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Blend S – Love Makes the Cafe Go ‘Round


Smile! Sweet! Sister! Sadistic! Surprise! Service!

This is going to be a straightforward post, because there’s not a ton to say about Blend S. That’s why it didn’t get blogged, even though I know Takkun enjoyed it, and it was probably one of my favorite shows of the season. That’s why it’s getting a send off, though the thesis can be boiled down quite simply:

Watch this show. Slice-of-life and comedy fans, certainly, but romance fans will find a lot to enjoy here as well.

For it’s romance that makes this show stand out, in much the same way as Acchi Kocchi, though with a more traditional animation style and comedic flow. Going back to my four facets, the atmosphere here is most similar to WORKING!!—not surprising, since it’s another restaurant-based anime—which is more comedy and energy than relaxation. The characters are great, and I especially liked how they quickly grew beyond their tropes, such as how Hideri became a punchline not because he crossdresses, but because he’s shameless, cynical, goofy, and a know-it-all. I also really liked Owner, but then again, I’m a dog person, and who doesn’t like the unrealistically smart/perceptive fictional dog? Monsters, that’s who. But all the characters are great, I could list favorite points of them all. Blend S did not slack in that area.

On comedy, this was the show I most often laughed out loud at this season. And there was cuteness to be sure, though it was mostly in the—you guessed it—the romance. So let’s get to that. Blend S deploys the same romantic payload as shows like Acchi Kocchi or Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, in that it’s mostly focused on telling jokes and you’re pretty sure the couples are never going to get together—but it gives hints of falling more on the WORKING!! side of things, where, given enough time, there will be couples made. That’s my preference, because the teasing only remains fun for so long, and eventually I want my romantic payoff. This season didn’t get there, but the hints of it coming—ohhh man. I want it so bad!

Both the couples are great. I really like how rich of a personality Dino (the manager) has, and how he’s a mix of useless, cowardly, chivalrous, petty, and genuinely kind. It also keeps the power dynamic even, because even though he is Maika’s boss, that never feels worrisome because she holds all the cards, mostly because he’s bad at this. Though she doesn’t realize she has all the cards, which is perfect. It’s like I said while blogging Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun: if it’s only one person’s fault that the couple isn’t happening, then it’s rage-inducing, while if both people are to blame, you can go on telling those jokes for a while. Not forever, but for a good while.

Ditto to Kaho and Akizuki, which have the same kind of major malfunction (being total nerds who don’t know how to operate around the opposite sex). I was super pleased when they emerged as a strong B-couple in the making halfway through the season, because I always love the B-couple, and because they just fit. Better perhaps than the main couple, they seem to understand each other better, they’re just far less honest. Though either way is a recipe for an adorable couple, if they can just solve that central misunderstanding. One day, one day!

Either way, there’s not much else to say. Blend S is another anime I’ll point to when I say, “If it’s slice-of-life, and Takaii previewed it, and was excited, watch it.” Which is a good rule to live by. Takkun is good at making any preview seem exciting, but his taste is killer when it comes to slice-of-life. Blend S is solid from episode one to the very end, it’s funny and endearing and bubbly, and I enjoyed it immensely. If you didn’t watch it, check it out! It’s a whole lot of fun.

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December 24, 2017 at 2:27 am
15 comments »
  • December 24, 2017 at 5:06 amIncognito

    While I started a bit late watching Blend S (picked this up mid-season), I can’t help but thank the loads and loads of “‘S’ stands for” meme videos on YouTube for getting my a** in gear and finally catch up to this show. Blend S left a smile on my face. (Though if there’s any gripes about the show, perhaps it’s the moments in the last episode where Kaho, Akizuki, and Mafuyu’s backstories about getting hired at Cafe Stile were only given as short montages. Would have loved to see a bit more of that.)

    Anyway…

    - Maika is adorable (even when in “sadistic mode”);
    - Dino is hilarious (P.S.: Do “blonde Italians” really exist in real life?);
    - Kaho best girl (and best successor to GochiUsa‘s Tedeza Rize);
    - Akizuki best male tsundere, tsukkomi, and Hachiman expy;
    - Mafuyu best big sister;
    - Miu best perverted onee-san, and;
    - Hideri is the best at making me question my sexuality. (Heck, I’d choose him/her[?] over Love Live!‘s Nico Yazawa in a heartbeat! *cough*seiyuujoke*cough*)

    And of course…
    Smile!
    Sweet!
    Sister!
    Sadistic!
    Surprise!
    Service!

    See you again in season 2! (I hope.)

