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Manga / Citrus

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The pain of sisterly love and hate...

Citrus is a yuri manga series by Saburouta that was serialized in the monthly yuri magazine Comic Yuri Hime from 2012 to 2018. The series is currently licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment.

When her single mother remarries, stylish Gyaru Girl Yuzu, who laments the fact that she has never had a boyfriend or even fallen in love, transfers to a new school. Determined to snag a boyfriend on her first day, she dresses as stylishly and sexy as she can. As she belatedly discovers, however, the school she's been transferred to is a strict, conservative, all-girls high school. On top of that, she almost immediately makes an enemy of the stoic, no-nonsense Student Council President, who punishes her numerous dress code violations by confiscating her cell phone in a strangely intimate fashion.

After this tense encounter with a girl who she just can't seem to get out of her head, Yuzu returns home, just in time to find out that with the new marriage also comes a new stepsister, who turns out to be none other than Mei Aihara, the very same girl she met earlier. Later that night, when Yuzu tries to get under her new sister's skin, Mei suddenly and unexpectedly steals her first kiss, leaving poor, confused Yuzu to wonder just what this all means...

An anime adaptation of the series aired from January 6 to March 24, 2018, and was simulcasted on Crunchyroll. Additionally, Funimation streamed the English dub. Watch it here.

The manga concluded with its 41st chapter on August 18, 2018, with the announcement of a spinoff titled Citrus Plus, which started in December of the same year.

