The first adjective that seems to come into mind when I describe Maika is “innocent”. It’s amusing considering that she’s tasked with acting as the sadistic waitress (and intended or not, she is really good at it) but from how Maika behaves and thinks outside of work, there is certainly an air of purity to her character. We certainly see that quality in action when during the first act of the episode, Maika offers to let Dino nap on her lap, not realizing that it could easily get interpreted as inappropriate…which it does when the rest of the staff walk in.
I will admit that I can’t help but be a little concerned about Dino’s crush on Maika. Blend S has been pretty vague about how much older Dino is compared to Maika but he’s definitely old enough that if the show does aim to pursue a romance between the two, it’d have to be very careful in how you execute it. I’d certainly hate to see this relationship take a really uncomfortable turn. So far, it seems to be handled with enough care. Dino doesn’t really abuse Maika’s interest in foreign people and him asking her out on a date and getting her a gift came across to me as an innocent effort to just make her happy. So long as Dino doesn’t overstep his boundaries and get provocative, I think there’ll be little to worry about this chemistry.
If Blend S really wants to destroy Maika’s innocence, it should be with moments akin to the one where the poor girl finds a doujinshi magazine that got left behind by a customer. Now I do have wonder how bold one must be to read 18+ stuff in public but I guess an otaku hotspot like Stile is a safer place than, say, the train. I can’t deny that Maika’s reaction was downright hilarious though. Again, this girl is perhaps a little too pure for the show she exists in and seeing her freak out and stay away from the magazine as much as possible was just adorable. And it’s fitting that Maika would be the one to lose it since everyone else in Stile are otakus who would know that kind of stuff exists. I’m convinced Maika didn’t know what doujinshis are until now and even then I don’t think she fully understood what exactly was going on in the pages. Maybe it’s for the best that Maika thinks the girl on the cover was “sweaty”. The truth would damage her brain even more.
I also did share Maika’s shock that the owner of the doujin turned out to be a pretty woman. Call me sexist towards my own sex but I did assume the owner was a creepy and perverted grown man or a really horny teenage boy who somehow got his hands on 18+ material. And yeah, the owner turns out to be one of the two missing waitresses we’ve seen in the OP. I wonder how Maika will get along with this woman when she obviously and inventively joins the crew next episode.
- Maika gives an explanation as to why she’s interested in foreign cultures. It’s nothing grand but that Maika became interested when she met foreigners as a child seems innocent enough and in-character.
- Akizuki and Kaho are two of the more sociable members in the Stile staff so seeing them lose it at the mall was pretty darn funny.
- I do like that Maika and Dino got each other matching gifts. Again, this relationship ought to be handled with care but I can’t deny the charm of this happy accident.