| Ryūgū Rena|
|Alternate Name||Ryūgū Reina, 竜宮 礼奈|
|Birthday||July 28, 1967|
|Daybreak Weapon(s)|| |
|Catchphrase||"Hauu~! I want to take it home~!" ("はぅ〜! お持ち帰りぃ〜!" "Haū~! Omochikaerii~!")|
|Verbal Tics||"I wonder, I wonder?" ("かな、かな?" "Kana, kana?")|
|Portrayed By|| |
|Image Song||Egao Happy Peace ♪|
Ryūgū Rena (竜宮 レナ) is one of the main characters in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series who acts as the protagonist of Tsumihoroboshi-hen and the antagonist of Tsukiotoshi-hen and Onikakushi-hen. Rena is a signature character as she is featured more than once during the first anime season-opening, as well as appearing on most of the album and game covers. She appears in much of Higurashi's official art and even serves as something of a mascot for 07th Expansion.
Rena attends the same grade as Keiichi, but she is younger than him. Her birthday falls in July, and since nearly all of the arcs take place before July 1983, Rena has not yet turned 16.
Rena has an obsession with all things cute. In what the others call her "Cute Mode" (かぁいい), she often tries to take such things home in her Take Home (お持ち帰り・omochikaeri) Mode even if they do not belong to her. Such things include the "Kenta-kun" doll, Furude Rika, Hanyū, Satoko, and any of the club members in cute punishment game outfits. She spends much of her time "treasure hunting" at the town's trash heap in search of cute things which often appeal only to her. In the trash heap, Rena has a secret base consisting of an old van she has filled with things she likes to which she retreats when distressed. Nevertheless, according to Mion, while Rena might seem cute herself, people should be careful not to anger her as she can become quite scary. Keiichi discovers this in an infamous scene in the Sound Novels, manga, and anime where she suddenly screams "Lie (嘘だ・うそだ・usoda)!"
Rena's parents are fashion designers. While she was born in Hinamizawa, her family soon moved away to Ibaraki for the sake of her mother's advancing career, and she used her given first name "Reina (礼奈)." Her mother starts an affair with a co-worker. While Rena meets him and found him agreeable, she does not understand her mother's relationship with him until her mother asks her to come away with her to start a new family when she reveals that she is pregnant with the man's child. Rena refuses even though her mother threatens to never see her again. Rena's father is devastated, and Rena blames herself for not recognizing her mother's affair.Rejecting her position as her mother's daughter, she begins to insist on being called "Rena" instead of "Reina." According to the Tsumihoroboshi-hen TIPS the removal of the "i" in her name was to "remove the icky things" (いやなこと・iyana koto), though later she realizes that "the 'incredible things' (いいこと・ii koto) also start with an 'i'." She remains very loyal to her father, and as revealed in Tsumihoroboshi-hen, she will go to violent lengths to protect him. She is very sensitive about the topic of Oyashiro-sama, who she believes cursed her for leaving Hinamizawa. She cuts herself trying to get rid of the "filthy blood" left in her by her mother that she imagines is filled with maggots. Before her return to Hinamizawa, Rena starts to behave erratically and viciously attacks three of her male classmates with a baseball bat. There is some implication that they instigated the incident since their families decide not to press charges. She also smashes all the windows in her school and was eventually hospitalized. Rena later claims that Oyashiro-sama broke out from her and spoke to her: "If you want to live, move back to Hinamizawa; that's the only way you'll be safe." These are all part of her own development of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, and her experiences allows her to bond with Hōjō Satoshi when he starts suffering from it. She will also describe or confirm the classic symptoms including hearing an extra footstep of something following, hearing a woman say "I'm sorry," and even feeling that Oyashiro-sama stands at the foot of the bed and stares down at night to other characters in different arcs.
