Blend S – Ep. 1

Every anime season, I like to watch at least one CGDCT anime and Fall 2017 is giving me plenty to pick from. Originally, I expected to stick with just Girls’ Last Tour but Konohana Kitan just surprised me with how pleasant and comfy it was. And then there’s Blend S….

When I first heard about this show, I thought the premise seemed amusing enough to be worthwhile. The main character, Maika Sakuranomiya (Azumi Waki), is a high school girl who has the worst luck at finding a part-time job because her eyes have a naturally menacing look to them. Things suddenly turn around for Maika, however, when gets she gets hired as a waitress in an Italian-style cafe called Stile. The catch however, is that all the waitresses at the cafe must act out various archetypes and in Maika’s case, she’s tasked with playing the sadistic girl.

It’s a really amusing plot and it strangely comes across to me more as believable than unrealistically whacky. Given the culture of maid cafes, it really wouldn’t surprise me if there is actually a cafe in Japan that’s like Stile. How fitting too that the manager of Stile, Dino (Tomoaki Maeno), is a massive otaku and the majority of customers are guys who’d find a sadistic waitress attractive.

What I really like about Blend S is just how well it makes bank on its premise. I couldn’t stop laughing at Maika’s first bout as a the sadistic girl where all of her rookie mistakes and poor choice of words ends up earning her praise. For example, she accidentally squirts ketchup on her customers’ faces but her blurting out that they’re filthy combined with her scary eyes ends up winning her customers over as opposed to angering them. It even got a bit funnier when one of the customers comes back the next day and Maika’s discomfort at having a fan only further augments her performance as a sadist. Overall, I just love how Maika pulls all of this off without needing to try too hard. Her scary eyes, which used to cause so much trouble for her, now works entirely in her favor.

Also introduced in this episode are Maika’s fellow waitresses: Kaho Hinata (Akari Kito), an outgoing girl who plays a tsundere, and Mafuyu Hoshikawa (Anzu Haruno), an emotionally reserved, petite college girl who pulls a 180 and becomes an affectionate “little sister” for her customers. I immediately grew to them; I like how friendly Kaho is and Mafuyu is just downright hilarious with her whole work mode gimmick (I also like that she knocks some sense into Dino). Something I noticed about these two is that while their real personalities are very different from the roles they play, there are some traits that carry over. You do see Kaho show some reluctant affection when the topic of video games is brought up and Mafuyu’s love for stuffed animals and figurines is pretty reminiscent to that of a child. By contrast, Maika is completely unlike her archetype, a much kinder and shyer person despite how she appears to other. How much of this is deliberate is beyond me but it was something that stood out to me.

In fact, I’m not entirely sure just how deep Blend S will get with its premise. I’m really liking the whole typecasting motif but if the show ends up centering more on gag comedy, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised. But so far, the comedy has been really funny and the characters are extremely charming so I’d probably be content if this is largely what the show is focused on. So while there is some competition going on in the CGDCT genre this season, I have a feeling that Blend S will be one of the more appealing options.

OP: “Bon Appetit♥S” by Blend A

ED: “Detarame na Minus to Plus ni Okeru Blend-kou” by Blend A

Watch Blend S on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and VRV.

Read my Blend S reviews.

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