|“||Hermits are those who touch upon the truths of this transient plane. The world beyond this one is all that has remained beyond my reach. However...that too will soon be within my grasp once your home of Woguo has been sacrificed.||”|
—Rien (Chapter 118)
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 History
- 4 Abilities and Powers
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Trivia
- 7 References
Appearance[edit | edit source]
In her youth, Rien had violet eyes and hair, which made up a single large bang hanging from the left side of her face. After living for a millennium, Rien became extremely advanced in age. She had lost her hair and showed traces of twigs and leaves sprouting from her head due to suffering from Arborification.
The Tao puppets Rien controlled reflected her youthful appearance from way back and wore the same clothing, which was a white robe, a matching long-sleeved hanfu, trousers, and black boots. For her departure to Japan, Rien had her main puppet change into Taoist robes along with a crown on their head. Upon her ship being hijacked, Rien loses these robes to fight more comfortably against her enemies, choosing to allow the upper half of her body to be exposed while wearing a beaded necklace and revealing her hidden gold armbands. She also had a ribbon freely float loosely around her.
In her Kishikai, Rien gained two additional pairs of arms with their own gold armbands, and three new sets of eyes; a pair underneath her originals and one on her forehead. Her skin became a dark shade and her body received a heart-shaped marking located between her two collarbones and two markings resembling flaming wreaths where her abdomen, or tanden, is. Her body also produced a ring with flowers upon the back of her neck. Upon managing to survive having her plant ovule destroyed by Sagiri, a large portion of Rien's body was formed into a bundle of lotus flowers, which included a pair of misshapen wings on her back that seemed to have come from remnants of her extra arms.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Personality[edit | edit source]
Rien was typically seen as being calm and collected but could break out of this demeanor if anything were to get in her way. She was a widow who was deeply faithful to her late husband, having spent 700 years of her life devising a way to revive him. Rien still viewed Xu Fu as her master even in death and would bow in respect to his gilded dead body, as well as make frequent reports in prevent.
Since she had acquired transcended powers, Rien no longer saw herself as human and had a severe god complex. She felt nothing for humanity, viewing her own race as inferior beings whose only redeeming quality is their Tao that she could use to create Tan, and was more than willing to sacrifice all human life in Japan if it meant that she could have Xu Fu back in her life again. This unfeeling attitude also applied to other living beings, such as the Hōko. Similar to her colleague Zhu Jin, Rien could become vexed when she had to deal with troublesome humans. Despite her low opinion of humans, Rien did acknowledge the fact that they are not all weak and that their are a rare few who have superior capabilities, such as Gabimaru, Aza Chōbē, and Shija. If anything, Rien expressed what little compassion she had by wishing Gabimaru pleasant dreams as he Arborified.
Rien cared a great deal for the Tensens, viewing them as family and stated to them that they should treat each other as such. After seeing Mu Dan's corpse, Rien went out of her way to leave the palace to search for his killer and expressed her vengeful attitude to Chōbē by asking if he was the one responsible for Mu Dan's death. She did not however tolerated misbehavior from them, as she disapproved of Ju Fa for harming Zhu Jin and for attacking Chōbē after inviting him to the palace. Rien especially did not tolerate insubordination and would not hesitate to cruelly punish the Tensens if they were to commit this act, as with the case of Mei in the past. Rien's merciless attitude caused the Tensens to know their place, as admitted by Tao Fa who stated that Rien was too frightening for her to defy if she did not choose to fight Gantetsusai and Fuchi. As pointed out by Mei and Ju Fa, Rien was recognized as being much kinder in the past. Despite punishing Mei cruelly, Rien was not without suffering as Mei recalled her shedding a tear at the time.
After receiving words of sympathize from Gabimaru, as a married man, Rien finally learned to accept Xu Fu's passing and showed mercy by healing the wounds she inflicted on Gabimaru and Sagiri before allowing herself to move on into the afterlife.
