Netsuzou Trap Episode 3 Review – “Shall We Practice Again?”

(Spoilers in this review)

Yuma, Takeda, Hotaru, and Fujiwara head to a ski resort together. Yuma and Takeda are both nervous over how they’ll potentially sleep together during the trip, but nothing of the sort happens during the first night. Yuma instead gets groped by Hotaru, tells Hotaru that she’s happy that they’re best friends, and falls asleep before a wistful Hotaru snuggles in close with the sleeping girl.

On the following day, Hotaru convinces Yuma to teach her how to snowboard. However, she kisses a defenseless Yuma, which is noticed by Fujiwara as he just so happened to be snowboarding down the adjacent slope. The episode ends with Fujiwara seemingly blackmailing Hotaru to sleep with him as Yuma and Takeda spend some time together in the snow.

I have to give props to how the ending of the episode plays out. Hotaru has been very inconsiderate of Hotaru’s feelings on many occasions and her callousness has finally backfired on her. Furthermore, the contrast between the two couples are accentuated to a degree: Yuma and Takeda are enjoying themselves with friendly outdoor activities and are surrounded by shiny sparkles whereas Hotaru and Fujiwara are inside a cramped room with fading sunlight and about to partake in more racy activities. That’s what viewers assume, at least, since Fujiwara starts taking off some clothes and begins talking about how Hotaru and Fujiwara are probably going to have sex later.

Other than that, this episode only served to make Hotaru even more unlikable. Rape jokes are not okay. Saying “Oh, you let me do that so it was okay” is not acceptable. She’s even hypocritical by saying it’s convenient for Hotaru to say that Yuma is the one forcing herself on her. It’s not like Hotaru claims that she’s helping Yuma practice for her first time with Takeda as she essentially molests the pink-haired girl, right?

Be that as it may, the series is intent on pushing at least some of the blame onto Yuma. The OP takes care to establish that Yuma is noticeably taller than Hotaru. As a result, the OP, when coupled with Hotaru’s statement in which she states that Yuma could have easily fended off Hotaru if she really wanted to, makes it seem like Yuma subconsciously enjoyed the physical and intimate attention Hotaru was giving her.

In real life, that sort of excuse wouldn’t fly. In anime, however, all of these instances (don’t forget how Yuma felt betrayed when Hotaru started dating boys!) collectively point to the obvious conclusion that Yuma actually wants Hotaru deep down inside. What else could it be?

On an unrelated note, I could relate to some of the events that happen in this episode. Much like how Yuma lied to her parents about the people accompanying her during this ski trip, I took a Greyhound (a long-distance bus) to see my girlfriend-at-the-time, who lived over 450 miles away, without my parents’ knowledge. Recently, I also fell head-over-heels for someone, but I realized that they were only looking for a no-string-fling and I consequently decided to walk away. Meanwhile, Hotaru continues her relentless physical assault on an uncomfortable Yuma with little regard for Yuma’s feelings.

I often resonate with the characters who perform less than savory actions. That’s the strength of these theatrical series that feature heavily controversial characters in scandalous situations, isn’t it? You can’t help but condemn, but you also can’t help but relate. Maybe that’s only applicable to people who have made questionable decisions, wahaha. In any case, it’s working on me, sort of.

This is the part of the review where I am supposed to criticize the characterization, but it’s actually been progressing nicely. Fujiwara is steadily become the scummy boyfriend archetype the viewers all love to hate. Takeda is the lustful boy who means well and seems like a saint when compared to Fujiwara.

As for Hotaru, she clearly has ulterior motives in mind whenever she sexually harasses Yuma. She also has a strange glint in her mind whenever Yuma stresses that they’re just best friends. Perhaps she’s actually in love with Yuma and wants to momentarily escape from the reality that she’s dating a rude punk? But why date him in the first place? She’s full of mysteries, but that doesn’t mean she’s a likeable character.

I’ve already stated what I think of Yuma’s characterization. This way the series avoids queerbaiting since it’s implied that Yuma does like Hotaru, but Hotaru’s “explanations” are quite dreadful.

The characters are being steadily fleshed out and the drama is thickening, but I still feel like this series is just cheap smut.

3 (3)3 (6)3 (5)3 (11)3 (13)3 (14)3 (16)3 (18)3 (19)3 (20)3 (22)3 (23)3 (25)3 (24)3 (26)3 (28)3 (29)

6 thoughts on “Netsuzou Trap Episode 3 Review – “Shall We Practice Again?”

  1. You know, I do like screwed up relationship dynamics and this show clearly has a lot of potential where that’s concerned. There’s also somethings that disgusts the fuck out of me to the point that I’d flee in the opposite direction spitting curses if it pops up in stories (or life).

    Victim blaming is one of those things. Like, it’s pretty clear that we have standard molestation with potential for rape going on between Yuma and Hotaru. And it’s equally clear from your review that this series is trying to hoist some responsibility on Yuma’s shoulders. And no, hell no. Even if she ‘enjoys’ it and doesn’t say no, if Hotaru is ignoring her consent to grope her as she pleases with flimsy excuses, it’s molestation pure and simple. Jfc.

    Any shred of interest I had left in this series just evaporated.

    In other news, sorry about your own recent romantic problem. That sucks :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes, victim blaming was the term I had in mind. Yeah, it didn’t sit well with me when I was reading the manga. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been very tepid towards NTRap. But it does seem like Japan as a whole cannot grasp the idea of consent.

      I haven’t seen any convincing arguments defending this show yet other that it suits their tastes. People are of course entitled to their opinion but I am entitled to my own. Call me a millennial if you must~

      Be that as it may, it’s hard trying to be fair towards this series haha… Maybe you’re better off avoiding this. I see this as a potential to talk about what a yuri series (or any series) should not do so I’m sinking with this ship, Cap’n.

      Ah yeah. Sometimes that happens, yeah? But thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not just Japan, a lot of places can’t grasp consent. Things seem to be improving recently but we still got a ways to go.

        Hope you’ll manage to clamber onto a lifeboat afterwards 😉 Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy your reviews.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that the series is cheap smut. I just don’t see why this wasn’t just given a hentai and been done with it because it is doing the bare minimum in terms of animation, characters and story (besides the kissing and molesting because that is all the matters apparently). It makes me wonder just how much more I can take of these 9 minute lessons on how not to write romance. I like the idea of everything where two girls fall in love and the dynamics with their still boyfriends and how they flaunt the line of cheating, but the execution leaves far too much to be desired in terms of how they decide to use their screen time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The thing is, NTRap falls within a grey area. The original source material is just like this and the anime adaptation is basically following the manga punch-for-punch. Not enough content within the series to make it any longer and it isn’t /quite/ raunchy enough to be adapted into a more erotic form of media without compromising the integrity of the manga.

      The manga has stated that she loves soap opera situatuons. And, well, that’s exactly what we are getting. Makes you wonder how soap operas ever get the green light.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Soap Operas can be done well if they disguise themselves as something else, like Game of Thrones. I don’t know how much integrity is there though especially with how obvious the focus of these first three episodes is. It is depressing since many say that there are far better yuri/shoujo ai works to be adapted out there than this one. if the source material is very similar to this anime production then I don’t know why someone thought this would work in the first place. It is upsetting because they can do more than this and be better than NTRap.

        Liked by 1 person

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