Forum › Posts by circamoore

joined Feb 14, 2019

Stood up well to a re-read one year on. Though seeing the comments again I once again find myself wishing that the posting here made it clear that "chapter 38" is nothing of the sort - it is a separate sequel short story (which is why it seems detached from the rest and abbreviated in buildup), with its own title - the credits page is the cover. The Japanese title of the main story refers metaphorically to a thread that cannot reach, while (as far as I can recall) the short's title is roughly "beyond the spun thread".
Edit: just to be clear, I'm not saying it isn't canon, or that it shouldn't be here, just that calling it "chapter 38" and having no intervening cover page or notice makes it seem like it is meant to be a seamless part of the main work - which it isn't.

last edited at Feb 27, 2022 4:02AM

joined Feb 14, 2019

PS: Does anyone know if that "happy ending" chapter is actually on the volume or if it was just posted on twitter or something afterwards?

Assuming you didn't look this up yourself by now, short answer: both yes and no.

It wasn't in the magazine serialization, it was an extra with a limited edition of the final volume, but not the standard edition (at least initially, and I don't know about translated editions), and has also been published separately (by the same publisher as the volumes). There is a reasonable basis to consider it official/canon in the broader sense, while not being in the strictest sense part of the main story (ie to clarify what I meant in my earlier comments on not being part of the story, I meant just not part of the main story narrative structure, while still part of the characters story).

joined Feb 14, 2019

discovering Uta's romantic feelings didn't discourage her (she even drew comfort from it)

Yea. She only pretended nothing happened for next few days and then when she finally decided to confront Uta about it, she was disappointed she didn't deny it, because she didn't want to destroy what they had and in general she only felt conflicted by them. She confronted Uta hoping she misunderstood her and she wasn't in love with her and once she confirmed it, she made sure that's it and soon it'll be all in the past. Again, I feel like we read different stories. Are you sure you're commenting in right thread?

All Kaoru's moves were aimed at finding an excuse to carry on being close to Uta without having to feel guilty. The last thing someone who is carrying out a deniable "not affair" wants to hear is a confession from their "not lover". Kaoru was shocked, and found it inconvenient, but it didn't dent her desire to be close to Uta at all.
EDIT: as for seeing a different story, on the basis of some of my frequent sparring partners, I concluded that long ago.

last edited at Feb 20, 2021 7:31PM

joined Feb 14, 2019

Nice to see that have been getting a few positive comments, I liked the little extra epilogue/sequel and the negativity was a bit overwhelming for a while there.

A couple of posts commented that "chapter 38" didn't really seem to fit in with the flow of the others... there is a reason for that... it isn't actually part of the main story, it is a separate one shot first released with a limited edition of the Japanese volume 7 for the series, but also being sold separately. Observant readers might have noticed the finality of the note at the end of ch37, the lack of a ch38 title page and no link to a Yuri Hime volume. The credits image is the cover of the story with its own title 紡いだ糸のその先で (tsumuida ito no sonosaki de/ Beyond the spun thread) making it clear it is outside the main series, cf たとえとどかぬ糸だとしても (tatoe todokanu ito da to shite mo Google translate says "Even if it's a thread that can't be reached" which goes to show about machines and figurative language... somewhat beyond my Japanese fluency, but I think the key elements are "even if" and unfulfilled wish/desire).

I discussed the relationship to the main story in a post made when the raws started circulating, but that quite some time ago, so I thought it could stand repeating now the translation is up.

It might be nice if the distinction was made a bit clearer for casual readers, eg by calling it something other then chapter 38 and/or an explanatory panel at the start of the chapter (hint, hint). That said I hope it is included in the official English translation, since I think confirmation broadens the appeal (and avoids endless arguments about whether they are canon as a couple).

I have to say it is nice to be vindicated in my feeling that Risako would be supportive of Uta/Kaoru if she knew. I never felt like her behaviour really lined up with wanting Kaoru for herself, just that she was convinced Reiichi was wrong for Kaoru.

As for Uta's "torment", the main series made it clear she had decided being close to Kaoru was worth the pain, she said as much. She chose her torment, as part of being true to her identity, and I'm not sure why some people don't get that (but the fact that they don't makes in unsurprising they don't get the rest of the story).

The story/resolution was about coming Uta to terms with her own feelings (and secondarily a similar path for Kaoru), not about getting together as a couple, that is very much epilogue stuff.

I also don't think there was much untold mystery in Kaoru "breaking gay"; even at the start of the series she was most of the way there already, deeply invested in a ersatz relationship with Uta; discovering Uta's romantic feelings didn't discourage her (she even drew comfort from it) the end they were planning a Boston Marriage together. It isn't a huge leap that once she got her life in order and was living together with Uta without all the other stuff hanging over her head that she realised she did want more. Given their painful history, and Kaoru's past mistakes it also feels realistic that the hang up for Kaoru would be about confessing and changing their relationship, not about actually having gay feelings.
Because of her own experience Kaoru respects Uta's right to hang onto her feelings; but she also knows the pain of uncertainty - if she was 100% sure she would never have romantic feelings for Uta she would have told her as much (Uta knows Kaoru better than anyone else does, and her takeaway at the end of ch36 was that there might be a chance some day).

I'd also like to say that I consider that it was an important distinction that it wasn't that Kaoru needed to get drunk to unlock feelings for Uta... as her words and Risako's make clear, it had been weighing on her mind for quite some time before that, she had even been trying set up an opportunity to talk to Uta. She was just afraid to make the leap and actually confess to Uta.

Citrus + discussion 25 Jan 23:27
joined Feb 14, 2019

I think we don't need to wait for a Sex scenes in Citrus+ because Mei and Yuzu will probably have they first time at the Wedding night and this would be after citrus+ (now I destroy all hopes sry) ;D

Nah, again, we saw their first night, in the Volume 10 Special and they almost Consecrated (or Consummate; whatever word you prefer) their Marriage but, then, Mei thought it was more important to keep writing in her journal, so it didn't end up happening

Except Mei quickly finished, and presumably they went back to what they were doing, just because you don't see sex doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Citrus + discussion 24 Jan 03:15
joined Feb 14, 2019

I've been trying to keep my mouth shut on Citrus discussions, but I'm surprised how little people are commenting on the big event in this last chapter, specifically how it ended.

Even though they were both flustered, neither of them has withdrawn, they are both apparently content to stay in position with Yuzu still on top of Mei at the end of the chapter, keeping the option of doing more off-screen or next chapter (back to the playful comfortable intimacy they had before the engagement business).

joined Feb 14, 2019

Slightly Spoiler-ish mostly I'm referring to chapters that are already up here, but even the discussion itself implies some stuff about the new chapter. I've blacked out specifics tho.

