Citrus is another one of those school shows that go out in mass every season, is the adaptation of a relatively recent manga that is being posted until today, do not expect the anime to have a closed end or even a second season, the anime has nothing beyond being a HOMOSEXUAL ROMANCE, and this is also becoming something more common in fiction. If the show is so normal and mundane, why should I care?
The answer is simple, you should not.
This anime has a story that feels forced on several times and that no one would see for itself, what people really want here is
the yuri sexualization, the Fanservice scenes and the cheap drama, "What's the matter with that?" You must be wondering, and quite simply, works of fiction should NOT be categorized as better or worse depending on the general taste, this does not work, and that is also why the qualification system of that site also does not work to measure the quality of a series .
Art in general was made to serve as a luxury, a differential, since ancient times they made magnificent sculptures and paintings and full of detail that only served to be placed in a corner to adorn a palace, was extremely difficult to enter the world of arts and have a recognized name. You know why? It is because people of the time not only had passion for what they did but also struggled to do a job that they could be proud to show to people.
Whether or not you like this show, I want you to answer the following question:
Would you show this show to any of your relatives?
The answer is no, and you do not have to feel guilty about it, not even the staff or maybe the creator of the manga would have the courage to show it to the family, that's because they're not writing to people, they're writing it for them , they like to watch cute little girls kissing, and consequently, the mentality of the people who attend these shows is the same, no matter if the show needs effort or little effort to be done, what matters are the things that attract the viewer to see it, what people want is not what people need.
If the anime script was good by itself, I would not have much of a problem with FanService or crap like that, but that's not the case, this is an anime that is built around these moments and not an anime that has those moments, and this is not hard to notice if you pay attention to the show. Why did the mother forget such an important detail as telling the protagonist that she would have a sister? Why of all the possible people in school did her sister have to be just what she saw kissing the teacher? Why did the black-haired girl not stay at her grandfather's house instead of going to the protagonist's house? Why did the black-haired girl not ask the protagonist to deliver the cell phone to her instead of taking her strength from her pocket? How did the director not know about your new granddaughter? Was not he curious to see her or at least ask for a photo?
These are doubts that went through my mind during the anime, the answer to them is very simple, it is because the anime needs the hottest moments to get people's attention easily, like most anime this season, but it happens that the construction of these moments does not even make sense or depend on various conveniences, I even believe that some conveniences are important for some works, but in this case they are only there because we need the moments that are the consequence of these.
The anime does not know to be realistic, although the world-building of the series always indicate that this is a normal thing that happens in our world, it does not follow the logic nor the complexity of our world, the characters are empty, the protagonist is the stereotype of Gal, the black haired girl is a serious student who often serves the stereotype of kuudere, the protagonist's friend is only there to be gentle, other characters do not matter or act in the stereotypical way in which they should act (as well as the director and the evil teacher who serves as a plot-device), they are not complex characters and rarely will you see them in a list of favorites.
The last thing I wanted to emphasize in the inaturality of the anime is its romance. Is it serious that a Gal girl becomes a lesbian so quickly just because of a love at first sight or something? This CAN happen in real life, but in a work of fiction this is just a forced and cheap excuse for the script to continue and you do not have to write a more complex script about love and its consequences, works of fiction are not to be ""realistic"", they should be made to perceive the author's effort in the marvel work of his, just as in the past.
everything in this show is as easy and simple to write as possible, people probably know this, people will not come here looking for a great story with an impressive development or nothing like that, people will give in to their fetishes and will see FanService of two girls loving each other, not because it's good, but because that's what they want, this is the biggest mistake of this anime and many others, the reality will only stop being that way if people start to change their way of thinking and demanding more of the media they themselves consume. Good evening.
There is far, far more to Citrus than a fanservice lesbian romance. It seems to me as though when a show like this starts airing, it becomes easy for people to write off any element in the story as a tool to arbitrarily wring out some voyeuristic lesbian action, rather than stopping to think of the purpose it actually holds for the narrative. When a sexual assault occurs, viewers assume that it’s romanticizing such an action and therefore condones it. When an emotional barrier props up, it’s assumed to be nothing more than a tool to pile on more drama. These misconceptions miss the point
of the show completely and dismiss the actual qualities of the story which seem to fly over the heads of viewers without the proper mindset. Citrus is the story of a naive girl with a fantastical view of what love is like, with her love life turning out completely different from what she envisioned. Her love interest is not only the same gender and a new family member, but one who is broken, emotionally distant, and incapable of communicating with people normally. These are characters with tons of baggage, dealing with the many complications that come with being in a love relationship, particularly one that is unusual and taboo. They desperately try to understand one another as well as their own selves, making their way through a series of ordeals neither of them expected to be a part of.
The first thing I'd like to address is Mei Aihara as a character. Mei’s actions in the story undeniably walk on the borderline of sexual assault, but the show makes no attempt whatsoever to condone or justify them, nor are they implied to be a usual or healthy way of catalyzing a relationship. It’s important to know that there is a clear distinction between depiction and endorsement. Another thing is that Mei never inflicts actual physical harm on Yuzu, and she’s stopped completely before she reaches second base. Because of this, Mei isn’t irredeemable like a legitimate rapist would be. If Mei went to the point of penetration, the effect on Yuzu would have been far, far worse, and she would never think to sympathize with Mei’s predicament. Luckily, this is never the case and the way she is portrayed strikes a balance. Mei is a broken individual, but never does anything heinous enough to rob her of any likeability whatsoever from viewers and the characters. To put it simply, it isn’t rape. It’s forceful and unwanted, as it’s intended to be, but never comes close to actual rape.
Mei is a character who has no conception of right and wrong, let alone the idea of consent, and has never been shown, or had any experience of, what a true romantic relationship is like. The only proper relationship she has ever had in life was with her father. After he left, Mei felt as if she was being abandoned by the only one she was ever truly close to. It’s clear that prior to where the main story begins, Mei has had no emotional support ever since her father’s absence. She is used and neglected by her grandfather, is constantly taken advantage of by her fiancée, and is under perpetual social pressure to follow her duties accordingly for days on end.
As a result, Mei’s attitude towards romantic and sexual relationships is completely distorted. Her one and only understanding of love relationships is through physical contact, of which she uses to control people just as she has been controlled herself. This is symptomatic of being in a sexually abusive relationship like she had with her first fiancée; she doesn’t value her own body and is incapable of interacting with people normally. In many situations, whether it's a love relationship or otherwise, Mei passively accepts everything that is piled on her with no concern for her own well being, a trait that is consistently apparent over the course of the story. On the other end, her way of taking control of situations is her sexual advances towards Yuzu, who understandably objects to these actions. The main point is that Mei only acts in the way she knows how. This conflict of hers isn’t a singular matter, but numerous elements about her past and how she was raised which come together creating the version of Mei we see throughout the story. Mei is depraved, misguided, and some could even say mentally ill. And again, none of these elements are used to justify Mei's behavior. It's merely a case of cause and effect, one which leaves morality out of the question entirely.
Being so used to her strict upbringing, Mei frames every scenario as a bargain or exchange rather than a desire, even if she doesn't necessarily intend it. Her feeling obligated to follow in the footsteps of her father to gain his affection encapsulates this quite well. Having received no unconditional love since her father’s disappearance, this is the way of thinking which governs almost all of the decisions she makes. For this reason, she’s perplexed as to why Yuzu bothers to do all these unconditional favors. The answer to this is simple: Yuzu cares about Mei. Unconditional love is a foreign concept to Mei, and this trait continues to subconsciously affect her even long after she has experienced the true virtues of a love relationship. (*cue the beginning of episode 10*)
The psychology of Mei is one of the main things which the story lives through, and is one of the most fascinating things to ever come out of Citrus. As frustrating as her actions can be at times, the consistency of her character and the relatability of her plight makes her highly sympathetic, and as such Yuzu’s efforts to make things right for her, however reckless and brash, are very admirable. When you consider everything I've previously stated, it turns out that Mei has every reason to act and behave the way she does. The problems she faces are realistic and believable in practically every fashion, and both her attitude and behavior are perfectly sensical as long as the viewer bothers to take the time to understand the perpetual turmoil she goes through.
The way she gradually becomes more open to Yuzu about her feelings and personal issues, is a cathartic and satisfying affair in and of itself, and it’s kept at natural pace throughout. What’s truly commendable, however, is how many instances of her development are deliberately presented for us to infer on our own, rather than being told directly and explicitly. Here’s one particular example of this:
**SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 7 AND 8 BEGIN HERE**
The exact moment when Mei truly falls in love with Yuzu is the time when Matsuri forcibly kisses Yuzu out in the open. This is all indicated through her sudden change in behavior compared to before. She is now less grim in her expressions around Yuzu, and looks slightly more sentimental. Her actions convey this even further, such as the way she compliments Yuzu for the meal that was made. The day after that, Matsuri is shown to be envious of Mei continually deriving attention from Yuzu at the expense of Matsuri’s, causing her to shove off. This causes Mei to feel guilty, having created distance between Yuzu and one of her closest friends. This is where she first experiences the baggage that comes from being in love.
**SPOILERS END HERE**
The reason this works in service to the narrative is so viewers are put into the perspective of Yuzu herself. She struggles to understand Mei, using signs in her behavior to understand what she feels. Mei is deliberately presented just as enigmatically as she is to everyone else, possibly even herself.
With so much about Mei already covered, it’s only fair that the other heroine, Yuzu, is given the same treatment. Yuzu at the start has an idealistic view of the life that lies before her. She acts with unrelenting confidence in almost all occasions, expecting everything to go smoothly and perfectly in line with what she envisions. I think I speak for most people when I say that when we were young teenagers, our ways of thinking were hardly any different. We’ve had strong ambitions of our own, believing we could achieve them all without entirely knowing the reality of certain situations. Of course, like most teenagers, the decisions that Yuzu makes are not always wise. Quite rarely so, in fact. She often does things, with or without good intentions, unperturbed by any potential consequences they could raise. Her greeting with the chairman is a particularly good example of this. Having become a new addition to his family, she approaches him expecting to be welcomed with open arms. Instead she’s scolded for her meddlesome behavior and unruly fashion choices.
Additionally, one of the primary things on her mind after learning about her mother’s remarriage is how much wealth and privilege she has attained, even shamelessly announcing her status to the whole academy through a mic. By the time her feelings for Mei are fully realized, her infatuation with her new status as the chairman’s granddaughter seems to have disappeared without a trace. Her pursuit has entirely moved on from material gain to the well being of Mei. This signifies growth of her character, but is also a mark of good character writing. The sudden absence of this character trait tells us simply and immediately that Yuzu has matured and come to terms with what actually matters.
As for her relationship with Mei, Yuzu is on a constant struggle to comprehend her feelings. She knows that something is amiss about Mei, invoking a feeling of concern. At other times, she wonders if what she does hurts Mei more than it helps. This confusion is a result of their inability to communicate with each other effectively and coherently, mimicking typical romance between teenagers more than people seem to realize. Yuzu doesn’t understand Mei, and by extension doesn’t know how to act around her. The two of them had been raised in completely different conditions, and thus operate and communicate differently from one another.
