Review of Citrus

citrus

Citrus is the long awaited sequel to Orange. Hehe. Just kidding! This twelve-episode anime, from the studio that gave us Rail Wars, is actually based on a Yuri manga. The story stars a trendy teenager, named Yuzu Aihara, who has transferred to an all girls academy after her mom remarried. Unfortunately for Yuzu, her first day at school doesn’t go well. Yuzu’s fashion sense earns her a tongue lashing, from those in charge, as it violates the high school’s strict dress code. To make matters worse Yuzu has her mobile confiscated by student council president Mei Aihara. Unlike best friend Harumi Taniguchi, Yuzu doesn’t possess the cleavage necessary to smuggle portable phones inside her bosom.

OVERVIEW

Eagle eyed readers may have spotted that Yuzu and Mei share an identical surname. In episode one it’s revealed that they are in fact stepsisters. Can the polar opposites cohabitate in their new home? Well, despite being at loggerheads in public they get surprisingly close. So much so that one evening, without warning, Mei plants a kiss on Yuzu’s lips. Despite her icy exterior, it appears that Mei is starving for affection. No surprise, given that her father neglects her in favour of foreign orphans. Deprived of wang at school is it a wonder that Mei turns out to be a lesbian? In hindsight Yuzu’s mother doesn’t help matters. She thinks that two hormone-fuelled teens sharing a double bed is a good idea!

Thus the stage is set for Mei and Yuzu’s hot/cold relationship. At times Mei is flat out rude to her sibling and on other occasions she forcefully locks tongues with Yuzu. I am amazed that Mei has romantic feelings for her new sis, given that Yuzu’s misbehaviour literally gives her grandfather a heart attack in one episode. Then again Mei is a very forgiving person. For example, she harbours no ill will towards Yuzu’s childhood friend Matsuri Mizusawa. During one story arc a jealous Matsuri tries to break up Yuzu and Mei. Her scheme involves using a compromising photo to blackmail Mei into a life of prostitution. Ah no biggie. Sex slavery is nothing major in Mei’s mind. Let bygones be bygones.

VERDICT

My rating for Citrus is a three out of five. It’s a decent series that should appeal to Yuri fans. Some viewers may however get frustrated with the script. Aside from the far-fetched melodrama mentioned above, the way that Citrus teases its audience can get grating. The writers routinely bait you with smut, but never deliver anything more than tame smooches and heavy breathing. Can’t romance anime find a happy medium? I don’t expect a hentai, where people bang after just five minutes of meeting each other. On the flip side however, is it really necessary to prolong things out for a dozen episodes? It takes months for Yuzu to confess her feelings and even then she needs the support of friends to do so.

It’s a shame that this cour didn’t cover the aftermath of Mei/Yuzu’s courtship. Given that love between stepsisters is taboo I am curious to see how their parents would react to the news. Would the pair try to conceal their status or be open about it? The relationship could also have some serious ramifications for Mei. I imagine the scandal may prompt her highly conservative school to remove Mei from the student council. Due to the anime’s slow pacing that question shall remain unanswered, unless you are willing to delve into the later chapters of the source material. That makes me feel sour… just like a lemon. Perhaps that’s where the title Citrus originates from?

20 thoughts on “Review of Citrus

  1. What!? No banging after 5 minutes! haha, I did drop this anime… It felt so forced and I was hoping for less groping in the beginning with a build up to something sweeter. It is nice when there is more than just a single kiss at the end of the anime, but this just felt off… All I want is a sweet romance!!! Ha…

    • This series certainly lacks the sweetness of something like MMO Junkie. On the plus side there are some funny moments that offset the drama. To be honest I don’t approve of the scenes were characters force themselves on others. If this was boy x girl instead of girl x girl those moments would have felt much more uncomfortable.

      • Yeah, it gets really bad in a lot of yaoi anime… It is just flat out rape, then the characters “liked” it in the end… Very promotion of the stupid idea that “They wanted it or they meant yes”

  2. They’re not really related but the whole family relation thing sounds very weird to me. This is the closest that I’ve read of anime getting to incest without actually doing it. I can’t lie, the name for this series is amazing.

    • I guess technically stepsisters could date, but I am sure it would be a very awkward Christmas when visiting the folks. There is anime out there that explores forbidden love, although I haven’t watched most of them. Oreimo did delve into incest and wasn’t too bad actually. Well the first season at least.

  3. Good review, also loved the fruit connotation with orange xDD. I actually enjoyed this series, it had flaws. Namely character development with Mei. Yuzu stereo typified a typical young teen. Yeah it teased, but no show. Which is a good thing, as it tried to deal with a delicate thing having a relationship with a non-blood relative whilst being young. It didn’t push, it played it safe. Whilst the manga is on-going. The anime did enough to be enjoyable.

    • I found the show entertaining, despite the flaws I mentioned. Perhaps the series would have been better if they downplayed the romance and focused on Mei fighting her demons thanks to the warmth of having a new family. I’m curious to see if the manga addresses the issues I mentioned at the end, of if it just gets stuck in a cycle of Yuzu/Mei fighting and then making up.

  4. I’ve heard/read bits and pieces, but I had no idea of all the stuff that goes on in Citrus. You think two girls + being stepsisters would be enough chaos or smut bait. But it sounds a lot like some of the titles I read, so who am I to say?

  5. I found Mei’s refusal to explain her protean behaviour towards Yuzu very frustrating, making her a very unlikable character. Like you said, why Yuzu fell for her I don’t know – not that the pink haired brat would have been any better for her. And what was with Mei willingly dating that younger blonde girl near the end? That screamed of some kind of perverse wish-fulfilment for the loli brigade.

    All in all, an interesting show that sadly fell off a cliff too soon… :/

  6. Telenovelas aren’t the best places to find heartwarming romances but as far as Citrus goes it’s one of the yummiest and least irritating. I’ve seen worse. “Points to the manga version even though it’s nearly the same story”. It getting animated helped it immensely.

    Best girl is Harumin. Truly a gift from the heavens. Yuzu is great…most of the time. Being in love with Mei is tough but that’s what happens when you fall for a half-robot babe.

    • You’ll get no argument from me that Harumi is best girl. I am sad to hear that in the manga she ends up with the psycho pink haired gal. Haha – Mei Tron is almost as robotic as Zuckerberg.

      • Only a goddess can control a brat. I heard they have great chemistry at least. Would be fun to see their relationship animated.

        Mei-Tron would make a much better president of Facebook than Zuckerburg. For one thing despite being mechanical she’s more human than him as hard as that is to believe.

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