Hello and welcome to Guest Review Wednesday on Okazu! It is my very sincere pleasure to offer both a brand new Okazu Guest Reviewer and a counterpoint review to my review yesterday. ^_^ I hope you’ll all give a warm Okazu welcome to our newest Guest Reviewer, Yurimother!
Passione’s anime adaptation of Saburouta’s Citrus is finally out with three episodes having aired time of writing. Fans of the popular manga rejoice while outsiders are somewhat more skeptical. The first thing that a potential viewer needs to know about this Yuri anime is that the main characters, Yuzu and Mei, are stepsisters. Citrus is an incest story which is not for everyone.
The story’s lead, Yuzu Aihara, a fashionable and brash teen, transfers to a prestigious school when her mother remarries. There she quickly begins to clash with the stern student council president and granddaughter of the school’s chairman, Mei. Yuzu’s situation becomes more complicated with the revelation that Mei is her new stepsister. This development thrusts them into two different relationships with each other, an unwanted sisterly one, and a confused sexual one.
Saburouta set the bar extremely high in the manga’s art, and Passione delivered. The characters look amazing, backgrounds are gorgeous, and everything from the sky to bathwater has a fantastic polish that takes the art to the next level. I found myself skipping backward more than once to watch a sequence again and marvel at the animation. This artwork is all accompanied by an above-average musical score that adds an extra layer of emotion to many parts of the anime.
The high school setting is overused and rather dull at this point, however, Citrus manages to present an interesting plot. However, this accomplishment is despite the setting rather than because of it. The school environment is at least convenient for introducing characters, problems, and even some levity. An example of this is when the school’s rule against cell phones allowed the anime to execute one of the few breast jokes that I have ever truly found hilarious.
Citrus wastes no time getting straight to a dramatic story, in which the characters’ development is rapid and interesting. Just a few episodes in Yuzu already landed her school career, family, and relationship with Mei in hot water. The plot has kept me both engaged and excited. Without outside knowledge of the manga, I would have no idea what development would happen next, even if the results of the situations are somewhat predictable.
Early episodes of Citrus do not have many interesting or diverse characters. Everyone introduced so far can be categorized as either happy and outgoing (Yuzu, her friend Harumi, and her mother) or uptight and strict (Mei, the other student council members, and the school chairman). That is not to say that these characters cannot be enjoyable to watch, but I eagerly await their growth. While individual characters have seen little early development, their relationships have, specifically Yuzu and Mei’s. These two become more sisterly even as Yuzu’s affections for Mei blossom.
The most outspoken critics of Citrus point out that the sexual moments between Yuzu and Mei are not consensual. During their first kiss, Mei pins her stepsister to the ground and kisses her for an uncomfortably long time among groans of protests. While this is certainly off-putting to many viewers, it is not meant to be cute or sexy service. I propose that the scene is intended to be disconcerting. As readers of the manga will know, there is more to Mei than meets the eye. There are complexities to her character and her relationship with Yuzu that will likely unfold, explaining, although not excusing her actions. These hidden layers are hinted at in emotional fanservice scenes that usually end with one of the characters (and at least once me) in tears (although I tear up whenever I see animated homosexuality). Assuming Citrus plays its proverbial cards right, it will win over some of its skeptics.
While it is by no means perfect if you stick with Citrus and overlook some of its faults you will find a dramatic and salacious Yuri.
Subtitled episodes of Citrus are simulcast on Crunchyroll.
Characters: 4 (Although more time with the series will likely increase this)
Music – 7
Service – 8 (it may be uncomfortable at times but there is plenty of it)
Yuri – 9 (no Yuri Goggles needed here)
Erica here;:Thank you so much for this review! It was great to see this from a wholly different pair of eyes than my own.