Citrus (Manga) Review

Citrus (Manga) Review

Citrus manga volume 1 cover art
Citrus

Was Citrus Always This Wholesome?

Citrus is the second yuri series that I’m doing a review of the manga for after reviewing the anime. The first was Bloom into You, so check that one out, as well if you’re into yuri. And, as with Bloom into You, I think the Citrus manga is better than the anime.

However, I can’t say that the Citrus manga was what I expected it to be. The anime aired back in the winter of 2018, and I reviewed it shortly after it finished. So, it’s been six years since then.

From what I remember, at the time, I thought the anime was pretty raunchy. I remember scenes like Mei pushing Yuzu down on the bed or couch and sliding her hand into Yuzu’s pants. That’s pretty spicy — and that happened in the manga, too. But, the manga felt very different.

Yuzu Aihara crying from the manga series Citrus
Yuzu Aihara crying

Citrus is an erotica (not hentai) series. There’s sexual content, for sure. But, I felt like it was way more prevalent in the anime than it is in the manga. Reading the manga, I never got the feeling that it was overly sexual. It never felt “dirty” as it did when I watched the anime.

So, what’s going on here? Did the anime add in more NSFW content? No. I think this is an example of how scenes in anime can sometimes feel more intimate. The risqué scenes in the manga are static, black and white pictures. But, in the anime, there’s color, movement, and voice acting.

If you watched the anime and didn’t like it because it felt too lewd, try the manga. It’s actually not as bad as you’d think. Yes, it’s still erotica. But, there’s actually no sex. That’s right, Bloom into You, which isn’t an erotica, has more sex than Citrus.

Mei’s Other Lovers

Let’s talk a bit about the drama in Citrus. There are a few different sources of drama in this series. There’s Yuzu and Mei not understanding each others’ feelings. There are external factors, like the school trying to expel Yuzu. And, there are other relationships.

The anime only covered 4 of the 10 volumes of the manga. So, there were only a few other relationships that threatened to get in the way of Yuzu and Mei. But, the manga has many more.

Yuzu only has one other relationship — Matsuri Mizusawa loves her. Oh, and I guess you could count Nene Nomura shipping Yuzu with Harumi Taniguchi. But, Harumi and Yuzu are just friends. There’s nothing romantic between them. So, that doesn’t really count.

Mei, on the other hand, has many other characters interested in her. The anime only includes three of them, though.

Yuzu introducing Shiraho Suzuran to her friend group from the manga series Citrus
Yuzu introducing Shiraho Suzuran to her friend group

The first of Mei’s other lovers is a teacher at the school to whom she was originally engaged. Then, there’s Himeko Momokino, Mei’s childhood friend who has feelings for her. And, finally, there was Sara Tachibana, who views Mei as her soulmate.

In the manga, Matsuri also develops some feelings for Mei — and even suggests a threesome (so based). But, Matsuri is still very much in love with Yuzu. The next girl who’s in love with Mei is Shiraho “Shirapon” Suzuran, an upper-classman. Yuzu meets her during her summer remedial classes and learns that she’s obsessed with Mei.

But, the biggest source of drama is the final person interested in Mei — Yuzu’s manager. I don’t remember what his name is. But, toward the end of the series, Yuzu’s manager gets engaged to Mei. And, this leads to Mei leaving home (where she lived with Yuzu).

Marriage Between Step-Sisters

Spoilers: At the end of the manga, Mei and Yuzu get married. Yuzu tells her mom and Mei’s dad that she’s in love with Mei. They both give her their blessing, and she goes to rescue Mei from being married off by her grandfather.

I thought this stuff at the end was a bit rushed. But, I’m also very happy for Yuzu and Mei. I’m glad that they were able to be together in the end. However, this made me wonder how realistic this ending is. Could Yuzu and Mei actually get married in Japan as step-sisters? Let’s find out.

The first big question we need to answer is, “Can step-siblings get married?” So, I did some research and found the answer in Article 734 of the Japan Civil Code.

“No marriage may be effected between lineal relatives by blood, nor between collateral relatives by blood up to the third degree of relationship; however, this shall not apply between an adopted child and any of the collateral relatives by blood on the side of the adoptive relatives.”

Japan Civil Code, Article 734
Mei and Yuzu Aihaira's wedding from the manga series Citrus
Mei and Yuzu Aihaira’s wedding

That last part is what we’re interested in. It means that if you’re adopted into a family, you can marry someone within that family. So, yes, step-siblings can get married in Japan. And, in case you’re wondering, Article 736 prohibits adoptive parents and children from marrying.

But, the step-sibling issue was only the first question. The second question is, “Can two women get married in Japan?”

Unfortunately for Yuzu and Mei, the answer is no. Same-sex relationships are legal in Japan. So, they have that going for them. But, same-sex marriage is currently not legal. It’s kind of crazy that Mei and Yuzu both being girls is the issue and not them being step-sisters.

Final Thoughts

The Citrus manga is an 8/10. That’s two points higher than I rated the anime. And, the main reason I liked the manga more than the anime is that I was more invested. It was way easier to get invested in Yuzu and Mei’s relationship in the manga. However, that may have been because it felt less sexualized in this medium.

If you enjoyed this review, or if you learned something new about marriage laws in Japan, share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about the perks of supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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