It’s obvious that Yuzu has an unfaltering love for Mei, but one obstacle she must overcome is resisting the urge to give in to her superficial desires, and pursuing what is realistically best for Mei in the long run. At one point her only choice is to put her love for Mei aside and to treat her as a sister. Although she does all these things selflessly she still has a degree of self-preservation, in stark contrast to Mei. What Citrus does well is distinguishing the superficial aspects of love from the emotional aspects. Crushes aren’t developed through logic, and our own real life experiences prove as much. What this series explores is the multitude of consequences that come with loving someone. In this case, it’s dealing with the complications of being in a love relationship with your step-sister.
Differentiating perceptions of love are what pervade a majority of the cast in Citrus. The students at Aihara Academy all knowingly grew up in an environment where sexual experimentation is a normality. Of course I can’t speak from experience, but to my knowledge this mimics reality in Japan. Referred to as Class S, it’s common for girls in school to have crushes on other female classmates, forming bonds with them. These bonds could be described as romantic, but the sexual aspect of the attraction is out of the equation entirely, assuming they’re straight. It’s telling that a Japanese audience would have a far better understanding of this kind of story, and the positive reception of Citrus in Japan compared to the west is evidence of this.
Harumin really emulates this concept more than the others. She is essentially a direct foil to Yuzu in how sexual relationships are perceived. For Harumin, particular actions between couples are a source of curiosity. By contrast, Yuzu thinks about what these actions mean for the relationship. The most obvious example is arguably when the two eavesdrop on Amamiya’s phone call. However, one other particular moment drives this home more than any other. Harumin discovers the yuri incest manga Yuzu was reading. Fascinated, she puts herself in a scissoring position with Yuzu. She’s so confident in her heterosexuality that doing this means nothing to her. Yuzu on the other hand recognizes this as an expression of love, and thus is highly discomforted by this scenario. This is largely presented as a comedy moment, but it does a lot to signify the differences in their characterization. It also benefits in a way from being depicted in such an over-the-top manner.
Harumin acts as a companion to Yuzu all the way through to the end, but in reality she isn’t able to truly understand what Yuzu is going through, regardless of how much she thinks she does. This is also the reason Yuzu decides to take on these tasks by herself, because she’s the only one who truly understands. We can also assume that she keeps it to herself in fear that Harumin wouldn’t accept her for being in such a taboo relationship. After all, this is why she keeps it a secret to Matsuri and anyone else outside the school campus.
Moving on from the characters, I bear no hesitation saying that the plot of Citrus is undoubtedly its weakest aspect. Although the events it strings together can catch viewers off-guard, maintaining a dash of unpredictability in the whole adventure, it all too often relies on contrivances. Coincidences in fictional stories aren’t inherently a bad thing. The reason I can accept the reveal of Mei as Yuzu’s new sister is because it’s so early in the story. In fact, it’s arguably made better for the fact that it’s coincidental, as it comes as a shock to both the audience and Yuzu herself. However, the numerous contrivances beyond this point become harder and harder to swallow as they come by. The way that some situations are arbitrarily resolved through circumstance, rather than on behalf of a character, doesn’t do the plot much favors either.
Each story arc in Citrus presents a barrier in Mei’s psyche which is resolved with every passing conclusion. Every resolve is satisfying in its own right as it brings Mei further out of her shell whilst bringing her and Yuzu closer together. It’s apparent that new characters are introduced to fill a certain role in these affairs, but the focus on Yuzu and Mei is unrelenting and the characters serve their purpose quite well. To start with, Himeko "Twindrills" Momokino at first appears to be quite the villain, but she actually shares traits with both Yuzu and Mei, and even has strikingly similar motivations. Like Yuzu, she has an unfaltering love for Mei, arguably in a “romantic friendship” sort of way as opposed to sexual attraction, and goes to great lengths to claim her affection. Like Mei, she is both dedicated to her job and remarkably strict with school regulations. Her intentions are what make her a rival to Yuzu, and then later bring them to a resolve. They wish the best for Mei, but are oblivious to her true feelings. Matsuri is a character acting as a parallel to Mei. Only instead of closing herself off, she seeks attention. In the worst ways. Her rebellious nature and sinister antics make her a worthy addition to the cast. It’s not done just for the sake of it though. It’s a situation where Mei sees her own self and is willing to make amends for someone Yuzu is close to.
The arc with the Tachibana sisters is considered by many to be the weakest arc in the series, and I am no exception. While it serves its purpose well and the payoff is rewarding, it isn’t put together nearly as well as the others. I think what it sets out to do doesn’t warrant new characters to be introduced into the middle of the whole dilemma where their intrusion can be seen as more frustrating than serviceable, especially when those characters lack depth. The situation between Mei and Yuzu at this point is already complicated as it is, so piling more characters on top of these complications is more of an annoyance than anything else. I think other less irritating methods would have served the function of this arc quite well without having to bring the sisters into the mix. It also doesn’t help that in this arc, conveniences pile up even more than in any other, even attempting to sidestep this with “fate” and “destiny.”
As I said before though, the payoff is largely worth it in the end. It’s not necessarily a case where the abundant problems in this arc can be forgotten, but rather forgiven. This arc is an unfortunate blemish on an otherwise great story overall.
The dialogue of Citrus is also worth commenting on. It’s no Shakespearean writing, but it feels natural and works in service to whatever is going on. The characters’ lines are filled with personality and subtext which makes conversations feel alive. Characters are also quick to point out irony in another’s lines, making the exchanges even more human. Certain moments in dialogue are quite significant and memorable for how expressive they are and how it piles emotion into the situation. The scene where Mei and Yuzu are on a bench on a cold winter day is a good example.
With all that said, I think it’s finally time to traverse into how Citrus fares in the audio/visual department. Regarding the visual front of the Citrus anime adaptation, it’s very solid in its own right, but also has its shortcomings. Obviously it would be unreasonable to expect the level of quality in the manga’s art to be fully translated into a costly animated product, especially with a studio like Passione. I will say one thing though. One of the main things which I believe gave the manga so much of its charm and made it so appealing to many, was how expressive the characters are. Characters, especially Yuzu, would regularly emote and make different facial expressions for many situations. This also happens to the anime to some degree, but not frequently enough to where it captures the manga’s original charm. It’s much rarer in the anime for characters to deviate from their default expressions, making the experience somewhat more sterile. Perhaps this was to cut down on budget costs, or it was a design choice on behalf of the director. Whatever the case, I find it to be a disappointment. Additionally, the animation quality at times leaves much to be desired, which I can only hope will be rectified in some degree in the upcoming BDs. One of the fronts I was most impressed by in this adaption was the soundtrack. It genuinely surprised me with how good the music was in this adaptation. It’s vibrant, diverse, and well-utilized most of the time.
So that concludes my review of Citrus. The story at large is quite rough around the edges with its frequent use of coincidences. It’s also arguably flawed in how many things are framed as a formulaic routine. With a new girl continually intruding on the situation, it’s admittedly easy to feel some degree of frustration. The core story however, with the two main leads, remains very strong. Various facets of their character are explored well and brought to a satisfying resolve. That said, there are many loose ends in the story yet to be tied up, in which case I can only hope a second season will be made eventually to adapt the rest of the source material to complement the anime-viewing experience. All things considered, however, Citrus is a great anime overall. One of the things which motivated me to write this review was to address the criticisms this show had been receiving. If you have already seen this anime, and anything I’ve said gave you something to think about, then perhaps it deserves a second viewing. For a show so widely shunned as being a lesbian fanservice show, the story of Citrus is one that anyone, gay or straight, male or female, can relate to on any level.
Citrus challenges today's anime standards by introducing interesting topics like "How cringy can character dialogue become in an anime until I drop it?" and "Is it sexual assault if I kiss my step sister without consent...and get away with it?"
This is by far the worst anime I've seen this year and I'm just 4 episodes in. Dialogue doesn't feel natural at all, exposition is thrown in my face every second and characters don't make any sense.
The pacing of Citrus is way too fast and we never get any real sense of knowing how to feel about a moment. There is a scene where Mei kisses
her sister in the first epiosde without her consent and it feels super uncomfortable but next episode, the main character pretends like this thing was super romantic, not literally, but this is what it feels like.
Animation is also something we should talk about. It commendable that the director actually changes the clothes of the main character multiple times, which isn't done as often as you might think, but the actual animation is piss poor and the art still suffers from time to time. It's also sad that nothing about this animation seems to have any personality.
Now on to the topic of Gay bait. Is this show some gay bait for people that browse through tumblr and twitter 24/7? Yes. Yes it is. Instead of developing a genuine, natural romance between two highschool students that happen to be girls, we get some of the most rapey, uncomfortable Yuri scenes I had the displeasure to watch. It is amazing how people are willing to justify abusive and toxic romance as long as it's gay.
If you want to watch a shitty gay Telenovela in anime form, then boy, is Citrus the anime for you.
Tinseltown has been coming under fire as of late. Celebrities' misdeeds are being exposed publicly on a weekly basis like a new sporting event. The #MeToo movement giving a platform to voice sex scandals that have gone unnoticed for far too long. Scrolling through your timeline, plastered on the TV screen, announced over the radio during daily commutes, the subject matter of countless memes, the focal point of water-cooler conversations; no matter where you turn, there it is. Accusation after accusation. Transforming popular figures into pervert pariahs overnight. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, Louis C.K., Dustin Hoffman, Brett Ratner, James Woods, Bryan Singer, Casey
Affleck; an endless potpourri of bigwigs—the 21st Century witch hunt in full swing. No one is safe.
And while all of this is going on, halfway across the globe, there's Citrus, minding its own business as it idly trolls along turning sexual assault into a provocative byproduct of step-sisters "bickering." While people are pooling together with torches and pitchforks in hand, shining a light on any sexual misconduct occurring in the dark recesses of the entertainment industry, Studio Passione persists with the biggest "whatever bro" shoulder shrug. What the rest of the world concerns itself with isn't going to stop them from showing girls casually molesting each other on their scheduled programming. It's actually pretty impressive. Fucked up, but impressive nonetheless. I guess you could extend that sentiment to Japan in general. Creating "fucked up shit" in a carefree manner has become something like their calling card:
Has mass-shootings and domestic terrorism been a hot-button issue? Well here, have some Inuyashiki. Concerned with gender politics? Don't worry, we got you covered with Skirt no Naka wa Kedamono Deshita. "If you want it, we got it." seems to be the motto, as they peddle anything and everything in the endless pursuit of creative freedom. Which brings us to latest foray into the "fucked up shit" unofficial canon, Citrus.
From the land that gave us distinct high-school dramas like Orange, we're handed Citrus, the undesirable fruit.
The anime tells the tale of– oh, who are we kidding? It's about sexy-time with female characters. It's all lip service unless it "services the lips" of the females involved.
It's pretty average-looking too, the ugly kind of average-looking.
