Fashionable Yuzu imagined the first day at her new school she transferred to after her mother's remarriage a bit differently; she didn't know it'd be an ultra-strict and conservative girls' school. So instead of a sweet high-school romance, she butts heads with the stern student council president Mei—who turns out to be her new step sister. And she has to learn that hate and attraction are often not that far apart.
This is my first review, hope it will be useful ^^
About the manga
The manga began airing in 2012 and is coming out every two months. When I am writing this review, there are 7 chapters out. About the artist.. well he's not that well-known and his works are mainly made in shoujo, drama and romantic genre. Out of his works, this is the greatest.
Aihara Yuzuko is a fashionable, typical city-girl whose starting to attend a new school because her mother recently remarried. Yuzuko's goal is to fill in the school and finally find love. What she doesn't know is that the school is not co-ed, it's a girls-only school with very strict rules. So, she can't look for a boyfriend and the student council is often picking up on her because of her look. On the very first day Aihara Mei, the the president of the student council is taking her phone... well, not in a common way. She hugs her and takes it under Yuzuko's shirt. This shocks Yuzuko a bit, by this I mean she falls to the ground totally embarrassed. Later it's revealed that Mei is her new step-sister and they will live together, they also have to sleep together. At night Yuzuko tells Mei that she saw Mei kiss Amamiya-sensei (a handsome male teacher) today at school and tells her opinion about how a real kiss should be (I mean emotically) and then Mei kisses Yuzuko. After this Yuzuko falls in love with Mei.
There's a lot of drama and a strange love from Mei (if we can call it love) which confuses Yuzuko's feelings. On top of it, she's not experienced in love, so she has no idea what to do to make their relationship to a "real" love.
Aihara Yuzuko: a plain-spoken, brave and cheeky girl. She often wears clothes that violate the school rules so she gets in trouble with the student council quite often. She seems to be a little rude towards Mei, but only becaude she likes her. Her best friend is Harumin.
Aihara Mei: president of the student council, good student, the grandchild of the school president. She is cold and serious with people, but she has a reason for that. She is always calmed, composed and very mature. At first we don't know much about her and Yuzuko gets the wrong idea about her when they first meet, but this will change. It seems that she's hard to get close to, but later it's revealed that she's very lonely, this makes Yuzuko want to take care about her.
Harumi Taniguchi: Yuzuko's best friend, lively and attentive. They are similar with Yuzuko, none of them are good students. She always helps Yuzuko.
A well developed, detailed and cute manga which has a beautiful art. Yuri mangas like this are rare, you can't find something like this every day. I could compare it to Girl Friends, even though it's not as popular as GF.
My inner fan of yuri would vote the manga a 10/10, but I have to stay at 9/10, because I don't like Mei's attitude.
I highly recommend to read it for everyone who likes this genre, you won't regret. ^^read more
I feel this manga should be more acknowledged among readers. It truly is a well-made manga through the works of Saburouta.
As far as this goes, i will try to make a semi in-depth analysis on this manga. As many of you are all aware, yuri manga are not quite as popular as other genres. Thus, making it quite rare to come across a well-rounded manga such as this one.
Before we begin, i'd also like to mention that i will not be discussing much about the characters and their summaries, but rather an analysis of the portrayal and execution that the manga has, i'd rather let you read the manga and see for yourself :)
The story of Citrus revolves around Aihara Yuzuko, a fashionable teenage girl who happens to be on the lookout for a boyfriend. However, much to her dismay she is sent to an All-girl's Academy upon the remarriage of her Mother. To add, Mei, her uptight student council president at the strict school happens to be her new step-sister. I wouldn't quite say the plot to this is very original, but it is indeed a very refreshing plot that has a promising storyline. The execution on the other hand, couldn't have been better.The situations are meaningful and fairly realistic. Exciting, logical, heart-breaking, suspenseful, such words as these describe the story. The plot developments within the story are very well executed as well as the easiness to interpret all the progress in the story as each chapter is published. Each chapter has a significant amount of development, which makes up for the slow 2 month update.
The art in this story is absolutely beautiful, all the characters are well drawn and Saburouta does a great job in portraying the actions and emotions of the characters within the story. The background and drawings of the venues are also well drawn so it gives a firm picture of where a scene is taking place and its structure.
