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Blu-ray Review - Bartender

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2006's "Bartender" is an adaptation of a manga written by Araki Joh and illustrated by Kenji Nagatomo. Looking to give the material a different life through animation, the producers elect to set a gentle mood of storytelling and cocktail mixing for the show, which examines the inhabitants of the hidden nightlife oasis Eden Hall and its special bartender, Ryu. Over the course of 11 episodes, the program observes the lives of troubled and distressed characters searching for a special level of peace only a perfectly made drink can provide, retaining the page-turning feel of the source material. The stillness of "Bartender" is unexpected, securing a peaceful vibe of communication as Ryu reaches out to his customers, hoping to share lessons with others and delve into the history of certain drinks. It's an incredibly odd show, but always interesting in its somewhat surreal execution and love of spirits, with most of the episodes more focused on the art of drink preparation than the visitors to Eden Hall. Read the rest at Blu-ray.com

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