Citrus (stylized as citrus) is a Japanese yurimanga series written and illustrated by Saburouta. It was serialized in Ichijinsha's Comic Yuri Hime from November 2012 to August 2018 and is licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment. A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by Passione aired between January and March 2018. A sequel manga titled Citrus Plus began serialization in December 2018.
Volume 1 cover featuring Mei (left) and Yuzu Aihara (right)
Yuzu Aihara, a fashionable, spontaneous and fun-loving city girl, transfers to a new neighborhood and high school after her mother's remarriage to another man. More preoccupied with boys and shopping than studying, Yuzu struggles to fit in at the conservative girls' school and frequently clashes with the student council, specifically Mei Aihara, the hard-working, beautiful but cold student council president. As it turns out, Mei happens to be Yuzu's new stepsister and Yuzu finds herself having to share a bedroom with a girl she absolutely can't stand. The series follows the evolution of the relationship between the two girls, with the animosity slowly lessening as the two begin to learn more about each other and confusion growing as Yuzu discovers that she is starting to develop romantic feelings for her new stepsister.
Yuzu is a self-proclaimed gyaru and Mei Aihara's older stepsister. Her father died when she was very young. She dyes her hair blonde, and has green eyes. She is a daring, outspoken, and often shameless only child who transfers to an all-girls school (Aihara Academy) after her mother gets remarried. She enjoys dressing up, wearing makeup and customizing her school uniform in ways that clash with her school's code of conduct, often leading to altercations with the student council. Although her former friends believed her to be quite experienced in dating and relationships, she confesses she has never had a boyfriend.
Mei is the beautiful and serious Student Council President, honor student, school chairman's granddaughter, and Yuzu's younger stepsister. She is stern, cold and composed, but has a short temper. Although greatly respected by the student body, she may on occasion act or speak cruelly. This trait, as well as the fact that Mei often makes sexual advances toward her simply to manipulate her, greatly frustrates Yuzu.
Often referred to as "Harumin" (はるみん), she befriends Yuzu on her first day of school, calling herself a "gyaru in disguise" and showing Yuzu the ropes at her new school. Although she has adapted to fit in at the school, Harumi was also a transfer and is quite different from the conservative girls around her, taking no interest in fawning over Mei Aihara, the student council president, and often breaks the school rules by taking her phone to school, and going out after school hours. She is perky, kind, perceptive, humorous, easy-going and an overall good friend towards Yuzu, often lending her comfort and aide in the wake of the ups and downs of Yuzu's life. She often packs many items within her cleavage, and she has an older sister whom she is slightly fearful of.
Himeko is the Student Council vice-president and Mei's childhood friend and current right hand. She is from a very wealthy family, having a chauffeur and at least one butler. On weekends she can be seen wearing lolita fashion. She is stern, forward and jealous, and has quite a volatile personality. She is in love with Mei and is very possessive of her, becoming jealous when Yuzu enters her life. She has a small dog named Pucchi.
A member of the Student Council, a shy second-year student who is very close to Harumi's sister Mitsuko, being the original vice-president before Mitsuko left the school. She is the only one bold enough to talk to Mitsuko casually, even referring to her as "Micchan" (みっちゃん). She was shown to constantly mock Mitsuko for being immature and scaring Harumi away, but ultimately had a crush on Mitsuko.
Nene Nomura (野村 寧音, Nomura Nene)
Nene is an energetic first year who looks to Yuzu as a role model; an inspiration to become braver and speaking up. It's later revealed that she is also an intense yuri shipper, specifically of Yuzu and Harumi. She is grateful of Yuzu and the others for having accepted her, even after all of the trouble she unintentionally caused them.
Suzuran Shiraho (白帆 鈴蘭, Shiraho Suzuran)
Suzuran is an extremely observant and unflappable third year of Aihara Academy. She has an immense infatuation for Mei, for she is the only person that she cannot read. Consequently, she spends all of her free time observing her, thus why she is in need of summer supplementary lessons. Suzuran comes from a rich family who refrain from expressing emotions in order to not be taken advantage of by others. She also has an older stepbrother.