History[edit | edit source]
Past[edit | edit source]
At some point during 3rd century BC, Rien was married to Xu Fu and went along in his voyage to the East to acquire the Elixir of Life for the ruler of the Qin Dynasty between 219 BC and 210 BC. Their journey in the end led them to an island where they decided to instead use their resources and knowledge of Taoism to discover the secrets to gaining immortality, resulting in many experimental creations. Eventually, Rien started to suffer from Arborification and had to remain bedridden for the rest of her life. To ensure that she can continue to support her husband in his research, Rien had Xu Fu use her Tao to create a clone of herself and remotely controlled it. After receiving a new body, Rien used the Tao puppet to create another fabricated clone named Mei, who assisted both her and Xu Fu, along with six fabricated newborns. These seven then came to be known as Tensens. Decades later, Xu Fu became infected with Arborification and ultimately died, leaving Rien alone and heartbroken.
Refusing to accept her husband's death, Rien made a commitment to revive him, starting off by incasing his body with gold in order to keep it preserve. With the Tensens she created, Rien formed the group known as Lord Tensen to maintain order over the island and trained the five young ones in the ways of Tao. After coming to view the Outer Way of Tan to be a stepping stone in her plans to revive Xu Fu, Rien attempted to create a potion of immortality by extracting the Tao of the Hōko and allowed the Tensens to do the same in order to replenish their lost Tao in the midst of their training. Having found her method of sacrificing lives to be wrong, Mei tried to stop Rien from going any further but is met with punishment for her defiance, resulting in Rien breaking her plant ovule, shrinking her body down to a small child's, and sentencing her to participate in Bōchū Jutsu with the Dōshi. At some point, Rien would come to realize that Mei had managed to escape but did not concern herself with her whereabouts.
After several centuries had passed, the Hōko started to go into extinction from Arborification and left the six young Tensens worried for their lives since they were at risk of dying if they were to lose their Tao source. The Tensens then came up with the idea of using humans from the mainland as substitutes and successfully managed to lure them out to the island after sending out a boat with an Arborified Hōko. As a result of extracting human Tao, which was found to be more exquisite than the Hōko, Rien managed to create a prototype elixir known as Tan and went along with the idea of luring out more humans to the island to create more as the years passed by. Rien then developed a plan of extracting the Tao from the entire populace of Japan to create the perfected Tan elixir and have it transferred over to Xu Fu's gilded corpse, thereby successfully reviving him. To see this through, Rien created the Banko in her laboratory but was met with constant failure in trying to keep the flower alive and had to wait for centuries for it to bloom once more. Rien would then continue on with her work all the way towards Japan's Edo period.
Edo Period[edit | edit source]
Lord Tensen Arc[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Lord Tensen Arc
Rien gathers the other Tensens for a meeting to discuss matters about the humans who have been causing a lot of trouble since their arrival. After reviewing that Ju Fa and Zhu Jin have confirmed the deaths of their victims, Rien closes the meeting with a toast to Sōshi and their longevity.
Later, Rien gives a lesson to one of the Dōshi about Tao but is interrupted by Tao Fa who shows them the modifications she has done to the training area. After finishing Bōchū Jutsu training with Ran, Ju Fa asks Rien the whereabouts of Mu Dan, who answers that he is at the gate waiting for the human travelers.
The next day, Rien finds Mu Dan's corpse and leaves the area. After entering the valley of Hōjō, Rien finds Aza Chōbē and questions if he was the one who killed Mu Dan. She then unleashes her Tao on Chōbē and becomes impressed to see that he has achieved hybridization after being infected by the Waitanhua flower down at the pit. She then attempts to examine Chōbē further and becomes shocked to see him enter into his transformation. Rien becomes overwhelmed by Chōbē and their puppet body is destroyed after Chōbē pierced their tanden. However, another Rien puppet steps out behind Chōbē and reveals the other puppets that came along with them. Rien then smiles in glee after Chōbē demonstrated his control over the Tao of the Waitanhua flower, stating that he was "beautiful", and knocked him unconscious to take him back to the palace.
After Chōbē wakes up restrained to a bed, Rien has her puppet assume its Yin form and tells Chōbē that his Tao may help in completing their research. She then undresses and says that she wishes to engage in Bōchū Jutsu as a way to help his Tao cycle and better understand it. Before Chōbē could cooperate, he demands that she tell him everything about the island, which she agrees to. Rien explains to him that the island is a laboratory meant to create and observe the immortal life of the monsters and the people known as Hōko. They also explain how the Tensens came to be and that she wishes to study Chōbē's invaluable Tao so that Lord Tensen can perfect the elixir and turn every human on the mainland into Tan. Rather than turning him into Tan as well, Rien offers Chōbē a chance to join Lord Tensen if he cooperates. Chōbē accepts and the two proceed with their engagement in Bōchū Jutsu.
