「love or lie!」
You. Yeah you. Citrus heard you like drama, so it’s got some licentious pink-haired drama to help fill the yuri-less void you’ve been feeling for the past week. As if mixed signal pseudo-incest wasn’t enough for the pure love palette, now we have competition for the role of wholesome little sister and best match for one thoroughly confused Yuzu. Say what you will about generic plot developments, but citrus sure knows how to make the experience fun—after all, we have best mama Harumin to make things all better.
The big thing this week was Matsuri’s introduction, which as any romance connoisseur can tell you doesn’t tread far from tradition. A lot of romances feature an antagonist who employs less than scrupulous methods to obtain what they want, and while almost always in vain, they serve as useful gristle in the drama mill for developing the target relationship. In this case Matsuri’s goal is monopolizing Yuzu and ensuring no defiling influences can corrupt her pure personality. Or in other words, the girl sees Yuzu as her “big” sister and doesn’t intend on letting some new upstart from stealing her position. Among citrus’ many boundary pushes it’s nothing particularly shocking (random heavy petting between girls? Already been there), but it does serve as an ironic development. After all the stunts Mei has pulled so far suddenly here’s a competitor who does the same, and yet it comes across as sleazy, provocative, and, in a way, wrong. Why would this pint-sized suddenly upstart interfere with this wholesome relationship? Truly the question of the ages.
Sarcasm aside the reason of course lies with Mei herself. While Mei seemingly rejected Yuzu at the start, the keen eyed will have noted it was a statement made out of public obligation and not personal intention. The president has a budding love for her new half-sister, she felt happiness at seeing Yuzu break the top 100 and heartache at seeing a random girl snatch a very public kiss. The fact Yuzu didn’t even mince words about Matsuri being a childhood friend and honorary sister? Yeah that hit hard. Mei is very much in a state of emotional purgatory right now, she does not know how to properly separate the personal and public and that confusion is affecting choices in both spheres. She loves Yuzu, yet doesn’t want to affect her grandfather and her future chairman position, and thus pushes back against Yuzu to her own detriment, which in turn provokes certain actions when emotions reach a boiling point. Matsuri may be unctuous, but her timely presence is the stimulus needed to force Mei to accept her feelings and introspectively realize she can have her love and live it too. That struggle and need for understanding is going to be important because you can bet Matsuri isn’t going to be the only competitor for Yuzu’s heart going forward.
For the here and now, however, expect some fireworks as our new little pinky (pie) steps things up a notch by openly going after the new sister. If the kissing and drama wasn’t enough already there will be more where that came from once Mei learns the truth and has to actually draw her sand in the line. Get ready boys and girls, it’s true love triangle time.