Saturday, August 10, 2013

Manga Review: Citrus by Saburouta (Volume 1)

Right now Citrus is probably one of the most popular, if not the most popular yuri manga out there, so after the first volume, let’s see whether I think it really deserves its popularity.
 
Author: Saburouta
Length: 1 Volume, 5 chapters
Status: Ongoing
Scanlation Group: Yuri Project
Genre: Yuri, Drama, Slice of Life, Comedy, School Life

Story: 8/10 (for now)
Moving out of your home to a completely new place can be pretty hard, especially if you’re still a high school student who needs to attend a school full of strangers. Unfortunately, Yuzu is not only forced to go to a new school, no, out of all possible schools, she has to attempt a very strict and conservative all-girls school as well. Also her way of “showing off” on the first day of school quickly gets her into trouble with the strict student council Mei, who easily breaks Yuzu’s stubbornness, gaining her the pole position on Yuzu’s mental hate-list just on their first meeting. And as if things hadn’t been hard enough for her already, just when she returns home, she finds out that the one person that caused the most trouble for her that day is also going to be her new step sister…


Up until now “Citrus” has a pretty solid story with a nicely balanced mix of comedy and drama. Furthermore the story is quite intriguing and I’m pretty eager to see how things will turn out, especially because you can never really be sure of how things will actually continue. It’s one of the nice aspects of this manga, it keeps surprising you with some believable twists and turns and with some really great character development.
In addition to that, I think one of the manga’s most important themes, is how the line between love and hate can be oh so very thin. It’s a theme that’s been used quite often in movies, books and what not, yet it’s still intriguing and actually feels pretty unique to me. And Yuzu's way of admitting her feelings and dealing with them is just way too adorable~

Funny thing is, the one thing that irritates me the most about this manga is probably also the main reason why Citrus is so popular right now. In every single chapter you’ll find a yuri scene between the two main characters, usually a pretty nice looking one as well. Still in most cases the scene happens randomly or at least the explanation that follows (if one follows at all) is rather poor. I mean who attacks their stepsister in the shower, with the plain explanation “It looked like you wanted me to do this”? It’s weird, yet I liked it, still it’s weird…. But that’s what I’m mostly looking forward to in Citrus. 

Well you can see that I’m having some problems deciding whether I really see this as a bad thing or whether I simply enjoy the nicely portrayed yuri action we get in each and every chapter. Let’s just say it’s a little bit of both.

Characters: 7/10
Aihara Yuzu: After her mother’s remarriage, Yuzu is forced to move to a different place and attend a new school. She’s the type of girl that always tries to look great, by putting on a lot of make-up and by dressing as fashionable as possible. Unfortunately, this attitude gets her into a lot of trouble just on her first day of school, but Yuzu is definitely not one that would obey others so easily, which gets her into even more trouble on a daily basis.

Aihara Mei: She is the student council and also the granddaughter of the school’s chairman, which earns her a lot of respect from the other students. Furthermore, she’s seems to be a very strict person, who can even be a little cruel towards others, if the way they behave doesn’t seem fit for her. Still it seems that Mei is hiding a lot more behind her always serious expression that she just doesn’t want others to know.
Mei (left), Yuzu (right)
My first impression of both main characters was rather poor, since both seemed to act like typically cliché characters at first. Yuzu behaved like a total airhead who acts before thinking and who is just a tiny bit too girly, fashionable and what not, while Mei on the other hand seemed to be a strict and aloof girl, other students look up to. But even though she plays the role as the perfect student council pretty well, she’s also very skilled when it comes to being a bitch. The only thing probably both girls have in common is the fact that they’re both very headstrong and stubborn. So as mentioned above I didn’t really like them at first, because I’m neither a fan of the manipulative and bitchy types, nor do I like the overly girly and shallow ones.