As far as I can tell the new chapter was bonus content in a limited edition of volume 7, and also being sold separately (at least electronically), but not part of the standard vol 7 or serialized in Yuri Hime. If it is intended as a forced apology/appeasement to the bulk fandom it is very poorly executed in terms of reaching them.

It also seems quite carefully (lovingly?) written, and consistent with the main story (characters and themes). I'm more inclined to think it was a self-motivated effort by tMnR expressing the ending she wanted for the characters, a bit outside the bounds set for the main story (a bit like Tachi has done extra stories on Yuu and Haruka after Sakura Trick).

I've said before that I consider the main story was about Uta accepting her feelings for Kaoru as valid and legitimate, that she wasn't betraying anyone by having them (not about having those feelings reciprocated, or even pursuing that reciprocation); it makes it quite a queer story, since heterosexuals rarely end up questioning their feelings and identity on that level. That story was resolved in ch36 with Uta embracing her feelings and also getting acceptance from Kaoru who even went so far as to equate them to her own selfishness about the nature of their relationship.

Coming after that resolution it is definitely fair to consider ch37 as an epilogue, albeit one with a weirdly ill-defined ending, presumably in an attempt to keep the romantic/platonic question open. Although even then it still felt more like "veneer of deniability over romantic" than "possibility over platonic" (eg making a point of Uta re-affirming her feelings in the middle, and the waiting wife vibe from Kaoru at the end), so I suspect romantic couple was tMnR's personal preference all along.

I think the "vision" for the story was about accepting their feelings and dealing with their issues, and in that frame the nature of their final relationship is not important to the story as a whole. If that was the case one can see a couple ending could distract from the main point of the story, and why the author might want to leave the ending ambiguous.

Slight spoiler However with the extra story showing up so soon, making it clear a couple ending was something that tMnR was ready and willing to write, I have to wonder if it was actually Yuri Hime who didn't want it, which would explain a lot about the roughness at the end of ch37 - putting in as much implication as possible with out actually confirming them as a couple (like Korra and Asami in Legend of Korra). It was a bit weird as an ending, but it was a good set-up for the extra chapter.

It seems strange, but editorial influence seems like one of the more plausible explanations for the end... I think I've asked this before, but just how big of a taboo would there be in Japan about "stealing" your brother's wife this way? In the West people might shake their heads a bit, but younger people wouldn't get too upset about it especially in fiction. Yuri Hime must have seen the end well ahead of time and surely gave feedback. If they wanted a couple ending, surely they would have asked for one, so it seems like the implication is that they didn't want it (unless manga publishers are completely "hands-off" which also seems pretty unlikely given their financial interest in keeping readers happy).

Somewhat bigger spoiler nice to see Risako again; I was a bit hampered by my limited Japanese, but it seemed like she was quite cheerful teasing Uta about her couple-y dynamic with Kaoru

Massive spoiler And the cute way that the initially mature and composed Uta completely overloaded after Kaoru kissed her: 夢じゃない なにこれ 夢じゃない!!! (not a dream; what is this; not a dream!! while pinching herself) lol

As others have said, it is lovely, anyone who refuses to read the chapter is only hurting themselves. ChaosTeam have announced that they are working on it, so we should be seeing an English scanlation soon!

Citrus + discussion 20 Jan 17:45
joined Feb 14, 2019

Anything further is off the table until yuzu cuts those nails of hers lol

There are workarounds but I doubt Citrus+ is going to be getting that technical or explicit.

eg couple of links for anyone too lazy to google:

tldr: it is about being conscious/careful about angle and pressure (ever wondered how people with long nails manage to go to the toilet?) and/or padding+gloves.

Citrus + discussion 10 Jan 16:48
joined Feb 14, 2019

So, critics fail to perceive the coherence of the story and the consistency of its characterizations because they’re not Asian, not female, not conservative.

Stories draw on implicit cultural context for understanding, the original audience has at least two of those things. Readers who lack that context aren't forbidden, it is just that lacking the context they would have to make an extra effort to experience the work as it was intended. They could understand the work if they wanted to. A related (works you "don't get" seeming "badly written") phenomenon it is that when you are enjoying a work you are more inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt (larger dose of suspension of beliefs), but when you don't like where it is going you withhold that and start nit-picking (when there is a genre/demographic mismatch like this your attention is focused in different places to the intended readership noticing "problems" that aren't problems at all for the target audience, like looking at a movie set from the back).

tldr: authors aren't gods, they can't create worlds that are complete and viewable from all perspectives, writing will always presume a certain perspective or range of perspectives to work.

Critics also fail to understand the way the story is deeply rooted in Japanese cultural conventions about arranged marriage even though the resolution of the story is the Aihara family—highly conservative, deeply traditional, so Japanese-that-Western-readers-fail-to-understand-the-story—staging a big full-scale lesbian white wedding which is so far removed from anything in actual Japanese culture as to be beyond fantasy.

As I am sure you know western-style princess weddings are quite popular/fashionable in Japan (and Asia in general), especially among young & affluent, and would definitely appeal to the shoujo reader demographic, and of course Yuzu (this sort of thing really makes me wonder about the good faith of your arguments). The aesthetic of the shindig says very little about the underlying culture. Same-sex marriage not being legal is mentioned in the text; rights are gradually being improved, and it should also be noted that weddings aren't strictly tied to legal recognition - there are shrines right now that do traditional-style same-sex wedding ceremonies.

Citrus + discussion 10 Jan 04:15
joined Feb 14, 2019

I was looking around for Saburouta interviews and found one where she was specifically asked if she had the Citrus story planned out. The answer: Yes, she had a clear vision of how the story would end.

If so one can only conclude both the planning and the execution were handled with quite astonishing ineptitude and clumsiness and there's cause to suspect she plum forgot about that grand plan for a decent stretch of time.

Which isn't exactly implausible given what sorts of gaffes much more accomplished writers have sheepishly owed up to even in the context of purely written works.

I'd almost convinced myself to let this lie, but it seems I'm a hopeless case. I should preface this by saying that I definitely don't think that the writing is perfect, it definitely has flaws, I just don't think they are as extensive and fundamental as many criticisms suggest.

My understanding of the plot/spec is that we have to girls with clashing personalities and cultural backgrounds, some over-dramatic back and forth/misunderstandings (genre obligatory), progressively fall deeply in love, separated by (mispaced-) sense of duty (a romantic drama mainstay), angst, dramatic race-to-the-airport and leap of faith conclusion (again a mainstay). (and all for a genre/audience where drama turned up to 11 is the default setting, and emotional roller-coaster, ups and downs, is a positive selling point).

afaics aside from a little bit of fillerish stuff all chapters fall in supporting this plot, with nothing outright contradictory and no large orphan elements. which begs the question: what is the specification you are using that it is failing to meet?