Hoards of CGI models in green linen jackets. Flat buildings without detail, walls bare of personality. Real-life inspired locations washed of any distinct features. Stainless steel structures, straight shapes stretching on endlessly without purpose, without care. Floorboards and walkways copied and pasted into an endless loop of lethargic worldbuilding. A kind of artificial sheen to everything. Devoid of human touch, the undeniable look of computer-generated polish. Clinically sterile and evenly lit. The feeling of being done to the bare minimum. Uninspired. Uncaring. Unconcerned with anything unless it's "sexy-time," and even then, it's barely a passing grade.
Everyone has dark hair and moves forward in a unified step as if puppets to their boring world. A lifeless march towards an all-girl school, a place where our Yuzu would be attending. Yuzu Aihara is the rowdy rebel, our ball of "life" in a world lacking it, and unfortunately our main lead as well. The unlikable side character in any other show given a chance to take center-stage to problematic results. Makeup caked on, strawberry blonde hair puffed up, cleavage out in the sun, skirt hacked up, buttermilk tan, all manner of frilly things, school outfit altered beyond recognition, a personality as loud as her appearance; a self-proclaimed gyaru and a shameless attention-seeker at that—this is "much deep" cuz spunky gurl in a world of conformists.
And standing as her polar opposite, there's Mei Aihara, a soon-to-be molester dressed up as a Mary Sue. She suffers heavily from PerfectGirl-syndrome: honor-role pupil, top of her class, student council president, poised, admired by everyone, the chairman's granddaughter, built like a walkway model, good at literally everything she does. She probably farts out Chanel No. 5 too. You get the drill, she's as interesting as wallpaper. Perfect to a sickening degree. Well, that's all before she decided to turn her new step-sister, Ms. Rowdy Rebel, into her personal play-thing.
And who better to bring this together than Takeo Takahashi, a man that's equally known for his hentai contributions as he is his "safe for work" content.
Citrus certainly has that kind of attribute to it. That sort of sleazy undercurrent that flows throughout every moment, well-intention or otherwise. Camera-panning that ogles the female form without concern for respecting boundaries. Narrative threads meant to help audiences relate to the cast quickly expedited to get to the next sexual encounter. Endless monologues for every characters' dilemma—subtlety isn't allowed in this universe. A sense of objectification, even if it's in regards to actions expressed with consent. Nothing is ever pure. Everything smeared with the fingerprints of hedonistic high-gloss.
Even smut like 2017's Scum's Wish, at the very least, had small spurts of respect displayed for its cast, occasionally loosening its vice grip to allow a chance to express feelings openly. By comparison, everything in Citrus feels bought off. An act of slave-like procurement over the characters' bodies that's too readily apparent to ignore. Awkward half-chubs spurred on by involuntary stimuli. In a meta-sense, we're also made victims of visual misconduct (go figure). It's the kind of eroticism that arrives quickly and leaves you feeling dirty.
An anime that will have a heated shower scene where non-consensual groping occurs, then follow it up with this dialogue exchange:
"No!"–Yuzu pushes away in abject horror– "Why are you doing this!?"–her eyes closed, as she stands there naked and vulnerable.
Mei innocently answers back without hesitation, a tone of motherly matter-of-factness:
"Because you looked like you wanted me to touch you."
The scene ends, never to properly address the disturbing exchange again.
As long as the money shot was secured and a few man-tents were pitched, nothing else matters.
This is the kind of "feeling dirty" I'm referring to.
I love perverted content as much as the next guy, but sometimes, what Citrus attempts to do is genuinely off-putting. Sexual harassment shouldn't be confused with love. And if it is, a level of accountability needs to be put in place to avoid idealistic handwaving. But this is a show that thinks that if it holds a "this is wrong" PSA after it indulges in sexual misconduct, that it's suddenly not culpable of wrongdoing. An anime that sells Stockholm syndrome as a shot of Cupid's arrow. Where fighting sexual harassment with sexual harassment is treated as an actual solution. Serious issues trivialized to create marketable eroticism and comedic gags.
Any act of earnestness is completely lost in a title devoid of finesse. After a while, you sort of just roll with it. Jokes at the expense of serious issues. Illogical reasoning made by characters to justify their actions. You might even buy into the lack of audiovisual effort as a part of the "theme" to contrast everything against Yuzu's personality. Of course, you'll be wrong, as even her living quarters and look has been rendered flaccid, lacking in any sense of creative vitality or noticeable effort. It's all very surface-level. Pedestrian sleaze that isn't arousing enough to keep the Kleenex nearby nor respectful enough to genuinely stimulate discussions regarding the content on display.
And that's perhaps this show's biggest downfall in a nutshell: it's vanilla, but a souring type of vanilla.
A type of middling existence occupied by works of far more distinction than itself. If you're interested in the taboo themes that this anime addresses, there's no need to compromise with inferior goods to get your fix. There are better alternatives out there for those actually seeking integrity (Koi Kaze) or far more titillating eye-candy (Scum's Wish). Why settle for vanilla in a world full of flavor just waiting to be discovered? Is Citrus entertaining? Sure, at times. But when 17-minutes of content is glazed over just for 3-minutes of "sexy-time," and the "sexy-time" itself is neither well-animated or concerned with addressing the elephant in the room that surrounds its content; at that point, what you're left with is a show whose sole purpose for existing is left dead in the water from the moment it dives in.
Some spectators consider themselves sophisticated, modern and avant-garde. However, when they become aware of some social taboos, they change their mind and create a disapproval towards some topics. One example, the lesbian romance. Citrus has potential but fails with some distasteful scenes as described below.
The Ugly: The story mistake love with rape and forces affection from a lame sexual assault. In this world, Weinstein’s behavior would be considered romantic and not the act of a sick predator.
The Good: As the plot progress you can observe the protagonists’ insecurity, problems, and feelings.
The Bad: Unrealistic begin. Some characters are not well developed because the time
is not enough to let them grow.
Citrus introduces a homosexual storyline where we can see a lesbian nexus, yet you don’t need to fear it. No matter your gender, you can enjoy some parts of the narrative. The plot isn’t as bad as some writers want us to believe, but it’s not surprising either. Besides, the series begins with some weird and awkward moments that sink the possibility of a good romance, and I consider them fictional and unrealistic. On the other hand, Citrus emphasize the inexperience and the doubts in a relationship and tries to establish a link between the protagonists. In some scenes, you can sense the character’s feelings. Sadly, in this modern era the taboo persists, perhaps for a woman, it is easier to tolerate this type of bond. Finally, Citrus is a Yuri anime, if you cannot bear this kind of affinity, it is better to stand aside and ignore the adaptation, or you might end up disappointed.
The story isn’t as marvelous as you can expect, the author sometimes mistakes rape with love, though. Also, the only way explored to conceive the romance is through the physical force. For example, it is ridiculous comparing intimacy with a sexual assault under the diplomatic motto “since I love you, I can obligate you to adore me.” In a real world, this concept will be judged as rude and out of place, it will generate repulsion, a restriction order and could end with a visit to the jail. Those actions could lead the spectator to misinterpret the characters’ feelings and leaves the personal problems, fears, doubts, the lack of experience, and psychological aspects in the missing objects box. In the case of Yuzu, she does not know how to approach Mei, so the storyteller merely throws her over Mei literally, and the latter doesn’t hesitate to assault Yuzu. Can you accept it as a romance? Furthermore, this keeps happening during all the adaptation. If you read the manga, those scenes aren’t intrusive, you can pass them faster but in the anime the director focus and prolong them. Call it fanservice, hentai or sexual harassment; it does not fit the feeling setting momentum.
In addition, this erroneous idea creates a false meaning of a lesbian link. From my perspective, a lesbian is like a straight; the relationship rules are alike. Why does the author use a weird and a wrong approach to initiate the attraction? Thus far, the plot fails on producing a good start for the romantic connection, it just leads the characters to a forced rape, deceiving the spectators with a cheap and fake drama.
Nevertheless, the narration improves as it advances. I am not considering Citrus as a masterpiece, but the progression is acceptable. As the series continues, we can observe the inexperience of a usual acquaintance, the doubts, the pain, the suffering of the protagonists delivering the audience a better development and a different perspective. While the story picks up, it still has some defects such as the recurrent fanservice. If the social taboos do not slant the viewer, you could enjoy Citrus, though.
Unfortunately, the lack of sense at the beginning ruins the possibility of a more vibrant narrative, a palpable romance and leads to the audience’s boredom. Going further, you can notice some pacing problems. You need to be honest with yourself because some characters were just placed to fill a scene. The casual spectator will only watch the first episodes and decide if skipping the show. Since the issues appear from the start, Citrus will be readily considered a bit grotesque, a raw passion and a potential drop.
Finally, the overused sexual assault as a “comedy” (for some) or as a “romance” change the plot and the enjoyment. If you can survive those scenes, you can see the character’s authentic feelings. Honestly, I like Citrus manga, but the anime has been highly criticized by some unpleasant development that leads to a different meaning. In conclusion, you cannot compare intimacy with ravishment, and you cannot exploit the sexual assault to propel a romantic or comedic moment. For some viewers that scenes show affection, for others is a rape. In my case, SOME are sexual abuse and unnecessary. Lastly, the twelve episodes present a portion of the story and not all the published material and the most significant parts of the series still on the source.
Yuzu. In the beginning, she displays some atypical feelings for Mei. Since she has no experience in love or relationships, she could fool the viewers with her naivety, show an emptiness and a similarity with a mundane generic girl. However, as the story progresses, we can see her emotions, problems and real doubts.
Mei. Some can judge her as a cold and expressionless robot. Since she is the school president, she might look strong. Nevertheless, inside she is baffled and seeks to follow her dad’s steps. She will give up everything to keep alive her family legacy and traditions. Also, she cannot communicate her emotions and has vast inexperience in the relationship area. Thus, always leads her to mistake love with sexual assault or perhaps she just enjoys doing that.
Matsuri. I consider her introduction misplaced. From nowhere she arrives and creates some problems just because Mei needs an opponent. Her feelings for Yuzu are vaguely explained.
Sara: Added in a similar way to Matsuri but her nature is the opposite. She is Yuzu’s rival, and her sentiments appear almost instantly.
The rest of the characters help the narrative progression such as Harumi and Himeko.
The art and sound
Technically speaking, Citrus has a beautiful animation, clean and fluid with excellent drawings catching your attention. Despite the plot issues, you will enjoy it. The camera angles and planes blend well with the narrative and the emotions; they focus on the details. One negative aspect, the unnecessary fanservice scenes. You could misinterpret them and will sink the real story.
The series has good sound. They give us a remarkable OP and ED. Honestly, I like the OP, the tune and rhythm combined with the lyrics create a fabulous composition.
