Hatsuharu "Haru" Sohma is the cow in the Zodiac. He is one year younger (15) than Yuki (16), Kyo (16) and Tohru (16). He is currently attending the same high school as Yuki, Kyo, Tohru and Momiji. He was constantly made fun of because of his natural black and white hair due to the influence of the Cow spirit that possesses him. Because of the cow spirit he also has trouble with navigation.
Haru has two personalities, black and white (also known as dark and cheerful). Under normal circumstances (when he is "white"), Hatsuharu is laid-back and kind and usually has a plain, straight-faced look, taking everything very calmly. When he turns "black", however, he becomes violent, perverted, short-tempered, rude, and cruel.
He becomes Black if provoked (For example: In the episode "Make it Clear If It's Black or White", Haru goes Black because of Kyo refusing to fight him). Haru will also turn into a full chaotic "black" when something major happens to him such as Rin leaving him. Haru also bottles up his emotions and tries to help others without thinking of himself, usually causing a mental breakdown.
Hatsuharu is a tall, slender young man. He has two-toned shaggy hair, snowy white with black roots. Haru cares little for what other people think, and in a flashback, Isuzu Sohma asks him how he likes middle school and he replies that they do not like his hair or his attitude. He resolves to get piercings just to contradict them. Isuzu (Rin) laughs at this, saying she finds his logic funny. Haru usually dresses in punk/gothic clothing, mostly black in colour, wearing tight jeans,white socks, tanks, and chains. He also has 3 piercings in each ear, wearing small hoops or studs.
He makes jewelry for Rin and himself. He is protective over those he cares about which is Rin, Yuki Sohma, Momiji Sohma and Kisa Sohma. It is also mentioned he was made fun of as a child because he looked different (his hair) like Kisa but instead of locking his words away like Kisa he would turn "black" and proceed to chase them around the schoolyard (in the manga, Hatsuharu would actually beat them up like Kyo, however, Kyo's was worst as he would actually beat them half to death.)
It was said by Momiji that Haru seemed fine with his natural black and white hair, Occasionally, however, he would turn black and beat up the people who make fun of his hair.
The Ox confronting the Rat
Unable to bear the insults of himself by his body being inhabited by the spirit of the Ox, as well as his own spirit, Haru confronts Yuki, the rat who used the Ox in the legend to steal the place as first zodiac spirit. He gets angry and blames everything on Yuki, stating that it was all his fault that he was labeled "dumb" "stupid" and "a fool".
However, Yuki calmly asks the question, "Is that so? Is that so about you? Are you really... a fool?". With that question in mind, Haru realizes that he doesn't need to listen to others on the opinions about him. He only needed to trust himself and believe in himself for who he is. After that day of confrontation onwards, Haru starts to admire Yuki deeply.
It is revealed in the manga by Rin that the reason that Yuki is living in Shigure's house is because Haru made a deal with Shigure that if Haru called him sensei he would let Yuki live with him, the reason Haru did this is because Haru wanted Yuki to escape from the Sohma main house.
Before Summer Vacation
He first transforms in the anime/manga when Yuki falls from his weak lungs after falling sick and after an intense endurance physical run with Kyo at school. Haru hugs Tohru Honda in order to transform into an Ox so he can carry Yuki on his back and bring him back to Shigure's house easier and not realizing how ridiculous it looks for Yuki to be riding on the back of an Ox.
During Summer Vacation
After Summer Vacation
Izusu "Rin" Sohma
Haru's main love interest is Isuzu 'Rin' Sohma, an on/off relationship that has been going on for several years. They first became friends after Rin was hospitalized due to vicious beatings from her parents. When Rin's mother visited her to tell her not to come home, Haru became furious and demanded that she apologize to Rin. Since then, Haru and Rin were best friends. Years later, Haru began to visit Rin at Kagura's house very frequently, asking her to accompany him on walks.
