Bartender – Episode 2

  • Title: バーテンダー
  • Title (romaji): Bartender
  • Format: Renzoku
  • Genre: Comedy drama
  • Episodes: TBA
  • Viewership rating: TBA
  • Broadcast network: TV Asahi
  • Broadcast period: 2011-Feb-04 start
  • Air time: Friday 23:15
  • Theme song:Lotus by Arashi


Episode 02 Review




Viewer Ratings: 10.6%



The last time we saw Sasakura Ryu was at the entrance of Bar Lapin. Where is he now? Still at Bar Lapin, except he is now the new apprentice and has resumed his life as a bartender. Miwa enters Bar Lapin to see if what she’s heard is true and there he is. She welcomes him back to being a bartender and suggests he treat her to a drink. Hey, I would too ;] Immediately after her arrival, Kuzuhara Ryuichi comes in ..


I couldn’t help but notice the “exit” sign is near the bottom of the floor.
Doesn’t make much sense to me seeing as to how a person’s eyes aren’t on our feet.


Just what is our resident antagonist doing there? Well, he’s heard about Ryu from Kurushima and he’s here to test out Ryu’s skills. Our other resident bartender, Kaoru, asks Kuzuhara what he would like to drink. Of course, being the uptight ass that he is, he looks at Ryu and orders a Gin Fizz. It takes Ryu a minute to register that Kuzuhara is asking him to make the drink and proceeds to get the ingredients needed.  Let’s take a moment to discuss why Kuzuhara ordered a Gin Fizz. According to Mihashi, it’s a somewhat standard way to test a bartender’s skill. In that case, if I were to sit at a bar and order a Gin Fizz, would the bartender think that I am a bartender as well? Someone want to try that and let me know? x] So, Ryu is making the drink ..


Again .. that stiff spaced out look xD


As he was making the drink, Ryu notices something. But what does he notice? We do not know. How mysterious~ .. not. While Ryu pours the drink, he talks about what the “fizz” in Gin Fizz means. Naturally, this may seem like he’s an idiot, Kaoru and Miwa seem to agree as well. Even through all the awkward silence, Ryu still puts on a smile (in true Aiba fashion) and serves the drink:


With all the pretty lighting going on in this ..
I won’t be surprised if they win Best Lighting for some award.


Kuzuhara takes a sip and, instantaneously, he’s fascinated by it’s subtle taste. In thought, he contemplates on what could be in the drink and voices out that “it’s not a normal Gin Fizz, right? It’s an original, isn’t it?” Ryu tells him that he’s correct and that a normal Gin Fizz wouldn’t be boring for a professional/top-class bartender. A HA! So he did notice. Miwa is in awe and asks Ryu how did he know. Turns out that, aside from ordering a Gin Fizz, he noticed the calluses on his fingers from a shaker. Such a keen eye for detail! What are you doing serving drinks, Sasakura Ryu!? You should be in forensics or a detective xD Of course, Kuzuhara thinks of it as an arrogant action on Ryu’s part. What a jerk! Ryu tells him that he merely wants the person to enjoy the drink. Kuzuhara assumes that he put in drops of fermented rum; however, Ryu reveals to him that he put in wasanbo (refined Japanese sugar). So rather than syrup, he used something totally different. Kuzuhara, aka Mr. Perfect, then tells him that Ryu’s cocktail is ..


“far from perfect.”
You’ll see this look from him a lot.
Yes, the seriously-constipated look.


After he says that, Ryu ..


isn’t so happy.
It’s okay Ryu, at least you’re better looking xD


So that leads to ..


a staring contest.


Kuzuhara just leaves anyway. Everyone is left thinking/saying “what was that all about?” Ryu asks who that guy was. They tell him that he’s a genius bartender from Bar K, who appeared 4-5 years ago and has since been winning awards. The scene changes to Kurushima’s office where Miwa is shocked to find out that her grandfather is the one who told Kuzuhara about Ryu. -___-; really girl? Wasn’t that obvious from the get-go?? She asks him why he did such a thing. He tells her that it’s interesting to see two opposites compete and see who can make the “Glass of God.” Alright old man, enough with the “Glass of God/divine drink.” We get it. You want the ultimate drink that can get you wasted.