Not understanding Mei's decision, that she appeared to somehow reject Yuzu, seems to come up a lot, and I think that has to do with context - Mei is female, Asian and from a very old-fashioned conservative background - all three of those things compound to tell her that not only does she have a role to play in life, but that she doesn't get to write the script. I'd guess that most critics aren't even one of those three; it is fair enough to say it is a failure of imagination not to think she could have both Yuzu and her family/school role, but it also a reflection of privilege to think such an option is automatic and self-evident.

Thinking about this, trying to get a bit deeper into Mei's pov, I realized the conclusion is rather clever - in a way the engagement affair is one last miscommunication, similar to the previous ones. For Yuzu (and many readers) a declaration of love is an implicit commitment and even a beacon of stability, but for Mei it is uncertainty - it doesn't fit into the her world, all she knows is her limited and rather bumpy experience with Yuzu. Yuzu proposing marriage wasn't just over-confidence, it also finally put her case into a form Mei could recognize, a practical mutually supportive partnership for life, something with a future attached. Instead of tearing up Mei's world view and plans, she just substituted herself into it, giving Mei an option she could easily imagine.. and compare. Reduced to a simple question of Yuzu vs not Yuzu the odds were stacked in her favour. We know that marriage was essentially what Yuzu was thinking from the outset, but she didn't explain that to Mei (until the end), and we are seeing in Citrus+ that Mei is taking the marriage and partnership aspects very seriously.

Citrus + discussion 09 Jan 01:51
joined Feb 14, 2019

Pretty sure I don't even need to quote anyone to stir up this thread...

I was looking around for Saburouta interviews and found one where she was specifically asked if she had the Citrus story planned out. The answer: Yes, she had a clear vision of how the story would end.

A translation of the interview was conveniently posted on this site in Dec 2016 by Dark_Tzitzimine:
(or on chaosteam fb: )

I couldn't find mention of the date of the original interview, but late 2016 is around the time chapter 24 was published (Yuzu giving Mei the ring), which seems consistent with my theory that groundwork was being laid (Manager introduced) for the engagement plot even that far back (the interview also talks about upcoming release of volume 5, but I think that might mean the German edition).

People interested in Saburouta interviews could also check out this (another from 2016):

Citrus + discussion 08 Jan 17:04
joined Feb 14, 2019

Now I'm not an expert on shoujo by any means, but in the case of Citrus most of the complexity just feels like bad writing and unnecessary convoluting of the story by the author due to a lack of good ideas how to drive the story forward. Whereas I actually think there was a lot of depth in BiY, but not all of it was related to the main romantic plot, and it was in my opinion written a lot better and, yes, maybe also for an older audience since it was in a seinen magazine. (I don't think Yuri in shonen is actually a thing, except for fanservice purposes) But that's beside the point.

I know it isn't your impression, but yagakimi/BiY is shounen; all the sources I checked tagged it as such, and it even has comprehensive furigana in the Japanese version (reading guide to kanji, and on all kanji not just unusual/obscure stuff) - a strong indication of a younger audience that isn't fluent reading kanji.

My impression was actually that shounen yuri was milder, and in many cases was more for a "safe" (non-threatening to masculinity) way to explore the softer side of romance and relationships than titillation.

Citrus + discussion 08 Jan 00:35
joined Feb 14, 2019

Thanks for the great reply! I know that in a niche like Yuri the categorizations are a bit more flexible than usual, but there is sometimes talk of seinen yuri or josei yuri etc. So I was always kinda curious where Citrus lands on that scale. Also funny that Netsuzou Trap would be filed under shoujo - how can (old-school) Naoko Kodama with the toxic relationship galore and Saburouta fit under the same roof? Haha

We may have quite different images teenage girls and their tastes... in a Western context think things like Twilight, Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries. A fair proportion of teen girls love tangled angsty emotional melodrama, and don't mind "twisted" sexual themes - eg back to a Japanese context Vampire Knight is shoujo targeted featuring an ambiguously incestuous reverse harem/love triangle (and of course bear in mind that Yuzu herself is within the shoujo category and she reads explicit yuri, lol).

Although the labeling division seems to run pretty deep in the Japanese industry, it isn't absolute, although often there is a recognizable shift in emphasis/tone. Citrus is also a bit tricky since it seems like the anime was targeted at a adult male demographic (I'd guess they are the ones with the money to burn on blurays and merch), sifting the direction and adding in fanservice.

Lol as an adult male I actually found the anime less cringeworthy when I saw it compared to the manga, but this is obviously just my personal feelings and maybe in the few years or so between reading the first few chapters and seeing the anime I've just gotten more tolerant towards the bs. Saburouta's super-expressive faces just made those non-consensual scenes so intense. I actually instantly labeled the series as shonen/seinen due to the graphic non-consensual elements, but it seems that was just my own preconceptions at work, and the series did turn out to be very different in the end... I actually kinda liked the anime, but that's another story.

For me the clear emotions actually reduced the impact - eg in that first kiss it was clear that Mei was hurting, not aggressive/malicious, and that Yuzu was just shocked, not hurt or frightened. The way the anime handled it, with protracted struggling and Mei looming over her was outright menacing and much more "rapey" than the manga.

It also overlaps with the author's gender and sexuality. I suppose it is one of those common cases in cultural dichotomies where although broad trends can be identified the spread of the choices is wider than the gap between them.

Yeah, this is definitely one thing, but it's actually hard to for me to come up with a comparison since all Yuri I read/watch tends to be by female creators or based on their works. With the exception of Ikuhara Kunihiko maybe, but that's a pretty special case.

I can't think of any male authored fully yuri series atm (probably just a mental block) but off the top of my head a few popular series with female casts (and some yuri elements), but written for men by men: K-ON! (manga, the anime was re-targeted to women with a largely female creative team), New Game!, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.

re Ikuhara Kunihiko probably should note that Sailor Moon, Utena and Yurikuma were all either based on works by women, or developed in collaboration with women so can't really be seen as male created.

For seinen targeted titles (but written by women) I guess I'd think of Sakura Trick and YuruYuri (YuruYuri is a bit ambiguous; it is in Comic Yuri Hime now, but was originally picked up by Comic Yuri Hime S male targeted sister publication); Probably not entirely fair to compare light comedy with romance/drama; I'm sure there are better examples, but those are ones I can think of right now that I know and actually like.

That said I usually feel like I can tell the difference: eg compare Citrus to Bloom into You (shounen targeted). Both are yuri written by women, but have quite different feels around gender and sexuality.

