You know a woman is passionate when she eats dirt for fun.
With her soil-sampling quirks and love for wine La Sommelière Itsuki Cana continues to adjust to life in Tokyo. Last volume found our intrepid wine-serving heroine working at L’espoir, which is a French restaurant and certainly not some kind of creepy boat. Naturally, Cana is still helping others work through their respective problems by conveying messages via wine where words simply fail.
I should point out two mistakes I made in the previous review, and you just saw one of them. I had previously spelled her name as “Itsuki Kana” thinking that “Kana” written in katakana was just them being cute. But no, Ms. Itsuki actually has a foreign name, and it’s a reference to the place where Jesus turned water into wine. The next mistake is that I didn’t say where she was from, and the answer is France. Cana is Half-French, Half-Japanese with a biblical name.
Volume 2 of La Sommelière expands greatly upon the supporting characters, comprised primarily of Cana’s fellow staff members at L’espoir. In one chapter, Cana finds herself acting as a mediator between the restaurant’s chef and her estranged mother. In another chapter, an innocent lie forces the waitress Minami into assuming the role of Sommelière, with Cana there for backup. New characters are also introduced, namely THE MOST RENOWNED WINE TASTER IN JAPAN MINOSHIMA RYOUICHI. Not only is he THE MOST RENOWNED WINE TASTER IN JAPAN but there’s some antagonism between him and L’espoir’s supervisor, and on top of that Minoshima has a connection to Cana’s past.
Volume 2 also begins the trend of having special bonus chapters in each volume showing what Cana’s life was like in France.
The artwork in Volume 2 is consistent with Volume 1, emphasizing the beauty of people and wine of all shapes and sizes. Minami the waitress is drawn particularly well here; with a drunken Minami looking incredibly cute. Cana meanwhile is as gorgeous as ever, with stylish new outfits in addition to her already snazzy Sommelière uniform. Panel flow puts great emphasis on the emotions and wine, and adds to the romanticism of the whole situation. There’s only one small nitpick with the art, and it has to do with one particular image where it looks like Cana’s head was cut out and the body drawn awkwardly around it. It’s only because the rest of the art is of such nice quality that this error stands out.
Volume 2 of La Sommelière is really more of the same as in Volume 1, but that’s exactly its selling point. It’s a romantic portrayal of a girl from two different cultures who brings love and understanding to those around her through the power and majesty of wine. Characters old and new bring with them ideas as to what it means to enjoy and recommend wine, and the volume even ends on an interesting note that leads directly into Volume 3.