Now, we’re back at Bar Lapin where Ryu has finished all his tasks and this kind of irritates Kaoru, who of course he is jealous of him to a certain extent. Ryu asks him where he can find Kuzuhara and Kaoru informs him that it’s kind of impossible to enter his bar since it’s for “VIPs.” Are Big Bang fans allowed then? Mihashi immediate interrupts and states that it’s not entirely impossible. He then presents Ryu with ..


an invitation to bar-tend at the 1st Anniversary of Hotel Cardinal.
Who sent this invitation? None other than old Kurushima.


Mihashi suggests he accept the invitation. Next, we see Ryu at the restaurant eating yakisoba. I want someee. Miwa walks in and tells Ryu that she heard about him accepting her grandfather’s offer. The reason why Ryu accepted was to see a cocktail made by Kuzuhara. Miwa asks him if he has confidence in winning and, of course, Ryu has no idea what she’s talking about. She explains that although Hotel Cardinal has been around for a year, the main bar hasn’t been completed yet and they are looking for a real bartender to entrust it to. After that, comes an explanation about the “Glass of God.” Again, real tired of hearing this lol.


Scene cut! Miwa is working hard at the magazine’s office and gets a call from her energetic friend, Yukari. Why is she bothering her? Yukari wants Miwa to suggest a bar so she can take her older boyfriend there for Valentine’s Day. After getting off the phone, her boss tells her about specific topic issues in the magazines are prepared 2 months in advance. They have a nice conversation about her boss working overtime and Miwa as well. Her boss playfully asks “can you respect a boss who goes home and leaves her employees behind?”


Another scene change~  This time we see Yukari and her “boyfriend” at ..


Bar Lapin!
Joshima Shigeru guesting! Free drinks from his kouhai?


He tells her that they’re gonna have fun drinking until morning and she’s happy. He suddenly gets a call and takes it outside. As he exits the door, Yukari feels down and .. well downs her cocktail. Ryu notices and asks her for her next drink. She says “whatever you recommend.” As he gets a drink prepared, the boyfriend returns and tells her he must leave. As he leaves .. again, she looks depressed .. again. We now see Miwa working overtime at work ..


by herself .. boss nowhere to be found.
This is actually a regular thing we see.


Miwa gets a message from Yukari, asking her to have a drink. Thinking she’s done enough overtime, she heads to Bar Lapin. I would say so. The girl works too much if you ask me. They have a nice little chat about Miwa going to the bar alone often. Ryu asks Miwa what she would like to drink. She wants an Adonis this time and Yukari requests for one too. As he’s making the drink, Yukari admires the process. Miwa tells her about Ryu’s accomplishments and she’s astounded. As he gives them the drink, Yukari notes that a bartender’s fingers are kind of “sexy.” I would have to agree. I mean .. c’mon! Have you seen Mukai Osamu’s hands!? It’s a crime for a man’s hands to look that damn pretty. Yukari exclaims that she is becoming Ryu’s fan and Miwa ..


doesn’t like the sound of that~


Taking it further, Yukari asks if Ryu would have a drink with them. Miwa starts to tell her that a bartender can’t when he/she is behind the counter, but is cut off when Ryu agrees to have a drink. Afterwards, Miwa is walking along that bridge and stops to face Ryu. Ryu tells her that he’s not following her, she’s just merely walking in front of him. He asks her why she’s so angry and she rambles on about how he had a drink after Yukari asked. She keeps going on and on then asks him if he can win Kuzuhara this way. She’s not going to accept him if he doesn’t win.


