Yuma and Hotaru are childhood friends and neighbors, although both have boyfriends, Hotaru kissing and seducing Yuma often passing it through a joke. While having to keep what happens between them in secret, Yuma will be confused by her feelings.
One day, I sat down and said "I'm going to make a review of Netsuzou TRap." Little did I know that it would lead to an internal crisis about the way I perceive fiction and how I feel the need for giving my thoughts about it.
Would people avoid reading this manga now that I've made a scathing review of it? Does it change the fact that it still has a high ranking on MAL (6 IS NOT EVEN LOW) despite it being one of the worst, shittiest, most pandering works ever known to man? Would people avoid
the anime? Would people realize the impertinence in even calling this a "story"? Would people find out that Fujiwara and Takeda, two of the main characters in the story, don't even have first names, and how it's one of the elements of a purely uninspired shitload of fuck?
Probably no. Either way...
I don't consider myself too harsh of a critic to nitpick about minor things or minor flaws that bothered me about any work of media, and I tend to focus more on what salvageable value whatever that work of media has, no matter how much terrible everything else is. I figure that the amount of effort put into something is what's more important, and a scale to denote your enjoyment out of someone else's blood, sweat and tears are nothing but personal subjectivity and should never be an indicator of how the work should be graded.
However, there often come some exceptions that you just couldn't stand your own principles because the work insults you directly—it curses you, lashes at you, and spits at you, enjoying how you're trying to get any significant value out of how terrible it is.
WHAT DOES NETSUZOU TRAP HAVE TO OFFER?
Girls doing steamy things to each other? Just go read Citrus or another yuri manga. Netorare? Go read or watch hentai. A dense and stupidly written protagonist like Yuma? Go read a shoujo manga. A person with a "dark past" like Hotaru? Go read Berserk FOR FUCK'S SAKE JUST STAY AWAY FROM THIS MANGA. Don't even get me started on the art, it's just a bunch of uninspired and uncreative character designs with balloons for their boobs. At least kids have originality when they draw.
This story takes every cliché trope in the romance genre and bathes in how trite it is, every chapter swimming in hackneyed melodramatic scenarios often ending with cliffhangers in order to incite more melodrama. It surprises me with a manga as poorly written as this one this managed to have an adaptation, which has an even shittier outcome than this one!
Netsuzou TRap is an embodiment of everything wrong with the industry right now. Nothing original, nothing worth mentioning, but exists just to piss everyone off. And it sucks that I don't even have the ability to write with as much burning rage just to express how much of an insult this was to my intellect. If I'm sounding too illogical right now, take note that this is the perspective of a person who found NOTHING logical about this unbridled piece of shit at all!
Unoriginal. Uninspired. Trite. Contrived. SHIT. This is Netsuzou TRap. If these words aren't enough to make you think twice, then try to think twice. If you already thought twice, then think thrice!
I first read this a few months ago and had a positive experience with it. Now that it's over, I'm revisiting it. Netsuzou Trap, in my opinion, does not deserve the near-universal hate it seems to get, but I will say that it is most definitely not for everyone and has a lotttt of stuff that may break the reader's engagement, so in this review I hope to not only talk about why I love the series, but point out to the cautious reader exactly where the series may go wrong for them, instead of leaving them to rely on more polarized advice
one way or the other.
First off, NTR reads exactly how it's intended: like a soap opera with lots of yuriyuri tied into it. It is a ride of emotions first and foremost. If this isn't your thing or if you don't like drama, you're not gonna like it. Also, if you don't like cheating, also obviously stay away from this. Myself, I don't have any issue with either of these things and the yuri element is exactly what I needed to get invested in a story like this (hetero is of no interest to me, ehe). Moreover, it very overtly warns you that this is NTR genre/cheating, so really, if you don't like it, you've got ample chance to just stay away from it. The series depicts thickheaded Yuma trying to navigate her feelings as she is seduced by her friend Hotaru, going against both of their relationships - however, even though it's saturated with drama, it avoids the all-too-common pitfall of becoming completely mindless. The substance is very much there if you know where to look. In Yuma's case, her storyline is nothing out of the ordinary, however even though Hotaru, the aggressive partner doesn't get much direct focus, it's shown implicitly why she acts the way she does, and she is actually a really deep character. I didn't fully understand her beahvior until my second read and the more I understood it, the worse I felt for her.