The character development is right off the bat great. There is a significant amount of change that the characters induce, yet their main qualities that keep them, them, is still there. I will not go into much detail, but all of the characters are considerably likable and not to mention their well drawn out depth. I can honestly say, i have respect for all the characters in the story.
To be honest, i'm not really one to read a yuri manga, especially since i'm a girl myself. However, that did not stop me from giving this manga a try, and believe me i do not regret a single bit of it. I wanted a change from reading all the same manga and i guess i bumped into this one by chance. Yuri manga are definitely new to me, but anyways, the enjoyment i have had with this series thus far is outstanding. I love everything about this manga and i want to keep on reading more. Each chapter is filled with excitement and i'm kept intrigued with every page. The romance between Mei and Yuzuko is especially intriguing, as well as the conflict that the two face, whether it be directly from other characters, or the fact that they're both girls and step-sisters. This manga never fails to keep me wanting more.
I hope you all enjoy this series as much as i have! read more
This will be a spoiler-free review. Citrus by Saburouta is a yuri manga that comes out once every two months (the 18th of every odd number month, ie, the most recent chapter 17 came out on July 18). It is a psuedo-incest series because the two main characters are step-sisters. But don't be scared by the word "incest," because they did not even know each other before they became sisters; they are basically strangers. As of the latest chapter, nothing too graphic happens (like sex), despite the provocative cover picture. On the contrary, it is very pure in a way.
The story isn't that great, nor is it very new. The summary is given in the description. It is just a slice of life depicting the romantic struggles of the two main characters, and other things that happen in their daily lives. Of course there are plot conveniences at times, and the story moves too quickly sometimes, but the events offer the characters major opportunities to show themselves off. There are multiple story arcs that go by in a flash (with the exception of the latest 2), but I assure you that a LOT happens in each one. A drawback is that it gets slightly repetitive, but is still interesting nonetheless. I'd say that this aspect of the manga is its weakest point.
Even for a yuri manga, the art is probably the best I've ever seen. This is surely the strongest point of the series. Saburouta puts a lot of detail into each of her drawings, whether it is because she has more time (two months) to work on it or not. If you see Mei's hair, then that alone will probably make you like her work. There is no denying that her art style is extremely captivating. Personally, I only gave Citrus a try because I was drawn by the art. If not for the amazing outer appearance, Citrus probably wouldn't be as great as it is. However, this is not to say that the series is solely dependent on its art.
At first glance, the characters seem to be very plain and flat, without much depth. This is not true. They are actually more complex than they look, and develop.
There are two types of "bad" characters to me. The first is one who is just so terrible and cringe worthy that they do not develop, and even if they do, they're still unintentionally frustrating, not because they play the role of a villain who is meant to be hated. The second is the type who's dislikable but for good reason, and even if everyone hates her, she is still a good character.
Mei, the younger sibling, is the second type. Upon first glance, all she has are her beauty and status as the "model student," even holding the position of student council president as a first year in high school. Other than that, she is a rude and uncaring person. But she has good reason to be the way she is. She makes progress as a human being and eventually becomes likable, a contrast to many of her uncalled-for actions. In the first chapter, she unintentionally changes Yuzu and brings out the best of the latter's character. Obviously, Mei's character isn't that shallow. Her main problem is miscommunication. She never expresses herself, so no one knows what she's thinking. The reader, for sure, never does. Maybe not even the author. Mei's mysterious nature is strangely attractive as you start to wonder what her true feelings are at any one time.
Yuzu is the typical nice character that everyone is already in love with. She's cute and stylish (breaking school rules because it's a conservative academy), not to mention she has a great personality. At first, I didn't think much of Yuzu. She was too normal and not noteworthy; I've seen her character a million times before. Yet, I started to really like her to the point where she's one of my favorites. Why? Well, it's hard to explain, but Yuzu is very innocent. As a girl who has never had a boyfriend before, she is in love with the idea of love. She also wants to fit in, so that makes her even more interested in romance. But because of her lack of experience, it is also easier for her to fall for the person who gets to her first, obviously Mei. Complete amateurs like Yuzu are more prone to liking the same gender because they have no experience; what is normal and what isn't? Other than this, Yuzu is very loyal and considerate. (Slight spoiler) She loves Mei as both family and as a significant other. Her inner struggle and confusion due to her forbidden feelings are very realistic. Even if Mei shows no interest in her, Yuzu will always support her because she is just that type of person.
