This page contains major plot spoilers related to the Fruits Basket manga, not yet revealed in the anime. Read at your own risk!
|Also known as||Uo-chan (by Tohru and Kyoko)|
Ane-san (by the Delinquent Trio)
Delinquent (by Kyo)
|Age||16 (Beginning of the series)|
18 (End of the series)
|Height||168 cm / 5'6|
|Weight||47 kg / 103.6 lb|
|Hair Color||Blonde (Manga, 2019 anime)|
Dirty Blonde (2001 Anime)
|Eye Color||Brown (Manga, 2019 anime)|
Blue-grey (2001 Anime)
|Affiliation||Kaibara Municipal High School|
|Extended Family||Kureno Sohma (Lover)|
|Anime||Episode 1 (2001)|
Episode 1 (2019)
|Japanese||Yuka Imai (2001)|
Atsumi Tanezaki (2019)
|English||Parisa Fakhri (2001)|
Elizabeth Maxwell (2019)
|“||I also wanted to change. I'd never felt that way before. “I'm through being like this.” I thought. I wanted to change.||”|
—Arisa Uotani about her past.
Arisa Uotani (魚谷 ありさ, Uotani Arisa) is one of the recurring characters of the Fruits Basket series. She is also known by her nickname Uo (魚).
She is one of Tohru Honda's best friends. A former gang member who joined an all-girls gang called ”The Ladies” in fifth grade, Arisa idolized Kyoko Honda's reputation from her gang days. When she personally met Kyoko and Tohru in middle school, she was shocked by Kyoko's change from a gang-leader into a doting mother. However, they became friends after Kyoko helped her escape from her gang. With her other best friend Saki Hanajima, Arisa swore on Kyoko's grave to look after Tohru, and in their "parental" protection of Tohru, noted by Kyo Sohma and Yuki Sohma, Arisa is depicted as the brash and direct father-figure.
When Arisa meets Kureno Sohma, she is instantly attracted to him. After their second meeting, he refuses to see her again because of his promise to stay with Akito Sohma. When Kureno leaves Akito, Arisa helps him move out from the Sohma compound, telling him that she has been waiting for him all this time. It is later revealed that she is now preparing to move in with him.
Arisa is a fair-skinned teenage girl of average build and above average height, who has a pair of brown eyes (blue in the 2001 anime). She is known for her tall stature, yet wishes to be even taller. She has straight, upper back-length (waist-length in the 2001 and 2019 anime), blonde hair, which she either leaves untied or into a low ponytail at the back. She has long, "M-shaped" bangs which frame her face and occasionally cover her right eye. Sometimes, she wears hairclips to clear her bangs from her face. It is mentioned how if she grew a bit taller she could be a model, implying she is good-looking.
Arisa is often depicted in her standard school uniform, with a purple shirt underneath and a rather long skirt which goes down to her ankles. Outside of school, she likes wearing purple nail polish, 3/4 sleeves, as well as Kyoko's former Red Butterfly uniform, which she received from the latter herself in the past.
A few years later, Arisa has cut her hair short as it now reaches her shoulders. She also has shorter, free-falling bangs which no longer cover her eyes.
As a young, troubled teenager, Arisa used to be very grumpy and violent, and developed anger issues from a young age. She hated the terms "peaceful" and "kind", to such an extent that the happy home life of Kyoko and Tohru sickened her because she herself had been abandoned by her mother and neglected by her father. However, after Kyoko and Tohru helped her turn her life around and quit her gang, Arisa went through a significant change which made her the person she is today.
Arisa is now a fun-loving, cool, tough, and stand-offish former gang-member who always tries to get some fun out of something, even when things seem to get rough. While she can be short-tempered and aggressive, traits she shares with Kyo, she is surprisingly very emotional and cries easily about things most people wouldn't; such as Tohru showing up in her old swimsuit from middle school (despite it being a matter of practicality), and again when she thinks about old people buying their meals at a convenience store (even though she admits they must think nothing of it). According to Kureno, Arisa is a very honest and expressive girl who wears her emotions on the sleeve; she cries when she's sad, laughs when she's happy, and yells when she's mad.
While she is occasionally aloof and emotionally closed off, she is warm, friendly, and deeply loyal towards her friends and loved ones. Arisa also acts like a big sister figure, and while she has moved on from her past, she never forgot what it taught her. She uses her own experience being a gang-member to help other people, such as lecturing three middle school-aged yankee wannabes. This proved to be effective, as they began respecting Arisa and even began calling her "Ane-sama". On the other hand, she is frigid and hostile towards anyone that gets on her nerves, primarily the Prince Yuki Fan Club, and even occasionally brings out a metal pipe whenever she feels the need to protect Tohru.