Citrus contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful School Jurisdiction: Like some real life Japanese schools, Aihara Academy can punish students for seemingly innocuous offenses committed off-campus while in uniform. Yuzu and Harumi get cleaning duty for making stops on the way home, and are only caught because Mei noticed that Yuzu came home late.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Justified since Aihara Academy is a conservative school with beliefs that the students should be able to police themselves. Not to mention that Mei's family owns the school and she herself will be the one who will eventually become the school's chairman down the road.
  • Act of True Love: In Chapters 36-38, Mei has decided to go through with her Arranged Marriage to inherit the academy and broke up with Yuzu. Yuzu wants to respect Mei's decision, but it is quite clear that she is depressed since then.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime adds quite a bit more backstory for the characters, and some scenes play out a bit different than they did in the manga. For example, Mei actually talks to her dad before he leaves instead of just shouting a few words at him before he boards the plane.
  • Altar the Speed: In Chapter 40, Mei tried to have her second Arranged Marriage earlier than expected..
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Mei certainly has no trouble treating Yuzu like one, despite the latter being a couple months older.
  • Arranged Marriage: Through her grandfather, Mei is engaged with a teacher named Amemiya in the first few chapters, although she clearly isn't enthusiastic about it, doing it for the school's sake. It's implied early on that most girls at the school are in arranged marriages for financial stability. Himeko and Shiraho confirmed the case is true for them and implies Mei is in one, too. In Chapter 35, Mei is engaged with Manager Udagawa, also by her grandfather, but this is canceled in Chapter 41.
  • Beta Couple: Not much existent in the original series where Mei x Yuzu was the only explicit couple, but in Citrus Plus, Harumin x Matsuri acts as a budding Foil to the main characters' relationship.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • Discussed; Yuzu wants a dramatic romantic first kiss like in manga.
    • The first episode ends with a very long passionate kiss between Yuzu and Mei.
    • While Yuzu and Mei have kissed several times before, the kiss in Chapter 8 is the most faithful to this.
    • In Citrus Plus, there is one in the middle of the street between Matsuri and Harumin.
  • Blended Family Drama: The series heavily blends this with Flirty Stepsiblings. Yuzu's single mother remarries out of the blue, and Yuzu gets off on the wrong foot with Mei before even finding out that they're now stepsisters. Of course, their mutual attraction does throw a wrench into the whole "stepsisters" thing. Later, the manga also reveals that their parents' new marriage is a Sexless Marriage, and Yuzu's mother only married Mei's father so she could care for Mei.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: A pseudo-incestuous version between a pair of stepsisters. Even though there's a brief het scene in the beginning, it's of an ulterior motive and when Yuzu manages to dispel it, it's all about her relationship with Mei.
  • Coming Of Age Queer Romance: For Yuzu. At the start of the story, she's quite boy-crazy but after Mei kisses her (forcefully and deeply) for the first time, she finds herself developing feelings for the younger girl. After some serious gayngst, a few love triangles, and other complications, they do begin properly dating and eventually get married.
  • Compensated Dating: Not stated explicitly, but this seems to be what Matsuri attempts to blackmail Mei into doing, in order to drive a wedge between her and Yuzu (after the two of them agreed to spend Christmas Eve together, no less) in Chapter 11.
  • Coordinated Clothes:
    • Played for Laughs in the Yuri Hime 10th Anniversary extra where Ume bought matching underwear for her daughters.
    • Sara and Nina gave matching shirts to Yuzu in Chapter 38. In Citrus Plus, Yuzu and Mei use them as pajamas.
    • Yuzu and Mei have the same wedding dress during the Distant Finale.
  • Cosmic Deadline: Most of the final volume is spent dealing with Mei's second Arranged Marriage, but the problem itself is resolved with a single conversation that takes half of the last chapter, before cutting ahead to the Distant Finale of Mei and Yuzu's wedding.
  • "Dinner, Bath, or Sex" Offer: Invoked by Yuzu in Chapter 22 of Citrus Plus. Of course, Mei, being Mei, just looked confused after.
  • Distant Finale: Citrus ends in an unspecified time in the future with Yuzu and Mei's wedding.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Near the end of Chapter 18, Mei smacks Yuzu in the rear with an umbrella. However, the way the scene is drawn makes it looks like Mei is doing something else.
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: Part of the conceit of the plot. New stepsisters Yuzu and Mei are attracted to each other.
  • Forceful Kiss: Used by several characters, and is always depicted as disturbing.
  • Gay Romantic Phase: Aihara Academy is something of a School Full of Gay. It's mentioned that this is because most of the girls are scheduled for Arranged Marriages and this is their last chance for freedom and excitement. Combine that with a One-Gender School, and you have a recipe for a lot of these.
  • Gender Flip: On April Fools' Day, Akiyoshi Shima released a guest comic called mican, which turns the series into a Boys' Love comic and shows a glimpse of what could have happened if everyone was the opposite gender.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Mei and Amemiya are engaged, and Amemiya's a bad adulterer. You know because he's only with Mei for the money, which he wants to spend on his mistress, because he's Mei's teacher, because Mei doesn't want to be with him, and because he's a man. Mei's a good adulterer, because she's trapped in an unwanted Arranged Marriage, because she's one of the two leads, and because she's cheating with another girl.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Perky Gyaru Girl Yuzu has dyed chestnut blonde hair, while her love interest Mei is an archetypal Aloof Darkhaired Girl.
