Amongst all the shows that have come out in the Summer Anime season of 2017, one of my personal favourites has been Netsuzou TRap, a Yuri show with Netorare elements that has been the subject of a lot of negative backlash from much of the community, due to its negative depiction of the Yuri genre, its uncomfortable subject matter and its sheer level of “trashiness”.
However, as you’re already likely aware of, I don’t think Netsuzou TRap is all that bad, nor do I find it even remotely deserving of the negative comments I’ve been seeing and I’ve honestly found the show to be one of the most entertaining and enjoyable watches of the season for various reasons.
A lot of people who’ve challenged my opinion on Netsuzou TRap have been continuously referring to the series as “trashy” and I’m not going to deny that. It is trashy. Incredibly so. But I have to wonder… What were people expecting from such a premise?
It’s a show about two teenage girls cheating on their partners with one another complete with Netorare elements and all the evil things you would expect to come with them. It even has NTR in the title. This story is as trashy as it gets and, much like Scum’s Wish, it comes complete a cast of characters who are both selfish and difficult to feel sorry for because they each have self-serving agendas and consistently make stupid and horrible decisions time and time again.
And that’s precisely why I like the show as much as I do.
I’d like to drive home the point that being “trashy” does not necessarily make something inherently bad. Date A Live is trashy as hell, but its cool action scenes and emotional character arcs make it something I considered to be worth my time. A lot of people find Sword Art Online trashy due to its harem elements in the early part of the show, yet the romantic sub-plot and character growth that occurred later on caused it to wind up becoming a show I really enjoyed in the end.
And in this case, I happen to like Netsuzou TRap, despite it being “trashy”, because it’s a show that’s buried in its own misery and self-loathing. Far too many shows are full of characters that we’re supposed to idolise, root for or sympathise with, and Netsuzou TRap instead gives us the complete opposite. I appreciate that, for once, I’m presented with a cast of characters that allow me to peek into the lives of people that are completely self-serving and disgusting individuals with next to no redeeming qualities. It’s a unique perspective that someone like me, who tries his best to be a good person in every aspect of his life, rarely gets the chance to experience, fiction or otherwise. Netsuzou TRap may not give me an opportunity to sympathise with its characters, but it does allow me to empathise with them, and as a lover of all things dark and twisted, how can I not find enjoyment in vicariously living such a different experience through their story?
And while we’re on that subject, I guess I just love how dark and twisted this story is in general. If you take a look at many of my favourites, particularly when it comes to Manga, you’ll find that most of them are stories which have a focus on messed up individuals, usually a couple, where the narrative dives into some really twisted and crazy things. I love stories that focus on the darker side of human nature. Feel free to call me “edgy” or whatever, but I find it hard to not enjoy Netsuzou TRap solely because of how much it aligns with this very specific preference of mine.
But there’s more to my love for this show than just “it’s dark”. Despite the claims that the show is nothing but “trash” and “softcore porn”, I genuinely believe that this show is far deeper than people are giving it credit for.
It’s not just some Yuri/Netorare hate-porn, it’s a story about a young girl, Yuma, realising and struggling to come to grips with, her feelings for her childhood friend, Hotaru, and discovering who she really is as she sinks into a world of lies, self-loathing and selfishness. She makes some incredibly stupid and horrible decisions along the way, and there’s plenty of despicable moments where characters screw each other over horribly for personal gain along with a lot of explicit fan-service. But in the end, it’s a show about self-discovery and coming to grips with one’s identity, even if it presents such a tale in an extremely twisted way.
And the show also does an excellent job at portraying the cycle of abuse through Hotaru. She’s not just this horrible, manipulative character we’re initially led to believe, she’s a victim of abuse, and she redirects that abuse towards Yuma and the relationship she shares with her. Does that make her a bad person that deserves to be disliked? Sure it does, but there’s a reason for it, and it’s not just “she’s a bad person.”
That’s not to say the show is perfect. The series has some pretty mediocre artwork, which is both due to the source not having particularly great artwork to begin with, and Creators in Pack doing a fairly poor job in adapting the story into Anime. The series is also far too briskly paced due to each episode being 7 minutes long, and it rushes through plot points far too fast in a lot of cases which can be pretty nauseating. And of course, it’s most definitely “trashy” in the way it presents both itself and its themes.
But is it a bad show? I don’t think so. Not at all. In fact, I’d go as far saying it’s great despite these flaws and the negative backlash. It’s an excellent Yuri series with a dark Netorare-esque spin that separates it from the usual Yuri fare and I honestly love it. And I say this as someone who’s never been all that keen on Netorare.
Netsuzou TRap is most certainly not for everyone, and I can understand why people would dislike it, specifically those who can’t stand the Netorare sub-genre, but there’s far more going on here than just “hate-porn for envious people”.
And, this may come across as “fightin’ words” but, as for how this show makes the Yuri genre look more “trashy” than it already is, I’m not particularly fussed about any of that nonsense. I like the show, I think the show is good and I don’t care how it makes the genre look. This would apply to any case within any genre and this one show that barely anybody even bothered to give the time of day beyond the first episode is hardly going to taint the genre.
So yeah. I think Netuszou TRap is a good show with a lot more depth than everyone else seems to believe. If you haven’t checked this show out yet for whatever reason, I recommend giving it a shot. Perhaps you’ll find something worth your time!
What are your thoughts on Netsuzou TRap? Did you think the show was worth your time? Let me know!