|Other Names|| Ren (by Kayo)|
Douji (by Kagura)
Kokutan (by Saruteito)
Kokutan-douji, also known by the name Ren, was a villager of Momogengou in Jakoku. Directed to find his true mother by a mermaid, the boy and his companions traveled to Onigashima, punishing criminals along the way. He moved in with Kayo Sudou, investigating the validity of the mermaid's revelation alongside the murders occurring in Enbizaka. He was Allen Avadonia's reincarnation.
- "Kokutan-douji grew up quickly. But, his golden hair and blue eyes made the villagers uncomfortable. His only playmate was Inukichi, the only one who got along with Kokutan-douji without looking at him with suspicious eyes."
- ―From the Eastern Magic Record[src]
Following Allen Avadonia's reincarnation into the Third Period, Kokutan-douji was born from an ebony tree trunk in Momogengou, Jakoku, in EC 828, raised by the couple Kurookina and Kinouna. As he grew up, the boy constantly felt like there was something he should be doing. Treated coldly by the villagers for his peculiar blond hair and blue eyes, he only ever played with Inukichi and the two became close friends, Kokutan-douji observing over time how his best friend only worked hard when he had fallen for a woman.
Journey to OnigashimaEdit
- "You're troubled by what your purpose in life is, correct?"
"Yes. Since the time I was born, I've felt that there should be some reason."
"You must meet your mother."
- ―Demon of Envy and Kokutan-douji[src]
Soon after the boys left the village they were stopped by a lone woman in a monkey mask, the Sixteenth Saruteito of the Lang Clan, who asked to come along with them. Listening to her story that her clan's founder had said the legendary blades she forged were in Onigashima, the two allowed her to join their group and the three began journeying for Onigashima.
During their travels, the group was attacked by, and promptly defeated, a thief. Later on, the group also brought a corrupt magistrate to justice before continuing their travels. The three also met a retired crepe silk wholesaler. Afterward, they punished a scoundrel and tattooed playboy. On several occasions during his journey, Kokutan-douji found himself targeted by the xenophobic extremist group the Crimson Robed Masses.
Meeting the TailorEdit
- "It's true it's a lie, but if you would take the role of Kayo-san's son, I'd be grateful... if it'll put Kayo-san's mind at ease just a little, okay?"
Once they finally arrived in Onigashima, Kokutan-douji went to meet the local tailor, to confirm if she was his mother and to fix his sleeve, which he had torn. Finding Kayo Sudou at the Sudou Shop atop the hill, Kokutan-douji got the feeling he had met her somewhere before. After offering his torn clothes to be fixed, he spoke with Kayo and learned that she had once had a son with hair and eyes just like his.
Surprised, Kokutan-douji told her all about the mermaid's revelation and his resulting journey; as Kayo confirmed her child had been named "Ren", she swiftly became overcome with joy at the boy's arrival. The two later agreed to live together at her home until they confirmed the validity of the mermaid's tale. Over the next few days, Kokutan-douji lived at Kayo's home, learning about the recent murders occurring over the past year.
While alone at the tailor shop, Kokutan-douji was visited by a former fellow Momogengou villager, Oyuka. After Oyuka apologized for her cold treatment of him years ago, having widened her perspective on the world in Enbizaka, she explained to the boy that he couldn't possibly be Kayo's son reincarnated. Told that Kayo's son had died as an infant in the fire of Enbizaka four years prior, when Kokutan-douji was already ten years old, he listened to Oyuka conclude that his mermaid revelation must have been fake.
Nonetheless, Oyuka requested that Kokutan-douji continue living with Kayo to put her mind at ease, explaining that she refused to face the reality of her husband and son's deaths in the fire. He then listened as Oyuka warned him from doing anything perverted against Kayo while they were living together and the shocked boy assured her he wouldn't, before Oyuka promptly left.
Afterward, Kokutan-douji came by the tea house and joined Inukichi, explaining how he wasn't sure Kayo was his real mother, yet that he still had a vague feeling of having been acquainted with her. He then learned that Inukichi had taken a job at the Freezis Foundation to experience more foreign culture; after Inukichi mentioned the beautiful maid he had met while working there, Bufuko, Kokutan-douji surmised that was the real reason he had joined the foundation. The two then discussed Saruteito and her search for clues on the legendary blades, as well as the recent murders in Enbizaka. As Kokutan-douji began expressing interest in the case, Inukichi insisted he let it go, although the boy refused.
