Ren is a tall and handsome young man with shoulder-length strawberry blond hair that has bangs go across his right side of his face and cool light blue eyes. He usually wears his top two buttons down revealing a little of his chest. His way of clothing is usually loose and playful, giving him the flirty appearance. He has fawn tanned skin, and also one noticeable pierced ear, similar to that of Syo Kurusu's.
His child appearance had shorter hair and his ear was not pierced.
Ren is known to be flirtatious and a smooth-talker. A consummate ladies man, Ren was always shown to be surrounded by girls and he has fond of flattering women with his words.
He is also shown to be carefree, being the third son of the Jinguji family and thus, having no responsibility thrust on his shoulders. At first, this has led people to believe that he was apathetic and cared little about being an idol. However, it was shown that he resented being forced to enroll in Saotome Academy to advertise the family business by his brother, even though he did love singing.
Through Haruka Nanami's help, Ren managed to find meaning in music and began to find passion in singing. He becomes more devoted to her, calling her 'little lamb' and 'my lady', is shown less in the company of other women, although it has not stopped his flirtatious nature.
He can be serious depending on the situation, but most of the time he remains easy-going, often teasing his more uptight and formal roommate and childhood friend, Masato Hijirikawa.
Ren deeply cares about his fellow ST☆RISH members and is always there for them when they are in need.
Ren lost his mother in an accident at an early age and he was only able to see his mother's face through recorded videotapes of her performances, as she was a famous idol. However, in his father's grief, he discarded every item Ren had of his mother, leading him to believe that his father hated his mother.
Ren managed to save one song his mother made; one that she sang for her unborn child; him. Grieving during his childhood due to the loss of his mother, Ren would often go to the park and listen to his mother's singing through his mp3 player.
His brother is the family heir and he had so many meetings that he couldn't spare time to play with Ren. This had led to them being distant for a while.
It was during this time that he met a young Masato Hijirikawa. Both boys, coming from important families, were made to attend a party which they both found dull. Sneaking out, they spent time with each other, finding that they could see similarities between the two of them.
Upon attending Saotome Academy, Ren had shown distaste in attending school, having no interest in the curriculum despite his brilliance in making music. This was because he felt that his choice was taken from him after his older brother commanded him to be an idol to promote their company. It was later revealed that his brother was always looking out for him and knew Ren's passion for music, thus his real reason for sending Ren to the Academy.
Ren first sees Haruka helping a lost little girl find her mother. It was by coincidence that Ren meets her again during the academy's entrance exams. He is surprisingly very fond and affectionate towards Haruka compared to other girls and even gave her the nickname "Little Lamb" and "My Lady." He also gets extremely jealous whenever another guy gets close to her, especially Masato Hijirikawa. As the story progressed, Ren opened his heart to his love for music again when Haruka gathered the lyrics he ripped on top of the school roof. He claims that he is in "debt" to Haruka and will do anything to make her happy. Believably, Ren has shown a whole new kind of "affection" towards Haruka, and it's no longer the kind that he usually shows to any girl.
In season 2 episode 6, he tells Haruka that she is a bad girl for making him so crazy about her. He almost kisses her after this but stops when he sees that she is uncomfortable with it. He said that he will wait for her to grow up a little more before continuing.
He says the same thing in season 3 episode 1 when they run into each other at the lake. Haruka compliments his saxophone playing, and he pulls her close telling her that she is more beautiful than both the moon and cherry blossoms. He then says that simply looking at her is enough to rend his heart in two.
Ren first meets Masato at a social meeting back when they were kids. He claimed that the party was boring and invited Masato to play with him at the lake. It was again they meet each other at Saotome Academy with the same goal in mind. In the early semester, Masato hated Ren at the fact he didn't take his love for music seriously and ended up punching him. It was later on that Masato forgave him and they continued their friendly rivalry. The rivalry further intensified when Masato finds out that Ren also decides to choose Haruka Nanami as his graduation partner.
However, despite their rivalry and clashing personalities both Ren and Masato care about each other and are there for the other when necessary.
The name Ren means "lotus" or "love". It may also may refer to a Japanese character for love (恋), while normally read as koi, has an on'yomi reading of ren. The characters that make up his last name are 神 (god), 宮 (palace), and 寺 (shrine).
Though Ren begins the series (and anime) at "17", it should be noted his birthday is February 14th. This birthday, when going by a real-world based Japanese school system, would instead put him on the "younger" end of a class, as a typical Japanese school year begins in April and ends in March. Thus, Ren would have been "17" for only a couple of months pre-series (being closer to 16 at the start) and wouldn't turn 18 until the next February 14th (closer to when the school year ends). This is provided the series does follow a Japan based school system; however, the games also begin their "school year" in April, and end around March.