Let's stay together, always.

Hello and welcome to Grayscale, a one-page tribute to Sohma Hatsuharu of Takaya Natsuki's anime and manga series Fruits Basket. Hatsuharu is a member of the large, cursed Sohma family. He is the ox of the Chinese zodiac, assuming the form of a cow when hugged by a girl. He is a strong, loving, and incredibly loyal character who is known for having two wildly differing personas - the tumultuous, violent Black Haru that emerges when he is angered, and the calm, sweet White Haru that is his normal personality.
This site contains unmarked spoilers and non-explicit slash content.
recent updates | a part of jinkaku.org & amassment | owned by Vii
This website is primarily an analysis of Haru's character and his interactions with those around him, and therefore boasts a lot of personal speculation. This page was created as a part of Amassment's One Page, One Month Marathon that ran until the end of August 2012. Navigation can be found to your left, but all of the content is readily viewed by scrolling if you prefer to view it in its intended order. Feel free to wander around and I hope you enjoy what this silly little site has to offer! :)

Fruits Basket is a Japanese shoujo manga series created by Takaya Natsuki in 1999, with a 25-episode anime adaptation released in 2001.
Fruits Basket follows a kindhearted high school student by the name of Honda Tohru as she uncovers the secrets of the large and reclusive Sohma family. When her mother's death leaves her homeless, optimistic Tohru pitches herself a tent in the woods. Her classmate Sohma Yuki learns of her situation and offers her a temporary home with him, Sohma Shigure, and Sohma Kyou. It doesn't take long for Tohru to accidentally discover the curse of the Sohma family - the affliction with a zodiac animal form should they hug a member of the opposite gender. Soon, Tohru attempts to search for a way to lift the curse and end the suffering of her newfound friends.
Fruits Basket is at times smile-enducing, and at other times heartbreaking. It can be bittersweet, and primarily focuses on emotions and relationships with others. It shows that sometimes, your birth family may not be your true home, but that you can find family within others.

A smile that melts everything away.

Name: Sohma Hatsuharu "Haru"
Gender: Male
Age: 15 (17 by series end)
Weight: 126 lbs.
Height: 5'7"
Bloodtype: O
Astrological sign: Cancer
Curse: Ox
Manga Debut: Chapter 11
Anime Debut: Episode 10
Voice Actor: Justin Cook (US), Suyama Akio (JP)
Hatsuharu is first introduced to the reader/watcher through a pair of background characters gushing over how cool he looks. And he does look cool - until he epicly hops onto his incredibly uncool bicycle and pedals away, oblivious to them. As far as first impressions go, it's pretty accurate in that Haru is full of surprises. Hatsuharu gives off this cool, aloof vibe but he is really anything but. He tends to dress in what I affectionately refer to as jrock casual; he is always wearing something "edgy," like black jackets with tons of zippers or chains, fur-lined trenchcoats, and/or combat boots. He is fond of wearing jewelry, and has what appears to be a vast collection of chokers, pendants, rings, and earrings of which he wears many at once. He has three piercings in his each of his ears at all time, a tattoo wrapped around his left bicep, and natural black and white hair worn in a pretty sick undercut.

When he first meets Tohru, she finds him lying beside their running trail, and she mistakes him for an elderly man due to his white hair. Her first impression of him is that he is laidback and carefree, at least until he pulls a rope across the track to trip Kyou, then immediately starts to fist fight with him. His abrupt change in behavior and subseqeunt love confession to Yuki are all just more surprises to add onto the list. Then when Yuki falls ill, Haru immediately goes to his aid, even transforming into a cow in public just to transport him. By the time he changes back, he has lost all of his hostility and become calm and aloof once more. All in all, it's a pretty chaotic meeting. Poor Tohru must have had whiplash from the whole ordeal.

I want things to be simple.

