Anime Info | Simulcast | Official Pages
Episode 1 Review
Japanese Title: citrus
Yuzu Aihara looks like your regular gal, but other than her looks would suggest, so far she hasn’t been in love. When she and her mother move houses, she also has to switch schools, and it has to be an all-girls school… The reason they move is that her mother got re-married and on top of all the changes, Yuzu is also gaining a sister in the whole process. Mei Aihara, the student council president at her new school, role model student and the same age as her. But then she catches her doing things that are not fit for a role model student…
During the Summer 2017 season, I saw and reviewed for MT my first yuri anime, Netsuzou Trap. Fanservice aside, the short anime wasn’t particularly good. It fell short in all aspects, and you know what they say about first impressions. I started citrus a bit skeptical, and if I have to be 100% sincere, I would have been satisfied with just some titillating fanservice. Citrus, however, surprised me in a pleasant way. The fanservice is there, of course, but it’s not put there for the sake of it. All the erotic and semi-lewd scenes are there with a purpose (well, kind of) and the plot (minus the traveling dad) mostly makes sense. Ayana Taketatsu does a wonderful job playing the protagonist, Yuzu, a gyaru who has never been in love and dreams of having her first kiss in a shoujo manga way. Her personality is radiating and her carefree attitude provides most of the episode’s comedic moment. Her character is contrasted by her new stepsister’s, Mei, who is also the other half of the yuri romance.
Episode 1 of Citrus was enough to pick my interest, and though I already know that this is not going to be Kuzu no Honkai in terms of drama, it’s definitely going to be better than the other yuri anime I’ve watched.
Citrus is not of an anime genre I am normally watching. I tried a bit of NTR: Netsuzou Trap, which I thought would be similar, but to be honest, they are not similar and I think Citrus is made well so far! The first episode was nothing to blow me away with, but it was cute and when the episode ended I caught myself thinking that it was over way too fast. I even checked the time to see if the episode was shorter than usual.
The main character seems a bit naive but very loveable and even a bit cute. Since I read the manga so I also know that Mei is not as bad as she looks in the first episode, so I think this series has good potential for me to keep watching it. There is a serious romance developing between cute girls, the art and animation are good, and while there are things I think are turned around conveniently for the story (mother marries a new guy who has a daughter, and she forgets to tell her own daughter about her new sister. Then the dad isn’t even there and they have never met before… Who marries just like that? It’s too convenient, just to make the first meeting between Mei and Yuzu a bit more special), I am here for the hot kisses, and they delivered. I think the entrance was made even better than in the manga – and since we are talking about the entrance, the opening also makes me look forward to the series a lot! I hope that there will be many cute scenes we can watch of Yuzu and Mei!
There seems to have been a surge in yuri anime in recent years, with the recent NTR: Netsuzou Trap in Summer 2017 and the Kase-san and… OVAs coming out later this year. I just want to make it clear that although some people think shoujo-ai = non-sexual lesbian stories and yuri = sexual lesbian stories, that is only something that has appeared in Western fandoms. Yuri tends to refer to any kind of manga about romantic relations between girls, and sometimes those relationships are completely chaste. The term shoujo-ai is not used at all as a genre-marker in Japan, and actually has pedophilic connotations. One of the predecessors of the genre was the Shoujo Shousetsu (Girls’ Novels), specifically the so-called Class-S novels that came about during the Taisho period. These novels focused on the fleeting relationships between students at all-girls schools and their upperclassmen. You can see heavy Class S-influences in the legendary yuri series Maria-sama ga Miteru and in the parody-series Maria Holic. I think it’s very important to note that Yuri was developed by and for women, although there are many series such as Yuru Yuri that are aimed more towards male viewers.
We can see a lot of Class S influences in Citrus, too. The main characters attend an all-girls school with strict rules, the main difference between Citrus and Class-S, however, being the fact that the two have almost no relationship by the time Mei forces her tongue down Yuzu’s throat. Right from Episode 1, we see a lot of French kissing and sexual tension. Rather than depicting the sentimental and innocent relationship between two close friends, this series will depict raw sexuality first and possibly the sentimental feelings later. Call the sexuality fanservice if you wish, but I am just so happy that we have FINALLY got a yuri anime that is both serious and sexual (I think NTR: Netsuzou Trap was a little too ridiculous to count). I find Yuzu to be an absolutely adorable character, and I really want to see her start to make sense of what is going on. I just hope that female viewers are not scared and give this series a go. Although there are some slightly sexual scenes, this show is not aimed specifically at male viewers and is in fact written by a female author. As somebody who has been reading yuri for the last decade, I am really excited to see how this anime (which has absolutely stunning animation so far) will develop.