My Thoughts on Chapter 39 of Citrus (and also a lot of 23 and 24)

It truly amazes me how far Citrus has come since chapter 1. Somehow Citrus has managed to go from a yuri romance with a slightly larger amount of smut and angst than usual that had about every yuri trope, to an actually endearing and heartfelt love story of two girls. I reread the first volume and then reread chapter 39 again just to make sure the vast difference wasn’t all in my head and it isn’t. The tone of Citrus has been gradually shifting since the moment back somewhere in volume two when Yuzu realizes Mei needs a family more than she needs a romantic partner. Granted, they still end up dating not too much later, but the relationship dynamic changes after Yuzu has this realization. And the change is to something much healthier. But that’s not what I really wanted to talk about in this post. I wanted to specifically talk about chapter 39 (as the title would suggest).

Chapter 39 is tightly connected to chapters 23 and 24, which are my two favorite chapters of Citrus. If you want to have a vague idea on why then I’d suggest reading this post of mine, which could also probably help you have a better understanding of what I think about chapter 39 as well.

In chapter 23, Yuzu runs into friends from her old high school who she hasn’t talked to in a while. She gets ready to show her friends a picture of Mei, expecting them to be happy for her on her relationship.

And it’s fair to say that that didn’t exactly happen.

Yuzu is typically carefree and has an attitude of doing what makes her happy before anything else. It’s why she didn’t follow the school’s dress code, it was her biggest contrast to Mei at the beginning of the series. She did what she wanted (i.e. what made her happy) without caring about the consequences- because to her, the consequences were worth it in the end. This interaction with her friends almost broke that part of her.

I mean after she tells Mei about the incident with her old friends. She says:

So we know Yuzu went into this relatively carefree- or at least carefree from outside factors in their relationship. She never expected a negative reaction like the one she dealt with. She was just about to show them a picture of Mei before they started being homophobic towards the lesbian couple across the street. This experience has messed with Yuzu on a fundamental level. She’s feeling pain and sadness because she’s chosen to do what makes her happy (date Mei). And…Uhg I just loved these two chapters in the manga because in this time when Yuzu was feeling upset and confused Mei showed Yuzu her own notebook.

And the advice is very...Yuzu. And then Mei says to her-

and we see how the two of them have gone full circle.

Now I’m finally going to talk about chapter 39. Chapter 39 pretty much reinforces how Yuzu’s encounter with her old friends affected her, plus more good advice from her mom.

Chapter 39 is basically Yuzu coming out to her family and friends. But we see how nervous she gets before telling all of them in contrast to how excited she was to tell her old friends in chapter 23.

In the page with her mom you see how she isn’t sure how she’ll react and from her facial expression, you can tell that Yuzu is stressed by that. In the page where she’s ready to tell her best friend, Harumin, about her feelings for Mei you see that while her expression is partly goofy, her eyebrows are furrowed from worry. Her previous interaction with her old friends affected how she tackled telling others about Mei. I also want to mention the sense of urgency from Yuzu in the page with Harumin. Yuzu is determined to tell those close to her about her feelings and relationship with Mei in order to fix their relationship. This chapter kind of helped me realize where Yuzu’s carelessness stops, and that’s with people she loves. When it came to Mei and even her friends, she was always caring and sensitive. Even careful at times.

Of course. You need to take into account that Yuzu and Mei are also stepsisters, so them both being girls isn’t the only reason she’s worried about how others will react to her relationship with her. However, even without that factor, I think the emotions shown by Yuzu are relatable. The worry of not knowing how someone will react to your relationship. Or with Harumin, who she had no reason to think she wouldn’t accept her relationship, but was nervous regardless because of past experiences.

I also like the way Harumin and Yuzu’s mom reacted to Yuzu’s confession compared to her old friends.  Harumin and Yuzu’s mom where two characters that were always framed in a positive light, while Yuzu’s old friends were typically presented as shallow. I thought it was nice how the manga basically said it was shallow to not see same-sex couples as equally genuine to straight couples.

Okay, these two pages actually get me really emotional. Like, I’m tearing up as I write this right now. The look of worry on Yuzu’s face when her mom interrupts her in the middle of her outing herself about dating Mei and her expression when Harumin not only supports her feelings for Mei but offers to help her get back together with Mei is just…a lot. They’re not facial expressions we’re used to seeing on Yuzu. And I don’t know, there’s something about seeing all of Yuzu’s worry being responded to with nothing but positivity from her mom and best friend that felt really good. Especially considering that Yuzu had reason to think they wouldn’t. Hell, we’ve been around these characters for 39 chapters now and we had reason to think they wouldn’t respond well too. And there was Yuzu’s mom, who went on to say some really touching stuff.

Oh god I’m tearing up again. How did Citrus turn into so much? I really like how Yuzu’s mom compared her relationship to Yuzu’s dad to Yuzu and Mei. It shows how she sees no difference between the two relationships. She also talks about how choosing what makes you happy can also cause pain, which we’ve seen Yuzu realize and experience. And she’ll probably have to experience it a numerous amount of times in the future- her mom tells her this as well. But she also says the reason she’s telling Yuzu all of this is because she sees that she’s already made the decision to be with Mei. This is…actually…a pretty good message for a yuri. Not even for a yuri but for a romance. Relationships aren’t meant to be treated with a happy go lucky attitude. Sometimes relationships are difficult not because there’s anything wrong with the two people but because of outside forces like time, work, money, sickness, people, outside forces are especially hard in lgbt+ relationships. Citrus emphasizes how much it really means to care enough about someone to be willing to go through all of that.

Citrus came a long way, and I’m proud of it. This is honestly probably one of my favorite Yuri’s. It’s been revealed that the next chapter will be the last and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about that. (I think it’s chapter 41 that will actually be the last whoops) But hey, how things are heading, it looks like we’re gonna be getting a happy ending! Yay!

Anyways I ended writing this way later than I intended to. I’ll probably end up writing about the last chapter of Citrus as well, knowing me. And I think the new chapter come out relatively soon if it’s not already out. Like I said, I wrote this really late.

NOTE: So last night I saw on twitter that chapter 40 is out in english now. And…I was joking when I said it might be out already. I really didn’t think I was that late like it really took me a month to come up with this post im

 

you can find my original post of this here on tumblr.