For years, the majority of the bestselling wine manga The Drops of God has been unavailable in English, despite widespread acclaim for the series. However, this all changed when comiXology and Kodansha Comics announced they'll be making the entire series available in English on the digital comics platform, along with the opening of a wine club inspired by the series.
The Drops of God follows Shizuku Kanzaki, the son of esteemed wine connoisseur Yutaka Kanzaki. When his father dies, Shizuku must prove he's worthy to inherit his father's vast wine collection by correctly identifying thirteen different wines. These include twelve heaven-sent wines known as the "Twelve Apostles" and a mysterious thirteenth wine called "The Drops of God." However, Shizuku's task is made even more challenging by pitting him against Issei Toomine, a prominent young wine critic.
Before this announcement, only ten of the series' forty-four volumes were available in English. Since then, the first eleven volumes of the series have been made available via comiXology as part of comiXology Originals. These volumes are free to users of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited, and available for purchase on comiXology to everyone else. The remainder of the series will be added at a later date.
This look at the world of wine through the medium of manga has garnered the series a great deal of critical success. The Chicago Tribune called it its "favorite wine book of 2011," while The New York Times praised how The Drops of God "presents wines rapturously and in creative ways."
With The Drops of God drawing so heavily on the culture and practices of drinking and identifying wine, it's hardly surprising that the digital release of the series coincides with the opening of The Drops of God Wine Salon. Vintner Peter Chiang joined Shin and Yuko Kibayashi (the creators and writers of The Drops of God) to create "a paradigm-shattering wine experience including a thoughtfully curated wine club and personal wine recommendations for individual members," according to the official release statement. More details about The Drops of God Wine Salon can be found on its official site.
Shizuku Kanzaki may yet inspire a host of new wine aficionados who follow his journey and gain an appreciation for wine through the pages of the manga, or the doors of the wine salon.
Written by Shin and Yuko Kibayashi (under their collective pseudonym Tadashi Agi) with art from Shu Akimoto, The Drops of God volumes 1-11 are available digitally via comiXology. The remainding volumes of the series will arrive at a later date.