Back in early 2014, Anime News Network ran a news bit about manga currently popular with bookstore employees. Amongst those was a single title which caught my eye for its description alone: “26-year old Wakako drinks sake at bars alone every night, searching for her place to belong.” Judging from that and the roundish, almost psychotically cute cover art, I found myself needing to read Wakako-Zake. Since no-one was simpulpub-ing the manga, I sought out scans. Only a single chapter was available, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I was all set to review that chapter alone, but the dubious nature of how I got the content would’ve been in conflict with Ani-Gamers review policy (despite my having bought all four available manga volumes). I thought about reviewing it here (where no morals exist), but then came news of a live action adaptation and soon thereafter news of an anime adaptation.
I was psyched! Wakako-Zake was going to be released in Summer 2015, so I haunted Crunchyroll’s Summer 2015 Lineup page and prayed Wakako would finally find a place to belong. Six weeks into the season, the last simulcast slot was filled, and it wasn’t by Wakako-Zake. So I gave up hope and went to YouTube, where fansubbers had been diligently doing their darndest to bring Wakako-Zake to native English speakers on a weekly basis. At two minutes per episode, I wolfed down all six courses and returned multiple times to gorge myself. (Insert joke about eating Asian food and being hungry immediately thereafter here.) But on the seventh week, something glorious happened. In a late, surprise simulcast announcement, Crunchyroll (finally) licensed Wakako-Zake streaming rights. This opened up review possibilities, but there was one small hitch.
In addition to writing for Ani-Gamers, I occasionally lend some words to The Fandom Post, where I opted, before the Summer 2015 season started, to write episode reviews of Wakako-Zake. When the “simulcast” started, it was already six episodes in, and my words were promised to another outlet. So this post is sort of a place holder for the long-overdue Drunken Otaku Beer Goggles post that would have been but was stalled by hope, lack of legal translation, and other issues. In the long run, I’m glad I waited and overjoyed that the anime adaptation found legal localization and distribution. (Now c’mon, manga licensors!)