Hōrai Arc[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Hōrai Arc
After welcoming Chōbē in, Rien and the other members of Lord Tensen perform a Dōshi ritual. After they were finish, Rien sees Ju Fa starting a fight with Chōbē and orders him to stand down. She then has Chōbē follow her into her laboratory and shows him the Banko, a giant Waitanhua meant to process greater Tan, and tells him that she requires his rare Tao to complete her research using his limbs that she plans to pick a part. During the dissection, Rien is told by Chōbē of the possibility of the human survivors eventually invading the palace. Seeing this as an opportunity to gather more Tao for Xu Fu, Rien orders the Tensens to initiate the Rite of Just Consumption for when the time came for the survivors to come. Chōbē then makes an agreement to cooperate as long as they spare his brother Tōma.
While the Tensens confront the humans for the ritual, Rien reviews the situation regarding the outcomes and presents Xu Fu the completed Elixir of Life, announcing that she is ready to depart to Japan to create more of the elixir from the humans in Japan. Later, while down at the floodgates in preparation for her departure, Rien is warned by Gui Fa that the Tensens have been defeated, the Rite of Just Consumption has failed, and the second group of humans have arrived to raid Hōrai. Rien orders the Dōshi to eliminate the intruders and for Gui Fa to go to the Main Temple Annex to protect the Basin. Rien is then approached by Shija, with a team of shinobi, who have come to stop her from leaving the island. She tries to stop Shija and their forces from burning the ships containing the Paradise Butterflies but ends up dropping her guard, which allowed Shija to quickly steal the Elixir of Life from her in the process and have the shinobi take it outside. Later, Rien senses that Zhu Jin has fused with the Banko, causing the puppet's body to react negatively.
Departure Arc[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Departure Arc
After she supposedly killed Shija, Rien sets sail on a burning ship but sees that Yamada Asaemon Shugen has arrived to stop her. Rien fights Shugen but also tries to be cautious as to not damage the ship in the process. She is then caught by Shugen's sword attack to her tanden but is unharmed since Shugen's Tao attribute is Water, and uses their Tao to puncture a hole through his chest. Shugen manages to endure the attack after Tensa's metal headband manages to slightly reduce the damage and fights Rien once more with his skill to recreate the swordsmanship of his clansmen. Rien senses Shugen's Tao is acting odd and confirms that he has the power to alter his Tao attribute after being harmed by an attack that Yamada Asaemon Shion would use. With no other option, Rien changes into her Yin form, allows the flames to rise on the ship (which she tried to subdue using Tao), and severs Shugen's right arm using a feathered fan.
After making quick work of bringing down Shugen, Rien picks up the Elixir of Life they found next to Shugen and comes to see the golden statue of Xu Fu. Shortly after, Rien finds that her ship has been damaged by Gantetsusai and steps outside furious for the action he committed. After the survivors' ship manages to reach Rien's, Gantetsusai decides to get on board, but before leaving, he warns both Rien and Shugen (who had already regained consciousness) that someone much stronger than him will take his place to defeat them, which is revealed to be Gabimaru who jumps on to the burning ship ready to put an end to everything. Rien found her situation with the humans to be annoying and clashes with both Gabimaru and Shugen in combat. The Tensen manages to out best the two male humans but received a sudden attack by Sagiri to her tanden and finds the other humans onboard her ship ready to confront her, to which she found useless. Rien casts an illusion upon the survivors, knocking them out in the process, and decides to enter her Kishikai to put an end to their resistance.