Citrus isn’t an anime for all tastes. The social taboo may make the observer indispose from the beginning. However, after some episodes, the story improves, and you can feel some character’s emotions. I like some aspects of the plot. It isn’t perfect and has a weird unrealistic start letting you with a big question mark, “is it going to be worth my time?” Thus, in combination with the “sexual assault” scenes could lead your apathetic side and make you drop the series. Finally, the manga is superior. It shows a significant evolution with better pacing. I understand, sometimes most of the spectators avoid this genre, but if you reached this point of my review, perhaps you could watch the anime and read the source to feel Yuzu’s emotions in a more desirable approach. I wanted to give Citrus a high score my conviction prevents me. I cannot accept the constant use of a sexual assault as a romantic or comedic filler that impacts the plot negatively. As I said, Citrus isn’t for all the tastes.
Lastly and talking in general, you need to be broad-minded and don’t bury a show just for a sexual preference. You can criticize but don’t stigmatize the lesbian topic. If you dislike the story, skip it.
If I got a dollar every time this show featured a kiss scene, I’d probably be filthy rich now. No, not really but you have to admit, there’s almost an absurd amount of kissing in this show known as “Citrus”. To me, this show is a modern example of a trashy soap opera made with the intention of cash grab.
Adapted by the manga of the same name, Citrus is one of the few series in recent years that decided to take on the idea of lesbianism and turn it into a modern day drama. In anime form, it’s defined more as yuri/shoujo-ai. As someone
who has read parts of the manga, Citrus focuses on the concept of female relationships. Unfortunately, I can’t really express any hope after reading the manga. This anime adaptation set off red flags from the start and isn’t able to fix them. It’s a shame really.
Diving into this show may feel a little uncomfortable at first if you’re not used to this type of genre. The first few episodes makes it clear that there’s more going on between main characters Yuzu and Mei. Although they don’t have similar personalities, it’s shown that Yuzu feels an uneasy attraction towards Mei after getting into some compromising positions with her. Throughout the show, the both of them engage in many activities that adheres to lesbianism. The anime doesn’t hide the fact that there’s seems to be mutual attraction as each episode ventures on. Other characters gets involved in their story but the main focus is on this pair. And to be honest, it feels pretty embarrassing to watch. The show tries to be a love story but instead filled with laughably bad dialogue and clichés. I also can’t remember the number of times I shook my head at how their relationship developed. That’s actually what holds the show back a lot. Relationship dynamics in Citrus dances with an immense amount of teenage feelings and attempts to make it seem complicated. However, it ends up being washed up with little value and doesn’t seem to know what to make of its characters.
Individually, Yuzu and Mei aren’t actually bad characters. At least from a realistic point of view, Yuzu is a normal girl who wants to explore romance and grow up. She’s also a bit of a daredevil and isn’t afraid to speak her mind or help others when in need. On the other hand, there’s Mei with a personality as cold as the snow. My impression of Mei is someone who would be incredibly difficult to be friends with. Her values are high standard and she never seems to let people get close to her, with perhaps the exception of Yuzu. We also get some background story about the two characters in later episodes to make viewers understand them more. However, that’s pretty much the extent of it. Yuzu and Mei are basically carrying this show while other characters are hardly worth talking about. I mean, there’s Yuzu’s best friend Himeko but she gets annoying every time her mouth opens. Harumi Taniguchi’s borderline obsession with Mei is incredibly obnoxious to watch. Oh and who can forget about Matsuri? It seems the show tries to make the audience hate her as much as possible. The Tachibana sisters introduced in later episodes are hardly likable either with their oddball personalities. The point is, most of these characters are one dimensional and hardly develops. In fact, I would say the characterization in this show really shoots itself in the foot with how certain episodes conclude. And that’s too bad really.
Besides the characters and story, it seems Citrus loves to service the fans. While it’s not as explicit as some scenes in the manga, there’s quite a bit of kissing in the show. If you fancy make out scenes and yuri fan service, then this might be the type of show for you. I’m not going to lie though, it can be a bit of guilty pleasure at times. However, it gets tedious fast and after you’ve seen it a dozen times, it almost feels senseless. That being said, Citrus does do what it’s intended to do: bring out teenage feelings from characters and making a trite soap opera out of it.
If there’s one thing to smile upon Citrus, it would definitely be the visual quality. To put it simply, the show is vibrant, colorful, and is full of life. The character designs are attractive and really enhances the feminine charms of the cast such as Yuzu and the Tachibana sisters. The way characters expresses their emotions is also highlighted through the choreography that’s hard to ignore. In many ways, the technical quality of Citrus is a sight for eyes to feast on. Whether it’s the fan service or characters themselves, it’s definitely there to impress.
There’s not too much to go on about soundtrack as both theme songs gets its point across with the teenage drama style performance. However, the character voice mannerism is what makes some of the characters feel consistent with their roles. Yuzu is the most prominent example as she often speaks her mind and has a voice to match with her personality. Mei has a much colder voice tone that reflects her reserved persona. However, there’s also other characters that I can hardly stand whenever they speak. In particular, Matsuri’s voice sounds like she’s a 12 year old. Get ready for the ear plugs…
By the time I finished Citrus, I had to question myself why the anime is even called that. The literal definition of Citrus is a type of fruit that has somewhat of a sweet and bitter flavor. Does that stand as a personification of the show’s themes? Who knows but I honestly find this show more than just bittersweet. What could have been a chance to make monumental history turned into a sour experience.
First - ignore all the hate directed at Citrus online. Give it a chance and make up your own mind. Other reviews and discussions will mock you for enjoying something they call trashy and melodramatic. They mock you for being entertained by something they have deemed so basic and depraved. And yet, after you've watched a few episodes you're thinking, 'why do I like this so much and why do I want to see more if everyone says this is garbage?'
It's because Saburouta is punching WAY above her weight on Citrus. It's like someone took Jane Austen and plonked her
down in modern day Japan and asked her to write a yuri manga. Yes, the very thing that all those haters will mock you for seeing in Citrus that they claim doesn't actually exist - the excellent writing, the deep character development, the touching emotional content - really is there, and it's been written quite purposefully and skillfully.
To begin, let's put aside that this is yuri for the moment. Yes, you know it is, I know it is, everyone knows it is. But the point of Citrus is absolutely not the fact that it's yuri. Saburouta could have written this story with two asexually reproducing spores as the main characters and it would have been equally as compelling. The fact that it's yuri is not implicitly fan-service, and if you've read the manga you will know that Saburouta dishes out the fan service in such tiny servings as to lack any nourishment whatsoever. More on why this is an issue in a moment.
Let's get the other elephant in the room out of the way - the non-consensual sexual content in the first episodes/manga issues. Remember that this is a work of fiction and the reader is not meant to condone or approve of the actions of any of the characters. This is the classic dramatic question of, "is evil something you are or something you do?" To begin with, Mei has been taken advantage of, used, and basically treated like an automaton by dear old gramps ever since her Dad left (we'll get to that later). At the beginning of the story, there is no Mei - there is just a robot that does what needs to be done in the name of the Aihara family. She has no mother, no father, and the only affection she has ever known has been the cruel affection of the jerk teacher that she was arranged to marry even though he was planning on leaving her once he had the academy. She has literally never had a proper emotional relationship with anyone, and all she understands is the use of physical affection as a means of controlling others, as she has been controlled herself. But yes, you say, Mei should know better. She should know the difference between right and wrong! Oh really? Who taught Mei right from wrong? That's right, no one! She's acting out the only way she knows how. And, by the end of episode nine after the run-in with Matsuri - shock of all shocks, Mei has learned right from wrong because never again in the entire series do we see Mei act this way. And guess who teaches Mei wrong from right by her actions - Yuzu does.
I'd also like to address the actions of Matsuri that a lot of people have a problem with - don't forget that Matsuri is just a kid. Remember being a kid? Remember how bad your judgement was, and how you did a lot of stupid things that people called you out for? Again, you say, Matsuri should know right from wrong. But again, who taught her right from wrong - her workaholic, absent parents? Right. Matsuri isn't capable of understanding the consequences of her actions, something that Yuzu points out to her several times. "Relationships are not a game" and "love does not come as easily as it does in a manga" says Yuzu to Matsuri. Matsuri is similar to Mei (as Mei informs her on the train, and why Mei forgives Matsuri so easily) in that Matsuri is literally a kid alone in the world. But instead of closing herself off to the rest of the world like Mei did, Matsuri sought out attention - the bad kind - online with her "clients". Mei isn't joking or being self-sacrificing when she tells Yuzu "that girls needs you". Mei understands more than anyone, despite Matsuri's actions, that Matsuri needs a source of goodness and love in her life. This is why Mei says that Yuzu is "one of those meddlesome people who give you love even though you didn't ask for it". By the end of episode nine, Matsuri has very subtly grown as a person and again, never does any of that bad stuff again for the rest of the series (so far).
Let's get to the relationship between Yuzu and Mei. They are, quite literally and figuratively, the yin to the other's yang. And let's get one thing out of the way right now - Mei and Yuzu are as gay as the day is long from the outset. This is why I said this story could have been about two asexually reproducing spores - the fact that they are gay has nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing to do with this story. Why do I say this? Because neither Yuzu or Mei are struggling with their sexuality, ever. Being gay is so natural to them that they never question it. Need proof? Remember the scene where Yuzu is reading the sister manga, and Harumin (who wins as best friend in a manga/anime ever btw) suddenly scissors her. Yuzu *freaks out* and Harumin says "this book shows positions for two women". Why is Harumin so casual and Yuzu so freaked out? Because to Harumin, that position means literally nothing other than a curiousity - Harumin is so confident in her heterosexuality that she can do that without worrying what it means. Yuzu, on the other hand, is mortified because scissoring means something completely different to her - it means an expression of love, an expression of love she one days hopes to share with Mei. Which is what makes it such an uncomfortable situation with Harumin, for whom she has only a friendship type of love.
And Mei, well, Mei is just super gay. And this is where Citrus is worth a deeper look and a rewatch or two. The thing you need to know about Mei is that she falls for Yuzu *for real* in episode eight. You know after Yuzu takes Mei to say goodbye to her father, Shou? After Mei sees Matsuri awkwardly kissing Yuzu in the street? Yeah - right there. That's where Mei falls for Yuzu. The cute little finger twidding scene with her stuffed bear followed by the passionate hug of Yuzu - right there. And here's where the central conflict of the series begins: Mei simultaneously loves Yuzu but also wants to push Yuzu away because of all the baggage that comes with loving Yuzu. Mei is pissed off with herself for being in love with Yuzu, and every interaction for the rest of the anime/manga is an expression of the internal love/hate that Mei has for Yuzu. This is what makes the story so bittersweet - we love Yuzu, Yuzu wants Mei to love her, Mei wants to love Yuzu, we want Mei to love Yuzu, but....Mei just can't allow herself to do that. If you've ever been in a similar situation, you know what's up.
But back to the gayness. Saburouta never asks us to question that they are gay, as is the case with most "will they or won't they" yuri - we are meant to accept it as easily as the both of them do. So Saburouta has taken the standard yuri trope and cast it aside.
