Back in February Yen Press began releasing Kisetsu Morita’s You Call That Service? The light novel series is a romantic comedy featuring vampires, which successfully stole my heart. Now I’m here to check out Volume 2 and find out if it remains a fun read.
As we reunite with Ryouta and Shiren, life is going well for them. Shiren has made up with her estranged sister Ouka (who happens to be the ruler of the empire!) and now she and Ryouta are living on the grounds of Ouka’s palace. Now Ryouta hopes he can live out a peaceful life as Shiren’s minion, but nothing is ever that simple!
As Ryouta attends school with Shiren he has to fight off the advances of an assassin who’s after his life, as well as Ouka who wants to steal him away from Shiren. To make matters worse, the boys in Ryouta’s class are sick of all the attention he’s getting from the girls and plot to take him down themselves. With everyone wanting a piece of him, Ryouta begins to wonder if he wouldn’t be better off back in Japan.
While this volume of the series capitalises on its quirky cast of characters, it does lose some of the charms of the first book. A lot of the vampire elements are pushed aside in favour of a heavier comedy angle, which is fine, but I was hoping to learn more about the empire’s history.
I must admit I’m also not thrilled that Ouka and Shiren are now fighting over Ryouta. We learned at the end of Volume 1 that Ouka used to be Ryouta’s childhood crush before she moved away. It’s clear in this instalment that Ryouta still holds some feelings for her, but the chemistry between them isn’t as interesting as it is between Ryouta and Shiren.
Perhaps the problem is that Volume 1 put a lot of time into making us invest in the relationship between Ryouta and Shiren. They’re made for each other, balance out one another’s temperaments and now we’re rooting for them to become a couple. Ouka’s introduction to the mix has just muddled the direction of the story.
However, despite all my complaints about You Call That Service?, I did still enjoy Volume 2. While it took away some of the things I liked, the core story is still a great deal of fun. The dialogue for Ryouta and the rest of the cast is well written and always brought a smile to my face.
If you’re more invested in the romantic comedy element of the series then Volume 2 certainly delivers on that front. I compared You Call That Service? to Toradora! in my previous review, and that comparison still holds this time around. The way the characters interact (and Shiren’s tsundere personality), remain very similar to how Toradora! handled its cast, so if you’re looking for something similar this is definitely on the right track.
The nice thing is that You Call That Service? has so far kept its stories fairly self-contained, so even though I wasn’t as enthusiastic about this one, it’s likely Volume 3 will be an improvement. If the focus moves back onto the more vampiric aspects of the series, then I’ll certainly be happy!
You Call That Service? Volume 2 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Jasmine Bernhardt. Currently, the next volume of the series is yet to appear on Yen Press’ schedule, so we might have a bit of a wait before we get to enjoy Ryouta’s next adventure.
You Call That Service? Volume 2 isn’t as strong as the first book, but if you’re looking for a new romantic comedy to enjoy then it’s a worthy contender. However, if, like me, you’d been hoping for some more focus on the vampire elements from the first volume you may be disappointed.