A Former Delinquent Turned Mentor and Friend
- Episodes: 25
- Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Fantasy, Shoujo
- Airing Date: April 2019 – currently airing
- Studio: TMS Entertainment
Fruits Basket (2019) Preview (No Spoilers)
Thirteen members of the Souma family are cursed to turn into animals of the Chinese Zodiac whenever they’re embraced by someone of the opposite sex, and they seem to be terrified of the mysterious head of the family, Akito. A plucky but ditzy girl named Tooru falls into their lives one day and uses her fresh perspective to help them move on from their tragic pasts with her friends Saki Hanajima (a stoic goth girl) and Arisa Uotani (a former delinquent with a heart of gold) there to support her at every step. But can Tooru’s love really break Akito’s iron grip on the Soumas?
Arisa Uotani Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point)
1. She’s a Picture-Perfect ‘90s Yankee
Arisa Uotani (usually referred to as Uo or Uo-chan by her friends) is a tall, blonde high schooler with an intimidating aura leftover from her gang days. She’s not technically a delinquent anymore but still exemplifies that ‘90s vision of a female yankee gang member. Her long skirt, disheveled school uniform, dyed hair, and rough speech patterns paint her as someone who you wouldn’t want to mess with. And it’s not just an act – she really can beat the crap out of someone if she wants to, but luckily that lingering threat is usually enough to keep dangerous miscreants away from her beloved Tooru.
2. She Idolizes Kyoko Honda
Tooru’s mother, Kyoko, used to be known as the “Red Butterfly” back when she was the leader of a girl gang, and Uo has idolized her ever since she was a child. Uo joined the very same gang out of a desire to meet her one day, but when she finally did, Kyoko didn’t fit the image she was expecting to see. While she still had a few rough edges, Kyoko had relaxed significantly and had devoted herself to raising her sweet and polite daughter Tooru. It took a lot of self-reflection for Uo to see that the “Red Butterfly” made the right choice in life, but eventually, she came to respect her as a wise mother rather than as a violent gang leader.
3. She Successfully Broke Out of Her Gang
With a neglectful, drunkard father and a completely absent mother, Uo didn’t have many positive influences growing up. She joined a gang so that she could be tough like Kyoko and beat up anyone who crossed her, but only ended up sinking deeper into sadness. However, with Kyoko and Tooru’s gentle guidance and unconditional love, she worked up the courage to leave the gang. Her former comrades beat her half to death for her betrayal, but Kyoko rescued her just in time. Uo doesn’t necessarily regret her gang days, but she’s happy to be free from them now so that she can lead an honest, fulfilling life.
4. She’s Shockingly Responsible and Independent
By the time Uo enters high school, she’s matured far past the cagey, angry brat that she used to be as a preteen. She works a part-time job as a convenience store cashier, attends school regularly, and tries to keep her father on the straight and narrow with his drinking. So when three young delinquents challenge her during a mall trip to buy Tooru a swimsuit, Uo takes on the role that Kyoko played for her and tells the delinquents to clean up their act and stop pretending to be so tough. They initially react with disgust, but soon come to idolize Uo and try to be better people because of her influence. From the mentee to the mentor in just a few short years – Uo has grown so much!
5. 5. She Finally Finds Love
This is a development that happens very late in the manga, so anime-only viewers may want to skip this section. Uo has always been happy with just her friends to care for her, but the author (and many readers as well) thinks that she deserves romantic love in her life. Continuing the Kyoko parallel, her suitor is Kureno Souma, the reclusive assistant to Akito and former Zodiac bird. He’s a bit older and more reserved than Uo, but they both share the same feeling of not being worthy of love. Once they spend more time together, they grow to appreciate each other as the people they are now, not the unsavory versions of themselves that they used to be. It’s so heartwarming!
We would love being friends with someone as confident and tough as Uo. She’s the perfect foil for Tooru and Hana, has an interesting past, and gets along well with the Soumas. We can’t wait to see more of her story in the new anime!
What did you think of our overview? What are your favorite Uo moments? What are you looking forward to seeing in this new remake? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!