But fortunately that’s not all there is to Yuzu and Mei and with the following few chapters I’ve learned that they both have different sides to them as well. So Yuzu is not always the airhead she seemed to be, in fact, if she’s really concerned about something, she’s quite eager to do anything in her power to help, which is quite the nice character trait. And in the last few chapters her character really changes from being annoying to being ultra cute~

In Mei’s case it’s probably too early to tell what she’s really thinking and why she’s acting like she is, but it is quite obvious that she doesn’t really want to act like the bitch all the time. Without spoiling you, chapter 5 at least reveals some things about Mei, but there certainly is more to that, so let’s wait and see how that will further develop. Oh and it’s probably also worthy to mention that Mei is one of the sexiest female characters in yuri manga history ever.
That expression...
And we should also not forget about Yuzu’s friend, Harumin, who is awesome on a whole other level (and pretty sexy as well!)

Yuri: 8/10
As mentioned above, you can be sure to find at least one yuri scene in each and every chapter and for some reason I’m also pretty sure that this will continue on even in volume 2. I think for the pure gorgeousness of the yuri scenes in this one, I should rate this a 10/10, but I can’t since none of the kisses really happened for the reason I wanted them to happen. So each and every time it’s either a way to shut the other one up or it’s an attempt to at least get some one-sided feelings across. Either way I’m waiting for some mutual actions, but if they’ll look just as gorgeous as the ones in this volume, I’m pretty sure it will gain a 10/10 in my final review as well. 

Here, have some nice MeiYuzu pictrues~




















Art: 10/10
Above I mentioned that the main reason this manga is so popular, is most likely all the MeiYuzu action that is going on, but some yuri action alone won’t do the job. It needs to look good as well and oh do these scenes look good in this manga. I’ve so far never heard of Saburouta and I believe that this is her first yuri manga as well, but with an art style like this and some sexy characters like Mei, I can say that I’m really hoping to find more yuri manga by this artist very soon.

Total Enjoyment: 10/10
In the end I would say this manga definitely deserves its popularity and if things continue the way they are right now, that is Mei being sexy and the both of them sharing some more nice yuri scenes, then I have no doubts that this will be one of the most, or even the most popular yuri manga of 2013.

As you can see, I have high hopes for this manga, but there is one thing that I’m slightly afraid of; I have witnessed this in many anime and manga already and it seems authors sometimes tend to add in some drama and twists and turns, even though they are not completely sure of how to solve the consequent problems in the end, so the final revelation often feels incomprehensible and superficial.  Right now the reasoning for Mei’s actions is the biggest mystery of this manga and I’m really hoping that the revelation of her true intentions will actually make more sense than her reasons for harassing Yuzu… 
Nonetheless, as this manga is right now, I only have some minor minus points to hand out, so in my eyes, this still deserves a 10/10, well at least for now.

Find my Review of Volume 2, by clicking here.


Now I want a beach chapter...

52 comments:

  1. I Love this manga!!

    Totally Agree 100% for this review. Super uber love! Thanks for sharing those hot posters hahaha.

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    1. You should probably take a look at Saburouta's Twitter. Every now and then we get another nice Citrus picture ;)

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  2. This is the first series that I've been so hyped up about since Prism! It's receiving the same attention that Prism had before too, probably because they both have some great yuri scenes~

    At least this one isn't going to be cut short as far as I know... T~T

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    1. Thinking back now, I think it's the same for me.
      It's been a while since I was really so into a manga, I would even say the last one I liked that much was Prism.

      And I'm pretty sure what happened to Prism won't happen to Citrus, or at least that's what I hope.

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  3. I think the biggest factors of my love for Citrus are
    1) the art
    2) Aihara Mei.

    I would even go as far as to say Aihara Mei is one of the sexiest manga characters I've ever seen.

    But of course, I love Yuzu too. She was adorable when she was cooking in chapter 5.

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    1. Mei = sexy
      Yuzu = cute

      Manga with sexy and cute main characters + great art + yuri = awesome.
      That's my calculation.

      Oh and you're right Yuzu was totally adorable in chapter 5, Mei must have some seriously strong willpower to turn down Yuzu's homemade cooking!

