Saturday, July 8, 2017

NTR: Netsuzou Trap Episode #01 Anime Review

A secret between girls.

What They Say:
Yuma, a high school second-year, is enjoying every day now that she has her first boyfriend. After she asks for relationship advice from Hotaru, her beautiful long-time friend who has had many boyfriends, Hotaru teases her for her inexperience and playfully does things to her that even her boyfriend doesn't do. Yuma and Hotaru's secret relationship continues to escalate, and Yuma finds herself unable to deny how it makes her feel. This school drama tells the story of the interwoven lives of these two girls with boyfriends.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
NTR is one of those 'must-reads' in the yuri community. With its foundation rooted deep within the niche of cuckolding, it gained a sort of weird popularity within just a few volumes. Now, I love weird romance stories- and I love yuri. So when I first caught wind of the manga shortly after its English publication, I snatched it up immediately. Surprisingly enough, an anime adaptation was announced just several months later. However, my instant excitement would have been cut down almost entirely had they announced at the time of its inception that the series would be broken into twelve eight-minute episodes instead of an actual full-treatment.

All that aside, NTR hones in on two separate protagonists- Yuma and Hotaru. And while Yuma is definitely the focal point of at least the first episode (And first volume), Hotaru's character is what really makes the series shine. To elaborate a bit further, think of Yuma as that yuri archetype that doesn't really understand that she's a lesbian yet -- IE: The standard yuri protagonist. Hotaru, on the other hand, is the nymphomaniac. You see, for the first time in her life, Yuma has a boyfriend. This being a new experience for her, she doesn't really know what she's supposed to do. This gives Hotaru the opportunity to swing in and do what all best friends do -- teach her how to make out.

Hotaru, being the cool one, seems to get off on the idea of OPP (As 'Naughty By Nature' would put it) and essentially forces Yuma into semi-publicly engaging in lewd acts with her. It is at this point where Yuma realizes that, well, she's kind of into it. Of course, it's only the first episode so she doesn't fully admit that yet. What has her even more conflicted, however, is that she's kind of into her boyfriend too? Normally at this point, I'd shrug that off and say, "Who cares?" but honestly, her boyfriend is actually kind of cool. He's not a jerk or anything and the fact that his girlfriend is cheating on him with another girl is kind of messed up. But it's also really hot, so what does it matter?

At the end of the day, the building blocks have been laid out for what is going to be a rather uncomfortable yet relatively enthralling story. However, the fact that the series is broken into watered down, eight-minute intervals is essentially the same thing as someone walking up and kicking those building blocks down, laughing, and running away. While there may definitely be more to it than it seems, I'd most likely chalk this up to the same thing that happened with 'Pupa'. Yes, I know, no one ever wanted to hear about that again, but the similarities are definitely there. Both series detail weird sexual niches -- just Pupa was about eating people and NTR is about two girls making out behind their boyfriends' backs.

In Summary:
As much as I hate saying things like this, the NTR manga far outshines the anime. adaptation (Based on just the pilot alone). I have no qualms with the quality of the actual animation or the content therein, but the fact that the series has been chopped up so finely really leaves a lot to be desired. Much of the charm in NTR comes from that weird sense of discomfort it instils through cuckolding, but when you're only seeing a few minutes at a time, the potential for any noticeable impact at all is diminished almost entirely.

Grade: C

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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