Umehito Nekozawa, commonly referred to simply as "Nekozawa," is depicted as a hooded figure who is never without Beelzenef, the curse doll, which is actually no more than a hand puppet that looks like a cat. Despite displaying a frightening disposition and strange hobbies, Nekozawa is actually a very nice person. He suffers from Photophobia (sensitivity to light), which causes him to collapse in direct sunlight. As a result, whenever he is dragged towards any light source, he refers to the people who do so as "murderers." Nekozawa is devoted to his little sister, Kirimi; so much so, in fact, that he asks the Host Club to help him become the "princely-big brother" Kirimi wishes him to be. He is of Russian descent from the Tokarev Dynasty whose wealth comes from the sale of firearms.
As the President of the Black Magic Club, Nekozawa attempts to get people to join by offering a free "Beelzenef" hand puppet upon admission, but he ultimately fails in this endeavor. Apart from the hand puppet, he also sells cursed voodoo doll versions of Beelzenef which are claimed to bring a shower of misfortune to the person whose name is written on its back. Tamaki Suoh is shown to be quite superstitious and nervous around Nekozawa as he has allegedly experienced malintended events after stepping on Beelzenef.
Though Nekozawa first appears to be a strange and scary person obsessed with the occult and Black Magic, he is revealed to be a sweet guy who simply doesn't know how to interact properly with people. His devotion to his family (especially Kirimi) is seen when he submits to a Renge-led transformation, during which he displays intensity and purposefulness in challenging his photophobia (fear of light), saving Kirimi from a gigantic white cat who is approaching her in one of Ouran's gardens.
When Tamaki comforts Kirimi at one point, Nekozawa seems jealous of their rapport. This spurs him to overcome his phobias and win her over. His photophobia, however, makes him quite nervous when it comes to light of any kind. He is terrified of sunlight and usually starts panting and sweating before passing out when directly exposed to it.
Despite all this, he is a fan of the Host Club.
Beneath the black wig and hooded cape worn over his Ouran uniform, Nekozawa has a pleasing appearance, possessing pale blonde hair and blue eyes. When not wearing the dark garb, he actually resembles Tamaki Suoh, which is the primary reason Kirimi mistakes Tamaki for her big brother when the girl first encounters the Host Club. In the manga, it's seen that while at college, he adopts casual clothing but still wears a black hoodie on top of it and continues to cover his hair with a black wig and dark contacts that cover his blue eyes.
Plot InvolvementNekozawa's actual appearance is as alluring as any of the Hosts; however, due to his severe photophobia, he must wear these dark items. Due to his inability to show his natural appearance, his younger sister Kirimi Nekozawa, fails to recognize him as her big brother. In addition, the siblings' conflicting opinions about darkness and animals (Umehito loves both, while Kirimi hates both) prohibits them from being around one another. When Kirimi wrongly concludes that Tamaki is her elder brother, it is the Host Club who comforts the broken-hearted occultist and Renge who puts him through a vigorous re-training to accustom him to the light and be closer to his sister. Though he manages to withstand a flashlight beamed into his face, he frightens Kirimi with the strange way it alters his appearance. She runs out of the room crying while Nekozawa falls to his knees and begs for her to come back. Feeling torn apart decides to give up and let Tamaki take his place as her brother Though Tamaki declines and says he should not give up. Though he later overcomes his aversion to the light temporarily in order to rescue Kirimi from a stray cat, he collapses straight afterwards and relapses into his dark-loving nature; still, his heroism does not go unnoticed by his sister who ends up accepting him for who he is and, eventually, becomes an occultist and Black Magic Club member herself.
Nekozawa plays a larger role in the manga, as well as in the dorama, to the extent that he is sometimes thought of as the "8th Host." At end of Volume 08 of the manga, Kirimi becomes a darkness-loving occultist herself, complete with her own black hood and a stuffed cat instead of a Beelzenef puppet. In Volume 03 of the manga, the Host Club actually stays at the Nekozawas' beach estate, not the Ootoris', and the reason that Umehito does not attend their dinner is because when Haruhi switches the lights on indoors, he goes into shock and is incapacitated. When Haruhi becomes ill and the hosts escort her to the bathroom, all the hosts (but Tamaki) see the photophobic male without his cloak and wig. It is unclear if Umehito figures out Haruhi's true gender during the Host Club's stay in his mansion since Haruhi's cross-dressing father had replaced her masculine clothing with feminine clothing. And finally, in Volume 18 of the manga, it is Nekozawa and fellow Black Magic Club member, Reiko, who create distractions at the airport to keep Anne-Sophie from boarding the plane, so Tamaki might see her, if only for a few minutes; and despite originally being afraid of him, Tamaki cries when Nekozawa graduates. He goes on to study literature at Ouran University.
Nekozawa's younger sister initially fears him. In the manga, she views him as a ghost and in the anime, a monster. This, despite the family portrait and photos that depict him as he truly appears. Her rejection causes him to be heartbroken and obsessed with securing her love and affection. The Host Club helps him achieve this goal and the two gain one another's trust and friendship. Kirimi later becomes an occultist much to Nekozawa's delight.
Kadomatsu is Umehito Nekozawa's personal butler. He is often shown with Kuretake whenever they assist Nekozawa. He, along with Kuretake, helps Nekozawa during the Halloween Frightfest. On a personal level, he is shown to be sympathetic and loyal towards his master.
Reiko KanazukiIn Nekozawa's Gothic Black Magic Club, Reiko seems to be Nekozawa's right hand. She often helps Nekozawa plan events and rituals and, like her president, is fascinated with Black Magic and the occult. In one story, however, she follows a personal agenda in trying to curse Honey's heart in order to make him fall in love with her.
Hikaru and Kaoru HitachiinThe twins seem to dislike him and torment him by shining flashlights in his face. When Nekozawa admits that he pleads with the Dark Gods for Kirimi to come to the Darkness, they're curious and ask about his intentions towards her. Later, they later congratulate him with party poppers when he withstands the flashlight's "evil beam" and even buy a curse doll from him which they use in Ep 11 - Big Brother is a Prince.
In the dorama, Renge only briefly encounters Nekozawa, but admits that he is quite handsome. Flattered and surprised, he leans towards her and asks her to repeat herself. When she pulls off his hood to see him better, he grows angry as it exposes him to light. He vows that "doing such a scary thing shall get her cursed."
- His illness, his obsession with "darkness," his costume and his handsome features are references to popular vampire lore.
- The Nekozawa family can trace their heritage to the Tokarev Dynasty of Russia, suggesting a connection to arms dealing and manufacturing. A firearm even appears in both series.
- The presence of the word 'neko' in his last name explains his worship of cats, as well as the constant presence of his cat puppet, Beelzenef.
- Umehito's nickname is the "Dark Prince."
- Nekozawa is very knowledgeable in areas concerning black magic, although the origins or whereabouts of his acquired knowledge are unverified.
- In the dorama, he plants a love spell in a magazine under which Haruhi falls, making her fall in love with Tamaki.
- In the dorama, he is played by Ryusei Ryo and appears in every episode as well as in the live-action movie where the Black Magic Club competes with the other academy clubs. His appearance differs in that his hairstyle is genuine and not a wig.