Les Gouttes de Dieu
|Drops of God|
Cover art for the first tankōbon of the Kami no Shizuku manga.
(Kami no Shizuku)
|Written by||Tadashi Agi|
|Illustrated by||Shu Okimoto|
|English publisher||Vertical Inc|
|Original run||November 2004 – ongoing|
Drops of God (神の雫 Kami no Shizuku , lit. The Drops of God) is a New York Times Best Selling Japanese manga series about wine. It is created and written by Tadashi Agi, a pseudonym employed by creative team of sister and brother Yuko and Shin Kibayashi, with artwork by Shu Okimoto. All the wines that appear in the comic are authentic.
The series was first published in November 2004 in Weekly Morning magazine in Japan, and still runs to date. It is also published in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Since April 2008, volumes have also been published in France by Glénat. As of December 2007 the series had registered sales of more than 500,000 copies.
Vertical Inc. is publishing the series in North America under the title The Drops of God. After publishing four volumes (covering the first eight Japanese volumes and the first two Apostles), the fifth volume jumped ahead to the story arc for the Seventh Apostle (volumes 22 and 23 of the Japanese edition), published under the name The Drops of God: New World. Vertical stated that this was done "by author request" and urged readers to "tell all your friends about the series so there will be second and third seasons to fill in the gap!"
Kanzaki Shizuku (神咲 雫) is a junior employee in a Japanese beverages company mainly focusing on selling beers. As the story opens, he receives news that his father, from whom he is estranged, has died. His father was the world renowned wine critic Kanzaki Yutaka (神咲 豐多香), who owned a vast and famous wine collection. Summoned to the family home, a splendid European style mansion, to hear the reading of his father's will, Shizuku learns that, in order to take ownership of his legacy, he must correctly identify, and describe in the manner of his late father, thirteen wines, the first twelve known as the "Twelve Apostles" and the thirteenth known as the "Drops of God" ("Kami no Shizuku" in the original Japanese edition and "Les Gouttes de Dieu" in the French translation), that his father has described in his will. He also learns that he has a competitor in this, a renowned young wine critic called Toomine Issei (遠峰 一青), who his father has apparently recently adopted as his other son.
Shizuku has never drunk wine, in part a reaction against the ruling passion of his late father, nor had any previous knowledge about wines. However, with strong senses of taste and smell, and an uncanny ability to describe his experiences from those senses, Shizuku submerges himself in the world of wine and tries to solve the mysteries of the 13 wines and defeat Issei. In this, he is also helped by knowledge gained from his time as a child with his father, and supported by his friends (including trainee sommelier Shinohara Miyabi (紫野原みやび)) and colleagues in the newly formed wine department of his company, which he now joins.
The "Twelve Apostles" and "The Drops of God" 
To win each round of the competition to identify the 13 mystery wines, Shizuku and Issei have to present a correct choice of wine and a justification of the choice which most closely matches Yutaka's description of the wine in his will. The judge is Yutaka's old friend Robert Doi (土肥 ロベール). So far, the identities of eight "Apostles" have been disclosed.
|Shizuku's choice||Issei's choice||References|
|First Apostle||2001 Georges Roumier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses||1999 Georges Roumier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses|||
|Second Apostle||2000 Château Palmer||1999 Château Palmer|||
|Third Apostlea||2000 Santa Duc Gigondas||1981 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape|||
|Rematchb||2000 Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo||2000 Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo|||
|Fourth Apostle||1992 Château Lafleur||1994 Château Lafleur|||
|Fifth Apostle||2000 Marc Colin Montrachet||2000 Michel Colin-Deléger Chevalier-Montrachet|||
|Sixth Apostle||2001 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis||2001 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falleto|||
|Seventh Apostle||2003 Glaetzer Amon-Ra Shiraz Barossa Valley||2003 Sine Qua Non The Inaugural (Eleven Confessions) Syrah Central Coast AVA|||
|Eighth Apostle||Jacques Selosse Cuvée Exquise NV||2000 Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rosé|||
|Ninth Apostle||2005 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio di Sotto||2005 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio di Sotto|
Green background means the competitor won the round and picked the correct wine.
^a Both choices were judged to be incorrect, therefore a rematch was held.
^b Although they selected the same wine, as Issei refused to describe his wine, he was judged to have lost this round of the competition.
The Japanese importer Enoteca has stated that the comic character has begun to influence its stock ordering decisions. The sale of fine wines in South Korea has increased significantly as a result of the popularity of the comic, with the sale of wine rising from less than a third of the market to around 70 per cent of alcohol sales.
