Takashi Morinozuka (aka Mori) is a 3rd-year student at Ouran Academy and the second-oldest member of the Ouran Host Club. As a Host, he is considered the "Wild" type in the manga and the "Strong-Silent" type in the anime. He is rarely seen without his cousin and best friend, Mitsukuni Haninozuka aka Honey, who is often found riding on his shoulders. Historically, the Morinozuka family had served the Haninozuka family for many generations before marriage joined the families, thus breaking the master-servant tradition; despite this, Mori still faithfully looks out for Honey and attends to his wishes. He is a national champion in kendo and a skilled karate practitioner. His stoic and sometimes scary demeanor hides the fact that he has a peculiar connection with animals as seen in the manga when he adopts a stray tanuki and cares for a baby chick, and wherein it is also said that he has a "fetish for small things" (Honey, Haruhi, etc.).
In the anime and through most of the manga, Mori only speaks when something needs to be said, his intelligence and observant nature taking in much more than many of the people around him realize. This makes him a wise adviser to those who seek his counsel or need it subconsciously. In the manga, he speaks frequently, possibly because of the greater distance presented between himself and his best friend and cousin, Honey. His protective nature extends not only to Honey but to his friends and classmates, as well. He is extremely well-respected and well-liked by everyone who knows him; however, when tired, he can become talkative and somewhat flirtatious, which surprises those unaccustomed to this side of his personality. Mori is quite loyal and generous, especially in regards to Honey and the female host, Haruhi. This is demonstrated in his willingness to assist them in whatever they need without a second thought and without ever appearing subservient or uncertain of his individuality.
In the anime episode Ep 22 - Mori-Senpai Has An Apprentice Candidate, 1st-year student Ritsu Kasanoda - the third generation heir of the Kasanoda-gumi (a yakuza gang), seeks Mori's advice on making friends because, despite his intimidating appearance, he appears to have many. In Chapter 51 of the manga, Hikaru Hitachiin is shown to stay the night at Mori's home. While there, Mori is shown to be rather blunt in addressing Hikaru's issues.
Mori is born under the star sign of Taurus, the Bull. The positive traits of this sign are generosity, dependability, down to earth nature, patience, independence and persistence; while the negative traits are stubbornness, indolence, materialism, possessiveness and frugality.
Mori is an imposing figure that is made all the more so by his wild appearance, possessing a very tall build, spiky black hair, dark grey eyes and a darker skin tone than the other Hosts. He is noted to wear the typical Ouran Academy blazer unbuttoned on most occasions, and is rarely ever seen without Honey walking by his side or perching on his shoulders.
Mori's rose color in the Host Club is deep blue. In Japanese culture, blue signifies loyalty; Mori demonstrates this quality when it comes to Honey, his studies, and the Host Club. In Western culture, a truly blue rose does not occur naturally; however, in art, it signifies attainment of the impossible with a secondary meaning of prosperity. Mori's "unattainable" is Haruhi (though never directly stated) and an omake reveals that he does indeed live a prosperous life and continues to do so in the future.
The Morinozuka Family
The Morinozuka family line extends into antiquity for as long as the Haninozuka family line and the families' histories are closely intertwined. Although the Morinozuka originally served as helpmates to the Haninozuka, marital ties and the subsequent blending of bloodlines have forged a unique tie with the Haninozuka.
It is no secret that Honey and Mori are incredibly close; most scenes in which each appears are shared with the other. The two hosts are cousins by marriage and their families have a long-standing history. Mori is very protective of Honey and feels responsible for each thing that can (and does) go wrong for him. This can be seen when Honey gets a cavity in Ep 12 - Honey's Three Bitter Days! wherein the loli-boy gets a cavity and must give up sweets. Mori is very strict in limiting candy and cake, but feels that he is at fault for failing to remind Honey to brush his teeth, leading him to pick a fight with the loli-shota as a means of self-punishment.
