Right at the start, Stile has decided to have a barbecue in the great outdoors though there is a pretty even split (3-3) as to who is willing to spend so much energy for the trip. Apparently, Kaho, Akizuki, and Miu would rather just play video games (or in Miu’s case, procrastinate on her merchandise deadline) than go outside.
There are some amusing moments during the barbecue scene such as the unnerving image of Mafuyu drinking beer and Miu banking on energy drinks to survive her crunch time. What really cracked me up though was Maika bringing out a giant tuna for the barbecue. I don’t know what sells the joke to me more. The way Maika’s eyes are drawn, the fact she can carry the fish with such ease, or how realistically rendered that fish is compared to everything else. Either way, I had to pause a bit the episode to let it all sink in.
The second half of the episode is pretty much Blend S‘s obligatory fan-service filled trip to the beach. It was bound to happen, especially since Dino would naturally want to see Maika in a swimsuit. In fact, Dino gets one hell of a dream come true when Maika asks him to accompany her to the mall as she looks for a new swimsuit. I was afraid that this might be where Blend S starts to get creepy with Dino’s crush on Maika but thankfully the scene is pretty tamed. There is a brief moment where Dino fantasizes about Maika in a swimsuit but to his credit, he doesn’t suggest anything super risque to her. In fact, he actually tries to find something modest when Maika admits her fear of getting sunburned.
As for the beach trip itself, it’s what you’d expect it to be. Some fanservice shots here, some antics at the beach there. There is some more promotion to the Kaho x Akizuki ship though I kind of wish it more than just Akizuki trying to avoid eyeing Kaho’s chest.
Much of this part of the episode is dedicated to more shipping fodder for Maika & Dino. Oddly enough, I’m beginning to think that Maika is the one who keeps Dino’s crush on her in check. See, there’s a moment where Maika clings onto Dino after almost drowning. Dino gets a little excited about the physical contact but before he can really revel in it, he misinterprets Maika’s frightened state for super pissed off. Since we know not to ever piss off Maika, Dino snaps out of his perverted mindset and promptly escorts her back to the shore. It’s a potentially scummy moment made humorous and it’s nice to see that even if unintentionally, Maika is able to stop Dino from going overboard in this relationship.
After this episode, I’m feeling more okay with the direction this shipping is taking. I can’t help but find it charming when Dino treats a cut in Maika’s foot and he carries her in his arms like a hero rescuing a princess. It certainly gets Maika flustered and it does seem like she’s becoming aware of his feelings now. The age gap is still alarming to me but the chemistry has worked out so well so far that I feel like maybe Blend S might be able to pull this potential romance off.
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