Romantic Killer Volume Two continues Anzu’s attempts to thwart the various shojo manga male character tropes that keep getting sent in her direction.

Romantic Killer Volume Two
Written by: Wataru Momose
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
Enligh Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 3, 2023

At the end of Volume One, the reader was introduced to Anzu’s “childhood friend,” Junta Hayami. He just appeared in her orbit when the magical creature (which Anzu refers to as “the imp”) turned him into her childhood friend in order to have another potential suitor for Anzu to hopefully fall in love with. Junta is a star baseball player for their school’s team, and it’s obvious that he has a crush on Anzu. Basically, he is the epitome of the “childhood male friend” trope from shojo manga. But Junta is depicted as being a very nice guy, including to Tsukasa (who he views as a rival for Anzu’s affection). Anzu actually feels sorry for Junta for how “the imp” is using him for the goal of trying to get Anzu to fall in love.

With Tsukasa moving in with Anzu due to a situation caused by “the imp,” he and Anzu have to try to hide the fact that they’re living together from their schoolmates. Unfortunately, a couple of girls who are interested in Tsukasa see them spending time together at school and try to bully and manipulate Anzu to try to get closer to Tsukasa. Tsukasa, who had seen these girls going off with Anzu, follows them and drags Junta along with him. They overhear what’s going on, and Tsukasa is about ready to step in when Anzu stands up for herself. Before anything else can happen, a strange girl suddenly appears and claims to be Anzu’s “cousin,” Riri. If you couldn’t guess, Riri is a new human form for “the imp.” This new form that “the imp” takes on becomes a recurring gag in Volume Two.

We then get a story where a panty thief sneaks into Anzu’s place… and starts going through the underwear that belongs to her mother. Junta was sent over to her place by his mother to deliver something to eat, and he sees Anzu chasing after the guy. Junta catches the panty thief, but is spotted by the police. It takes a while to get everything sorted out, but the end result is that Junta’s mother wants him to stay with Anzu after this incident so she won’t be alone. Of course, Junta’s mother has no idea that Tsukasa is already there, and she is very insistent about Junta protecting Anzu. So now Anzu is stuck living in the same house with two guys… one who has a crush on her, and the other… well, Tsukasa does treat her differently than he does other girls, but I’ve yet to see anything blatant that shows that he has any interest in Anzu.

But then, the hijinks only get crazier when Anzu, who overslept and is running late for school, is hit by a car driven by the chauffeur of a rich boy who goes to her school. It turns out that Hijiri Koganei, the boy in question, is the “prince” character that shows up in shojo manga. The “prince” is basically the boy at school who is seen as “pretty” by the girls and they all want to be with him. In this case, the school “prince” just also happens to have money. He’s stuck up and conceited, and is convinced that Anzu purposefully stepped in front of the car in order to go on a date with him. After Anzu is tricked into a date, she tells him off, and this bothers him because he’s not used to being rejected by a girl. But after all is said and done, he takes on a part-time job at the same mini mart that Anzu has taken a job at in order to learn more about regular people. We don’t much in the way of redemption by the end of Volume Two, and with the tone of the series, I don’t think we’re going to be seeing Hijiri getting much more in the way of redemption before the series ends.

At this point, Anzu is up to three potential suitors, each one falling into a male protagonist shojo stereotype. According to what I’ve seen, there are only two more volumes for Romantic Killer, so the question becomes: will these be all of the characters introduced, or will be get one more potential suitor before the series concludes? To be honest, I hope Tsukasa, Junta, and Hijiri are the only potential suitors for Anzu, because I just don’t see that there would be enough time to introduce and flesh out any more characters and still have the space for a satisfying conclusion.

Even though the setup for Romantic Killer is a bit on the dicey side, I admit that I like seeing Anzu trying to push back against the various shojo manga stereotypes that she encounters during this series. The introduction of Riri as a new human form for “the imp” also adds plot possibilities, which we already saw over the course of Volume Two. I hope that VIZ Media will make the final two volumes of the series available as digital review copies for reviewers, because I’m curious to see how Momose brings the story to an end. I really hope that after poking fun at shojo manga stereotypes, that we don’t see Anzu ultimately fall for one the guys and turn the ending into the expected conclusion for a shojo title.

If you read and enjoyed the previous volume of Romantic Killer, then I think you’ll appreciate Volume Two. If you read the first volume and didn’t really care for it, then I can tell you that Volume Two is more of the same type of tone and content as the first volume.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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