In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, the scam artists Mamiya Rina and Hōjō Teppei target her father. In an attempt to protect her father and herself, Rena confronts Rina and ends up fighting and killing her in self-defense. She then leads Teppei out to the junkyard and kills him. Not long after this, Takano Miyo entrusts her with her scrapbook. Takano dies shortly after, but after reading Takano's scrapbook, Rena begins to question the nature of Oyashiro-sama and the honesty of her friends. She takes the school children of her school hostage, and only the intervention of Keiichi prevents her from becoming another fatality of the Hinamizawa Syndrome.
Rena has short brunt orange hair in an angled cut with long sides and her fringe parts on the left of her forehead. Her eyes are lavender blue and droop at the ends.
On her school days, Rena wears a fairly typical sailor fuku, complete with a yellow ribbon, and white socks with dark brown shoes. On her free days, she wears a white dress with a purple bow and sash and deep silt up the middle, complete with "her favorite" white cap. She also wears black thigh-high socks with brown knee-high boots. Rena's blood-stained cap is used as a message to Sonozaki Mion in Taraimawashi-hen and to Hōjō Satoko in Yakusamashi-hen.
In the first episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Rena appears as an adult in a purple business dress suit. She wears a similar hairstyle with longer hair and has grown taller than she was in June, 1983.
Rena's Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri sprite's sailor fuku tie has a blue knot that has a small white cross in the center similar to the pin Takano Miyo wears on her left side when she is wearing her black military uniform.
Rena initially appears sweet and friendly but can become quite scary when threatened or angry. In Onikakushi-hen, she reacts strongly to one of Keiichi's remarks with the infamously deafeningly loud "Uso da! (嘘だ!・That's a lie!)." Though part of her extreme reaction may be imagined by Keiichi, who is suffering from the Hinamizawa Syndrome in this arc, Rena's reaction strongly suggests that she does indeed hate lies, especially from friends. Rena can become quite cunning and viciously cruel when she is determined. In Minagoroshi-hen and Tsumihoroboshi-hen she intimidates the village council and the Child Welfare staff without losing emotional control like Keiichi and Sonozaki Shion frequently do. During the last Watanagashi meeting of the village council, Rena gets into a violent fistfight with one of the elders. Keiichi often calls her the "quiet, blue flame that burns silently," referring to her capability of becoming incredibly powerful when push comes to shove, despite her seemingly girly and airheaded personality; in such situations, Rena will always be the instigator of and the most bluntly offensive in the fight, as observed in many instances: by Shion in Meakashi-hen and Minagoroshi-hen ("I wonder how you were in Ibaraki. You don't even hesitate to attack people!"); Keiichi in Watanagashi-hen; and Furude Rika in Minagoroshi-hen.
Rena retains these abilities when she suffers from the Hinamizawa Syndrome. She reveals her capability for extreme cruelty in Tsumihoroboshi-hen when she holds the entire school hostage. Rena orders Keiichi to tie up all the students, including Satoko, Rika, and Mion. She viciously bludgeons Mion with her hatchet claiming that Mion "betrayed" her. She fully intends to kill all of the children and herself if her demands are not met. However, she does show remorse when Keiichi succeeds in calming her down with their fight on the roof.
Mion describes Rena, and Rena is often portrayed, as being hostile towards people who make light of or express disbelief in Oyashiro-sama's Curse. This attitude is due to her experience with it and her actually correct belief that Oyashiro-sama exists. On the other hand, she, like Rika, often empathizes with and can identify people who are afflicted with advanced symptoms of Hinamizawa Syndrome. It is implied that she feels guilty for not listening to Satoshi's problems before he disappeared, and asks Keiichi to tell her his problems, most notably in Onikakushi-hen, but as he was already afflicted with the Syndrome, he hallucinates that she was threatening him.
When determined, Rena can be very perceptive, as she can somewhat understand people just by looking at their faces. She does admit directly that she can quickly "tell if ___'s telling the truth or not… just by looking into ___'s eyes." She is also able to form detailed and eerily accurate hypotheses of crime scenes based on evidence she observes.
