Yuri Artist Review: Saburouta

Works: 8/10
While I believe that this artist is mostly known for her most recent work, Citrus, this is definitely not all this artist has in store for us. For those of you who only know Citrus and no other works by Saburouta, you might be in for a surprise.

But let’s still start with her most popular work. Citrus is probably the one work which really boosted this artist’s popularity. We already arrived at Volume 3, which is a lot for anyone who understands just how hard it is for a yuri manga to get more than only one volume. Three is a whole lot in that sense, and it might not even be the last one.

Other than Citrus, Saburouta has only released one more yuri work under this specific name, and that is her adult one-shot Partners, which was featured in Yuri Hime Wildrose magazine last year. Before that, Saburouta was mostly known for her ecchi one-shots featuring heterosexual couples, and in some rare cases, some yuri-ish scenes. Only a few of them have been translated so far, and it’s not that easy to find them online, so if you want to take a look, click here.

As for the surprise I promised a few lines ago, Saburouta has worked on, and also published, yuri doujinshi under a different name, Nekoyanagi Sabu. There is, unfortunately, only one translated work available, but it’s a whole collection with 5 chapters, so it’s actually quite a lot. It’s a Pretty Cure Honoka x Nagisa doujin. If you want to check it out, click here.

It’s quite different from her usual angsty, ecchi releases, since it’s rather cute and light-hearted, but that’s exactly what makes it so good~

saburouta yuri doujinshi

Out of all of these works, what I enjoyed the most is definitely Citrus. I guess that’s no surprise at all…. Though I have to admit, and I said this before, Citrus is not that popular just for its story. It is undoubtedly this popular mainly because the art is so gorgeous. As harsh as this sounds, you probably can’t argue with me on that one. It’s simply a fact.

Art: 9.5/10
For the short while I’ve known this artist, she became one of my absolute favorite yuri artists, and it’s all thanks to one work.

I have rarely seen better looking characters than Yuzu and Mei, and I think this art style will stay on top of my list for quite a while longer. For me, there is seriously not that much competition out there that could top this art style. However, as for her previous works, I can’t say that the art is really comparable to that of Citrus. We can definitely see that it’s the same artist, but it looks different. Let’s just compare them:

saburouta manga comparison
click to enlarge

On the left, we see a page out of one of Saburouta’s hetero works, while on the right, we see a page out of Citrus. It is quite obvious that both pages are drawn by the same artist, but the art in the right one looks far more mature and detailed than the left one. I guess this difference is only due to the time gap that lies between the making of these two works, but it’s still worth mentioning it.

Yuri: 8/10
Despite the fact that Saburouta has probably released just as many hetero works as she released yuri ones, it is a fact that ever since Citrus has been published in late 2012, she has only released yuri works.

I don’t know how things will develop in the future, but since this artist even mixed up some yuri one-shots in her previous hetero manga, I think we can at least assume that her current yuri manga won’t be the only ones we’ll see from her.

citrus saburouta colored
Colored by Arisu-o3o

In those works, the yuri is the main theme of the story. Also, and please note that this is my personal impression, it feels as if Saburouta put way more effort in making Citrus than she put in making her previous works. I guess I’m mainly basing this assumption on the fact that the characters, and simply the whole art style, look way more detailed in Citrus and Partners than in any other of her previous works. However, as mentioned above, it could also just be due to the time gap….

Total Enjoyment: 8.5/10
Saburouta hasn’t been around for too long, but even during this short amount of time, she’s developed into one of the most popular yuri artists of the whole year. I don’t know how things will go from here, but I sure hope that we’ll see far more from this artist in the future. A few more one-shots would be a nice start.

Here are our reviews of the various works that Saburouta has done:
Citrus [Volume 1]
Citrus [Volume 2]
Citrus [Volume 3]


37 thoughts on “Yuri Artist Review: Saburouta

  1. The first time I read Citrus, there were 4 chapters out. I was pretty excited. Really good art, the story was kinda good and god, Mei!! (generally, I'm only into blonde girl but she's so gorgeous).

    But now, that 3 volumes are out (I think the 4th will be the last) I changed my mind about it. Even though I'm still waiting every two months the next chapter, I'm kinda disappointed in the characters.

    Seriously, they are fucking dumb and predictable. “Oh, I will kiss you to take back the kiss you did to her”. “oh, I will be a total bitch for 3 chapters, and then I will help you” (srly, I think this is really ridiculous). And even Yuzu. Don't get me wrong, I really like that girl but stop crying every seconds.

    Something, I feel like I'm reading a yuri parodie.

    Now, I'm only waiting for them to have sex.


  2. Oh, I forgot about the NagiHono doujinshi. It's maybe the great doujinshi about Futari wa. I really like those two characters and she captured them really well.

    I really hope I will be able to buy this doujinshi one day.


  3. “Mei, don't touch me there! For goodness' sake, we're related!”
    “It's okay, Yuzu. It's not like our parents procreated.”
    “Oh yeah. Then that makes it okay if we mated.”

    I think I'm addicted to this now. 😀

    How upset would you be if there were hetero scenes in her yuri work? Like a love triangle between Mei, Yuzu, and some guy.

    The love triangle in Kannazuki helped it to stand out more. Maybe the controversy could help fund a few more volumes, and you know the girl would win anyway. 😛


  4. Hello,

    I just want to thank you for your articles, it's not easy in France (I'm french) to find Yuri and with your blog I discoverded a lot of animes and mangas. Now I'm waiting for the next Citrus! I hope you'll write and article about it, I'm so impatient!


