One of the only shows that have managed to not only avoid the bad literature-to-live action adaptation curse but has also successfully turned a manga into a brilliant show is Oded Ruskin’s Drops of God. After spending the first four episodes on Camille and Issei’s ability to name one of Alexandre Léger’s favorite wines, the fifth episode of the series threw a second task at them, which involved identifying another favorite of Alexandre’s by assessing a painting. It delved into Issei’s bloodline, the identity of his actual father, and the whereabouts of his stepfather. Camille spent most of the time doing some surface-level research about the painting and the wine because she was preoccupied with her feelings for Thomas and Luca’s proposal to commandeer the Léger Guide. The episode ended with Issei mulling over the idea of letting Camille know that he’s her stepbrother.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Elisabetta Fossati Keeps Camille Motivated
Camille and Lorenzo (because he’s Italian) travel to Italy to see the original version of the Fede Galizia painting and figure out if that gives them any clues. There, the lady in charge of giving a tour of the gallery pretty much gives away a clue by saying that the painting in question isn’t just Fede’s work. It was actually made with her father’s help, Nunzio Galizia, at their family house in Besenello. That hints at the fact that the “link” that the painting is referring to is the father-daughter bond, which is something that Alexandre and Camille never had. But, much like Nunzio, Alexandre tried his best to transfer his talent over to Camille because, much like Fede, she is much more talented than Alexandre. So, it’s obvious that through this test, Alexandre is trying to teach Camille something about the importance of kinship. However, what do Camille and Lorenzo derive from this information? That they need to visit the Galizia house in Besenello.
When they arrive at the only hotel on the outskirts of Italy, which is managed by a woman named Elisabetta Fossati, the cold-shouldering begins since they are acting like tourists in a wine-centric village. They face outright rejection from the current caretakers of the Galizia house. That’s followed by winemakers shutting the door on Camille and Lorenzo’s faces upon learning that they’re sommeliers from a restaurant in Tokyo who want to see if their wine is worth it or not. The amazingly edited montage is hilarious to watch because it’s the perfect anecdote to Camille and Lorenzo’s highhandedness. The narrative briefly goes back to Tokyo to see Issei confronting Honoka about his affair with Alexandre. As usual, Honoka tries to deny it. However, as soon as Issei threatens her with a DNA test, Honoka begs him not to ruin Tomine’s name, thereby confirming her relationship with Alexandre. Issei walks out on Honoka, who is left to vent her frustration on the bathroom mirror.
It’s still unclear why Honoka resents Hirokazu and Issei. What have they ever done to her? I can understand disliking Hirokazu for being too bland and lacking any personality. What’s Issei’s fault, though? And how can Honoka possibly justify what she has done to Issei? The dude barely cracks a smile, and if you put a wax figure of Issei next to him, you won’t be able to tell which one is the live one. Before getting deeper into that, we go back to Camille and Lorenzo, who are completely spent after their arduous trip through rural Italy, searching for a wine that has peaches, jasmine flowers, and quinces in it. They start to theorize that even Elisabetta is messing around with them because, like the townsfolk, she doesn’t want them there either. When Elisabetta finds Camille sitting at the bar all by herself, she approaches her to talk about Alexandre and his trips to Elisabetta’s hotel for the Léger Guide. They bond over their fathers, and Elisabetta advises Camille to use her connection to Alexandre to open the doors that have been closed on her and Lorenzo’s faces because the townsfolk are aware of the Léger Guide.
Camille Figures Out The Wine For The Second Test
Katase meets Issei to talk about Hirokazu’s whereabouts, which means that they’re close to bringing him back. The real question is whether or not Hirokazu has any intention of returning to all this chaos. Since nobody has ever asked what he wants, I hope Issei has the heart to have a serious conversation about his needs and then decide how he should help Hirokazu. While Katase is saying all this, Issei probably suffers from a panic attack because he starts to breathe very hard and says that he can’t think straight. When the moment passes, he decides to confide in Katase about what he learned regarding his relationship with Alexandre and how it has completely confused him. To distract himself from all this, he invites Katase to dinner, and the two of them get intimate with each other because they clearly have chemistry. Before that, Katase does put forward a notable interpretation of Honoka’s demeanor. She says that she has lied about Issei’s origins to protect him from discrimination and Noboru Tomine’s wrath. So, it’s possible that this constant lying made her bitter, and her fake hatred turned into a real one.
