Yuri Anime Review: Citrus

Citrus-Anime-visual-e1511039898993.jpgSpoiler Warning!


Year: 2018
Episodes: 12
Genre: Drama, Ecchi, Romance, Yuri
Studio Passione

Moving out of your home to a completely new place can be pretty hard, especially if you’re still a high school student who needs to attend a school full of strangers. Unfortunately, Yuzu is not only forced to go to a new school, no, out of all possible schools, she has to attempt a very strict and conservative all-girls school as well. Also her way of “showing off” on the first day of school quickly gets her into trouble with the strict student council president Mei, who easily breaks Yuzu’s stubbornness, gaining her the pole position on Yuzu’s mental hate-list just on their first meeting. And as if things hadn’t been hard enough for her already, just when she returns home, she finds out that the one person that caused the most trouble for her that day is also going to be her new step sister…


The one anime that not only me, but so many of us have all been waiting for has come to an end, and oh damn, what a fun ride this was! But let’s start from the very beginning.

As some of you might remember from my First Impression post a few weeks ago, I absolutely loved the first episode of Citrus. A great art style, some fluid animation, awesome voice-acting, and a story that follows the manga very closely but still adds in something new every now and then. Even if the animation was lacking in some parts of later episodes, I’d still say that for the most part, this anime adaptation stayed strong and delivered just what we were all hoping to see—and sometimes even more.

I guess I could now go more into detail when it comes to the story, but since the anime follows the manga so very closely and since I already talked about the story in quite a few other posts, I’d like to keep it short here. It’s a story revolving around some touchy subjects, not only love between girls, but some “pseudo” incest on top of that. Nothing about that changed, and the drama level is still as high as ever. The anime didn’t play it down, but rather put the needed focus on just these aspects. More so even on some parts that I still don’t think the manga put that much emphasis on. What I’m talking about is the many forced kisses in the first few episodes of the show. The anime sure had it’s way of presenting them to us in the worst possible way: eerie music playing in the background, depicting a real struggle to get out of it, and just showing these scenes for a few seconds too long for me to feel comfortable with it. It had a very rape-y vibe to it, and as so many other people complained about this, I just found it absolutely needed. Nothing about these scenes should be appealing, even if it is between Mei and Yuzu. For as long as there’s force involved, it just needs to be seen as something bad, and while the manga version didn’t evoke these feelings in me, the anime version just delivered what I think was needed.

citrus yuri anime kiss

Poor Yuzu…

All in all, I’m very pleased with how they handled the adaptation. They covered a good amount of chapters and managed to end the show in a part that both felt satisfying, but they still left room for more. And even though the pacing had its hiccups in some parts, it was mostly balanced enough to neither feel boring or too overwhelming.

The one thing I was hoping the anime version would improve on, however, is depicting how characters feel, and thus being able to understand their actions better. The manga version is already lacking when it comes to this, and so, more often than necessary, you’re simply left asking yourself “WHY?!”

Let’s take the Christmas episode, for example. Mei offered everything to Yuzu, but being the useless lesbian that she is, she refused it, not even giving an explanation as to why, and then we just go two months without them talking about it. This is simply ridiculous. Not only are their reasons behind their actions often left unclear, even when they try to make up, how the situations are handled and how the conversations play out do not give us enough information to understand the situation. In Mei’s case, that’s more complicated than when it comes to Yuzu, since her feelings are often just written all over her face. Mei, on the other hand, is like a book of seven seals.

citrus yuzu yuri anime

Same…

So I was just hoping the anime version would leave more room for both of their feelings, but it often ended up not even leaving enough room to fully understand one of them.

The manga did a better job at delivering these scenes in a more understandable way, since Saburouta’s art style is just good enough to deliver so, so many feelings without even having to put any words to it.

citrus mei yuri anime

citrus mei yuri anime

You could say they’re both a blank stare, but, oh man, the manga version just delivers so many more feelings, in my eyes.

