Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The rise of the "Mangavino" genre

In Japan and Korea, it is not unusual to see people in wine bars and stores bringing their manga under their arms and requesting the exact same wines that are featured in the story. In France, there is even a special name for this kind of manga where the hero is a super wine taster: mangavino.

One of the most popular titles of the genre is The Drops of God, a manga comic series that has taken Japan by storm and has conquered Korea and China. The hero is a young man that doesn't even drink wine at the beginning of the series. But suddenly, his father, a famous wine critic, dies and leaves an unusual will: the person that will guess the identity of 12 wines based on their description and discover a mysterious thirteen one called the Drops of God will inherit his priceless wine collection. And our hero is not alone in this quest, he must compete with his adopted brother, a successful sommelier. The story is a mystery plot combined with an introduction to some of the most prestigious wines in the world.

I've already read the first volume. The hero is smart, gifted, good-looking, and has quickly learned the art of tasting wines: “ I have in my hands some black cherries, plums, ripe strawberries.... The light fragrance of an orange... An orchard surrounded by red berries... Under my feet, some mint and cinnamon...” as he is tasting a 2001 Vosne-Romanée Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur

At the end of volume 1, he has found some trustful allies but the mystery has thickened. The good news is that there are two more volumes that has been translated in French. The other good news is that I am going to France at the end of the month.

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Anonymous said...

It's also because of these mangas that Calera is incredibly popular in Japan.

Catherine Granger said...

Indeed, here is the story: Turning Mangas into Wine Sales