Chitose is in the Ramune Bottle Vol. 1 Manga Review – A Harem of Hotties
Title: Chitose Is in the Ramune Bottle Vol. 1 (manga)
Release Date: July 12, 2022
Publisher: Yen Press
High school manga has a few tropes that it can rely on. However, a big focus has been put on the average student who gets the attention of the love interest against all odds. However, Chitose is in the Ramune Bottle Vol. 1 gives us a character who has already overcome the challenges of the social ladder and triumphed. However, he isn’t very likable.
Saku Chitose is aware of a rumor going around explicitly stating that he is a “total manslut shithead.” Given that this news happened on the first day of 2nd year of high school, one would assume he’d be a wreck. However, that’s far from the case; he walks confidently through the halls, high-fives his friends, and stands tall as one of the popular kids in school. It’s hard to imagine a manga that focuses on a character like this who doesn’t appear to need any fixing.
Chitose and his friends are a tight nit group of teenagers who support each other with the addition of some playful teasing. It’s not evident what it is precisely about Chitose that makes him unique, but his unabashed way of presenting himself in front of his peers makes him appear that he has the world figured out. I didn’t like him at first. In fact, I don’t know if I was supposed to. I think I was actually playing the role of the outsider waiting for something terrible to happen to him.
This is when the story calls me out. After Chitose is tasked with convincing a kid who has been absent from school to come to class, we understand our stereotypical feelings towards Chitose and his group. The reader is the person who posted that rumor about Chitose and the one who rolled their eyes when he was made class president. The reader is the character who isn’t coming to class, Kenta Yamazaki. These two couldn’t be any different, but we see where Chitose gets his confidence. Through these scenes, we learn to admire his hard work, and it’s a compelling interaction the two share.
The illustrations are playful. The panels depict each scene wonderfully and don’t rush the small conversations that highlight why these characters are friends. Of course, it’s a big group, so you won’t really know who everyone is just yet, but I enjoyed the roll call of the characters and look forward to learning more about them in later chapters.
Chitose is in the Ramune Bottle Vol. 1 surprised me. It made me question the way I viewed certain groups in high school. Sure these situations can never be one-to-one, but knowing how much work goes into being “good” at something shows empathy that I wish I had growing up. The harem jokes are tough to stomach because Chitose may be cool, but he’s not that cool. Still, this will be a series that I’m eager to stick with.
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