Yeah there is an obvious difference, but personally I've always felt that Bloom into You was just more mature - I was pretty surprised when I learned that it was published in a seinen magazine. Which isn't actually that surprising since I've understood that Yuri has been a relatively "regular" fixture in seinen for many years now. Anyway, I kinda just thought that BiY belonged into the same broad category as Citrus and they definitely did not target different genders, but now that you mention it there is a obvious difference in how straightforward Yuu and Touko are with their feelings compared to Yuzu and folks. In my culture (Northern Europe) it feels like a maturity and not a gender thing, but I guess it could be different in the Japanese cultural context. I guess Citrus does have a lot more of melodrama and all that swooning over the "epic first love" kind of thing, whereas in Bloom into You people everybody skipped the theatrics for the most part and just got straight down to business.

Just as gut reaction I would actually have put yagakimi as less mature (but mature is a multifaceted thing), ironically in large part because of the very simple emotional landscape. Emotions tend to get more complex and conflicted as we get older (even if we do eventually learn to restrain them most of the time).

When I gave that example I was actually thinking of the gender divide - shounen vs shoujo. In Yagakimi there is very little sense of gender around the MC's identity and circumstances, Touko and even more so Yuu, could just as easily be male. Even the question of sexuality is mostly addressed though supporting characters. It is very accessible to (het) male readers, and the characters although nominally female are very easy for them to identify with.

Contrast Yuzu, checking out the hot male teacher (even fantasizing a little, and trying to get his contact info) in chapter one, classic teen girl move but might make men/boys cringe. Yuzu expresses herself though clothes, appearance and socializing; she's driven by her emotions and centers much of her identity and motivation in her social connections and caring for the people around her. Whether you attribute it to social constructs or innate gender difference, there is no doubt that in general fully identifying with Yuzu is going to be more of a stretch for male readers than (teen) female ones (compounded that Citrus is Yuzu pov more strongly than yagakimi is Yuu pov).

Citrus is sexy, but those moments are mostly based on emotion and mutual desire, and even where there are revealing clothes/nudity there is very little sense of pandering to the "male gaze" (more significant in comparison to seinen than to yagakimi). Manga anyway, there was definitely some male gaze going on in the anime and especially the anime promotion. Mostly to say that even if male readers find citrus sexy, it isn't based on content that female readership would find off-putting.

Finally whether we put it down to social or innate, also tend to get more emotional drama in media targeted to a female audience (while stereotypical males are supposed to be uncomfortable with it).

It is a bit off on a tangent, but if you want to look at something with a really strong theme of gender and sexual identity, Hanjuku Joshi (by Morishima Akiko) is an interesting read.

Citrus + discussion 07 Jan 02:01
joined Feb 14, 2019

Although the promotion of the anime might give people a different impression, Citrus is a romantic drama written for young women (primarily, at least)

Interesting... I've always wondered about Citrus' demographic. Just interested, how did you come to the conclusion? Is the Comic Yuri Hime mostly targeted at young women?

I could have sworn I'd seen it tagged as such, but the sources I checked don't seem to at the moment (except ebj below). I suppose Citrus has always "felt" very shoujo to me, so I filed it with things like Netsuzou Trap (at least Wikipedia does tag that one as shoujo).

In a niche like yuri I suspect a publication can't effort to be too specialized, but ebookjapan files Comic Yuri Hime related series under under shoujo/josei targeted manga so I guess it isn't totally in my head. (I also assume the now abandoned Comic Yuri Hime S male targeted spin-off was because they felt the original wasn't capturing that demographic).

Although the labeling division seems to run pretty deep in the Japanese industry, it isn't absolute, although often there is a recognizable shift in emphasis/tone. Citrus is also a bit tricky since it seems like the anime was targeted at a adult male demographic (I'd guess they are the ones with the money to burn on blurays and merch), sifting the direction and adding in fanservice.
It also overlaps with the author's gender and sexuality. I suppose it is one of those common cases in cultural dichotomies where although broad trends can be identified the spread of the choices is wider than the gap between them.

That said I usually feel like I can tell the difference: eg compare Citrus to Bloom into You (shounen targeted). Both are yuri written by women, but have quite different feels around gender and sexuality.

Citrus + discussion 29 Dec 22:32
joined Feb 14, 2019

^ In your strained insistence on the perfection of Sarubouta’s plotting and on the consistency of Mei’s characterization, Mei becomes a horrifyingly duplicitous and profoundly weak-willed emotional user, and Yuzu the victimized rescuer of a partner who is utterly unworthy of being rescued.

This goes rather beyond the post I've quoted, relating to the general theme of many posts by multiple posters, but I thought I should at least provide one as context.

Put simply, at the most fundamental level, I can't see what the big deal is.

I'm not blind to the problem of hand-waving a characters misdeeds away; eg I honestly can't understand why the She-Ra fandom are so quick to forgive Catra (hunting her, waging war, destruction, death, and the sadistic glee she took in it all), but what we have been arguing about here seems trivial. I can't see why people are determined to take missteps in one incident and see it as damning and definitive condemnation of a character's entire, uh, character.

It isn't even some cynical middle aged businessman systematically gas-lighting his wife when he gets caught out on his habitual cheating for the 20th time. This is inexperienced teenagers falling in love for the first time, negotiating the challenges of a relationship for the first time. They're clueless and they are meant to be clueless.

Mei undoubtedly "did wrong", she made some poor (weak/selfish) choices. But bad decision making is in the job description for teenager.

Falling in love she found herself being drawn into something wonderful that she couldn't resist and didn't quite understand. And yes a little selfishly she went along with it and kept her reservations to herself.

But here is an analogy for you - if she had been dying with only 6 months to live and decided to keep that sadness out of the relationship... would you then be branding her as a total asshole for dying in the end?

Mei thought she was faced with two options - choose Yuzu and an unknown future losing the academy and her role/destiny, or choose the school (and marriage) losing Yuzu. "Making up" another option was not a choice she thought she had.

And when she made the choice to leave, she didn't realize how much it would hurt Yuzu, she didn't even realize how much she would hurt herself.

She saw Yuzu as a strong, resilient, happy person, surrounded by friends and with a life full of love, why would she even imagine the loss of someone as flawed and damaged as herself would hit so hard. She hoped Yuzu would be happy, she said as much in her letter. She had no idea how much Yuzu was hurting because she was too wrapped up in her own pain, avoiding all contact with her. Minding other people's feelings is a complicated skill that we learn as we get older (not always perfectly even then).