Sayaka Hikami (氷上 さやか, Hikami Sayaka)
Sayaka is a strict yet calm first year student and member of the student council. She dislikes the new rules at the academy, believing that people take advantage of them and questions Aihara Mei's leadership. She also appears to struggle to believe in love between two girls, possibly showing her to be homophobia. She is friends with fellow first year Miyabi Sakuraba.
Miyabi Sakuraba (桜庭 雅, Sakuraba Miyabi)
Miyabi is a kind first year student council member who compassionately listens to her friend Sayaka Hikami, who she had known from middle school. She is a warm and friendly person open to trying new things such as falling in love. She doesn't mind the new school rules and doesn't think love between two girls is impossible, contrary to her friend Sayaka.
Shō's father and Mei's grandfather, who disliked Yuzu at first due to her breaking his school's rules and expelled her after walking in on Mei sexually assaulting Yuzu, assuming Yuzu was the one attacking. He later pardons her after she saves his life by calling him an ambulance after she finds him collapsed. Mei has taken Chairman duties until he returns.
Matsuri is an only child, whose parents are always working and do not really pay attention to her. She is Yuzu's childhood friend who lived close to her before she moved to the Aihara residence, and a second-year in middle school. Matsuri is precocious and smart for her age, and does not mind her words. She can be mischievous at times and she enjoys teasing people, especially Yuzu and Harumi. Like Mei, she tends to be manipulative. She sells masturbation videos she finds on the Internet to old men through a phone app, pretending they are hers, as a means of income. She eventually develops feelings for Harumi, even claiming to be her girlfriend.
Sara is a student from a different school. She falls in love with Mei at first sight, but after finding out about her relationship with Yuzu, she gives up on Mei in order to support their love. Sara is very superstitious and ardently believes in things such as luck and destiny. She is very short, and has a younger twin sister named Nina.
She is Sara's younger twin sister, who happens to be much taller. She is a skeptical and does not believe in fate. She worries very much for her Sara, so she tried to help her and Mei getting together, and tried to prevent Yuzu from getting in their way.
Mitsuko Taniguchi (谷口 みつ子, Taniguchi Mitsuko)
The older sister of Harumi Taniguchi. She is the former Student Council President of Aihara Academy. She was very close to Kayo, who still remains a part of the student council to this very day, when she was still in the academy.
A school friend of Nina and Sara. She seems to have been the one to introduce Nina to Momoiro Shimai, and is also the school's Student Council President, being the complete opposite of Mei at that.
The manager of the café where Yuzu worked part-time for some time in order to buy her a ring. Despite not knowing who is Yuzu's lover, he supports their relationship. It is revealed that he was Mei's fiancé, for a short time. But after finding out that Mei is Yuzu's lover he calls off the engagement to support their love.
Yuzu's friends since middle school. They lost contact when Yuzu transferred schools, but she met them again while working part-time back in her old city. She revealed that she was dating, but was unable to tell them she was dating a girl after they showed homophobic behavior in front of her. One of them has black hair, and the other has brown hair.
Citrus is written and illustrated by Saburouta. It was serialized in Ichijinsha's bimonthly magazine Comic Yuri Hime from November 17, 2012 to August 18, 2018. Ichijinsha has released ten tankōbon volumes since July 2013. To advertise the third volume of the manga, a PV covering the story up to that point was uploaded to Ichijinsha's YouTube channel on November 18, 2014. A drama CD was released with the fourth manga volume in July 2015. The manga is licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment, who began releasing the series in December 2014. It has also been licensed in Germany, Thailand, and Taiwan. A sequel manga series, Citrus Plus (stylized as citrus+), launched on December 18, 2018.
An anime television series adaptation, directed by Takeo Takahashi and animated by Passione, aired on AT-X from January 6 to March 24, 2018. Naoki Hayashi oversaw the scripts, while Izuro Ijuuin was in charge of designing the characters and was credited as chief animation director. Lantis produced the music, while Infinite was credited with producing the anime. The opening theme is "Azalea" (アザレア, Azarea) by Nano Ripe, while the ending theme is "Dear Teardrop" by Mia Regina.Crunchyroll simulcast the series, while Funimation streams the English dub.
