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The Drops of God

by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto (Vertical)

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Already a big hit in France and Japan, The Drops of God is a manga about wine tasting. That may sound highbrow but the set-up is classic adventure story: in order to inherit his wine critic father’s fortune, a young man must track down 12 legendary bottles of wine. Along the way he gets a rival, a plucky sidekick and more than a few mysterious mentors. The manga is fun even if you don’t know a decanter from a Tupperware container. The art isn’t overly flashy, but it manages to ground the story in the real world while still indulging its sillier aspects. It also does a good job of conveying the taste of different wines using interesting visuals. The characters and plot (except for the focus on wine) are pretty standard, but after reading it you’ll be able to impress people with your wealth of wine trivia.

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