Maika is blessed with a virtually unending scowl. She is seen one day by the manager of a certain cafe and hired on the spot. After she begins her work as the “sadist” type persona in Stile Cafe, Maika becomes hugely devoted to her work and her sadistic personality slowly grows. Joining her was waitresses are a “tsundere,” “imouto,” “big sister,” and an “idol.” Dreams of love and cafe perfection collide in this workplace comedy meant for a true lover of theme restaurants.
Blend-S is a full 25 minute show, though the story is set up in halved increments which gives the writers a time limit on their gags. This limit is something so very helpful in comedy shows, and I seldom see longer form gag comedy work without breaks like this- it all just gets exhausting to watch any longer.
I also found that Blend-S was a moe show that understood its target audience to a “T,” going so far as to make light-hearted digs at the potential viewers using Cafe Stile’s customers. Unfortunately, the niche that the show occupies is a little too small, and I do worry about DVD/merch sales for this property. The opening to the anime did draw in a considerable amount of attention, but I doubt it was able to retain a lot of those views to purchase merchandise. I would love to see more niche moe (i.e. Wakaba Girl) like this in the future, but I don’t think they are all that sustainable in the current anime world.
That being said, Blend-S incorporates more than just the moe tropes and stories in it’s comedy, and a lot of the jokes are understandable and relatable to the larger anime community; much like Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, a very similarly run show from a few seasons back.
This anime doesn’t retain an original laughs in any way, but the refreshing portion of the show comes from the romance. Since the manager of the cafe is rarely attempting to advance his sexual relationship with Maika, and Maika doesn’t develop feelings for the manager until the very end, we are being given a sweet romantic comedy instead of a forced romance where the girl is constantly pushing the guy away- or the worse option and more often used: the girl and boy dance around each other endlessly. In fact, it could be argued that Maika doesn’t develop any feelings for the manager, and instead is caught up in the fact that she overheard him confessing to liking her.
What I liked the most about Blend-S in a general sense is that it’s contributing to the slowly growing trope: the female dounjin writer (Saekano being another great purveyor). I really like this character type since I’m a female doujin lover, and it’s nice to have representation for me. I feel like few people understand that girls like hentai/doujin, too.
Blend-S is cute, and you get what you came for: girls serving food, light romance, and situational comedy. It’s a lot of fun watching the girls parodying anime personality tropes, and the cafe life seems truly enjoyable. Blend-S is very much the cutesy-popcorn watch of the season, with little (if any) issues with execution. Though the show itself occupies a niche section of anime culture, I do believe it can transfer well to all anime viewers given the chance.