This threw me for an absolute loop, from the minute I loaded up the page on Funimation and saw the preview screen of Arisa over the swimsuits to the point where I started the episode and it picked up with the three girls at the pool.
It shocked me because I recognized this content from the manga, but logically, I knew that it came later. So I picked up my volume 5 and skimmed through it, it wasn’t there. So I picked up my volume 6 and skimmed through it, it wasn’t there and lastly, I picked up volume 7 and there it was. It was strange, because I can’t think of a logical reason to switch it to sooner in the story. Not that it really impacts anything, we just get the character backstory for Arisa Unotani a little sooner and a closer look at what kind of person that Tohru’s mother, Kyoko was.
It seems like this will be cut into two episodes, which is fair. The original length of the backstory is approximately three chapters long. It begins with Hanajima, Tohru and Arisa hanging out at the pool and Arisa being sad to see Tohru still wearing her school issued, middle school swimsuit.
Unotani decides that they need to do something about this and the decision is to gather Yuki and Kyo, and buy Tohru a proper swim suit as a gift for all she’s done for them. Honestly, them in the store is just amazing. Sitting in a corner, trying not to look and avoiding wanting to be seen in a place like that. Uo keeps bugging them, first asking if they think a one piece or a bikini would look better. Then, when they refuse to answer that question, she asks about color.
Yuki says blue.
Kyo says orange.
A fight ensues and Hanajima comes over and insists that pink is the answer. Since Kyoko was red, as the crimson butterfly and Tohru’s father who was a straightlaced kind of man was white. Naturally, Tohru is pink. So they buy the swimsuit, but we’re not going to know what it looks like for a while. This my friend, is what I like to call foreshadowing “You’re going to go to the beach sometime.” is perfect set up for later manga events.
They head to a soba place to grab some lunch after they’re done with their shopping and this is where they begin talking about the past.
“It’s surprisingly easy to go bad.”
It’s lines like that, lines that will always be relevant to people. Things like that are what makes this series a classic, this is a story we brush upon lightly in the original version of the anime. Nowhere near the amount of detail though, the first trip home with Tohru to meet with Kyoko. The feelings of betrayal of seeing an idol, not be everything you desired them to be is so much more immensely clear in this version of the story. The crushing disappointment, the sickness and the loneliness.
Honestly, the last scene with Uotani in her room. Curled up, covering her ears to block out the noise and thinking about what she’s missing out on. It’s really sad, and the direction for it was beautiful. We’ll finish up the backstory next week, then probably move back into the content from volume five. I suppose the idea of following the manga means, faithfully adapting the chapters but not always in the right order. I should of learned early on with the early introduction of Momiji to the series not to expect everything to move in chronological order.
The last thoughts I have about this episode, have to do with the delinquent girls stalking Unotani. While I know they are characters in the manga, and all of their in episode actions are part of the actual manga. What was with the part at the end of the episode with them practicing to be proper delinquents at the end of the episode and then running into Momiji. Who just, freaks them out by pretending not to know what they’re saying and straight up just speaking to them in German?
That’s not even like a gag panel or extra chapter. It’s just, random and i’m not sure it was necessary? It’s harmless in the end, it didn’t do anything to effect the flow of the episode or anything. I am just curious about why it was a thing. One of those things we’ll never know I guess.