamaru, he is a supremely powerful spirit, capable of destroying an army with ease. His skills are on par with those of Amidamaru. He is rather submissive (reflected in his "Can I help you master Tao Ren?" or "Can I go Master Ren" statements when asking for permission to speak or fight), extremely loyal to Ren, and rarely oversteps his boundaries unless Ren is in grave danger. He also refers to Ren as "bocchama" (Young Master) in the Japanese version. Bason, other than with Ren, seems most at ease with Amidamaru, with whom he will occasionally converse with. The two are a powerful team, even against Hao Asakura's Spirit of Fire.

Weapons

In the beginning of the series, Ren fights with a kwan dao, a Chinese spear-like weapon. However, as he begins to face more powerful enemies, he switches to the Hou Rai Ken (Bâo-Lèi), the Tao's family most treasured heirloom sword. Although another reason, for changing his medium, could be that Hao burned his Kwan dao to a crisp and he was unable to gain another at the time. With this sword, he creates a variety of over souls, such as the Super Bushin Bushin. Hou Rai Ken has the special ability of purifying and refining the spirit being integrated into it, making the spirit recall all of its past techniques from when it was still alive. This, in turn, increases the strength of Bason several times making him the ultimate fighting machine, and evolving him into a seirei-class spirit, as explained by Ren himself in Volume 17 when he was battling Mikihisa Asakura.

Ren's most powerful attack is called the Vorpal Dance, or Zhong Hua Zhan Wu, in the English manga. The attack is later called the "Golden Vorpal Dance". The attack is called the Rapid Tempo Assault in the English anime. In the Japanese anime, it's called Chuuka Zanmai (Chinese Slash Dance) and later on, Golden Chuuka Zanmai. In the manga, this attack results in the spike of Ren's hair growing outrageously long. In the manga, he is also capable of releasing a strong Armor Oversoul called Bushin Yuchi, roughly translated into Bushin Fish Fin, and can convert his furyoku into powerful lightning bolts, in an attack known as Rasiou.

History

Coming to Tokyo

Ren is a shaman from China who came to Japan to fight Asakura Yoh and try stealing his guardian ghost Amidamaru. He would face Yoh soon and defeated him once but Yoh got right back up and used 100% of his ghost's power defeating Ren.

Shaman Tournament

During the Shaman Tournaments qualifications rounds Ren was tested by the Patch Chrom. Easily learning how to use and oversoul and place a hit on Chrom, Ren was not satisfied so he furiously attacked Chrom, killing him in the process. He said that no one can doubt my abilities now. He left the scene laughing his head off at what he did.

VS Yoh for the second time

When Yoh was about to be attacked by Faust's 32 Kilo Skeleton giant, Ren interfered, not wanting his next opponent to be killed, and to show off his oversoul. At that time he revealed that he had already won and lost one fight meaning that he would have to win against Yoh to proceed in the tournament. He and Yoh met up again and was ready to fight. Ren went straight in striking Yoh but he dodged. Ren commented that Yoh's new oversoul was pretty good. Ren powered up his oversoul and went in for an attack. Ren started to wear down Yoh's oversoul but eventually Yoh came back and destroyed Ren's oversoul.

Ren grew increasing furious that nothing he tried worked. Yoh said that the attacks were landing but it really didn't matter. Ren used his full power and placed the spirit of Bason's horse inside his personal horse and put all of his spiritual power into Bason completely materializing his entire upper body. Yoh did the same with Amidimaru and they both clashed.

When the battle ended they both ran out of power at the same time. Silva came in and announced that both of them have passed to the second round.

Fighting his hatred

As he gains the friendship of Yoh and the others, he realizes that everything he once believed about the world was not true. He learned to trust others and that humans weren't as awful as he thought they were because Yoh and the others showed him that some people truly are kind. A new will to change himself took over. He wanted to let go of his hatred so he could be able to move on with his life, so he returned to China to defeat his father. There he and Bason was met with an army of zombie warriors from corpses freshly killed by Yúan.

Ren quickly smashes through all the zombies with little problem then his father appears. His father welcomes him home with blast of furyoku. Yúan says that he did expect both his children to revolt against him. Two zombies bring Tao Jun and what is left of Pailong. Yúan then captures Ren and throws him in the Tao dungeon to be torture for ten days. Jun laments her misery but Ren uses the line Yoh uses constantly; "It will work out" to calm Jun. Yoh finally arrives at the dungeon area and frees Ren. Ren tells Yoh to go home but Yoh stays. Ren tells the reason why he must do this in the fact that he came to defeat the evil inside himself. The two zombies that control the torture area come and they both kill the zombies.