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    2. OMFG YES, MEI. SEXY BEAST. -stalkstalk-

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  4. citrus is famous for two reasons:

    The first one is the pretty art. It's not like yuri mangas doesn't have good art, but this one in particulary is great. I have a fanatic-shoujo-girl-cousin who reads all shoujo manga existent and doesn't like other genres. Guess what? One day I showed her a random page from the first chapter and the next day she had read all the chapters published untill then and honestly told me "I was caught by the beautiful art, but the story/characters are good as well. I'll definitely read this".

    And the second point is this "yuri fanservice". You don't know how, but when you start to read a new chapter you know you'll see some kiss or sexy scene. Normally, in a regular yuri manga we have to wait until the last chapter (more or less) to see the romantic scene, but citrus gives you what you're looking for since the beginning. I like it although sometimes it's by the face.

    Talking about the story, I'm interested in the conflict between "I fell in love with you but I hate the way you are" and "OMG, she's a girl, and she's a sister, what the - is wrong with me!?". I want to know more about Mei's past, the reason why she stopped smiling and why she acts so distant. Being Yuzu is suffering.

    And about the characters... I see them as the typically cliché characters: genki-attractive girl meets kuudere-cold girl who bit by bit opens her heart and start to have feelings for her; the friendly-funny mc's best friend and the another mc's childhood friend (who annoys me a lot) that drives their relationship into a love triangle. But al least they have development, not just kissing and "I love her so much! *cries*"

    Now I'd give citrus 8/10 and holy Godoka, why Yuri Hime is bimonthly!?

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    1. Since you told me, I already knew you would leave a comment, but even a whole review?
      That's pretty nice ;)

      Our thoughts are basically the same (just like you predicted)and I think I might be that cousin you were talking about, only that I'm not a fanatic-shoujo-girl but a fanatic-shoujo-ai-girl :P and I also started reading this because of the nice art at first, but got into the story pretty quickly.

      Well the Yuri Hime unfortunately really only comes out every 2 months, but we should consider ourselves lucky, other yuri magazines come out every three months or was it even more?

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    2. I'm in agreement. I can't help but look at the art first, then the story and presto I'm hooked.

      The reason why I am hooked is because the author doesn't give what we (readers) want and tease us with a cliffhanger. lol. It's a great strategy, I must admit, but I want more and to see what happens next even if its a good end of bad end, I will be satisfied.

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    3. You'll be satisfied even if things end in a bad way?
      I think I would hate to see that since I've grown pretty fond of both Mei and Yuzu and since the whole manga so far more or less only focused on the fact that Yuzu has a crush on Mei, it would be cruel to let things end with them not getting together.

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  5. I honestly can't stand this series, because it's too hyped for it's own good. The art is nice but it's not a revelation and there is better even in the same genre. The story however has holes you can drive a truck through and is essentially just gender-bent shoujo. I'm fairly sure I read at least 3 series with essentially the same plot and just a guy in the role of the emotionally crippled jerk.

    It's better than average, but that's about it. If it hadn't been for the hype you contribute to with this gushing review, I might've actually enjoyed this series on its own merits instead of looking for that piece of genius everyone sees only to find the same old tripe I've already had when I was an avid shoujo reader.

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    1. Well it's true, most people (including myself) really love this manga with a burning passion and maybe we love it a little too much.

      But we all have different tastes.
      I for example prefer great art over a great story and if great art is combined with good looking characters that also tend to make out with each pretty often, than that's just awesome for me.
      Other people on the other hand prefer a great story and when it comes to this, Citrus is just average, but I still can't see those huge story holes you've mentioned.
      I mean, I've said it myself, especially their make out sessions happen all randomly and without much explanation, but I think that's about it.

      But of course, if you expect something to be that great, then chances are high that you will be disappointed in the end. But to go so far as to say that you can't stand the series is maybe going a little too far. I mean you said it yourself, Citrus is better than average.

