OP Sequence

OP: 「Stardust Memory」 by Kawasaki Takaya

「優しい止まり木」 (Yasashii Tomarigi)
A Gentle Perch

Over a decade later, we are finally graced with a new anime for Bartender, but this time, it’s a newfangled remake. But will adding a glossy sheen to this sleek, refined culinary show be a recipe for success or lead down the road to ruin?


Back when I was writing the preview of this, the first anime for Bartender wasn’t brought up in a lot of the promo material, so it was hard to gauge at what point in the story that this new adaptation would take place. But as it settles into the Spring season, it does a decent job at introducing viewers to both the titular bartender Sasakura Ryuu’s craft and the bartending world that he and other peers are sent through.

Starting off with the interview process for the Hotel Cardinal’s new bartender is a reasonable way to get a gist of what the anime sees as less attentive methods of making drinks. It’s easy to see why the gentleman who messed up a Grasshopper wouldn’t make the cut, but for the other two, there’s a subconscious rejection of how they carry themselves as bartenders.

The first gentleman’s Martini should ideally go as smoothly as Ryuu’s perfect Highball near the end of the episode, but it was presented more as a showcase for a basic drink made well without careful consideration of the guests’ needs. Where they share the sentiment with The Menu’s idea of learning more about a chef by how they handle a simpler request, but that’s where the similarities begin and end.

While Ryuu picks up on as many context clues as possible to craft a customer’s perfect drink, there is a nervous rigidity in how the Martini was crafted. It gives off the impression that a careful patron could tell if a drink was made to pass a test or to fulfill an order.

But the first guy at least has some general idea of what should go into a cocktail considering that the showier bartender is treated with far more contempt. His act is seen as more of a sideshow to attract the ladies who love his looks and techniques, but will likely be unimpressed with the drinks he offers.

You learn less about what his drinks are like because his performance is where the anime believes his skills begin and end. I was reminded of a video that tried to remake the drinks that Tom Cruise mentioned in his Cocktails monologue, and was thoroughly disgusted with what was in vogue before classic mainstays were repopularized. I could probably get some wonderful 80-proof juice from the guy who can juggle shakers, but a simpler drink with a harder kick would have to come elsewhere unless you just wanted a beer instead.

Needless to say that if any of this drink talk wets your whistle, then an anime like Bartender – Kami no Glass is just the right treat for you. Although it was a bit on the slower side, it’s hard not to be engrossed in how Ryuu crafted the drinks at his bar. Whether it be the multi-layered Grasshopper, the lively Cosmopolitan, or the insanely refreshing Highball, Bartender should prove to be a nice, relaxing anime for winding down in the evenings.


ED Sequence

ED: 「スピカ」 (Spica) by Kamishiraishi Mone


  1. I loved the first scene before the OP theme music, and the music was smooth, too. What I found very interesting was all the actual liquor brands that pepper the first sceen. I also found that suave blond bartender to be hilarious when he is on screen.

    1. I’m curious about the blonde bartender because he’s got the showmanship down pat for the glitzy bar he has.

      The hotel owner wasn’t impressed, but I wonder if there is a semi-comparison that can be made towards his flashy moves and charisma making the drinks taste better than they are.

      Like a snapshot of a memorable experience that isn’t centered on the drink itself, but on how it’s presented to you. I imagine it’d be more adversarial because then that also takes into account things like comparing a high quality steakhouse to a celebrity chef who serves tomahawk steaks with edible gold.

  2. Found myself pausing this episode a lot just to see the whisk(e)y pron on display. Appreciate that you screenshotted a good portion of them, Choya.

    – Glenmorangie 10y/o – Wanted to try that out for the Spring-Summer season for its more fruity notes.
    – Glen Garioch – Apparently the previous “core” of the Vat 69 blend according to ScotchWhisky[dot]com’s whiskypedia. I’m assuming that’s not the case anymore, unless Suntory (who owns the Glen Garioch distillery/brand) and Diageo (who owns the Vat 69 brand, among many others) have some business deal in place that allows the latter to source Glen Garioch whisky for the current Vat 69 blend. That being said…
    – Glenfiddich 15y/o – Yet to try the 12y/o, but heard rumors Glenfiddich (the “No Age Statement” version of the whisky–read: aged for at least three years) has become the core of the current Vat 69 blend. Then again, could be wrong, so double-check and do your own research.

