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Drops of God, Volume '01: Les Gouttes de Dieu Paperback – October 18, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Through the dramas of their wine-drinking characters, the (Tadashi Agi) instructs readers on how to taste wine. It’s hilarious, for sure, when a young woman swoons over a man’s decanting skills, but it’s also a great way to draw attention to the technical proficiency of a beautiful pour without getting too technical. And that’s what’s truly extraordinary about Drops of God: It makes learning about wine—which, let’s face it, can be a totally tedious thing for the non-obsessed—really fun... Seriously, this is juicy stuff!" -- GILT

“Absolute page-turner… It’s the sweeping two-page illustrations of taste-transporting moments (a shirt-tearing jam by rock band Queen, a maiden fleeing through strawberry fields) that better capture wine’s great allure than a thousand dry scribblings on history and weather conditions.” —Time Out New York

“An almost psychedelically beautiful work… It’s like Speed Racer crossed with Wine Spectator.” —The Daily Dish (LA Times)

“Visually stunning and effortlessly entertaining… To top it off, reading Drops is a trippy literary experience… Don’t be surprised if you crush this book in one night. It’s pretty impossible to put down once you pick it up.” —Bottlenotes (The Daily Sip)

“I have already ordered the second volume (out in December) and I guess that in terms of reviews that is a definitive statement.” —Wine Psych

“Presents some complex wine topics in an easy to understand manner, without talking down to the consumer… I urge all wine lovers to take a look, with an open mind, at The Drops of God. Give it a chance and you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it.”
—The Passionate Foodie

“Penchants for French wines drive the selection of vinos described with dramatic, often fanatical detail.” —Wine Enthusiast

About the Author

Tadashi Agi is the penname used by the best-selling brother and sister duo Shin and Yuko Kibayashi. Veteran writers the Kibayashi's debuted on the Japanese scene with the award-winning and best-selling comic series Kindaichi's Case Files (published in English by Tokyopop). Agi's next hit was the series GetBackers, which would cement the pair as Japan's most innovative thriller mystery writers of the early part of the new century. GetBackers success would extend across the globe becoming a strong seller in the US

Yuko and Shin Kibayashi are also well regarded wine enthusists who were also voted one of Decanter magazine's 50 most influencial people in the wine industry in 2009. They have been featured in interviews with the New York Times, CNN, and Wine Aficionado regarding global wine trends.

Shu Okimoto is a veteran comic illustrator and book jacket designer.

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Product Details

  • Series: Drops of God (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935654276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935654278
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fun, over-the-top 'be the best that you can be' occupational manga about a wine-taster. Perhaps the closest thing to it in English is "Oishinbo," the gourmet food manga, but where that manga is mostly a series of unrelated episodes about different foods presented in a jocular informative sitcom style, "The Drops of God" is a long-running story arc about the quest for the ultimate wine and the hero's journey from someone who hates wine to embracing his destiny as the man with the golden tongue who loves wine and can successfully taste-identify any wine on the planet etc. etc. (and who can describe said wines in the most flowery imaginable language -- no mere "vegetal, with a hint of tannin" here). It's totally melodramatic and ridiculous, of course, like a Shonen Jump manga upgraded for readers in their 20s instead of their preteens, but still with the same (unintentionally) absurd heart. But if you're in the mood, it's a really entertaining read with a good mixture of drama and data-dump, and attractive, detailed artwork goes down easy.
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"The Drops of God" has easily climbed up in the top five of my favorite manga titles. I picked up this title, because for many years I have been curious about wine but had no knowledge of wine whatsoever and I don't even like alcohol. As the years progressed, I would take sip of a small number of wines, trying to figure out the beauty of wine.

The moment I flipped onto the first page of this omnibus, I was captured by the artwork of the manga. Deeply enamored by Shu Okimoto's ability to capture wine's essence, especially in panels where Kanzaki is drawn decanting the wine and his first taste of wine. Yet, his artwork truly shine in spectacular double-page spreads of the character's image of the wine's taste either surrounded by a field of flowers, fruits, or Queen performing their amazing music!

This manga, will awaken your inner Sommelière. But I'll be frank, this title won't be to everybody's liking but it is still a series I would recommend to reader that just want something new in manga, especially if they are tired of battle manga, hahaha.

It also great way to pave a path for those that would like to taste great wine products but don't know where to start. Though the story follows the formula of igniting the engines with the death of the main character's father and the introduction of a rival, Tadashi Agi, does a great job executing it.

Anyways, I should stop talking, I think I spoiled enough. Now GOT BUY A COPY OF "THE DROPS OF GOD"!!!! IT WILL LEAVE YOU THIRSTY FOR MORE!!!!
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Format: Paperback
First let me start off by refuting some of the naysayers. Often the wines discussed in this series are thousands of dollars per bottle and rare. But would millions of people read this manga if it were about a young man inheriting a cellar full of Columbia Crest and B & G wines? Part of the allure of this series is in the characters' fascination with these old, rare, and exotic wines. But I point out that continuously in this series, the 'heroes' try and find the values. They are on a budget and like many of us, cannot afford Meo Camuzet and DRC as everyday wines. The one character who does have access to nearly unlimited quantities of rare wine is considered the 'villain' and is quite a jerky wine snob.

So the story basically follows along with the main character struggling to overcome his aversion to wine in order to claim his inheritance. His father left instructions in his will that either his son or his adopted son (the jerky snob) would inherit his cellar valued at 2 billion yen (about 25 million US dollars). He left instructions for his attorney to arrange a series of blind tastings of 12 wines (the apostles) and a final wine: The Drops of God (aka the God Wine). In a year the two potential inheritors must correctly identify these wines, the winner inheriting the estate.

Now it is nearly impossible for people to do what these two can, but that's part of the fun. I doubt that even the best wine tasters in the world could be sat at a table and served wines blindly and guess the vintage, producer, and type of wine exactly. Usually you kind of ballpark the region, possibly narrowing it down to several estates, then try and get close to the vintage.
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Format: Paperback
Shizuku has never tasted wine, an act of defiance against his father, world renowned wine critic Yukata Kanzaki and all of the strange things he had Shizuku do as a child "for the sake of wine." When Yakata passes away, his will reveals a challenge to be undertaken by Shizuku and a young wine critic named Issei Tomine: identify twelve wines chosen and described by Yakata, as well as the legendary "Drops of God." The one who does with inherit Yakata's extensive wine collection. Shizuku has little interest in the competition or his father's collection, until he has his first sip...

The Drops of God is a love letter to the culture of wine production and drinking. Shizuku and apprentice sommelier Miyabi Shinohara make excellent point of view characters, both with more experience (despite himself in Shizuku's case) than an average person but without the right context so that the reader can follow along as they learn. The contest provides a great framework for the story, and the author fills it with colorful and interesting secondary characters for Shizuku and Miyabi to help or clash with. This first "double" volume is over 400 pages long and provides a nice sense of progression while making you realize the journey has barely begun.

The art is amazing, particularly the scenes that picture character's descriptions of the wine they're enjoying.

If you have no interest in wine you may find this less engaging, but the story stands well regardless and is written to be accessible. I have very little knowledge of wine but quite a bit of interest in it, so this manga blew me away.

Obviously well researched and lovingly written, The Drops of God uses a strong story to present the intriguing details of wine and has all the markings of a classic in the making.

Highly recommended.
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