|“||I would be lying if i said i don't want to touch her... But... Before marriage, there's dating, and we've only just started. And in order to respond to her sincerely, I should properly go through the steps from the very beginning.||”|
Mei Aihara (藍原 芽衣 Aihara Mei?) is the deuteragonist of the manga Citrus. She is the Student Council president, the daughter of Shō Aihara, the stepdaughter of Ume Aihara and the younger stepsister/wife of Yuzu Aihara.
Mei is a very beautiful light-skinned young girl with straight silky mid-back length black hair and purple eyes.
Whilst in school, she dresses formally in uniform with an additional arm-band on her left arm, which identifies her as a part of the student council. When attending events outside of school, she wears ordinary plain clothes which attract little attention to her. She starts wearing a ring that Yuzu gave her but only outside of school.
On the outside, Mei appears to have a cold and ruthless attitude towards her peers. She's obtained a stern and short-tempered personality from her father's abandonment of her. She is unable to communicate with Yuzu normally and struggles to convey her feelings properly, this results in her often making frequent sexual advances towards Yuzu. Despite her behavior, on the inside, she is sensitive, lonely, and hides a heart that can be easily hurt.
Her usually hard personality contrasts her emotional side, which manifests often. Mei struggles to understand Yuzu's optimistic and impulsive nature, as it harshly mirrors her pessimistic and measured one. As the series progresses, she slowly changes, becoming less-cold to Yuzu, and a bit more caring towards her. She still has a hard time being honest and understanding what she's feeling. She sometimes does childish things  and likes teddy bears. She's more confident than Yuzu knowing the fact that not everyone will approve of their relationship.
After dating Yuzu then later being engaged to her, Mei start to open up more being gentle and warm, while still keeping her calm and strict demeanor.
Anime & Manga Differences
- The name Mei means "bud, sprout" (芽) (me) and "clothing, garment" (衣) (i).
- Mei's surname Aihara means "indigo" (藍) (ai) and "field, plain" (原) (hara).
- Mei is not very good at sewing.
- Mei likes teddy bears.
- Mei's ears are sensitive.
- Mei falls asleep quickly.
- In the initial setup, Saburo set Mei as an older sister and her height was setup to be 159cm.
- In Citrus +5, Yuzu found out that Mei is not ticklish.
- As shown in Citrus+ 2, Mei has a scar on her right thigh from elementary school.
- The small stuffed bear keychain given to Mei by Yuzu.