The drama, the main focus of the series, is amazing. Despite the fact that her story in and of itself is nothing special, NTR shows Yuma's actual struggle to navigate her feelings clearly, and I wound up finding myself really invested in it-- throughout the story, I felt all her lows and highs, her confusion, her disgust at herself when things weren't going so well, and I'd cheer when things went right. In terms of sucking me in and making me live and breathe all the ~drama~ as I continued on, NTR was a complete success. The drama does not hesitate to stray into darker territory: NTR makes absolutely no effort to hide that Hotaru is suffering domestic abuse at the hands of her bf, for instance, and that is only the first example out of many. And of course the whole premise of the series is about cheating. I like the fact that this series, which mostly functions as a yuri, is adventurous enough to go into all of this stuff.
The series, in my opinion at least, does an excellent job at showing the two's raw lust and desire for each other. It does not hold back with the lewd moments. And honestly, it's one of the most wonderful and unique things I've seen. These moments are not out of place or forced upon the story, as you might expect with this sort of stuff. The way it's done here, NTR instead shows that a girl can, in fact, enjoy seducing, or being seduced by, another person who happens to be a girl without attempting to place their love on a pedestal or jump through a billion hoops to justify the fact it's between two girls - the only reason the two need is that it feels good. A lot of people call it "pandering", and for a lot of readers, the high dose of lewd may be a turn-off (which I can't blame them for) but I personally don't feel that assessment is fair. The fact that there's a lot of people out there who will be into this entirely for all the girl-on-girl action, in my opinion, does not and should not take away from the premises of the story or the style in which it is told (which is actually fairly usual for Kodama).
There is one thing that the series didn't do quite so well, however, and that's the ending, which I think is rushed. I can't really get into this without spoiling anything, but after the sequence of events leading to the ending, there was so much potential for the story and the characters (particularly Hotaru) to develop further. While it does explain a lot of the stuff that wasn't made explicit throughout the series, which was a concern I had at the time of my original read, it all ended so abruptly, and I'm left feeling a little bit left out in the cold. Had Kodama actually continued on with this series and taken it along the path implied by the ending, it would have had so much potential, and it might have claimed even a 10 rating (an ultra-rare drop) from me. But it wasn't to be, I guess, so I'm instead left with a still-good-enough story that remains squarely focused on all of the drama that led up to that path.
Since I don't have any better place to put this, I will also say that the art style generally has a cute feel to it, particularly the way the characters are drawn. That is a + in my book.
Final verdict -- I think a lot of people who stumble into NTR largely end up falling into one of a few groups and hating it as a result: people who are used to cute/innocent romance who hate the premise of cheating or otherwise get pissed off at the drama, people who like a greater focus on substance and don't appreciate Kodama's drama-focused approach, and people who see all the lewd moments the series throws at them and can't help but feel like it's just nothing more than an ecchi/fanservice series.
If any one of these applies to you, then I'll say it straight-up: you will not enjoy this series. If not, though, you'll find what in my opinion is a fine experience, loaded with lots of Kodama's signature soap opera-esque style of ~drama~. Sure, it's not perfect, but that's not the point: the point is to let yourself get absorbed into and thrown around by all of the drama and emotions going on. And indeed, NTR accomplished this very successfully, at least for me. If you're up for it, then give it a shot.
When i first heard of the definition of NTR, i immediately thought of some messy and nasty things, and then i came across this manga... and i'm telling you, this is not NEARLY AS BAD as i thought it would be. oh boi, the hate is strong on this one
THE MOST common problem of the people that tried to read this is their 'high morals and standards', if you have such thing - just avoid it and don't even bother complaining about it. Honestly, the people whining is even MORE annoying than the manga itself
The manga is definitely NOT as bad as people claim it
to be, lemme explain why:
>This is high school, if you ever attended even the most elite high school, you would still know that thing do get messed up, because..
