Citrus (シトラス) Manga, Volume 1

April 27th, 2011

(If you’ve reached this review looking for the Citrus manga Seven Seas licensed…this is not it. That Citrus is a Yuricest story and I have not reviewed it  – or, indeed, ever bought a volume of it.  This is a completely different series with the same name.)

In a very, very small town somewhere out in the boonies, Shiho goes to school with the few other teens of her age left in that town. Shiho has a dream. Because there are no music teachers in town, Shiho has taught herself to play the piano and is encouraged by the kind words she receives from everyone. Everyone, that is, until a new student transfers in from the big city. Nanami is beautiful, standoffish and no one quite knows what to make of her. Through a handwave or two Shiho ends up being assigned to show Nanami around the school. She plays the piano for Nanami and thinks that she’d like to be the new girl’s friend.

Nanami remains cool towards everyone, despite Shiho’s overtures of friendship, but the day the teacher asks what kind of music they like, everything changes. Nanami, it turns out, plays the piano – at concert level. Shiho listens to the tinkle of her dreams shatter with every polished note. She confronts Nanami about the sin of omission, but Nanami is unapologetic – she castigates Shiho for basking in the adulation of the little people of this little town, rather than learning anything at all about the big wide world.

Thus begins Citrus (シトラス), an afternoon-drama-like manga that follows the lives and likes of the teens in this small town. Shiho, her friends, the “good” boy in class, the “bad” boy in class, Nanami, each one of their inner lives is laid bare for us to read and identify with.

Oddly enough, I had experienced the exact same thing last night watching a documentary about legendary dance choreographer Pina Bausch teaching dance to German teens. Dancing Dreams had almost the same exact feel as Citrus, but in a different venue. School is no less intense for it being an everyday occurrence.

There really is no Yuri to speak of in Citrus. Perhaps Shiho’s feeling for Nanami might, one day, become something more, but by the time Volume 1 ends, Nanami is just another supporting member of the cast that fills Shiho’s stage.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 0
Service – 1

Overall – 7

While it isn’t Yuri, Citrus is a slightly fraught slice-of-life shoujo manga in which there is much drama although nothing much actually happens. It absolutely begs for a TV mini-series in which even less happens. ^_^

Today’s review was sponsored by Okazu Superhero George R! Thanks George, for the pleasure of wallowing in a little teen angst, so I can be happy I’m old. ^_^

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4 Responses

  1. Jane Lanyon says:

    May I say

    (1) Seven Seas’ Citrus is marketed as Yuricest, but is not really any more incestuous than Marmalade Boy

    and

    (2) I can’t wait to see you rip the stuffing out of it, if you ever get around to it

    • They aren’t marketing it as Yuricest, that is just the focus of the story. I don’t plan on reviewing it. I’ve been reading it in Comic Yuri Hime and it’s okay, but not really to my taste. I’ll hope that we get a Guest reviewer for it.

      • Oliver says:

        I am looking forward to a review of Seven Seas’ “Citrus”. I have bought the first book already and I would like more perspectives on it. I have not come to enjoy it very much and I would like to know if this is really the best example of Yuri that could be being localised right now. It didn’t blow me away but I imagine that there are better examples. I’ve held back on purchasing “Whispered Words” just because the of the art but I may just get over that soon enough and pick it up.

        • All opinions are personal, of course, but story-wise I consider Whispered Words to be far superior to Citrus. That having been said, there is no question that Seven Seas does the best localization of any company extant. They have since the beginning and have kept up a very high standard with every publication. I wish I could like Citrus, but I have really grown to dislike the characters tremendously. I don’t care about them at all. Happy, sad, it doesn’t matter at all to me. ^_^; I should probably note that I have no intention of reviewing Citrus, as a result. I have not so much as bought, much less reviewed the Japanese language editions. With luck, someone will volunteer to do a guest review

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