A Quick Look at Bartender

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.

Sorry if the screencaps seem dull guys, I only have a hardsubbed copy of the series, and I'm trying not to be too spoilerrific

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 ^^)

8 thoughts on “A Quick Look at Bartender

  1. Sounds unique and interesting especially how it informs you the origin of the drinks. I’m also in for laid-back plotlines, however you mentioned that it’s episodic so does it mean that it has less character exploration–life story and background? It’s because I prefer non-episodic type of anime.

    • You do get some background on our main character here, and some recurring side characters, but at the most, his character exploration will span for one episode and some tidbits in the rest of the series. It’s episodic in the sense that a customer will come in every episode, but the circumstances are different, so it won’t be repetitive.

  2. I’m currently drafting a post right now and mentioned that Bartender is one of the example of a unique anime! Haha. So yeah, I definitely agree that it is rather unique. =)

    I admire Ryuu for his work ethics, actually. He’s very dedicated to his career and knows where he stands between his customers and himself. He doesn’t directly poke his nose into other people’s business but rather, he tried to subtly advise them. In fact, I thought his perspectives of the issues are pretty good.

    But the best part about this series is how it often connects a cocktail’s origin/meaning with the whole episode. It’s also a good way for me to take a peek at their history. Who would’ve that so much thought and maybe even emotions have been invested in creating the perfect cocktail.

    • Truly, it is

      Indeed, Ryuu’s sentiments are really well written. He could even pass as a guidance counselor. But yeah, the way they implemented the origin/meaning of a cocktail to everyday life really is something. It’s an enjoyable show, and a learning experience in one.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this series ^_^

  3. Wow, sounds pretty nice. Might just give this a try, since I have no problem with out of the box thinking and does look rather relaxing.

    Thanks for the analysis, Leap ^^

  4. Having read the manga before seeing the anime, I must say that the manga is much better. The 11 episodes of the anime are too few to make the characters justice. Especially Ryuu is shown most of the times as a deux ex machina, with the correct knowledge and cocktails to solve the “problem” of each episode.
    The manga and anime is very relaxing and most of the times I learned something new about spirits. Now I want to buy a Macallan whiskey 🙂
    On the same topic is Kami no Shizuku, The drops of god, a manga only about wines. The funny thing is that it had a great impact in wine consumption in Japan.

    • I definitely have to check out the manga then ^_^
      Funny you should mention Kami no Shizuku. I did see that title after looking at some recommended titles from Bartender, so yeah, I might add those two to my must-read list.

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