Sakuranomiya Maika is, by nature, a person with bad luck who always gets into trouble, but knows Dino, who manages a cafe. However, it is not any cafe, as the waitresses have to act according to their "attributes."
Smile. Sweet. Sister. Sadistic. Surprise. Service. We are Stile!
Blend S is already one of my favourite SOL anime of all time due to its amazing characters, beautiful art and awesome soundtrack.
The story first revolves around Maika and how she can't get a job due to her unnatural scary look. She comes across this cafe, but not just any cafe, this is a cafe out of the ordinary. Luckily for Maika, her unnatural scary look might come in handy. This cafe takes certain archetypes of characters and apply them to our main characters.
Maika is supposed to act like the Sadist in the Cafe, in
this case, she can easily succeed in doing so without knowing it. Our beautiful character Kaho (Yunno, the one with huge boobs) is in charge of being the Tsundere. Hoshikawa has the Imouto role, Miu with the Older Sister role, and Hideki with the idol role.
Seeing these types of characters in one single place working, you can see why I treasure this series. It's super funny and super adorable, and the opening is starting to become a meme.
The story so far isn't too plot heavy ofc since it is an SOL series. However, it does kinda focus on Maika and her life at the Cafe and how she improves her Sadist character. While she does that there seems to be a click between her and the Manager. The manager is 26 and Maika is 16. So it's not like that can't work, I mean, a ten year difference??? Idk tho actually lol. They might fit some sort of romantic situation between the two, which is A Ok for me.
Overall this series is super fun and the opening is amazing. This is recommended for anyone who enjoys workplace animes with amazing characters, fun interactions, and great comedy. You should watch this last after watching some heavy anime this fall. It would be a good way to end a nice Saturday. :)
A-1 Pictures is back at it again with yet another adaptation that caters to the lowest common denominator. It's like they don't even try to hide it anymore.
I originally started watching this solely because I've been craving some good old CGDQT, and found out Sora Tokui was in the cast, so it seemed like a no brainer to give it a shot. I'm glad I did, now I can move on - shame that I didn't get to see her character in action.
This is supposed to be a comedy. I'm sorry but I do not find excessive shouting to be hilarious, otherwise I would
be watching Black Clover. I find characters like Dino to be the most annoying pieces of work one can come across when watching anime. Other than that, despite having very few moments where one may smirk, the comedy as a whole falls horribly flat. Turns out relying on cringy otaku humor gets old after a while. Yes I get it, he stays up watching anime until it's late, and she likes going to the arcade, yes she has a mean glare and utters words that happen to luckily fit the 'sadistic' shtick. It's cool. Don't get me wrong though, it can work with proper timing, better characters and a better straight man / tsukkomi, but that doesn't happen in here.
This is supposed to be a slice of life. I cannot think of a single interaction in this show that was realistic. Not one. From the way they hire people, to the way the characters behave and react to pretty much anything. Yes I know there are actual weeb cafes in real life, but I'm not talking about that. Nosebleeds, violence, manager getting yelled at by everyone, clients receiving garbage food and treatment yet enjoying it, sleeping in ones lap, manager passing out all over the place and people sitting / stomping on him, having dates and giving presents after knowing each other like a month at most. It all adds up until it kills any suspension of disbelief, something that is quite an achievement considering this is just a non-serious slice of life show, it still manages to do it. Congratulations Blend-S, you've done the impossible.
Characters are tropes, that's fine. They're alright for the most part. Maika is the 'normie' and her sadistic trope gets overplayed to extremes in just 5 episodes. Kaho likes online games. Mafuyu is a deadpan loli with the classic 'looks 10 but is actually much older' character "trait", she likes mahou shoujo. Miu(?) writes doujins. The green haired guy is probably the most bearable of all the characters. There isn't much to say about Dino. I didn't like Ouran High, and he reminds me a lot of the main blonde dude in there, who I also didn't like one bit. Seems petty, but I honestly find that kind of "humor" very annoying.
Most of the times it will be:
1. Female character (mostly Maika) does something.
2. Dino gets swoon in moeness from it, proceeds to do something weird.
3. Insert any of the other characters playing a rather poor tsukkomi role.
It really gets tiring.
