Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone has a good weekend and thanks for all your continued support. Also, I’ve been asked to upload Bartender to other websites, but truth is there are just too many sites out there, and since there are kind people out there who are willing to propagate my scans from MangaFox to other locations, I don’t really want to spend the time doing it myself. Thanks for understanding.
Drink of the Day:
- 40 ml Spicy Sherry
- 20 ml Dry Vermouth
- 1 Dash of Orange Bitters
Thoughts (Spoiler Alert):
This is the first part of another two-part story (there’s going to be more and more of this), but I like this a lot more than the last two-part story, since it features an old character. For people who don’t remember, Hayase and Sasakura have known each other for quite some time (read chapter 7 for more details). Hayase is generally a good customer, very professional, and also has a kind heart (partly thanks to Sasakura). However, in this chapter, he again makes an ass of himself when his temper snaps in the bar. I really like the moral of this story (at least so far). It teaches us that people do not always express their true selves, and that there may be a deeper meaning behind what people do. And in some situations, people can’t help but act the way they do. Although on the surface, Bartenders is a manga about cocktails, it actually focuses on the relationships between people, and their emotional turmoils. I think this chapter really did a good job in that area. In comparison, the “Story in the Glass” chapter did not flow as well, and the characters seem to randomly snap. The build up of emotions is much more natural here.
Another reason why I like this chapter is because Sasakura kind of screwed up. It shows that he’s not all powerful, he can’t read minds, and he doesn’t always know what is the best thing to do. He’s a very skilled bartender, but he still lack in experience. It’s good to see Sasakura make these mistakes to show that he still needs to improve. A manga where the protagonist doesn’t improve is a boring manga, and it’s the same case here. Sasakura still needs to evolve and learn. On one hand it makes the story more engaging to read, and on the other, it makes the story more realistic.
The long walk home from Shinjuku have left us pretty tired. We did not sleep until 4 a.m., and we did not have much energy to do anything the next day. We hanged around Asakusabashi and went to Akihabara again to shop for otaku stuff. But that’s pretty much all we did during the day. The only thing worth noting is that we tried Japan’s Katsu for the first time, and it was extremely good.
Update: lucidriceball found where the quote is from and the exact quote. Thanks lucidriceball!
In chapter 40, there is a reference to a quote by Paul Auster, which says something along these lines… “I never said smoking is good for my health, but compared all the social and political issues in this world, smoking is a small problem”
I am trying to look for this quote online, but have failed to find anything similar. Paul Auster wrote the book “The Brooklyn Follies”. The film “Smoke” was based on that book, so it’s likely that the quote was from that book. I found the transcript of “Smoke” online, but the quote wasn’t there.
It would be great if someone can point me to an online source for The Brooklyn Follies, then I can look through it to see if the quote is there. Any other information on this is greatly appreciated as well.
Glad I can get this out in time today as I will be gone for the weekend, and won’t have time to work on scanlations at all. FYI, this marks the end of volume 5.
Drink of the Day:
Robert Burns (Bobby Burns)
- 45 ml Scotch Whisky (Robert Burns)
- 15 ml Vermouth (sweet)
- 3 Dash of Benedictine
Thoughts (Spoiler Alert):
The theme of this chapter is graduation, but the moral of the story is to move forward with life at a steady pace and to not deter when problems arise. This is a typical lesson that appears in many other chapters. In fact, most chapters feature characters who have encountered some bump in their lives, and became depressed. So I think it’s fair for me to say that this is a very typical Bartender story. Also, other than Kurata who made a cameo, no previous characters made an appearance. It is as typical as they come, but a good story nevertheless.
Learned quite a few things from this chapter as well. I’m not big on literature, but even I knew who Robert Burns is; however, I didn’t know that the Japanese graduation song “Hotaru no Hikari” use the same tunes as Auld Lang Syne. The author nicely connected Graduation to “Hotaru no Hikaru” to Auld Lang Syne to Robert Burns, and finally to the cocktail. There is one little snag though, which is the recipe. The recipe Sasakura used is actually Bobby Burns, a variation of Robert Burns. The real Robert Burns do not use Benedictine; instead, it uses bitters. In case anyone’s wondering, the poem Kimura was reciting at the end of the chapter is called “My Heart’s in the Highlands” by Robert Burns.
Another point of interest, Kimura’s teacher mentioned that you will get drunk faster if you drink while slouched. I tried to find information about that, but couldn’t. I’ve never tried to stand up straight and drink (I’m all over the place after a couple), so I don’t know if this is true or not. Any input, whether from an online resource or personal experience, will be appreciated.
Did another batch. This time the theme is on random objects I took pictures of in the past. It seems only a few types of lomo-effects look good on close-up shots of objects. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time experimenting with different settings, but from the ones I tried, it seems neutral and movie are the two best looking ones.
Woohoo, still motivated to write more about my Japan trip. Here’s the fourth day, Shinjuku.
Today’s destination is Shinjuku, the red-light district of Japan. My experiences in Shinjuku can really be split into a dichotomy of day and night. During the day, there are many sights to see, including parks, museums, buildings (Shinjuku has Tokyo’s largest concentration of skyscrapers). It’s a busy place where you will see businessmen coming and going all the time. Compared with other places in Tokyo, it’s definitely not as tourist-friendly, but I would still recommend visiting. The day is nice, but the night is where things really starts happening. At around 7pm or so, pimps will start to roam the streets, drunk people will increase in number as the night goes on, and even fights would start to break out randomly. I never been to any other red-light districts before so I don’t know how crazy Shinjuku is in comparison, but there are definitely lots of things going on. There are also gangs and triads, so be careful when you go.