Now, we’re at Hotel Cardinal and everyone is getting ready for the grand party:


The food looks SO GOOD~!


Ryu is getting his bar counter ready and Kuzuhara walks in with his pro kit. Ryu walks over to him and thanks him for the other day. Kuzuhara gives him a haughty look before the Kurushima’s greet them. I wanna hit Kuzuhara, Mr. I’m-so-much-better-than-everyone. The party is bustling about and both Ryu & Kuzuhara are making cocktails. Ryu’s side is much more crowded than Kuzuhara’s at this point. However, the happy atmosphere is short-lived as Kuzuhara reprimands his helper for not thoroughly cleaning one of the glasses and tells the guy to quit. The helper doesn’t quite understand and Kuzuhara drops the glass, causing it to break into pieces. This captures the attention of everyone in the room as he fires the guy instead. He proceeds to make the ordered cocktail. Many are whispering about and then start to crowd around Kuzuhara’s counter. Miwa wonders why in the world people are crowding around his counter after that incident. Kurushima explains to her that his true ability is to make people want to drink one of his cocktails. I’m just going to take a moment and call this such bull haha. It’s a drama, can’t do anything about it. But if this were to be more realistic, I would’ve called Kuzuhara an asshole and not give him a second glance. So now, the event is over and Ryu is heading to the elevator but stops short when he sees Kuzuhara. He tells him that he doesn’t like Kuzuhara’s way of doing things. The elevator door opens and Kuzuhara gets inside. Just before the door closes, Kuzuhara says: “If you don’t have things that are perfect, you can be a professional.” Okay, I do agree with that statement in a general sense. However, this guy is all about perfection that other people’s opinion don’t seem to matter. I bet he has no friends. Well, Ryu is left to think by himself with Miwa listening in around the corner.


At the publisher’s office, Miwa is contemplating about the events that previously happened. Next, we see her at Bar Lapin and Kaoru ..


happens to notice the bag of chocolate Miwa brought.


He tries to pry information/the chocolate out of her by mentioning that it’s Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, all Miwa says is “yep” and happily sits down. Poor guy, better luck next time. Sitting at the counter, Miwa attempts to give the chocolate to Ryu but is interrupted when Yukari walks in. Yukari then gives Ryu a bag of chocolate as a thank you for the night before. This makes Miwa feel awkward and she hurries out with the excuse of “having to work.” After some time, Ryu presents Yukari with a cocktail called Whisper. At the restaurant, Miwa is eating her sorrows away and tries to give the chocolate to the chef. But, that is thrown out of the water when his wife presents him with chocolate. She gives up and decides to just eat it herself. Her grandfather calls him and tells her to go to Bar K the next day.


While waiting at Bar K, Ryu walks in and they are both confused. Kurushima wants Ryu and Kuzuhara to make a cocktail. Great, more competition >_> Ryu refuses at first then Kurushima suggests that they make a cocktail for Miwa. Kuzuhara baits him into agreeing by basically asking if he’s running away. The two end up making a Manhattan ..


in complete unison.
Even if they’re personalities are the complete opposite,
they sure know how to be the exact same when making a drink.


As they are making the cocktail, we hear Ryu discuss the fundamentals of making the cocktail in his thoughts. He mentions that the key to making this cocktail is the timing of when to stop blending/stirring the mixture. Miwa then takes off her jacket and when Ryu notices, he stops stirring, cutting it short, as Kuzuhara continues to stir. Both pour the drink into the glasses and Miwa is told to taste them with her eyes closed. She picks Ryu’s as the cocktail she prefers but not before thinking about how different both drinks are despite it being the same drink. It all lies in the stirring time. Because Ryu cut the time short, the temperature is a degree or two higher. However, Kuzuhara calls Ryu inexperienced and questions Ryu’s Manhattan. Ryu takes a drink of the one he made and is ..


Looks like he’s about to jump ship!


