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  • Genre :Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance, Moe
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures

Maika Sakuranomiya is not great with people. Despite being a pretty, sweet, kindhearted girl, with nothing but the best intentions, she gets easily flustered around strangers and can come off a bit cold. Well more than that actually, she can sound rude. OK, let’s not mince words, the girl can seem downright sadistic. And with her beautiful yet sternly slanted eyes, you can’t blame people for taking it the wrong way. However, there’s a place for everyone in this world, and Maika’s intimidating demeanor and unintentionally vicious speech make her one of the most popular waitresses and the themed Stile café. For the first time Maika finds herself surrounded by friends and perhaps even more.

There are some things you may already know about me. I’m not that interested in “cute for the sake of cute”. I am not a fan of Romance as a genre. And, I don’t drink coffee. Look, I already have all my drinking needs sorted out and stimulants isn’t the path I’ve chosen.

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good start!

Despite an entire podcast on the subject I’m still unsure what is and what isn’t a cute girls doing cute things show. Maybe S Blend is one. It certainly looks like one. The moe aesthetic is ever present, choice of wardrobe, settings and colour palette included. Maybe this is an odd bias on my part but the female characters seemed considerably more detailed and just prettier than the boys. Nothing wrong with that but there was a bit of an unbalance as far as the visuals go.

There really isn’t much to the animation. What’s there is all good and the art is consistent, but I doubt anything will particularly strike you as memorable. The likelihood that you remember the animation or backgrounds some time down the line is slim. The designs on the other hand are pretty good. Stereotypical for sure but just individualized enough to stand out. Again, the quality is more apparent in the female characters.

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Just look at those eyes…

One of the reasons I’m at a loss for how to categorize this series is that it plays on moe archetypes and otaku fetishes. It seems to have been produced to appeal to the same demographic as a lot of cute girl shows. However, if I was to compare it to any other series I’ve seen recently, I would say it reminds me most of Denki Gai (which could also be a cute girls show, I just keep digging myself deeper in…). Look the fact is, it doesn’t matter in any way whether any particular series is or isn’t a CGDCT show but when you write *reviews* it can be helpful to have a shorthand everyone understands. I guess I made it amply clear that not everyone understands this particular shorthand since I obviously don’t.

Basically, Blend S is an episodic Slice of Life with recurring themes but no real overarching narrative. It’s mostly comedic in tone with some pretty obvious romantic touches. The jokes are self-referential and fairly uncomplicated, the characters are pleasant but uninvolved and the writing is predictable and inoffensive. Much like Denki Gai, it occasionally hints at some racier subjects but remains essentially wholesome in the process. It’s fluff. 

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it’s great fluff!!!!!!!!!!!

I really liked it. I know myself and there are some things I’ve come to accept. Let’s face it, I’m an easy laugh and a sucker for a cheap chuckle. The humor in S Blend is more or less at the level of a knock knock joke rather than some brilliant witticism, but a *good* knock knock joke. I laugh at those. I found myself endlessly grinning at the puns and running gags that made up the bulk of the show. I found the easy atmosphere and unchallenging characters comforting. I simply enjoyed watching the series. Even the romantic plot lines where handled lightly and with a lot of laughs which made me actually look forward to them. I think I may have audibly squealed at some point. Not that I care about that stuff or anything…

As I mentioned the characters are not particularly deep but the way they are presented gives you the impression that you simply don’t get to know them too well rather than that there’s nothing there to know. Their reactions and interactions are just nuanced enough to hint at fully formed personalities. The fact that the narrative doesn’t emphasis characterization isn’t that bad. It works quite well with this particular type of story structure. It did however hinder Hideri. Like the others, Hideri is a pleasant if underdeveloped character. However, as Hideri is the last to be introduced, fairly late in the run of the series, the little evolution the character does get is condensed, making it feel superficial and tacked on  to the rest of the plot.

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I have an issue with those bangs…

Look, it’s one of those shows. You know. There’s nothing bad to say about it really but there’s nothing remarkable either. There are a lot of other shows exactly like it. A light, unsubstantial comedy with decent production values and safe writing. It’s formulaic and unobjectionable and…cute. For me, it was a better example of the genre and I would mindlessly watch another season if it ever became available.

If you listened to the boys patiently letting me drone on about whatever crossed my mind a few weeks ago, you may remember that I watched this show because of the memes. More particularly these memes:

Maybe you can put yourself in the mindset of someone whose entire expectations for a series is predicated on these and these alone (there’s no need to think too hard on what type of person would then watch a show based on these expectation) but all I can say is that Blend S (almost wrote S Blend for real this time) did not let me down.