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  6. I still love your reviewing method. I don't think I've seen many other sites where they can give 8/10+7/10+8/10+10/10=10/10, haha. It just goes to show how much you value the artwork.

    This series is so hyped, but for good reasons. It's got a lot of the action and fast pace emotional work that we don't get very often in Yuri. Especially when you compare it to the other big Yuri series out right now

    Fragments of Love is slow and subtle, and lacks the 'umph' that Citrus carries. Romance Girls Files reads too much like One-Shots to build momentum. Manga no Tsukurikata... well the less said about that series the better. The Secret Recipe is not Moringa Milk's best series and School Police has been fairly light on the Yuri. HayateXBlade doesn't update regularly enough.

    Citrus doesn't have a lot of competition for the hearts of the Yuri-famished.

    My biggest worry for the series is the length. I don't know how long a series like this could last. Typical Yuri Hime series won't last for more than a volume, and a second volume is a blessing. A third volume will be a miracle.

    Well, I guess that doesn't matter right now. Best to just enjoy the ride while it continues.

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    1. Haha let's just call my rating system unique :P
      But well my total enjoyment just tells you how much I liked the manga in the end, so it's not necessarily the average rating.

      So you think Citrus wouldn't be this popular if there were other (better) yuri manga around right now? I think this might really be the case. But then again really great yuri manga don't pop up very often, even though there still are some pretty good ones even now.

      I know that people like Notes from the Garden of Lilies for example or Milk Morinaga's current ones, even though it is true that they are both not as good as Girl Friends (well at least not until now).

      In fact, I think the last manga I was really that hyped about must be Prim and it's been quite a while since this one came to an end, or well stopped, so yeah...

      As for the possible length of Citrus, I do actually have high hopes for it to reach at least the 3 volume mark.
      I mean this is really popular right now and I can definitely see some more drama happening in there.
      But personally I'm rather afraid of the story being dragged out for too long, just because it sells well.

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  7. Seriously, I can't stop reading and re-reading this manga. It's probably one of the best of its kind. I think the last time I'm like this was when I read Girl Friends and Prism.

    Citrus is one sexy yuri manga that I can't help but be drawn into. I absolutely love the yuri scenes because it leaves me staring and returning to it over and over again, you know? After reading a lot of yuri over the years, I don't think anybody else can translate Yuzu, Mei, and their feelings into art form better than Saburo Uta. The look in their eyes, the body language, the panels -- they are all filled with rawness, innocence, confusion, and intensity. It's just too honest.

    And I must say the author is great in ending chapters. It does well in making readers hold on to the story and wait for the next chapter, which can be torture in some ways. Plus, it makes me ask a lot of questions about Mei, like: why does she really act that way around Yuzu? There was a time when I couldn't even sleep just thinking about it. Gah!

    Can't wait to read more about the characters' back stories! And I wish Harumin would make more appearances in the succeeding chapters!

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    1. And while Yuzu may be cute most of the time because of her aura/attitude, I think her hairstyles are really sexy. I may be in the minority here but in terms of giving me the squeals, Yuzu can be hotter than Mei when she's not goofing around! :)

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  8. It's the same for me, I think I have reread this manga about 4 times already and I still just can't get enough of it, it's just so gorgeous~

    By the way, I really love what you said here:
    "The look in their eyes, the body language, the panels -- they are all filled with rawness, innocence, confusion, and intensity. It's just too honest."

    I couldn't agree more with that, Saburouta is really talented, but to be honest, this is the first manga by this artists, that really looks that good.
    Out of curiosity I've looked through another manga and I seriously didn't think that the art was really that nice, even though it was clear that Saburouta did it...

