Tao Ren is shorter than Yoh and most of his friends, at 4'9", 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 golden, brown or the same color as his hair.
His street 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 . 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.
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.
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. 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.
In the future it is strongly implied that he has married Iron Maiden Jeanne. They have a son named Men who in appearance is an exact replica of Ren, except for the red eyes and light colored hair from Jeanne.
Invading the Plants.Edit
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 starts 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. 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 allowing Yoh and company to move on to the next plant.
When Ren and the remaining three teams reached the 7th Plant of the Cave, they find Nichrom who quickly revealed his medium and spirit and Over Souled Yellow Whip. He urged the group to attack him together, but Ren only revealed his old weapon and goated him to attack him alone. Nichrom proceeded to attack Ren with the scorpion tail, only to have the tail wrap itself around the arm of Bason and is used to slam Nichrom to the ground.
Ren proceed to use 100 %Hyoi Gattai, to rapidly attack Nichrom with the Zhong Hua Zhan Wu, leaving him a bloody mess and his patch cloak tattered. Nichrom slowly rose up and 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 fight with all his might or die. 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 Purple kick. 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 piercing 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. The result of the fight is not seen, but as Ren is later seen beeing 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. Thalim 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. Thalim is finally defeated by Chocolove when he learns the power of erotion.
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 strenght. As Ren questions the responsibility he would suddenly have he says that he wants to be usefull too as the seven is currently his best place. Even though they are able to fight at their full strenght they are still beaten by Rutherfur until Yoh nullify her Over Soul.
When Hao finally awakens he sends a message to the Oracle Bells that reads "'so small" He arrives at the final plant and effortlessly kills everyone with a simple glance, excluding Rutherfur, Opacho and Yoh. After Hao attempts to banish Yoh from his area in the Great Spirit. Ren, Lyserg, Chocolove and Horohoro appear within it, with the Five Grand Elemental Spirits. A fierce battle between the 5 Elemental Warriors and the Shaman King begins.
Funbari No Uta.Edit
In the seven years that passed he reluctanly grew tall and his long hair was braided into a three pronged Tongari. He studied at Tsinghua University and after graduating, Ren, together with "Big Guy" Bill Burton and Hang Zang-Chin, build the Raitei Group雷帝グループ(Lightning Emperor Group) a large electronics manufacturering company and became the President. He met Iron Maiden Jeanne while she was traveling Europe, eventually marrying her and together they had a son, Tao Men. After she gave birth she went on a maternity leave and left Ren as the leader of X-Charity(X慈善団体).
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. As a small 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. Seeing the resemblance, Horohoro, Lyserg and Chocolove all thought that the little boy was Ren, until Ren himself came out of the carriage and picked up the kid announcing that the boy is his son, Tao Men, and doesn't understand why they are all shocked.
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. When Ryu arrives and tells that Yoh and Anna was delayed Ren stood up angry and shouted making all three of his hair-spikes grow. As they wait for Yoh and Anna they all remember the end of their fight with Hao and realize that despite their promise to him nothing have changed, only to be encouraged by Yoh who have just arrived. After the greeting they all party back in the where Ren attacks Horohoro at the end out of anger.
Later during the night a parcel arrives from the Patch Village and Anna comes in to reveal it is a book over the Shaman Fights that had transpired in Tokyo.
In the 4Kidsdub he was given a British accent and his name was change to Len Tao.
- Ren's name in Chinese (Ren) 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.
- Ren's name sometimes is seen in Western order, Ren Tao, in artwork in the Shaman King manga.