Basically, we first see Stile hold a jungle-themed event and in the following day, Maika accompanies Dino as the latter looks for strawberries at various supermarkets. It sounds simple but I found that I have way too many questions about all this. How much money did all those plants cost Dino? Where did it all go after the event was over? Why does Mafuyu have a monkey costume? Why is almost every grocery market out of strawberries? There’s still some episodes of Blend S to watch but I seriously can’t imagine anything that’ll top this episode in terms of ridiculousness.
That said, I had a blast watching this episode. Those who enjoy seeing these waitresses act out their characters will find a lot to like here. This is especially the case during the Great Strawberry Crisis of 2017 where Kaho, Mafuyu, and Miu use their archetypes to trick people into buying meals that don’t involve strawberries to buy Dino and Maika some time. Mafuyu was especially hilarious in this episode. I completely lost it when she entered the scene in a monkey suit during the jungle scene and cried as part of her diversion during the strawberry crisis (the latter is just too much for me).
During this episode, Maika has some second thoughts about working in Stile. This especially becomes the case after she accidentally scares a little girl at a supermarket with her eyes. Even though those eyes do help her act as a sadist, it’s clear that Maika worries that it could harm her efforts in customer service or even obscure what she truly is like. Fortunately, Dino cheers her up by telling her that he recognizes her personality past that glare and her eyes is a part of what makes her charming. I like seeing this side of Dino; as attracted as he is towards Maika, he clearly likes Maika as a person and it’s nice to see him able to cheer her up in moments where it counts the most.
Of course, Dino ends up going overboard with comforting Maika and…well, I’m surprised it’s only until Episode 7 that his infatuation with Maika puts him in jail.
It may have taken eight episodes but here’s our fifth and final waitress, Hideri! And yeah, the final girl is actually a guy. I can’t say I was super surprised by this though. I kind of figured that was the “surprise” Hideri hinted at in the OP. I’ve seen enough anime to take a hint.
I generally feel that the trap cliche is often used in anime for the sake of pandering but in Blend S‘s case, I found the inclusion of Hideri pretty interesting. There’s a neat dichotomy in his personality where he can act both masculine and feminine. During this episode, he goes shopping with Miu to find the most fashionable clothes but also give Dino advice on how to confess to Maika. Hideri’s seiyuu, Sora Tokui (Nico is that you?) also just nails this aspect of Hideri’s character. I love how this character legitimately sounds like a girl in general but every once in a while, the voice slips into a much deeper register.
The chemistry between Hideri and the rest of the cast looks promising. I especially love how he and Miu interact. The latter should seriously think about being the former’s manager if/when he makes it big as an idol because she is really good at keeping his ego in check. Honestly, just watching Miu troll Hideri and lightly punch him for bragging about his cuteness would make my day.
Hideri seems to act as the “idol” waitress at Stile. What I find interesting is that being an idol isn’t just an act he performs at Stile, it’s practically what he strives to be in general. It’s not like everyone else who treat the archetypes as performances, even if some of their actual personality traits do play a big part in them. That transparency is even reflected in the OP where everyone’s acts are juxtaposed with their real personalities while Hideri just poses and smiles because he acts like an idol all the time.
With this episode, the show now has all five waitresses at the forefront. All that’s left now is the dog…