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    1. I actually tried searching for his previous works which all involved hetero pairings. Some of his previous characters actually look like Mei or Yuzu but I didn't really understand the stories because those were just raws and I don't understand Japanese. But yeah the drawings in Citrus are just so... wow. I especially love the part in Ch5 when the world seemed to stop when Mei suddenly saw Yuzu with drill-haired girl! It's so gorgeous! Just because of Citrus I'm on the verge of putting up a review blog hahaha

      I've also re-read Prism and because of that I was reminded that Hikaru's surname is also Aihara. If pretty girls have Aihara for surnames then I wish I could meet an Aihara-san one day. Haha!

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    2. Haha you really do love Citrus a lot huh?
      But why not put up a blog? Citrus is surely not the only manga you read so why not?

      Oh and I think (from what I can see from the RAWs) Saburouta even drew some yuri before, well it was at least a little yuri-ish, but I think it just didn't really look as great as his yuri works now.
      The one-shot "Partner" from the recent Yuri Hime Wildrose on the other hand looks just as gorgeous as this one, so maybe Saburouta's art style just improved, who knows?

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    3. Well I have a lot of yuri in our hard drive but of course I don't re-read all of them. Actually, there are many that I've totally forgotten and just a few that really stick.

      I've only seen a page of "Partner", I don't know where though. In that case, let's hope we get more yuri from Saburouta!

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  9. Have you checked out the raws for chapter 6 yet?

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    1. Yup, if you mean the LQ ones.
      It's great how fast these popped up this time. I mean chapter 6 was just released today.

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  10. can I ask something .. is there a site where I can download this manga? yes I can read it online but I want a copy of it .. I'm totally interested with this .. I think the story of this is great :)

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    1. It seems you're new to this, so let me explain it shortly.
      Since you already read it online, you surely came across the credit pages on the end of each and every chapter.
      There you can see which scanlation group translated this manga and usually you can download it right on their website.

      In this case, Yuri Project did the translation, so go to their website and search for it there. It should be pretty easy to find.

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    2. oh thanks for saying it :) the story is great .. I am excited to the next chapter .. I wish that if they finished this manga they'll make it anime :)

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    3. No problem :)
      I'm not so sure how people decide what manga will be made into an anime, but I think chances are pretty slim that they'll choose Citrus.
      Still I think, many people hope for that to happen, including myself ;)

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  11. Was just wondering is it possible to purchase this series online with English translations, cause work like this I want on my shelf, and I want to 're-read from time to time... The expression are just so inscrutably well done that I feel like I would do the person a disservice by just reading it online.

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    1. There is no official English version of Citrus out yet and as far as I know, there are no plans for that as well.
      If you want to buy it, you can only buy the Japanese version of it.
      But I know what you mean, I feel the same way, which is why I bought a copy if this even though my Japanese skills are still pretty nonexistent.
      Nonetheless I want to show my appreciation for this manga, so why not buy the Japanese version?

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    2. I would if I could understand a litre of the written language but unfortunately I don't. Also I usually like to reread a series when I've forgotten about it...

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    3. Well Citrus is pretty popular, so maybe it will receive an official English translation at some point.
      But I don't really know how all of that works, so let's just see.

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  12. When's chapter 7 coming?

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    1. It will be released in the newest Yuri Hime on 18th November, but I guess the translation will take a while, so maybe we'll get it by the end of November.

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  13. This is a tiny and insignificant detail, but I've found out that the author/artist of Citrus, Saburouta Uta is actually a female mangaka.

    http://www.mangaupdates.com/authors.html?id=10177

    And I can't wait for the translation of Chapter 7! Word around the block is that it may end a bit more abruptly than expected, because the mangaka is starting a new series, but it may be unfounded.