>..they're teenagers. They're just young folks experiencing new things that they've never though of, new emotions and fear to get caught that makes the blood rush
>cheating is not good, it's not tolerable to hide doing it from the partner either, BUT context matters, and this is exactly the case - it's a mashup of things that DO REALLY capture the actions of teens and their uncertainty of problem solving
C'mon, you just saw NTR and expected things to go smoothly? And it's not just any NTR, it's a whole mix of yuri, teenage curiosity and unexpected conveyor of emotions
Now, this is not the best manga that you'll ever read, as it has a lot of poor decisions that were INTENTIONALLY put by the author, 'cause.. you know.. it's NTR.. it's yuri.. why the hell would you cheer for the guy? (funny thing that mangaka herself admits that there's too much cherish for a guy in a yuri manga)
The ending and epilogue was plain and kind of boring, but it wasn't a bad trip through the roller coaster of feelings
So yeah, if you don't have the guts for it - don't read it. If you do - good, read, enjoy, get some popcorn and watch the world slowly burning in the hatred for this manga
Let's be straight: this series has "NTR" in the title. How much more straightforward can one get? NTR is the animanga community's most controversial genre for a reason. If you hate NTR, the only thing that might make this worth a chance for you is the fact that the "alternate partner" is a girl: our thickheaded protagonist Yuma is seduced by her childhood best friend and neighbor Hotaru. The catch is that they both have boyfriends. I stumbled upon this and decided to read it exclusively because I was interested in how an NTR series would play out when the partner in adultery is of
the same sex as the silly degenerate.
Well, unfortunately, Netsuzou Trap has yet to explore the elements unique to such a relationship. Honestly, Hotaru could have been a male instead and the plot development wouldn't have changed much. The only part of the same-sex aspect of Yuma and Hotaru's illicit relationship this series has so far taken advantage of is using the gender excuse for Yuma to be either ignorant, delusional, or both; Yuma convinces herself Hotaru's actions are within the realm of comfort because they're both girls, insisting that Hotaru is being "weird" but there's nothing explicitly corrupt about their relationship. Aside from that, nothing. This could be due to the age of the characters; this is, after all, a high school series, and it is a common attitude within Japanese culture that females having a same-sex attraction is simply a "phase," they'll grow out of it, and it's nothing to think much about.
Netsuzou Trap does narrowly avoid the most glaring pitfall one would associate with a series that has such a premise in that it has thus far steered away from the otaku pandering route. While it could have easily settled into being a basic yuri series with the sole purpose of seeing girls making out, throwing the NTR element in just to make it feel "fresh" (and strangely appease the minority of people who have this fetish), and consequently lacking anything in the form of substance, it has instead played out more like a "daytime soap opera" (as the mangaka herself compares it to) with an emphasis on drama and character relations. That said, there's still plenty dashes of ecchi to satisfy the perverted crowd, while Yuma and Hotaru get "intimate" enough to please the traditional yuri lovers who might check out this series for that reason alone. Okay, maybe this is simple otaku pandering after all, but at the very least it does a fine job of portraying itself as something respectable.
The characters are rudimentary thus far and essentially fill out the mandatory roles for the story. Yuma is a dunce, and Yuma's boyfriend is innocent, gentle, and being played for a fool by Hotaru, who is manipulative, detached, and has a boyfriend as suspicious as she is. Nonetheless, they maintain the potential for growth and developing into a standout cast depending on how they are handled. They all have a number of problems and complicated relationships sure to influence how they develop here on out.
The art is standard for a school series. The backgrounds are mostly of basic school environments, and, in typical fashion, there are numerous panels that feature characters on pure white backgrounds. It is well drawn, clear, and defined, but in this state of the industry it would be much more unusual if the art couldn't be attached with these descriptors. The characters, both male and female, also look like basic school manga characters, but they are quite attractive. Yuma and Hotaru are especially attractive, which is essentially a prerequisite considering the nature of this story and the fact one of its selling points is the intimate interactions between the two girls. On that note, the more amatory scenes are quite... alluring. A couple moments succeeded in exciting even someone like me who is quite apathetic towards yuri. There is most certainly nothing to complain about there.
All in all, Netsuzou Trap is exactly as it promises: a cross between a yuri and an NTR, and it plays to the benefits of both (despite failing to play to the benefits of crossing the two). The drama is gripping, there has already been a couple of intense moments, the sensual scenes are attractive, and girls kiss. So why only a six, then? Mostly because the series is still more-or-less in its introductory phase. The story is barely starting to develop, the characters haven't really developed at all, and, in short, there just isn't yet much to it. The pieces are there for a fantastic psychological drama about depravity and sensuality, but it has a little while to go before it reaches that level. I certainly anticipate seeing how this develops.