After transforming, Rien blasts Gabimaru with a bolt of Tao lighting after noticing him about to use a technique against her. Rien's tanden is then stabbed from behind by Sagiri but tells her that her Tao was too weak to make a fatal blow. She then sees an opening to crush Sagiri's body with Tao manipulation but is avoided after Shugen jumps in to move her out of the way. After hearing the humans plan to escape, Rien unleashes her power to dismantle the exterior of the ship while leaving Xu Fu's room intact. She then targets Isuzu using Tao manipulation and crushes her body in front of Shugen, which caused the Asaemon to go into a blind rage. While being confronted by Shugen in the front, Rien is grabbed by Gabimaru from behind and is set on fire. However, after remembering his wife, Gabimaru's flames are ceased as his body starts to be influenced by Rien's Tao, which results in him undergoing Arborification. After wishing Gabimaru pleasant dreams as he Arborifies, Rien takes note on how her departure to Japan will go as plan while the humans will either burn within the fire or lose their will to fight. She then finds herself face to face with a persistent Shugen despite the Asaemon being badly injured.
While defending herself against Shugen, Rien becomes drawn towards the Tao being emitted by a recovered Gabimaru and Sagiri, which she found irritating. She then goes on the defense against Gabimaru and Sagiri's coordinated attacks and shots a bolt of Tao lightning to ward them off. Gabimaru pulls Sagiri out of the way of the attack and slashes Rien with Sagiri's sword. However, Rien remains standing due to the Wood hindering attribute losing the power needed after the sword was in his possession. Rien then witness Gabimaru's desperate attempt by swinging Sagiri towards her. Seeing as how Gabimaru is the one assisting Sagiri whose Wood Tao is critical to taking her down, Rien strengthens her arms and prepares to attack Sagiri before more time is wasted.
As she continues to fight Sagiri, Rien notices in panic as Gabimaru rushes towards Xu Fu's gilded corpse in an attempt to destroy it but sees him cease his assault. However, Rien witnesses in horror as her deceased husband's body is slashed in two by Shugen's powerful Tao-imbued sword. Having been distracted, along with her Tao being weakened from a glimpse of rage, Rien leaves herself open for Sagiri to come in to bisect her body and cut her plant ovule. The upper half of the puppet's body then falls into the ocean and begins to crumble away.
However, Rien manages to survive, after regenerating half of her body into flowers, and blows a gapping hole in Sagiri's stomach. She then targets Gabimaru and vows in anger to take away everything from him and the other humans. As she starts to have him suffer, Rien asks him as to why he hesitated to kill Xu Fu's body. After hearing him answer that it was because he received a vision of his wife, Rien starts to envision Xu Fu's face and hears words of sympathy from him. Having looked back on the loving memories she had with Xu Fu, Rien heals Gabimaru and Sagiri's wounds and comes to terms with Xu Fu's passing. Rien then allows herself and her puppet to crumble away, which allows her soul to reunite with Xu Fu's in the afterlife.
Abilities and Powers[edit | edit source]
As a Tensen, Rien had otherworldly powers that were above those of the other Sennin below her, and was unrivalled by any mortal. Her prowess were also much stronger than the other Tensens she commanded. As such, Rien could be considered the biggest threat in the Jigokuraku manga. With little effort, she was able to push Aza Chōbē, a superhuman who obtained the powers of Plant Tao, into transforming and defeated him in an instant with a single Tao attack. While limiting her power, Rien was capable of holding her own against a squad of Iwagakure shinobi. Shija, an Iwa shinobi chosen to become Iwagakure's next strongest shinobi, admitted that not even they stood a chance at fighting against Rien in a proper fight and had to resort to using foul play. Rien was also able to defeat Yamada Asaemon Shugen, the strongest Asaemon within the Yamada clan, with little to no time wasted, and later could even handle fighting against him and Gabimaru, Iwagakure's strongest shinobi in history, simultaneously with ease. Using his special institution, which he claims is 100% accurate, Jikka found that there was no possible strategy for him and the nine human survivors to successfully win against Rien, even if they were to fight her 10,000 times.
Intelligence[edit | edit source]
Rien was a brilliant researcher with tremendous knowledge and understanding in the field of Taoism. With her complete understanding of Tao, along with using the concept of the Outer Way of Tao, she was able to cultivate a prototype elixir of immortality, and eventually, a perfected elixir. Along with the elixir, she was also able to create the Banko, another experimental achievement that was able to harvest more of the Elixir of Life. Other works included converting humans into loyal servants by draining them of their humanity. Rien was also a practitioner of I Ching, which she could use to read the current status of a person's lifespan and any future prophecies.