Rena possesses a signature "Kaa~ii Mōdo" (かぁいい モード) or "Cute Mode," a comic relief quirk which is instigated when she is embarrassed or when she finds something cute. Once she enters Kawaii Mode, Rena's senses are heightened to an extreme extent, making her inhumanly agile and vigorous. This causes frequent trouble for many of the club members, who have to expend all of their energy to barely control her; Keiichi and Mion have been knocked out cold a large number of times by Rena's flurries of punches, while Rika and Satoko have often been kidnapped when she progresses further to Take Home (お持ち帰り・omochikaeri) Mode, especially when they wear cute club punishment outfits. Satoko and Rika have learned to use Rena's Kawaii Mode switch to their advantages. By either crying to her or posing in an adorable fashion, they can manipulate whom Rena knocks out or make Rena can support them, thus giving them a huge advantage in eliminating competition easily in club games.
During the first episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, an adult Rena appears to have been mentally affected for life due to being one of the few people who survived the events that occurred in Hinamizawa in the post-Tsumihoroboshi-hen world.
Rena and Keiichi are very close friends, but arguably are something more, as they seem to be important to each other. They face off against each other in many of the club's activities, most notably the "Water Gun Face Off" and their battle for Rena's sanity and the fate of the school in Tsumihoroboshi-hen. Keiichi also likes to tease Rena flirtatiously while they walk to school together, prompting her to react in a completely flustered manner. He is known to also pat her head and ruffle her hair. It is noted by Keiichi in Onikakushi-hen that the villagers are used to seeing Keiichi and Rena, in particular, walking together every day. Despite his teasing, the two declare to one another that they would always wait for each other before school.
Rena herself is shown to care about Keiichi quite a lot, which was shown particularly in Watanagashi-hen, where she did not want him to go alone to see "Mion," who was actually Shion. In other situations of danger, she shows her worry and may jump out to defend him, such as protecting his family as well in Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kaku. On a side note, both also seem to work well as a team in the fighting of several vigilantes. In the last episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei, Rena confesses her feelings for him, although she was under influence of the magatamas at the time. Hanyū reacts to this as her real confession to Keiichi, while Rika is disgusted. Rena is also seen to like and have a substantial amount of concern for Keiichi, such as when Takano fatally shot him in Minagoroshi-hen, as she was seen crying while he lay dying, and when she and the rest of the group left.
In Onikakushi-hen, after Keiichi had won the Teddy at the Watanagashi festival and gave it to her, it is revealed by Mion that Rena kissed him. Later, Rena quickly notices Keiichi's unusual and erratic behavior and attempts to help and calm him down, begging him to talk to her about his problems and even following him around "protecting him," to ease his paranoia. She ultimately fails, due to his hallucinations that turn her kindness into treachery, and ends up being killed by Keiichi along with Mion, but only after one final effort to comfort him. This failure is the subject of her image song, Dear you -Cry-. Keiichi reveals in the monologue at the beginning, which takes place after the murder, that he perhaps loved Rena.
Mion and Rena appear very good friends and have known each other for a very long time. In Minagoroshi-hen, when Rena was upset about her father and was thinking of murdering Rina and Teppei, she went to Mion, who helped her decide against it. Also, Rena was the only one, besides Shion, to whom Mion confessed her feelings for Keiichi after the doll incident in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen. In Tsukiotoshi-hen, it was revealed that Mion was the first person who talked to Rena after she suddenly moved back to Hinamizawa. Due to the Ryūgū Family's sudden return to the village without Rena's mother, bad rumors started to circulate about them. These rumors however, were quickly stopped by Mion.
