Title: Chitose is in the Ramune Bottle Vol. 4
Author: Hiromu (Story), Bobkya (Art), raemz (Characters)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: September 29, 2023
We are on the other side of Kenta getting verbally lashed by his former friends; however, Chitose has stepped in to save the day! Chitose gave it right back to them and, in the end, gave Kenta that last little push to make his declaration. With that over and done with, Chitose, Yuuko, and Kenta are all heading back home when their agreement has come to an end. Kenta automatically assumes that this is the end of everything but Yuuko lays it on him and it wasn’t something that he was expecting!
From here, Chitose runs into Asuka Nishino, to which he refers to as Asu-ne. She appears to be his “big sister” but that’s just a hidden meaning for his upperclassman. Chitose seems to get a bit flirtatious with her but it appears that talking things further beyond friendship would ruin a good thing.
Next, Chitose ends up moving on to another classmate by agreeing to meet her for lunch. It’s Yuzuki Nanase and she invited Chitose out to confess to him. After some really unnecessary back-and-forth banter, she finally gets to the real reason as to why she asked Chitose out. In the end, Chitose has a new contract to fulfill and the next arc of this series begins.
The focus on the development this time around was placed on both Kenta and Chitose.
First off, we have Kenta. Even though Chitose and Yuuko came to bail him out, in the end, he was able to say what he wanted to say. Although his development as a character is far from over, the groundwork has been completed and it’s time for him to develop further on his own. It was a kind gesture extended to him by Yuuko at the end there, and I’m sure that it’ll be to his benefit in the long run. Sadly, after his arc concluded, he was only mentioned in passing by Chitose. Kenta just disappeared for the rest of the volume and while I understand that they wanted to move the story forward to the next arc, that was just kind of sudden. I would have thought that we would have gotten to see a bit more of him but, oh well.
Next, we have a new character: Asuka Nishino. It’s quite apparent that the two of them have a past together and that Chitose MIGHT have a romantic interest in her. That’s really hard to tell and I’ll get to that in a bit. Chitose calls her Asu-ne (slang for big sister) but she’s just an upperclassman who thinks that if they were to date, it would ruin the relationship that they have going for them now. You can tell that there is a level of respect here but it makes me wonder what role she’s going to play in the future. Right now, nothing really amounted to much of anything but I figure that was the point.
Next is Yuzuki Nanase. She’s currently in the same class as Chitose and it appears that they had a run-in with each other prior but it wasn’t much. She wants Chitose to be her boyfriend and after beating around the bush for the better part of an entire chapter, she finally admits to why she wants that. While I think it was really contrived, I do see what they were aiming for. She is, essentially, the female version of Chitose and he even makes the remark that it’s like looking into a mirror when it comes to her. Now that the real reason behind her infatuation has been revealed, it will be interesting to see how their contract ends up playing out.
Lastly, let’s talk a bit about Chitose here who is seemingly into acting all of a sudden. Well, I shouldn’t really say all of a sudden as it has been a theme in this series but it was way more prominent here in the fourth volume. Between acting in front of Kenta, to talking with Nanase, he keeps mentioning scripts, reading lines, playing parts, etc. He waxes poetic far too much and it makes every conversation he has seen more like 4D chess than an actual conversation. Plus, it caused some situations to get drawn out beyond the point of holding my interest. I found myself wishing it would just stop and get to the point rather than drone on and on and on. Hopefully, we won’t see too much more of this as I didn’t really care for this aspect of his character. It’s much better in smaller doses.
Most transitional volumes beat around the bush and go into a lull but this one doesn’t wait around. We closed out the Kenta arc, got a little bit of filler with Asuka, and then we went straight into the Nanase arc. While the 4D chess conversation between Chitose and Nanase was a bit overblown, I did enjoy where the new arc was heading.
While Kenta went absent for the rest of the volume, it did leave things wide open for his return. Besides, the volume did a good job at setting up the Nanase arc and now that we know what we are dealing with, there will be plenty of opportunities to get him, and the others, back into the fold. I suspect we’ll see more of the gang in the fifth volume.
I can see Asuka’s appearance as nothing more than planting seeds for something bigger on down the road. I can’t imagine introducing a new character just to say hi and bye and leaving it at that. There were some interesting nuggets of information there, though, so it’s definitely something that can be built upon. Perhaps, she is Chitose’s true love rival and ends up becoming best girl? If so, that’ll suck for Yuuko and Yua but it is what it is. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her.
Quite a bit to unpack in this volume but now that the Nanase arc is underway, I’m sure the focus will be more on her and her situation next time around. Can’t wait for it!
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**This item was provided for review by Yen Press.