These buggers are HUGE, you have been warned
We learn this episode that it is in fact true: Drinking solves all problems. If you don’t believe me, then watch Bartender and see for yourself! The catch to this statement though, is that you must drink at a bar with Ryuu as your bartender, or at least one that enjoys his/her job.
The title to this entry is a bit misleading, but it’s exactly what I thought after watching this episode. Don’t get me wrong, I know well enough that it wasn’t the act of getting drunk that allowed Shimaoka to overcome his regret. It was Ryuu’s ability as a Bartender, which allows him to choose the perfect drink for any situation. It just so happened that this episode was about regret, so what better drink to provide a customer than a Margarita, the drink that was first created in regretful remembrance of a girl.
Why should we care about Shimaoka and his problems? Well, besides the fact that we’re watching Ryuu heal another broken soul, we find meaning in Shimaoka’s situation because it is similar to the creation of the Margarita. The symbolism created by the drink makes the situation meaningful to the viewer and can allow us to sympathize with the regret presented by both the creation drink and the customer. This is because regret is something that most individuals posses. Not only that, but it’s something that is incredibly hard to heal or reconcile with. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say most people have lost a loved one in their life and there is usually some form of regret associated with that loss. I’m also pretty sure that if you asked any of those with regret if they had a desire for said regret to be healed, they would say yes. Shimaoka represents our future self, a future self we hope to never become. A man of regret.
Since this is a healing anime, Shimaoka eventually comes to peace with his regret, but only through some strong introspection and some help from Ryuu. The best thing about Ryuu is that he doesn’t actively try to help his customers overcome their problems, he only triggers it, letting them figure out the rest for themselves. I find this to be MUCH more powerful than him magically snapping his fingers and his customers suddenly being a-okay.
So, let me change my catchphrase a little bit: Someone who listens well and provides helpful commentary, can solve most problems. Surely most of us knew this already, but surely most of us forget just how powerful someone is who can effectively do this. I’m really looking forward to what other themes they’re planning on covering in the future episodes. So far they’ve all been incredibly powerful, and this episode I almost shed a tear. I find that amazing, especially for a story that was presented in less than 30 minutes.
Side Note: It seems that the 1280×720 encoding of this episode is rather LARGE and my computer almost couldn’t handle it. That kind of sucks because this is the only sub of the show that I know of. *sadface*