Fruits Basket: Episode 16 – “She Said Don’t Step on Them!”

This episode begins with Uo, Hana, and Tohru enjoying the pool. Uo realizes that Tohru is wearing her school swimsuit from middle school, and decides they need to get her a real swimsuit as a present. Through some convincing, she gets Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo to agree. But poor Yuki and Kyo are forcefully dragged along on the shopping trip, and their embarrassment is amusing.

But the main point of this episode is to provide backstory for Uo. While having lunch at a soba place, Uo starts explaining about her admiration for Tohru’s mom, who had been a legendary gang member. This episode shows how Uo and Tohru met, and how she was stunned that her hero didn’t meet up to her expectations when Uo met her. But between how the episode ends and the title for the next episode, this flashback isn’t over yet. We still need to see how Uo and Tohru actually became friends, since here, the two of them have just met, and Uo is disappointed in what Kyoko has become.

We also see three younger delinquents who recognize Uo as someone who left her gang. At first, they seem to be serious characters, but when they keep getting distracted by how handsome Kyo and Yuki are, it’s quickly apparent that these three were going to end up being comic relief characters. And with the scene right at the end of these three and Momiji, it reinforced the comic relief idea for these three characters.

While we always knew the basics of Uo (that she was a former delinquent who looked up to Kyoko), I appreciate getting to see glimpses of Uo from the past. We learn about her family life, and find out how she and Tohru met. This episode is starting to give a little more depth to Uo as a character, and it helps the audience to care more about her than they already do.

I’m looking forward to next week’s episode, so we can see the ending of the flashback story.

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