Haruhi Fujioka (藤岡 ハルヒ Fujioka Haruhi) is the protagonist of the Ouran High School Host Club series. She is a highly intelligent 1st-year student from a middle-class family, though considered "poor" and "common" by the wealthy elite members attending Ouran Academy. As she is required to remain first in her class to keep her scholarship, her studies are vital to her. Due to a freak accident, she is enlisted by the Ouran Host Club to play a Host, entertaining the mostly female clientele who come to Music Room 3 for tea, snacks and conversing with charming boys.
Before Haruhi attends Ouran Academy, she is described as a pretty girl as seen in flashbacks when she had long hair and wore a girl's uniform. However, upon enrolling at the prestigious school, her image changes drastically. When Haruhi is first introduced in the anime, she sports a nerdy, androgynous look that differs greatly from her middle-school appearance. Having gotten gum in her hair just before the school year begins, she cuts it short. Being unable to afford the expensive Ouran uniform, she wears shapeless, baggy clothing. With her messily-styled hairdo, large glasses (which once belonged to her grandfather) and masculine clothing, she is assumed to be a boy.
Apart from the few times that she dons a wig during cosplay, Haruhi resembles a cute, short boy with cropped brown hair. Her female clients often comment on her large and shiny brown eyes, likening them to a girl's, the shininess actually caused by contact lenses. Her natural affinity with people and sweet face cause many people, regardless of gender, to develop a crush on her. Haruhi is sometimes likened to her deceased mother, Kotoko Fujioka. This resemblance is particularly notable when she dresses up as a female during some of the Host Club's schemes and events. Her biological gender is revealed in the manga just before she leaves to study in America and though most students are initially disbelieving, they quickly accept and embrace the idea.
Haruhi's appearance outside of school varies. She often wears simple tee-shirts and Bermuda shorts or a feminine dress coupled with jeans. Her father, Ryouji "Ranka" Fujioka, is persistent in his attempts to have Haruhi dress more in more feminine garb, but adores his daughter nonetheless. After Haruhi leaves for America, she grows her hair out until it reaches its original length, keeping it long throughout college.
Haruhi's rose color in the Host Club is red. In Japanese culture, this signifies life and romance, an apt color for the heart and lifeblood of the series. In Western culture, the red rose is a symbol of beauty and perfection, which is how the Host Club boys view her. Throughout most of the world, the red rose symbolizes true romance and a loving heart.
Haruhi self-identifies as a biological female; however, she believes that gender is irrelevant in how a person is perceived or how their roles in society should be met. Her dressing as a boy and accompanying boyish behavior and speech at school is due only to circumstances, versus gender dysphoria or gender nonconformity. She is blunt in her communication, seeing no point in being less than completely honest. Her insight into the motives of others' behavior is keen, though she is clueless about her own feelings, particularly when it comes to those of physical attraction or romance.
Having been raised under less affluent circumstances than her classmates at Ouran Academy, she displays more practical and responsible qualities, and is not easily swayed by the Host Club's charms. Even when she first meets the boys, she only reacts nervously instead of becoming instantly infatuated like other girls. Haruhi also has a deeper voice than other female students, has short hair and dresses in an androgynous style most of the time; thus, she is not easily recognized as female.
Although she may be unflappable under normal circumstances, she suffers from Brontophobia, which terrifies her to the point of paralysis. Apart from this, she tends to have a peaceful nature, refuses to shirk work and is crazy about gourmet food, especially ootoro, which is sometimes used as a bribe to involve her in the Host Club's crazier schemes. Without such bribery, however, Haruhi is described as "apathetic," especially when it comes to making decisions and, particularly, in regards to the Host Club itself. She is also rather oblivious when it comes to her own emotions, an example of this being her unawareness of her developing feelings for Tamaki Suoh over the course of the manga.
Upon being designated a Host, she becomes an immediate hit with the guests due to her conversational skills and charming smiles, gaining her the title of the "Natural" type. Though often exasperated with her fellow club members, she cares deeply for them, in her own way. In return, the boys are quite protective of their "secret princess" and regard her with respect and affection in spite of any antics they may demonstrate.
Haruhi is born under the star sign of Aquarius, the Water Bearer. The positive traits of this sign are honesty, curiosity, innovation and amiability; the negative traits being inconsistency, disinclination, detachment, deviation tendencies and inefficiency.
The Fujioka Family includes: Haruhi, Ryouji and Kotoko (deceased). Ryouji and Kotoko meet when he is only 19 and she is several years older. Although Ryouji lacks a job, Kotoko doesn't care and they soon marry and have a child. However, when Haruhi is only five years old, Kotoko dies from an unspecified illness. Despite her death, Haruhi and Ryouji still value Kotoko in their lives and Haruhi still looks up to Kotoko as her role model in life.
