Citrus is like, half good. When it’s fun, it’s fun, and sometimes it’s even close to being touching and poignant, but gets drowned out by trashy lesbian drama before it can ever reach the point of being, well, fully good. The finale perfectly encapsulates this issue of being so close, yet so far.
Since I run the risk of repeating everything I’ve said in all my other Citrus posts, I’m going to try to keep this mostly to the last episode.
First, the good. The finale of Citrus resolves Yuzu and Mei’s relationship fairly well, and Yuzu dramatically chasing after Mei while screaming her feelings and somehow clearing an entire staircase in one jump was the perfect balance of over-the-top silliness that I want in a romance show. This act genuinely showed character development on Yuzu’s behalf, as she takes the reigns in the relationship by finally initiating a kiss and confidently saying exactly how she feels about Mei. It was a genuinely cute moment that elicited some “aw”s and “hell yeah”s from me.
Even Mei feels like an actual person in this episode. She apologizes to Sara for using her and admits that she’s been selfish by dating others in order to fill a certain void within her. The fact that she admits this may mean that things really will be different with Yuzu this time around. Couple this with the fact that she gets overwhelmed by Yuzu’s proclamation of love and doesn’t immediately resort to jumping her like she usually does, and you get some actual real character development from her (finally!).
But then there’s everything going on in the other half of the episode. Instead of this just being an episode dedicated to Yuzu’s repressed feelings letting loose or Mei being introspective for once, we have to sit through more of this forced love triangle nonsense. Though Sara appearing to talk about her feelings towards a girl did work well as a catalyst towards Yuzu finally feeling more secure in her feelings, whyyyyy did they have to make it so Sara was crushing on Mei? Did anyone really believe Sara, the girl they’ve known for less than a week, was going to come out on top here? And why the hell did they try to introduce a new character in the last three episodes when Mei and Yuzu had so much left to resolve, anyways?
Not to mention Sara’s sister is pointless, so pointless that she’s not even worth devoting much of this post to. She tries to threaten Yuzu, but we know it won’t amount to anything, just like Matsuri’s blackmail didn’t amount to anything, either. Plus she’s just obnoxious.
And, while I did like that Mei and Yuzu got to have a happy ending, they uh, probably shouldn’t have just yet. Did they ever sort though that whole “we are step-sisters and our family wouldn’t approve” thing? I guess Grandpa doesn’t care anymore since Yuzu saved him from having a heart attack or whatever, but wouldn’t their parents have something to say about their daughters getting it on? Also, whatever happened with Mei’s dad? All these actually interesting plotlines get tossed to the side because Citrus chooses to overstuff with three love triangles over the course of twelve episodes.
Finally, perhaps the most irritating things about Citrus is that it knows it’s poorly written. Towards the end, Yuzu just starts blatantly referencing how silly it is that Sara just so ~happens~ to be staying at the same hotel.
Later, Yuzu looks right into the camera to complain about Mei’s nonsensical decision to date Sara. AND THEN, in the finale she yells about how nothing Mei does makes sense. Yeah, no, her character doesn’t make sense because she’s a bad character who does ridiculous things because ~drama~ and ~plot~ requires her to. Fourth wall breaking things like this would be endearing in other shows, but here? It’s just lazy. Don’t call attention to you shitty writing with a wink and a nod – just write better!
And yet. And yet. If you’ve been following me on Twitter or have read my other posts, you know that I actually enjoyed Citrus immensely. I watched it every week, rejoicing in the chance to yell, “Mei, you stupid bitch” at my TV. The show also made me very, very angry, for reasons described in this post and for issues with consent that have been present since episode one. I just wish that the show had either committed to being trash, or committed to being good. Instead, it’s a mixed bag that somehow both exceeded my expectations while still managing to be incredibly underwhelming. I liked it a lot, but I still know, deep down – it’s just bad.