After an issue with a mention of lesser known producer Château Mont-Pérat came out, a Taiwanese importer sold 50 cases of Mont-Pérat in two days. Sales of Umberto Cosmo's Colli di Conegliano Rosso also leaped 30% after being mentioned in the Manga series. All Nippon Airways reported it had to recraft the in-flight wine lists to accommodate the increased interest.
After being featured in the finale of the Japanese television adaptation series of Kami no Shizuku in March 2010, the little known Bordeaux wine 2003 Château le Puy became significantly popular in Japan. In September 2010, the proprietor of Château le Puy, Jean-Pierre Amoreau, made public his intention to cease international sales of their 2003 vintage in order to deter wealthy speculators and retain a small stock for those buyers he deems to be genuine connoisseurs.
A 2007 Reuters feature asserted that "wine industry experts believe part of the manga's appeal is that it teaches readers enough about wine to understand the drink and impress their friends, but does so in an entertaining way". In the July 2009 Decanter publication of "The Power List" ranking of the wine industry's individuals of influence, Shin and Yuko Kibayashi placed at number 50, citing that the work was "arguably the most influential wine publication for the past 20 years".
- Les Gouttes de Dieu publications Bedetheque (French)
- NYTimes.com (November 4, 2011). 
- Woodard, Richard, Decanter.com (December 12, 2007). "Manga comics ignite interest in wine".
- Lewis, Leo, The Times (September 11, 2008). "Cartoon wine critic Shizuku Kanzaki boosts Japanese sales".
- Agi, Tadashi (2012). The Drops of God (in English) 4. Vertical. p. 386. ISBN 9781935654391. Text "chapter " ignored (help); Missing or empty
- Agi, Tadashi (April 2006). "50. あまりにも完璧な恋人たち". Drops of God (in Japanese) 6. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372510-0.
- Agi, Tadashi (April 2006). "51. 神の造りしもの". Drops of God (in Japanese) 6. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372510-0.
- Agi, Tadashi (October 2006). "77. 悔恨と屈辱の乾杯". Drops of God (in Japanese) 8. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372556-8.
- Agi, Tadashi (May 2007). "100. 老木の手触りは虚空に消えて". Drops of God (in Japanese) 11. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372599-5.
- Agi, Tadashi (May 2007). "107. その誇りに懸けた沈黙". Drops of God (in Japanese) 11. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372599-5.
- Agi, Tadashi (February 2008). "140. セレナーデに微笑みを". Drops of God (in Japanese) 15. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372664-0.
- Agi, Tadashi (November 2008). "169. 白き優美なる山々は甦り". Drops of God (in Japanese) 18. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372751-7.
- Agi, Tadashi (November 2008). "170. 厳しくも優しきその声は". Drops of God (in Japanese) 18. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372751-7.
- Agi, Tadashi (March 2009). "195. 虚空に浮かぶ光は、ゆらめく漁火の如く". Drops of God (in Japanese) 20. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372779-1.
- Agi, Tadashi (March 2009). "196. 謎めく頬に、その手を差し伸べて". Drops of God (in Japanese) 20. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372779-1.
- Agi, Tadashi (January 2010). "225. 奏でられし時の五線譜、ともに歩みゆく者たちよく". Drops of God (in Japanese) 23. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372849-1.
- Agi, Tadashi (January 2010). "226. 百年の長き眠りが覚める、聖なる朝に". Drops of God (in Japanese) 23. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372849-1.
- Agi, Tadashi (December 2010). "260. 憧れの女に吹く風は、プライドの糸輝くヴェールを揺らして". Drops of God (in Japanese) 27. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372968-9.
- Agi, Tadashi (December 2010). "261. 樹は天空に向かい、自由にその葉を伸ばして". Drops of God (in Japanese) 27. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-372968-9.
- The Korea Times Lifestyles: Wines to Become More Popular
- Salter, Jessica, The Daily Telegraph (September 11, 2008). "Cartoon character from Kami no Shizuku drives up wine sales in Japan".
- Hughes, Felicity, The Japan Times (April 11, 2008). A manga drunk on French wine
- Davies, Lizzy, The Guardian (September 22, 2010). French winemaker withdraws vintage after manga cartoon craze
- Hardach, Sophie, Reuters.com (June 4, 2007). Taste of heaven: Manga spreads 'Drops of God' in Asia
- Decanter (July 2009). "The Power List", p.40
- Lechmere, Adam, Decanter.com (June 1, 2009). "Power List 2009: Parker Gives Way to Constellation".