They head back upstairs and find Yúan's final bodyguard about to kill Horhoro and Ryu. The zombie goes behind the two and hits them with Pailong's moves. Manta guesses correctly that the final zombie is Pailong's master. The zombie reveals its face and Ren says that Yúan probably placed the master's ghost into a freshly dead body. The zombie gets behind Yoh but Pailong stops it. Jun and Pailong take it down by cutting it half. The gang moves on and encounters Yúan himself.

Ryu and Horohoro cut off Yúan's arms but they grow back and they are slammed down. Ren attacks Yúan but only dismembers him and Yuan still lives. Yúan attacks Ren and Yoh takes the blow. Pailong kicks Yúan in the head but Pailong is thrown into a wall. Ren starts listening to his father for a bit but knows that he is only doing this because he is weak. The gang gets up and face Yúan. Yúan is surprised that they would do this for Ren and he loses his temper. Yúan attacks but he goes right through Ren revealing that the father they knew was a oversoul. Yúan reveals his armor of memorial tablets and forms a dragon. Ren oversouls and defeats Yúan. This finally allows Ren to move on from his hatred and try to do something good for a change.

Ren's mother and grandfather appear and manage to stop Yúan from taking it farther. They invite the gang to dinner and they are happy to go. Ren tells his family he must leave and he can not stay longer due to the shaman fight. They leave and Ren gains the Bo-lei sword from his father. His father tells him to be safe and Ren promises to be by the boundless lands of China.

Ren is next seen at the gathering of the shaman at the military base. He is eating food that it is provided by the Patch. The gang takes a break and meet Hao. The spirit of fire attack Horohoro and Ren catches him. He in turn attacks Hao but is stopped by he spirit of fire. Ren boards the plane and when it disappears Ren explains that the test is not about how well the shamans fly but if they can stay calm under pressure. The gang power up their oversouls and hit the ground.

Landing in America

Ren, Yoh, Ryu, and Horohoro landed on route 66 safe and Ryu summoned Billy to go to the nearest town. Ren, Yoh, Ryu, and Horohoro ran into Lilirara and witnessed the Patch Hao's past. He encountered Lyserg the next day. Lyserg then gives a full introduction about himself and asks to join the group, to which Yoh suddenly politely greets him to the shock of the Horohoro and Tao Ren. After a brieft debat about him by Horohoro and Ren, Ryu shockingly notes that horohoro addresses Lyserg with "he" and asks if Lyserg is a guy to which Lyserg pulls down his pants which in turn freaks out all of them. Lyserg then goes on to explain his dowsing abilities and reveal his spirit Morphine.

After a schuffle between Lyserg and Horohoro, Horohoro prepares his snowboard for an attack against Lyserg, to which he shows off his oversoul and strikes Horohoro, who barely dodges. Suddenly appearing in front of Lyserg, Horohoro reveals his own Over Soul, but suddenly the Pendulum Over Soul appears next to him and suddenly the pendulum tip is right at his face. Ren prepares to cut the wire with his own fully charged Over Soul, but Lyserg easily incapacitates both Ren and Horohoro by cutting them with the wire and crushing their mediums.

The gang later encountered Boris and Ryu defeated him. The gang entered the Patch village.

Shaman Fight Second Round

Ren entered the Patch village with a power increase but unlike other people he actually stared straight into the Great Spirit with out fainting. Chocolove encountered the group and explained the team stipulation to Ren. Ren quickly put his team together of himself, Chocolove McDonell, and Horohoro. He named his team "the Ren" without saying anything to his team. They were paired against Hao's Earth team. Chocolove handled most of the battle. When Chocolove ran out of power Ren took over defeating the Earth team in one blow. Hao talked to Ren after Yoh's match and destroyed Ren's kwan dao.

Ren's Death

Ren did not like the idea of being trained by Asakura Yoh's father, so he fought him but was knocked out and, in the process, he revealed his new Bao-Lei sword Over Soul. Hao's followers attacked, and Chocolove and Horohoro held them off for some time. Ren decided to go in and fight. He did that and was winning when Peyote Diaz, wanting revenge from earlier, pulled out the calevera Phantasma, impaling Ren with the small knife it carried. Chocolove and Horohoro quickly rushed in and sealed the massive wound on Ren.

Yoh arrived and defeated Hao's followers. Yoh had made a deal with Iron Maiden Jeanne to revive Ren in exchange for Yoh having to drop out of the tournament. Jeanne arrived and after preparing a ceremony, had her spirit Shamash kiss Ren, bringing him back to life, though he was utterly disgusted with it.

