Even with knowing what comes next, the thing that never stops amusing me about citrus is how thrilling it makes the ride. Wild bursts of drama—of which we have only seen the start—are smoothened over with bits of tender vulnerability showing how each character doesn’t have sole ownership of victim and/or aggressor status. Sure the setup may be contrived and somewhat forced at times, but it’s hard denying citrus knows how to make us want more.
The primary focus this week of course lay upon Yuzu and what proved to be the shortest bit of competition from a thoroughly defeated Momo. As all the hints proved last time, Mei never really felt anything for Momo beyond childhood friendship and arguably lost some platonic affection following dual drills’ attempted monopolization. Even with Mei’s visual disdain this was always going to be an inevitable defeat, Momo simply had none of the intimate personal time Yuzu could garner daily and had the childhood friend moniker which we all know guarantees (mostly) a future of loveless agony. The only question was what would shift Mei’s attention, which Yuzu’s backstory accomplishes nicely. While the development itself may be cliché (dead parents are an anime dime a dozen these days), for a daddy issues girl like Mei Yuzu’s similar lack of father figure shows she’s not alone, and as Yuzu’s strength and optimism indicates, capable of moving on. That moment at the grave was all it took for Mei to see Yuzu in a new light, to understand (if only slightly) where Yuzu is coming from and why she cares so much in the first place. Of course part of it remains simple attention seeking, but Yuzu’s willingness to try and set aside want for necessity (i.e. giving Mei stable emotional support) is all that’s needed to ensure Mei falls for our blonde gyaru eventually. It will take some time, but these two girls are now firmly past the break the ice stage.
What stops the pure love from being that easy though is the next oncoming drama generator: daddy-kins. Oh yes, the missing father has finally appeared, and with it all the fun of an emotionally tormented Mei. As romance gives so it takes away, and any amicable improvement in Mei’s and Yuzu’s relationship was always going to be followed up with plentiful amounts of misunderstanding and cross-talk. While entirely predictable considering citrus’ path so far, daddy’s sudden appearance does allow for the removal of Mei’s last self-inflicted anchor. Ignore those claims of successorship, the girl has been overworking purely as a way of impressing her non-existent (in her mind) father figure and showing how strong she is in to him the face of unintentional adversity. In more than one way Mei is desperate to be recognized and sees the work left unattended by her sickly grandfather as the means to achieve it. It may be illogical in a sense (why care for a guy who left for adventure?), but family always factors in no matter how much individual members may renege on their responsibilities. Mei has managed so far putting off a whole host of underlying emotional issues, but with daddy’s return they’re all roaring back, and you can bet the fallout is going to be glorious.
One way or another, the real fun is just getting started.