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citrus – 12 (END)

「my love goes on and on」

Not to say I told you so—but I told you so! Now praise me fools, I demand head pats. Alright self-appreciating (OK, depreciating) jokes aside, citrus went out as it was always going to do. Sara, after a few Nina shenanigans, proved her purpose by bringing Yuzu and Mei together (literally this time), Yuzu finally—finally—found the courage needed to properly confess to her sister-made-lover, and Mei at last acknowledged what we all knew for a while. It was a funny way of bringing this angsty yuri love trip to an end, but never fault citrus for knowing how to make the most out of it. Don’t deny, you know you thought that non-kiss was cute as hell too.

While there were certainly issues regarding how citrus chose to execute and conclude this arc, particularly in regards to Sara (seriously, love at first sight given up that easy?) , it’s hard complaining too much with everything said and done. We have our top duo now openly dating, a budding friendship expanded beyond best mama into curly competitor territory, and one pink menace who finally learned the value of moving on. It’s a happy ending sporting more than few chinks in the pristine shine, but it’s a true happy ending nonetheless. Enjoy the moment boys and girls, as with another fellow series this season citrus chose to go out with style.

Final Impressions

When I came into citrus I was under few illusions as to what the show intended on being. This series was a yuri drama fest through and through, and while the anime might have toned down the manga in spots, it remained true to its origins from start to finish. For all the forbidden love played up in this show, citrus at its core was a conventional romance: we had all the drama, the usual competitor arcs spent building up the target relationship, and the necessary rewards providing respites between the bouts of (intentional) character misunderstanding. It may have been “serious” yuri and a take at a “realistic” lesbian relationship, but citrus never strayed far from the well-trodden romance path. This one was always going to be about the hugs and kisses first, and in that regard we were not let down.

While some yuri fans will likely be disappointed citrus didn’t turn out to be the saving grace for the genre (given the little to nonexistent exploration of actual girls love—let alone between stepsisters), I would say it did not prove boring or agonizing. Romance series a lot of the time often find themselves caught in a spiral of doublespeak and misunderstandings as the show is desperate to keep the audience reward (i.e. the kiss and confirmation of love) out of reach, but needs an excuse (i.e. manufactured drama) for it. Even then we can wind up disappointed, as hopes for a satisfying conclusion turn into copouts where the prize is hidden behind the cover of future source material (Kimi ni Todoke Season 2 I’m looking at you). Citrus in this regard avoided that common pitfall, giving us a true happy ending and the promise of at least some stability going forward. Sure the show had its moments of questionable drama, but these moments functioned well to build up to and give us the conclusion. Of course it may be because we got a proper conclusion that the likes of Matsuri and Sara aren’t that big of a deal overall, but that’s the thing about silly or stupid things: if they work, they ain’t silly or stupid.

All this said, however, doesn’t take away from the clear weaknesses citrus possesses. As aforementioned any issues surrounding actual romance between girls is barely touched on, an inconvenient detail swept aside in favour of the steamy lip locking present every episode as it should be. Competitors for the hearts of Yuzu and Mei grew increasingly forced as time went on, with Sara arguably the worst case given the lack of developed reason/effort for pursuing Mei. And then there’s the matter of Mei and her hot-cold personality, which while easily deduced through action and flashbacks, still can prove to be a nuisance when it chooses to flare up. Anyone expecting more than a typical teenage romance from citrus is likely to be disappointed by these issues, but that in part is where expectations factor into overall enjoyment. So long as you treat citrus as a yuri-veiled version of your standard romance there’s little here to impact on a joyful romp through a roller coaster of girl on girl love.

Although I may have been less enthusiastic in later spots with citrus, there’s no denying I thoroughly enjoyed my time blogging this series. Every episode was a blast to watch, and if only for deciphering the antics of Mei (and maybe enjoying those intimate moments, who can say) I’m confident I got my time’s worth out of this yuri love fest. Citrus may not be setting any new bar for romance—yuri or heterosexual—going forward, but as a bit of fun and relaxing weekly entertainment there’s no denying it did its job well. Whether I look back as fondly upon it later remains to be seen (hindsight is 20-20 after all), but I can say if you adore conventional romance and get a kick out of yuri give citrus a shot. You certainly won’t leave disappointed.

March 24, 2018 at 11:21 pm
14 comments »
  • March 25, 2018 at 1:08 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    And now, for our final words…

    Harumin is still best girl!

