「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.
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.