We’ve seen for you… The Drops of God, Grand Cru Adaptation
The Drops of God intelligently implement the story of the manga of the same name, offering us a rich and engaging story.
What is God’s drop? The world-famous oenologist Alexandre Léger (Stanley Weber) died in Tokyo. His daughter Camille (Fleur Geffrier), who lives in Paris and no longer has any contact with him, then travels to Japan to read the will. She learns that her father left an extraordinary wine cellar, which houses a collection of prestigious wines worth millions of euros. But to obtain this legacy, Camille will have to face Issei Tomine (Tomohisa Yamashita), during several tests, a young and brilliant oenologist whom Alexandre had taken under his wing. From France to Japan to Italy, Camille has to identify several Grand Crus… despite her pathological aversion to alcohol, which causes her intense discomfort.
The Drops of God (drops of god) is the manga adaptation by duo Yuko and Shin Kibayashi under the pen name Tadashi Agi. The mini series signed by Quoc Dang Tran has been published from this series of books, which comprises several dozen volumes and has enjoyed immense public and critical success (Parallel, Marianne) was therefore eagerly awaited, especially by fans of the original work. Screened at the last Series Mania Festival, this international co-production (shot in French, English and Japanese) commissioned by Apple TV is more than up to the task – albeit with a subtly different approach. But what does the bottle do as long as you’re drunk.
It all began with the death of Alexandre Léger, an emblematic figure in oenology, in Tokyo, where he had lived for years. His daughter Camille lives in Paris and has had no contact with him since her parents divorced when she was a child. Throughout her childhood, her father never stopped honing her taste skills to train her to take over, but today Camille has a pathological aversion to alcohol, the tiniest drop causing intense discomfort that could endanger her life. In Japan, during the reading of the will, she discovers that her father left a priceless collection of great wines… but also that, to obtain this legacy, she must compete with Issei Tomine, a young prodigy of oenology that Alexander contemplated his spiritual son. Using various clues, the two compete against each other in three tests in which they have to identify great wines. Initially hesitant, Camille finally decides to compete. She has yet to overcome her aversion to wine, her physical ailments… and the heavy commitments that bind her to her father.
First, let’s point out that the series makes some important changes compared to the manga. The most important change concerns the Japanese hero who becomes the French heroine, Camille, interpreted by the excellent Fleur Geffrier. Her opposite Tomohisa Yamashita (Alice in the Frontier) is just as great. And let’s take this opportunity to mention among the other actors Cécile Bois, Gustave Kerven or even Stanley Weber.
For the rest, The Drops of God captures the essence of the story and its spirit and of course the world of oenology. Because it is of course a wine story. Côtes-du-Rhône, Italian cuvées, Grands Crus from the Médoc, small less prestigious but no less excellent local productions: we survey the cellars, vineyards and sales rooms between speculations of collectors, expertise of oenologists, tastings in restaurants, harvests in of the vines, love of the terroir (as in the pretty sequences filmed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape).
One of the greatest difficulties was undoubtedly bringing the taste experience itself onto the screen, expressing taste emotions in pictures. What the series tries to translate in its own way, on the one hand with the minimalist game of Tomoshita Yamashita that reflects the discipline and rigor of Issei, and on the other hand with the sensations of Camille illustrated through explosions of color and a mental palate that looks like a maze. Strong scenes that are quickly abandoned.
Overall, the series – a pity! – more sober than the manga, in the sense that it reduces the creepy and melodramatic side. It’s a choice we expect will be embraced, and one that makes even more sense because it allows us to focus on something broader, well beyond wine. Because wine serves as a context, almost as a pretext, for a more universal story. Through the competition between the two characters from afar, The Drops of God jumbledly reminiscent of the family, the weight of education, inheritance, transmission. The most interesting aspect is precisely the way through the prism of wine the drops of God speaks of how one builds up towards one’s parents, whether by virtue of or against the relationship one has with them.
Camille, Alexandre’s biological daughter, bears the scars of a chaotic childhood whose memories are tied to the trials her father put upon her, alienating her relationship with his obsession with wine. For his part, Issei rejects the path taken by his grandfather at the head of the family business to claim the legacy (material and symbolic) of Léger, the mentor who took him under his wing. Through the relationships each has with the deceased (and the relationship that develops between them), the struggle between them becomes almost an existential quest. An initiation story about the discovery of wine and above all oneself: finally in vino veritas.
As the temptation is too great, we lend ourselves to wine puns: Les Gouttes de Dieu is an excellent cuvée. Less flamboyant and less lyrical than the manga, the series is on the contrary more realistic and pragmatic in its approach to the world of wine; On the other hand, it remains just as strong in its evocation of the broader issues of transference and family ties. Carried by the excellent Fleur Geffrier and Tomohisa Yamashita, this is a lush series that is not lacking in bouquet and that can be tasted with pleasure.
The Drops of God.
8 episodes of approx. 52′.
April 21 on Apple TV+.