The story behind the curse is little more than a myth handed down the generations, and it is as follows: God decided to throw a grand banquet, and invited to it thirteen of his loyal animal subjects as guests. The rat, known for it's trickery, told the cat that the banquet was the following day. The cat trusted the rat and slumbered the day of the banquet away, entirely unaware of the rat's treachery. Then the rat tricked the ox into allowing the rat to ride it's back to the banquet, jumping off upon arrival in order to be the first to arrive and be granted God's favor.

The Sohma family is massive, and has an intricate hierarchy based almost entirely upon the Zodiac curse. There are twelve members of the family that have inherited their strange animal forms, along with the cat who is shunned within the family. In addition to those thirteen individuals, there is one more - the head of the family, who acts as the God of whom's banquet the animals were to attend in the story. While some consider it to be a blessing, most consider it a curse, including the members of the Zodiac and their families. The members of the Zodiac are born into families that either resent them or are stifling and overprotective of them, and tend to lead problematic lives because of their situation. Hatsuharu is no exception, and has seen more than his fair share of trauma and hardship.

As a member of the Sohma family, Hatsuharu suffers from a very unique affliction. Should he embrace a female, or should his body become weak from injury or illness, he will assume the form of a cow. He does not seem to mind transforming into a cow, even doing so out of necessity to transport an ill Yuki back home. He also shows no embarassment about being completely nude when he turns back into a human. Hatsuharu doesn't seem too bothered by his own curse, and cares far more for how the curse affects his loved ones.

This simple desire is everlasting.

Hatsuharu may not seem it at first glance, but he is a rather complex character. First of all, it must be noted that Haru has two personalities - "White" and "Black." White Haru is the one we normally see, his original personality, and Black Haru is what surfaces when he is pushed to his limit. They are not separate identities, just two drastically different sides of him. Generally, the accepted theory of why he has these two personalities is because of his troubled childhood, but I believe there is another contributing factor of which I will reference in a moment.

White Hatsuharu is what we normally see. He tends to appear aloof and carefree. He has an astoundingly poor sense of direction, sometimes getting lost for days when he can't find his destination. He is very laidback and deals with everything in a calm manner. He is incredibly kind and selfless, always putting others ahead of himself. Even when confronted about something that is affecting him, he will brush it off and ask about the other person's situation instead. This is seen most often with Sohma Yuki. He'll see that something is wrong and do what he can to right it or ease the other person's burden.

Black Hatsuharu is loud, rude, and sometimes perverted. This side of him can be cocky and foulmouthed or enraged and destructive. Black Haru only surfaces when he reaches his limit and snaps. This can happen in a number of ways. One, he is provoked. Arguments, annoyances, and debates can sometimes push him to snapping, such as when the student council chastises Momiji for wearing a girl's uniform. Two, someone messes with a person he cares about. Generally, instances such as these involve Sohma Akito. And three, he bottles his own emotions inside until he can no longer control them. Part of his personality is that he always puts himself to the side in favor of helping others, so he tends to keep his own emotions and thoughts about his own situation to himself. He mulls them over and over until he explodes.

I believe that another reason he developed the "Black" side of his personality is because he bottles himself up. "Black Hatsuharu" is the only way he knows how to deal with his own conflicting thoughts and emotions - he never learned a way to deal with them otherwise because he was too busy worrying about the people around him. He always endures his own hardships quietly until he simply can't take anymore and explodes.

Let's finally cross this sea of sorrow.

As stated in the zodiac section of this website, the ox is often considered to be stupid for carrying the rat to the banquet. This belief has been transferred onto the Sohma family member who carries the spirit of the ox. All throughout his childhood, Hatsuharu was an object of ridicule and bullying. Everyone said that, just like the ox, he must be slow and stupid. This constant abuse led to Hatsuharu's hatred of the rat of the zodiac, for making him look the fool. Eventually, he confronts Yuki, the carrier of the rat spirit, for the first time.
"It's your fault I'm slow! It's your fault I'm stupid!"
Yuki simply looks at him and smiles. "Are you? Are you really stupid?" Then Hatsuharu realized that he was doing the same thing that the others were doing to him, assuming that Yuki was a certain way - deceitful and conniving, like the rat spirit. From then on, he slowly became the Hatsuharu we know.