If people can't stand immature behavior, I'm not sure why they would read stories about high school students.

tbh more than the couple themselves it reflects badly on their friends and family that in 6 months with both of them obviously heartbroken none of them tried to help (though props to Himeko for finally reaching out to Yuzu when she feared Mei was going to do something crazy).

By accepting Yuzu's proposal Mei acknowledged she was wrong, she knows she caused pointless suffering for both of them. Yuzu insisting on rubbing it in would just be sadistic. Yuzu doesn't end up looking great either; not for forgiving, but for waiting so long. She knew Mei is a self-sacrificing idiot, and even without that it would have been sensible to confront Mei and clear the air earlier (for closure).

Yuzu certainly wouldn't wish for Mei to have done "the right thing" and never fallen in love in the first place - because she wasn't available - that is what the real moral high road looks like.

The apology/atonement focus puzzles me too. If you believe in someone you try to see the best in them, and if you have lost all faith in their honesty and good intentions then any apology is just more lies. Apologies are nice and considerate, but they aren't as powerful as people think - any power they have comes from the intent and feeling behind them, not the words.

In terms of "making things right", no, the reconciliation didn't fix everything, Yuzu is still hurt, and they are both walking on eggshells. Based on what we have seen of Yuzu's personality, I'd say most of all she is hurt by seeing that someone she loves and thought she understood would hurt themselves like that, that Mei thinks so little of her own happiness that she would do what she did out of some misguided belief it was necessary. Yuzu is insecure not because she needs to know that Mei cares for her, but because she needs to know that Mei cares for herself. It's not something that Yuzu can order her to do, and it is not something that Mei can just say (interesting, realized as I wrote this, that this perspective makes Mei's declaration to the board even more significant, showing though action that she is pursuing her own ambitions while including Yuzu).

Edit: in summary it feels like the heartfelt rants about deception, betrayal and people being doormats or lying manipulators are a lot bigger than an arc in silly teen drama story; it feels like in a dramatic cliche terms I should be asking "Who hurt you?".

last edited at Dec 29, 2020 10:38PM

Citrus + discussion 29 Dec 20:47
joined Feb 14, 2019

This constant 'missing each other's meaning' drives me completely nuts.

If only they had, like, a daily opportunity to talk to each other privately.

We saw how that went, Yuzu ran away rather than talking about what she wants.

It seems like she is afraid - she has seen how far Mei will sacrifice herself for a cause, and the last thing she wants is to see Mei hurting herself even more to please her or even worse as some sort of atonement.

last edited at Dec 29, 2020 8:47PM

Citrus + discussion 29 Dec 18:07
joined Feb 14, 2019

you´re dismissing a direct quote from the manga and giving it the meaning that fits your narrative, at that point the misunderstanding was already clear he already told yuzu that se wasn´t gonna be expelled, the conversation was clearly about inheriting the school and the marriage

And you (and others) are parroting an out-of-context quote as a universal truth, like deranged biblical literalists. I was going to just let this lie, since Blastaar can be intractable, but since a couple more of you have come out, here goes.

Don't get me wrong, in the broad sense grandfather obviously did mean what he said, since he seems to have accepted Mei and Yuzu's engagement without too much fight, but in terms of actions and events between that declaration and the end of the series there is a lot of important context.

Ascribing meaning to a quote shorn of context is always a dicey proposition (even more so in a translation, but at least that doesn't seem to be the issue here), so I'm going to talk about the scene - grandfather has had an epiphany and is trying to communicate it to the girls.

In addition to the simple literal meaning of his words, there are multiple threads of meaning here eg
* his regret/repentance for his actions, which is relevant for his future actions (mostly unsaid but implied... and what y'all are banking on re arranging marriage interviews)
* his meaning to Mei and his thoughts behind it
* what Mei understood from it (this is kind of significant).

In terms of his repentance, he clearly did repent of the controlling hand high-handed way he had reacted, sending men to take Mei back to his house and banishing Yuzu, not giving a choice. But there is no reason to he would see consenting to a marriage interview (most likely they were approached by managers family, or connected by a matchmaker) as the same thing, especially having given her the choice speech. He gave her the choice to move out of his house back to Yuzu... but he didn't move her out of his house preemptively.

You are bringing this cultural baggage of seeing arranged marriage a cruel, forced and objectifying thing, when in its most benign form it is not much different from a dating service. You meet people with compatible backgrounds and values with the support of both your familes, for some people it can be a blessing. The whole (spontaneous) "true love" obsession, where anything else is failure or injustice, is a very narrow cultural view. Grandfather himself probably had an arranged marriage, probably "chose" it in some sense, and probably was happy. For him it would be the status quo, until Mei chose otherwise.

His meaning we've come to see was pretty much in alignment with his words, but his actual thoughts at the time would have been more specific. We can also be certain that the idea of Mei choosing to marry Yuzu never crossed his mind - and Mei would know that. It is clear that the realization that Mei was passively submitting to abuse, "for" him and the school, frightened him (and goes some way to explaining his assumption about the situation with Yuzu). He meant she didn't have to accept what was put in front of her, or feel obligated to sacrifice herself for him or the school; he didn't mean he was going to stop offering options or take away things she was already doing (like being involved in the school administration).

As for what Mei too away, here is a classic - when you tell a child they can be/do whatever they want with their life, it isn't some sort of universal guarantee. They can't not study, drop out of school and expect to become a neurosurgeon, that's not on the table, it isn't even in the parents power to offer.

Mei chose running the academy as her ambition, and in her mind a suitable marriage was just part of that, like studying is part of becoming a doctor. While from her grandfather's perspective Mei was offered the marriage and appeared to be eager (and you can bet he vetted Manager very, very thoroughly) he had no idea she was in a relationship with Yuzu.

Citrus + discussion 28 Dec 01:53
joined Feb 14, 2019

It can't be over-emphasized that climatic conflict of the original Citrus series was predominantly of Mei's making. We have never seen any sign that her grandfather ordered her to get married, or even told her it was needed.

Mei's tendency to over-achieve in obedience isn't new. Even in the first chapter we see that Mei is passively accepting her fiance's misbehavior in the interests of harmony/propriety... even though as it turned out that behavior was definitely not something her grandfather would approve of (it shocked him so much he over-compensated by having her move to his house).

Her grandfather arranged the interview, because that is how it is done, and Mei being Mei, turned up and agreed to everything because she believed that was the way it had to be, that it was her duty and the only way to maintain the academy (and the second engagement was basically a repeat, except second time around she was more personally invested in it for her own ambition at the academy, and the candidate was less objectionable).

Even the urgency of the climax, Mei's rushed marriage, was requested by Mei herself in an attempt to outrun her doubts.