  5. Hi, i'm from Portugal and it's incredibly hard to find yuri related things in here, so i want to thank you for creating such a great blog.
    Moving on to Citrus. I can't wait for the next chapter. I keep checking every day if it has been updated, despite knowing it's not. It's torture. It's cruel to keep us waiting for so long, specially if Saburouta ends the previous chapter with a bomb like that.


  6. I really can't argue with you on the art-style but I can totally argue with you on the story, man. 😛

    I'm a really lazy person so I'll just leave here a part of what I wrote somewhere else which concerns both Citrus and Saburouta as the author of Citrus after chapter 12 was translated.

    “… In my opinion Citrus has a lot and I mean A LOT of wasted potential. Saburouta has had many opportunities to develop things further as well as the characters, to make the story even more interesting… and she didn't take them. She chose to keep on following that pattern she has of coming up with an issue and then getting it solved, and I don't know whether I was the one who expected too much from the author and that's why I'm disappointed right now, or it's Saburouta who really did not think about exploring all the wasted potential she has left behind. Either way, after reading and rereading the chapters that have been released, I've come to a conclusion, which is I won't expect great things from Saburouta anymore when it comes to writing the story alone. I think Citrus is that kind of manga that you're supposed to enjoy for its beautiful art-style, for the characters you've come to like, for the feelings it awakens in you, for anything but the story since, by now, I'm convinced that the author isn't worried about creating something that hasn't been done before or that would shock us or make us freak out or I don't know (and I also don't know if I'm managing to put my thoughts here in the right way or if I'm getting my message through but I hope it makes sense and you can get what I mean), she's not worried about creating a masterpiece, Saburouta just wants to keep drawing manga (or something like that) and she's going in the safe way now, she's okay as long as the story is okay too, and she'll probably be doing things that people would like to see from now on. Of course I might be wrong and she might somehow manage to surprise me or something in the future, but regardless of that, I'll still keep on following Citrus because even if it has disappointed me once again, it's still one of my favorites manga.”

    To put it simply and make it shorter: I think she could've made it an absolute masterpiece but somehow didn't. 😀


  7. So I saw that @p_yurihime tweeted something about a Citrus PV that's in production? Could it be it's getting an anime adaption?


  8. What you just wrote in a few sentences, is what I usually try to sugarcoat with nicer words 😛
    It is stupid in many parts and in doesn't make much sense in others, but still I can't get myself to not like it.
    It's like I need this manga around, because it has such a huge impact on basically anyone, me included.


  9. Maybe we'll get even more of those, who knows?
    If we're lucky, we'll see Saburouta's name popping up in the participant list of the next Comiket, because in this case, I can buy it right there and even see her in person.


  10. You're really addicted and I love it 😀

    If there was a love triangle between them and another guy, I'd be ok with it as long as the guy looses 😛
    There's just no room for heterosexual romance in our yuri works 😛


  11. Thank you too, I really love hearing these words 🙂
    Regarding Citrus, I think the next chapter will be out on 18th November.
    This is by the way also the time the new volume with an hopefully nice extra will be out~


  12. If I hadn't already uploaded that post, I would have quoted you many times.
    Wasted potential is probably just the right way to describe what is happening in Citrus.

    But somehow, this happens so much in manga that I don't even think that they know what they are doing. It's like you said, it just looks like they have some kind of pattern how to write the plot in manga and they just use this instead of going for something a little more risky, and simply new.
    It happened so much, that this is no surprise actually, and even though we know that the story is just not that good, we still can't help but love it nonetheless, right? 😛


  13. Yeah there is wasted potential… But then again I can understand Saburouta for going the safe way. I mean: I've read sooo many comments like “Let them have sex already!” and such. So the fans are crying out for more sexy time between Yuzu and Mei. But you can't develope the story more into detail if you have to satisfy the fandom with sexy moments every single chapter.
    She wants to be able to continue drawing manga and for that she needs to sell her manga. And if most of the fans are lusting for more passionate scenes… That is all she can do.

    I wished the manga would get a more detailed story. I wish Saburouta will delay the happy ending as much as possible, 'cause I'll miss Citrus if it's over. And I want to know more about Yuzu and especially Mei. I don't want the sexual tension to end even if it kills me multiple times (:'D).
    I want a yuristory, that is cute (not too mature) as citrus but more realistic and detailed. And maybe, if she'll get popular enough, my dream will come true :]


  14. One the one hand I agree, a more detailed story would be fantastic. But I'm not sure whether Saburouta can write one without following the same pattern she followed for the past 3 volumes.

    I think she should concentrate on the one thing the fans really want, and that is sexy time between Yuzu and Mei.
    We don't really need any side characters, with the drama they bring and weird plot twists.
    All we need, is a simple love story between Mei and Yuzu.
    As harsh as it may sound, I think we should probably leave the more complex stories to authors like Takemiya Jin.


  15. I love Takemiya Jin's stories soo much. But I want such a story with the artstyle from Saburouta. Also I looove the sexual tension in citrus. If we could combine all this… It would be awesome *-*


  16. “I can't get myself to not like it.” It's completely true for me too ;_; So much about it pisses me off, but… I really love Yuzu, even with all the crying that seems to bother everyone. I just have to keep reading. And reading it multiple times. lol. ;_; I feel the author is probably mocking us.
    I didn't know Saburouta had any other yuri releases 😀 Thanks for showing me, man.


  17. I'm happy you found this helpful 🙂
    Also, I'm (yet again) writing a huge post about Citrus in which I'll be talking a little more about what is currently going on in our fanbase.


  18. well.. I can say that seeing Yuzu got so confused around Mei remind me of myself and my lovesick foolishness… but no,
    the real reason I'm a sucker for Citrus is Mei's hawtgorgeousness (is that even a word? XD) and because she kept giving me a blue ball (although I have no ball at all). sorry for being a low life pervert ><


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