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    1. That actually comes as a surprise, since I thought Saburouta is surely a man, so thanks for the info ;)

      Also didn't know about the fact that she is going to release another manga, I sure hope it will be another yuri one~

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  14. Well review this one deserves my comment . Honestly some time he had seen this manga among which were edited, but honestly not the name caught my attention , and therefore decided to miss it. And really easy for me to love a manga, I think most do not end well encompass a story, and in case of yuri manga, many have poor drawing , saying that there is no clear actions .
    When I first read this manga, did not engage me , I think that art that excitement led me to get me into it, but as the review says , not primarily understood because Mei did that to her sister. Is it just for fun , to find a girl and then as graduates , have a husband ? Remember that this is a very common Japanese view on homosexuality , mostly especially in women , and I think that you Harumin told Yuzu was like a message " here demonstrate that this is not, love is different . "
    Then there was the action between Mei and her teacher , as vi to the end translated , it gives an explanation that apparently could be complications school by having his old grandfather , and needed a husband teacher to manage the Institute until the arrival his father . We do not know when this started , but I remember the scene where they kiss for the first time Yuzu , that look was totally more than kuudere was someone without any love or appreciation.
    But among the last chapters , especially when re- reading it, I focused on that I felt Mei , and kiss your sister gives direction in living , it's like "this is really a kiss " . And the last two serialized chapters , we enter the problem " what is right ", " incest ", " love between women " where I really think the two I have a mixed feeling , but are between a rock and a hard place with that would be really correct .
    Now it is important that any family will have to realize that relationship , and I think there 's way of living Mei 's father played a lot , we could see Yuzu wanting to do the right thing and trying to Mei wrong, change lives .
    Honestly, I have still afraid this is over as Yami to Boushi . - . a total disappointment for me , hope it does not pass or as Kuttsukiboshi , but I think might be able to have total 12 chapters serialized .

    (translated with Google Translate, I'm sorry for my poor english u_u)

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    1. I'm also afraid of a disappointing ending, but I somehow think Saburouta won't end a manga like this in such a way.
      She knows what the fans want to see and that is a lot of MeixYuzu, so I don't think that she will actually come up with anything other than a happy yuri end.

      Anyway, I don't know how many chapters of Citrus there will be in the end, but I'm pretty sure Saburouta will come up with an satisfying ending.

      Also I think I understood all of what you said, so don't worry about using a translator ;)

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  15. I just started reading citrus and it was amazing! I don't really read yuri mangas (except for prism (that was amazing too)) and when I first saw citrus, I thought the artwork were incredibly good so I decided to read it. I fell in love with the artwork and of course yuzu and mei were just gorgeous.
    I really want to know when chapter 8 is coming out
    By any chance do you have any clue when it'll come out? :)

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  16. Citrus is being released in the Yuri Hime Magazine that comes out every two months.
    The next one will come out in mid-January, so that's also when the new Citrus chapter will be released.
    But remember that it will take a little longer until the translated version will be done.

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  17. Thank you! I will be waiting then :)

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  18. Geez... What will happen in chapter 9? >_<

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    1. Mei will realize her unstoppable feelings of deep love for Yuzu and they will make out for at least 20 pages....
      yeah I should stop fantasizing :P

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  19. Personally the principal thing that drew me to this manga (other than the really good art) is the character of Yuzu. I mean, at first she may seem a cliche but in reality she is a freaking cool character. She is generous, friendly, open-minded, kind, she doesn't hold grudges, she takes the lead and search for solutions to her problems. Superficially she is the dumb blonde stereotype to the cool and intelligent Mei, but really she is freaking amazing ( and personally I think that Mei is a lot more stereotyped).

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    1. I only saw Yuzu as the dumb blonde in the beginning, but the more I read, the cuter and more interesting Yuzu got. She really is a great character~
      Mei on the other hand stayed the same for the longest time, but I really hope we'll see some development on her part in the next few chapters.

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  20. MEI IS SO DAMN HOT. =0=

    -fangirling-

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  21. I usually don't like stubborn, impulsive and airhead characters but Yuzu's an exception, she's just so cute. Mei's sort of acting like a b*tch but all is forgiven cause she's hot.

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  22. Mei is SUPER SEXY

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  23. Normally, i don't like yuri at all.. but this... oh my god i've never been so obsessed with a manga... EVER.

    The art is so good!
    And mei daaaamn she's hawt.

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    1. Don't forget about Yuzu, she's really pretty too ;)

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