But just what in the world is wrong? Kurushima asks Miwa to taste again and she is shocked as well. This time Kuzuhara’s taste better. What in the holy jebus is going on!? The world has turned .. Kuzuhara explains that because the stirring time was cut short, the flavor of the drink is all over the place. He goes on further to say, “When you aim to please the customer, and not for the completeness of the flavor, it’s the start of a bartender’s downfall. A bartender should aim for perfection.” Well, Mr. High-and-Mighty. Ever heard of the saying “nothing is perfect”? Sigh, it’s no wonder you always have that constipated/mean-spirited face. Do I sense a hint of an unfulfilled childhood? Someone get the dude a friend that  can tolerate his arrogant ass! It’s okay, Ryu. Everyone still loves you~! With that, Kuzuhara shoves past Ryu and leaves him at the counter. Now, Miwa and Ryu are staring out at the river. Ryu is talking about his utter defeat and once again .. looks as if he wants to jump into the water. Back at Bar K, Kuzuhara asks Kurushima if he will let him handle the main bar now. Kurushima tells him that he doesn’t know about that and this upsets Kuzuhara a bit.


Scene swap! Miwa is at work, wondering why she’s thinking about Ryu. Oh you naive girl, just admit you like him already. It’ll make it easier on all of us. She receives a call from Yukari to meet her at Bar Lapin. Yukari tells her that she broke up with her boyfriend. Miwa questions why and Yukari tells her about the drink Ryu served her the night before. Everyone remember? It’s the cocktail, Whisper. There’s a flashback to the conversation between Yukari and Ryu where he tells her that the drink signifies those to follow their hearts. That helped her to decide to break things off with him and there’s another flashback. In this flashback, she tells him that she wants to end things and walks away. As she’s walking away, he calls out her name and  ..




It turns out that this was actually an affair! GASP! You naughty girl, being the “other” woman and shame on you Joushima! Adultery is never a good thing, tsk tsk tsk. Yukari tells Miwa that she was right about bars being a great place and thanks Ryu. Mihashi presents the two girls with a complimentary cocktail. So, after work Ryu is dragging his bike along and Miwa catches up to him, using the excuse that Ryu is merely walking in front of her and she’s not following him. A likely story .. for the both of you! Such terrible liars you guys are -sigh-. There seriously is an art to lying, I guess. Miwa then encourages Ryu to just be himself behind the counter. At this, Ryu smiles and asks her if she’s sure she’s not drunk LOL. She shoves a bag into his arms and he proceeds to eat the ChocoAgi, telling him it’s for Valentine’s Day. I love it but I prefer the red bean one xD He gets closer and states that there’s something different about her. “Isn’t your face a bit swollen??” Oh Ryu, that is no way to talk to a girl. Of course, it is cute how dense he appears to be. She gets mad and grabs the bag. Such a cute playful scene indeed ;]


Minna~ look! It’s the same place from HYD.
Where F4 beat the crap out of each other in Season 1.


And that’s the end of Episode 2!  When you look at it, not much happened at all. And .. everything so far is thoroughly predictable. I mean, we all knew that Ryu wasn’t going to win the Manhattan cocktail “competition” against Kuzuhara, it’s just way too soon. I’m more interested in the day he kicks Kuzuhara’s ass all the way across the Pacific Ocean and back. Speaking of Kuzuhara, something is seriously shoved up his butt. Typical of an antagonist, of course. I’m wondering when the day will come when someone pulls that metal pole out of his butt and hits him over the head with it to give him a sense of humanity. The little side story regarding Miwa’s friend, Yukari, was a bit cute and the balance between that and the main plot was nice. Poor Joushima didn’t get any love, but the dude has a family so his character doesn’t deserve any. So, who thinks that Miwa and Ryu are cute?? Sad to say, this isn’t a romance drama so anything romantic will most likely come at the very end where jdramas like to hint everything and give us practically nothing. I’m already prepared for that .. are you?


Until next episode~




Rating: 7 out of 10




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