Chitose Is in the Ramune Bottle Volume 2 Review

Early last year Yen Press debuted Chitose Is in the Ramune Bottle, a series that’s well regarded in Japan but left me feeling cold with its first volume. Hoping that it improves as it goes on, I’ve continued with Volume 2, but has it won me over? Let’s find out! 

In Volume 1 of the series we met protagonist Saku Chitose and saw him tasked with bringing shut-in Kenta Yamazaki back to class, which he accomplished. This time around, our protagonist finds himself mixed up in another troublesome situation. 

One day he’s invited to a café by his friend Yuzuki Nanase, who asks Chitose to become her boyfriend. Chitose immediately realises there is more to this than a simple romance and soon learns that Nanase only wants Chitose to pretend to be her boyfriend to lure out or drive off a stalker. 

To start with, Nanase has no proof that there’s someone after her, except for a couple of items that have gone missing and the sense that someone’s watching her. But that’s enough for Chitose and either way, he’s never going to leave a friend in danger. However, when you’re two of the most popular students at school, suddenly getting into a relationship brings with it plenty of trouble, which means the stalker may be the least of their worries. 

Usually with this kind of set-up you’d think that Nanase is simply being bullied by another girl at school, particularly given that she’s regarded as one of the most attractive girls there. That’s what Chitose suspects at first too, but there’s a lot more to it than that and it quickly becomes apparent that the stalker problem is multi-layered when Chitose is approached by some delinquent students from a nearby school. 

There’s a real sense of danger in this volume of Chitose Is in the Ramune Bottle as the actions of the stalker escalate to blackmail and the delinquents threaten to beat up Chitose. Unusually for a series like this, Chitose doesn’t have to figure it all out on his own as homeroom teacher Kuro promises to step in, provided Chitose has proof that they can act on. I liked this touch, since only too often do the teenage protagonists try to play the hero when an adult could help resolve the situation. The fact Chitose does end up asking Kuro for help in resolving a more dangerous incident proves that author Hiromu knows when to toe the line with our protagonist’s heroics. 

Despite having come away from Volume 1 having not enjoyed the book much at all, I was surprised to find myself engrossed in #2. Perhaps that’s due to Chitose interacting with someone he’s already friendly with, as opposed to Kenta who he was often talking down to. Nanase also makes for an interesting heroine as she teases Chitose and puts him in his place in a way that we desperately needed to see the first time around. More than anything else, the fact Chitose is protecting someone he genuinely cares about means we get to see the positives of his personality and not the popular boy persona he often assumes around everyone else. 

In many ways this book reminded me of the better bits of My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong, As I Expected where the cast is faced with a problem to solve while doing a deep dive into their own emotions, which we see here with Nanase. She has secrets she’s keeping close to her chest, things she doesn’t want Chitose to know but which get unravelled slowly as the book goes on. And we have the unique twist that here in this series, the cast are popular kids, dealing with popular kid problems which is not something that can be said of My Youth Romantic Comedy or Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki, which this is also quite similar to. 

All in all, I’m glad I continued with this one since Volume 2 has rewarded the effort. Chitose is still quite annoying as a protagonist, at least when he’s not being true to himself and instead acting a part to fit his persona, but I spent a lot less of the book hoping for someone to smack him. If the following volumes continue to improve the way this one has, I think I’ll see why it has such a good reputation. Fingers crossed, anyway. 

As previously mentioned, Chitose Is in the Ramune Bottle Volume 2 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press where it continues to be translated by Evie Lund. Like the previous release, the translation reads well with no issues of note. Volume 3 has already been released in English with #4 set to follow in June. 

Overall, Volume 2 of Chitose Is in the Ramune Bottle is a big improvement on the first with a story that’s easy to get engrossed in. With a more heartfelt narrative to get invested in. it’s becoming clearer to me why people are such big fans of the series. Certainly, it’s been a while since I’ve gone from disliking a series so much to having my opinion so drastically flipped over with the next book. I just hope this positive trend continues. 

8 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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