  • Happily Adopted: Neither Mei nor Yuzu is unhappy about the marriage of their parents. Their initial friction at becoming sisters is quickly resolved and replaced with trying to be good sisters while also dealing with their growing attraction to one another.
  • Hate Sink: Many characters in the manga and anime series have their own faults, but are good persons deep inside. The same cannot be said for Mei's former fiancé Amemiya. He was a Gold Digger who was only in it for the high status it would grant him, and he has a lover that he is knowingly seeing behind Mei's back.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • Every chapter title in Citrus contains the word "love" or a variant.
    • Every chapter title in Citrus Plus is the date when the chapter took place. Further chapters that take place at the same date gets numbered.
  • Indirect Kiss:
    • Played for Laughs when Himeko exaggerates the seriousness of Harumi feeding Yuzu her hot dog, before Harumi comments that she took it too seriously and feeds her a radish. It's then played straight once Yuzu wonders how it would feel if Mei did it instead of Harumi.
    • Averted in Chapter 6 as Yuzu misses her chance to do it when she and Mei are eating crepes together. She gets the next best thing, though.
    • In Chapter 10, Mei takes one from Yuzu through Matsuri, whom she saw kissing her before, and even tells Matsuri that she has taken back Yuzu's lips.
    • As a Call-Back to Chapter 6, Chapter 27 has Mei missing her chance with crepes since she and Yuzu ordered the same flavor.
  • Internal Reveal: In Chapter 39, Yuzu tells her mom, stepdad, and Harumin about her feelings for Mei.
  • Interquel: Citrus Plus starts right after Yuzu proposes to Mei, but before the Distant Finale.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Probably the biggest hint that Yuzu and Mei's kiss in Chapter 8 is more than their normal Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Let's Wait a While: In Citrus Plus, Mei and Yuzu aren't rushing to have sex anytime soon since they now have all the time in the world with most of Mei's issues sorted out.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Himeko, Yuzu, and Sara are in love with Mei. Mei, Matsuri, and possibly Harumin are in love with Yuzu. Yuzu can't decide if she wants to be Mei's sister or lover. Mei has issues with romance, among many others, and has a hard time interpreting the desires of others let alone her own. Matsuri would very much like to have both Yuzu and Mei. Himeko desperately tries to hate Yuzu, but starts to develop an unlikely friendship with her.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Maruta is given two brief pages between her, Harumi and Himeko, giving a slightly playful observation to the two of them.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Downplayed. While they're both quite feminine in appearance, Mei has a more masculine personality (aggressive, dominant, emotionally cold) while Yuzu is much more feminine (being an energetic, fashion-obsessed Girly Girl).
  • Maybe Ever After: Not Yuzu and Mei, who end the series married, but the other pairings; Harumi and Matsuri, Sara and Nina, Himeko and Suzuran, and Mitsuko and Kayo are all left ambiguous as to whether or not they got together as well.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Mei and Yuzu are only related by their parents' marriage, and only just met as teenagers. The pseudo-incestuous nature of their relationship still weirds Yuzu out though, at least initially.
  • Odd Couple:
    • Yuzu is gregarious, fashionable, and an academic slacker, while Mei is reserved, plain, and a top student.
    • Harumin is kind and loyal, while Matsuri is cruel and manipulative.
  • One-Gender School: Aihara Academy is a girls-only school, which hampers Yuzu's plans to get a boyfriend at the start of the series. And then she meets Mei...
  • Open-Minded Parent: Yuzu worries a lot about coming out as a lesbian to her parents and even apologizes to her mother for it when she tells her. But both of them are perfectly fine with it and offer their support and comfort.
  • Pair the Spares: After Chapter 16 of the original manga, Yuzu and Mei's various suitors have hints of possibility with others after the two get a Relationship Upgrade. Citrus Plus builds on these hints taking them from subtext to straight text.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: Mei's grandfather walks in on Mei and Yuzu having a heartwarming moment. Unfortunately, because Yuzu's shirt is open and they are hugging on top of a bed, he jumps to conclusions.note  Unlike most examples, this is very much Played for Drama.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Harumi and Yuzu became really good friends almost as soon as they met, and while both are open to lesbian relationships, they seem more than content to stay friends.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The biggest reason why the issues between Yuzu and Mei get as bad as they do.
  • Porn Stash: Mei finds Yuzu's yuri incest manga and is...not impressed. She tells Yuzu to dispose of "this smut" before their mother finds out.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Yuzu's first kiss with Mei leaves the former sprawled limply on her bed, wondering what just happened, which Mei continues to exploit as a good way of getting her to shut up. After their real kiss in Chapter 8, it's Mei who reacts in this fashion.