Not much is known about his parents - they are mentioned nonchalantly only a couple of times throughout the series. We do know that they had a hard time dealing with Hatsuharu's anger issues and were forced to enroll him into martial arts with Kyou and a couple of others. When Hatsuharu loses control and destroys his classroom, he is told that his parents have been called and he remarks that it's going to take his mother an hour to put her makeup on before arriving. When asked about his parents, Takaya Natsuki mentions that his parents seem pretty showy. She says that while they haven't fulfilled their role as parents and they made fun of and laughed at Haru, he doesn't really seem to mind them anymore. This indicates that they haven't treated him very well in the past, but that Hatsuharu has already forgiven them of the past and of their faults.

I was so happy, you were laughing.

Sohma Kisathe tiger
Kisa and Hatsuharu have an adorable relationship. They act as if they are older brother and younger sister. When questioned by Yuki as to when he suddenly became so close with Kisa during her introductory chapters, Hatsuharu admits that he was drawn to her because of the similarities between Kisa and Yuki. Kisa was so badly bullied in school that her heart became ill and she could no longer talk. Haru refers to an instance when Yuki did the exact same thing. Only this time, Haru wants to be able to help Kisa. When her words return, he gives her the biggest hug. Long after all this happens, the two of them still maintain their brother-sister relationship.

Sohma Hirothe ram
Hiro is a firey youth who is absolutely head over heels in love with adorable little Kisa. Naturally, he then gets jealous because of the time Hatsuharu spends with her and their relationship. However, it is revealed that Hiro idolizes Hatsuharu, as the ox is one of the few people Hiro addresses with an honorific. Hiro refers to Haru as Haru-nii (big brother Haru) which is a sign that they are close. Hiro eventually reveals that he knew about Rin and Haru's secret relationship, but Haru could care less, brushing the subject off nonchalantly. Hiro rarely snaps at Haru, but when he does he immediately regrets it. Hatsuharu is oblivious to Hiro's idolization of him.

Sohma Momijithe rabbit
Hatsuharu and Momiji are the same age and are in the same class together. Momiji seems to be very fond of Haru, and Haru is very protective of Momiji. When the two of them first begin attending the same school as Tohru, Yuki, and Kyou, Haru is quick to jump to Momiji's defense when the student council approaches him for wearing the girl's school uniform. He turns into "Black Haru" amidst this debate, showing that their treatment of Momiji greatly angered him. Momiji cares for Haru too, running directly to Yuki when Haru turns Black and starts destroying the classroom because he knows Yuki is the only one who can calm him.

When speaking with Yuki, Haru affectionately refers to Momiji as an "air purifier." He says this because Momiji made sure that Tohru was not upset when she was talking about how depressed Kyou seemed lately. He seems to value Momiji's ability to lighten the mood, to make the people around him happier.

Honda Tohruthe onigiri
I think it goes without saying that the level of character growth we see in nearly everyone throughout the series would not have come about without the help of Tohru. It also goes without saying that Haru greatly values Honda Tohru, easily telling her of his feelings for Yuki and often thanking her for the change she inevitably brings to him. He likes Tohru because she is able to get Yuki to become more confident and open. When he hugs her in order to turn into a cow and bring an ill Yuki back to their house, he tells her if he has to transform by hugging someone, that girl might as well be cute like her. He is seen near the end of the series prompting Kyou to overcome his own issues so that he and Tohru can be happy, as he likely feels that she deserves some happiness after helping everyone else find theirs.

Sohma Kyouthe cat
While Hatsuharu and Kyou are generally considered rivals, they are not seriously hostile with each other. They are just both incredibly competitive, Haru often seeking him out to participate in a duel of some kind. Kyou, whether he is aware of it or not, is able to push all the right buttons to make Haru turn "Black," often ending in a fist fight. Once Haru has snapped, he too knows all the right buttons to push to annoy and anger Kyou. However, the two of them are as friendly of rivals as they can be. Kyou once helped Haru find the bathroom after he got lost on the way to it when they were younger, showing that there are no real feelings of animosity.