After her mother Ume remarries, Yuzu Aihara begins attending Aihara Academy, quickly getting in trouble with the student council president Mei over her gyaru appearance. After making friends with her classmate Harumi Tanaguchi, Yuzu spots Mei being kissed by one of the teachers, Amamiya. Upon returning home, Yuzu is shocked to discover that because of Ume's remarriage, Mei has become her new stepsister and moved in with them. Later that night, as Yuzu presses Mei about what happened earlier, Yuzu is further taken aback when Mei suddenly kisses her.
"one's first love"
January 13, 2018 (2018-01-13)
As Yuzu remains bewildered by Mei's actions towards her, she gets on bad terms with the school's chairman, Mei's grandfather. She and Harumi then overhear Amamiya, Mei's fiancé, speaking with his lover, learning that he is just marrying Mei for her money and status. Despite Mei stating that she already knows and does not care, Yuzu notices her crying in her sleep over her father. The next day, Yuzu takes the stage to publicly announce Amamiya's affair in front of the whole school, using her status as the chairman's granddaughter to support her claims. That night, however, Yuzu discovers that Mei has been taken away to the chairman's place, leaving Ume distraught. Feeling guilty, Yuzu goes to the chairman's house to confront Mei over how she really feels, but gets caught in a compromising position by the chairman, who expels her. Explaining her situation to Harumi, Yuzu comes to the realization that she is in love with Mei.
January 20, 2018 (2018-01-20)
Deciding to confront the chairman following encouragement from Harumi, Yuzu finds him collapsed on the floor and rushes him to the hospital. Thankful for Yuzu's help, the chairman decides to revoke her expulsion and allows Mei to live how she chooses to, leading her to return to Yuzu's home. Later, as Yuzu becomes conflicted between her feelings for Mei and her role as a sister, she becomes upset when Mei states that the kiss between them was just a means of shutting her up. The next day, as Mei confronts Yuzu about a yuri incest manga amongst her belongings, Yuzu kisses her, blaming her for the way she is feeling before running off in tears.
"love me do!"
January 27, 2018 (2018-01-27)
As Yuzu avoids coming home out of fear of having to face Mei, she is approached by Himeko Momokino, the student council vice-president and Mei's childhood friend, about what their relationship is. After telling Yuzu about how Mei's father left her, Himeko lies about Mei being hurt by Yuzu's actions, leading her to feel guilty until she runs into Mei, who calls her by her first name and tells Himeko that they are now sisters. Later that night, Mei apologizes to Yuzu and gives her first mutual kiss. The next day, Himeko, jealous of how close Yuzu is to Mei, forces herself upon Mei and later brags about "crossing the line" with her to Yuzu, who becomes anxious when Mei will not tell her anything about it.
February 3, 2018 (2018-02-03)
After receiving some amusement park tickets from Harumi, Yuzu asks Mei to accompany her as she goes to meet her father. Along the way, Mei tells Yuzu that nothing happened between her and Himeko, who gets told off by her when she tries to interrupt their date. Yuzu eventually arrives at her father's grave, where Yuzu, noticing Mei's feelings about her own father, feels she should give up on her love and try to become an ideal sister instead. The next day, Mei collapses with a fever just before a student council meeting, so Yuzu urges Himeko to attend the meetings in Mei's place while she looks after her. Afterwards, Yuzu encourage Himeko to be more honest with her feelings and make up with Mei. Later that night, Yuzu and Mei are visited by Mei's father, Shou.
"out of love"
February 10, 2018 (2018-02-10)
Mei seems to be at odds with Shou, who would rather travel the world than inherit the school like Mei had hoped. Having been raised by her father with that in mind, Mei, feeling she has no one else to rely on, attempts to comfort herself physically with Yuzu, but Yuzu slaps her before things can go any further. The next day, after learning that Shou is setting off abroad yet again, Yuzu urges Mei to work hard for her own sake, encouraging her to see her father off before he leaves. Later, as Yuzu and Mei's relationship starts to deepen, a sinister girl decides to pay Yuzu a visit.
"love or lie!"