Back in Italy, Camille and Lorenzo start to visit all the winemakers who had previously rejected them and essentially force them to present their wines by using the fear of the Léger Guide. Like the idiots they are, they go around looking for the ingredients in the painting instead of looking at the people who have made the wine. They don’t think twice before showing their disdain for the wines or the winemakers because they see the product through the lens of the Léger Guide (even though they aren’t a part of it, officially speaking) instead of their heart. Elisabetta obviously calls them out for this horrible behavior and reminds them about the numerous winemakers who went bankrupt due to a bad rating in the Guide. Still, Camille doesn’t understand what’s at play. It’s only after visiting yet another winemaker and hearing about Elisabetta’s father’s winemaking practices that Camille finally realizes that the painting that’s about a father and a daughter is pointing towards the wine made by a father and a daughter.
Camille goes to Elisabetta and asks for the wine she had concocted with her father. Once Camille is done explaining the wine’s qualities in a way only she can, Elisabetta tearfully admits that it is the last batch of wine that she had made with her father. After that, her father became sick, and she continued his work alone. Elisabetta admits that Alexandre wanted the wine to be in the Guide. However, she rejected it because she didn’t want to be a part of his pick-and-choose nonsense. Eventually, she realized that Alexandre did what he did because of his deep appreciation for the drink and the work that goes into it. Therefore, even though Drops of God Episode 6 begins with an anti-critic metaphor, it takes a pro-critic route because every artist understands that critics aren’t anti-art. In addition to that, I want to point out that Lidia Vitale’s performance in this scene is absolutely exquisite.
Is Luca Camille’s Enemy Now?
While Camille spends all this time in Italy to find the name of the wine that she needs to succeed in the second test, guess how Issei gets it? Katase just goes through a box full of Alexandre’s items that have been left for Issei, and she finds a piece of paper with the Galizia painting and the name of the wine on it. Technically, Issei should have withdrawn from the contest and given Camille the win because she put in the effort to understand the meaning behind the test. Issei has the answer by accident, thereby robbing him of the lesson that would’ve come with it. But, for one reason or another, Issei does something immensely arrogant and stupid. He writes down the name of the wine and then cuts it out. As if he’s showing that he knows the correct answer, yet he’s allowing Camille to win. Issei understands that it is wrong for him to stop Camille from feeling the taste of victory, especially after putting so much effort into the task. It goes to show that, underneath all the stoicism and seriousness, Issei is an immature child who has a lot to learn. You can say that at least he intends to present himself in a likable manner in front of Camille. However, since Camille hates him from the bottom of her heart, I think it’ll be an uphill battle.
Talking about being hateful, at the end of Drops of God, Luca shows his true colors when Camille says that she doesn’t want to be the head of the Léger Guide. He says that someone warned him not to bet on Camille. He goes on to state that Camille is going to lose the third test, and he’s going to be the one who ensures that that happens. Hence, the message that’ll go out is that Alexandre’s own daughter wasn’t up to the task, and she lost to a Japanese man. He tells Camille to go back to his mother instead of wasting any more of his time. Camille, with tears in her eyes, walks out because she wasn’t prepared for this emotional ambush.
Now, the optimist in me says that Luca has taken a very abusive approach to make Camille understand how important she is. He wants her to understand that a Léger should own what a Léger has made. Of course, Luca doesn’t know that Issei is a Léger too. Even if he did, he’d probably push him away because he’s the illegitimate heir to the throne. Either way, he wants to ignite the fire in Camille and make her take over everything out of hatred for Luca. The realist or pessimist in me says that the bet that Luca is talking about is real. He has actually bet on the tournament, and he’ll lose money if Camille loses. However, if he bets against Camille and then manipulates the final test so that she loses, then he’ll recuperate his money. I also think that Luca used to control Alexandre during his dying days and reap the profits of the Léger Guide, and he wants to continue doing so with Camille. That’s why he wants to keep her under his thumb and use her name and fame to earn the big bucks. Apart from all that, I want to highlight Diego Ribon’s amazing shift in tone in this scene, which doesn’t only catch Camille off-guard but the audience as well. With two more episodes to go, it’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic evolves or deteriorates.