The Drops of God has been one of a long-list of partially translated manga, lengthy works begun in English only to see chunks skipped or the series abandoned unfinished. That changed today, though, as comiXology Originals and Kodansha released the final eleven volumes in Tadashi Agi (aka brother-sister duo Shin and Yuko Kibayashi) and Shu Okimoto’s forty-four volume wine-tasting series.
For those unfamiliar, the synopsis of the series is as follows:
“The Drops of God weaves an intoxicating tale of family dynamics and wine education. When world-renowned wine critic Kanzaki Yutaka passes away, his will reveals that his fortune of a wine collection isn’t automatically bequeathed to his only son Kanzaki Shizuku, who, in a snub, went to work at a Japanese beverage company whose main focus is selling beer. In order to take ownership of his legacy and the inheritance, Shizuku must correctly identify and describe thirteen wines, the first twelve heaven-sent wines known as the “Twelve Apostles” and the thirteenth known as the “Drops of God,” while competing against the stellar young wine critic, Toomine Issei. With determination, a strong sense of taste and smell, and an uncanny ability to describe his experiences, Shizuku submerges himself in the world of wine to try to solve its mysteries and defeat Issei.”
The original comic, Kami no Shizuku, was serialised from 2004 to 2014 in Japan’s Weekly Morning magazine. A hit in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, it apparently created a surge in demand for le vin – with demand surges of wines mentioned in the comic. The series was translated into French by Glénat Manga, with the final volume releasing in 2016.
The Anglophone release of the popular manga has not fared well previously. Vertical began an English translation in 2011, releasing the books in two-volume omnibus editions. After four editions (which collected the first eight tankōbon volumes), in 2013, Vertical abruptly ended the series with the fifth – The Drops of God: New World. This fifth omnibus book only reprinted books 22 and 23 – skipping thirteen books of the manga and only covered the mid-point of the Japanese series.
In 2019, as part of the Kodansha partnership with comiXology Originals, The Drops of God was to return in four phases – with each phase making eleven volumes of the manga available for purchase on the comiXology digital comics platform or via Amazon Kindle. Much to the cheer of connoisseurs.
With a press release this morning, Kodansha announced that the final phase was reached:
“Today’s Release of Volumes 34-44 Completes the Story for English Readers Everywhere
It’s time to pop open a bottle of your favorite red or white, because comiXology Originals and Kodansha are releasing the final eleven volumes of the international bestseller The Drops of God. This marks the first time that the forty-four volume manga series is available in its entirety in English.”
And so here we are at last – one less unfinished manga in the English language market. Chin-chin!