February 17, 2018 (2018-02-17)
Feeling downhearted after Mei tells her to end their kissing habits, Yuzu comes across her childhood friend, Matsuri Mizusawa, becoming perturbed when she hears about her dubious methods of earning money. After glancing through Yuzu's phone, Matsuri catches onto her crush on Mei and almost forces herself onto her until Yuzu receives a call from Mei. Noticing Mei across the street, Matsuri forces a kiss upon Yuzu in front of her. The next day, Matsuri shows up at Yuzu's school to invite Yuzu on a date, effectively declaring war against Mei.
"war of love"
February 24, 2018 (2018-02-24)
Yuzu brings Mei along to her date with Matsuri, who continues to push her interests on Yuzu despite her objections. Managing to separate her from Yuzu, Matsuri issues a warning to Mei, who kisses her as payback for the kiss she stole from Yuzu, unaware that Matsuri had some kids take a photo of them. After Matsuri takes her leave, Yuzu walks home with Mei, inviting her to a family party on Christmas Eve. The next day, as Yuzu prepares to make a cake for the party, Matsuri appears before Mei.
March 3, 2018 (2018-03-03)
Using the picture she had taken as blackmail, Matsuri instructs Mei to satisfy some of her "text friends". Keeping this a secret, Mei claims that she is too busy to go to the party and tells Yuzu to go on a date with Matsuri instead. The next day, Matsuri becomes frustrated with Yuzu speaking so much about Mei, revealing that Mei is meeting with one of her customers as they speak. Stating that Mei was being considerate of Matsuri this whole time, Yuzu goes in search for her, relieved to find she did not go through with anything, while Matsuri decides to delete the photo. Later that night, Mei makes a sexual advance on Yuzu.
"winter of love"
March 10, 2018 (2018-03-10)
Mei offers to sleep with Yuzu as gratitude for everything she had done for her, but Yuzu finds herself unable to do it, upsetting Mei. Upon missing her train to her school's trip to Kyoto, Yuzu comes across a Kyoto schoolgirl named Sara Tachibana, who had also missed her train back home, and the two ride another train headed to Kyoto. As the two catch up to their respective schools, Sara explains how she fell in love with a girl who helped her when she got lost, offering Yuzu some advice as she laments her worries about Mei. As Yuzu unsuccessfully tries to talk things over with Mei, Sara's twin sister, Nina, discovers that Yuzu is in love with Mei, the same person Sara fell in love with.
"love you only"
March 17, 2018 (2018-03-17)
Hearing that Yuzu's school is visiting the Yasaka Shrine said to improve romantic relationships, Nina encourages Sara to go there so she can confess to Mei. As Yuzu remains tries to sort out her feelings towards Mei, Sara confesses to Mei herself. As Yuzu feels downhearted by this news, Sara encourages her not to give up on her love, only learning afterwards that Mei is the one she loves. That night, Yuzu sneaks into Mei's room, where she tries to make a move on Mei before she is thrown out. The next day, as Yuzu goes in search for Mei, Nina tries to stop her, revealing that Sara is the one Mei is on a date with.
"my love goes on and on"
March 24, 2018 (2018-03-24)
Despite Nina's warning, Yuzu decides to respect her promise and pursue Mei with all her heart. Asking Yuzu to meet up with her, Sara encourages Yuzu to go after Mei and make a proper effort to understand her feelings. Thinking long and hard about what happened that Christmas night, Yuzu chases after Mei and finally tells her her true feelings, which are reciprocated by Mei. Afterwards, Yuzu and Mei apologize to Sara and Nina for all the trouble they caused before the two decide to start officially dating each other.
Citrus appeared on The New York Times best seller list for manga five times in 2015. In a review of the manga's first volume by Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network, Citrus is described as having emotionally interesting characters with the contrasting personalities of Yuzu and Mei, and their relationship is likened to a "yuri version of the twins' from Arisa." Silverman praises Saburouta's use of reader hindsight, pointing out that Mei's actions can be seen in a different light as the series progresses due to Saburouta giving a slow understanding of her character. However, the non-consensual elements of the manga are described as uncomfortable in contrast with gentler yuri manga that have previously been released in English.