Art is great as usual, A-1 pictures pays extra attention in making the characters have their conversations in the dressing room. I'm no SJW so I don't care if they show skin, but damn, I do hate getting treated like those are the things that are supposed to get me to watch these shows in the first place. It's jarring and insulting. Add the usual jiggly physics, sexy costumes and interesting camera angles, and you have an A-1 pictures anime! Even if it doesn't fit the theme at all, they'll feed it to you, forcefully.
Sound, OP and ED are... ok. I like how the ED seems to be updating as more characters are introduced. Voice acting, it shows that Maika's VA is pretty much a newbie. Much like Dino, she's always almost-shouting, and her delivery seems very inconsistent. I'm no VA expert, but that much I could tell at least. Other characters are alright.
I bought into the hype, guys. I thought this was gonna be an interesting ride but boy was I mistaken. To be quite frank, the humor present in many of the shows that I actually enjoyed mostly wasn't laugh-out-loud worthy, but at least it was bearable even at the times where the jokes fell short. Why? because the characters actually carried those shows. I don't recommend watching this, even if you're a Sora Tokui fan.
Really, what a gem. This show has truly been doing its best out of what a cute-girls-4koma adaption could possibly do in every aspect.
Before I dig deeper, let me share some fun I found on Blend S's official website first. This thing - The Maika's Maika-lendar - has somehow become my daily motivation xD
STORY = 7/10. This is a little more than your typical cute-girls slice-of-life. It has good comedy with a touch of romance, along with interesting character motives and backstory. I especially like how they handled the comedy. We have the main girl, clueless and innocent, with her expressive vs. natural character problem.
Other girls and guys with their own switches to flip. All that contrast created a minefield full of misunderstandings and gags.
ART = 7/10. A bright and fluffy-feeling colour pallette. Cute but somehow cliched character designs. Nothing special, really. You might've seen this style all over the place already, but that doesn't mean it's bad. The animating is slightly well done imo. In addition, at times you'll be rewarded with Aiura-tier thighs. Oh how I wanna bury my face in them.
SOUND = 8/10. Character's voices suit them so well it hurts. Well there's this cast full of rising stars as well as skillful famous veterans afterall. So far soundtrack doesn't really have much impact. However they have really good OP/ED songs. Personally I think Blend S's OP is the second best this season (after Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryoko's).
CHARACTER = 9/10. The best part about this anime. Foremost, cute girls equipped with well-portraited characteristics and resonable amount of moe (this is important). Second, the guys. I mean, actually funny and interesting guys among cute girls? A rare sight. These guys should be put under national protection. They're all somewhat special because each one has not only one, but two "attributes" to their characteristics. Moreover, almost every character is an otaku to some points. Not creepy (like me for example), but enthusiastic and lovely otakus. It'd be way too easy to simpathize with them if you've had a bit of knowledge about anime/manga/doujin industry.
ENJOYMENT = 9/10. Yes, I might have favoured this show a bit since I'm a fan of CGDCT and slice-of-life. But I think Blend S is good both in its own genre as well as in general. It should be easy to tell from the recommendations section, that if you've enjoyed Working!'s comedic story telling and unique characters or GochiUsa's relaxing vibe and gorgeus artwork, then Blend S would much likely be your cup of tea. And also, cameos await.
Well yes, I did enjoy this anime very much. I did admit that Maika-lendar has become my daily motivation. But it's not like something inside me has been awakened or anything. I certainly feel nothing over having Maika-sama steps on my face, or glares upon me disgustingly as if she were looking at a squished cockcroach. Being honest here. Trust me.
This is going to be a very short review. Basically, if you like moe, maids and funny characters, I'd really recommend it. Love the humour and the character interactions. The mc is a little bit annoying for my taste, but nothing major. If you want to watch a funny slice of life with moe girls, this is a very good anime. The characters are very different and I'm very excited to see the character voiced by Soramaru (by the time I'm writing this there are only four episodes out).
In conclusion, this is one of my favourite anime of this season and I'd really recommend