Rena and Shion's relationship is not really explained in the series. Part of the problem is Rena will talk to Shion like others thinking she is Mion when Shion impersonates her sister. However, there is the implication that Shion may feel quite uncomfortable whenever Rena is present. Initially, Shion told Mion that she considers Rena to be Mion's rival, especially after the doll incident. When they first met at Angel Mort, Shion described her as a "weird girl" who was unusually forward when they first met. In Meakashi-hen, when they were conversing at the bus stop, Shion had actually developed a sort of hateful jealousy towards Rena upon witnessing how intimidating and perceptive Rena could be; she immediately felt "one-upped" and threatened, her "position of the strongest demon" quickly taken away only by a cold look from the other. It could be said that that encounter may have even had a small bit of influence on Shion's malicious behavior after hitting L5; after she had witnessed Rika's suicide, her "demon" felt as if it could finally regain its position from Rena as the strongest one. It is also interesting to note that they have hardly ever spoken to each other at all in the Kai season.
There is a possibility that Rena had known of Shion's existence and that Shion was Mion all along, but decided not to say anything for Keiichi's and Shion's sakes.
Rena and Satoko are close friends. On many occasions, Rena has wanted to take Satoko home, particularly when she is in a punishment outfit. Rena is shown to care dearly for Satoko and is very concerned about her when Teppei is abusing her. In Tsukiotoshi-hen, she even agrees to kill Teppei, along with Shion and Keiichi, to save Satoko.
Rena and Rika have been close friends since the very start of the series. On many occasions, Rena wants to take Rika home, mostly when Rika is in a punishment or in her shrine maiden outfit. Rika sees Rena as a very kind and knowledgeable person throughout the series; however, when Rena took the school captive in Tsumihoroboshi-hen, Rika stands in her way while Keiichi is trying to stop Rena from destroying the school. It is revealed in the TIPS and animated in the episode Reunion that previously Rika offered to give Rena an injection that would help her.
Rena and Takano do not have a particular relationship beyond their encounters during the arc. For example, in Minagoroshi-hen Takano kills her like she kills her other friends, although Rena refuses to fear Takano and is unafraid to mock her for the fallacies in her goal before dying. The last episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei; however, depicts a stranger relationship where she temporarily falls in love with Takano due to the effects of the magatama.
Rena as an adult looks remarkably like Takano, as seen in the first episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai.
- In episode 1 of Seitokai no Ichizon, Ken says that he loves Kurimu, who asks him how can he confess his love so easily. Ken answers that he's serious but Kurimu yells at him with a loud "Uso da!" while mimicking Rena's iconic face from Higurashi. Ken only replies that "I think it's more about Umineko than Higurashi nowadays."
- In episode 6 of Seiokai no Ichizon, Magiru, the student council's advisor, says that she would prefer if the student council did it's meeting with a hatchet or a bat, and her dream is "getting sent to Hinamizawa."
- In episode 15 of Kyōran Kazoku Nikki Kyouka turns into a magical girl. After Hiratsuka sees her cute outfit she says "Hau~ I want to take you home."
- She appears in the ASCII part of Ushiromiya Jessica's song, Tsurupettan, in the original sound novel version of Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode 2: Turn of the Golden Witch.
- In Rose Guns Days (Also by Ryukishi07), the icon of the "Over Kill" emblem is a silhouetted Rena holding a cleaver.
- In episode 26 of Negima!?, Setsuna is holding the dud form of Konoka, and states how she would like to "take her home." In the background, a picture of Konoka is seen dressed as Rena, along with her signature weapon, Nata.
- かぁいい or かわいい: As depicted in the Gallery, in the original Sound Novels Rena shortens the usual word for "cute" (かわいい・kawaii) into a squeal: (かぁいい・kaa~ii). Keiichi uses this in his description.
- Even though she is usually depicted using her iconic pointy nata/hatchet in all adaptations of Onikakushi-hen, in the Sound Novels she is described to be using a normal axe.
- Just behind Rika, Rena has the second most expanded-upon backstory.
- Rena has the highest number of murders because in the alternate version of Tsumihoroboshi-hen, Yoigoshi-hen, she successfully blows up the whole school which killed 15 children, including herself, Mion, Satoko, Rika and Keiichi. She also murders Hōjō Teppei and Mamiya Rina in Tsumihoroboshi-hen and Mion and Keiichi in Tsukiotoshi-hen. Multiple murders of the same person do not count towards the total.
