"The stars and stripes, they've been swiped, washed out and wiped…”

by Katie Pizzuto on October 24, 2008

in marketing,Wine

Many of you probably know by now that there’s a weekly comic book called “The Drops of The Gods” being published in Japan. The character that serves as protagonist isn’t your usual leotard-wearing, cape-toting hero, but a son that rebelled against his father, a famous wine critic, by refusing to drink wine and working instead for a brewery. When his father kicks the bucket, he leaves in his will a description of 12 wines he considers the world’s best, comparing them to the disciples of Jesus. Shizuku, the outcast son, finds himself pitted against his adopted brother (a sommelier), and must soak up wine knowledge quickly so he can find the 12 wines mentioned in his father’s will and inherit his father’s vast cellar before the brother does.

Since its popularity began to gain momentum, the wines mentioned in the rag sell out faster than vibrators at a Ladies Knight party, so Japanese wine merchants voraciously snag up copies each week, adjust their stocks accordingly and showcase the featured wines in their shops. It’s a phenomenon that has taken Tokyo by wave. All this is fantastic, and is creating a mass interest in wine there, but here’s my beef…

The Kibayashis, who are the brother/sister team that write the comic, are cutting themselves off at the knees. Why? As self-proclaimed Francophiles, they have dismissed all American wines as simple and lacking in depth. Mind you, I find generalizations insulting, but it’s still not what pisses me off. Because of their dislike of American wine, they have no intention of translating the comic books to English. French, yes. English? No friggin’ way. And THAT is a royal pompous marketing screw up. As down trodden as the American market is right now, I’m sure that comic book could stand to make a shit load of money here. But because they don’t like our wine, we won’t get to read their work. Marketing 101 at its worst.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Linsey October 25, 2008

Not only the American market but the Aussie market, the Brits, the New Zealanders and any country that speaks English and also has a thirst for good wines.

Just because the writers don’t like the particular wine of that country doesnt mean that they cant promote what they think of as great wine to said country

Very short-sighted attitude – especially as there is a thirst for Japanese comics across the world and possible along with that the spread of wine choice – not all ‘manga’ lovers are nerdy twenty somethings!


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