My first review will be about Bartender. By the score already you must know my stance on this manga. It is a gem that I found. A truly spectacular reading. But I guess it is also the kind that will appeal to a certain audience. As such I will try to explain as well as I can why you should give it a try or let it sleep.
This manga is about Ryuu Sasakura, a young bartender who comes back to Japan after having going around the world for a bit. His philosophy is quite simple yet very interesting. As he
says himself, there are two jobs in the world where you cannot lie to your customer. One is a doctor. The other is a bartender. A doctor will do his best to heal his customer's body, and a bartender will do his best to heal his customer's soul. Ryuu Sasakura shows incredible skills at figuring people out and what is going in their head, as he then manage to heal their worries or troubles with a drink and a lesson hidden within his very cocktails. Not only that but I also guarantee you that you'll learn a lot about alcohols too.
The art is just incredible. Not only is it well drawn, but it is drawn in a way that puts the right ambiance at the right moment increasing the strength of the emotions the characters are trying to make us, reader, feel about their situation. It is rather soothing and refreshing with a great attention to details too.
Probably, no, most likely Bartender's strongest point. The main characters are very well written and easy to like. But it also has a strong cast of other characters in each chapter, some of them who return later and some of them who we will see only once. But it doesn't stop them from being just as well made as the main characters. Each of them has a past, a personality that was worked on. They just don't get more character development but at the very least you'll remember them for who they were and they leave an impression. And it doesn't stop there. The way they interact with each other, especially with Ryuu Sasakura, the main character, leads to multiple interesting situations. It is a shame, truly, that it is hard for me to make justice to the way characters interact with each other, I just hope I could explain it better but it has to be read.
I knew a little bit about alcohols, just a bit and I wasn't particularly interested in that but I liked the things I learned, it was rather entertaining on its own, but the manga as a whole with the characters, the story and all, truly a masterpiece. Those who only like action based manga will probably fall asleep on it, but for those who prefer a more soothing and calm manga where words count more than how many sword hits one can do in a second, I highly suggest this manga. It has its share of funny moments too, don't forget about it, but really, the thing that I liked the more about it is just how easy I could go and read it without stopping or being able to notice the time pass.
Final words :
Give it a try, trust me, you will not regret it.
Im a big fan of slice of life mangas. As well as a big fan of different styles of alcoholic beverages. And this manga seemed to appeal to me when I first read the description of the story.
I found it a breath of fresh air when it comes to realistic manga. No love story of forbidden love, no sudden magic powers, no major plot twists. Just a good old story of a bartender, the life he leads, the customers he serves, and the advice he gives to the problems that they bring to his bar.
A lot of the drinks that are
mentioned in this manga have inspired me to download a cocktail cookbook onto my tablet and go through it and I may also be trying out in future.
Overall I would give this a 9 out of ten. The point being lost as to me sometimes the edges round some of the things in the manga itself drawing wise seemed a little to sharp but thankfully didn't seem to take away the enjoyment of this manga.
For anyone looking a slice of life manga I would highly recommend them to try this manga and see for them self if this is for them
As an individual who visits a bar on a regular basis, this manga was a very interesting read: filled with information on a variety of cocktails, origins of liquor, and the relationship between a bartender and his/her customer. There is a sense of maturity (obviously it's about alcohol!) that will disregard the younger audience, however I think it's recommended for all ages.
After reading quite a bit of this manga, I went to my bartender with my newly acquired knowledge and we engaged in a full blown conversation about cocktails and the hardships of becoming a bartender. What I really like about this manga is
the realism it ensues. It's an educational manga to say the least, you'll be surprised by how much you will learn about alcohol. It's a handy asset to have for social interactions.
The story is about a genius bartender, Sasakura Ryuu, known for his "Glass of God". He is an honorable young man who does not want money nor fame but to achieve perfection in the art of bartending. Throughout the story he works at different bars and at every place he is praised by the owner, his fellow co-workers, and the customers due to his kindness and his excellent skills as a bartender. He is a very likable character, always doing what is right, who is not afraid to admit his own mistakes.
The customers that visit his bar are usually feeling under the weather, something in their life has taken a turn for the worse. He serves them a drink along with a story like how the drink came to be, relating to the customers current situation he is able to give them hope. Sometimes, it back fires and he finds himself in a spot where he has offended the customer; but he does not hesitate to step up and deal with the problem head on.
Other than Sasakura Ryuu there aren't any other characters that leave a strong impression or have any major importance in this manga. Miwa Kurushima, for example, is the first customer introduced in the manga. She takes interest in Sasakura Ryuu and starts to visit his bar often. However, she has no real purpose, she just feels like another customer. They are good friends and help each other out in their time of need, but it didn't convince me enough that she plays a significant role.
Another issue I have with this manga is repetition. The manga follows this general line of events: a customer comes to his bar, Ryuu helps them with their problem along with a drink, rinse and repeat. I know it contradicts what I said, but by no means does it make this manga boring just a bit repetitive. There are other events that partake throughout the story but it feels more like fillers than anything.
This manga is an unpolished gem. It has the right idea with the art style and the overall setting, but it fails to keep things interesting. I find myself not being able to read more than 1 chapter at a time. Nonetheless, it is a manga that tries something different and as far as I'm concerned it works. An informative manga with a touch of slice-of-life. If you like alcohol or is interested in bartending definitely check this one out.
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