Fumihiko TachikiAkari KitoRei MatsuzakiAzumi Waki
Blend S
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: B
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Director: Ryouji Masuyama
Writer: Go Zappa
Original creator: Miyuki Nakayama
Actor: Ai Kakuma, Akari Kito, Anzu Haruno, Atsumi Tanezaki, Azumi Waki, Fumihiko Tachiki, Rei Matsuzaki, Shinki Sato, Sora Tokui, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Tomoaki Maeno
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=19669
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 11 September 2018
It's relaxing fluff, with a gimmick. There's nothing important here. It's not really aiming for meaningful content, even compared with other 4-panel Work-Com manga adaptations like Working!! or Servant x Service. Amusing people do amusing things. That's all. However I quite enjoyed it and I'd never dream of comparing it with the brain-numbing emptiness of, say, Is The Order A Rabbit? It has lively characters, stuff happening and good jokes.
It's set in a cafe where all the waitresses are role-playing some variety of otaku fetish. Our heroine, Maika, plays a brutal sadist, which is ironic since she's actually a timid, gentle maiden who happens to have a thousand-mile glare. She's got no control over this. It just happens. Her colleagues include:
KAHO: tsundere at work, but in real life a video game otaku.
MAFUYU: vomit-inducingly cute little sister at work, but in real life a cold, violent cynic and one of the cafe's oldest waitresses. She's at university, but she's short. She's a good person really, but she'll be merciless if she doesn't think you're pulling your weight.
MIU (introduced in ep.4): slightly maternal "big sister" at work, but in real life she writes X-rated doujinshi manga and regards her friends as walking story idea generators. She's a perfectly nice person, though, if you're broad-minded and not easily creeped out.
HIDERI (introduced in ep.8): vapid narcissistic bimbo who's obsessed with being the cutest girl in the world, so has no interest in other people. Apparently he softens in later manga chapters, though. (No, you didn't read that wrong. Hideri's male. Dino's the only person to realise at first.) Dresses like an idol and has a habit of doing annoying things, then trying to fob off his victim(s) with a "tehe" and a cute pose.
DINO (MANAGER) - pathetic but enormously tall and blonde Italian otaku, a bit reminiscent of Hetalia. He falls in love with Maika.
AKIZUKI - grumpy kitchen staff and another massive otaku. Doesn't like talking to women or being outdoors.
That's an entertaining cast. You can get some good jokes from them. Maika's the show's default gag generator, endlessly bewildered and shocked by her unintended habit of treating people like scum. (This is partly just her facial expressions, but also partly the fact that she's a space case who's prone to making silly mistakes and/or missing the obvious.) These days, fortunately, that's what her customers want. They want to be crushed underfoot and told that they're worms. Also, as it happens, Maika's a sheltered dozy rich girl from an ultra-traditional family, so paradoxically she wants to study abroad and has grown up adoring all things foreign. She and Dino would make the perfect couple, since he's a dozy foreigner who worships all things Japanese, but unfortunately romance between them would depend on one or both of them becoming less hopeless.
That said, though, the show's arguably chickening out a bit with Maika. She usually looks normal and we only see her Scary Face when the show's making a joke. Compare with, say, Kirie from "Himouto Umaru-chan", who always looks like that and it's funny.
Realism isn't always the prime concern. When Dino turns the establishment into a Jungle Cafe in ep.7, multiple employees get lost in there. Uh, right.
The show's also bending over backwards to be otaku-friendly. Obviously the cafe itself is nerd bait, since I'm sure normal customers would avoid it like the plague, but half the cast have a nervous reaction on being taken outdoors for a barbecue in ep.6. They like artificial light and computer screens. They can't handle the sun. This isn't a problem, though. It's a feature. I note it. That said, though, this is based on a Manga Time Kirara manga, so they ended up annoying lots of yuri fans anyway when they discovered that the show defies the Manga Time Kirara stereotype by having a gender-balanced cast (more or less) instead of being full of lesbians. The only potential romances here are heterosexual, although both couples will need to overcome some otaku issues if they're going to make any progress there.
It's fun. Inessential and featherlight, but the cast are a laugh and there's some cringe comedy in the last few episodes as a certain goofball tries to make his romantic dreams come true. There's no need to watch this anime, but you'll see a few good jokes if you do.