After giving my insights on what I am watching currently, I felt that it’s that time again to share a series that I have watched since way back. Yep, it’s time for another Quick Look.
This series that I will be talking about is rather “unique” in the sense, and I doubt that this kind of theme has been done in the past (well, it’s either that, or I am still wet behind the ears when it comes to anime) A rather hidden gem beneath the sand, it was only by chance that I discovered this anime.
So take a peek, and see for yourself what I am talking about. Here is, Bartender.
The series is an adaptation of a manga with the same name, both of which, are, well, not exactly old, but they aren’t new. The manga started in 2004 and ended in 2009, with sixteen volumes, and one-hundred and sixty seven chapters. Likewise, the anime series ended within the Fall of 2006. Something to note is that, this series was made to commemorate the two-hundredth year memorial of the birth of the cocktail. (Yes, it’s that old)
To those who are not familiar with the series, you may be thinking “Bartender? so it’s a show about alcohol?” Well, not exactly. Of course you can’t have a bartender without having alcohol in the scene, that would just be weird. However this series is not about just making cocktails. To better understand what I’m saying, let me go ahead and introduce our main character, the bartender himself, Sasakura Ryuu.
The bartender known as the “Glass of the Gods”, Sasakura Ryuu is famous for serving the perfect cocktail to a customer, his/her own Glass of the Gods. He owns the bar, Eden Hall, named after an ice replica of a drinking glass housed within the bar, based on the story of one Sir William Musgrave of Edenhall, Cumberland. To summarize the story of Eden Hall: A group of fairies were merrily partying. However, surprised by the arrival of a human, they fled the scene, leaving but a mere glass. The last fairy to leave proclaimed “If this cup should break or fall. Farewell the Luck of Edenhall!”.
As a bartender, Sasakura Ryuu is obliged to tend to his customer’s needs, but that doesn’t end with a glass of liquor. If you look at the reasons why people go to a bar alone, a lot of them are mainly caused by problems. Be it problems at work, in a relationship, even personal problems. This is where this series shines. Sasakura Ryuu, through his cocktails, serves as a confidant. He believes that the spirit in liquors are connected to the feelings of humans.
This series is for the most part, episodic. Each episode brings a new customer to Eden Hall, as Sasakura Ryuu tries to use his knowledge of cocktails and it’s relation to human emotions, to at least lessen the burdens of his customer.
The reason why I highly appreciate this series is that, it takes something so commonplace like bar tending, and gives it a new depth. It’s like, thinking outside the box of ideas. Bar tending and liquor only serves as a medium to convey the story to its viewers, I mean, won’t you be a bit interested as to how a series will use cocktails in it’s story? Another reason why I like this so much is that, it is very relaxing and it gives you a calming effect of just sitting back and enjoying the show.
Also, you get to learn from this series as well. Sasakura Ryuu will sometimes tell the story of how a certain cocktail is made. I was actually quite surprised to find out the origins of a margarita.
Something to note however is that, it may also be too laid back and relaxing sometimes for some. Nonetheless, to those who enjoy good dialogue and atmosphere, I may be worrying about nothing.
As a bonus to those who are interested in making cocktails, the ending credits feature a real bartender making the cocktail that was used in a certain episode.
So there you have it. Although I do believe this series is not for everyone, I highly suggest you check it out if you haven’t already. It is nice, refreshingly original, and is still good after five years.
(note: Don’t drink if you’re under 18, or under the age limit of your country ^^)