Hatsuharu is always making comments on how the relationship between Yuki and Kyou has improved since Tohru came into the picture. We know that this is because he is concerned with Yuki's life, but he also worries for Kyou. In later chapters, he is seen worrying about Kyou's feelings and supporting him, pushing him to deal with his problems in order to have a relationship with Tohru. When Tohru was hospitalized and Kyou was completely devastated by it, he remarks to Yuki that "he looks as though he's lost his soul." This statement prompts Yuki to go beat the crap out of Kyou. I find this oddly similar to how Haru would mention that Ayame's presence was annoying to Hatori (ending with Hatori retrieving Ayame and bringing him back home) in order to help Yuki. When Kyou tries to visit Tohru in the hospital and is stopped by her two best friends, Haru offers him a few words of encouragement that end in him calling the cat stupid. Though not to the extent he goes for Yuki, Haru looks out for Kyou as well.

I can free my heart and go on.

Sohma Akitothe god
Akito is the frail, sociopathic, and generally psychotic head of the Sohma household. While it is believed early in the series that Akito is male, later chapters reveal that she is secretly female. Haru is unaware of her gender until the end of the series. Akito is the source of all of Hatsuharu's hardships, holding all of the cursed family members too tightly and suffocating them. Akito is the reason Yuki is so mentally damaged, and Haru will always defend him from her. In addition to this, Akito is hell bent on making sure that Haru and his love will never be together and will never be happy. She goes so far as to push Rin out of a window to keep them apart.

The head of the Sohma household is known to be biased with her family members. She is considerably more violent and abusive of the female cursed family members, possibly due to her own gender issues as she was raised as male. However, her greater affection for the male family members will not stop her from hurting them. She had already half-blinded Hatori and locked Yuki in isolation for the majority of his childhood. She is threatening of all of her family members, and has threatened harm to Hatsuharu before. Though Haru doesn't care what happens to him, he knows she is capable of hurting those he loves because she has done it so many times before.

Hatsuharu becomes the first of the cursed family members to defy Akito and blame her directly. When he learns from Hiro that Akito is the one who hurt Rin, he confronts her about it, controlling his rage, demanding a reason as to why Akito hurts and hates her. Akito turns it back on him, saying that Hatsuharu is the one who was hurting her, suffocating her with his selfish love and ignoring the danger he was putting her in. He snaps because of his feelings of guilt and almost punches Akito, but has enough control to stop himself from doing so, though as he leaves he coldly threatens to kill Akito and himself if she talks to him again. She screams for him to come back out of real fear of abandonment, and he nearly does so but Kureno tells him to go see Rin, whose first word after her imprisonment was his name.

At the end of the series Akito finally begins to change thanks, as everyone has experienced, to the words, love, and acceptance of Tohru. Haru does not seem to hold the things she has done against her. He is not the type of person to hold a grudge. Rin is not so forgiving and cannot understand how everyone can so easily forgive Akito in spite of everything. Hatsuharu understands Rin's feelings despite he himself forgiving Akito.

Leave everything up to your heart.

Sohma Yukithe rat
Based on the events of his childhood, Hatsuharu openly admits that Yuki was his first love. It is obvious in their interactions that Haru values Yuki more than anything. He is incredibly perceptive of Yuki's problems and will always work to find a solution, such as sending Hatori to retrieve Ayame when Yuki becomes too distressed by him. When Yuki has an asthma attack, Haru instantly snaps out of "Black" mode and rushes to his side. When Akito visits them at school, Haru worries for Yuki's state of mind. Hatsuharu is also the one who convinved Shigure to allow Yuki to live with him, because he knew the only way for Yuki to move on was if he was out of that poisonous household.

