Netsuzou TRap -NTR-
Four high schoolers: two girls, two boys— pairs of best friends—dating. Seems simple enough until on a group date one of the girls starts to make a move on the other saying, "You'll be more nervous with a boy; I'll help you practice." So begins the complicated tale of the relationships between these four. What’s love? What’s dating? What’s cheating? What’s friendship? These are the questions just some of the issues brought up in this series of nine minute episodes.
For being such short episodes, this series packs quite the punch. Each episode manages to be full of content and progress the story, leaving you wanting more. I genuinely would’ve been hooked had I watched this week to week. Those endings were brutal in terms of the ability to have you hanging on edge and wanting to come back. They had a character that was so detestable but even that one behaved in some ways that weren’t purely out of self preservation. Due to the nature of the show, we didn’t get their full backstory so we don’t know why they’re a total shit—not that the behaviour in question is ever excusable. So yeah, there’s definitely trigger stuff in here, FYI. However, it’s a good watch if only for the questions it brings up and the fact that it doesn’t excuse the reprehensible behaviour of its characters. I mean it tries to at one point but it’s dismissed by more sound minds in universe. It has some ecchi but it’s not gratuitous, if that makes sense. It feels more like it’s incorporated into the context of the show so it’s tasteful nudity and sexuality.
Basically if you’re interested in the complexities of relationship dynamics, especially as they relate to exploring the differences between friendship and romance, with a little LGBTQ confusion thrown into the mix and a lot of self-analysis with communication issues and whatnot all condensed into sexy, sassy 9 minute increments, this show is for you.
Creators in Pack, the studio that brought us, Rinshi Ekoda-chan, did this one as well. So it delivers. I enjoy the animation. They do a beautiful job of making the girls look exceptionally attractive and while it’s not a particularly unique style, per se, it suits the show. There’s something both fresh and juicy about it. It’s difficult to describe. The whole series seems glossy and ripe—like the proverbial apple just tempting you to take a bit out of it. It’s fitting to the theme. Or that could just be the way that I saw it. The art panels at the end of each episode were great additions as well. I always enjoy when shows have those. Seeing the different style renditions of the characters is a treat.
The music starting from the opening through the various OSTs lend the proper amount of tension, darkness and drama to the show at the right moments. Lest you think this is all bubblegum and light because it’s romance and Shoujo ai, the score keeps you planted in the reality of what happens after a bite is taken out of that apple in Eden. Pleasure comes with a price and there’s a balance to it all. The suspense and moods built from the music are really well accomplished.
This short series is well balanced, packed full of content and a must watch for anyone who wants to go on an emotional rollercoaster ride with these characters. If you can’t handle drama, steer clear. If indecisive characters or those going through growth and development bother you—this isn’t for you. If abuse is a trigger, welp, don’t watch it. If you’re just in it to watch girls make out, you’re going to be disappointed because there’s way more than that to this story. This is one of the most well done shorts I’ve watched in terms of content and character development even if they did have a hard go of it. It had me really into the characters and that’s saying something for how little screen time they had. I truly enjoyed it and hope that you do too!