Genre(s): Romance, Drama
Aired: Jul 2017 to Sep 2017
Also known as: Netsuzou Trap -NTR-, 捏造トラップ―NTR―
Summary: Feeling nervous about her first boyfriend, Yuma turns to her childhood friend, Hotaru, for some advice. In response, Hotaru starts making sexual advances towards Yuma that go beyond mere “practice.” As these girls continue to have secret trysts behind their boyfriends’ backs, the situation gets more and more messy and complicated. What will be the conclusion for this soap opera?
Review: Sometimes a series will come around and most people will either love or hate it. The middle ground is somehow nowhere to be found.
I’ve talked about this before, but I believe that Netsuzou TRap is such a series. I’ve also mentioned that a black-and-white mentality commonly arises when it comes to discussion revolving around said series. People are also prone to insulting others when it comes to their opinions. All of this is silly and hateful. Don’t be that sort of person.
To be clear, I’m not a fan of Netsuzou TRap. If you’re looking for a more positive appraisal of the series, you should go read Lethargic Ramblings’ post where he talks about why he enjoyed watching Netsuzou TRap. He makes interesting points that are largely based on his personal tastes and preferences, but that doesn’t weaken his stance in the slightest. If anything, it’s more impressive that he knows what he likes and that he’s standing firm in the face of naysayers.
See? People can disagree and still be civil.
As for my own opinion, I would now like to talk about why I think this series fell short. I have two reasons and both are framed within the yuri anime genre.
First of all, there’s no romantic pay-off to be found. The girls are already making out with each other when the series starts and we’re forced to see them struggle with lies, manipulation, and obviousness for 12 episodes before they finally reach a mutual decision. But by that point, they’ve done so much kissing that it feels like nothing has really changed between the two of them.
Furthermore, the audience is also left apathetic to their situation due to their selfish and twisted natures (they can’t hold a candle to Hotaru’s boyfriend, Fujiwara, in terms of awful personality, however). Much like Sakura Trick, the excessive kissing scenes are milked for fanservice and I’m left underwhelmed. Fetishizing something to such a degree is dull and should have been handled with restraint. On the other hand, a quick, quiet kiss in episode 11 of Hina Logi felt much more rewarding in comparison. After many episodes of tension, the two girls in Hina Logi finally come to terms with their feelings and the audience benefits. Sometimes less is more.
Secondly, homosexuality is consistently mocked and berated throughout the series. A lot of said statements came from the misanthropic jerk, Fujiwara, but Hotaru gets in on it, as well. It may have been included for the sake of realism, as a lot of people in real life seem to reject homosexuality and such, but having characters excessively criticize lesbian love as being less “real” compared to heterosexual romance for most of the series leaves a bad impression.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that there were many other yuri manga that could have been adapted into anime. We already receive so few anime that’s actually yuri every year that we actually have to rope in CGDCT series under this category so we’re not stuck talking about a handful of shows if we’re specifically talking about yuri series. And in my opinion, NTRap‘s controversial and alarmist premises is not a good look for the genre. This isn’t what yuri anime needed. Give me realistic characters. Give me characters who fall in love with other characters for actual reasons. Give me characters who maintain healthy and loving relationships because there are already tons of dysfunctional ones out there in both anime and real life.
That’s my personal stance on romance in anime as a whole, at any rate. It’s probably a byproduct of my own failed love life, as one particular individual who felt he had the authority to label things once said.
The pacing is sloppy and rushed since each episode essentially lasts for only 7 minutes (two minutes are lost to the OP and the ED). Actually, the OST is rather good as the emotional scenes are paired with lovely instrumental pieces (I’m unfairly in love with piano pieces, sorry). I found the OP to be rather forgettable outside of the opening guitar riff, but wow, the 3 EDs were all amazing. I wish we got to hear more than just 30 seconds of each ED. I’m also in disbelief that an anime series with such short episodes received 3 different ED songs.
The art is lackluster and lazy. Several instances of off-model faces popped up and the background work just feels incomplete. I just thought that everything felt cheap whenever I watched an episode.
NTRap was not my cup of tea and I actually think most other yuri anime would be more enjoyable to watch. The fact that it excessively fetishizes and berates homosexual relations only served to worsen my impression of the series as a whole (and harm the yuri anime genre).
If you’re in the market for a (manga) series that shows life-like characters getting into messy situations, then you should read Watashi no Sekai wo Kouseisuru Chiri no You na Nani ka. I’m of the opinion that this series would have definitely outshone Netsuzou TRap if it was the one to have received an anime adaption as it’s both engaging yet repulsive in ways that NTRap could never achieve. It also touches upon several character dynamics that are interesting, problematic, and probably not that healthy, actually. But that’s all gravy for people into such content, right? Read more about the manga series by checking out Zeria’s post over here.