I believe that Saburouta very purposely drew Mei and Yuzu as lesbians from the outset for the very reason that this anime/manga is getting so much hate - she wanted to remove the ability of the audience to fetishize the relationship between Yuzu and Mei. For the typical yuri audience, this is anathema - it defies the whole reason they read yuri in the first place. Citrus is, as its core, a very cute and bittersweet love story that most people - gay, straight, or otherwise, can relate to.
In Yuzu, Saburouta has created one of the most likeable, and dare I say loveable characters in manga/anime. Yes, her earnestness and plucky, can-do, kampai attitude is a standard trope, but there is way more to her than that. She actually shares a lot with Mei and Matsuri, parental attentiveness-wise. Her Mom is cool but absent, and new Dad Shou literally married her Mom just so that Mei would have a place to live away from gramps and he's off who-knows-where-doing-who-knows-what. The very first scene of the anime/manga is Yuzu hanging out with the slutty mean girls doing the teen-sex-talk thing. Yuzu desperately wants to belong somewhere, even if it is pretending and exaggerating with the nasty gyarus. She is the light to Mei's dark, again, literally and figuratively. Where Yuzu is overflowing with kindness, love, goodness, and understanding, Mei is a completely dark and vacant empty vessel. Over the series, you watch as Yuzu's love flows into Mei and completely changes her. But what about Mei, what does Mei do for Yuzu? Let's face it - Yuzu is a scatterbrained airhead. She acts without thinking, she has very little personal discipline, and would be distracted by a squirrel playing outside the window. For Yuzu, Mei is a much-needed reality check. When Yuzu is off floating around in teddy bear clouds, Mei is the one who is there to make sure her feet don't get out beyond reach. And Yuzu realizes this and also changes her behavior to be a more diligent student (with mixed results). The two of them are inextricably intertwined and their lives cannot be complete - at all - without the other.
This is why Citrus, and Saburouta, are absolute genius. The subtlety, the way that you can go back and rewatch past episodes re-read past chapters with present knowledge to unlock the motivations of the characters is brilliant.
I will write my review shortly, just read and thinking.
I don't know, the way how people think about this anime, but i love it, very much. I've been waiting this anime show up for years. And buuf, it show up, and you couldn't know how happy i was, so i come to this website, see people leave reviews here.
Some person "very" do not like this anime, and they said this is HOMO, oh wow, now life is very very modern and i don't think we "need" to hate the LGBT, they're human? right? Like we? so why we need to hate them?
If you don't like this, you can absolutely stop watching this anime, and watch some "excellent" harem anime like you love.
You really really don't need to leave some "negative" reviews. That's all, thanks for spend some minutes to read :D
Whatever, i love this anime very much >w<
It's still pretty early which is why this isn't much of a review yet as it's more of a first impression for the people interested.
The reason I'm writing this is because I'm really satisfied with how well the adaptation came out. Don't get me wrong, I'll evaluate it as an anime not as an adaptation but I just want to say that it really stood out to me how the anime made the setting pop out more than what the manga did. I never really felt the surroundings in the manga and I'm really glad with this since it holds an importance in the
show. It also stays faithful to the source material as of now but again, it's still too early to end it there.
To begin, this show is about romance. Lesbian romance.
Now with this kind of stories, people like me usually watch it for the sexual fantasy and stuff. It's more about the characters so It doesn't really need to have a mind bending plot. It does have some sensitive themes if that concerns you. With that said, it does a good job on executing it's story.
We have this girl; Yuzu, who is very enthusiastic about being a gal and even lies about having boyfriends to her friends but she gets transferred to an all-girls school because her "mama suddenly found a new papa." On that school she meets other characters but most importantly Mei, the intriguing student council president/grandchild of the school chairman/the betrothed in an early age character (trust me, this is not a spoiler.) They started on the wrong-foot pretty quickly because of their conflicting personalities but what they don't know is that they're connected much closer than they think. We find more and more things about Mei through Yuzu and boom, character development.
It gets spicy very early but it doesn't feel rushed or forced and there's nothing I can really complain about. That's just the scenario but the pacing itself is fine along with the direction. It kinda feel like a k-drama. The use of lighting, the backgrounds, blurring or shaking camera shots, I love how they use the light behind Mei to hide her face when she stood up then showed her expression afterwards as she walks away. I can tell that the studio respects the manga and is really trying all they can to not just merely copy what's drawn in the source material. The art style really captivates me because it's not overly detailed but it looks so good.
The animation isn't outstanding or anything but it doesn't have to. It's good enough for a drama show and the studio knows what it needs to emphasize. Like that scene where Mei searched for Yuzu's smartphone In Ep 1. That scene wasn't just to grab (no pun intended) attention, it's actually important because that's the reason why Mei left such a huge impression on Yuzu when they met. I really like the occational dynamic camera movement too like those in the OP. The show can look good even without that but they still went for it and that's always good to see. The music is fine but I don't have much to say about it really, there's some good ones like the one played during Yuzu's bath in Ep 1 but nothing that stands out.
I'm not sure if this is helpful or anything but I like the show so far that's why I'm persuading people to give it a try.
Please note this review is intended for those that have already finished watching Citrus and while care has been taken to minimise story related spoilers there may still be spoilers within character analysis. You have been warned.
When sisters meet unexpected sparks fly and an unlikely romance blossoms
Based off a popular manga series of the same name Citrus is a Shoujo and romance anime that takes place within a school setting and gives us the opportunity to see what will happen if you not only find yourself welcoming in a stepsister into your family from your mothers new marriage but also the actions that
can happen if you were to fall in love with the stepsister that you just welcomed into your family. While Shoujo animes aren’t usually a genre that I'm really interested in when looking at the premise as well as the background source material that it makes use of I felt that the series itself certainly sounded interesting. Interesting enough in that I decided to give the series a chance. The first episode of the series I felt did a great job of introducing both the setting of the series which is the school and of the two main characters Yuzu and Mei. In particular, I felt that the sense of rivalry that developed between them from that moment was interesting considering how later events would play out. Looking back, I'm glad that I decided to give this series a chance as the series was one that I really enjoyed.
The overall story of the series takes place at a famous and popular all-girls school situated in Tokyo that is well known for is strictness and conservative nature and follows the life of Yuzu Aihara a newly transferred student that moved to the city to join her recently remarried mother. As Yuzu, a fashionable and fun-loving girl transfers to the school and encounters the conservative and strict nature of the school she encounters the schools beautiful but strict student council president Mei Aihara who whether through fate or destiny is also Yuzu’s new stepsister. While clashing with Mei both in school and at home Yuzu soon learns that attraction and hatred just like love and hate are two sides of the same coin. As Yuzu and Mei clash with each other they also start to learn more about each other and slowly but surely the two start to bond and get closer with each other and slowly cross the line that divides the sisters and become something more. While slowly bonding with her new stepsister Yuzu as she gets used to both the school and the city also meets and makes a number of new friends while also encountering ones from her past. These include the arrogant but understanding student council vice president Himeko, the cunning and deceptive Junior high school student Matsuri and the Tachibana sisters Sara and Nina who while having differing personalities also have a close and loving bond between them. The overall story of the series covers roughly the first four volumes of the source material.
Yuzu Aihara played by veteran seiyuu singer Ayana Taketatsu of Sao and Youkoso fame is one of the main characters of the series and is the main protagonist of the series. A bright, fashionable and fun-loving girl by nature Yuzu at the beginning of the series was a newly transferred student that had just moved to the area to live with her mother who had remarried. While carefree and positive Yuzu was also someone that had a lot of self-confidence but did not let that make her arrogant and instead was something of a free spirit being both positive and friendly to everyone that she meets. As a result of these traits Yuzu was someone that was able to make friends easily and in this, it can be seen that she’s someone that’s very loyal to her friends and would work hard to help them and support them when they need help while hating it when she is unable to help them. While relaxed and carefree by nature it can be seen that Yuzu is also someone that can get serious at times especially with regards to helping her friends with their problems a side of her that I felt was a great contrast to her relaxed nature and fitted well with the two sides concepts that the series makes use off. In line with Yuzu’s carefree and free spirit type personality Yuzu is also someone that is noted to hate being constrained by rules especially those that restrict in how she should dress. This stems mainly from the fact that Yuzu is someone that believes that it’s the right of high school girls to be able to dress and act the way that they want in order to take advantage of their youth and any rules that prevent that will only be a bad thing for them. In line with this aspect of her personality Yuzu while mostly being someone that prefers to not stand out is also someone that’s also bold enough to make her views on subjects that concern her known even if she was to face censure when doing so.
As the series goes on and as Yuzu gets to both know Mei better and encounter and befriend more characters in the school Yuzu’s personality gradually starts to change as she finds her life becoming more intertwined with that of Mei. At the beginning of the series Yuzu while carefree was also someone that was rather stubborn with her beliefs and often had arguments with people that had different views to her. As the series progresses this side of her personality gradually changes, and Yuzu begins to show more consideration to others while trying to rein in her more brash behaviour and try to think of the consequences of an action before doing them. This change is best shown in Yuzu’s willingness to admit her own mistakes and attempts to take responsibly for her actions and any effects that it had whether on the school or her friends. At the beginning of the series, Yuzu and Mei did not have the best of relationships or the best of first encounters and it can be said that their first feelings on meeting each other as sisters for the first time was hated and dislike rather than happiness and joy that would be the expected. Unlike Yuzu’s carefree and freethinking nature that values independence Mei’s personality, in the beginning, was the complete opposite being rule-bound, and strict which Yuzu applied to both Mei and her family. As the series goes on and they get to know each other more this feeling of antagonism gradually softens, and Yuzu starts seeing and treating Mei as family. As the series goes and Yuzu gets to see and understand the pain that exists within Mei she becomes somewhat determined to break through the shell of sadness that Mei has erected around herself fighting hard to get through to the real Mei that was behind it in a determined attempt to give her what she had craved the most in her life which was love and a place where she can belong too. As a result of this journey, the bond between the two gradually grows deeper as Mei slowly opens herself up to Yuzu’s determined attempts to help her and in the process creating a deeper relationship between the two that Yuzu never expected. The character of Yuzu I felt was an interesting one that was both well designed and developed as the series went on. Its been a while since I had seen Ayana Taketatsu in a lead role, but I felt that she did an excellent job of portraying the character of Yuzu.
Mei Aihara voiced by veteran seiyuu Minami Tsuda of Guilty Crown fame is one of the main characters of the series. The new stepsister to Yuzu Mei’s personality and attitude is markedly different from Yuzu in more ways than one. An attractive and intelligent girl by nature Mei is the very image of a cool beauty that deals with every situation with calm and logical solutions that hint at her level-headed nature. A quiet and composed girl Mei is someone that believes fervently that rules are the very pillars of society and that without it society would only be in chaos. This is a belief that Mei believes greatly and tries to inspire the students of her school in her capacity as student council president. While a quiet girl by nature Mei, however, is not unsociable and indeed while most people assume that she’s rather aloof the truth of the matter is that Mei can also be friendly to those that she has befriended and can be surprisingly understanding of others while being courteous and polite to those that she doesn’t yet know. From the beginning of the series, it can be seen that Mei is someone that’s very hardworking and takes her duty as student council president seriously. Indeed, she is the type of person that would try to do everything by herself and be unwilling to bother others with it even if it was their role to help in the first place which shows her dutiful and determined nature. To many of the students that she manages Mei is someone that is cool, level-headed and efficient that makes it hard for them to approach however the reality of this is that Mei while certainly cool and efficient is also someone that remembers those that have helped her in some way a side of her that I really liked.