Mori's supportive nature of Honey is observed in subtle references and behaviors but is best seen during Ep 20 - The Door the Twins Opened! when Honey discovers that Tamaki Suoh has invited both he and Mori into the Host Club. He tells Mori that Tamaki says, "it's okay for me to like cute things" and "it's okay for me to like cake. I'm not sure what to do." When Mori replies, "Do whatever you want, Mitsukuni. It's no big deal", he shows that his loyalty lies not in family blood ties but with Honey, himself. Another telling moment occurs in the manga, just before graduation, when Mori challenges Honey to a duel so he can say what is on his mind without feeling guilty for criticizing his friend. Honey agrees knowing exactly why and what is at stake. Mori wins by catching Honey in mid-air and placing him out of bounds. After winning, he pulls out a list of things that Honey is required to do in college, one of which is to not bring Usa-chan along. While relationship sometimes appears to be master-servant in tone, it is truly balanced and even sibling-like with Mori behaving like an older brother.
Satoshi is a manga-only character and the younger brother of Mori. Satoshi is shown to idolize his brother, whom he calls Taka-kun; however, apart from the times when Takashi is tired and acts "refreshingly," he is radically different from his brooding sibling. Although Mori reciprocates the care that his younger brother shows him, he is not afraid to correct him when Satoshi acts rudely or misbehaves.
Mori is hinted to have romantic feelings for Haruhi, but it is never truly explored, unlike her relationships with Kaoru and Hikaru. Regardless, there are several instances where his possible feelings show. In Ep 01 - Starting Today, You Are a Host!, when Haruhi finds hugged a bit too tightly by Tamaki, she calls to Mori and he runs to her aid without question. When he lifts her off the ground, he realizes that Haruhi is a girl and blushes. In Ep 07 - Jungle Pool SOS!, when Mori is heading into the woods to find Honey, Haruhi tags along. Upon becoming spooked by the snakes and insects, Mori carries her. This is also the first time he addresses Haruhi by name, which pleases her. When Honey is located, he compliments Mori for protecting Haruhi and inquires whether Mori had been lonely without him. Mori, his eyes on Haruhi, replies that he would not necessarily say that. And finally, in Ep 10 - A Day in the Life of the Fujioka Family!, Mori gives Haruhi the strawberries from his own pastry, earning him a delighted smile while sending Tamaki and the twins into the throes of despair. Haruhi is the only character, apart from Honey, at whom Mori is shown to smile more than once. It should be also be noted that in the Ouran High School Host Club manga, listed under his profile, it is stated that because of Mori's nature, it was potential for the two of them to develop romantic feelings for each other.
Hikaru is known to respect Mori and goes to him for advice; staying over at his house in the manga two nights when he and Kaoru have a huge fight. Mori shows genuine concern for Hikaru's feelings and when Hikaru comes to him the first night, he pushes Hikaru into realizing his feelings.
Mori does not have nearly as much interaction with the President and Vice President of the Host Club. Most of the time, he is simply shown staring on silently as Tamaki pulls off a stupid stunt. Nevertheless, Mori is still very obedient to Tamaki, but probably for Honey's sake. Mori is shown to be fine with dressing in the various Host Club costumes that Tamaki decides on, and he is okay with Kyoya's noting his manly worth (apparently, his silence is his selling point). While Mori is not portrayed in having any notable relationship with both Tamaki or Kyoya, it can be inferred that he respects them, if not Tamaki, then at least Kyoya (though Mori still regards Tamaki favorably).
Because Kasanoda is friendless, he comes to the Host Club and asks to be Mori's apprentice. The reasoning behind this is that although Mori is somewhat "scary" looking, like him, he has a lot of friends and admirers. In the manga, he so admires Mori that he grows flowers for him as a graduation gift and even calls him "big brother" well into his college years.
- (To Kasanoda) We can tell who the bad guys are by looking at them.
- Mori is extremely adept at kendo, being a national champion. He is also very skilled with the katana, as seen in "The Refreshing Battle of Karuizawa!"
- Mori's English voice actor, Travis Willingham, is married to English voice actress, Laura Bailey, who plays Kanako Kasugazaki in the anime.
- Mori studies Theory and Philosophy of Law after graduating from Ouran Academy.