Ryouji is Haruhi's cross-dressing father who works as a professional entertainer and asks that the Hosts call him by his stage name, Ranka. He is a doting and over-energetic parent, which contrasts greatly with his daughter's dry and disinterested nature, but which is quite similar to Tamaki's emotional nature. Although the two love each other dearly, Haruhi tends not to openly express her feelings, while her father is quite the opposite. When he first meets Tamaki, Ryouji is less than impressed, but gradually comes to accept him. In later chapters, it is seen that he enjoys teasing the blond as evidenced in manga Volume 17's omake, where he and Yuzuru Suoh team up to prank Tamaki while he's visiting Ryouji to ask for his Haruhi's hand in marriage.
Kotoko is Haruhi's deceased mother, who passed away when Haruhi was five years old from an unspecified illness. She does not appear in the manga and anime series apart from Haruhi's flashback in Ep 10 - A Day in the Life of the Fujioka Family! and photographs. Kotoko is often described by Ryouji as a beautiful and smart woman, as well as a great cook. She serves as Haruhi's role model as evidenced by Haruhi's decision to follow in her mother's footsteps and become an [wikipedia:attorney-at-law|attorney-at-law]. She is remembered as having lived to make her family happy and, due to this selfless behavior, Haruhi and Ryouji speak highly of her memory. She was known to be popular and well-known at her Law School and is revered as a former Zuka Club fan by Ryouji, who keeps a box of Kotoko's Zuka memorabilia in a closet.
Initially, Tamaki views Haruhi as a boy with an interest in other boys; however, when he learns her true gender, his feelings shift rapidly into attraction, though he fails to recognize this as anything other than "Fatherly Love."
His over-the-top narcissistic behavior causes Haruhi to consider him obnoxious. Yet, just like him, she slowly develops feelings of which she is oblivious. When they finally confess to each other, Haruhi is the first to express her feelings with Tamaki responding, "Me, too," then kissing her. When she moves to the United States at the end of the series, Tamaki follows, moving into the apartment next to hers. In an omake of the manga, they are seen living in Boston as a couple, opening the door to Ranka's house to tell him about their engagement, and their subsequent wedding. In Volume 18 of the manga, it is revealed that Haruhi and Tamaki are the first of the Hosts to have children.
Kyoya is the first Host Club member to realize that Haruhi is, in fact, female. Being the true director of the Host Club, he manages her debt and constantly exploits her desire to get rid of it in order to involve her in the club's crazier antics.
Although she first thinks of him as a cold and manipulative person, she later comes to understand that his detached manner is a facade and that, underneath it all, he is a good-hearted person. This discovery is made when Kyoya helps a woman out of a jam during a trip to a local mall in Ep 17 - Kyoya's Reluctant Day Out! Though he attempts to cover up his good deed by declaring he recognized the woman as a family business associate due to a ring on her finger, Haruhi reasons that he couldn't have possibly seen the ring and, thus, is covering up his better nature. Throughout the series, the two have many conversations and share a common trait in their level-headedness, becoming close to the point that, in the last episode of the anime series, Haruhi proclaims quite loudly that he is an amazing person to none other than Kyoya's father, Yoshio Ootori. A running gag in the series is Kyoya being the "Mommy" in Tamaki's fantasy family in which Haruhi is the "Beloved Daughter" and Tamaki is "Daddy." Kyoya's romantic interest in Haruhi is unverified in the anime and suppressed in the manga as he wishes his best friend Tamaki to find happiness with her.
Haruhi is described as a very important part of the twins' lives, as she is the first person to "enter their world" by being able to tell Hikaru and Kaoru apart with genuine reasoning and an understanding of who they are as individuals. Because of this and other factors, Hikaru develops romantic feelings towards Haruhi, but eventually "loses" her to Tamaki in the manga. Both he and Kaoru regard Haruhi highly, to the point that they describe the world as being full of idiots before her introduction into their life. Their closeness to her is such that they give her a cellphone that includes the others as part of their "Top Five" contacts. Hikaru doesn't realize his feelings for Haruhi until Kaoru helps him understand this. When Tamaki realizes his feelings for Haruhi, too, Hikaru and Tamaki battle for Haruhi's affection and attention, such as having a contest to see who will give Haruhi a present she wants the most. Hikaru and Tamaki end up giving Haruhi the same gift, but Haruhi likes Ritsu Kasanoda's gift best.
