Bartender is the title of a Japanese manga series written by mangaka Araki Joh and illustrated by Kenji Nagatomo. Its focus is a genius bartender who uses his talents to ease the worries and soothe the souls of troubled customers. There are also anime (2006) and live action (2011) adaptations.Bartender follows the nightlife of Ryu Sasakura, a bartending prodigy who is said to mix the best cocktails anyone has ever tasted. Sasakura bides his time in his bar, Lapin (or Eden Hall in the anime), hidden in a nook of the Ginza district in downtown Tokyo. Over the course of the series, various figures of high and low stature, all of who share unusual troubles and heavy burdens, are "invited" in and are treated to Sasakura's fine drinks, which, with guidance from the young bartender, lead the customers to reflect on their lives and decide on a course of action to tackle with their problems.
This series provides examples of:
Artistic License - Law / Artistic License - Economics: A minor tequila-related error appears in chapter 59. Ryuu states that Mezcal and Tequila are virtually the same drink, the only difference being that Tequila is manufactured in Jalisco. This is both true and false. Mezcal and Tequila are both made from Agave, but only a specific type of Agave (Blue Agave) is used in the manufacturing process for Tequila, and while Jalisco is the major producer of Tequila, other regions within Mexico, by Federal Law, can also manufacture the liquor and be legally recognized as Tequila, that is, certain regions within the states of Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Michoacan. Any Blue Agave based liquor manufactured outside the sanctioned areas by the Mexican Government, including other countries, cannot be called "Tequila", this is because Mexico holds the exclusive global trading rights to the word "Tequila".
Billy Elliot Plot: Only hinted at. Ryu comes from a very privileged family, and his father is a powerful figure in Japan, most likely a high-ranking Diet member, since he's nicknamed "The Monster of Nagata-cho", and yet he gave up everything to follow his dream.
Captain Ersatz: Kuzuhara is most likely based of Kazuo Ueda, one of Japan's most famous bartenders.
Secret Test of Character: The Martini competition for Kyoko, and possibly, the whole manga, up to the Eden Hall arc, so far for Ryu.
Self-Made Man: Ryu, the second son of a powerful man in Japan, most likely a high ranking diet member, yet he decided to run away from home and start working at restaurant and bars in France. It was there where he got his first big break.
Stealth Mentor: Mister Perfect Ryuichi Kuzuhara and Master Saito Higashiyama to Ryu. And Ryu, and Minami-san, to Kyoko, a young bartender girl. Ryu becomes a proper mentor to Tsubasa Wakui, although some of his mentorship is stealth.
Stepford Smiler: A good deal of Ryu's clients. It's considered a sacred duty of the bartender to allow this facade to be perpetuated, at least as long as the customer's still in the bar. However, Ryu will make some exceptions to the rule, such as when a con man tries to marry a girl for her money, after which he will presumably skip out on her; Ryu considers adding such trauma to a proposal, which is supposed to be the happiest moment of a young woman's life, to be unforgivable.
Ryu himself is one. Lampshaded by a client that says that no matter how bad or rude the client is, or how depressed and troubled the bartender is, its the bartender's duty to keep smiling as part of his job. Ryu confirms this in a later mini-arc.
"No matter how much pain you feel inside, a bartender can never wear a painful expression on his face in front of the customers."
The Reliable One: In this manga, bartenders are one of the two professions (other than a pharmacist) which are not allowed to betray a customer. As a drink of a bartender can be a medicine or a poison.
To Be a Master: Subverted. Ryu Sasakura travelled the world, learning his craft from the best bartenders in the world, and has reached such a level of skill that he is known as "The glass of God". That is all in the Back Story. The manga begins as he has returned home and begins to apply his skills.
Walking the Earth: An interesting variation. Ryu moves from bar to bar on recommendation of his seniors, in order for him to improve even more. At this point, arriving back in Japan after spending 8 years in France, he starts in Bar Lapin, then moves on to Bar Saito, under the apprentice of Master Saito, later moves into Bar Eden Hall, and, later moves to Kurushima-san's new bar at Hotel Bishop, also called Bar Eden Hall.