As the series goes on and more of Mei’s personality is revealed beneath the calm and composed attitude that she projects to her fellow students Mei is, in fact, someone that lives in constant pain and isolation and is someone that doesn’t trust others easily. Rather it can be seen that Mei is someone that tries to push those that try to know her away. As a result of having lived alone for much of her life in the beginning of the series it can be seen that Mei like Yuzu needed time to get used to the fact that they now had a much larger family than before and while the relationship between Mei and Yuzu and her mother was somewhat distant at first this gradually changed as the series went on in line with the deepening bond that is forged between them. While hinted on in the beginning as the series progressed it become apparent that Mei’s relationship with her family was rather strained and while she feels indebted to her grandfather who had raised her this also acted as a constraint for her life as well as it limited the freedom that she could have within her life. However arguably the main issue that had caused Mei’s heart to be constrained was, without doubt, the strained relationship that she had with her father which caused her to work fiercely to protect the school even to the point of causing her life to become nothing more than a set of performances. After making peace with her father and fixing this Mei’s attitude gradually began to soften and she begins to break out of her shell and not just be more open with her feelings but also learn to place her trust in others more. At the beginning of the series, Mei’s relationship with Yuzu was that of wariness which was somewhat understandable and kept her distance from her. But as the series progressed on and she gets to see and understand Yuzu’s personality a bit more this began to change. After overcoming many challenges together Mei’s attitude towards Yuzu begins to change becoming more positive and open-minded and less formal in her dealings with Yuzu showing the improving bond between them. While still retaining some of her aloof nature Mei’s personality gradually begins to thaw and begins showing her more honest and warmer feelings towards Yuzu openly unlike before. The character of Mei was an interesting one as her personality while contrasting greatly with that of Yuzu was the result of problems that was caused by family-related issues that ended up constraining her life which I felt was appropriate as it matched well with the theme of family and bonding by breaking through the wall that someone has erected to protect and hide them. I felt that her seiyuu Minami Tsuda did an excellent job in portraying the character of Mei.
Matsuri Mizusawa voiced by veteran seiyuu Shiori Izawa of Asterisk wars fame is one of the main support characters of the series and is an old friend of Yuzu. A 2nd-year junior high school student Matsuri at the beginning of the series behaved somewhat like an old friend to Yuzu being overly attached to her while still maintaining an innocent charm that was unique to her. On the surface, Matsuri was a kind, caring and polite person that seemed to value friendships and bonds.
As the series goes on and more of Matsuri’s personality is revealed it can be seen that beneath this surface Matsuri’s personality is very different. Beneath her surface personality, it can be seen that Matsuri is someone that is cunning, manipulative, and deceitful and will use every available means to get ahead of others as long as victory is hers. In addition, Matsuri has also shown to be rather possessive of things that are considered dear to her such as her role as Yuzu’s little sister. At the beginning of the series, Matsuri was shown to have a rather warped view of what friendships and indeed what a relationship is as she took neither of them seriously and viewed them as something akin to a game. In this, she treated both as something that she can take advantage off to allow her to survive in society while at the same time pushing away things like love and warmth that is a result of the relationships that can form between friends. In a way, Matsuri’s personality, in the beginning, was very much like what Mei had been experiencing at the beginning of the series. As the series progresses and Matsuri see’s the depth of the relationship that exists between Yuzu and Mei and after seeing the truth of what she was missing Matsuri’s personality gradually starts to change becoming friendlier and more open with her feelings while trying to understand what real friendship is by forming her first real friendships with others.
Himeko Momokino voiced by veteran seiyuu Yurika Kobo of Youkoso and Seiren fame is one of the main support characters of the series. A member of an upper-class family on account of her impressive and elegant hairstyle and the shops that she frequents Himeko true to her status is a self-confident, determined and somewhat stubborn person by nature that serves as one of the school’s vice presidents and as a result assists Mei in her duties as student council president. A childhood of Mei Himeko is someone that while arrogant is also someone that believes in rules and order and would often pursue rule breakers with vengeance which is often used for comical effort within the series. While arrogant and confident in herself Himeko is also someone that cares deeply about her friends and can be quite perceptive when it comes to sensing when something is bothering them.
At the beginning of the series, Himeko had an antagonist like relationship with Yuzu as the latter seemed to enjoy breaking the very same rules that Himeko see’s as important to both the school and herself. As the series goes on and Himeko’s personality is gradually revealed it can be seen that Himeko’s feelings towards Mei go beyond that of what can be considered a simple friendship. In fact, it can be seen that Himeko has a lot of pride in serving as not just Mei’s vice president but also her oldest friend as well something she uses often when she and Yuzu face off. While Yuzu and Himeko remain rivals for Mei’s affections as the series goes on it can be seen that both share the same concern for Mei as each other and indeed when it comes to Mei’s well being it can be seen that both would drop their rivalry to help her when needed something that I felt was nicely done.
Nina Tachibana voiced by Rei Matsuzaki is one of the main support characters of the series and one of Yuzu’s friends that she encounters while on a school excursion to Kyoto. A high school girl from another area Nina is the younger among the Tachibana sisters and very different in attitude to her sister. A kind, caring and intelligent girl Nina unlike her sister has a rather laid-back personality and is the kind of person that will not worry needlessly about things that have already happened. True to her laid-back personality Nina is also someone that is really forgetful as well. Nina’s most prominent trait is without a doubt her tall physical height which I find to be pretty surprising for a high school girl. Despite Nina’s laid-back personality, it can be seen that Nina has a very deep bond with her sister and is very loyal to her to the point that she’s willing to act as the villain if it means that her sister is able to have happiness.
Sara Tachibana voiced by veteran seiyuu Hisako Kanemoto of Food Wars and Gate fame is one of the main support characters of the series and is one of Yuzu’s friends having met and befriended her when they met in Kyoto. A high school girl from another high school Sara is the elder of the Tachibana sisters. A cheerful, positive and considerate person by nature Sara is someone that unlike her sister Nina is someone that prefers to not waste time pondering on something and prefers to strike it out in one-go kinda like a boxer and as a result is also a bold, brave and determined person. While bold and daring Sara is also someone that’s perceptive of others feelings and is the kind of person that will let go of something if it would help others despite the pain that she will feel showing off her good nature. Because of this, however, Sara Is shown to have a dislike for people that give up too easily as she feels that if you don’t go all the way then all you did was take half steps that ended up creating nothing.
The animation for the series I felt was pretty well done with both the school and the uniforms for it being both well designed and detailed. The character designs for the series main characters I felt were also well done and were faithful to the source material to which I'm thankful. Music wise the series OST as well as the opening and ending themes I felt were excellent and did a great job at conveying the different emotions and feelings that each scene featured. Voice acting wise I felt that the main cast did an excellent job of portraying their respective characters. In particular, I felt that Ayana Taketatsu, Minami Tsuda, and Yurika Kubo did a fantastic job of portraying their respective characters.
Overall Citrus was an anime that I really enjoyed watching and I felt that its main strong points were its premise, story, characters, animation and voice acting and its unique use of romantic relationships to heal the hole that had formed within someone’s heart. The main premise of the show naturally is the encounter between Yuzu and Mei after Yuzu moves to the city and the subsequent escalating relationship that they forge between them. The decision to make an all-girls school as the series main setting I thought was an interesting move as though increasingly rare in this day and age single gender girls have the ability to create unique environments that can have the effect of both providing an effective place for students to learn and progress but at the same time trap them beneath layers of responsibility. One of the main themes that the story makes use off is that of the relationships that a family can have and the effect that this can have on members of that family. The decision to make use of the stepsister concept an idea unique to parents that have remarried I felt was a move well done as it not only gave the pretence for Yuzu to move to Tokyo to join her mother but also meet her new stepsister Mei as well. While Yuzu and Mei may not have had the best of first encounters watching the two of them try and come to terms with one another’s existence within their lives was interesting as until they met each other each had thought that they were alone within the family. This gradual process of getting used to being sisters contrasted well with the romantic aspect of the show. The romantic aspect of the show I felt also did a great job at making use of this theme of family as while developing feelings for each other Yuzu and Mei also in the process started to explore the many wishes, desires and restrictions and responsibilities that lay within them that stopped them from achieving the things that they desire. This exchange of feelings as with everything is two sides of the same coin and just as Mei is able to see the hesitation that lay within Yuzu she too is able to see the many problems that Mei hides within her heart problems caused by both a carefree father and an overbearing grandfather that when combined with the school almost suffocates Mei in responsibility and trapping her real feelings in a place where few can reach. The desire of Yuzu to both understand and open up Mei’s closed off heart and expose her true feelings I thought was a great use of the family theme as it provided the perfect key to open up Mei’s closed off heart and provide her with the very thing that she was missing in her life which was that of family warmth.
Overall Citrus was an interesting anime that made use of an interesting premise and a unique way of forging a romantic relationship that can be used to open someone’s closed off heart while simultaneously reminding us that while society can be a harsh place trying to take too much responsibility by yourself and not letting others see your true feelings can be a bad thing. Sometimes its worth it to maybe stop one day and have one long talk with someone that you trust and not hide them anymore. In terms of final score, I think Citrus certainly deserves a score of 10/10.
If you're a queer woman looking into this anime and hoping for some decent representation like queer men got with Yuri on Ice!, then I would suggest not even watching the first episode of this, because it's not just a disappointment, it's a goddamn disgrace.
Just the first episode alone contains multiple scenes of sexual harassment and assault, and even worse, the way they're played off is always either comedic or fetishized! (Not to mention that the two main characters are step-sisters, which makes all of this even more disgusting). I didn't expect much from this show, considering all I'd heard about it was from
male yuri fans who also thought "Sakura Trick" was good, but trust me, this went even lower than I thought it would.
If you're a wlw, especially if you're a young one and don't know what unhealthy relationships look like yet, I warn you to steer clear of this show.
However, if you're a non-LGBT person who likes to fetishize gay people like the disgusting excuse of a human being you are, then you'll probably enjoy this.
I just love how people always react in such manner regarding Yuri anime, like, the same people who would be supportive regarding this plot if it was Yaoi, but it's okay.
I understand people who haven't read the manga to be shocked by the first episode and just be like ''wtf is going on'' but I don't understand the hate you'd be giving the anime when you're not even trying to give it a shot, writing a big review, trying to look as educated as possible when you only saw one episode, or even just two.
This anime is really fun and good in my opinion and
yes, it'll not change your life completely unless you take some courage from the characters about coming out one day.
