Title: The Ramune Bottle contains Chitose Vol. 1
Author: Hiromu (Story), Bobkya (Art), raemz (Characters)
Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date:July 12, 2022
Chitose is a man-slut shithead… aka… one of the most popular boys at school. He is blessed with great looks and the ability for almost any conversation. Kuranosuke, his homeroom teacher, has given him the task of bringing Kenta, an otaku shut in, back to school.
That’s literally it for the story side of things. It doesn’t really get much more straightforward than that.
This is probably the shortest Story section I’ve written because there literally is nothing else to it than that. How did they manage to fit such a brief synopsis into just 200+ pages? Easy… they built this series on its characters.
This is the section that’s going to take a while… hoo boy….
The first volume does give us a great introduction to Chitose and his friends… two of which are guys (Kaito and Kazuki) and three girls (Yua, Yuzuki, and Yuuko). So, let’s break them down.
Saku Chitose, the main star of this series, is first. I have never seen a mixed bag of a character like him where I didn’t end up hating him. This means that he is probably one of the most dynamic slice of life main characters I’ve ever seen. He’s not only popular for his looks, but he also has a golden tongue which allows him to control any situation. He’s cocky and arrogant, always firing back some quick-witted responses, and has a bit of snarkiness to him, he’s confident, but also on the flip side, he’s caring as we get to see in the back half of the volume.
It’s almost as if he has this internal switch that he can flip on and off at will. He knows when to joke, when he should be serious, what to say, when he should be playful, how to make a good impression, when he should be serious, caring, flirty, and when he should be confident. No matter what situation he’s put into, he always knows how to handle it which might make him sound like some overpowered main character from an isekai fantasy series but when you apply and ground all of those attributes in real life, you get Chitose.
You also learn the dark side of being all that you are. You learn through Chitose that popularity and being good at something comes with a cost. You always have to make sure you are at the absolute top of your game every single day to stay that popular… but… it also teaches you that you should never take your popularity for granted. Truly popular people don’t try and lower themselves to others, nor do they expect others “beneath them” to raise them up to their standards. No matter how popular they may be, everyone should be seen as equal. Chitose also admits that he doesn’t consider people his friends.
He is a brazen character who begins the series with a lot of personality. However, he has a more philosophical side. This is why he’s such a mixed bag but I love this character because most times, a mixed bag character is mixed for the sake of trying to shake things up. Chitose has a sense of purpose and direction. He is balanced and well-rounded, despite his many talents. He is a wonderful main character.
This is the point where the story’s interesting side ends until Kenta. Everyone else seems like they are just along for the ride and that might be true since one of the criticisms from Kenta was that all of Chitose’s friends hang onto him just because he’s popular. They write the supporting characters and main characters in such a way that it is obvious, but the series is self-aware. This careful line was followed and it made you see Yua, Yuuko Yuuko, Kaito and Kazuki differently.
Kaito and Kazuki, I don’t mean. They each share the same kind of personality as the brash version of Chitose while Yuuko is described as being a flirt and an airhead but she doesn’t really exhibit those qualities. She is just Chitose’s normal friend. Maybe that’s what she will do in the future.
I’m sure that we’ll all have a chance to get to know the cast more but this volume seemed to focus mostly on Chitose and Kenta.
Speaking of… Kenta is your typical otaku shut-in. I won’t spoil the reason revealed, but he doesn’t want to go to school anymore and has a thing against popular kids. After Chitose finds a way into his room and has a conversation with him, Kenta begins to realize that being popular isn’t what he imagined it to be. He gradually comes to terms with the reality of things and begins to question his beliefs.
Kenta has a lot more to offer, however. Peer pressure, social status, perception, and bullying can have just as much impact. It can make us think in a certain way, and sometimes isolate us from others. Kenta becomes very approachable once you get to know him. Although, things do take a bit to get there because, as you can imagine, he’s very difficult to deal with. It’s like his mind is on a one-way street and it can’t turn around but if you keep showing it the way, it’ll eventually find that turn to get you back on the right road.
I’m not sure where they are going to go from here with Kenta but the promise he wants Chitose to make with him sure opens up a lot of possibilities for the next volume.
The Final Word
That was quite an adventure. To be honest, when I first heard the name Chitose… I thought it was a girl. I was shocked to read the synopsis, and discover that it was a man. I was astonished to read the book and see his personality. This wasn’t going to be your cutesy main character that was timid, shy, couldn’t talk to girls, got bullied, etc., etc. This was a main character that had a set on him that wasn’t afraid to speak his mind nor was afraid of what anyone thought of him.
It was really refreshing to see a different approach taken as you don’t see it all too often in this type of setting/genre. Although I would have liked to see more of the mains, I felt that focusing on Chitose & Kenta was the best decision as it set the tone for the series. This series is a journey of a lonely anime into fame, which makes it stand out from other slice-of-life offerings.
Chitose is such a mix of traits that I wonder how Kenta will adapt to this. That’s the hook being used here to set up the rest of the series and it’s a pretty good one. All I know is that I’m invested and ready to read more!
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This item was purchased as a review.