Ouran High School Host Club features many different characters, but one of the most fascinating in the franchise is Renge Houshakuji. This is due to both her unique backstory and charming personality.
Starting in LaLa magazine in 2002, Bisco Hatori’s Ouran High School Host Club proved to be an instant hit, spawning an anime adaptation and even a stage show. It follows Haruhi Fujioka, a student who gets a scholarship to a prestigious academy. However, while at this academy, she learns that some male students run a host club out of a music room. In a moment of confusion, Haruhi smashes a priceless vase and is forced to work for the host club to pay off her debt. She quickly ends up befriending the club’s boys.
Who Is Renge?
Renge is first introduced in chapter 3 of the manga and episode 4 of the anime. When Renge first arrives, she announces that she is Kyoya’s fiance, despite never meeting him. It is quickly revealed that Renge is infatuated with Kyoya because he resembles a character from Renge’s favorite dating simulator game, Uki Doki Memorial.
Renge is an otaku with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of moe topics such as anime, manga, and video games. Because of this, she puts herself in the role of the club’s lady manager, using her knowledge of tropes to make the hosts more appealing to the girls who come through. She is also an avid cosplayer and can often be seen wearing various costumes throughout the series, including Quon Kisaragi and a samurai maiden. The boys, while initially unsure of her, do accept her fairly quickly. Tamaki Suoh even vocalizes a hope that Renge will befriend Haruhi, giving her another girl to talk to while at the club. However, this doesn’t go as planned. Renge ends up mistaking Haruhi for a boy and develops a crush on her because of this misunderstanding.
Renge’s father is Reynard Houshakuji, a businessman who often does business with Kyoya Ootori’s father. Renge and Reynard usually live in Paris. However, Renge quickly jets off to Japan when she sees a picture of Kyoya. Renge’s privileged upbringing has made her very outspoken and easily angered, not putting up with people who talk over or disagree with her. The strangest thing about Renge is that she can appear out of the floor via a motorized platform, something that quickly becomes a running joke in the anime.
In the manga, Renge slips from the spotlight after her very first appearance. While she appears in the background several times, she rarely gets the spotlight and acts as an easter egg rather than a character. Bisco Hatori has said that they originally planned for Renge to be a more common recurring character; however, this simply never came to be. In the anime, she is seen more because the writers swapped her with Tamaki Suoh at several points to get Renge more screen time.
Renge is a fascinating character, as her otaku nature allows her to be remarkably meta without directly breaking the fourth wall. She also acts as a great foil to Haruhi, as her shyness and Renge’s outspoken nerdiness often clash in comedic ways, making Renge extremely memorable.