Wrath of the Golem

Training in Hell

Invading the Plants

Ren and the group enter the volcano plant and face off against Magna. Magnascope attacks and they both oversoul. Magna crushes Jeanne's Iron Maiden but nothing is inside. Ren oversouls and strikes Magna with the full force of his lightning based attacks.

Magna, however, uses the Patch Song and readies himself to kill. A long clash then stars where both fightsers would constantly dodge or block the others attack. Suddenly a large amount of smoke blows up in between them something Magna uses to suddenly disappear and hide from Ren. There he explains the abilities of his guardian ghost, Magnescope, and how he strikes unseen and unheard in a similar way. Suddenly appearing to strike Ren, Ren disappears before he can make a clean hit. Ren reappears in the blink of and eye behind Magna and explains how he had become fast a lighting. Suddenly Magna realizes that he needs to warn Nichrome about this but is killed with a massive lighting bolt attack Ren calls "ElecBang, allowing Yoh and company to move on to the next plant.[4]

When the group reached the 7th Plant of the Cave, Nichrom quickly revealed his medium and spirit and Over Souled Yellow Whip. He the proceeded to attack Ren with the scorpion tail whip, only to have the tail wrap itself the arm of Bason in his Full Body O.S. Ren then uses the Over Soul to slam Nichrom to the ground and punch him with the massive Over Soul.

Ren then used 100 %Hyoi Gattai, to the surprise and shock of Nichrom, to rapidly attack Nichrom with the Vorpal Dance(Zhong Hua Zhan Wu) leaving him a bloody mess and his patch cloak tattered Walking over to him, Ren pulled the angered Nichrom by his long ponytail. Ren then kicked Nichrom in the chin and away from him. Nichrom still wanting to fight slowly rose up and thinkin that Ren was now open for an attack, he, in a state of insanety, tried to attack Ren yet again, to which Ren easily grabbed the scorpion tail by the brod himself. Ren then tells Nichrom to go against him with everything he got or he would die[5]

Taking in Ren's words Nichrom throws away his tattered cloak and reveals a new Over Soul on his legs, made with the spirit of his deceased brothers Guardian Ghost, Purple Kick saying that he is a coward for still carrying the precious guardian ghost of his dead brother. Nichrom thanks Ren for his words and reveal that with this new Over Soul he gains an incredible speed and is able to appear behind Ren and then kick him into a wall. Using the speed, Nichrom charges towards Ren and grabs him with the claw of his Yellow Whip Over Soul while punching him in the gut with the brod of his scorpion tail.

Nichrom reveals to Ren that his body is now dying of a poison that will not disappear as long as he is still alive. Seeing that Nichrom is now going all out, Ren prepares his own Armour Over Soul and both of them have one final clash.[6] The result of the fight is not seen, but as Ren is later seen being patched up by Asakura Yoh using the ghost of Faust VIII, it would seem that Ren was the winner.

The group then proceeds on to the 8th plant of the Ocean, where Thalim of the Ten Patch Officiants are awaiting them. Thalim greeds them politely remembering the tip Yoh gave earlier at the Patch Cafe and they seemingly have a friendly conversation. Ren is however unfaced by all of this and quickly oversouls his Armour Over Soul and attacks Thalim with "ElecBang" only to have it blocked by a gigantic tree that suddenly grows up around Thalim.[7] Thalim then reveals that Ren's lightning is largely ineffective against him as the tree would just disperse the electricity into the ground. After Horohoro also fails against Thalim plants, bot Ren and Horohoro is tied up by Thalim's Clematic Over Soul.

As the group finally arrives at the 10th and final "Plant of the Universe" they realize that there is no oxygen and no gravity and begin to wonder how they are supposed to fight in there. At first Lyserg suggest that they all protect themself with their own personal O.S. but Ryu suddenly interrtups and suggest that they all use the heads of his O.S. Yamato No Orochi so that the rest can fight at full strength. As Ren questions the responsibility he would suddenly have he says that he wants to be useful too as the seven is currently his best place.[8]

Funbari no Uta

In the "Funbari no Uta" Ren was given the Spirit of Thunder and is one of the Five Elemental Warriors.[9] He was last seen living in the mountains, near a hot spring.

He is now 21 years old. He still has his same hairstyle but it has grown longer, with two bangs in the front over the chest and the rest tied together in the back just like sister Jun has hers. He now wears a traditional Chinese Formal Han Chinese Cloth (漢服Hanfu) Robes, similar to his father.

