Title: Drops of God (Kami no Shizuku)
Genre: Food, Mystery
Publisher: Kodansha (JP), Vertical Inc (US)
Story/Artist: Shin Kibayashi, Shuu Okimoto
Serialized In: Morning
Translation: Maya Rosewood
Attempting to talk about Drops of God is attempting to explain how the series somehow continues to work out as an enjoyable read despite its insistence on flowery, or to some droll, language when it comes to wine. In both of these volumes it drowns itself in wine and all of its lore, maybe even more so than Volumes 1 and 2. It also lacks in any big surprises, as once you get that initial indication for where the story is gonna go, it’s easy to know what will happen in the end. But Drops of God’s incredible backstory, characters to root for (or despise), and the story involving the Apostles continue to make this a manga you need if you haven’t already.
Volume 3 of Drops of God picks up at the end of Volume 2, where Shizuku and Miyabi met a woman named Kaori, who lost her memory eight years ago after an unknown accident. With only a drawing reflecting how she felt about a particular wine she tasted while she lost everything else, Shizuku uses Kaori’s story to help him in his search for the First Apostle. With Kaori’s story as his guide, he manages to discover the correct wine that serves as the First Apostle, and defeats his rival Issei Tomine. Now Shizuku is able to stay at his father’s estate. The rest of the volume delves a bit deeper into the past of our side characters Chousuke Honma and Miyabi Shinohara as they come to terms with new developments of people they cared for and loved.
However, this excursion at the end involving Miyabi’s past love in Volume 3 seems to give Issei an early start in discovering the rest of the Apostles, as, in discovering what he feels he lacked and what Shizuku had within him when it came to finding the correct wine thanks to Shizuku asking for any wines he could spare, in Volume 4 he left the country and went on a personal journey to the Taklamakan Desert. Meanwhile, Shizuku meets with a famous mystery writer who received a strange message and an even stranger wine as it has a possible connection to the Second Apostle. Knowing that this is his only lead in the search for the wine that fit his father’s description, Shizuku explores this mystery carefully – it then comes down to Issei’s method VS Shizuku’s method, but only one of them will be able to find the correct wine.
Drops of God continues to be impressive. Thanks to a number of interesting stories about wine and the effect it has on people, it manages to overcome its heavy use of describing wines like we’re back in history class. For some that would just be a boon; to others, especially those who struggled in that class, it may just be a bore. The characters ultimately provide the strength for Drops of God, as the challenges they have to overcome within themselves and outside of their own troubles is compelling in Volumes 3 & 4 – in addition to the comedy the characters show throughout the manga. The wine descriptions don’t really bog things down. If you fear that part of this manga will slow you down, it won’t. Then again, those who have already been checking out the manga already know what to expect. You should expect another great read. For those who haven’t checked the series out yet, well, you probably should go do that.