Mother or MurdererEdit
As time progressed, Kokutan-douji continued to live with Kayo Sudou, even helping her out with sewing; he was surprised to find himself skilled at tailoring foreign clothes. While helping Kayo with her work, he was visited by Inukichi, who came to deliver the foreign food "brioche" to them. While Kayo went to brew some tea, Kokutan chatted with Inukichi as he worked, hearing about how his work in the Freezis trading house involved going out to look for a mermaid. As the conversation turned to his life with Kayo, Kokutan expressed his doubts that he had been meant to go to Onigashima to find Kayo at all.
Inukichi suggested that he meet with the missionary "Elluka Clockworker", who had a reputation for healing minds. Although hesitant, Kokutan eventually agreed and, after supping with Kayo, he and Inukichi went to speak with Elluka. After conversing with her long into the night, the boy heard her speculation that the mermaid had lied and Kayo wasn't his mother at all. Later, after Rin Miroku was discovered missing, Kayo fled Enbizaka and Kokutan became distraught to think of her potential involvement.
While he sat waiting in Kayo's tailor shop for her to return, Kokutan-douji was visited by Inukichi and Saruteito, the latter scolding him over not taking the initiative to go out and find Kayo, his alleged mother. After Inukichi brought up Elluka's speculation that the mermaid was lying, Saruteito told Kokutan how Kayo was being pursued by a vengeful Kiji Yarera and his men under suspicion of her being Miku Miroku's murderer.
She suggested she would go spy on the men in order to find and speak to Kayo herself; once Inukichi agreed to accompany her, Kokutan did as well. After preparing for a potential scuffle with the men, Kokutan arming himself with one of Saruteito's katana, the three set out to Mount Izasa. While they tracked Kiji's men, however, the three were discovered and surrounded by the Yarera-Zusco Firm. Kokutan tried to explain how they only wished to speak to Kayo, and soon Saruteito took over confronting Kiji himself. As he did, Kokutan denied Inukichi's suggestion they try to fight their way out of the situation.
Although Kiji eventually allowed the three to accompany him up the mountain, they were stopped by Kayo herself descending it, covered in Kai Miroku's blood. While Kokutan prevented the enraged Kiji from attacking Kayo, Kayo was taken into custody; a month later, Kokutan-douji watched Kayo testify to having killed the Miroku Family under the delusion that Kai Miroku was her husband and his family his mistresses, being sentenced to execution for her crimes.
Uncovering the TruthEdit
On the way home from Kayo's trial, Kiji approached Kokutan-douji and, during their conversation, told the distraught boy the real reason why Kayo had killed the Miroku family: out of revenge for Kai having started the great fire of Enbizaka, in which her own family was killed. As Kai was part of the Crimson Robed Masses, Kayo feigned her delusion to prevent war breaking out between Onigashima's magistrate and the terrorist group. After learning the truth, Kokutan amiably parted ways with Kiji.
Three days later, he watched Kayo's execution, refusing Inukichi's suggestion they try to set her free. He was shocked with the rest when the katana failed to cut off her head, despite the executioner making several attempts. Kokutan talked the situation over with Saruteito later, discussing the possibilities of why Kayo couldn't die and ways they could help her from her fate. During the conversation, the maid Bufuko approached them and asked to speak with Kokutan in private.
Brought to Kayo's tailor shop, Kokutan-douji was surprised to learn that Bufuko had taken care of Kayo for a time while she was in the custody of the Octo family. He was similarly shocked when Bufuko gave him Kayo's scissors, which the maid had stolen. After Kokutan refused to accept the scissors as a gift, he was again shocked once Bufuko, musing about how he hadn't recovered his memories, used the Grim the End on him. With its power, Kokutan-douji regained all of his memories of his previous life, Allen Avadonia, and how he had originally reincarnated to meet with Riliane Lucifen d'Autriche, who had reincarnated as Rin Miroku.
Bufuko, whom Kokutan remembered as really being the male god Behemo, explained how Sickle had forced him to come to the ground world to fetch him after his reincarnation, which he finally decided to do with Rin's death. Their conversation went on to reveal how Kayo had originally been meant to kill Kai under the delusion that he was her husband, only to have the whole truth revealed to her by a "purple dream". Due to the dream, Kayo was able to avoid the original timeline wherein her actions, including speaking out about Kai, engulf Onigashima in war.
Although Behemo was ready to take Kokutan back to the Heavenly Yard, he requested he stay long enough to help the deathless Kayo; Behemo, in response, gifted him Grim the End and explained he could transform it into a katana which could successfully execute her, as it had the power to kill demon contractors. Although Kayo wasn't a true contractor, she had been born with envy magic and thus could only be killed by Grim the End. As Kokutan transformed it into a katana, Behemo instructed him to be careful using it, as it no longer contained a demon. So warned, Kokutan went to execute Kayo Sudou.
