Bartender:. . . Take a Shot!


So the premise sounds like somebody got tired of all those “anime-watching drinking games” that people came up with, and decided to make a show that’s actually designed to work with them.

Or a liquor company funded the project.

Or both.

Presented in a series of vignettes, Bartender follows the various people who end up coming to a very esoteric bar in an urban district of Japan famous for its clubs and bars. It’s hidden away in a dark alley and has only a single proprietor/bartender.

But this bartender possesses an amazing ability called “The Glass of the Gods.” Not only does he always know what drink to make for someone, based solely on how they act and what their problems are, he can make any drink so amazingly that it is capable of shaking whoever it’s made for to the core—which is a good thing, considering he then dispenses information about the drink that is somehow relevant to the drinker(s), and causes him/her/them to have a revelation about their problems.

This is good, because it seems that everyone who comes to this bar for the first time has some tremendous problem that’s been eating away at them for weeks.

This doesn’t mean that the show is entirely predictable—not by any means—but every episode does follow about the same formula. Not the worst sin an anime can commit, but it tends to make things less than exciting at times, particularly the almost comical reaction some of the patrons have to their drinks.

The art is pleasant and the coloring is well done, but it’s uninspiring overall. Similarly, the music, while interesting, isn’t very attention-grabbing. They’re there because they have to be, but they don’t intend to distract from the ideas presented in the show, ideas that generally center on various drinks and their histories.

With only eleven episodes in all (ten of which were out at the time of this article), this show is trying very hard to be another Kino’s Journey, and not failing miserably… But to anyone who’s ever been in a bar, you know that it’s romanticizing and dramatizing things. And even if you haven’t been in a bar (really???), you can probably tell.

Check out the show if you want to unwind after a long day at work or are looking for more drink recipes (since each episode includes at least one). Otherwise, you may want to hold off.