Citrus + discussion 28 Dec 01:09
joined Feb 14, 2019

This is nonsense—the first arranged marriage didn’t “foreshadow” anything. After that matter was resolved early on, nothing in the plot indicated to readers that an arranged het marriage for Mei was still a ongoing live issue until it emerged again full-blown, pulled out of Sarubouta’s ass.

There was literally dialogue explaining that arranged marriage was the norm for that social sphere.

I know it is considered a bit tired to bring up the cultural thing, but it is a big factor here

This is entirely missing the point—that dialogue about the so-called “norm” was an obvious after-the-fact patch to excuse the late-series plot ass-pull.

I meant early in chapter 1 where when they first meet, Harumi mentions Mei's engagement then dismisses Yuzu's shock on the basis that it is just expected of someone in Mei's position. Then again in chapter 2 she mentions many of the girls having fiances (in the context of playing around with other girls while they can).

Obviously, any regular reader of manga will be familiar with the “ojou-sama/arranged marriage” trope—sometimes it’s used in regard to a given social stratum, and sometimes it’s not.

And sometimes it’s brought up once and then disposed of, as was unequivocally done in Chapter 4 of the main series, when the grandfather, after describing how he was too harsh and inattentive regarding his granddaughter, says to Mei,

“It’s time for you and you alone to decide how to live your life.” (Emphasis in the original)

The engagement was "resolved" a full chapter earlier (end ch2), consider instead that the conversation was, unsurprisingly, about the arc that filled the chapter immediately leading up to it: it was about his impulse to lock Mei away (and expel Yuzu) afterwards to keep her safe, instead of trusting her judgement, and the only result was letting her return to her new home (if she wanted to), and associate with Yuzu again.

Given his calm reaction it is a safe bet Mei didn't tell him the whole truth about the sexual tension between them (certainly not Yuzu's enthusiasm for it), even if Mei took him at his word, that would limit the scope. The very fact that he had to tell her shows how Mei is governed more by what she thinks is expected of her than by actual demands.

In-universe, there was absolutely no kind of foreshadowing whatsoever that a requirement that Mei marry someone for the sake of the family fortune was still in effect after the departure of Sensei McRapey. Grandpa doesn’t say, “For now,” or “until we need the cash flow,” or anything remotely like that. In subsequent volumes there are no cryptic cues or flashes of clandestine meetings or anything else in the body of the text to indicate that an arranged marriage for Mei is still on the table until it suddenly comes out of nowhere in Chapters 32-33.

Sensei McRapey was a gold-digger, it wasn't about the Aihara's needing money, it was continuing the family legacy (running the academy, satisfying the board and producing the next generation - the classic Asian thing about your role/duty in the fabric of society, taking up the baton handed down by n generations of your ancestors etc).

In ch25 Mei literally asks herself what she is doing, I'm not sure it would be possible to telegraph reservations more clearly than that. In chapter 26 she pauses looking at herself in the mirror (complete with a "..." speech bubble), another moment of obvious self-doubt.

Even temporarily granting for the sake of argument the premise that the arranged marriage was part of Saburouta’s plan all along, that makes the whole “ring acceptance” arc a deep indictment of Mei’s personal integrity; her failure to be truthful turns the ring exchange into a cruel prank played on Yuzu’s emotions, exponentially compounded by the vicious irony that Mei’s Intended eventually turns out to be the very manager who urges Yuzu to go all-out in buying the rings and expressing her emotions.

It was only in ch28 (after various "tests" earlier) Mei finally concluded she was in love with Yuzu (which is why she was finding herself unable to resist doing things she knew she shouldn't).

(I don’t think that’s at all the case, of course—I believe the couples-ring arc was supposed to be just as romantic as it seemed at the time, and that Manager-san was later dragged into the arranged-marriage plot fiasco because he was established as such a benign figure that it would be plausible for him to give Mei and Yuzu his blessing when Mei inevitably jilted him.)

Manager was introduced not as a background sketch in Yuzu's job, but as a full character, deliberately linked in to Matsuri as well. From a writing perspective it is not something you would do unless you intended a role for that character later - his character was created for a purpose. There is no reason to believe that purpose was anything other than the one he did have: the engagement was planned into the story just as far back as the ring arc (and Manager was created for that arc). I've previously mentioned Mei's obvious reservations when she was comforting Yuzu by agreeing they could be together, the rings where never meant to be the romantic finish-line.

The ring arc isn't any less romantic for being doomed... Mei fell hard for Yuzu despite "knowing" it was impossible, and despising her own weakness in being unable to stop.

If characters operated with perfect self-knowledge and honestly, no romance plot would last longer than a few lines.

Citrus + discussion 27 Dec 20:47
joined Feb 14, 2019

You were nice enough not to mention it, but I'd like to apologize for the overly aggressive/attack tone that crept into parts of my post... sometimes it gets away from me. Gives me a bit of empathy for characters that slip into doing things they wouldn't plan, I guess.

It is not a zombie plot if it wasn't dead the first time. The first incident only addressed a single sleazeball fiance, not the structural problem of Mei's socially prescribed "duty" (and her belief in it). It was more character establishment for Yuzu than it was plot. If we want to make a connection to the later engagement, it was foreshadowing of the main event.

This is nonsense—the first arranged marriage didn’t “foreshadow” anything. After that matter was resolved early on, nothing in the plot indicated to readers that an arranged het marriage for Mei was still a ongoing live issue until it emerged again full-blown, pulled out of Sarubouta’s ass.

There was literally dialogue explaining that arranged marriage was the norm for that social sphere.

I know it is considered a bit tired to bring up the cultural thing, but it is a big factor here - in the West we have the idea of arranged marriage as some damsel in distress being married off to some specific man/villain as part of some years old deep laid deal or plan (and that they can be simply "rescued" from it and live happily ever after). But the cultural reality of arranged marriage, particularly in Japan is that it usually isn't about a specific partner/deal, it is about a "suitable" (socially/economically compatible) candidate from a wide field. Marriage "interviews" are often literally that, and although the degree of pressure would vary, normally the couple would have the deciding say. There was nothing special about the fiance Yuzu "defeated", in the system he was utterly replaceable - and would be replaced.

It may have been unfamiliar to Yuzu, but Japanese readers would mostly have some awareness of this as part of their cultural preconceptions about arranged marriage. The arc highlighted both the social expectation of arranged marriage and Mei's acceptance of it (not to mention Yuzu's lack of comprehension about it) - neither of which were resolved, setting the scene for the main conflict later. In this context the implication is that Mei's passivity and lack of involvement was essentially her own doing (even if only by inaction) - definitely a portent of what was to come.

The only thing the first series resolution was ever going to be about was Mei's preparedness (or not) to defy convention and embrace their relationship.