- "Farewell... Mother...!"
- ―Kokutan-douji to Kayo[src]
He was soon approached by a monk wearing an amigasa, Gakusha, who began to ask him about the head and his relation to it. After introducing himself, Kokutan and the monk spoke for a time about his reputation as a do-gooder, before Kokutan lamented being unable to help Kayo. He explained how he had been Kayo's executioner and how she was like a mother to him; afterwards, he helped Gakusha recite Buddhist sutras for Kayo.
During their chant, Kokutan-douji was shocked when Gakusha suddenly recovered his memories, revealing himself to be Kayo's former husband, "Gakuga Sudou", who miraculously survived the fire. After Gakuga shared his entire story, Kokutan reluctantly revealed to him how the weathered head on display was that of his wife's. As Kayo had exchanged bodies with Ma, however, Gakuga refused to believe him; Kokutan could only watch as he departed to go find Kayo. Later, Behemo met back up with Kokutan at the execution grounds with the soul of Kagura Octo in tow.
As he prepared to leave the ground world, Kokutan told his friends he would be leaving to a foreign country with "Bufuko" to look for his parents. He gave a fond farewell to first Inukichi and then Saruteito; afterwards, Kokutan-douji ascended to the Heavenly Yard with Behemo and Kagura, returning to his original identity of Allen Avadonia.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Kokutan-douji was a kind and righteous boy. Unable to ignore injustice, the teen was dedicated to punishing the wicked for their misdeeds and always involved himself in solving whatever crime he witnessed happening. As a result, he often got involved in other people's affairs, though never becoming a nuisance for them.
Aside from this, the boy struggled with understanding his purpose in life, always feeling he should be doing something important, and ended up brooding. After being told he needed to meet his mother by the Demon of Envy, Kokutan-douji became determined to reconnect with his supposed real mother. However, while being on amicable relations with the tailor, he was still cautious about whether the mermaid's revelation was truly accurate, and if this was his real fated purpose.
Allen Avadonia: Kokutan-douji's previous reincarnation. Allen recalled his life as Kokutan-douji centuries after returning to spiritual form.
Kayo Sudou: Kokutan-douji's friend. Kokutan grew close to Kayo and came to consider her another mother to him, despite finding her behavior strange and over time coming to learn the mermaid had lied about its revelation. After she was convicted of her crimes, Kokutan-douji was reluctant to execute her and pitied her after her death, later performing funeral rites for her. Her appearance as Lukana Octo subconsciously reminded him of Elluka.
Inukichi: Kokutan-douji's childhood friend. Maintaining a close relationship with him, the man joined Kokutan-douji in his travels to Onigashima. After joining the Freezis Foundation, he pointed Kokutan-douji in the direction of Elluka "Ma" Clockworker.
Saruteito: One of Kokutan-douji's traveling companions. The woman joined Kokutan-douji in his travels to Onigashima and they became close friends.
Gakusha: A monk Kokutan-douji encountered. Although initially suspicious due to the man's amigasa covering his face, the boy told Gakusha the story of Kayo as well as the murders she committed. He later joined him in carrying out Kayo's funeral rites, and was shocked to learn he was Kayo's long-lost husband.
Kurookina: The man who raised Kokutan-douji. Kurookina found Kokutan-douji as an infant and raised him as his own in the village of Momogengou, with Kokutan-douji considering him and his wife as his parents.
Conceptualization and OriginEdit
- Kokutan-douji's name is written in Japanese kanji as 黒檀童子, using the kanji for "ebony tree" and "kid" respectively.
- He bears many similarities and parallels with the Japanese mythological figure Momotarou; both boys were born from plants and traveled to an island called Onigashima.
- His birth from an ebony tree may be a reference to Allen's confinement within Black Box; in some versions of the myth of Momotarou, the boy is born from a box.
- Kokutan-douji may also be inspired by the Japanese mythological figure Kaguya-hime; both children were born from plants, grew up quickly, and returned to the moon.
- His alias, Ren, is written in Japanese kanji as "煉", using the kanji for "executor".
- He also shares his alias with the romanization of the name of his representative Vocaloid Kagamine Len.
- The Weathered Head at Onigashima (first appearance)
- Seven Crimes and Punishments (story) (mention only)
- Deadly Sins of Evil: The Tailor of Enbizaka
- Seven Crimes and Punishments (album)