- Rena survives in more arcs than any other main character: Watanagashi-hen, Meakashi-hen, Matsuribayashi-hen, and, at least in the anime version, Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
- Reina: "Rei" can mean 0 and "Na," from "nana" can mean 7 which possibly references the author's pseudonym: Ryukishi07. This may also explain why Rena appears the signature character of the series. 4chan's anime boards and Japanese image threads celebrated "Rena Day" on July 7, 2007 (07/07/07), by flooding Rena pictures.
- Rena's real name "Reina" is also the Spanish word for "queen".
- Cleaver?: fans debate whether the item she finds in the town's trash heap (anime) or a tool shed (manga and visual novels) is a cleaver, billhook, cane knife, or a hatchet. The popular term is "cleaver"; however, the more accurate term would be nata: a gardening tool used for clearing brush, though it generally does not have the spike on the end that Rena's tool does.
- Rena's catchphrase "I wonder, I wonder?" ("かな、かな?" "Kana, kana?") is homophonous with "カナカナ" ("kanakana"), an alternative name for the Higurashi cicada based on the sound it makes.
- In addition to the 07 implication of Rena's name, it has been pointed out that both her real name and her nickname are the same as the Final Fantasy V character Lenna Charlotte Tycoon's Japanese names. In the game, Lenna's name is "Rena," (レナ). In the FFV anthology, Lenna's name is "Reina."
- Mamiya Rina and Rena's first names, identical with the exception of the vowel, could be considered the two halves of the name "Reina," in which "Rena" is the proper, untainted half of the name and "Rina" is the epitome and physical existence of all the "icky things" and the bad experiences in Ibaraki.
- In the English version, Rena is the only character who acknowledges Oyashiro-sama as female. This may be because she remembers hearing Oyashiro-sama (Hanyū) speak to her. In Japanese, in which talking about someone without mentioning their gender is easy, Oyashiro-sama is not referred to as either male or female. It is worth noting that this only happens in Matsuribayashi-hen, after the reader is aware of Hanyū's existence, and that this is not the case in Rena's flashbacks in Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
- Rena often speaks and writes in third-person, but mentally, she speaks normally in first-person. Where this habit came from is unknown, but she has had it ever since she was very young.
- In Tsumihoroboshi-hen TIP "The Demon's Script" and Reunion, Rena is referred to as "Girl A" by the police, as Japanese law prohibits disclosure of the names of minors involved in criminal cases. The identities of both the culprit and the victim of the Sasebo slashing are still officially unknown, albeit popular topics of Internet speculation. The law is not without its critics: Weekly Bunshun magazine declared that "monsters have no human rights" and published the alleged new names of the murderers of Junko Furuta.
- It is revealed in the Tsumihoroboshi-hen manga that Rena goes grocery shopping with Keiichi's mother. It can be deduced that this is how she knew the type of instant noodles Keiichi eats in Onikakushi-hen.
- In Onikakushi-hen, Detective Ōishi mentions to Keiichi that during her hospitalization, Rena was diagnosed with dysautonomia by a neurologist. Dysautonomias, systemic dysfunctions of the autonomic nervous system that manifest primarily in symptoms like lightheadedness/dizziness; heart palpitations; and changes in body temperature, do not explain Rena's violence or mental state during the incident at her school in Ibaraki. Moreover, though dysautonomia starts in the nervous system, the diverse bodily symptoms make a neurologist somewhat less likely to diagnose a dysautonomia than a physiologist or a cardiologist.
- Despite being her signature weapon, in the Sound Novels and the manga Rena never uses her nata to lethal effect in the "core" arcs of Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni and Kai. She commits all of her murders with other weapons. However, in the anime adaptation of Tsumihoroboshi-hen she uses the nata to kill Hōjō Teppei, while in the Sound Novel and the manga she uses a broad ax for that purpose.