Shortly after his life changing encounter with the rat, he would sneak and visit Yuki when Akito had him locked in isolation, offering him his friendship and a much needed escape from the psychological abuse of constant loneliness. Haru understands and cares for Yuki so much that he will always set aside his own situation for him. Yuki is aware of everything that Hatsuharu does for him, and he gets frustrated that Haru is so selfless and never thinks about himself. Because Yuki considers himself a selfish person, he wants Hatsuharu to be a little more selfish as well. But Hatsuharu is and will always be there for Yuki, helping him become the person he is meant to be and helping him to overcome his obstacles.

It is interesting to note that sometimes, when Haru turns "Black," he promises to make Yuki his and is somewhat possessive over the rat. Also, when something happens to Yuki while Haru is "Black," he instantly snaps back to "White" out of concern, showing once more that anything that could cause him to snap is still not as important to him as Yuki. The rat in turn cares deeply for Hatsuharu as well. He is the only one who is able to calm Hatsuharu when he turns "Black," such as when Hatsuharu was obsessively mulling over Rin breaking up with him, and he snapped and started to destroy the classroom. Yuki regularly asks Haru about his situation and how he is handling everything, though Haru will answer briefly if at all before changing the subject back to Yuki.

Despite Haru's avoidance of the subject of his own suffering, Yuki still concerns himself with trying to help Haru. He even tries to confront Rin about her reasons for breaking up with Haru, despite her hostility. She quickly changes the subject, telling Yuki that the only reason he lives with Shigure is because Hatsuharu begged Shigure to take him away from the main house. Shigure made some joking comment about how he would do it if Haru called him sensei from then on, and Hatsuharu has done so ever since. Yuki starts to cry before their conversation is interrupted by Haru himself. Even as Rin runs off, leaving the two of them together, Hatsuharu tells Yuki he shouldn't concern himself with their issues and he should worry about his own. Yuki feels as if he shouldn't make himself the number one priority since he has given Haru nothing in return for everything he has done. When Haru tells Yuki he is too nice and he should find the place he is always looking for, Yuki remarks that Haru is too soft on him and is brought to tears.

Near the end of the series, when Tohru is hospitalized, Hatsuharu's first reaction is to check up on Yuki to see if he is all right (by allowing himself into the empty house that Yuki forgot to lock when he left) and tries to cheer him up in his weird way. Shortly after this, Yuki storms upstairs to beat a piece of his mind into Kyou, with the cat and the rat confessing that they each wanted to be the other. Directly after this altercation, Haru checks up on Yuki again, always concerned for him. At the end of the series, Yuki remarks that he is glad that all of the cursed family members have been able to maintain their current relationships without any awkwardness despite the curse being broken. Haru responds by stating that he will always love him.

I hesistate to label their relationship. I find it hard to call them "best friends" because the term to me is far too shallow for the depths of their relationship. They are always concerned with the other, constantly pushing each other forward or cheering each other up. They are more than family members, more than friends. They are each other's support and encouragement, and theirs is one of my favorite relationships throughout the entire series.

Sohma "Rin" Isuzuthe horse
Hatsuharu and Rin have a somewhat volatile on-and-off romantic relationship. They kept it a secret for as long as they could, knowing that Akito would never approve. The two were close as children, and their feelings grew into something beyond friendship. Because of an unspecified but deplorable action that Akito did, Rin is terrifed of her and Hatsuharu has to convince her that it is all right to act on her feelings and be in a relationship with him. She was abused as a child by her parents and Akito, and she tries to keep herself isolated from everyone around her. Despite this, she and Hatsuharu have remained close. They understand everything about each other.

Eventually, Akito found out about their relationship. As Hatsuharu selflessly does everything for Yuki and Rin, Rin too will do everything she can to protect Hatsuharu. If that means breaking up with him to protect him, then so be it. Akito once pushed Rin out of a window and put her in the hospital, threatening that she would do the same or worse to Hatsuharu if they continued their relationship. Rin tried her hardest to keep Haru out of her life, but he is incredibly stubborn.