  • Posthumous Character: Yuzu's dad. Even though he's dead, Yuzu keeps referring to him as though he's still around, despite dying when she was only three years. Additionally, Yuzu used a visit to his grave as an excuse to go on a "date" with Mei.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: In the early chapters, Mei's fiancé, Amemiya, admits to not loving her and has a mistress on the side. Mei knows this and feels the same way towards him, and makes advances towards Yuzu. However, while Amemiya gets his adultery exposed in front of the entire school and is fired with his reputation in tatters, Mei never suffers any consequences, with no one even bringing up that she was cheating at all.
  • Punishment Detail: Yuzu and Harumi are assigned cleanup duty for making stops on their way home from school.
  • Race for Your Love: Chapter 40 has a variant where Yuzu and friends rush on getting to the Udagawa home since it might be the last time they can see Mei, who had cut off all communications with everyone and stopped attending school.
  • Real-Place Background: Both the manga and anime use many locations from the Toyosu and Odaiba areas in Tokyo. The locations in Kyoto during the class trip arc are also mostly represented faithfully.
  • Ring on a Necklace: Yuzu and Mei's couple rings are usually worn this way in public since they are keeping their relationship a secret.
  • Romantic Spoonfeeding: One of the few hints that Mei has fallen in love with Yuzu. She attempts to feed Yuzu with her chopsticks while their mom is a few feet away from them.
  • Sacred First Kiss: Mei stole Yuzu's first kiss, while at the same time opening the latter's closet. Needless to say, Yuzu was distraught.
  • Secret Relationship: Yuzu and Mei keeps their relationship a secret note  since dating your stepsister is rather scandalous (especially for Mei), at least until Yuzu came out to her parents and friends.
  • Show Within a Show: Or in this case, yuri manga within a yuri manga. In Chapter 4, Yuzu "researches" her predicament by reading a yuri incest manga at a manga café.
  • Sibling Incest:
    • Of the Not Blood Siblings variety. It seems more one-sided on Yuzu's part, and outwardly Mei does her best to keep their relationship from going beyond sisterhood, despite being the one who usually initiates any intimacy. It's ultimately a very realistic portrayal as:
      • They didn't meet until their mid-to-late teens, so they're not bound by the Westermarck Effect.
      • They deal with all the conflicting drama of young love, with added angst from the fact that they're legal relatives.
      • They still manage to earn their happy ending.
    • A special chapter more than implies that Nina and Sara will become lovers.
    • Another special chapter hints that Harumin's older sister may have a crush on her.
  • Situational Sexuality: Harumi explains that the couples at their One-Gender School are perfectly normal. Since most of them are already engaged for Arranged Marriages, they want to fool around, experiment and "get it out of their system" before they get married.
  • Spit-Trail Kiss: Yuzu and Mei's first true kiss in Chapter 8.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: While many fictional Japanese high schools are fairly lax about the dress code, the same cannot be said for Aihara Academy. Yuzu stands out like a sore thumb when she refuses to wear the uniform properly, among myriad other violations of the dress code, and Mei and the other students in charge of enforcing the rules aren't interested in listening to her excuses.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Mei and Yuzu's first kiss in Chapter 1. Early on, Yuzu saw Amemiya forcefully kissing Mei at school. Later at home, she taunts Mei about it, naively saying that kisses should be romantic, and Mei responds by kissing her in the same forceful way. This lets Yuzu know firsthand that the kiss with Amemiya was an awful experience.
  • Tamer and Chaster: The manga became like this as it went on. Citrus Plus is this compared to Citrus.
  • There Is Only One Bed: To celebrate Mei's return in Chapter 4, Ume bought a double bed for Yuzu and Mei to share. Their first night gets awkward when Yuzu tries to touch Mei's hair, which prompts Mei to bring out the futon.
  • Time Skip:
    • Chapter 36 skips ahead about six months to a year.note  Mei has left her home and school because she no longer feels she can be around Yuzu and keep to her family obligations, mainly the marriage thing. Matsuri and Nene are now enrolled in Aihara Academy, Himeko is the Student Council President, Maruta and Shiraho have graduated, and Maruta may be dating Mitsuko.
    • Occurs twice during the final chapter. The first one skips to a few weeks after Yuzu proposed, then the second one skips to their wedding day.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: When in casual clothes, the main cast, especially Yuzu, rarely wear the same thing twice.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Yuzu and Mei.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Mei initially sees kissing as this, something she just does for no reason or meaning other than it being what (she thinks) people expect from her. Yuzu is no exception, though it did have the bonus of shutting her up. It's not until she starts to have feelings for Yuzu that the kisses start meaning something, much to her shock.
  • Wedding Finale: The final chapter depicts Mei and Yuzu at their wedding.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Mei and Yuzu spend a good chunk of the early chapters teasing whether or not they will get together. Surprisingly, they officially started dating after Volume 4 (of 10), which gives the readers a good amount of time on their dating period. It becomes permanent when Mei accepts Yuzu's marriage proposal during the finale.


Video Example(s):


Phone Storage

Harumi shows Yuzu that she manages to smuggle her phone to school by hiding it in her cleavage. But when Yuzu tries to emulate her, the phone just falls off due to her not having the "hiding space" Harumi does.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / VictoriasSecretCompartment

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