This Week in Anime
Just How Trashy is NTR?

by Michelle Liu and Steve Jones,

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- started raising eyebrows based on the title alone, but is there any treasure buried in its trashy premise? This week in anime, Micchy and Steve sail into the eye of this season's smut-storm.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.


Micchy
Hey Steve! How is it being the new guy on our This Week in Anime team?

Steve
Hi Micchy! I feel like I'm learning the ropes, but I am curious as to why you called me out to this garbage dump.

We need SOMEBODY to enable my Heybot! addiction and neither Nick or Jake were gonna subject themselves to that.

THAT is a discussion for another day. Another far off day.

Heybot! is high-level trash, but first, we need starter-level trash. I hope you're ready to yell about NTR as much as I am, because OH BOY

OH MAN

Though I wonder if I'm overestimating the general public's garbage tolerance in calling NTR starter-level.

Yeah, we should come clean that we're kinda trash experts. But NTR is undoubtedly the trashiest show of the season, so I see no better way for us to start our discussions together on this fine website.

We're bringing the good content to Anime News Network Dot Com with our wholesome discussion of the lesbian cuckolding show.

If you'll forgive me, I actually wanna start this discussion with something about this show I genuinely like.

Hit me

It's dirty

like, obvious trash jokes aside, it's rare we get a yuri show that's show blatantly about messy, complicated, aggressive sexuality

There's something to be said about how utterly shameless Netsuzou Trap manages to be, yeah. It's still got its fair share of "but we're both girls!" and "this is just practice for the real thing" cliches, but in the eroticism department it doesn't hold back at all. Like, if I'm gonna watch a pervy show about girls makin' out, I'd rather have this than the likes of Sakura Trick and its thin pretenses at innocence.

Yeah I mean I'm definitely no yuri expert, but it seems a lot of the manga and anime that gets localized tends to be of the Class S variety, where everything's kinda fluffier and more nebulous. Not that there's no space for those kinds of stories! But variety is nice, and teenage hormones are rarely so rose-colored, so a story that gets down and dirty with its characters' feelings and relationships is something I can more easily sink my teeth into.

THAT SAID

this is hardly a, uh, composed and well-considered drama about teens discovering themselves

This show is capital-P Problematic, to say the least.

Not a single healthy relationship to be found.

Every single one is awful and toxic! So the basic premise is "two girls cheat on their boyfriends with each other" but that doesn't come close to covering the monumental amounts of bullshit in this show. You've got Boy #1 Takeda dating Yuma, who's being seduced by Hotaru (and sorta liking it?), who's in a physically abusive relationship with Boy #2 Fujiwara, who's cheating on the side but can't be stopped because he knows aaaall about Yuma's and Hotaru's sexytimes and could spill the beans to his pal anytime he wants. It's a veritable soap opera up in here I s2g, lemme grab the popcorn.

It is absolutely 100% a soap opera, all melodramatics and zero nuance. And in its best moments, that's what makes it fun to watch. Like every episode has a moment where Yuma and Hotaru are necking in some hidden nook, and someone just walks up none the wiser like "Hey guys how's it going! Definitely no secret lesbian makeouts happening here!"

if only Takeda knew what was behind that bush

his face walking up to them is PRICELESS

i guess in some sense he's the only innocent soul in the whole show? he still sucks tho

Yuma's a good kid too! It's not her fault her best friend is written to be a predatory lesbian stereotype. Explained away with more abuse to boot.

Yeahhhhh, while the show does avoid the cleanliness of Class S, it engages fully with the predatory lesbian thing, although Hotaru probably has the most character depth out of anyone. Not that that's saying much. Yuma is confused about everything, Takeda is just there, and Fujiwara is THE ABSOLUTE WORST GUY IN EXISTENCE.

"I know you're snogging each other"

"lemme watch"

"hey we both know i'm cheating on you but you're cheating on me too so that's why we should have a threesome"

It's somebody's effed-up roleplay fantasy, that's what it is. To be honest though, NTR is so upfront about its awful fetishes that I don't mind the boatload of Issues it has. If there's a place for fucked-up fantasies, this is it.

Oh absolutely. One of the reasons I like watching trashy shows like this is they deal with messy, fucked-up feelings that most other anime will shy away from. It's not necessarily that they do it in the most careful ways (they usually do the opposite), but it's refreshing to have them acknowledged. They're as real as anything else. They're a part of the human experience. And they can be both deeply uncomfortable and unintentionally hilarious.

Yeah, not that fiction doesn't have a real influence on viewers' attitudes and such, but when it's a cartoon, we can distance ourselves from the real consequences and explore ugly, terrible emotions. And when it's as overt as NTR is, it can be plain fun. Plain, problematic fun. To put this in otome game terms, I'd rather have the blatant vampire sexual assault fantasies of Diabolik Lovers than the insidious "locking your girlfriend in a cage is actually romantic" shit in Amnesia.

Yeah! I remember there being "Discourse" about Diabolik Lovers back when it aired, but that's a game and an anime specifically designed to titillate. It's an absurd fantasy! And it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but people who enjoy it already understand it for what it is. Looking back at NTR in the abstract, it's a story about queer girls discovering themselves while navigating cycles of abuse. That's a really potent seed for a narrative!

Of course this is all buried under six layers of softcore porn.

yeah NTR does not approach it with the gravitas it deserves

Instead we get a desperate plea for us to buy the blu-rays

I SEE YOUR GAME, NTR

NTR has exactly one game and it's watching these girls make out

For what it's worth, it's actually pretty good at that. I hate to admit it, but this show somehow isn't half bad at making those scenes almost legit sexy. I'm a Problematic Horny Girl-Liker.

well seeing as we are on the internet in 2017, you are hardly alone

How dare this hand-holding be so LEWD

It's not a spectacular-looking show by any means, but it's smart about pouring its resources into animating those small, important bits of body language.

and sometimes it pulls shit like next-level kabedon

from the studio that brought you Bloodivores

Oh man that's two for two columns I've been in now where we've been able to mention a kabedon. I'm gonna try my darnedest for a hat trick next time.

So i guess the important question is if NTR is good?

NTR is garbage of the most delectable variety. It's really up to individual taste if that sounds worthwhile or not. There's a ton of stuff in there that warrants warning, of course - the non-consensual stuff is bound to be a dealbreaker for some folks.

Yeah, the crux of the show revolves around cheating, sexual abuse, and manipulation, so if ANY of that puts you off, steer clear. Personally, it's far from my favorite anime about unhealthy lesbian relationships (that distinction belongs to Wixoss), but when it really leans into the melodrama of its premise, it's a lot of fun.

I was wondering if you'd bring up Wixoss; guess I win that bet with myself

Don't even get me STARTED on Wixoss or we'll be here for another six columns.

At the very least, NTR's gotta be the most entertaining horny show about sadistic girls that we can cover this season, what with Kakegurui being in Netflix jail (until 2018!!)

Yeah, I'm doing the sign of the cross right now. So if you're looking for problematic fun, have fun with NTR!

uh, the show, not the other thing


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