Now what is left to say is that I just can’t stress enough that we simply need a second and maybe even a third season of Citrus. More room for more character development sounds like just the thing that this show needs.

Even without knowing the sales numbers of the anime, this one was already more popular than probably all the yuri shows of the past three years combined. It was talked about so much online, there have been so many new memes about this popping up, and Tumblr and Twitter literally exploded with new MeixYuzu content. Hell, there’s even a commercial featuring Mei and Yuzu. If you haven’t seen it yet, click right here. I’ve seriously never witnessed a yuri show getting this much attention, and this is all I ever wished to have happen.

I already said it years ago, when we didn’t even know if an anime adaptation would ever happen, that this show would probably be the one anime to get enough attention to help out the genre in general—and that is exactly what I think happened here.

So what I’m hoping for now is not only more Citrus, but just more yuri anime in general. And seeing news about new yuri shows popping up so much lately, I think we’re on the right track~

citrus yuzu harumin yuri anime

Whoops, almost forgot about Harumin. She should seriously get more credit for EVERYTHING she did. She truly deserves the title as best girl~


Story: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Animation: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Yuri: 10/10
Total Enjoyment: 9/10


As a little extra, for those of you who can’t get enough of Citrus, here’s a little treat.

Citrus Schtuffs by angel0wonder

It’s a fanfiction with quite a few funny, cute, and some NSFW scenes that I seriously just can’t recommend enough. Enjoy!

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33 thoughts on “Yuri Anime Review: Citrus

  1. Just a quick correction, if you read the tankoubon version, that particular Mei’s gaze is pretty much the same with the anime one. So I think for this, the magazine version is unintentional from Saburouta’s part, which I think makes the problem is just that at that moment Yuzu in not ready to take it further with Mei, instead of Mei’s blank face is at fault.

    Personally, this is a great anime adaptation. With great pacing, great soundtrack, and great voice acting. It is not too slow or too rushed (for me), and while melodramatic, it doesn’t indulge in it too long (which is the same with the manga, but the manga has two months gap, so the dramatic feeling linger much longer if you read it as the magazine comes out).

    I hope it is not a too high standard, but I hope future yuri romance adaptation can deliver as good as this one. And I am not talking about the animation here (which at best is gorgeous, but clearly a lot of off model here and there at its worst).

    So yeah, great anime, and hopefully it is a sign for a better future for yuri…

    Like

    • When I read the manga version, it almost screamed out to me that Mei wanted to be fully accepted by Yuzu, but she was not into having sex. It was something she offered to Yuzu in return for helping her out so much. Her blank face however gave away that it was not something she really was interested in.

      The face she gives in the manga version really hit me. In the anime however, not that much. Maybe it’s the hint of a smile that she’s giving Yuzu in the anime that makes her just look less void of any emotion. It may not look too different, it’s meant to be the same picture and the same face anyway, but for me, there’s a huge difference in what kind of feelings Mei’s face conveys.

      Like

  2. Just a few things to say:
    1. This anime kills me inside.
    2. You should understand Mei the most ;p
    3. They NEVER freakin talk and that is such a problem!!!! / Issue / how can a couple have worse communication than us. THANKS writers… >.> so frustrating…
    4. ….Saburouta’s art style is way better….its kind of amazing.
    5. This anime was okay….. I low key hope there is more >.>

    Liked by 2 people

  3. …………………………..6. The part where Mei holds a string of her hair near her ear when she was all nervous and thinking and shy is probably maybe kind of a little bit the most adorable thing and best part of the episode.

    ok that is all.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I liked the last episode, I thought they did great with Yuzu’s confession because they practically used the manga translation “My feelings will never betray you!”) but the kiss itself was framed really weirdly, there was a brief close up then it cut to a weird bird’s eye view, I preferred that one panelin the manga of them finally kissing for real. Not a huge deal, but it was a moment I was waiting for.