Like his twin, Kaoru develops romantic feelings for Haruhi since she is the first person to be able to tell Hikaru and himself apart. Haruhi notices and states aloud that Kaoru acts mature and calm when he's not with his more boisterous brother. An example of this is found in the manga when Kaoru asks Haruhi what they should do about the fact there's only one cookie and both brothers want it. Haruhi says cut the cookie in half and share. Kaoru replies that the cookie can't be half so he'll just give it to Hikaru, since he's more important. Haruhi is oblivious to the metaphorical nature of Kaoru's question which is when Kaoru determines to help Hikaru realize his feelings for Haruhi and tell her about them. Kaoru takes Haruhi on a date to an amusement park where he confesses his love and kisses her on the cheek. Haruhi is taken aback by the sudden action but before she can speak, Kaoru states that his relationship with his brother is more important than a romantic relationship with her. Haruhi replies that she loves him as a friend. After that, Kaoru begins helping Hikaru win Haruhi's heart, but they both lose to Tamaki who, ultimately, wins her hand.
Takashi, commonly known as Mori, is hinted to have romantic feelings for Haruhi, but it is never explored. Regardless, there are several instances where Mori's possible feelings show. In the first episode of the anime, when Haruhi finds herself being hugged a bit too tightly by Tamaki, she cries out to Mori for help and he runs to her aid without question. When he lifts her off the ground, he realizes Haruhi is a girl and a slight blush on Mori's face can be seen. In Ep 07 - Jungle Pool SOS! Mori heads into the woods to find Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka and Haruhi tags along. Upon seeing snakes and insects, she becomes spooked which provokes Mori to carry her. This is also the first time he addresses Haruhi by name, which makes Haruhi happy. Bisco Hatori admits in the manga that Mori was a potential love interest, though she reversed herself on many things. Mori is the first one to greet Haruhi and Tamaki when they have their first child.
Mitsukuni, commonly known as Honey or Hani, has great fondness for Haruhi and he is quite protective. He finds Haruhi endearing, which demonstrates his love for all things cute (like his stuffed rabbit Usa-chan). He is the first person to reach out to her when she first encounters the Host Club, calling her "Haru-chan" and extending an offer to eat cake with him. He is also the second person (after Kyoya who knew all along) to realize Haruhi's true sex, which proves him to be as clever as Kyoya. His relationship with Haruhi is best described as a sibling-like one, as he can often be found helping Haruhi out in various scenarios, especially when it comes to understanding her own or another's feelings.
Mei is the first person to notice Haruhi's romantic feelings towards Tamaki. She also notices that both Haruhi and Tamaki are unaware of their romantic feelings towards each other. Mei provides Haruhi with love advice, using a girls' magazine to help Haruhi understand her relationship with Tamaki, her assistance giving Tamaki an advantage over Hikaru in confessing his feelings. Mei also makes clothing for Haruhi and dresses her up. In Chapter 82 of the manga, it's mentioned that Mei dresses Haruhi for her first date with Tamaki and gives her love advice. Haruhi and Mei may be considered "best friends" as their relationship with one another grows closer throughout the manga series and she is the only girl with whom Haruhi shares her deepest feelings.
Ritsu, called Kasanoda (among other things) by others, has a habit of not knocking before entering a room. Thus, when he walks in on Haruhi changing clothes one day, he becomes the first person at Ouran outside of the Host Club to discover that Haruhi is a girl. Prior to learning her true gender he maintained a confusing crush on her and a definite crush thereafter. Since Kyoya tells Ritsu that Haruhi must appear to be male for "special reasons," the ginger imagines the worst and swears to protect Haruhi's secret.
Ritsu frequently daydreams about Haruhi and attends the Host Club as the rare male customer. When he tries to admit his feelings to Haruhi, he is relegated to the Friend Zone due to her obliviousness. Haruhi truly enjoys his company and says she feels she can talk to him about anything. Because she loves to cook and eat, he is frequently seen throughout the manga giving her vegetables he has grown in the Gardening Club, causing her to react with rarely-seen excitement. She even attends the Gardening Club with him when the Host Club is on hiatus for a week during Class 2-A's trip to France. It is mentioned that when she studies abroad in America, she emails him daily. When Ritsu meets Mei Yasumura in college, she informs him that "everyone" knows about his crush on Haruhi, but he claims that he's over it by then. Haruhi tells her friends that Mei and Kasanoda make a good couple.
Umehito, commonly known as Nekozawa, appears at the door of the Host Club one afternoon and Haruhi is warned by Tamaki to stay away from him. She later accidentally calls Nekozawa's younger sister, Kirimi Nekozawa, Shashimi and Nekozawa instantly corrects her. In the dorama, he constantly encounters her in the school corridors. When he bemoans that Kirimi would be better off without him, Haruhi feels sorry for him and softly mumbles his name. Overall, she displays kindness towards him, being a kind person and he responds to her sweet nature.
Kirimi is Umehito Nekozawa's younger sister and appears in Ep 11 - Big Brother is a Prince! Haruhi is shocked at Kirimi's exposure to and extensive knowledge of shojo manga, but diligently reads such stories to her while Umehito is undergoing light exposure training under Renge Houshakuji's tutleage. She is happy when she learns that Kirimi has reunited with her brother.