    • March 25, 2018 at 4:43 amHenrietta Brix

      Harumin needs an OVA all to herself

      • March 25, 2018 at 11:21 amAngelus

        How about a series of short-form anime where each week Harumin reads a different yuri manga and then tries to practice the sex position with Yuzu like she did back in episode 3? Or maybe not!

  • March 25, 2018 at 3:03 amDamrod

    *Gives Pancakes a headpat*
    Still like Yuzu best, the girl knows what she wants and won’t stop until she has it :P

    • March 26, 2018 at 3:03 pmPancakes

      Give this man a cookie, he knows what I want :P

      And definitely agreed on Yuzu she was like a more lively version of Hajimete no Gal’s Yukana, complete with the whole pure love thing lol.

  • March 25, 2018 at 3:13 amAngelus

    Oh well, the Sara arc was really rushed, but at least that meant we got to a point to finish on. Overall I’d say Citrus would be worth the time spend watching it as long as you had the right sort of expectations at the start.

    If you’re worried about yuri incest withdrawal, try Candy Boy (don’t worry, there are no boys) for some yuri twincest. OK, so it had a production crisis part way through that turned it into a slideshow for a bit and it’s short(-ish) form, but I think it’s got the same sort of vibe as Citrus.

  • March 25, 2018 at 6:52 amBROOKLYN otaku

    IGN RATING: 5/10….Too much lesbo

  • March 25, 2018 at 8:31 amAvalon

    Well, for me it did become very boring in those last 3 eps and greatly hurt my enjoyment of the show. That final arc was basically a retelling of the previous arc.

    Glad you were able to enjoy it to the end at least.

    • March 26, 2018 at 3:07 pmPancakes

      Yeah the Sara arc really highlighted one of the main issues with the manga at this stage where the story seemed stuck in the same place, only with different clothes. I think I still enjoyed it nonetheless though because I knew what was going to happen and never expected this to be anything but typical romance shenanigans. It wasn’t perfect, but given the faint chance of ever seeing a sequel, I can live with it lol.

  • March 25, 2018 at 1:59 pmShurai

    I just can’t sympathize with Mei at all, which makes this whole story sour for me. Yuzu did everything to make the relationship work. All the way until the end it was portrayed that it was Yuzu who did something wrong and needed to fix the relationship. Mei set the path from the first episode, what did she do to resolve it? What did Mei do to resolve her relationship with her grandfather, or her father? How was Christmas night, and Yuzu being emotionally overwhelmed, her fault that she should be the one to spend the next 3 episodes being the only one to try her hardest to resolve their relationship? Mei apologizes to Sara for one act of inconvenience but not all of the effort Yuzu goes through for her. She only held hands with Yuzu at the end because Sara asked.

    Yuzu crush at the start on Mei was odd but you could get past it as a crush. But when Yuzu meets Sara and reflects why was it Mei, to begin with definitely end with, that was the real question of the whole story that she didn’t give an answer to. In the end why was it Mei?

    Just really disappointed in that no responsibility was laid on Mei, and even until the end she never apologizes to Yuzu but just keeps expecting, it seems even with contempt, that Yuzu needs to do better. If this had been portrayed even once in the reverse toward the end, even just the last scene I could have felt very differently about this entire series.

    But hey just my screwed up emotions about this o.O

    • March 26, 2018 at 3:11 pmPancakes

      Nawh you’re not wrong, Mei is one of the problems with citrus overall, especially for how little she actually implements from any introspection. To be fair to the series this is more a problem earlier on than later, but the show cuts off before we see any Mei’s “real” development so depending on opinion it can seem like a missed opportunity. This is why I made a big point about highlighting citrus’ conventionality and reliance on expectations, any critical analysis here will find a lot of issues.

  • March 25, 2018 at 4:54 pmGreed

    I have always enjoyed Yuri anime. But it is has been a while where a yuri anime made me wait so long for suspense. Ever since the Christmas episode, I had expected our two girls to get into a deep relationship. Sadly that wasn’t the case.

    • March 26, 2018 at 3:13 pmPancakes

      Well depending on one’s definition of deep I think they got there in part.
      I mean, throat deep tongues count right? XD

  • March 26, 2018 at 10:23 pmewok40k

    I just want them to go beyond holding hands and proxy-kissing by plushie… it seems like the story if not running in circles is taking 2 steps forward, 1 step back?
    Still it was fun ride. Now I’m off to manga… and maybe doujins?

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