    After the way NTR got completely shafted, I can’t se how anone would have an issue with this as an adaptation overall (minus the forced kissing a little) at the very least I’m happy with it, if there’s a fault with the series it’s probably due to the source material (“I don’t like X or Y character” etc).

    If wen ever see the Library or Rings scene animated I’m going to cry.

    Like

    • I loved that line “My feelings will never betray you.” It carries so many emotions and it’s just the right thing to say to someone like Mei – I loved it. Though, yeah you’re so right, the kiss looked a little awkward. In the manga it’s shown from a slightly different angle and looks much better.

      Like

  5. My feelings were the same. There were so many issues of consent and I appreciated that it wasn’t made okay in the series. I just seriously hope this gets a second season… not right away of course but eventually. Really appreciated your thoughts on the subject!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The anime was a lot better than I thought it be. So much so that I can now ONLY CONTINUE THIS SERIES ANIMATED. I will never read the manga again. Basically a second season is the only way I’ll continue following this story.

    As expected Harumin is best girl followed by Yuzu.

    Sadly not even the anime could make the “Silver Twins Arc” be anything more than tolerable.

    However, its greatest accomplishment, something that MUST BE EMPHASIZED, is they managed to make Mei-Tron seem more human. That helped make the anime version TREMENDOUSLY easier to follow.

    Like

    • I think we should open a fanclub or something for Harumin. Like I can agree, she was, she is and she will always be best girl and she deserves so much more love for being as awesome as she is~

      Like

  7. for me the anime was a total blast, definitely lived up to the expectations i had for it, it did an amazing job with adapting the manga and adding in a tad few bits of original things that didnt hurt it at all though sometimes the pacing did feel off (for me it was mostly around eps 2 to 4 and maybe ep 5) but i still really loved it! the acting and portrayal of all the characters were spectacular, taketatsu ayana and tsuda minami deserve praise and an award for their amazing performances! im really happy that citrus made such a huge impact on not only the yuri community but the anime community in general and as a whole, for it to be trending on twitter when it first aired to yuzu and mei being in a commercial to so much more, we really are getting somewhere and not only that but we are getting more yuri animes this year in fact 2 more yuri animes with tachibanakan triangle next week to kick off the spring season and happy sugar life in summer season which i totally didnt expect cause when it was first announced i thought it was going to take a while to come out but boy was i wrong! and yes i do hope we get a season 2 to see all of the other things in the manga animated cause what happens next is even better though still full of feels.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed the heck out of this, it really exceeded my expectations!
    Normally I would wait and binge all the episodes once it was finished, but I couldn’t resist watching each as they came out (in addition to re-watching the previous weeks episode).

    This certainly marks a milestone in yuri. 😀
    I really doubt it’s a question of whether we will get a next season, but rather when.
    Thanks for the fanfic too!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Enjoy the heck out of the fanfic shade! All the chapters are brilliant and mostly adorably hilarious 😛
      Citrus is definitely a milestone – I should have used that word somewhere in m review, damn it 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Sad to see the series is over now T.T but the amount of hype and views for the series will hopefully lead to a season 2! 😀 soon it will be time to torrent this series and binge watch it! Loved your review by the way. and totally agree that Harumin is best girl. she is just too awesome of a friend to Yuzu to not love! Here’s hoping in the manga she does end up with Matsuri! the romantic tension between them is so thick you would need a chainsaw to cut through it! 😛 Also that pic you used of Yuzu in her disguise is too cute for words.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just a heads up, massive post episode 12 rambling ahead, proceed at your own peril!

    It’s hard for me to totally place my feelings for the show, this was my first actual yuri anime and a really good friend of mine suggested I watch it since I’m a general romance fan. All issues with pacing, angles and mechanics aside… I did enjoy it, a lot. I think the drama, in some areas, was a bit over the top and got in the way and I felt that there needed to be times and moments where things were slower and they were able to just sit down and talk; of course, I mean talking without any forced kissing or sexual actions That’s something that really struck me about a lot of characters, normal people don’t handle awkward situations with “hey, lets tackle this with sex!” the only people that do are those who have been abused emotionally or sexually… and the number of times that forced or misplaced sexual conduct popped up made it seem like someone was trying to make a point.