Renge is the Host Club's Manager. Early on in her visits, she switches crushes from Kyoya to Haruhi during the film shoot she initiates once she realizes that Kyoya isn't at all like her dating sim game crush, Miyabi Ichijo, and that Haruhi is her hero after "saving her life" by pushing her out of the way of a falling ladder. Haruhi considers Renge as her friend throughout the anime series. Renge respects Haruhi because of her placid nature and finds her "really cute." Renge occasionally asks Haruhi to teach her to bake cookies, which Haruhi does. Renge accepts Haruhi's cross-dressing during the final Host Club party, for which Haruhi is most grateful.
Momoka is one of Haruhi's regular guests and her Class 1-A classmate, as well as the Class 1-A vice-class rep. Momoka has a crush on Haruhi in both the anime and manga series. This is first seen when Momoka sits with Haruhi at Club prior to the dance party and later, asks Haruhi to dance with her in Ep 02 - The Job of a High School Host! It is also seen in Ep 08 - The Sun, the Sea, and the Host Club! when Momoka blushes after Haruhi calls her "cute" in her swimsuit. After learning that Haruhi has been cross-dressing in the last chapter of the manga, she continues to support and enjoy Haruhi's friendship. In an omake, Haruhi is seen to be attending Ouran University and talking to Momoka, proving that they are still friends after high school.
Haruhi is the first Host to meet Éclair at the Ouran Fair, believing her be just another visitor. Éclair fails to realize that Haruhi is a girl, but is jealous of Tamaki's clear affection for her. Assuming that they might have a romantic relationship, she asks Haruhi if she and Tamaki are involved. When Haruhi says no, Éclair disparages their friendship. She only realizes that Haruhi is female as she and Tamaki head to the airport and Haruhi is spotted chasing after them in a horse-drawn carriage wearing a dress. Tamaki calls out Haruhi's name and leaps out of the carriage to catch the girl now falling over a bridge and towards the river. Éclair tries to stop Tamaki, but is unsuccessful. She thinks Tamaki is a fool and keeps to herself the whereabouts of Anne-Sophie de Grantaine, who works in the Tonnerre household as a servant.
- Main article: Haruhi Fujioka/Image Gallery
- The name Haruhi (ハルヒ, Haruhi) is spelled using the katakana writing system and is a common name given to girls in Japan, although it is considered a non-gendered name (much like the name Chris in English can be male or female). Although it has many meanings, the meaning attached to her name is "Spring Day" (春日).
- Haruhi's birthday is on the 4th of February and is said to be the first day of Spring in Japan. In Japan, the word for "Spring" is "Haru" (春) and it is spoken in the same way as the first part of Haruhi's name. Other birth dates considered for her were likewise associated with the seasons and/or floral themes.
- Haruhi's surname Fujioka means "wisteria" (藤) (fuji) and "ridge, hill" (岡) (oka).
- It's better to be recognized by who you are than be recognized by what sex you are.
- (To Renge Houshakuji) I think it's fun to know the person little by little by looking at their personality.
- Why should I care about appearances and labels anyway? It's what's on the inside that counts.
- A person can change at the moment when the person wishes to change.
- (To herself) I hate all these damn rich people.
- (To Tamaki Suoh) Come on, Senpai, would you please stop growing mushrooms in other people's closets?
- (To Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka) I'm not a hero, I'm an honor student.
- (To Kotoko Fujioka) Mom in heaven... Does love come suddenly like this?
- (To Hikaru Hitachiin) I would solve a friend's problem...then also find a way to keep them from ending up with a new problem.
- (To Kotoko) When a mother has to be away providing for the family, her children know she is doing it out of love. Sure they might get lonely from time to time, but they understand.
- (To Tamaki) Now I know what S&M means.
- (To Tamaki) Don't go blowing up my pictures without my permission!!
- Maaya Sakamoto (Haruhi's Japanese voice actor) and Kenichi Suzumura (Hikaru's Japanese voice actor) are married in real life.
- Haruhi often uses "Ore" or "Jibun" when referring to herself, both masculine denotations, in order to play the role of Host, but also to remind the boys that gender roles are meaningless.
- Caitlin Glass (Haruhi's English voice actor) also voices:
- Maaya Sakamoto, Haruhi's Japanese voice actor, has also voiced:
- Haruhi's mobile phone is red, like her rose color.
- In Ep 22 - Mori-senpai Has an Apprentice Candidate!, the Host Club cosplays as the Shinsengumi, and though no one had a set identity, Renge states Haruhi looks like Souji Okita.
- Haruhi does not like sweets or rabbits.
- In the 2006 anime, Death Note, Maaya Sakamoto voiced Kiyomi Takada, the former girlfriend of Light Yagami, who is voiced by Mamoru Miyano, the Japanese voice actor of Tamaki Suoh.
- Chapter 3