I might be daring to say that I like the plot, I like how everything develops, I like the music so much, I like the art too, I think it'll only get better and I am ready for it. People get triggered by some of the ''forced'' kiss which I understand, but it's not really how it seems and it gets less crazy and it's worth enduring, although I didn't view at as forced because *spoiler ahead*
[spoiler]They really are into each other/like each other & they'll obviously end up being the OTP.[/spoiler]
*spoiler is kind of done*
Would I show this to my family?
Hell no, they're homophobic.
Even if they're not and it was a straight anime having two people kissing in it, I wouldn't either, too embarrassing. But I'd def watch this with an open minded friend.
I like this because it's modern.
I like this because it's gay.
I like this because it has development in it.
I like this because it makes me also smile, seeing the tiniest of representation in the anime community about us, makes me happy.
I love that we're getting more Yuri and I hope people bear with it and see that it's not really as bad as the first episode made it seem.
It's just a bit daring, to say the least.
From a director who brought us such great hits as, Creepy Rape Hentai, and the abysmal, So, I Can't Play H!, comes an adaptation of the manga Citrus. (He also did Spice and Wolf).
Citrus tells the story of Yuzu Aihara who starts attending an all girls school. There she meets Mei, a girl who is the complete opposite of her. While Yuzu is a fun, impulsive person, Mei is humorless and takes everything serious. Yuzu returns home one day to find that Mei is in her house. Her mom has gotten remarried and forgot to mention that Yuzu now has a stepsister, as
you do, and that sister turns out to be Mei! Wacky hijinks ensue, like sexual assault. Not just any sexual assault though! Lesbian sexual assault.
Mei gets on top of Yuzu and kisses her against her will. This is a massive problem for obvious reasons. The relationship between these two characters is rapey for a lot of the series. They often touch each other without the other one being comfortable with it. These two fail to communicate. They both make assumptions about each other and never just ask the other what it is they are thinking or want. They share a bed, it should be easy to start a conversation before licking one another.
The dialogue, OMFG the dialogue, kill me now. "What did the kiss mean?" asks Yuzu. You were sexually assaulted, that's what it means.
"How does Mei feel?" ASK HER. For the love of God your problems have such simple solutions, you privileged fucker. Also there is a line where Yuzu says something like "its not exactly normal for two girls to be kissing each other". Maybe that's a bad translation, but if not, come on Yuzu, it's 2018, we don't think that no more.
Even though the dialogue is some of the worst of this season I did find myself liking Yuzu. She isn't a bad person and is trying hard to make things work between her and Mei. Mei on the other hand is a massive bitch. Like your mom, but more attractive and lesbiany. She is selfish and repeatedly hurts Yuzu, while Yuzu is doing her best to help her. She spends most of her time irritated. She isn't a fun character to spend time with. She's still better than the bland supporting cast though.
The side characters purpose is to make things complicated between Yuzu and Mei. They have no believable motives, I hate hate hate hate them. The plots involving them is so incredibly predictable too. You know whats going to happen from the moment they are introduced. There is one good side character though, Harumin, who is a good friend to Yuzu and is kind-hearted. It's a shame that the anime doesn't contain more scenes with Yuzu and Harumin just hanging out, it would help distract from the shitshow of a romance going on.
This review has been rather negative so I'll write some more nice things. The animation is good and.......
So anyway, would I recommend Citrus? No.
Overall Citrus fails at what it sets out to do. It is a romance anime that starts with sexual assault and only gets marginally better as it goes on. There are some enjoyable moments and it is far from the worst anime ever made.
If you enjoyed Citrus or want a fun lesbian anime then I recommend Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena. If you want a more serious anime that has LGBT characters then Wandering Son is quite good.
Thank you for reading my review. If you think I'm wrong about something or have an opinion you'd like to share then feel free to keep it to yourself.
Reminder to love yourself and make sure you live the life that makes you happy. <3
Is it sexual assault if it’s with your sister? ’Tis a philosophical quandary that has plagued scholars across the globe for centuries now. But fret not for Citrus is here! That’s right, I’m talking about one of the most hyped-up anime from this past season that features the budding romance between two high school girls who have just become step-sisters!
I wanted to like Citrus, I really did. Much praise was being sung about it from the manga readers and for some time now I have longed to see a good shoujo ai (for gay representation of course…not
just because I wanna see hot anime babes making out with each other or anything like that). Anyway, for far too long has the anime industry been infested with uninspired otaku-pandering works such as painfully generic harems like Infinite Stratos and excruciatingly atrocious ecchis like Hajimete no Gal. More recently we’ve even seen appeals to incestuous lolicons with the likes of Eromanga-sensei. Citrus was a show that I saw as an opportunity to be a glimmer of hope in the desolate wasteland that is the current state of the romance genre in anime. My expectations were high for it to showcase a truly compelling tale of forbidden love and perhaps even delve into the societal consequences (if there even are any?) of being homosexual in Japan. Did Citrus accomplish any of this? Did I end up liking Citrus? The answer to these questions is, to my dismay, a big fat NO. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I loathed Citrus but it definitely left me feeling rather disappointed. It isn’t an entirely meritless show but its positive aspects are spread few and far between whereas the shortcomings of the narrative rear their ugly heads at every corner.
Like any other romance, Citrus is a character-driven show in which the ultimate goal is to create an emotional investment for the audience in the relationship between the two leads. One of the major setbacks here is that the two main characters are not fleshed out enough for us to really even care about them individually much less for their poorly developed relationship. All we really know about the two is that Yuzu is a kindhearted person with conflicted feelings and that Mei is a seemingly cold person with daddy issues. While we at least are treated to Yuzu’s inner thought process throughout the story, we still don’t really get to know Yuzu or Mei on a personal enough level to form a true emotional attachment with either of them. Why does Yuzu fall for Mei so easily? Was she already having questions about her sexuality? Why is Mei a borderline sexual predator? Has she been sexually abused in the past? Hell if I know! The answer to these questions is more than likely "fuck you go read the manga" assuming the author cared enough to eventually further characterize her stereotyp-I mean characters.
The other issue I take is with how the “romance” is handled. Their relationship is initiated when Mei decides to mouth rape Yuzu in order to demonstrate what kisses are like. After a couple more instances of sexual assault, Yuzu suddenly discovers that she’s actually a lesbian (or bi?) and is in love with Mei because she's a hot piece of ass and for other reasons that are not important enough to be brought up. From this point on their romantic development is essentially just a back and forth of one person forcing themselves onto the other with the other person proclaiming, “we’re sisters, we can’t do this!” This occurs for a good portion of the show and it made me wanna scream, “MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS ALREADY!” This honestly could have worked if the writing had delved deeper into their characters in order to produce a better understanding of their behavior patterns for the audience. Alas, this was not the case and thus resulted in many viewers feeling great frustration at the standstill of Yuzu and Mei’s relationship; a relationship largely defined through forced interactions rather than the very few moments of actual consent between the two. This brings me to another problem with Citrus: how it handles the sexy time scenes is nothing short of abysmal.
Apparently in the Citrus universe people are unable to conceptualize the meaning of consent. Aside from a few interactions, nearly every advance in the show is some form of sexual assault. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if the assault was presented as a wrongdoing. Unfortunately, it is not portrayed as wrong but is instead played off as a normality. None of the characters in Citrus seem to take any real issue with being sexually forced upon and in fact Mei assaulting Yuzu acts as a catalyst for Yuzu to fall in love with her. Sure, Yuzu eventually starts pushing off Mei when she's not in the mood but that's the fullest extent to which the issue is handled. Shouldn't there be...oh I don't know...a conversation about it afterwards? Perhaps something along the lines of, "hey, if you could stop molesting me that'd be real swell!" But then again, Yuzu has her fair share of Harvey Weinstein moments as well so I suppose that'd be a bit hypocritical. Now look, I understand that it’s hard for some to be too upset with a chick forcibly holding down and kissing another chick but try to imagine the situation if it involved a male and a female…yeah. There is a clear double standard if you have no problem with the events that play out in Citrus but the thought of a man forcing himself onto a woman disturbs you. Regardless of who is involved, sexual assault is a very serious issue that often has devastating psychological ramifications for victims and should not be treated so lightly.
Alright, I’ve been pretty damn harsh on this show.
“Surely, there must be some positives…right?”, you may be wondering.
“Eh, kind of”, I reply whilst gritting my teeth.
Despite being an ultimately disappointing experience, there are some nice moments to be had during the course of the anime. From Yuzu taking Mei to her father’s grave to Yuzu biking Mei to have a last minute goodbye with her father at the train station, there were times when Citrus was genuinely heartwarming. These moments may be scarce but they truly saved the show from becoming an irredeemable mess for me. Also, Harumin…need I say more? Harumin is the only levelheaded and emotionally stable character in the show providing moments of relief from the melodramatic feeling of the series. She is a genuinely great person who deeply cares for Yuzu and clearly always has her best interests at heart. As a result of this, many viewers have deemed that Yuzu and Harumin is actually a far superior pairing than the intended one of Yuzu and Mei. Actual quality of their characters aside, objective best girl Harumin and the ever-so-loving Yuzu are easily the most likable characters in the show helping to provide a sparkle of light in the cesspool of horrible people that inhabit the Citrus universe.
All in all, Citrus was definitely one of the weaker animes from this season but it wasn’t a terrible experience; it was just a bad show. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Citrus to anybody, I also wouldn’t flat out discourage people from checking it out for themselves. Citrus has its target demographic and I'm sure the problems I listed won't bother a lot of people who just wanna watch a spicy yuri romance (although it's actually rather tame). Citrus may suffer from poor characterization and monotonous story beats but these aren’t irreparable issues. I probably am going to pick up the manga out of curiosity because I do genuinely believe that the series has quite a bit of potential to be realized if the mangaka was able to improve on the flaws that were prevalent throughout this portion of the story.
This anime is okay if you leave out some major plot points. I don't count this as a girl's love anime, I think there's a little too much rape like moments for it to be counted as a genuine relationship.
I understand that Mei is really screwed up and mentally ill, and that Yuzu is a closeted lesbian, but it still seems rapey. Like Mei is just pissed off and letting out her pent up emotional frustrations by trying to have sex/whatever with Yuzu.
It's not hot, it's mental illness. I do love yuri anime, I really do, I'm gay myself but this does not
represent a healthy girlxgirl relationship.
I try to complete it. Citrus is just hard to watch. The characters act without any thinking, consent is not even existing, I think. The dialogues are often cringy and contribute nothing to the story. I don't know the original source, so I can't compare it, but the Anime itself is according to my thinking: a trainwreck, which tries too hard to be relatable in some sort, but fails horribly.
The art is mediocre, nothing too special, but still good to look at.
I wouldn't recommend it, especially to those, who prefer story over fanservice yuri scenes.
I'm actually disappointed. I expected nothing and still - Disappointment
Alright this is a serious review and my first review, but let me say I have read the manga before. Another thing is I don't review this like an idiot who thinks after reading Beserk, Stein, Monster, FMA:B, or any other "masterpieces" that they have the philosophers hammer and the alchemist stone. I also rate mostly on enjoyment primarily. All right lets begin.
