Arisa Uotani is Tohru Honda's, Saki Hanajima's, Kyo Sohma's, and Yuki Sohma's classmate at Kaibara High. She is called a "Yankee" by the Prince Yuki Fan Club, and "Ane-san" a girl in a trio of former delinquents. Her manga symbol is a fish, the meaning of the first kanji (魚) of her family name. She also has a more aggressive nature and is motherly towards Tohru.
Arisa has straight, shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes (brown in the manga). She is known for being quite tall. She wears long skirts, and 3/4 sleeves. Kyoko Honda gave Arisa her former Red Butterfly uniform, which she had worn when she was part of a gang.
Arisa is short-tempered and aggressive, traits she shares with Kyo which leads to them often fighting. She is surprisingly very emotional, Saki noting that she cries easily about things most people wouldn't--such as old men buying their food at convenience stores. She does not cry easily when her own life takes a turn for the worst. Kureno Sohma remarks that Arisa is very honest with her emotions--she cries when she's sad, laughs when she's happy, and yells when she's mad.
She isn't easily shamed, and 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. She has a somewhat rude manner of speaking. Arisa loves Tohru a lot, and acts as a more 'father-like figure' in Tohru's life, in contrast to Saki, who is more motherly. The only thing she truly hates is the Prince Yuki Fan Club, mainly because they hate Tohru.
Arisa's mother got a new boyfriend and left Arisa when she was very young, leaving Arisa in the care of her alcoholic father. Arisa joined a gang called 'The Ladies' in 5th grade, and according to Tohru Honda, she was always wearing long skirts and a mask. She claims she took too many drugs when she was younger, so medications have no effect on her. When Kyo asked her what she means by "different drugs", she immediately changed the topic.
Arisa had always looked up to Tohru's mother, Kyoko Honda, who had been known as the Red Butterfly. After finding out The Butterfly's daughter might go to her school, she went to school hoping she could meet Kyoko through her daughter. But when she met Tohru, she was going to punch her teeth out because she didn't believe such a 'spacey, plain girl' could be Kyoko's daughter.
When Arisa did meet Kyoko, who had become a loving 'housewife', her entire image of her came crashing down. Though Arisa vowed to stay away from the Hondas, she kept ending up at their house through a chain of coincidences. Before she knew it, she and Tohru were best friends, and Arisa even started going to school again so she could see more of Tohru. Arisa decided to leave her gang so that she "could become someone Tohru would be proud to call her friend".
In response to declaration, she was beaten half to death by her gang. But during the beating Kyoko appeared and saved her. Kyoko explained that Arisa's senpai (in gangs, a higher-ranking member) came to Kyoko's house and told her Arisa's decision, and that she [Kyoko] was impressed by Arisa's action. In Arisa's next year of middle school she and Tohru met Saki, and the trio were and are a team ever since.
Before Summer Vacation
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.
During Summer Vacation
After Summer Vacation
At the end of the manga, Arisa and Kureno talked over the phone. She confessed to Kureno that she would follow wherever he goes.
It is presumed that Arisa and Kureno gets together
Mr. and Mrs. Uotani
Arisa doesn't have much of a relationship with her parents. Her parents divorced when she was very young and her mother left her in her father's care while she went her separate way with her boyfriend. Her mother's absence and her father's alcoholic behavior were the primary reasons why Arisa joined a gang. However, it's possible that her father does care about her, but because she was rarely home and always stayed in her room, she never knew for sure. She mentioned to Tohru that he had made her dinner a couple of times and waited for her, but she had rejected them.
Sometime in the present, she had taken charge in her father's apartment and made sure that he was taken care of.
Later in the series, Arisa falls in love with Kureno Sohma, the former rooster of the Zodiac, when she meets him at the convenience store she works at. Arisa visited him in the hospital after Akito Sohma stabbed him. Arisa then vowed to go anywhere with Kureno.
When Arisa went to middle school in hopes of meeting The Red Butterfly's (Kyoko's old gang name) daughter, she bumped into Tohru who was carrying a tall stack of papers. She helped her pick them up, despite being annoyed by the task. Tohru introduced herself and confirmed that her mother was the former Red Butterfly. Once she met Kyoko in person, she walked out of the house and angrily told Tohru to stay away from her. Despite that, Tohru helped her escape from a gang that was beating her up and offered her to stay for dinner. Eventually, Arisa and Tohru became friends and she started going to school again. However, because people were starting to spread rumors about Tohru possibly becoming a Yankee, Arisa started to reconsider her friendship with her, but later abandoned it. Arisa eventually left her gang and decided she wanted to be Tohru's best friend instead of a Yankee.
During her time with Tohru, she became less aggressive and more friendly. She even became concerned about Tohru after her mother's death and what she thought was Tohru's time at her paternal grandfather's.
Kyoko Honda (Tohru's Mom)
Kyoko, also known by Arisa "The Red Butterfly", was Arisa's gang idol. From what she heard of Kyoko during her time as a gang member, she was tough and ruthless, but was disappointed when she officially met her. However, once she started spending more time at Kyoko's house, she thought of her as a second mother. What strengthened her relationship with her was Kyoko coming to save her from her former gang beating her up.
Saki "Hana" Hanajima
Hana and Arisa have been best friends since middle school. On the first day of school, Tohru and Arisa invited Hana to sit with them, and Hana thought they were weird, but eventually began to like them. A couple days later, she was reminded of her power to hurt people and pushed them away. Tohru asked her why she was leaving them, and Hana confessed of her power to sense and send waves. Eventually, they became close, then best friends who love each other.
Arisa and Kyo are naturally alike in personalities, but they often get into arguments. Arisa loves to tease Kyo about his hair color and his behavior which reminds her very much of Kyoko Honda. Every once in a while, Arisa picks up on Kyo's feelings for Tohru.