Physical Abilities[edit | edit source]
Rien had been shown to be quite formidable in close-range combat, being able to outmatch both Gabimaru and Shugen in a three-way battle with little difficulty and handle her own against Gabimaru and Sagiri's synchronized attacks. In her Yin body, Rien displayed impressive agility as she quickly moved out of the way of Shugen's close-range sword attack and then balanced herself on his blade. Using her Yang chi, Rien could opt for an increase in physical strength, as she planned to "break" Sagiri whose Wood Tao acted as the "spear" to defeat her.
Tao[edit | edit source]
- Further information: Tao
Rien possessed Earth-attribute Tao that was remarkably powerful, noted by Chōbē to be far above the other Tensens, and was a true master at wielding it. Having spent 1,000 years of training in the ways of Tao, Rien's Tao became greatly refined where others could view her abilities as god-like. As a Tao user, Rien was able to sense the presence of others, the movements and weak spots of her opponents, and enhance her physical attacks. Rien's great control allows her to fire invisible Tao bullets from a mere flick from her puppet's fingers that has enough power to puncture her enemies bodies and inflict major damage. She was able to easily defeat Chōbē in his Waitanhua Flower Tao transformation with a single Tao strike and had been shown capable of gathering her Tao in a single highly concentrated ball of energy that can cause massive destruction.
Rien also had the ability to control the Tao of living and non-living things, which she first demonstrated to Chōbē by lighting an incense. During her fight with Shija, Rien controlled the flames released by the shinobi's Ninpō: Hibōshi to fire bullets with enough force to cause major damage to the other Iwagakure shinobi reinforcing them. This ability also came in handing for when the time came for her departure to Japan as she remotely controlled the Tao of her ship to set sail. Her command over the ship's Tao, as well as anything else that was destructively inorganic, had been noted to make her departure impossible to be stopped by any normal means, as she subdued the Tao of the flames that were set by Iwagakure shinobi from completely burning the ship, and could instantly repair any damage done if it were to come under attack, such as the major damaged caused by Gantetsusai's sword slash that almost came close to splitting the burning vessel in two. When controlling the Tao of living things, Rien could either kill her opponents, by simply gripping her hand to cause their bodies to be crushed, or heal their wounds.
Rien had also shown the ability to create illusions using her Tao, which she used against the human survivors to create a false moment in reality in which they managed to defeat her.
Techniques[edit | edit source]
- Tōate (遠当? Literal meaning: Distant Strike): Rien could launch Tao from a distance as invisible projectiles, which are strong enough to cause major damage from within the targets body.
Puppets[edit | edit source]
Rien had the ability to use her Tao to create various puppet clones of herself and could remotely control them from another location to act as a body double. Rien used one puppet to act as her main body to conduct experiments, command the Tensens, and fight against any enemies, while also having a few puppets to look after her in bed. In the event that one of her puppets were destroyed, Rien could transfer her connection over to another puppet. In addition, Rien could also create alternate puppets with their own personalities, characteristics, and will of their own, which was used to create the Tensens. This ability of Tao manipulation was considered to be unique as Gui Fa stated that not even the Tensens are capable of performing this feat. In order to maintain connection with her puppet, Rien had to keep her Tao and her control from weakening.
As Tensens, and consumers of Tan, the Riens possessed regenerative abilities and longevity. Rien had been shown to regrow her fingers, eyes, and survived incineration and mortal wounds such as sword slashes. The limitation to the puppets regeneration is that they can be weakened if they were to face an opponent who is a Wood-attribute Tao user, and the only known way of destroying her puppets is if the said Wood-attribute Tao user completely destroyed their tandens, or their plant ovules. However, after she was bisected by Sagiri, Rien was shown capable of keeping her puppet functioning by regenerating the missing half from her upper body into lotus flowers upon being fueled with rage to kill Gabimaru and the other surviving humans for ruining her plans to revive Xu Fu.