At one point, Sohma Ren, Akito's mother, deceived Rin into stealing a precious possession of Akito's, a box given to her by her deceased father, in exchange for the secret to breaking the curse. Wanting desperately to free Hatsuharu of his curse, which is less his transformation and more his connection with Akito, Rin gets caught trying to steal it. Akito cuts off her hair and secretly imprisons her in the room traditionally used to keep the cat isolated for three months or so. Sohma Kureno accidentally finds out when he sees a maid bringing food there and sets her free. She is hospitalized due to malnutrition and trauma, and Hatsuharu learns from Hiro that Akito is the one who pushed her out of the window and the real reason Rin broke up with him.

Rin escapes from the hospital, still traumatized from her imprisonment and Akito's abuse, and believes it is a dream when Hatsuharu finds her collapsed in the street. She breaks down and tells him how she really feels, and shows that she feels guilty and heartbroken that she is unable to free him from his curse and consequently Akito. He asks her to come home with him, telling her it isn't a dream. After this, she does not lie to him anymore, and they continue their relationship.

When the curse breaks, they are seen together as it happens. Hatsuharu remarks that it is sad, in a way, and they are seen embracing. In their final appearance of the series, as we reflect on the events that led to the ending, they are shown in each other's arms with peaceful looks on their faces.

Today will become a warm memory.

This is a very small media section where you can find a handful of premade goodies for your use. This section only has 100x100 icons right now, but I'll hopefully add more as time goes on. :) If using icons, please link back to this website for credit.

I can change as I go on.

Grayscale came into existence in the beginning of August 2012. It was created as a part of Amassment's One Page, One Month: Encore Marathon. This site was originally called Maelstrom, but it annoyed me because it was too similar to another site of mine called Hailstorm. So a few days before I had to submit this fansite, I renamed it to Abstruse. Abstruse means "difficult to understand" which suited Hatsuharu very well, as the people around him, and some of his fans, find him this way. But I seem to be perpetually dissatisfied with any title for this website, so in 2018, I changed it again, this time to Grayscale. Maybe this one will stick. xD;

I chose to create my one page fansite for Sohma Hatsuharu because he has been one of my favorite characters since my childhood. I grew up reading Furuba, and Haru was always the one who stood out to me the most despite an amazing cast of tragic and touching characters. There are so few Fruits Basket sites left that I felt I needed to create a little something for Haru. As little content as there is on this website, I'm quite proud of it :)

I tend to gravitate toward the relationship between Haru and Yuki moreso than Haru and Rin. Even though Haru and Rin are absolutely adorable! canon to the series and have a relationship built upon trial, tribulations, and love, I find myself more drawn to the depth of Haru's devotion to Yuki, his willingness to ignore his own problems to help Yuki instead. Though I tend to prefer slash relationships, it is not because I'd rather him be in a slash pairing. I just feel that the relationship between Haru and Yuki is stronger than the one between him and Rin, and this could have everything to do with how much emphasis has been placed on either. In short, I love the relationship between Haru and Rin but I love Haru and Yuki's relationship more. It might even just be because I am asexual, and I prefer to see real, deep relationships based upon emotion and trust over romance.

The current layout is version two, designed so that the main layout will follow you as you scroll through a single page of content. This way, you won't lose the feel of the layout as you read through the site. :) Navigation is relatively simple, and the design was made using resources from defreve@DA and the now defunct Nienke. The font found throughout the page are Roboto and Rockwell. If you are interested in viewing past versions of this website, please feel free to visit my layout archive.

In this little section, you can find links to any website affiliated with this one. If you happen to own a Fruits Basket related site and wish to become affiliates with Grayscale, please let me know! :D

Here you can find links to some other amazing Furuba fansites. There are very few, but what is left I've listed here! :)

And here we are, at the end. I've got to give you points for making it this far! I hope it was worth your time. If you wish to link back to this site, feel free to grab one of these buttons in order to do so. Thank you so much for visiting!