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Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 2 - Sake

(Oishinbo #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  656 ratings  ·  78 reviews
R to L (Japanese Style)

As part of the celebrations for its 100th anniversary, the publishers of the Tozai News have decided to commission the creation of the 'Ultimate Menu," a model meal embodying the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine. This all-important task has been entrusted to journalist Shiro Yamaoka, an inveterate cynic who possesses no initiative, but does have an incre

Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by VIZ Media LLC (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  656 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary, graphic
I enjoyed this slightly less than the first volume simply because I'm not as interested in or well-informed concerning sake, compared with food. And I was slightly annoyed by the dissing of wine (sake and wine can both be great! it isn't either/or!) but I suspect that this was in response to people being so snotty about wine (it's all French in this book) so I can sympathize. I didn't try to keep all the sake information straight because I suspect it is out of date at this point, and that part o ...more
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: food, comics
Rather more technical and detailed than the previous volume. In large part, that's because most of this volume is actually one story, in many parts. And that story is an exhaustive discussion of the sake industry, at the time it was written. I'm not sure how long ago that was, and I'm not sure how much, if anything, has changed in the industry since then, so I also don't know how much of Kariya's criticism of the industry is still a going concern. That really doesn't affect how it reads, though. ...more
Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Hmm...I'll open up with this...Within this manga it states that champers won't make your drunk. Uhm...I think the manga is very

In saying that WOW...This manga was like reading a fun history guide to Sake in Japan. I've had a few sake over my life and I've felt they've always been a hit or miss...And now I'm starting to wonder if the ones that were terrible was due to incorrect practices or the way the sake was actually made.

Basically this volume centres around a banker who has refuse
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The second volume of selection from the manga series featuring battling gourmands steps it up a notch. Sure, the first one talked about Japanese food and what it means to consider Japanese cuisine, but this one not only has a more consistent storyline, but it's also about something a lot of people would think is more important: booze.

Sake, to be specific.

Of course, it's not all kanpai and jollity and hangovers. Nope, it wouldn't be Oishinbo without a tranche of self-loathing and operatic glari
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Second in the a la Carte series with the focus on sake this time. I am not a sake drinker but man was this book fascinating. I learned quite a bit about the world of sake including why I probably think I don't like it - lots of poorly made sake out there in the world. Now I'm intrigued to actually try a higher quality sake and see what I think. ...more
Lydia Presley
Feb 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: foodie, manga, 2010
I'm still in love with this series - however there were a few things in this volume that got to me and made my opinion of it drop just a little.

This book was much more technical than Volume 1. Parts were incredibly interesting - learning the different types of Sake and how WWII impacted Japan with its lack of rice and the "need" to still make Sake. The story also attacks the perception that French white wines are to be paired with fish and challenges the reader to try sake instead.

There was less
Eustacia Tan
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every time I read Oishinbo, I wish that it was translated and published in English in chronological order like most manga. Having them published by subject means that the overarching plot becomes jumbled and impossible to follow. That said, having them published by subject means that it’s possible to quickly and easily learn about one aspect of Japanese cuisine.

Like the title says, Oishinbo: Sake is all about sake. Sake is actually a generic word for alcohol, what this book focuses on is mostly
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I still liked this one, but not as much as the first volume; I didn't have much of a base knowledge of sake to begin with, so most of the information being presented was completely new to me knew and it felt like there was an overwhelming amount of of it at times. I especially felt this in the blind tasting sections of the book, wherein many different kinds of sake are examined at once. They were presented in a rapid-fire fashion, with a brief discussion of their methods of production and their ...more
Feb 24, 2021 rated it liked it
The second in the series....this food made me want to try sake (never have) and made me want to go to Japan to learn/taste more. This is definitely a book pro sake/Japan. It mocks people who buy things just to be important (fancy wines, but know nothing).
I also think that the two main characters the son (forgive me for not jumping up to grab the book to see his name) and father spend a lot of time yelling at each other.... and magically the son helps his friend stop being an alcoholic, but teac
Alyson Fortowsky
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
More political than the other volumes of this series, with a lot of explicit criticism of the Japanese government for failing to regulate sake. This lack of regulation has led to an industry in which adulterated products are able to be sold as sake and because they are cheaper to make, these products constitute the majority of the industry. The characters speak admiringly of the French system of regulations, which is so entrenched that the idea of adding anything but grapes to wine would be utte ...more
Alex Lawless
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was very good! The review I'd give it is honestly very similar to the review I gave volume 1. It's a smaller, themed collection of stories (this one about sake), edited for English, taken out of the context of a much longer-running manga. I learned a lot about sake, and since this series is a little dated it made me want to look into the current state of affairs concerning the world and politics of sake-making. The notes in the back of the manga are incredibly helpful to provide context for ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Educational. Basically, the message is that sake as a national drink is facing survival challenges due to its poor image, originally caused by compromises made arising from WW2 shortages but perpetuated by unscrupulous mass producers. Apparently anyone who doesn't think highly of sake as a cultural drink worth preserving has not drunk genuine sake made with traditional craftsmanship. Once they have experienced the real deal, they love it. This wisdom probably can be applied to any other national ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
The things that I liked about the first volume are present in this one and the shortcomings are also there. The dialogue is pretty stilted and the character design is still not great. But if you like reading about food generally, especially Japanese food, without just reading a non-fiction book, this is a good series. As the volume title suggests, most of this is about sake, but they also talk about wine and champagne. There's also a recipe at the beginning and some author notes in the middle. ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Still entertaining and lots of interesting information about Japanese food culture but a bit repetitive in places. Not surprisingly though when it’s all the Sake segments that are pulled from a much longer series.
Madonna Stephens
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan, manga
Why have I never found this classic before?? It’s everything I want in a manga! Food, Japanese cultural knowledge, slice of life... and wow so much information about Sake. I never knew! Boutique Sake makers are the way to go! What a great manga.
Much like the first volume, OISHINBO A LA CARTE VOL 2 focuses on one aspect of Japanese cuisine and culture, this time talking about alcohol. I didn't realize that there were so many complex historical elements that go into sake, so this was SO interesting to read! ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Japanese teaching comics.
Jenn Noto
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
(Unfortunately I can’t give half points on Goodreads so I just state it in the review section instead.)
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
Solid info with an interesting framing reference. Look forward to the next!
Sydney Pacione
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Learning about the well-loved marriage of alcohol and food from the unique perspective of the sake industry in Japan is very interesting, even for a non-drinker like me!
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed volume 2, though not quite as much as volume 1.

