Last Christmas, I gave TBH the first two volumes of The Drops of God , a Japanese manga about wine as his Christmas present. I saw the manga being reviewed positively on a number of manga blogs. Since the husband enjoys drinking wine and likes reading wine-related literature, this manga was perfect for him.
And for me. Because I love reading food manga, and drooling over Japanese food drawn with amazing detail.
The Drops of God is created and written by Tadashi Agi, a pseudonym used by a brother-and-sister team known as Shin and Yuki Kibayashi, and illustrated by Shu Okimoto. It was first published in 2004 and is still running to-date (I think). The American publisher, Vertical Inc, has only released two volumes of the English version, with the third volume scheduled for release sometime early this year.
Reading The Drops of God, I picked up quite a bit of educational information about wine (as in the case of Oishinbo, where there is plenty of fascinating information about Japanese cuisine). It is a page turner. So fun to learn about something via cute characters, gorgeous artwork, an interesting storyline and humourous dialogue. Whereas, reading wine textbooks have an immediate soporific effect on me.
Like Oishinbo, the main plot of The Drops of God revolves around a battle of wits, skills and talent between two characters, Kanazaki Shizuka, the estranged son of a late famous wine critic, and Issei Tomei, an up-and-coming wine critic so as to inherit the priceless wine collection left behind by Kanazaki Shizuku’s late father. The two men have to compete to identify 13 bottles of wines based on descriptions left behind by Kanzaki Shizuku’s late father.
The artwork is drawn in clear bold lines, and the expressions of the characters are drawn so finely that one can see the emotions of happiness, anger, sadness and surprise very well. Some other mangas have drawings that are so messy, I find it difficult to follow the story.
I was intrigued by the story after reading the first two volumes, and am curious to know what happens next in the quest. It is going to be incredibly vexing, having to wait for subsequent volumes of the manga to be gradually released over the course of the next couple of years.
If only I could read mangas in Japanese.
Now, I shall have to hunt out the Japanese live action (aka ‘drama re-make’) of the manga, and be satisfied with it, until I get hold of the next volume.