Arisa is noted to be very direct, tomboyish, as she even the pronoun "boku" (which is normally a masculine pronoun in Japanese). She is brash, headstrong, never beats around the bush, and isn't easily shamed. For instance, she casually says things the other characters become embarrassed at; such as when Kyo yells at her for mentioning underwear when they were shopping for a swimsuit for Tohru.
Arisa's mother was involved in an affair and left Arisa for her boyfriend when she was an elementary school student, leaving her in the care of her alcoholic father. Because of her father's issues, Arisa was partially neglected and was denied the feeling of love and care from a parent and a functioning environment, leading her to become lonely. As a result, Arisa stopped going to school and joined a gang called 'The Ladies' in fifth grade. Arisa would, together with other women, wreak havoc, beat up people, and in turn get beaten up, start fires, and get chased by the police among many other things. Even so, there was one person who Arisa idolized, and that was "The Red Butterfly", as in Kyoko Honda.
When she got the word from her gang members that Kyoko was living nearby her and that her daughter may go to the same middle school as her, Arisa went to school hoping she could meet Kyoko through her daughter. But when she met Tohru Honda, she was so disappointed and enraged that a "spacey, plain girl" was the daughter of Kyoko, whom she had put on a pedestal. Tohru invited Arisa over to her house, though when Arisa did meet Kyoko, who had become a doting mother, she was disillusioned by Kyoko and her entire image of her came crashing down. It is at their home that Tohru first called Arisa "Uo-chan" after Kyoko first suggested it. However, the love displayed between Tohru and Kyoko leads Arisa to be reminded of the neglect from her single father, and she rejected them both.
Despite Arisa's harsh personality, Tohru continued to reach out to Arisa and even saved her from getting beaten by her fellow gang members and took her back to her house. Gradually embracing the loving environment that she never had, Arisa would spend more time with Tohru and Kyoko. Despite their peers' misgivings, Arisa and Tohru had become best friends, and Arisa even started going to school again so she could see more of Tohru. Arisa soon decided to leave her gang, wanting to become a person that Tohru would be proud to call her friend. In response to the declaration, however, she was beaten half to death by her gang before being rescued by Kyoko at Akimoto's (the lone gang member sympathetic to Arisa) request. Arisa soon emotionally declared wanting to become Tohru's best friend. From that point on, Arisa and Tohru became very close, and the two were often pointed out for being an odd duo.
As Arisa reached 8th grade, Saki Hanajima transferred into the class. While most of the class ignored Saki, Arisa and Tohru invited Saki to sit with them during lunch, and despite Saki's misgivings and doubts since she was "odd", the two girls explained that they were also social outcasts in their own way. The three then began spending much time together, and Saki was given the nickname "Hana-chan" by the two girls.
Even after finding out about Saki having the power of electrical waves, Tohru confessed to Saki that she still loved her and wanted to continue being friends with her. Meanwhile, Arisa told her to not assume things. After this incident, Saki emotionally became firm friends with Arisa and Tohru as a result. The three girls found strength in each other and became inseparable best friends.
First Year Arc
Arisa and Saki's first appearance was when Minami was threatening Tohru, and demanding to know why she came to school with Yuki. Arisa appears behind Minami saying, "She said it was a coincidence. Stop fantasizing and get a life". When Minami makes a comment about how Arisa was trying to act tough, Saki threatens to use her electro-poison waves, which sends Minami running. Arisa then hugs Tohru, and tells Saki not to use her electro-poison waves, for they might hit Tohru.
Second Year Arc
Third Year Arc
After Tohru is hospitalized from falling off a cliff, Arisa and Saki ban Kyo from seeing her in the hospital. Arisa is extremely upset by the fact that Kyo treated Tohru like a "dishrag" and told her he was disillusioned by her confession before she fell off the cliff, and even threatens to "kill" him with Saki. Kyo understands their reasonings and refrains from seeing Tohru, to which Arisa encourages him to now be "a man". Nonetheless, Arisa continues to lecture Kyo about how he hurt Tohru.
