April 10, 2018
'Citrus' Season 2 Release Date: 'Citrus' Anime Spoilers For Yuzu Based On The Yuri 'Citrus' Manga By Saburouta

Will the Citrus Season 2 release date come quickly or will animation studio Passione put this anime Yuri on ice? After all, the Citrus anime adaptation left audiences wondering what will happen to step-sisters Yuzucchi Aihara and Mei Aihara. Will the dating relationship stay sweet or turn bitter like Yuzu's name implies? Fortunately, while waiting for the second season, impatient fans can look to the Citrus manga for spoilers.

The Yuri Citrus manga first began serializing in Comic Yuri Hime back in 2012. Written and illustrated by mangaka Saburouta, the ongoing manga series apparently gets its name from the fact that the Yuzu fruit is a sour citric hybrid (the juice makes a vinaigrette or the Japanese ponzu dipping sauce).

The Citrus manga is currently up to Citrus Chapter 36, which Saburouta says was released in Japan as part of Citrus Volume 9 on March 23, 2018. In recent years, a new volume has come out every four to six months, but Citrus Volume 10 has not yet been announced for 2018. The book volumes also come packaged with extra content chapters called Citrus+ and modified versions of those scenes ended up in the anime adaptation.

As of this article's publishing, the Citrus English translation by Seven Seas Entertainment is up to Volume 7, which means that English-only readers can read ahead of the anime's story. Citrus Volume 8 is scheduled to come out on September 11, 2018. The release date for the English translation of Citrus Volume 9 has not yet been announced.

The Japanese anime ended with Citrus Episode 12 on March 24, 2018. The Citrus English dub by Funimation is already streaming on their website. A Citrus OVA episode has not yet been announced.

Citrus Manga Compared To The Citrus Anime

Manga readers always love it when anime studios create a straight-forward anime adaptation of their favorite series. According to Manga Tokyo, Studio Passione was so committed to getting details right that they hired a "Gal Supervisor" named Rie Hiraoka. She's described as an active gal who does not watch much anime herself. In Japan, a gyaru or gal is the name for a subculture focused on fashion-conscious teenagers, and Takayuki Nagatani of production company Infinite wanted to make sure they were portrayed correctly.

"For gals, I only ever had a stereotypical image in mind, so to give life to a real gal and to feed my interest in them I thought it would be necessary to have someone who knows things about gals. However, there is also the generation gap between previous gals and their current image," Nagatani explained. "There were mostly men at the scenario meetings and we thought it would be a plus for the anime if we could show the right kind of gal, since there are so many differences between the generations and the types of gal, because even though we call them all 'gal', one gal is nothing like the other."

The anime story matches the manga fairly closely. That's not to say the anime matched the manga panel-by-panel. Nagatani said that "ideas and insights" from the Gal Supervisor allowed them "to put in scenes that are not in the manga." So far, most of the changes have been relatively minor. The anime showed Yuzu gal-ing it up in Episode 1 while the manga opened at the school gates. The locations for some of the conversations were changed, and some extra character-building scenes were added.

Some events were shifted around. For example, the scene where Yuzu tried and failed to hide her smartphone in her cleavage came from the very first Citrus+ extra chapter, which was actually more humorous. In the anime, Mei confiscated the phone from Yuzu, but in the manga, professor Mineko announced to Class 1-A that she would confiscate forbidden items. Yuzu saw Harumi hide her own cellphone in her bosom, but when Yuzu tried to do the same, the phone clattered to the floor and was immediately confiscated.

In the anime, Mei's teddy bear keychain, Anthoniko, was a gift from Mei's father, Sho Aihara. Anthoniko originally belonged to Yuzu in the manga, and she accidentally tore the bear after dropping it. Mei finds the bear, tells Yuzu to wait, and poor Yuzu is distracted and hits a wall. Mei tries to repair the bear but is not good at sewing, so Yuzu fixes him instead. Yuzu feels touched by Mei's attempt at helping and later decides to give her the bear as a gift.

Fortunately, the pacing of the anime adaptation did not rush through the available source material. The anime's ending in Citrus Episode 12 lines up with the ending of Volume 4 of the manga. The title of Chapter 16 is "My Love Goes On And On," which also happens to the be the anime episode's title. That leaves 20 chapters for creating Citrus Season 2, not including side stories that could mainly into episodes. In fact, at the rate that author Saburouta creates new chapters, it's possible there will be enough chapters for Citrus Season 3 by 2019, so it's conceivable that a second season could be two cours or 24 episodes long.

Citrus Anime Ending Yuzu And Mei
A still from the 'Citrus' anime ED.

Citrus Season 2 Release Date - Demand For Second Season Close To Yuri On Ice Popularity

The anime was co-produced by Lantis, Infinite, and Crunchyroll. As of this publishing, anime production company Passione has not announced anything official about the Citrus Season 2 release date, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel's premiere is confirmed. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Citrus Season 2 premiere date may occur.

The anime certainly seems popular enough to justify a second season. Besides trending on the Crunchyroll popular anime list, Google's data indicates that searches for Citrus Season 2 caught up with Yuri On Ice Season 2. Interest in the second season spiked around the time Citrus Episode 12 aired in Japan but settled down to about two-thirds the search volume by mid-April of 2018.

However, the Citrus Blu-Ray sales are off to a rough start. Ranking number eight on the Oricon charts, the first week sales of Citrus Volume 1 were only 1,124 copies sold. Convention wisdom holds that an anime needs to sell 3,000 copies on average, but streaming services like Crunchyroll and Netflix have changed the financial paradigm for the better.