Your ability to fanfic/headcanon sloppy ad-hoc writing into nuanced, thematically coherent craft is truly second to none.

The fact that Sarubouta couldn’t even be bothered to write the actual scenes resolving all the central conflicts that the series had so tediously and laboriously set up is evidence of a very different real-life creator than the one you have worked so hard to conjure up.

A 40 chapter serial isn't going to be entirely built around a one chapter resolution, there will be other stuff going on, a certain amount made up on the fly, corners will be cut and mistakes will be made. But in the broad strokes the story drama was based around will they/won't they misunderstandings and romantic pursuit, it seems fairly self-evident that the resolution would be on the same field of play.

Citrus + discussion 27 Dec 05:20
joined Feb 14, 2019

Mei’s confronting the school’s board about her ambition to lead the school, and dealing with the ramifications of her changes in the school’s policies were the logical things for the story to have dealt with—dozens of chapters ago, in the main series.

Mei's move was more than a simple declaration - the translation is a bit rough, but afaics she tricked her father (ie he didn't know she intended to run for chairman) into presenting the reform package (that matched her plans) with all the weight of his experience (and patriarchal authority) while abdicating decisively to the point of proposing a non-family member as chairman. With the way cleared, she ambushed him by putting herself forward as an alternative, seeming to the board as if she had his blessing (and her chutzpah secured his blessing for real). Needing those pieces in place it couldn't happened much earlier. Making a power play without proper support and a clear way would have just been childish.

There was no compelling reason for, and ultimately very little accomplished by, all the nonsense with Shirapon, the interminable fireworks festival, etc., to say nothing of the return of the zombie plot point of the arranged marriage. The “Mei characterization” issues and the “botched plotting” issues go hand in hand—Sabu jerked Mei around like a puppet with little consideration of what the implications of the forced plot points were for the characters she had established.

On a certain level in a teen romantic drama story, teen romantic drama is an end in itself, a bit of fun low-stakes tension as entertainment. Shirapon as Yuzu's friend highlighted the vast gulf between Yuzu and high society, and provided a fresh perspective on Mei (inscrutable even to her social peers) . She also provided a relatively "safe" source of scrutiny (interested, but unlikely to go after them maliciously) to highlight the practical difficulty in having a secret relationship (Matsuri already knew, and the rest of their friends were too polite or oblivious to be nosy).

It is not a zombie plot if it wasn't dead the first time. The first incident only addressed a single sleazeball fiance, not the structural problem of Mei's socially prescribed "duty" (and her belief in it). It was more character establishment for Yuzu than it was plot. If we want to make a connection to the later engagement, it was foreshadowing of the main event.

Mei and Yuzu facing together the problem of their maintaining their relationship against the family pressure on Mei for an arranged marriage would have been story arc worth reading.

How would that even work in 21st century Japan? This isn't the middle ages where her family could literally force her into marriage, it is about how much power Mei chooses to give them. Either they are in the closet and lying to everyone, or her family is willfully ignoring her feelings; neither sounds like much fun.

You thought we had slow plot movement before? Presented with a match, either she says yes, she says no or she stalls - none of those options do anything to advance the cause of her relationship with Yuzu.

To be very clear I'm not saying that homophobia isn't a problem, just that there isn't much room for reasoning or persuasion, either you take the gamble on disapproval or you knuckle under in some way (even if only lying to keep them happy/you safe).

And if we aren't talking homophobia, but just the idea of "proving" the relationship, the only opinion that mattered was Mei's, and that is how the story went.

tbh I think Saburouta made a smart choice with the family approval twist; there are only so many permutations of plucky-couple overcome contrived family disapproval one can take before it gets boring. None of them would have been real villains, so it would have just been trivial/petty reservations, with trivial resolutions.

The only thing the first series resolution was ever going to be about was Mei's preparedness (or not) to defy convention and embrace their relationship. In Citrus+ we are starting to see them working together to handle challenges (Sayaka), you don't seem to have been particularly impressed.

But Mei going along with months of romantic shenanigans with Yuzu knowing all the while she would ultimately marry some guy turned Mei into a deceiver and Yuzu into a doormat—not, I suspect, the effect Saburouta was going for.

Up until the rings it was fair game. Mei made no commitment and teenage liaisons aren't exactly eternally binding. By the time it came to a head, they were both in too deep.

Mei had the choice of:

Telling Yuzu: either providing the final blow crushing Yuzu's sprit, or if it went "well", spending the rest of her time with Yuzu arguing pointlessly about an engagement that hadn't even been decided yet.

Not telling her: embracing the present and making Yuzu happy, while hoping for a miracle so she didn't have to choose between Yuzu and her duty/ambition (which she got, sort of, in the form of Yuzu persuading her it was possible to have both).

It may not have been the most mature choice, but it wasn't in any way malicious, Mei is hardly the first person to ignore an inconvenient truth. Yuzu's post-reconciliation choice is very simple - is she happy to have Mei back? You bet she is. Yuzu asserted herself and got what she wanted, not really doormat territory. Agonizing endlessly because the relationship "score" isn't arbitrarily even, now that might make someone a chump.

Citrus + discussion 26 Dec 18:41
joined Feb 14, 2019

You seem very concerned with right/wrong and fault, I don't actually recall much in-text blaming - we see some of Yuzu's regrets and self recriminations because it is primarily from Yuzu's pov; we don't see the same from Mei because we don't see her pov (Mei is presented as an enigma, the way she appears to Yuzu).

it doesn´t matter because again there´s not a single instance of mei taking action to solve a problem or emend her mistakes at the end is always yuzu powering everything by herself

pov strikes again, Mei smoothed things over with her grandfather when Yuzu was going to be expelled, and she changed the school rules on dress code - neither of those things would have been trivial or incidental, but they occurred "off-screen" so you didn't see the effort.

She has also pushed out of her comfort zone over and over again for their relationship, which is no small thing for someone so reserved. Presenting Yuzu to the board as her partner wasn't some impulsive gesture to impress Yuzu, it was a strategic move in building their legitimacy. More recently with the Sayaka thing, Mei put aside her instincts and experience to instead support Yuzu handling it her way. Even though Yuzu had been reckless, and done something Mei had specifically asked her not to (revealing their relationship at school), she refused Yuzu's attempt to take the blame and handle it by herself, instead insisted that they talk it though and work as together as a team supporting each other with their different approaches.

Seeming inequality in relationship roles is only a problem if it is a problem for those involved. It is natural hand healthy for any sort of partnership, or even team, that people do more of the things that come easily to them, taking the burden off those who find those things difficult. Yuzu is outgoing and enthusiastic she will probably always be taking point more often than Mei, it doesn't mean the relationship as a whole is unequal. If this was a heterosexual relationship and Yuzu was the guy, would anyone really be surprised that "he" was doing most of the wooing?

