Bartender – Anime First Impressions

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I imagined the bartender anime as being the anime version of Cheers. And we all know how long Cheers lasted! But can an anime about bartending really be worth watching?

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I imagined the bartender anime as being the anime version of Cheers. And we all know how long Cheers lasted! But can an anime about bartending really be worth watching?

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First off, I watched the raw of this, and there aren’t any episode summaries as of now, so I’m mainly guessing on what happened in the episode. Here’s what I got:

There’s a special bar called “Eden Hall.” In it resides the ultimate bartender. He’s got a special ice sculpture that seems to be the centerpiece of the bar. By chance, some bartender training guy walks into Eden Hall. He just had a busy day of judging some aspiring bartenders (and saying their drinks weren’t reflecting the customer’s heart or something).

The patron asks the bartender to make him a drink and tries to predict what the bartender will make. This simple choice will determine whether the bartender is good or not. Instead of making a fancy drink like a grasshopper or a martini, the bartender just gives him whiskey on ice (I think). At first, patron is like “what an amateur!” but soon understands the decision of the bartender! Also, the ice came from the cool sculpture, which probably gave the drink magical properties.

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So I guess that this anime will be a “customer of the week” sort of deal. Like each week a person will come in and the bartender will fix their lives with hard liquor… What I find funny is that they need to describe how awesome the drinks are. Like many “food” anime or manga, finding the heart of a customer is way complicated.

At the end of the episode, there was a recipe on how to make the grasshopper drink, and the ending credits showed a real life bartender making it. I think it’s pretty cool how all of those layers stay in place. Just like how “The Mighty Ducks” made me want to play hockey, Bartender kinda makes me want to learn how to mix cool looking drinks.

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There was a lot of gratuitous use of CG. Like the ice and drinks were rendered in 3D. I guess it works for this show. There was also a lot of real life stills that were used. It’s definitely easier than hand-drawing bottles of liquor, I guess. The style of the anime stayed fairly consistent. Bartender seems like a chill-out anime to me.

As far as I know, there’s only one main character: the bartender. His design is okay, I guess. He looks like a bartender to me!

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The OP and ED are surprisingly good. The OP is a male-female duet. It’s kind of addictive to listen to. The ED is slower and not as good as the OP, in my opinion.

Download the OP: “Bartender” by Natural High
Download the ED: “Hajimari no Hito” by Natural High

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To Western audiences, an anime about a bartender probably seems like a really dumb idea. Japanese people sure like their food manga/anime, though, and it only seems natural that a bartender one appear. If this actually gets subbed, I might consider watching it just to see where the heck it goes. It certainly wins some points for being original.

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25 thoughts on “Bartender – Anime First Impressions”

  1. “He looks like a bartender to me!”
    LOL, an amazimg achievement, indeed, eh ? ^)

    “To Western audiences, an anime about a bartender probably seems like a really dumb idea.”
    Why is that ? Wasnt there some bartender movie with Tom Cruise or someone else from the Hollywood “big shots” ?

  2. I like the OP, but it reminds me of the cool light commercial in TV :|, sounds pretty good, as for the anime reading from your summary it does looks like one of those “food” anime.. though it feels weird having this kind of anime never seen one like this.

    now, I was thinking!, you know sometimes anime shows a food(any types) constantly that you want to try it, i wonder if it will be the same with this anime (imagines everyone trying drinks shown in Bartender)

  3. I have a hunch that they will use the ‘customer of the week’ format for one or two more episodes before introducing some dark story that takes up 2 to 3 episodes. There was some rather popular manga series about female bar owner and most of them used the formula I have outlined above.

  4. I’m looking forward to this myself – have been for a bit, since it looks different (and hopefully better for me than Yakitake Japan).

  5. I feel really bad for Bartender because of all the negative hype it got on 4chan and various forums. It will never live up to their hype expectations and they pretty much killed the show before it even started. I hope it’s at least watchable because I think it’s an interesting situation.

  6. Bartender is still high on my list of ‘To-Watch’ anime merely because of its’ unique concept. Not to mention that I am a sucker for slice-of-life anime.

    Cheers.

