Title:Chitose is in the Ramune Bottle Vol. 2 Author: Hiromu (Story), Bobkya (Art), raemz (Characters) Publisher: Yen Press Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 194 Genre: Shounen, Battle Publication Date: October 18, 2022
Chitose has convinced Kenta to come back to school; however, he has no plans to do anything with him as far as including him in his little group. However, despite that, he is offering a three-week grace period to get Kenta trained up on how to be popular, hold a conversation, and then set him off on his own.
It all started with a haircut. After that, he brings him back to school and ends up introducing him to his group. They all treat him nicely but feel that he needs a makeover. So, that weekend, they bring him to get new glasses and clothes to help improve his image. Chitose also writes a meal plan and an exercise regimen to help Kenta lose some of the weight he packed on while being a shut-in. All of this sounds great to Kenta but there’s just one little problem.
After introducing Kenta to the group, Kazuki corners Chitose after class and reminds him about the social hierarchy of things. He flat-out tells Chitose that no matter what he does, he can’t see Kenta being a part of their group. In other words, everyone in Chitose’s group is just pretending to be nice to Kenta until these three weeks are up. Eventually, they feel that he needs to realize that he doesn’t belong and plan to kick him to the curb.
Although, I believe Kenta understood that from the beginning. He knows that he only has three weeks. After all, his true goal is getting back at Miki… the girl who used and ditched them from their otaku group. With the makeover complete and the date set to confront Miki, nothing can possibly go wrong, right? Well, the ending to Volume 2 says otherwise. This is going to be Kenta’s true test!
Obviously, the biggest development here is Kenta. On the one hand, I’m proud that he had a change of heart and is doing everything Chitose is telling him to. Yes, he’s being hand-held but in this case, it’s necessary so that Kenta can achieve the results he desires. Plus, he’s too weak-minded to do this on his own but that slowly changes over the course of the volume. Thanks to Chitose’s efforts, he’s beginning to gain some confidence, even if he’s still not entirely sure of things right now. He even took some steps on his own to achieve his goals. Even Chitose thinks that he’s made great strides in such a short amount of time!
Chitose, on the other hand, seems on the fence about what Kazuki said. When he mentioned social hierarchies, Chitose remarked to himself that he was really sick of that notion. Perhaps, in the end, he will end up taking Kenta’s side over the group’s. Even though everyone is being nice to Kenta, they all share the same mindset that he’s just a bother and doesn’t belong with them. That’s kind of harsh…, especially after all of the bravado they talked about in the first volume about being ordinary students who were perceived to be popular. It doesn’t really seem that’s true at all and everyone, Chitose included, is putting on quite the act but that one little line to himself during his encounter with Kazuki makes me wonder if that’s how Chitose truly is.
No one else really changed or made much progress with their characters but we are only two volumes in. We have quite a distance to go!
The second volume ended up being just as good, if not better, than the first. I loved the dynamic of Kenta wanting to change and Chitose being on the fence about wanting to genuinely help him or not. Of course, Chitose only claims to help people with it suits him best because he does have an image to uphold but those conflicting thoughts in his conversation make me believe otherwise. There will be a point where there will be a major shift in Chitose’s character and that’ll either cause a domino effect and humble the rest of his group or Chitose will find himself on the outside looking in.
Plus, it was really only Kazuki who brought up the concern. There is just a chance that he was being assumptive of everyone else’s feelings towards the Kenta situation. The rest of the group could be genuine in their intentions to help him but you don’t really know that for sure at this point in time. If they truly are all against it, you can’t help but feel bad for Kenta. That would mean he’s being strung along in the worst possible way and Kazuki is right when he said that once he realizes that he’s a charity case and they cut him loose, it’s going to devastate him or even push him back to being a lonely NEET.
This also paints Chitose in a corner because he created this situation instead of taking one of many other possible routes. That right there tells me that Chitose is doing it for other reasons and not just for himself as he claims.
Either way, this volume added a lot of potential layers to this story and it was a very enjoyable read! I’m looking forward to what comes next!