‘The Drops of God’, a Vintage Manga

Centred on a fraternal fight to inherit the family wine cellar, this manga has popularised the world of wine and promoted oenophily in Asia.


WordsLéa-Trâm Berrod

© 2005 Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto / Kodansha Ltd.

Having sold millions of copies worldwide, the Drops of God saga (Kami no Shizuku in Japanese) was named the ‘best book in the world about wine’ in 2009 at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The result of a passion for wine shared by Tadashi Agi and his sister Shu Okimoto, the manga has been published by Vertical Inc since 2011.

This seinen (a type of manga aimed at young men) depicts the rivalry between Shizuku Kanzaki, the biological son, and Issei Tomine, the adopted son of a world-renowned winemaker, Yutaka Kanzaki. In his will, the latter mentions twelve vintage wines, the twelve apostles, as well as a thirteenth, the best, named ‘The Drops of God’. To take ownership of this inheritance —a cellar of exceptional wines— the two brothers compete to find these bottles. The final part of the Japanese manga series was released in 2020, and a Franco-Japanese television adaptation is planned for the near future. 


Decoding appellations

Châteauneuf-du-pape (red wine), Jacques Selosse (champagne), Château d’Yquem (dessert wine)… In each tome, the reader discovers a different vintage. Thanks to its pedagogical but humorous approach, the saga is not only accessible to experts in fine wine. ‘It presents wines rapturously and in creative ways… I’m a vodka man, but Drops of God left me with a new appreciation for the grape, new vocabulary words like terroir (the flavours and aromas that soil and geography impart to a wine) and a fascination with decanting, which the book depicts as an art form’, declared a journalist for the New York Times.

Beyond the actual reading of it, the manga has had a strong influence on Asian consumers and particularly young people when purchasing wine. After the release of the twenty-third tome, which referred to Château le Puy 2003, winemaker Jean-Pierre Amoreau was forced to stop sales of his vintage due to overly high demand.


The Drops of God (2004), a manga series by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto published by Vertical Inc.

© 2005 Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto / Kodansha Ltd.

© 2014 Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto / Kodansha Ltd.

© 2014 Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto / Kodansha Ltd.