    Yuzu’s sexuality ultimately doesn’t matter and in a way, Mei’s doesn’t either. What does matter is that Mei has accepted sexual advances that she quite possibly didn’t want and eventually just accepted it as normal status quo. There’s the scene in the start with her teacher, the number of times that she forces herself on Yuzu and even the one scene where Mei’s childhood friend starts to cross the line with her; a scene that heavily points to previous sexual behavior between the two when they were younger. Every major character, with the exception of Yuzu, Sara and Harumin seem to think these sort of casual sexual tendencies are OK. It could all be coincidence but in a way I feel like the author was trying to make a statement about sexual abuse and, in a way, some of the stuff that we see Mei doing to Yuzu and others doing to Mei can be classified as sexual abuse, even if some instances are a bit of a stress.

    Mei’s world is totally thrown into the water with the introduction of Yuzu and we even see in their first meeting that Mei totally crosses a line with her (ass grabbing is always nice but def not the right way to get someones phone from them). Here we have this girl who is emotionally messed up trying to treat Yuzu the same way she has been treated by others as well as the same way she has likely treated others in the past. She treats sexual contact and romance as something casual and empty because its never had any real meaning for her previously; sex and romance without meaning or substance to back it up causes, for lack of a better word, emotional separation and withdrawal. A character in the show says “its due to her workload” but that’s just what people see it to be, when in reality its due to the way she’s been treated and the empty sexual relationships she’s had with the other girls in her life. We only ever see things from Yuzu’s point of view but what about Mei’s? What is she thinking? If I were to take a guess, she’s likely thinking “Why isn’t this going the same way like it did with all the others? What’s different about this? Why is she taking this seriously?”. This seems to best fit Mei’s actions and how she has such a hard time opening up to her sister, who represents a totally new and likely frightening sort of relationship: one that matters and is backed up by honest feelings. Of course, Yuzu is a total block head and totally manks it up several times throughout the show but thankfully things piece together in the end.

    All in all I think the reason why Citrus is so popular is because its not just making a statement about lesbian relationships or lesbian high school romance, its also making a statement about emotional and sexual abuse. Two things that a lot of men and women (young and old) suffer from and are going through and dealing with. Citrus is way more than a yuri romance, its about learning to come to terms with yourself and your past. Learning to come to terms that what you went through wasn’t the real deal and that there is healing in accepting the real deal. There’s a pretty massive transformation of Mei throughout the entire season, from being very cold and quiet to expressing a lot of emotion through her face, speech and body language. The focus may be on Yuzu but… Mei is really the important focus here and I believe that she’s the one most people are relating to when they watch the show; at least, I know she’s who I related to the most. The author has done an amazing job of hiding something so incredible right in plain sight… I only hope that more people realize it; though maybe that’s not what the author wants? I see a lot of people online arguing or talking about Yuzu’s sexuality or Mei’s… or how the author hasn’t really “done anything new and has instead relied more on tropes and things that have been done before”. I can’t really talk about things done in other Yuri anime but I can say for a fact that a large majority of people are missing the big picture here… Citrus is making a splash for a reason and I think that’s why.

    It’s not perfect but if it was then no one would be happy and everyone would be ignoring it. Real life isn’t perfect, people aren’t either and REAL relationships and emotions are messy globby things that stick to everything and cause stains… what a truly wonderful portrayal of that.

    Thanks for this review, I’ll definitely be sure to check out some of the other anime you’ve listed!

    TL:DR Citrus is a show that’s seemingly about a girl falling in love but is really about a girl learning to overcome emotional and (likely very possible) sexual abuse in order to come to terms with what real love is and its done quite masterfully.

