RENGA NFT: A Look Inside DirtyRobot's Mysterious Anime Inspired Project


If you've spent time on NFT Twitter recently, you've probably been inundated with incredible anime-inspired images and word about a project called RENGA.

Much like the Black Boxes RENGA has become known for, there is more than meets the eye. Looking beyond floor prices and the barrage of tweets, there is a story— one much more profound than it seems on the surface.

Renga banner

This air-dropped reward is still a mystery in a way.  Given to collectors on the first day of summer for holding The Art of Seasons, the inaugural collection of DirtyRobot, little is known of their true purpose in the story.

These little boxes began showing up in alpha groups across the NFT space. Not much was known about their use case or utility at the time. However, it was believed black boxes would serve as a conduit into the future of something called RENGA.

What is RENGA?

“In its purest form, RENGA is art and the art of storytelling.”

 A collection of 10,000 art pieces created by DirtyRobot, RENGA is the current step in an ongoing NFT story. Based on the Japanese idea of Renga poetry, RENGA art is unique. Where in poetry, they are collaborative pieces in which one writer starts off with a "five-seven-five" stanza, followed by a second writer adding a "seven-seven" stanza, repeating until the story is told. In the way DirtyRobot uses it, RENGA is billed as “Sequential storytelling differentiated from Manga by its liberal use of spacing, often only one panel per page, and sparing use of dialogue.”

Holding true to the original concept of Renga poetry. DirtyRobot created the first part of the story. Now it is up to the community to tell the stories of their characters and, in essence, shape the overarching universe. All in the pursuit of uncovering the mysteries of the Black Box.

“The boxes were meant to be burned, so we can see the whole collection.”

There is no known utility to holding a black box other than the ability to burn it for a RENGA. That is both a piece of art and a snapshot into the life of an individual character. You are greeted with one of eleven vastly different archetypes upon being revealed.

What are the Archetypes?



A collection of heroines, the Delinquents, are believed to be connected to a network of gangs. This fearless group and their various alignments are a multifaceted bunch known to be Guardians of the Playground.



These drivers compete in the world’s biggest race each year. Known as The Flying Circus, this event draws in the best of the best. Each team is fielding not only a world-class driver but some of the fastest vehicles to grace the tarmac. In addition, it has been rumored that some ex-champions are recruited into organized crime as getaway drivers.



Double Agents are the treacherous masters of espionage and secrecy. They often work with the intergalactic Star Federation in all corners of the known galaxies. Believed to be working for the greater good little is known of their true objectives.



Created initially as protectors of an ancient city, they are peaceful creatures. Time has taken its toll on their numbers, and few of them still exist today. These gentle creatures are often reshaped and repurposed to do the bidding of an Alchemist.



A powerful archetype, Alchemists can range significantly in their machinations and desires. Able to perform miracles, those in the Guild strive to advance the art while seeking the answers to creation. While other rogue alchemists use their skills in a debaucherous nature.



Armed to the teeth, With the shadows as their ally, ninjas set atop the hierarchy of assassins and mercenaries. Their world is shrouded in secrecy and mystery. Very little escapes their gauntlet of misdirection and misinformation. However, a rumor that one of their own is trying to break a long-afflicted curse has spread like wildfire.



The Samurai are warriors. Each of whom is a member of a clan. The only governing principle they share is their devotion to the way of the sword. While many of the clans fight amongst one another for supremacy. There is believed to be one that stands above the rest both in power and swordsmanship.



A conduit for the Black Box, the soul of the CUBE, assumes a physical appearance. Ranging in their manifestations from a sinister being to a benevolent one, they are as enigmatic as the boxes themselves.

Robot Army


The Robot Army was created to fight in the Great War. These machines were decommissioned and abandoned. Left to rust away in a place known as the “Techno Graveyard," where those are searching for parts.



The Black Box infected the beat arcade. Replicating like a virus, it spread from console to console and infected the entire network. It rewrote the code of what would be known as the 8-Bits and assumed control of the virtual world, shaping and molding it to its own desire


The one-of-ones are, in some cases, homages to pop culture.

Why is RENGA Trending, and what is its potential?

While it is hard to say why something is trending in the NFT space, one only needs to look to its community for answers to its potential. ONE37pm was given the opportunity to interview artist and founder DirtyRobot, as well as community leader Champanini0x, to learn more about the future of RENGA and what makes it so special.

ONE37pm: What kind of storytelling is the team working towards?

Champanini0x: The world that DirtyRobot has been creating has been years in the making; his vision and style are very singular. We are all just happy to be immersed in whatever direction he takes us. He already has a graphic novel series called Joyama, so he is well-versed in storytelling. As well as the comic pages that lead up to the culmination of box burning. Some creative community members have had fun writing about their characters, and I think he likes to see that as well.

ONE37pm: Have you guys connected with studios to develop the artwork into Graphic Novels or animation?

DirtyRobot:: Not at this moment in time. However, these are areas we’re planning to enter.

ONE37pm: We noticed many black boxes haven't been burned to claim their renga. Is there an incentive to hold them as boxes instead of burning them?

DirtyRobot:: No incentive to hold them. It’s all just part of the experience.

ONE37pm: Is there a plan to release a road map of sorts for the project in the near future?

DirtyRobot: No. I think they hinder artists as opposed to helping (them). I can’t predict what I will create in the future, and this space moves so fast; what’s cool today may not be cool tomorrow.

ONE37pm: The project appears to be doing well, considering we're in a bear market. Do you have any aspirations as to how high or how far it can go should the bull market resume anytime soon?

Champanini0x: I don't like to speculate on floor prices. It is something we don't really talk about as a community; I love the art, pure and simple. The influencers who have tweeted about RENGA are just people who, like everyone else in the space, are taking notice of a top-tier project with amazing art and posting about it. As far as I know, there has been no influencer marketing; it goes against the 'no hype' mantra of RENGA.

DirtyRobot: Achieve what we set out to do and continue to deliver quality work and products— if we can consistently do this, I believe everything else will naturally fall into

ONE37pm: Community is such a large part of the web3 and NFT experience. How do you feel the RENGA community holds up?

Champanini0x: The RENGA community is the best one I have been a part of since entering NFTs in January. We have people from all the major “blue chip” projects happily coexisting. We are tight-knit, but welcoming, equal parts intelligent but irreverent.  A lot of people who recently joined say it has made NFTs “fun again.”

Summer is coming

The Art of Seasons

It is hard to believe we are nearly a year removed from the overhyped era of the 2021 NFT bull run. Where “The Floor is Lava” and “Wen Lambo” was the norm and projects could skate by on subpar art and criminally shallow road maps. While the NFT market may have cooled for those looking to make quick flips, dedicated teams and artists have been stoking the fires of creativity.

RENGA is one of those fires. But, in the depth of an NFT winter, the world that DirtyRobot envisioned may be the first signs of spring. Leaning on the power of storytelling and community gives people the hope needed to survive until summer. Perhaps that is the art of seasons.

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