BLEND-S – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Tsundere, Imouto (little sister type), etc. are only a few of the personas that the café waitresses play out here. And the new hire Maika, is asked by the store manager to play none other than the super sadist!? As she becomes devoted to her work, her super sadist persona blooms unexpectedly… Everything is a treat – even being stomped on – in this outrageous working comedy. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Blend-S opens with the adorable, but often misunderstood Maika desperately job hunting so she can afford to study overseas. Trouble is Maika has a bad habit of using an altogether mean tone and sharp eyes. But! All hope is not lost as she manages to stumble upon a cafe where those very misunderstandings are perfect for playing the role of a sadist maid that chides masochistic customers. While the concept is absolutely outrageous, things starts slow. Maika’s job search chugs, and even once she’s in the cafe, the show utilizes the same gag over and over. It’s only in the episode’s back half that I found the humor starting to vary and showcase what could be, if kept up, a strong comedy slice of life.
Linny: To the credit of Blend S, instead of making the girls have stereotypical personalities such as the sadist, the imouto (aka cute younger sister), etc, it gives the excuse that they’re ONLY acting that way as part of their strange maid cafe job. But….the girls’ ‘real’ personalities aren’t much more than cliches themselves. Also, if you dislike the trope where a male character is openly amorous about their unreciprocated affection for a female character, the shop manager, Dino, in this show is going to drive you nuts. His actions aren’t sexual by any means but they’re definitely over the top, potentially offensive and might eventually end up being annoying out of sheer repetition.
Tom: One character stands above all others as wholly frustrating and that’s Dino, for the very reasons Linny describes. Dino’s primary gag is to frequently harass Maika with proclamations of love. It’s potentially offensive, as women are often inundated with this type of behavior (although maybe not to such an anime extreme) and doesn’t quite work comedy wise when made aware of that sad truth. Outside of that aspect though, everything else runs smooth and Maika herself is a fairly adorable lead, enough so as to offset any potential trouble Dino causes.
Linny: Going back to what Tom mentioned earlier, Blend S’ greatest weakness is that its comedy is so limited and repetitive within the very first episode itself. From the shop manager, Dino’s borderline offensive obsession with Maika to Maika herself constantly see-sawing between naturally sadistic waitress to awkward and apologetic newbie, it feels like the episode is stuck in a loop. It’s funny for a bit but it’s likely to feel old and forced very quickly for a less moe enamored audience.
Tom: Blend-S has potential. Once the show gets going, and is done beating us over the head with “these girls play the stereotypes for the customers!” gag, and Dino’s advances, it actually opens up to some fun, non-repetitive comedy. I have hopes for the show and I think it’s worth a look in for any comedy, slice of life fans.
Linny: Blend-S is another of Fall’s token moe bait. It’s cute, colourful and has ALLLLLL the standard and stereotypical moe personalities in it. It’s likely to entertain its intended audience and maybe even a new viewer who’s just looking for some no brain, cutesy comedy. However, for a more demanding viewer or anyone averse to moe, you might be happiest leaving this show unwatched.
BLEND-S is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.