The differences between the main two make for interesting interactions. After all, opposites attract. Other characters include:
Taniguchi Harumi (nicknamed Harumin), Yuzu's best friend who gets in trouble with her all the time. You can say that she is the reason why Yuzu doesn't completely hate her new school.
Momokino Himeko: Mei's childhood friend and also the student council vice-president.
Mizusawa Matsuri: Yuzu's childhood friend who is slightly younger.
Tachibana Sara: A girl Mei meets later (chapter 13), on their school trip.
Tachibana Nina: Sara's younger sister.
To avoid spoilers, I will not say anything else about them, but they are very unique and contribute to an interesting story.
At first, I simply thought this manga was okay. Until I got to chapter 3. From there, I caught up to the most recent chapter at the time (13) because of the cliffhangers every chapter. Citrus readers are most likely masochists, even if they don't know it. Every chapter is agonizing to read, yet each one is so good. When you catch up, you'll hate yourself because then you'll have to wait two months for the next one to come. It is painful, despicably so. Despite all the drama, Citrus offers a pleasant reading experience. If you're a masochist, you will love it. I mentioned this earlier, but a lot happens. If you skip one chapter, then you'll probably be extremely confused. In ~35 pages, Saburouta manages to make enough things happen, then makes you want the next chapter a few minutes later. Citrus has its cute moments that make you want to squeal, but also has insanely dramatic events that make you want to scream in a corner. Enjoyment also comes from the realisticness of this series. It doesn't sugarcoat things; if it did, Yuzu and Mei would happily be together. The issues that this manga raises are very much real and will make you imagine what it would be like for someone to be in Yuzu or Mei's position, especially in the more conservative setting of Japan where homosexuality is looked down upon.
Personally, Citrus is a 10 in my mind because most of what influences my scores comes from personal enjoyment, but I recognize that it has its flaws. However, its strong points are many when compared to its weak points. The story isn't bad, the art is superb, and the characters are very likable and realistic. This combination will make for an enjoyable reading experience. It's a shame that this manga is not very known (probably because it's a yuri romance) but I'd say that even compared to any manga, Citrus deserves more popularity. As a yuri series, I am convinced that it is one of, if not the best out there. If you are into yuri, then you need to try this. If you're unsure about going into the genre, I highly recommend it. In any case, Citrus will prove to be an interesting read. read more
Life is not a straight line. Sometimes you can't predict where it is going and where will you be at some point. Or with whom.
A flower blooms with an endless number of colors, odors and edges. Same thing goes for love. Yuzu Aihara used to cling on her ideas of how to look and act in order for people to acknowledge her. Dyed hair, lots of make-up and fables about her love affairs with boys. Nothing unusual. I bet she wasn't expecting to fall in love with the class president on the first week of her transfer to another school. A president, who is also a girl just like herself. Have i forgot to mention they are step-sisters?
While the energetic, kind and frank Yuzu quickly accepts her feelings, it's not the case for her sister, Mei. The girl is usually calm, restrained and doesn't show what is truly happening in her heart. But it can not be denied that there is some implicit sensation growing up towards her sister, may be unknown even for herself. Their relationship goes back and forth, sometimes because of Mei's inability to let people closer to her, other times because of Yuzu's own missteps. This creates a beautiful array of emotions, drama and a single question - "when?", when those two are finally gonna be happy together.
The plot is not something out of ordinary, that is if you can accept shojo-ai and a possibility of relationship between step-siblings from the start. Overall, the story looks rather cliched and, well, expected. One could say that it's a huge point on a -pro -con list and it surely would be so, if not for one but. Everything is presented in such a fashion, that you simply forget about things that could bother: trivialities, drawbacks of what not, even your own outside world. Manga masterfully indicates that it is extraordinary good in terms of cathing your sight and not letting go. Like waking up from a pleasant dream, you will be happy after it yet frustrated that it's already over, with a strong desire to dive deeper into it. Even if it means ignoring real world for a while. Anticipation of a spring dream of love, called "Citrus".
And it can't be stressed enough of how beautiful it is. Characters not only look pretty, they are believable, making you worry for them, show compassion and anger towards them. Main attention here is focused on Yuzu and Mei, though side characters are also well-written and distinct, with their own motives, thoughts and feelings, that tend to create new developments and drama on the stage.
"Citrus" is sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, but certainly very bright. This is a melancholic song about two souls, longing for warmth, that tries to reach you every time you flip the page.read more