Act 1; The Story:8
The story accomplishes what it set out to do, and that is a dramatic story about two lesbian lover who are now sisters. Now let me say this, don't expect this to be a masterpiece in terms
of story, pacing, and execution. (Though it's my personal masterpiece) Ep1 spoilers only. The story begins with Yuzu talking to her friends on how she want's a boyfriend. Her luck was awful, as she went to an all girls school. At the entrance she meets Mei, a rather calm and beautiful girl, as she has violated school regulation. She then sifts Yuzu to get her phone and tell her to wash the makeup off. She then encounters another girl who had the same troubles of the school regulation, Harumin. Harumin basically tells her why the students are rather dull and how they were sheltered. They become friends as they are both alike. She then has her first conflict as she sees Mei kissing the same teacher. When she tried to get away, they notice she was nearby from her clumsy mistake. She runs. She then returns home only to be shocked that Mei, the same girl, was her new sister. She seems rather stunned and uneasy on Mei. From there she bugged her until she brought up the incident and asked how can she kiss if she is not genuinely in love and is only doing it for the thrill. This is where I'll end it here as I might get this review taken down for play-by-play and if i spoiled the first major plot point. The show does the drama right, most of the tension is explainable and the execution is generally done well. The grimes with it's a little fast pace at times, but everything is well done and In My Opinion, great. Though the story is about same sex love, and if your against that then don't watch. As for the yuri scenes, they are mostly explained why it happens, so to put it off as fan service is definitely wrong.
Act 2; Animation and Soundtrack: 7.6
The animation for the show is Amazing, but some of the original art work from the manga is not shown at the same time. One of the many good things about the manga is the artwork and the anime has shown to reflect that but at the same time have a modern take on the show's artwork. Now more on about the errors in the animation, there are scenes that look wonky. Though the animation has gotten better, there is still scenes that look messed up still, but it was less apparent with it's improvement. The ost fits the show well and are mostly, music to my ears. The VA's have done their part greatly and for their dub counterpart(Dub isn't my favorite thong to listen) they have seem to do justice for dubbers. The op and ed are another thing that I have to give praise to as they really fit the show.
Act 3; Character: 8.3
Most of the characters are really fun and interesting. No character doesn't feel annoying or boring. Personally I like Momokino as her character design and her personality I can definitely enjoy. All the characters have a motivational factor for their actions and their personality are great. Still, there are still some things to push them over for, the characters are great.
Act 4; Enjoyment and Overall: 9 (for enjoyment) 8 (Overall)
I really enjoyed the anime so far as it has been a great adaptation for the series. It really has been my number 3 show for the winter season so far. (#1 is Magus Bride) Overall it gets a 9/10 and my recommendations are Dear My Girl, The Star and The Flower, and Sakura Trick.
Sidenote; If you literally reviewed this like a philosopher, then you going about an entertainment media the wrong way.
What would you like me to review next, Berserk after 100-200 chapters, Magus Bride, Hajime No Ippo Manga or show, or would you like me to watch your personal favorite show. Comment on my profile and I'll see what are the most popular choice so that I can review it next.
This anime seems to not have decided what it wants to be. Either just the yuri fan service show or a romance drama. Typically romance anime's load themselves with misunderstandings but not this show, this show has ascended past such silly tropes. Because this show only can further the plot with sexual assaults. For example Momokino has supposedly been friends with Mei for over 10 years but only decides to do anything sexual with Mei when Yuzu starts being friendly with her. She also goes from being a stuck up bitch to immediately ok with doing that in school grounds. All because her best friend
got a new sister. Wouldn't it only be natural for someone to spend time with someone who just became part of their family. Nope, all logic and reason takes the backseat until we have gotten at least one sexual assault per-episode. Yuri is nice and everything, but that doesn't make it a good anime.
Citrus is a yuri romance manga that started in late 2012 and just recently ended. Although it looks like a second manga called Citrus Plus is planned. I don't know if it's going to follow the same characters nor have I read the manga. Early this year the studio Passione, also behind Rokka no Yuusha, aired a twelve episode adaptation to cover the first part of the story. So, let's see how that went.
Aihara Yuzu finds her life turned topsy turvy when her mother suddenly remarries and the pair relocate, forcing her to enter a new school. Things turn awkward immediately when she unknowingly breaks
the rules and finds herself afoul of the young student council president. She returns home for a surprise, she has a new step-sister and it's the same student council president she met earlier, Aihara Mei. To make matters even more awkward, she finds Mei really attractive.
Let's start with the problems with the series. There are two major ones. The first is that, like Love Stage, it doesn't have a great first impression. I will say, to Citrus's credit, it isn't nearly as bad since the initial encounter between Yuzu & Mei involves a stolen kiss and not attempted rape but it's still not a great way to begin a romance. The big one, however, is more reminiscent of the bad episode from Sasameki Koto. In that episode, we had a young girl act deplorably only to be instantly forgiven with no real consequences and her behaviour was never mentioned again.
Citrus has the same type of thing with a character named Matsuri except her actions are even worse and they span a couple episodes. She's introduced about halfway into the series and decides to try and seduce Yuzu. But first she needs to deal with Mei, which is where the deplorableness comes in. Now, I'm not opposed to having an antagonistic character who's absolutely atrocious as a person but the problem here, and in the aforementioned Sasameki Koto, is that they try to treat the characters as sympathetic. And that doesn't work when you have characters act this horribly. Not without a lot of time and effort put into redeeming them. Which neither series does. Their plots end and they basically say they're sorry and get told not to do it again and that's it.
Moving on to the positives, I'll give Citrus credit for having romantic content between siblings in a way that's only mildly sleazy, and that's entirely based on the stolen kisses early on. Because it makes sense for two high school kids who are suddenly tossed together as step-siblings to still be attracted to one another. The series also does feature some strong scenes. Some of them are quite funny, and usually involve Yuzu making an ass of herself. While others have a bit of an awkward tension betwixt Mei & Yuzu with enough positivity to make them kind of sweet little moments. The best part, by far, is the whole arc with the twin sisters, Sara & Nina. Those three episodes are where the series gets elevated to fantastic. It's funny because it goes from the low point of the series, with Matsuri the sociopath, to the high point with the twins and it's kind of hard to believe these were written by the same person.
I've already covered the basics of what's wrong with Matsuri's character and the handling thereof. Needless to say, she's the worst character in the series by a wide margin. As for the other characters, there are aspects of Yuzu, Mei and their budding relationship I really like. The awkwardness has verisimilitude. Yuzu's conflicting feelings of wanting to be a good sister but also being greatly attracted to her new step-sister is compelling. Mei's desire to be needed and her drive for exceptionalism versus her uncertainty over how to proceed is also good stuff. But then there's the way things are initiated betwixt them and the way it gives a poor first impression. Harumi is a fun character. Sara is a sweetheart. I also really like what little we get of Mei's relationship with her wandering father. So, quite a strong cast with one very notable exception.
Here's one area where I have to give Passione a lot of credit, their artwork is really great. The characters are well drawn. The backgrounds and various world objects look good. The animation flows smoothly. It is a good looking series.
Our main heroines are voiced by Taketatsu Ayana & Tsuda Minami, two strong actresses who deliver fantastic performances. We've also got Kubo Yurika, Kanemoto Hisako, Fuji Yukiyo, Matsuzaki Rei and some others who are really good at what they do. Even Izawa Shiori, voice of the worst part of the series, doesn't perform badly. She just got stuck with a shit character. Takahashi Ryo put together a strong soundtrack for the series.
In addition to the obvious budding relationship betwixt Yuzu & Mei, Mei's childhood friend blatantly has feelings for her. Yuzu has some kind of flirtatious moments with Harumi but a lot of that is Harumi teasing Yuzu after seeing her yuri manga. Sara's whole arc revolves around her developing a crush on Mei who she refers to as "her destiny." In short, this is one of those series where the only important straight character seems to be Yuzu's mum. And I wouldn't exactly be surprised if the latter part of the manga introduces her female "friend" who seems to always visit while her husband's away. Which he always is.
There are plenty of things to like about this series. The last arc especially. Unfortunately, it's really weakened by those three episodes heavily featuring Matsuri & by having the relationship begin in a poor way. Would I watch a second series? Well, yes. This may well be like Sasameki Koto where the manga gets past the point that made up the seventh episode of the anime and it just stays consistently fantastic afterwards. In which case, the bad part's out of the way. But, by the same token, this isn't a good yuri series thus far. It manages to average out to being decent but there are plenty of better ones out there. I'll give the first series a 6/10. If they do come out with a second one I'll give it a go but I'm not really going to go out of my way to go through the manga or anything like that.
Yuzu, which is the name of main protagonist, means a type of citrus fruit in Asia (for all of you wondering what the title means.
Story (5/10): You probably should know that Citrus follows a girl to girl relationship. If that bothers you, fine you can skip and miss out on a romance that many current animes have forgotten. Yuzu, the gal-looking one, gets enrolled in an all-girl high school. Breaking the rules on the first day, she meets the student council president, Mei, who not only turns out to be the school chair's granddaughter and her newly adoptive younger sister. From here, Citrus presents
watchers with two main developments: Yuzu's shift from delinquent to an older sister and Mei's dealing with family problems. To avoid spoilers, let me just say that while there is touching, it is not forced and is much more rooted in innocence and stress. Learning about these characters as the story progresses is not entirely mind-blowing, especially in a high school setting, but it does it and does it well enough. Good. But its not. The last few episodes threw this out and were QUITE disappointing. I am not going to spoil anything but be prepared (5/10).
Art (8/10): I am not really sure how to explain this catergory. I guess the character designs look good and noticable. What actually makes them great is that they are noticable and not flashy (no yellow hair and orange jump suit, just black/brown ish hair) The background is pretty to look at. Some of the art drops in quality for moments (particularly the eyes) and it takes away from the experience a little, but overall great.
Sound (7/10): I love both the opening and ending themes. 10/10. The series does not really utilize sound, so I have to give this catergory (while reluctantly) a 7/10.
Character (6/10): Yuzu just has this rare charisma to her that she is very easy to root for. Her relationship with Mei translates as genuine and with good intent. So far, I enjoy watching her on the screen very much. Mei is OKAY, but I admit that there are some good use of subtle detail. The rest of the cast, however, is generic... well accept 1 who I will not talk about for spoilers :). My favorite part about these characters is that they feel human. Everyone is flawed, and everyone is genuine. Well done for making me care Citrus. The two white haired girls on the cover and opening, however, are pretty unenjoyable. These two additional characters kind of ruined this show for me. If this anime was 10 episodes, I would be more satisfied. 6/10
Final Thoughts: Go watch Citrus. I think it beats Darling in the Franxx in terms of romance and characters, but you know that's just my opinion. Citrus is good, but its not even close to very good; just watch it to enjoy and don't let the yuri bother you.