Top story this week is Ichijinsha’s announcement of not one, but two, new anime. Saburouta’s Citrus and Kodama Naoko’s NTR: Netsuzo Trap are both getting an anime in 2017.
The problem for me is that neither of them are Yuri. Sure, they both have lesbian content, but calling these two series Yuri would be like labeling Basic Instinct a “bisexual” story. It’s not. It’s a movie that uses bisexuality as a sexual fetish for people who enjoy or don’t mind mental disease as a plot driver.
Citrus has a significant problem. Mei’s behavior makes sense only in two contexts. One, she suffered sexual abuse as a child. Everything she does makes perfect sense if viewed in this context. And in this context, we can see that this is not a Yuri story, Yuzu is her victim as she replays the cycle. The story does not bear this out, claiming Mei was merely “neglected.” (But. In Strawberry Panic! Yaya was likewise a sexual predator and likewise the reason we are given was that she was “neglected.” I am beginning to think that “neglected” is the crappy-manga shorthand for “sexually abused.”)
In the second context, and the one I think makes the most sense, Mei has Borderline Personality Disorder. Manipulation and instability are the drivers for the entire scenario. (I’ve known people with BPD. Mei is spot on.) In either case, the Yuri is attached to mental instability, as it was back in the 1980s.
In an interview on Comic Natalie, Saburouta discusses how Citrus does not use a seme/uke (or tachi/neko) dynamic. I posit that that is because it is not a Yuri narrative at all, but a story of sexual manipulation that happens to involve two female characters.
NTR is far more troubling as a story. It is quite literally one chapter after another of two horribly-undeveloped-as-characters girls having sex while their unwitting and even-less-developed-as-characters boyfriends are nearby. UGH, a million times over. This story makes my skin crawl. None of the relationships are healthy. I understand that cuckolding is all the rage as a fetish, but I’m thoroughly repulsed by it in every possible way and this is yet another story of sexual manipulation that happens to involve two female characters.
I am not telling you to not enjoy these stories or to avoid these anime. I am telling you my opinions on them. These are not Yuri. They use lesbianism as a sexual fetish for people who enjoy or don’t mind mental disease as a plot driver.
If you enjoy either or both these stories then I am very happy for you. I am not at all happy for those of us who hoped we’d see positive representation of lesbian romance and relationships in our Yuri.
While we’re talking negative portrayals of Yuri, creator of Anoko no Kiss to Shirayuri wo has done an illustration and blurb for a collection of stories by an artist named Nega, Nega and Canno belong to the same circle, through which most (if not all) of the stories in the collection were originally published. Comic Natalie has the news. Thanks to J for the correction.
The first issue of the monthly Comic Yuri Hime (!!) is now on sale and the cover, while rooted firmly in schoolgirl stereotypes is refreshingly not grotesquely infantilized.
A lesbian kiss has been inserted in the Ghost in the Shell live action movie which will certainly make some folks happy.
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