Volume 2 lacked the father/son narrative that was so strong in volume 1, and generally speaking was a bit more explanatory fiction with regard to its subject matter (sake) than it was narrative. I thought the stories in Volume 1 had the balance a little better.

That said, it's a really fun read, and I learned a number of things about sake that I didn't know previously. It's a great way to introduce the material in a way that is likel
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
In this collection of stories from the long running manga series, the central theme is alcoholic beverages - in Japanese, as they explain in one of the notes in the book, "sake" means not just the rice based beverage that we know by that term, but any alcoholic beverage. So wine and champagne form the subject matter for a couple of these stories. But sake, based on rice, is the main drink dealt with here, and the author has strong opinions on both the beverage itself and on the Japanese sake ind ...more
The next installment of Oishinbo is about sake, but readers might be surprised to find out that word refers to all alcoholic drinks in Japanese - and that nihonshu is the word used specifically for rice wine (an important distinction for those considering travel in Japan). Between many moody culinary battles between Yamaoka and Kaibara we learn how to appreciate sake's (and other drinks') food pairings and what all those junmais and ginjos really mean. I do hope that the regulation of the sake i ...more
Gareth Bogdanoff
Mar 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
This is the second English translation of an educational and entertaining if painfully pretentious manga series about Japanese cuisine. This volume focuses on sake, as you probably guessed by the title. However, it also goes into wine and champagne. If you are a wine lover, prepare to be offended. In this volume we learn of the terrible shortcomings of wine, particularly that it can't possibly go with seafood, ever. But sake on the other hand goes with everything.

All trash talking of wine aside,
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This volume of select episodes from the long-running Oishinbo manga features the six-part epic "The Power of Sake," in which Yamaoka spends more than 100 pages explaining every small detail of what is wrong with the Japanese sake industry and why the people of Japan should support small, artisanal sake breweries as a matter of national pride and cultural identity. But still manages to make it work as a story.

It also has a chapter demolishing the fixation with the Beaujolais Nouveau release date
I drink so little as it is, even socially, so it would likely take the span of my entire lifetime to try all those sakes in this volume but I would love to do so. This collection is more technical than the other ones, which made it more of a challenge, but it was worth it. I'm not familiar with the culture of sake at all and this was a very enlightening read. The characters are very passionate about their food and drink (at times comically so!), and you also get to learn about the history and th ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
I recently discovered the Oishinbo series which I really love because it brings together my love of comics and my love of food. I was excited to read the Sake edition because I recently went to an awesome sake tasting in Berkeley and was interested to have a chance to learn more about it. I was surprised that several of the stories were actually about French wine and champagne instead of about sake and the long series on sake itself was somewhat depressing to read, since much of it was about the ...more
Jason Keenan
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan
Sake is more than sake when it comes to this book. It touches on wine, shochu, and champagne. But the heart of the story is a long examination of sake - the decline of the industry in Japan and the loss of tradition methods. And thankfully the resurgence of craft brewers.

Given this is a collection of stories from the past two decades I am unsure when the sake story was set. I'm now looking for something that explain the state of the industry to me. And perhaps serve as a guide to just some sake
May 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed volume 2, but felt that it suffered a bit from rehashing the same information over and again. The main sake story towards the end of the book was a mutliparter and covered almost everything the other sake stories told individually and the very last story in the series was more a cautionary tale against being a coward and alcoholic than an actual sake story and felt really odd as the end to the volume.

Still, it's a fun series (despite the shortcomings with the way it was collected) and
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
The second volume of the popular Oishinbo manga series dives right into sake, though it does talk about other spirits for good measure, including giving advice on how to order wine at a restaurant and how to tell good champagne from bad. The majority of the book is taken up by a discussion on the state of sake, and why most of the stuff from the big sake companies is terrible. As usual, there is some flag-waving about the importance of the liquor, but it's not too in-your-face, and the bare-bone ...more
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Manga writer and essayist extraordinaire Tetsu Kariya graduated from prestigious Tokyo University. Kariya was employed with a major advertising agency before making his debut as a manga writer in 1974, when he teamed up with legendary manga artist Ryoichi Ikegami to create Otoko Gumi (Male Gang). The worlds of food and manga were forever changed in 1983 when Kariya, together with artist Akira H

Other books in the series

Oishinbo (7 books)
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 1 - Japanese Cuisine
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 3 - Ramen and Gyoza
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 4 - Fish, Sushi and Sashimi
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 5 - Vegetables
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 6 - The Joy of Rice
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 7 - Izakaya: Pub Food

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