Citrus + discussion 26 Dec 04:35
joined Feb 14, 2019

remember that chapter where yuzu was so sad because she realized her friends were big jerks that made fun of same sex couples and mei told her that they would face those problems together when the time came, to then proceed to accept an arranged marriage behind yuzus back. That was also yuzus fault for not realizing sooner and "not understanding mei", besides she felt sooo bad about it, the letter said it so it must be true

You seem very concerned with right/wrong and fault, I don't actually recall much in-text blaming - we see some of Yuzu's regrets and self recriminations because it is primarily from Yuzu's pov; we don't see the same from Mei because we don't see her pov (Mei is presented as an enigma, the way she appears to Yuzu).

In your example above a bit of selective memory seem to be at work - Look back at what was actually said and how:

Mei said that they can't control what other people think. After that Yuzu asked if she could stay be her side, etc and after a long pause and with an expression that certainly wasn't happiness or confidence Mei agreed with a simple yes. She was cornered, with Yuzu crying on her shoulder, it was the only thing she could say (and even as she doubted it it's likely she wanted it to be true). Mei's inner conflict was blatantly advertised.

As for hurting herself, Mei wore Yuzu's ring secretly the whole time they were apart, she didn't do that for kicks.

Citrus + discussion 23 Dec 23:19
joined Feb 14, 2019

If they are going to resume physical intimacy, I feel like Yuzu would have to be vouchesafed in a pretty serious manner as to whether Mei is endgame on all of this. I feel like Mei needs to prove she's into this. Otherwise she doesn't deserve Yuzu at all. Yuzu is far too kind and stupid to keep getting used. I think what I want to see is a couple's fight. They need to have out on everything. Mei needs to turn it around dramatically or she's just a spectator. No more secrets and closed doors.

Mei has to atone with more than 'I love you'. Mei has to change more than simply being a wealthy Japanese introvert who now WON'T have a symbolic het baby-making relationship with her arranged partner. Mei has to prove her individuality more than she has. Maybe that comes with time, and maybe that's what Citrus Plus is all about, but who IS Mei?

There is an expression that seems to fit here "still waters run deep". It is important to remember that just because stoic people don't show emotion doesn't mean it isn't there (coming from a family of stoics, I'd point out is is important irl too - you can't expect that people will always shove their feelings in your face, sometimes you have to look for other signs; tbh the same applies to malice too). It can be a challenge for writers to convey this, especially in more visual media (less scope for expository narrative; it is a pet peeve of mine that movies/TV so often have supposedly stoic characters having breakdowns/tantrums bc the writers are out of ideas on how to subtly convey emotion).

I think Saburouta has done a pretty good job with Mei - we have quite a few clues to the broad strokes of Mei's emotions, although like Yuzu we have to learn to look for them. It has been made very obvious that Mei is madly in love with Yuzu, and pretty much worships the ground she walks on; her makeover of the school rules was an early sign of just how much she values who Yuzu is, and what she has given her. When Yuzu wanted to date, and when she gave her the ring Mei truly believed their relationship was doomed, but loved Yuzu so much she didn't have it in her to say no. All the time she was rushing into her engagement and marriage she wore Yuzu's ring next to her heart (and Yuzu knows that); that separation hurt Mei at least as much as it hurt Yuzu. When she told Yuzu that she ran away because she wouldn't have been able to leave if she saw her, it was nothing but the truth.

After they reconciled, Mei took Yuzu to the school board meeting and declared that they were a package deal, she took her most precious ambition, the thing that had motivated her to leave in the first place, and shared it with Yuzu. She is doing her best to show Yuzu her love in her own way; Mei isn't someone to make showy conventional emotional gestures, to do so would be contrived even dishonest. Saburouta even draws attention to this in series, having Yuzu gush so much over Mei's small but genuine gestures, perplexing their friends.

I think the tension is more "walking on eggshells" than guilt/resentment/insecurity. The problem at the moment seems to be that they are going too far to show their devotion: both "standing back", Yuzu is avoiding asking for much for fear of pressuring Mei, trying to let her set the pace, but Mei is anxious to "do it right", conscious of her lack of experience and afraid of making a mistake (and would probably prefer Yuzu to take the lead), so things are moving very slowly. eg they would probably both like more physical intimacy in private, but neither wants to pressure the other. They have had some bad experiences - early on Mei's clumsy attempt to show her appreciation by giving herself to Yuzu at Christmas led to a major rift; and just when they were getting comfortable making out (nb Yuzu led) on the camp/trip, the hammer fell with the arranged marriage thing. It hasn't occurred to Yuzu that Mei would actually find sex in private much easier than PDA, and it hasn't occurred to Mei that the "proper order" of those two is entirely up to the participants (and that as much as she loves PG romance, Yuzu is also horny af).

Mei wants to talk about their relationship, particularly what she can do for Yuzu. She sighed when Yuzu fled instead of talking about what she wants (Ironically Mei's eagerness to please is probably one of the reasons Yuzu is so coy about her naughtier desires).

As for why things are quite so cool... with feelings that intense, when you start seriously making out... in the bed that you share... sex isn't far behind. It is something that would throw quite a shadow both for the characters anxious about taking that step, and from the fourth wall perspective of pacing, we probably won't see things heat up much until Yuzu, Mei and Saburouta are ready for things to go all the way fairly quickly.

Citrus + discussion 22 Dec 23:55
joined Feb 14, 2019

The amount of blush lines on Yuzu's face equals the amount of times
I've been disappointed by the lack of sexy time in this spin-off.

The mere thought of "things she'd like to do with Mei" got Yuzu so worked up she had to run off... that could be seen as pretty sexy (I doubt getting clean is the only thing she is going to do once safely in private...).

Saburouta clearly hasn't forgotten about sex, we've been seeing a lot of signs that Yuzu is having trouble holding herself back (Mei is too to some extent), eventually it will come to a head. It may have been two years for us, but it has been less than two months in-universe.

Citrus has always been about the tease and the tension - but exposed to first series level tension, Y/M are now in a place where they'd "just do it"... safe to say the only way is down for those sorts "sexy times" from this point (since very unlikely we will get anything explicit, tension is all there is, and once Y/M get over their hesitation even that will mostly go).

Although the promotion of the anime might give people a different impression, Citrus is a romantic drama written for young women (primarily, at least), and the portrayal of sexuality (and the nature of fan service) will differ at times from what other demographics might hope for. It may frustrate some readers, but for the target audience Yuzu and Mei being hopelessly and adorably in love with each other could probably carry the series even if they never have sex.