Let’s Talk About Citrus

You all saw it coming, didn’t you? Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, even Google+; the whole internet is talking about Citrus, and it’s splitting the entire yuri fanbase. As a yuri fan, I admittedly haven’t been around for that many years, but during the few years I’ve been a fan, I’ve never witnessed anything like that.

Our latest Yuri Tournament also proves that Citrus is indeed big, but also hated. I was thinking very long about what word to use here, but hated might actually be very accurate.

You either really hate Citrus or love it. For some reason, there is not that much in-between, and I just thought, why not talk about it… like all the other people. Yay…. 😛

You have been warned. This post is going to be all about Citrus, and I’m a Citrus fangirl on top of that, so please just click away if you can’t deal with it.

So, yeah. How did it all start? Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? But even the first chapter of this manga managed to get a surprising high amount of attention, mostly positive. Okay, to be fair, you can’t really go wrong with a first chapter that basically just shows gorgeous art and two girls making out, so at that point, not many people were able to rant about anything.

Though, as quickly as this manga’s popularity rose, haters appeared as well. A few months back, I just thought that those who hated on Citrus were jealous of it. Maybe jealous because its popularity was greater than their favorite manga, but I now admit that I was mostly wrong.

I did something that I usually try to avoid – I read people’s comments on online readers. You might wonder why I usually try to stay away from that, and that is simply because I’m easily influenced by other people’s opinions. If people call something I like shit—and they at least have one good argument to base this on—I start to wonder whether they are right, and this eventually makes me realize potential flaws, which in the end leads to me not being able to enjoy it anymore.

In Citrus‘ case, I read a lot of comments that I can simply not agree with. But at the same time, I also found a lot of good arguments, for both sides, that is.

Basically, what I read over and over and over again is that people call Citrus predictable, and I agree. You know what is coming the moment new characters appear from wherever they’ve been hiding before. Mei and Yuzu’s actions as well don’t make much of an exception. Though, I’m not sure that the two new characters that have been introduced in the most recent chapters, Sara and Nina, really fall into the same category as Himeko and Matsuri. Still, the only reason for their appearance is to get into Yuzu’s way. So the only thing that is new about these characters is the fact that they don’t have any bad intentions while doing so.

citrus yuri manga
Though, after seeing that, I’m not so sure anymore….

Next, people also call Citrus’ story, as well as the drama, forced. In this case, I can only partly agree, because I believe that many call it forced for the wrong reasons. The introduction of new characters that apparently always bring in more drama is of course supporting this statement, yet I don’t really see how this applies to how Mei and Yuzu interact with each other. It may not be intended by the author, but I think their relationship might be a little more complicated than what meets the eye.

In fact, I think their relationship is way more complicated than what many people make it seem. Right here, I’d like to add a quote from Mina Hazuki, who left a comment on the Dynasty Reader saying the following:

Mei and Yuzu: step-sisters, who don’t share a past together, have lived completely different lives until they met and are polar opposites of each other. This is the base, that was presented for them. It should’ve been pretty clear from the beginning, that it’s gonna be a tough road. Mei has no idea how to properly convey her feelings to someone. Until recently, she didn’t even understand that it’s ok to do so at all. She’s used to being a marionette, used to doing what other people expect from her. She only just recently learned, that this isn’t how it has to be. That doesn’t mean that she suddenly understands everything and can tell Yuzu, in a way this damn airhead won’t misunderstand, what she feels. Not taking the lead and allowing Yuzu to take control, for a character like Mei, is a pretty big change. Yuzu, on the other hand, is always straight-forward and has a clear idea in her head of how she wants her first love to be like. Since Mei doesn’t fit in this ideal picture, yet Yuzu is madly in love with her, isn’t it understandable, that she’s terribly confused? She’s always having doubts about both, Mei’s as well as her own intentions. She still thinks her love for Mei is one-sided, which it clearly isn’t. Those 2 girls are so unlike each other and so incredibly inexperienced when it comes to love and relationships, that it would feel a lot less real if there wouldn’t be drama and misunderstandings.

With that said, I think it’s even necessary for these kinds of rival characters to appear, because thanks to Mei and Yuzu’s polar personalities, I don’t even think they could manage to get together on their own. So please Nina and Sara, work your side character magic, and drive Yuzu and Mei a little—hopefully a whole lot—closer together.

Speaking of the new characters, many people seem to believe that there will be more love triangles to follow. That would make 3, them being:

Mei x Yuzu x Himeko
Mei x Yuzu x Matsuri
And now also Mei x Yuzu x Sara

Well, the last one might be a bit different, but I agree that I’d rather see Mei x Yuzu alone than in any kind of love triangle with other characters. However, is that really that big of a problem?

Personally, I don’t think so. It’s like I said above, we need these characters for Yuzu and Mei to get closer together, but I also agree that certain patterns shouldn’t be used that repeatedly.

citrus yuri manga
Speaking of repeating patterns, this scene was extremely stupid…

citrus yuri manga
… and yet it lead to something like this again, so I shouldn’t complain.

