>> Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Drops of God, Volume 1 by Tadasi Agi and Shu Okimoto
Genre: Fiction (Graphic Novel)
Publication Date: 2011
The Short Version:
A graphic novel that is incredibly informative about wine and wine tasting while telling an interesting story.
Why I Read It:
After this review at S Krishna’s Books and a resounding endorsement by Beth Fish Reads I bought the book. It took me a few months to actually pick it up and read it but now I’ll be buying the rest of the series.
From the publisher:
A wine critic and his adopted brother must compete against each other to determine who will inherit their father's estate--a wine collection featuring 13 heaven blessed wines.
Shizuku Kanzaki is the son of a recently deceased, world renowned wine critic named Yutaka Kanzaki. In order to take ownership of his father's legacy, an extensive wine collection featuring some of the most rare labels of the last 30 years, he must find 13 wines, known as the "Twelve Apostles" and the heaven sent "Drops of God" that his father described in his will. But despite being an only child, Shizuku is not alone in this unique wine hunt. He has a competitor. Issei Tomine, a renowned young wine critic, was recently adopted into the Kanzaki family and is also vying for this most rare of prizes.
My first venture into the worlds of Graphic Novels, Manga and Japanese Anime (clearly I don’t even know the proper terminology and usage) was a huge success. The book is formatted so that it’s read from right to left and that took some getting used to. The first few times I picked up the book backwards but there’s a helpful note on what you’d expect to be the first page that says Wrong Way Japanese books are meant to be read from right to left. So once I got used to reading from what I normally consider to be back to front I was fine.
The story of Shizuku Kanzaki and Issie Tomine is interesting and fun to read. Tadashi Agi is a pen name used by a brother and sister writing team. The artwork by Shu Okimoto is well done with moments of humor tossed in here and there. There are many pages where all or most of the story is told through the artwork rather than the words.
There is a surprising amount of interesting information about wines and wine tasting wrapped up in this book. I loved that the reactions to the wines and the descriptions were as much about experiences including places and music as they were about food and flavor descriptions. After reading many a wine label that was a list of fruit and food flavors to see a wine described as a merry go round was a bit of a treat.
Shizuku is a likeable character despite his evident animosity toward his father. He rebelled against his father’s attempts to train him in the world of wine to become a sales representative for a beer company. Having never tasted wine his decision to battle Issei Tomine with the help of a trainee sommelier was something I could root for. This contest has a long way to go and I’ll not only be getting the next books in the seires, I’ll also be passing them along to The Hubster. I hope he finds this introduction to graphic novels as entertaining and as much fun as I did.