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09 January 2012
For me, Bars are like dens for socialites and people wanting to get laid. That’s what they are today, with how life is this fast pace forward crunching it is. But this Anime made me look otherwise. The best Anime I had watch in recent and will forever be in my memory. Not only it is creative in its narrative; it manage to get me to appreciate the passion of liquor, or spirits. It makes me want to have a drink.
Bartender is like no other Anime that I had watch, no other. At first it kind of like Yakitate Japan for Adults with a super Genius Bartender serving drinks that makes everybody feel relaxed or jumpy in delight. It’s not just that. Bartender tackles issues and life itself, wrapping it in the context of spirits (alcohol). Putting it at that. The bartender (main character if you want to call it that) wasn’t that know-it-all person, he was rather this passionate professional and doctor for the soul. Serving drinks with the customer at mind. A true service oriented direction that rarely seen in these professions and industry. Truly, this anime made me realize that being a bartender is not just someone who serve drinks; they’re as important as doctors, priest or mothers. It transcend as a professional career and more into a lifestyle and attainment of spiritual enlightment.
The episodic approach made a lot of sense in this series. In the ending, bartenders serve drinks to customers – first time or regulars – like it is their first and last drink. Another part where the main narrator talks about customers experience in a real bar; where most of them will often forget the bartender but will never forget the drink and the memories of it. Sad but reality in this business. But this fit well with the approach. The series foretells stories about customers who happen to come across the bar and gets resolve the moment they step out. The stories in this series are interesting at worst. There isn’t a story that is dull or flat. Each story has its lesson and morals. Even the characters themselves left a impression that lasted toward the entire series. This wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t pull a very creative way of story telling.
The unique thing about this series, and perhaps seldom being used in the anime. The directing and the narrative is done as if it were a monologue being performed on stage. Characters narrating their story, acting it out with their present self detailing it by the side. There are no walls that separate each segments of the story and the audience. The main character sometimes act in his own story. No panning or transitions. Present, Past are merge into one scene which makes it entertaining to watch. It also is creative in recycling its characters by putting them in other parts of other characters story, as if destiny has landed them the goddess of circumstances by their side. Being narrators for other characters, or being part of the story as extras. It makes me invested in all of them. This series is efficient and one of the best in creating a great atmosphere for storytelling. I can’t help but praise it for being this innovative.
Being a series about spirits. This series never failed to deliver it as well. But no keeping it exaggerated like most other themed series. I like that it becomes an asset to episodic plot. Each cocktail being introduce is woven into the story of the week. Which also goes to the effort of connecting the dots between the cocktail’s history/symbolism/etymology to the story at hand. The best way to make something lasting is associating it with something that is part of you. That would be experience. This is also the Anime that made me watch from beginning to end, with a beautiful opening music by Natural High and a closing by the same group. What made it better is that they are actually showing how the cocktail was made, with an actual bartender making it. That raises my interest of wanting to try it out when opportunity is given. Sadly, I don’t know where to find a bar like the one in Anime. The quiet kind with nothing but chatter or a smooth jazz in the background.
All in All, one of the best Animes I had watched. With solid story, creative story-telling and wonderful music and attention to its theme. This gems doesn’t come often and it should be watch by anyone who wants to appreciate good anime. And drinks!
Series Rating: 5/5