Bartender

Genius bartender, Ryu Sasakura makes the most incredible cocktails anyone has ever tasted. Seeking his “Glass of God”, individuals from all different walks of life visit his bar. With both a compassionate ear and a godly drink, Ryu helps people with their problems.

– AnimeNewsNetwork

Warnings – there may be spoilers ahead. I don’t think I have the talent to ramble about an anime without providing references to it.

After completing the series, I thought that Bartender has a lot to distinguish itself from the average anime I saw. It does fall under the category “slice-of-life”, yet it is nothing like I’ve seen before. If I may, Bartender provides an array of different perspectives and insights of life. I believe there are two ways to view this anime. First, one can see it as a way to understand lives’ hardships in the many customers or one can see it as a way of life as a bartender. I chose to view it as the latter.

Never in a million years would I think that being a bartender can be so challenging. From what I’ve learned here, it is very challenging. I’ve always thought that bartender would just normally prepare drinks as ordered, but this isn’t the case. They would, however, prepare cocktails that is the most appropriate for a customer at the correct time. I vaguely remember an episode in the crime-solving TV series, BONES, stated that bartender’s role is likened to a psychologist. Perhaps it is. Besides knowing what to serve, these guys also have to know the history, at length, of the different spirits and cocktails. At least, these were what portrayed here. I personally suck at my own history paper so to remember facts like that my entire life is impossible.

Throughout the Bartender series, it introduces different cocktails in each episode accompanied with light music that projects the mood of a bar. I like how this is being made. It almost as if I was there sitting at Eden Hall, enjoying the music as well as the cocktail itself. I never felt like that before. It certainly did well to draw me into the scenes.

In this anime, audiences get to follow Ryu’s adventure in his job career as a bartender. Albeit slow-paced, I enjoyed every moment of it. I find Ryu very admirable. His dedication to his work. His seriousness in serving others. His observation skills. His love for his work. His remarkable ability in tasting and differentiating the spirits. His ambition as a whole. All these qualities were brought forth in every single episode. There are moments in which Ryu showed that he follows a strict self-imposed-over-the-counter-codes such as protecting beautiful dreams of customers. He also reflects on past mistakes to better himself. Now, these qualities may sound a little too perfect for a guy, but it’s something, I assume, we all can learn from.

On and off while watching this, I found myself thinking a few times – am I this dedicated to my work? I know I enjoy what I’m doing, and that I love my job, my career. The question is – how dedicated am I? I’ve made mistakes, but have I ever reflected on them to better myself? This is crucial for career growth. Commonsense tells us that. Do I impose certain ethical codes at my workplace? Amoral maybe? This series definitely, in some ways, got me thinking about how I’ve been performing at work lately. I realized that I don’t want to follow a universal pattern to just get up every weekday and go to work because I have to. I want to go to work because I love to. See, there’s a difference. It makes our Monday a little brighter. Don’t you think?

Having said all these, Bartender is a must-watch series. It may not have the brightest or most beautiful settings, but it has what it takes to draw you into the series. Deeply (if you’re like me).

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