Rien could also have her puppets switch chi's of either Yin or Yang to augment her Tao and recover any lost. As the Riens switch in and out, their sex changes to match the chi, which is put to use whenever they engage in Bōchū Jutsu training. Similar to Tao Fa's way of fighting, Rien could choose to perform a partial chi switch on parts of her puppets' bodies to acquire the specific physical attribute needed for battle, such as strengthening her six Kishikai arms by changing them into their Yang forms.
Kishikai Transformation[edit | edit source]
As a Tensen, Rien could have her puppet enter a Kishikai state. Upon entering, Rien's Tao abilities were heighten to where she could cause her entire ship to become dismantled by unleashing a wave of her power. Rien's perception and reflexes were noticeably much sharper as she caught Gabimaru on time when he was about to use a technique on her and blasted him with Tao converted into lightning, similar to Zhu Jin's ability, before he had a chance to perform it. Her body became more resistant to Wood Tao users as she thought that Sagiri's sword attack towards her tanden felt like a mere tickle. Rien was also able to trigger Gabimaru's Arborification by resonating her Tao with his after physical contact was made.
Since the Kishikai exerts too much Tao, Rien could only hold the transformation for up to half an hour before she became reduced to a weakened body.
Weapons[edit | edit source]
Rien wielded a feathered fan that had great cutting power, capable of severing Shugen's right arm, and was blunt enough to knock down her opponents.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Like the rest of Lord Tensen, Rien is named after a flower. "Rien" (蓮?) meaning "lotus".
- Rien's character also draws resemblance to Guanyin, a Buddhist bodhisattva who is said to be the goddess of mercy and compassion.
- Guanyin is said to be capable of taking on any form and is represented as both male and female. The female form was said to be the most common for Guanyin. Rien's ability to change gender, as well as her Yin body being her preference, draws reference to this.
- Rien's name references the flower that Guanyin is commonly associated with, as well as the Lotus Sutra.
- Legends say that Guanyin manifested one thousand eyes and one thousand arms in order to better reach out to all sentient beings who were suffering. Guanyin would also at times be depicted with a halo. These traits are represented in Rien's Kishikai. Additionally, Rien's attire matches Guanyin's white robes.
- Guanyin is commonly depicted with a willow branch in her right hand and a vase in her left hand. The vase contained pure water that was said to be the divine nectar of life, while the willow branch was a symbol of strength that was unbreakable and was used to bless her followers with the nectar. Rien's fan, which she wielded with her right hand, and her possession of the gourd containing the Elixir of Life, reflects the two items Guanyin carried on her.
- Rien's endless attempts to prevent the Banko's constant wilting and reviving cycle reflects Guanyin's restless ambition to free all sentient beings from saṃsāra, or the cycle of rebirth.
- In the story Precious Scroll of Fragrant Mountain, it was said that when Guanyin's incarnation, Miaoshan, died and was sent to Naraka (hell), she had flowers blossom around her and freed the damned souls from their suffering. As a result, the Hell-like realm was transformed into a paradise, as described by Yama, the King of Hell, and decided to send her back to Earth to prevent Naraka's destruction. Rien's actions where she forces humans to go into bloom, which is believed to allow them to be free from their sins, references Miaoshin's actions in the story. The title of the manga, Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku, which refers to the setting on Kotaku that is the product of Rien's actions, references Yama's description of Miaoshin's actions in Naraka.
- Rien ranked 33rd place in the manga 1st Character Popularity Poll.
- Rien's alias refers to Samantabhadra (普賢菩薩, Literal meaning: Universal Worthy), a bodhisattva who is the patron of the Lotus Sutra and is a representation of practice and meditation. In Chinese Buddhism, Samantabhadra is known as Pǔxián and is associated with action, while in Japan, Samantabhadra is known as Fugen and is the protector of the Lotus Sutra. Rien's name reflects Samantabhadra's association with the Lotus Sutra.
- Rien considered the Yin form of her puppet to be its true form, stating that the body allows for greater focus. Another reason to consider is the fact that Rien was born female. While still dabbling through the cycle of Yin-Yang, Rien was most commonly seen in her Yang body, which was evident by the fact that Ran would refer to her as "brother" (兄上 aniue?).
- In Chapter 111, Rien's attribute was erroneously identified as Wood.
- Rien's artistic skills appeared to be simple and child-like, a trait that was passed on to Mei, along with her Chinese language.