By: Unbroken Flame
Episodes 2-10 of Citrus have given me many mixed feelings so far. The series focuses on high school student Yuzu Aihara, who finds herself clashing (among other things) with her new step sister Mei Aihara. Although the series is by no means perfect, I do have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. The characters, Especially Yuzu, are so unique and well written it’s hard to not get immersed in their fun and drama. Mei’s character on the other hand is not very likable. From her rude and pushy nature, to her inability to decide what she wants, she’s a bit irritating in my opinion. But that’s not to say her character isn’t well written, the depth of her character is not only impressive but also realistic. The writing of this series isn’t exactly paced well, but the characters and their personalities make up for this.
One this that I absolutely loved about this series visual wise, is that the characters actually change clothes. A small as that seems a lot of popular series have very repetitive outfits outside special episodes. But Citrus’ characters change clothes quite often, and at appropriate times into styles that make sense, other than Yuzu wearing shorts in the snow, but that’s more of a personal gripe. Another thing that quickly stood out to me, is how realistic they made the visuals feel. The main thing that stood out to me in this aspect, is that the only character with not-black hair, is Yuzu. This is incredibly accurate considering that the location is set in japan, where everyone has black hair; and at the beginning of the series it is mentioned that Yuzu dyes her hair, explaining the abnormal color. In general everything in the animation adds to this realistic feel from the character’s clothing, to the small details in the background. Overall it’s so beautiful and well done.
Yuzu has become one of my favorite anime characters in a long time. She’s upbeat and hyper, a bit of a delinquent, but still such a kind and caring person. Her character is amazingly written, and her inner monologues make is so easy to make a connection with her character. Mei however, to put it lightly is a horrible person. She has no regards for Yuzu’s feelings and is constantly using her. She is a well written character though. Mei and Yuzu’s relationship in real life would not be healthy as it is currently in the anime, but I think that’s the point. Real life relationships aren’t always perfect, and that’s what makes this show so well written, it’s sometimes irritating and hurtful and parts, happy and inspiring in others, and that’s exactly how real life is.
The pacing is the one thing in this series that I cannot stand. I’ve read the entire manga series so far, and on paper the way the series was laid out worked well; In an anime however, most of the series is either rushed, or too slow. It would have done the series wonders to have not followed the manga so closely, not every chapter needed to be a full episode. And also, slowing down during some of Yuzu and Mei’s relationship troubles could have created so much more suspense and angst.
The first arc of Yuzu and Mei’s relationship (episodes 2-3) is mainly centered around Mei’s grandfather not approving of her new step sister, and forcing Mei to leave. The majority of the trouble begins when her grandfather walking in on them is a inappropriate position, it’s nothing too bad, just Yuzu with her shirt mostly off. But Mei’s grandfather expels Yuzu for the incident. After a bit of inner Yuzu monologue, she ends up saving her grandfather’s life after he collapses in his office one afternoon. He apologizes and allows Yuzu to return to school. While the dynamics between Yuzu and Mei in these episodes was sweet, it was a bit confusing that their grandfather wasn’t at all concerned afterwards that his new stepdaughter was shirtless with his granddaughter? That seems like the thing he might want to mention to her mother, but it never seems to be brought up by him again.
Episodes 4 and 5 deals more with Mei’s relationship to her childhood best friend Himeko, and how Yuzu’s appearance effects it. Himeko is very uptight, and immediately displeased by Yuzu’s appearance. These episodes felt a bit more like fillers, and I fell might have flowed better in a single episode. Episodes 6 has been my favorite so far. It expands on Mei’s relationship with her father, and you can really feel the emotional connection that this experience causes between the two girls. At the end when Mei’s father is leaving once again, Yuzu puts so much effort into getting Mei there on time to say goodbye, and it was such a cute scene.
Episodes 7 through 9 involve the introduction of Matsuri, an old friend of Yuzu’s who is an absolute jerk. She quickly figures out about Yuzu’s crush on Mei, and then decides she’s going to get rid of Mei so she can be with Yuzu? I never really understood Matsuri’s motives since she seems so ok with it once Yuzu makes it clear she’s not interested. But it was pretty much just 3 episodes of Matsuri being a jerk and trying to keep them apart in every way you can think of. The pacing in this section was ok, but I really just hate Matsuri.
The beginning of episode 10 was very emotional, and the first time we see Mei really open up. She has a bit of an emotional moment, and then offers to sleep with Yuzu to show her gratitude. Yuzu being the shy caring girl she is, turns Mei down and says she can’t do it. This of course causes Mei to go back to her brooding self. The end of this episode introduces two new important characters, Sara and Nina. At this point in the series they mostly seem a bit eccentric, but I’m sure if they’re anything like the other characters, there will be more to them than that.
The series so far is absolutely beautiful and well written. Not all of the characters are likeable, but they are all very well and realistically written. I highly suggest anyone who enjoys drama and angst to check out this series. A word of warning that several parts get a bit inappropriate, I wouldn’t consider anything above a PG-13. And all of these scenes do lend to the plot and are necessary, not just lewd for the sake of being lewd.
You can check out the series here!
Citrus Recap (Episodes 2-10)0.00
- The animation is so beautiful
- The characters are amazingly written and have so much depth
- Realistic setting- captures the setting so well
- Follows the manga well and is true to the original writing
- The pacing is always either too stretched out, or too rushed.
- Some of the inappropriate scenes fell like a bit too much
- Mei- Having a main character that's such a rude person can make the show hard to stomach