For the following days, Arisa visits Tohru many times where she meets with Akito, whereupon Arisa learns from Akito that she had heard about her and Kureno from Tohru. Akito then confesses that she was the one who stabbed Kureno, and when Saki realizes that Akito is a woman and that the person Kureno wanted to stay with was her, Arisa breaks down in tears and hugs Akito. As Arisa explains to herself, she wasn’t frustrated with Akito or felt pathetic because of her, but because she was the true outsider; she was just a “footnote” in Kureno’s twenty-six years, had kept going over their single day’s worth of memories together, and polishing them like a diamond. Because of this, Arisa later decides to visit Kureno in the hospital as well, and when he tells her his plans to leave the Sohma compound forever, Arisa says that he can now go anywhere he wants, anytime, and that she is fully ready to go alongside him. Arisa doesn't offer an explanation to why, but Kureno is taken aback as he smiles warmly by her dedication.
When Tohru begins dating Kyo, Arisa and Saki accompany them om their first date. During the date, Arisa and Saki purposely make things harder for Kyo and keeps him from Tohru. At the end of the date, when Tohru is away to the washing room, both Arisa and Saki are sad to have their best friend "taken away", but Arisa also expresses that they do like Kyo as a person and are now relying on him to take good care of Tohru.
Arisa eventually graduates from high school and she is seen talking on the phone with Kureno. She updates him on the current situation and how Tohru will be moving away the next day. She admits that she will get lonely without Tohru, but also that she is happy to move forward with her own journey. She explains that she will be setting off soon to go see Kureno, and he voices his idea of preparing a feast once she arrives; getting Tororo soba, the first thing they ate together, an idea which makes Arisa laugh.
A few years later, Arisa finds a job out in the country where Kureno lives. He asks her if she really doesn't mind, but Arisa says that whether she minds or not, she had to be in the countryside. When Kureno questions why, Arisa declares she is not going to tell him; a reference to their conversation years ago. However, this time, Kureno says that he wants Arisa to tell her, and they lovingly gaze at one another. It is later revealed that she is preparing to move in with him.
Since Tohru and Kyo have just begun dating, Arisa and Saki have become even more protective of Tohru. Knowing that Tohru and Kyo are all alone in the house since both Shigure Sohma and Yuki Sohma are out, Arisa listens as Saki calls Shigure and demands an explanation for leaving Tohru and Kyo, at their age, alone in the house. However, Shigure soon realizes that Arisa and Saki are on their way to accompany Tohru and Kyo on their first date anyway.
Differences from the source material
- In the 2001 anime, Arisa's backstory is not revealed.
- Arisa had a role of the True Form arc in the 2001 anime, though she was completely absent during the incident in the manga and 2019 anime.
- When Kyo's true form is revealed, Arisa and Saki head to Kyoko's tombstone once again, after Saki senses negative electric waves coming from Tohru. As they see Tohru there, Saki forbids Arisa from consoling her. She then orders Tohru to continue searching for Kyo.
- Since the 2001 anime didn't cover the entire manga and since the manga was still ongoing while it still aired, there are notable differences in the ending:
- Arisa simply returns to school and greets Tohru with a smile.
- The name Arisa is written in hiragana (ありさ), which has no special meaning. However, when written in kanji (有沙 or 有紗), it could possibly mean:
- 有沙 - "exist" (有) (ari) and "sand" (沙) (sa).
- 有紗 - "exist" (有) (ari) and "thread, silk" (紗) (sa).
- Arisa's surname Uotani means "fish" (魚) (uo) and "valley" (谷) (tani).
- According to the official Fruits Basket Character Book:
- Arisa likes tight clothes. When she was in the gang, she covered her skin completely, but since her "reform", she's started wearing things that are more revealing.
- Arisa's style is heavily influenced by Kyoko Honda, but she still prefers long skirts.
- Natsuki Takaya thinks it's too bad, since she mentions that Arisa has "great legs".
- Arisa lives with her father in a one-room apartment with a dining and kitchen area.
- Arisa's manga symbol is a fish, the meaning of the first kanji (魚) of her family name.
- In Fruits Basket Another, Hajime is seen wearing Kyoko's Crimson Butterfly jacket, implying that Arisa returned it back so that it could be a family heirloom.
- Arisa claims that she took too many drugs when she was younger, so medications have no effect on her.
- Arisa wishes to reach 180 cm (6 feet) in height.
- Because of her tall stature, Tohru thinks she could become a model.
- Arisa uses the pronoun "boku", which is normally a masculine pronoun in Japanese (see Gender differences in spoken Japanese).