The Drops of God: New World by Tadashi Agi, illustrated by Shu Okimoto, translated by Vertical, Inc.
I must confess that I’ve been loathe to post about this latest volume of The Drops of God – an intoxicating, ongoing race between faux-siblings to identify 13 bottles of phenomenal wines (“The Twelve Apostles,” plus the eponymous “Drops of God”) as chosen by their late legendary wine critic father – for utterly selfish reasons. I figured if I took the ‘head-in-the-sand’-denial approach, then this couldn’t possibly be the last available volume-in-translation in the series, right?
The late Yutaka Kanzaki’s description of his Seventh Apostle ends with an enigmatic reference to “the eternally to be finished Sagrada Família,” the Barcelona church designed by Antoni Gaudí which remains incomplete more than a century after construction commenced in 1882. The search sends adopted-just-before-his-death son Issei Tomine to Napa Valley. His chosen traveling companion is (surprise, surprise) Loulan, his hapa Japanese Uyghur guide and savior (vital to finding Apostle #2) who now apparently seems to be his assistant of sorts. Issei’s ‘brother’ and rival Shizuku Kanzaki considers the ‘new worlds’ of South America, South Africa, and New Zealand, but eventually flies to the Australian Outback with his usual sidekick Miyabe Shinohara.
While discovering and enjoying some of the new world’s best wine offerings, Issei and Loulan outsmart gun-toting merchants while Shizuku and Miyabe help prevent greedy lumber exporters from setting fire to precious forests. Returning to the Kanzaki mansion with such unique adventures … and a single bottle each, the elusive Apostle is about to be revealed …
In case you hadn’t noticed, New World (which doesn’t have a volume number) is out of synch with the other four published translations thus far; the previous volume (#4) was a search for the Second Apostle, but New World jumps forward five bottles (and at least as many volumes) to the Seventh. We can only hope that fab publisher Vertical, Inc. will both fill in, then resume, this holy oenophilic quest sooner than later … oh please, please, please?
Published: 2012 (United States)