His clothes consist of a robe and a hanfu skirt tied together with a sash around his waist. He also wears some sort of black silk cape over his shoulders. He seems to have a pet Panda just like his father once had. In the Visionz pages he is seen with a baby boy in his arms, greatly resembling his younger self, though he has styled his hair similar to Jun's.[10]

When Umemiya Ryunosuke and Asakura Hana ventured out to gather the Five Elemental Warriors, they found Ren living in the Funbari Mountains of China.

When Horohoro, Chocolove, and Lyserg arrive for their reunion with Yoh and Anna, they all suddenly notice the appearance of a horse driven carriage. Horohoro comments that it was so typical of Ren to be so stubborn that he would refuse to use a car. At first his small son came out, and seeing the resemblance, Usui Horokeu, Lyserg Diethel and Chocolove McDonell thought that the little boy was Ren, until Ren came out of the carriage himself and picked up his son. As his boy stepped out, Ren complained about the fact Tokyo was always messy and that no matter where you went there where always crowds and traffic jams, oblivious to the fact that he had caused the crowd and traffic jam by arriving in a carriage. As he steps out he is seen wearing a tux and has longer hair set in the same fashion as his sister Jun. Ren announces that the boy is his son, Tao Men, and doesn't understand why they are all shocked.[11]

Later while waiting for Yoh and Anna, Horohoro asks Ren who the mother of the child is, only for Ren to refuse to answer. Lyserg however tells that he has already deduced who it was. He points the childs silver hair, and red eyes. And his name's pattern is the same with Asakura Hana (Yoh and Anna). When Ryu later arrives and tells that Yoh and Anna was delayed Ren stood up angry and shouted resulting in all three of his spikes of hair to grow.

Family

See More: Tao Family

Ren is part of the Tao Family(朝倉道, Dào-shi), an ancient Chinese family known for their shaman capabilities. As history went on, they become ostracized for their abilities and hunted down. As a result, the Tao family became bitter and lost their belief in the kindness of humanity. Ren and his sister Jun were raised with these beliefs in mind. Ren is the current heir to the family.

Tao Ren's older sister is Tao Jun (who calls him "Lenny", in the English anime—his Wade-Giles name is Tao Lian), who is a Dao-Shi. He cares a lot about her, which is evident when he tries to save her from their father's wrath upon his return to China. Ren's mother is named Tao Ran. His grandfather, is Tao Zhen in the manga and Tao Ching in the anime.

Ren and Jun are utterly dominated by their father (uncle in the English anime), Tao En (rendered as Tao Yúan in the manga, En is the Japanese pronunciation of Yúan) until they are both changed by Yoh's views of the world. They rebel and with the help of Yoh and his friends defeat Tao En. En consults the Tao ancestors and sees that it is time for a change in attitude; he entrusts the family's heirloom, a sword called Houraiken (Jewelled Thunder, known as the Sword of Thunder in the English Anime), as well as the hopes for the future of the Tao family to Ren.

Anime/Manga Difference

In the 4Kidsdub he was given a British accent and his name was change to Len Tao

Trivia

  • Ren's name in Japanese means "benevolent", "tough", and "edge of a knife", all of which are reflected in his character. His actual Chinese name, Lián, means "lotus" and is actually a girl's name.
  • Ren has an obsession with milk and the number 3.
  • A running gag in the series is that Ren's tongari grows longer whenever he gets irritated or shocked.
  • It is mentioned in the interview part in the official Shaman King character book, that he would like a girl if she is smaller than him and not very annoying, resulting that he married Iron Maiden Jeanne, and had a son.
  • Ren's name sometimes is seen in Western order, Ren Tao, in artwork in the Shaman King manga.
  • Ren's nick- names include "short pants," and "spike- head." [he will then try to kill who ever called him such names.]

References

  1. Shaman King manga; chapter 126; page 12
  2. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 258; Page 13
  3. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 276; Page 8-9
  4. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 278; Page 17
  5. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 290
  6. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 290; Page 12
  7. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 292; Page 10-12
  8. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 295; Page 12
  9. Shaman King Manga - Funbari no Uta Chapter 5
  10. Shaman King Manga - Kang Zeng Bang Volume 25; Visionz 04
  11. Shaman King Manga - Chapter 300; Page 09-10

External links

Template:Tao Family Template:Team "The Ren" Template:Five Elemental Warriorsit:Ren Tao pl:Król szamanów (bohaterowie)#Ren Tao (Len Tao)

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