Image source: TVアニメ「捏造トラップ-NTR-」公式 on Twitter

As a queer woman, I’m drawn to any anime series which suggests it could be a unique view of queer relationships in Japan. Outside of fan service and ero titles, there’s still a dearth of good anime adaptions of yuri manga, specifically. For this reason, NTR: Netsuzou Trap is first on my list for the new season.

Image source: TVアニメ「捏造トラップ-NTR-」公式 on Twitter

The basic concept itself intrigues me. It’s far from an unusual situation that you have queer people, especially queer adolescents, in relationships that are used more for cover than they are real expressions of attachment. And while sometimes the other person knows and is trying to help, often that is not the case. We often call this person a “beard.” I don’t have personal experience with this myself (as I’ve never hidden my sexuality/gender identity and never dated boys/men) but I have seen it happen. And the results are almost always tragic.

NTR: Netsuzou Trap does seem to go a bit beyond even what I’ve seen in my experiences with queer friends and students by having there be a situation where there are two “beards,” both seemingly unknowing and non-consenting. At the same time, both of the queer characters are in a queer relationship with each other. I admit, that I’ve never seen before, either in anime, or in real life, but I can see how it might happen, especially at a smaller school.

Two Girls Cheat on Their Boyfriends with Each Other in NTR: Netsuzou Trap

Image source: TVアニメ「捏造トラップ-NTR-」公式 on Twitter

Let me be clear, given my experiences as a queer person in Japanese society and Japanese schools. There is a significant amount of queer people in Japan and queer students in Japanese schools. While I do not tend to talk about my sexuality openly in the classroom, it’s not hard to figure out, and I’ve been in the position of being the first adult some students decide to tell about their own sexuality. Other times, I may be the first person outside the home to be told—especially when parents or family members are often not supportive.

In most schools I have been at in the past few years, including my “own” junior high school, I have had students dating other students of the same sex/gender. That’s definitely real. How overtly displayed that truth is, however, is another matter. In some cases relationships are hidden completely. I knew a couple once who only ever expressed their feelings for each other in empty classrooms. Their relationship was not generally known.

Tsukigakirei Is the Best Representation of Japanese School Life I Have Seen in Anime

Image source: TVアニメ「捏造トラップ-NTR-」公式 on Twitter

I have seen arguments between students develop when one person in the relationship tries to be public, but the other refuses. In one particular case, this difference of opinion on public displays of affection versus maintaining a relationship in private (except around myself and a group of friends who knew), became a factor in the choice to break up. Other factors included an overtly homophobic mother (that I wasn’t allowed to confront, adult to adult) and a failed plan for the couple to attend high school with or near each other. In the end, they broke up at our graduation. They haven’t even spoken in years, according to mutual friends of both.

These are the issues I am hoping to see confronted in NTR: Netsuzou Trap. I haven’t read the manga, but I’ve been told it’s quite good. There’s so much possibility for drama, excitement, and heartbreak that can be pulled directly from real queer adolescent experiences in Japan, that I’m really hoping I can see myself or my students, something core to our own experiences, in the characters and their situations.

NTR: Netsuzou Trap is set to air in Japan on AT-X from July 5, 2017. No western simulcast has yet been announced.

Comments (3)
  1. We’ve spoken about this on Twitter, but look at the other Anime NOW! title of an article on NTR – “Two Girls Cheat on Their Boyfriends with Each Other in NTR: Netsuzou Trap”

    I read the first few chapters of this manga in Comic Yuri Hime and was strongly repulsed. When it didn’t get canceled I was angry. That Ichijinsha promotes it and has ignored all the decent stuff they run for this and Citrus for anime makes me livid. I will not watch either and while I may allow someone who is not me review Citrus, NTR will never be reviewed on Okazu.

    The cuckolding fetish is creepy enough, but the non-consensual quality of their affair puts it firmly in the will-not-watch category for me.

  2. […] Callahan wrote a lovely hopeful article on Anime NOW! on NTR that expresses hope that it will exceed it’s own description.  I wish I could tell her […]

  3. […] Kat’s Most Anticipated Summer 2017 Anime: NTR: Netsuzou Trap (Anime Now!) […]

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