  7. Two words. Bartender competition. I don’t know I think that would be interesting to see in this anime.

    Aww… tried out the opening and it does not work.

  8. I really like this anime. I also watched the raws and waiting for the subs now. Somehow there seems to be a lack of info on this anime, and less people blogging it. I have to say, I had high expectations for this anime.

  9. Just watched the subs for this one, and it is definitely a keeper for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ The one unique thing about this anime is how they make it seem as though the show is set on a stage, inclusive of character spotlights, narration and soliquays. I am a big Literature fan, and I absolutely love the direction they have taken here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cheers.

  10. slice of life, stylish, relaxing, comfortable, unique…. we should have more of this kind of anime. stories that don’t include fantasy, killings, hatred, love(i’m not sure abt this)…or in short too emotional and exagerrated stuffs. or even if they do, it’s expected that the protaganist won’t get involved too much. this is more important for city-dwellers that run fast paced lives.this anime might let them slow down what they are doing. We should sometimes enjoy life!

  11. Although I wasn’t too convinced when I first heard about this, over time I began to wonder if it would actually be quite interesting, and episode 1 was certainly pretty good. I’m looking forward to seeing more stories and more cocktails.

  12. Oh my god, what an incredibly goofy anime. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good ideas at work here. But a good idea doesn’t automatically give an anime a free pass on bad dialogue.

    I feel really bad for Azuma Kazuma. They’re totally crimping his style!

  13. I think the first episode was very nice and relaxing. Of course, those desensitized guys expecting saabisu, tatakai, mecha, bakuhatsu will be horribly disappointed. The show is called “Bartender”. Seriously, what did they expect? Albeit anime is very diverse the prejudice “anime == comedy for kids” is often very true at least for those who never watch any other shows. That doesn’t mean a show with a different formula is bad.

  14. This anime caught my eye and when i did watch it i was drawn in. I thought hell an anime about a bartender, why not? But after watching the show i thought it was genuinely intersting and think that there could be some potential to this.

  15. Bartender is one of the best animes for this season, simple as that. But… of course, just for the kind of ppl capable of enjoying ‘real life’. It’s been fansubbed and I’m trying to see if they keep on subbing it =D

  16. I love it! Awesome! I also really love the concept since I’m interested in the bartending profession. I know some expected it to be the anime version of the sitcom “Cheers” but I’m happy it’s not. I was VERY glad that wasn’t the case. Not bashing the show since I used to watch it but, I’m just tired of comedies. All anime does not have to be comical or even action-pack to be good. I felt as though I was drowning in repetition until this unique series appeared. It’s already the best of the year in my eyes so, I’m going to track down the manga as well.

  17. I whole heartedly agree with what most people here are sayin, this is a VERY refreshing anime. It seems like something I can sit back and enjoy at a nice comfortable pace(much like a good cocktail ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) without having to get inundated with sappy romance themes that will never happen in real life, or soemthing extremely and needlessly violent I love anime like i just described but sometimes you just need something different. I think that’s one aspect about this anime that I do really like a lot is that it’s a lot closer to real life than anything else i’ve ever watched. I can’t wait to see more of Bartender, too bad its only 11 episodes. I also am in LOVE with the HQ x264 encodes that Lunar is distributing, OMG I didnt know anime could come in HD like that, i’m completely blown away.

  18. This is a beautifully made anime. It is,however,only for certain audiences who enjoy this type of anime. Nothing special happens, no swords, no magic drinks, or anything of that sort. It gives a serene feeling, it is for those who have this taste only. Indeed, most westernized people may not like it, but I did. Hailing from the U.S. I can say it is an extraordinary piece of work.

  19. My reply is at least 4 years ahead of these guys, but I just needed to say something. This anime was so smooth and creative, I loved how the feel of this anime was (and no to the comment above it did not have that 1-3 customer of the weeks, then like 4 episodes of one big story) it was consistent and that’s what i love.

    This anime was extremely similar to Mushishi, Golgo 13, and Gallery Fake. They’re all wonderful anime, and they all follow the same type of ordeal, I love it, and there really needs to be more anime like this.

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