    I wont lie, I expected a standard high school love romance. I’m really glad that I got sooo much more out of it. I’m not sure what other guys will be getting out of this but I related to Mei quite a lot and that makes me happy.

    Here’s hoping for a season 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like how you tackled the show, how you, unlike many others who are not familiar with this genre yet, tried to find reason for their actions instead of just stating that it’s over the top and that Mei is an empty, annoying character. You go into detail and I really like how you at the end of it came up with what I think is a perfect description of the story.
      I really hope you’ll enjoy some more Yuri shows~

      Like

      • Thanks! I was a bit worried that I went over the top there with my break down of the show. I’m tempted to dive into the manga but… I don’t know if I can handle more love triangles, angst and drama after watching the anime; I can handle it in short doses but sometimes its better to not get too invested in something. I’ve already had a few little things spoiled for me and perhaps I’ll just read about what happens after the fact, haha.

        I suppose you’re the best to ask this since you run the blog, so do you have any recommendations for Yuri (manga/anime) that would be more laid back, slice of lifey? Citrus had a lot of… push and pull to it that felt a bit forced and I’m hoping there’s some out there that feels a bit more fluid and natural. The one you just reviewed, Saki, looks pretty interesting so maybe I’ll go and start there.

        Thanks for any recommendations you might have!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hmmm, after Citrus, maybe you really do need to recover a little so something lighter would be best.
          I think I’d recommend Sasameki Koto. It’s a comedy slice of life with some hints of drama, but nothing too bad. It’s probably the best thing to watch after Citrus. Or if you’re only out for some light hearted comedy, maybe try Kanamemo or Love Lab. The Yuri on the latter is not that obvious, but it’s pretty cute and funny and a favorite of the community when it comes to these things.

          Like

  11. I honestly think this is a huge step back in yuri anime and overall story design in general. I mostly just found it to become more and more dramatic with every episode. While many of you will probably not share this view with me i would still like to talk a bit about this anime !

    I personally find Yuzu to be the best character, Mei to me is mostly just all over the place. She really doesn’t make much sense to me, the whole “I have walls and im in pain” thing got old very fast really. It wasn’t done well in my opinion, she has some daddy issues and sort of got over them but everything just went incredibly fast. The pacing really wasn’t great in my opinion. The whole love triangle felt rather unnecessary and weird. Oh sure they suddenly realized that they need to talk about their feelings and everything. But it was just odd the whole oh yeah im just gonna date someone else, bye yuzu. Without a single regard for her emotions and what it might do to her. I honestly find Mei to be beyond cruel towards Yuzu. Either way, i just felt like venting a bit << I find this a highly overrated manga and anime that could've been far better wihout all the weird consent issues, major wall issues, weird love triangle issues and other stuff.

    Like

    • Of course Citrus won’t be everyone’s favorite, it has its very, very obvious flaws.
      However, I think it was important that out of all Yuri manga out right now, this one was chosen. I think we’re already seeing the impact it had and it will probably show even more in the future.

      Like

    • I think it’s important to point out that the only potential reason that Mei got with Sara was to make her sister, Yuzu, jealous. Anyone and everyone could tell that Yuzu loves Mei but clearly she wasn’t able to come out and directly say so or really be all that… aware of Mei’s true feelings (despite Mei being pretty forward several times). While it comes off as outwardly cruel, there’s no way that Sara and Mei’s relationship would’ve worked out. They go to different schools, live in different cities, have different schedules and etc. Pretty clever plan on Mei’s part to get her sister to finally, FINALLY, show her hand and grow a pair.

      While there were technical issues with the show, that’s pretty standard for any manga anime adaptation, there’s corners to cut and things to squish so sometimes things get a little rumpled. The lack of consent issues were also really important to have and the way they displayed those scenes was perfect.

      It’s a shame you didn’t like it but everyone is different 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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