I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that there’s no coffee in the show. Like none. There’s occasional mention of tea but really the coffee presence is minimal…

Quick tip for all you boys and girls – “cornering” your crush is super creepy. Don’t do it unless it’s a joke and you know the person well.

Favorite character: Miu

What this anime taught me: Resting B face is a marketable skill in Japan. Also I need to move.

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.

Suggested drink: Café Brûlot

  • Every time Dino bleeds – take a sip
  • Every time there’s an eyecatch – stretch
  • Every time Maika goes into sadist mode – take a sip
  • Every time any of the employees abuse the manager – take a sip
    • if it’s Mafuyu – switch to water
  • Every time a character gets a “spotlight of despair” – take a sip
  • Every time we see someone arrive at work – take a sip
  • Every time anyone gets stars in their eyes – squee
  • Every time Dino speaks English– try to understand
  • Every time anyone calls the cops on Dino – stretch
  • Every time Hideki says pigs – take a sip
  • Every time Dino is on his knees – chuckle
  • Every time Kaho plays games – take a sip

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24 thoughts

  1. That drinking game is a much faster way to get cancer than the Blend S memes, jeeez.

    Cute little series tho, IMO, only thing I wasn’t a fan of was I wish Maika had them dead fish eyes that Kobayashi and Hachiman have, because I am not convinced she’s supposed to be scary.

  2. I want a second season to mindlessly watch. It’s candy, as I’ve said. Glad to see your slowly figuring out how to say it. If you don’t matter it soon you’ll end up mixing me up.

  3. CGDCT is a rather loose tag; it started out as a joke, as far as I recall, but it sort of stuck because it was fitting. Many of them are 4 panel stips and published in one of the Manga Time Kirara mags. This one’s from Manga Time Kirara Carat, but I’m not sure that matters, since I can’t tell a difference (except that Manga Time Kirara Forward seems the most story-centred of the four, and not limited to 4-panel strips).

    I’m getting a bit tired of that brand of cuteness, so when I first saw the character designs and summary for BlendS, I was pretty much dismissing it, but I tend to give things a chance anyway, so I clicked start… and had fun. And that’s just about all I can say about that. I don’t really have a favourite character, for example, but I did especially enjoy green-haird tsundere boy and straight-forward blondy interacting; they got the best out of each other.

    Also, looking at that ensemble picture reminds me again that anime characters smile too much with their mouths open. Try that in reality and see where that gets. I mean look at that picture. Even the dog. (Well, he might make the most sense, actually.)

    1. whoa a full etymological history. Thank you! That’s so cool that you took the time to type it out!
      I also really liked Blondie and Greeny together. They were the couple that made me squee in fact.
      I’m going to try the open mouth smile next time. I’m super awkward in pictures anyways – this may actually help

  4. When I first started watching anime – this was exactly what I really wanted out of it. Painless entertainment. Cute. Giggle. Now, I went on to realize there is some amazing work, truly deeply incredible creativity in story, art, and music. This was something i was so overjoyed to find in the intellectual and esthetic desert of most modern media that I was dragged from the shallow waters deep into the anime pool. But there and always will be times when I just want a place to rest my eyes, and my brain, and end up feeling slightly uplifted and cheered. So – Blend S sounds perfect. Like I need more on my que…

  5. Definitely LOOKS cute for the sake of cute! But, who doesn’t like a good knock knock joke? It sounds like something i would binge on a night when I need something light to cheer me up!

  6. Hmm…while I of course enjoyed this review as always, with my current list of animes that I still need to watch being very huge, and some better ones on it…I am not in a real hurry to watch this right now. But…I’m not going to say that I am never going to watch it though. I definitely like light animes from time to time as well 😊

  7. IMO Blend-S wasn’t bad when it stuck to it’s knitting (workplace comedy)… It kept trying to go outside that and falling on it’s face.

  8. Yay! Blend-S review and yay! You liked it! Sometimes an anime just seeps into your very soul and you can’t help but like it, that’s how I was with Blend-S. Watching it reminded me so much of my last trip to Japan and where I stayed in Akihabara that it’s like connected with my soul. Plus, you know, cute girls…

  9. I have had a hard time finishing anime this season. I don’t know if I’m just super distracted or what… I only made it to episode 3 and I didn’t hate it but I didn’t continue.

    1. I think this one dates back a season or two – I’m bad a keeping up with what aired when. I think you can rest easy skipping it. It’s in the mostly harmless pile…

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