When Haru was about 13 and Rin 15, he asks her to kiss him. When she asks why, he says because they love each other. Rin, worried about what Akito will do to them if he finds out, tries to talk Haru out of it. Haru, however, believes it is because she loves someone else and questions her about this. Rin, unable to find anything to say against it, kissed him. They then began their secret relationship.
After dating for a few weeks, Haru asks Rin to sleep with him. She says no at first but then gives in. After they made love, she sat and cried while Haru stared at her. Haru asks if he hurt her, and she replied, no, but now they're marked with each other, that if he left her she would die. He said he would never and they kiss. They soon began making out, keeping their relationship discreet for each others safety.
Rin dumps Haru when he visits her in the hospital after she was thrown out of the window by Akito, afraid that Akito might do the same to Haru, or even worse. Haru wrecks a classroom in frustration, and is only soothed by talking to Yuki. Haru walks in on Yuki and Rin, overhearing Yuki asking Rin why she broke things off with Haru. Haru kisses Rin and tells her he would rather die than be apart from her, she blushes, prompting her to slap him and run off. Haru, upon learning that Akito had placed Rin into the cat's confinement room, confronts Akito and curses at her several times, attempted to punch her but "missed". Before leaving, Haru threatens to kill himself if he cannot see Rin.
After leaving the Sohma Estate, he goes in search of Rin, and later found her unconscious on a sidewalk. Haru goes to her side to help her. Rin wakes up and believes that she is dreaming. Haru tells her she isn't and picks her and carries her on his shoulder. She tells him to put her down, but he ignores her and tells her that he is strong enough to carry her on his shoulder. He goes on to say that she isn't a burden, and that when she isn't strong enough to handle anything, he will help her stand and carry her home. She cries and says she is 'Home'. They embrace and get back together. At the end of the series, Haru and Rin embrace and kiss after they feel the Jyuunishi curse has been lifted.
Haru didn't like Yuki when they were kids because of the old Zodiac Legend. People would make fun of Haru, for the Ox being used by the Rat. Haru had never talked to him before. One day, Haru saw Yuki standing by the window and took all of his anger out that had always been hidden. He yelled at Yuki, saying he hated him and that it's all his fault then Yuki replied, "Is that so? Is that so about you? Are you really... a fool?" Haru said he wasn't. Yuki said "I didn't think so" and smiled at Haru. Hatsuharu says that Yuki is his first love.
Haru tends to act somewhat like an older brother to Kisa, often making Hiro extremely jealous. This is shown when she first talks, he hugs her in relief. In Sorta Cinderella, Or Cinderella-ish, he picks her up, like a brother would do, causing Hiro to become super jealous.
The Ox of the Zodiac
Hatsuharu also has no sense of direction due to being cursed by the spirit of the Ox, once getting lost for just trying to find the house Yuki lives with Shigure (which is nearby and extremely easy to find). As a child, as mentioned in the fight between Haru and Kyo when the former is introduced, Kyo had to lead his cousin to the bathroom as he could not find it and often got lost. This however did not seem to stop Hatsuharu from finding Kisa when she is introduced.
- In the manga, the author says that Haru is caught up by strange things, which is proven when the author says that he was going to confess his love to Rin when his height surpassed her's. It is also proven when he is talking to Rin about how the teachers in his middle school didn't like his attitude or his hair, so he had no choice but to pierce his ears. Rin responds by saying, "Your mind works in an odd way, Haru".
- Haru shares the same English voice actor (Justin Cook) of Yusuke Urameshi from Yu Yu Hakusho and Raditz from Dragon Ball Z. All three can be violent also.
- In "A New School Term Starts!", when questioned, Haru shows the Student Council President that his hair color is indeed natural. The exact method of how he does this is never truly revealed, but it's implied that it was highly lewd. There are some implications in the manga that he pulled down his pants and revealed his pubic hair to prove his hair was natural.
- Yuki said that Black Haru is "much worse than Kagura".