Assuming that popularity leads to long-term financial success, even then anime projects take years to develop. Most anime studios are booked out for projects years in advance, and studio Passione is no different. Besides the 2018 Citrus anime, Passione will be releasing High School DxD Season 4 and the slice-of-life comedy Hinako Note in the spring. Their next project that's been announced publicly is Z/X Code Reunion, which is slated for an October 2019 release date. As such, the second season of the Citrus anime probably should not be expected until 2020 at the very earliest.

Citrus Season 2 Spoilers

The ending of Volume 4 of the Citrus manga has Yuzu literally jumping out and giving her confession to Mei. However, Mei is not willing to reciprocate by also confessing her love, so that issue will be the major theme for the second season. The story for the anime Citrus Season 2 will pick up in Chapter 17 when the two girls finally own up to their feelings and try to start dating.

Yuzu immediately runs into a hitch in this plan with her friend Harumi's older sister, Mitsuko Taniguchi. The older woman is a graduate of Aihara Academy and also the first Student Council president. She's very strict about maintaining rules and so when she hears that Yuzu is dying her hair blonde she takes an immediate disliking to the gyaru.

At the beginning of the next school year, Mitsuko decides to visit the Student Council, and Harumi warns Yuzu to change her hair quickly. But Yuzu has become well-known for her gyaru fashion and resists, especially when she starts having an adoring freshman fan named Nene Namora. Regardless, Yuzu ends up wearing a black wig that changes her appearance so much that her mom laughs and Mei doesn't recognize her at first. At the same time, Yuzu's fan Nene shows up for the first day of school with her own hair dyed blonde.

The resulting confrontation causes Misuko to challenge Yuzu to become the new Student Council president, which means that Yuzu will have to challenge Mei for the position. If Yuzu loses, then she and the new student will both be expelled. Mei surprises Yuzu by agreeing to the terms and Harumi wants Yuzu to give up and be a gyaru in disguise. Without spoiling the ending of this story arc, the remainder of Volume 5 is focused on resolving this conflict with a surprise twist.

Citrus Season 2 will then have Yuzu trying to figure out a plan for dating Mei. By researching love stories from magazines, TV shows, and manga, she creates a secret notebook called "Fall in Love With Mei and Live Happily Ever After Plan." But after Yuzu asks Mei to go out on their first date, it's revealed that Mei found and read the secret notebook. While Yuzu is mortified, the real problem is that Mei wants to follow the notebook's plan to the letter like it's a boring to-do list.

"This notebook is absolute," Mei says at the beginning of their first date.

Citrus Manga Mei Secret Notebook Chapter 21
Yuzu messes up big-time in Volume 6.

This awkward date causes both to analyze their feelings. Yuzu also gets a job because she wants to save money to buy Mei a special gift for their one-year anniversary of knowing each other, but in doing so, she has to lie to Mei. Yuzu also has a run-in with older friends from her former town that painfully makes her realize that she has wanted love all this time, but now she's found a love she can't openly acknowledge in public.

"I did say that our relationship has nothing to do with anyone else," Mei tells Yuzu. "However, that doesn't mean I want to announce it to the world."

Worse, Yuzu has not been studying for exams like she should because of the part-time job, so in Volume 7 she ends up in summer school instead of having a normal summer vacation. On her first day, she meets a third-year student named Suzuran Shiraho. This girl enjoys observing and analyzing people very closely -- too closely. She became infatuated with Mei mainly because the Student Council president was the only person Shiraho could not get a read on. So much so that Shiraho was distracted and ended up in summer school.

Citrus Manga Suzuran Shiraho Chapter 26
Suzuran Shiraho has a keen sense of observation.

Shiraho begins to suspect something is amiss when she smells Mei's scent on Yuzu. While Yuzu wants to hide their secret relationship, she also desires to be friends with Shiraho, so she invites her Senpai to a festival. When Shiraho starts honing in on the truth, it turns out that the overly observant girl is also carrying a secret of her own.

A summer sleepover trip to a boarding house with a hot springs bath becomes complicated when Mei is seemingly wanting to be more open about their relationship, even going so far as to give hickeys in public and desiring to have at least one kiss a day. Yuzu is afraid of being exposed, but Mei insists that she just act naturally. Yuzu is also anxious because she has told Mei how she feels, but has never heard Mei confess her love verbally.

Now, it's possible that Citrus Season 2 will end partially through Volume 9 since the ending pages of Chapter 32 of Volume 8 is not a good stopping point for an anime. A better option would be to end the anime on a high note from earlier in Chapter 32 when both Yuzu and Mei put aside their issues and begin... well, let's just leave that a surprise. If studio Passione goes any further in the manga's story, then the anime either runs into pacing problems, or it'll be forced to end on a cliffhanger note. As such, it'll probably be best for the anime to adapt the remaining manga chapters with Citrus Season 3.

Warning: Major spoilers in the next paragraph.

The story arc for Volume 9 begins with the revelation that many of the girls attending Aihara Academy have arranged marriages. Mei has never told Yuzu the truth that someday they will have to break up. Chapter 36 surprised and upset some manga fans because it has Mei writing a letter to Yuzu. She expresses her fond feelings for Yuzu, but Mei has decided to marry her fiancee so she can inherit the Aihara family as part of the arranged marriage. It's a goodbye letter since Mei says she won't associate with Yuzu and she knew that her resolve would crumble if she tried telling Yuzu in person.

Citrus Manga Yuzu Crying Chapter 36
Yuzu is devastated when she reads Mei's letter.

Unfortunately, even manga readers don't know what will happen next after this cliffhanger ending to Chapter 36. Anime fans will have to wait until Citrus Season 2 releases to watch the drama between Yuzu and Mei. Stay tuned!

[Update April 10, 2018] Added first week sales of Citrus Blu-Ray Volume 1.