    Also enjoyed seeing the Caol Ila (core of the Johnnie Walker blend), Laphroaig, and Ardbeg (seen in two variants IIRC).

    Character-wise, it’s amusing to see the two sides of Ryo in this premiere episode. When not at work, he’s a scatterbrained dork who’s struggles with modern-day tech like smartphones. But when he gets behind the bar to do his bartending duties, he transforms into a consummate professional–the legendary bartender of Edenhall.

    I can only imagine what kind of drinks Ryo could make with a bottle of Vat 69. Or Highland Coffee that uses JW Double Black.

    Makes me wanna backtrack to the old anime, too.

    P.S.: Proof to ABV (Alcohol By Volume): Divide Proof value by 2; ABV to Proof: Multiply ABV value by 2.

    1. I wanted to squeeze in as many of the real liquor bottles as possible. My eyes lit up when I spotted a Hibiki. A while back, I used to get Japanese whiskey as a gift, so it’d be interesting to see what a high-end scotch would be like.

      But I also like how it’s the one of the couple examples of product placement that makes sense because it grounds these bars in the kind of reality where you could have a terrible drink as easily as you can have a great one if you’re not choosy.

      It’d also be harder to describe some of the cocktails where brand-name liqueurs like Campari and Cointrieu come into play. And as an American, it’s funny to see a shelf full of Malibu, Pinnacle, and Southern Comfort and be like “Hey, I’ve been to that bar before!” XD.

      It is neat how they contrast between him being very meticulous in the bar and on the clumsier side in an everyday setting. It’ll be fun to see if they start showing him in more settings. I feel bad for not watching the 2006 anime, but based on the first episode, it’d be nice to give it a marathon.

      1. When I think of high-end (premium) Scotch, my mind usually goes to one brand: The Macallan. You’d have to be a 1-percenter to drink that stuff like it’s (regular) water. Or hell, anything deemed “overrated and overpriced” by resident Whisk(e)yTubers like First Phil Whisky, GWhisky, good old Ralfydotcom, et al.

        The closest I got to tasting a high-end Scotch was a half-shot of Johnnie Walker Blue Label that I tasted recently (thanks to a cousin who was gifted a bottle of the stuff). While it still retains the “peatiness” of Double Black, the Blue goes down smooth as silk–especially if you allow it to “mellow” after opening. (Or so my cousin says.) Would have gone for a full shot, but it was more of a impromptu whisky tasting session. And Blue Label’s pretty expensive (at least PhP10,000–around US$179, more or less), if it wasn’t obvious, so I don’t want to risk getting TOO hooked on it.

        On JP whiskies (or JP liquor in general), I am curious about the Kakubin whisky (especially after being featured in episode 2 of the 2006 anime) and the Akadama Port Wine–though I don’t know if that’s still in production.

        I’ve read that this new adaptation of Bartender is a reboot (so it’s OK for new fans/viewers to start here), but at the same time, it personally feels like a sequel that’s still linked somewhat to the 2006 anime (or at least, convincing enough to give the 2006 anime a go).

  3. Generally, I enjoyed this show and I’m sticking with it, but I did run into a couple annoyances:
    – The hotel manager is looking for ONE bartender? Is this just going to be some sort of limited-engagement bar, or doesn’t the poor schmuck get a day off ever? Hire at least two or three, you cheapskate!
    – The etymology of the word “bartender” was a total eyeroller.
    – Are you trying to skewer your own hand? Stop using the ice pick that way!

    1. “The hotel manager is looking for ONE bartender? Is this just going to be some sort of limited-engagement bar, or doesn’t the poor schmuck get a day off ever? Hire at least two or three, you cheapskate!

      Considering how stressed those office ladies were just scouting for a new bartender, I hope that hotel isn’t as “black” as a certain JP VTuber agency… (*Glares bullets at a certain “Yacht Boy”*)

  4. I was super psyche when I read through RC’s season release that this series is back. Not only did this series touch a part of my preferences in showcasing relatable history, but this manga actually got me interested in cocktails and my absurd standards in bartending (ode to my younger self)… But it is a fresh change of pace after seasons of seasons of isekai series. So glad the RC staff is blogging about it too!


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