>> Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Drops of God 2 by Tadahsi Agi and Shu Okimoto
Genre: Fiction (Graphic Novel)
Publication Date: 2011
The Short Version:
Two rivals continue their competition to determine who will inherit their father’s estate by searching out twelve outstanding wines.
Why I Read It:
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the first volume in this series. I’d never read Japanese style Manga before and I enjoyed it and also learned a lot about wine so I wanted to continue with the series.
From the publisher:
In the second volume of the Drops of God, Shizuku has lost his family home, and now he must go search for the first of the Twelve Apostles of Wine. Not knowing where to start, he turns to his new friends and collabrators for guidance. However, this poses a new problem. The world of wine is vast and is full of history. Where does a complete novice start? And with a co-worker who is madly obsessed with Italian wines, how will he ever find the proper perspective and direction needed to take on someone like the prince of wine criticism, Issei Tohmine?
To prepare himself Shizuku volunteers to participate in a unique wine tasting by one of Japan's up-and-coming wine traders and producers Saoin Wines. The same group that is funding Shizuku's rival Tohmine have established an event that showcases 100 unique wines together in a formal setting. This is a high-stakes wine event, where the most enjoyed wines will certainly be bought up at top dollar by the finest food and wine establishments of Asia. As a member of Taiyo Beers new Wine Sales Division, Shizuku must select the best wine at this event. And even if the labels are not the best known, he will have to trust his senses and his own judgement of taste to pick the one true wine worth sales on the market today.
The first book in this series was my introduction to Japanese Manga. Surprisingly I learned a lot about wine and wine tasting from it. The competition and rivalry is set up in the first volume and this second focuses on Shizuku and his attempts to learn as much as he can about wine.
Shizuku begins the story helping out a restaurant owner who has a second chance to impress a food and wine critic who gave his restaurant a scathing review. He must find the best wine pairing for each course of the meal. This was a fascinating process and well done section of the book.
The second major story arc is a competition with a co-worker matching up affordable French and Italian wines. Again I learned a lot about wine while simply enjoying the way the story is told.
Once again it took me a few pages to get used to reading right to left but once I was used to it I was able to read it easily. I have found that when I’m reading these it’s best if I stick with it until I finish because I find it difficult to switch back and forth between the right to left flow to what I normally read.
The artwork is well done and carries a large part of the story telling load. There are some great secondary characters and a lot of humor tossed in throughout.
I highly recommend this series if you have any interest in wine at all.