Still, and please note that this is nothing more than my own opinion, I personally believe that judging this manga too harshly is probably the main problem our fanbase has with Citrus. In most cases, if you find something stupid, just drop it and never touch it again. In Citrus‘ case, people constantly say that they’ll drop it, but they never do and always come back just to tell everyone how much they still hate it. This is a problem I’ve only once encountered, and I honestly don’t get it. Maybe some people are just too annoyed with all the fangirls and thus end up coming back to this manga over and over again, just to be disappointed by the story again. I seriously can’t find another explanation, though maybe you guys can help me out.

In the end, what one of my friends said about Citrus probably comes closest to what I think is really true. She said that Citrus simply has a lot of wasted potential, and I agree on that. Saburouta seemingly tries to stay on the safe side, using the same old patterns and avoids trying anything new. But even if this is true, what’s making things worse is the fact that many of us, me included, have expectations that are way too high for this manga. That simply ruins what a yuri manga like this should actually bring us, and that is, as plain and stupid as it sounds, excitement and joy. In my case, even after knowing the potential flaws of Citrus, I can still enjoy it. And even if another love triangle or anything like this follows in future story arcs, I’ll still be a little fangirl.

Finally, and this is going to be my last statement, even if you hate Citrus and think it’s garbage, look at it this way: Thanks to this very Manga, our community grew a whole lot. How often did I read that people stumbled upon this genre all thanks to Citrus?

As bad as you might think it is, it still has a very positive effect on our fanbase, attracting more and more people, which is always a good thing.

citrus yuri manga kiss

67 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Citrus

  1. I found Citrus by accident, it wasn't the manga that got me into Yuri, but more so to broaden my views on different Manga, now sure this manga isn't perfect and it could be better, but I am not going to judge it harshly, i like it as it is, sure there are some aspects that are recycled, but then again I have seen worse, but I am not going to go on about that.

    what I like about the third parties in this story, is that they do progress the main characters to pursue their feelings for one another. But I think one of the bigger problems is the lack of risk taking, but I think overall Citrus is still a good read, not perfect, but it certainly isn't garbage. I have read horrible manga, some of them i would rather forget,

    Oh and I do need to remind you, it is chapter 17 and the extra chapter, lol


  2. No matter how horrible the character, storyline and how cliché it is, nobody can complain on its art. The art is just too great.


  3. I always had some liking for shojo ai/yuri stuff since i really hate “normal” romance genre or yaoi stuff. i watched a few anime like strawberry panic, kannazuki no miko and shojo sect. i liked it but dont really get addicted to it. this all changes with citrus. i got it into my hands by accident and after reading the first vol. i dunno why everything was to late for me and i felt in love with the yuri genre. thx to citrus i watched plenty of yuri anime and readed many yuri manga. i am well award that saburo uta could do better with the story but in the end its her story and not everything that i think would be fine, is fine in the end. so i just love citrus for what it is and what saburo uta made out of it. and it absolutly dont want to compare citrus to othere yuri manga because nearly every of these is good in their own way and i enjoyed it while reading. But in the end one thing is for sure: i never saw a yuri manga with such a great beautiful and detailed art like citrus.


  4. okay now i see why citrus has its hate. i remember when i first found citrus back in 2013 and i read the first 3 chapters, i loved the art style a lot and i liked what was going on in the first 3 chapters. as it continued i realized the recycled cliché aspects and such that was talked about and somehow i realized even with all of the cliché stuff i really dont mind it and honestly imo at times it helps the characters out like you said the third party characters like nina did help push yuzu and mei forward into their relationship which i did like and i too wouldnt mind more characters like these since it can continue to help yuzu and mei. but at times i can see this cliché stuff also hurting the manga too but i cant really put my finger on how much it could possibly hurt it. so to sum it up i like citrus as it is tbh, it could be better but what am i saying i have a lot of things that i want to see happen but theyre too high (like you said lena k.) so i just stick to what is brought to us readers and i like it for what it is


  5. I really like Citrus's art, even with the cliche character (and don't mention the plot cz we all know its coming XD)..but somehow it felt incomplete and not as satisfying as the time i was reading sasameki koto…


  6. It seems that Citrus is a very sensitive issue indeed (so sensitive, Lena has yet to comment here… or maybe because it's the weekend… =P )!

    I agree that what it boils down to is if you enjoyed it and i did (though the psudo-incest thing takes a while to get used to… then again, i liked candyboy so go figure). Lena, you let us know when another chapter is published, yeah? =D


  7. As seen in the 9 pages already available of the most recent chapter, there will be some more characters.
    I sure hope they'll be … let's say a bit different then the former 😛


  8. And here I am, ready to comment 😛

    The most recent chapter was released yesterday, but so far only 9 pages are available.
    The drama CD is out though, I think I reblogged it on Tumblr 😉


  9. omg drama CD did any group volunteer to provide a translation?

    also who were voicing whom? the drama CD is relatively new to me tbh. It'd be great if it explores harumin and matsuri's life outside the main canon (yes I ship these two)