    • December 24, 2017 at 2:29 pmStilts

      Of course there are blond Italians. Not as many as in Scandinavia, because that’s where the mutation arose, but it ain’t that far. Plus there are plenty of Italians who are of other ethnicities.

      Though let’s face it, he only has blond hair because blond = foreigner in anime :P

      I would have liked more of their backstories, but no reason that can’t be done in more detail later. Especially Kaho and Akizuki, because they probably covered their intro just fine, and we could enjoy some of the delicious awkwardness at a later date.

  • December 24, 2017 at 5:16 amJeffers

    Gonna surely miss this anime… One of few to me, gem in this fall season that makes me smile as I watch. Here hoping for season 2 in the future.

  • December 24, 2017 at 11:33 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Maika’s smile must be protected!

    • December 25, 2017 at 8:30 pmIncognito

      Wait, are we talking about Maika’s honest-to-goodness “happy smile,” or her “sadistic smile”?

  • December 24, 2017 at 10:47 pmFlareKnight

    This was a really nice ‘feel good’ show. I just liked watching it. Some good laughs and I liked the two romantic pairs. Dino and Maika are amusing in their own way. I agree things avoid feeling weird because Dino is so bad at trying to go after Maika. Very smooth and professional when talking to strangers, but when the pressure is on with the girl he likes…falls apart. And Maika herself remained hilarious. For all her concerns about her eyes being the big issue, her almost subconscious and natural sadistic streak was entertaining.

    And yeah I’d almost say Kaho and Akizuki were more entertaining just because the interest is clear on both sides. They just aren’t good at being entirely honest and share the same level of social awkwardness. While simple, I liked the twist that Akizuki is frankly a better tsundere than Kaho who plays that character.

    Of course Winter looks awesome for anime, but I’ll kind of miss this one.

  • December 24, 2017 at 11:05 pmURGH

  • December 25, 2017 at 7:22 ampaulrenzo

    “because I always love the B-couple, and because they just fit”

    I share the same opinion. For some reason, I enjoy watching the B-couple develop more than the main couple.

    • December 25, 2017 at 2:41 pmStilts

      I think it’s because they’re often allowed to develop more (though not always), and mostly because they’re more likely to be a surprise. Dino x Maika became the obvious direction as of episode one, but Kaho x Akizuki was a pleasant surprise! A nice bonus : )

  • December 25, 2017 at 8:54 pmKaineng

    Can’t believe this is the hardest I’ve laughed this season. Can’t believe this isn’t covered here too. But oh well I enjoyed this show anyway. After seeing that disappointment of an ending episode that is Houseki no Kuni can’t help but find consolation on this show with something familiar.

    Thanks for the summary anyway, Stilts. At least there’s somewhere for me to voice my opinion of this show here.

  • December 26, 2017 at 7:44 amChoya

    I had alot of fun watching Blend-S. It was a fun slice-of-life show that reveled in the fun that the characters were having at the maid cafe. I’ll miss seeing the hijinks that Maika, Miu, Mafuyu, and Dino get themselves into, as well as Maika’s unintentional sadism XD

  • December 26, 2017 at 4:03 pmNitro

    This was simply one of the funniest animes in recent memory. But I also have to really strongly agree with your point that “they quickly grew beyond their tropes”. Each of them had personalities that went far beyond their character descriptions, and I was especially impressed with Hideri being a relatively fresh take on the otokonoko character.

    Also, is it just me, or… were Miu and Hideri established as the C-couple in the last episode…?

    • December 26, 2017 at 6:07 pmStilts

      Could be, but I mean . . . run, Hideri. Run away as fast as you can!! You’re gonna become fodder for the really extreme doujinshi >_<

      • December 27, 2017 at 10:50 amFlareKnight

        Weirdly I don’t think Hideri would really mind that. Might consider it useful exposure for his long term goals. Build up fame and escape inheriting the farm.

  • December 28, 2017 at 10:56 amtheirs

    Loved this show. Probably as funny as it can get with a cafe staffed by a bunch of social misfits acting to specific character traits. Mafuyu is probably the most normal one, but is seriously scary how she acts to the character type. Really knows how to get every dollar out of her customers.

    Most surprising was Hideri as I really couldn’t see how an idol would actually add to the dynamic. I dreaded the time when she will show up, but was slightly surprised to find out that she was actually a he. Then it became clear that he was actually one of the guys and actually contrasts nicely with Dino and Akizuki.

    When it comes to them acting as characters, I’m still not sure if Miu is acting as an onee-san or just acting like her normal self. She certainly isn’t acting as her true self though. And also, it’s real funny when Kaho actually thinks Akizuki is the better tsundere.