  10. Well at last I see someone talking about this aspect of the manga.
    One of the reasons that I like citrus is more the psychological aspect of the characters.
    It is not easy to understand, really much to talk about that, but in short, in that the sleeve has a lot to give, trying to understand the feelings of Mei and Yuzu and how they react.
    Regarding Heaters, I think it's a mixture of people who like to complain or just like to start fights.
    Like it or not really Citrus has grown immensely he misses this genre.
    Thanks to a Random image I saw, I could find Citrus, and there is definitely fell in love with Yuri.
    For me I've read many mangas really would say that is my favorite, I just love.
    Regarding the waste of potential, I do not know how else they would like to take the story, or just I have no imagination, not where they want carrying the story, if you want more sex then do not bother, everything in time.
    The repetition, even I have felt, but really did not bother me one bit, because even if the same pattern is no less interesting.
    This has cast me suffer and alegraeme like no other achievement, just had that connection with the characters and story.

    In closing I leave the link to download the Drama-cd:

    And the translation of the first part:


  11. I always feel that the people who hate on Citrus want it to be more than it is in regards to storytelling, the thing is Citrus has never pretended to be more than campy drama so I don't see what the problem is. I mean, it's about a pseudo-incestuous relationship for crying out loud and anyone expecting Citrus to deliever some kind of Wuthering Heights classic romance instead of silly Mexican telenova style high drama needs to put their expectations in check.


  12. Maxin, you left a comment, replied to your own comment, then deleted your first comment.

    I then deleted your first comment because you had already deleted it yourself, but didn't remember that any replies to deleted comments are deleted too.

    In other words, your comment was deleted because I messed up. My bad. :/


  13. So another one who fell in love with the genre thanks to Citrus?
    Man the more people I find saying this, the more I actually start realizing just how big of an impact this little manga has on the whole community.
    It's crazy.


  14. I think it is quite humorous. quite enjoy what I have seen so far. but it will be interesting to see what the new characters will bring to the story, it might actually improve it a little, while we see Yuzu and Mei develop as characters this time around.

    in fact I see Mei opening up a lot more, in fact I see her showing more emotion in the coming chapters.


  15. I'm the kind of person who is in the middle of this love/hate thing. For me Citrus is readable but neither I'd call it one of the greatest yuri mangas. Somethings at least have gotten better towards the recent chapters in my opinion, for example I hated Yuzus character at first but that has been fixed as the series continued. Also it feels like Citrus goes in circles, Yuzu tries to get close to Mei, but when she gets there she forces herself out of there. And this has happened in more than one occasion.


  16. I think Saburouta is simply trying to drag out the story for as long as possible.
    For some it's a pain, for others is bliss since we just don't want to let go of the manga.


  17. I don't know if I love Citrus or hate Citrus. Sometime I enjoy the chapter or don't enjoy the chapter. Because it keeps repeating love-fight all the time. But thank god, it's over. No more repeating, Finally Yuzu and Mei are going out! FINALLY!! It's been 3 years right now! lol. I do enjoy the story though, about Mei's father and more.

    I don't like how Saburouta handle the side characters. I don't know. It's just she doesn't treat them good. And also, I feel like she always bring the new characters and then kick them out, just like Mei's grandpa and Sara/Nina (and maybe Yuzu fangirl too). I think, in my opinion, Citrus becomes much better if Saburouta supports the side characters (not always focus on Yuzu and Mei).

    Any kind of story always focus on the main characters but also focus on the side characters. Am I right or wrong?

    Despite all that, I really fall in love the art style.


  18. I agree to what you said about the side characters.

    Other than Himeko, none of them really appeared much after they were “dealt with”.
    I sure hope to see Sara and Nina again, I actually enjoyed them.

    Gramps, nameless teacher and Matsuri can stay wherever they are right now though. I don't and will never like them 😛


  19. I agree too. would like to see sometimes a bit more about the side charas. lucky me my favorit harumi is still showing up from time to time but i would love to see more background from harumi and would also enjoy see something from nina and sara and maybe the little brat himeko. but no need for that bitch matsuri to show up again. that way saburo uta dont need to think all the time about story just about yuzu and mei


  20. You cant get popular without gathering a few haters.

    I love Citrus but I do feel like it is going around in circles. It's great to see how their relationship grows with each step of the way but at this point it's kind of predictable.
    After someone spoiling me chapter 16 it looks like their relationship will finally go steadily and it looks like we will learn a bit more about Yuzu's friend Harumi which is good since she's a cool character we know nothing about.


  21. Even though my comment is late This is the first yuri manga I ever read. And I gotta say now Im a fan. I like citrus its what lead me to other yuri manga. And thats saying alot cause I only ever read one manga up until now that is.


  22. Citrus is my all time favorite yuri manga and volume 4 was so intense. I lost it when they kissed at the end. I'm so happy they're going out together. It looks like citrus isn't going to finish anytime soon, which is great. I'd love for the series to end at a their wedding. I also have a question. In japan, volume 4 came with a drama cd, but the translation didn't. I already knew that we weren't going to get one, but how come any time there is a bonus with a manga volume, the translations never get it?


  23. I'm not sure if I got this right, but there already is a translation for the drama CD. You can easily find it on Youtube.
    Well, it's of course not an official translation.


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