Manga / Blend S

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Would you like your coffee with or without Moe?

Maika Sakuranomiya is your typical, enthusiastic high school girl with a supportive sister, who comes from a traditional Japanese family and dreams of being able to study abroad. In order to make that dream come true she first needs to earn money, but she has one little problem. She happens to have a naturally sadistic exterior which keeps ruining potential job placements, and it seems as though no place would want to hire her.

However Maika's luck changes when she happens upon a blond-haired foreigner at the train station. This man is the Italian manager of Café Stile, a unique Café where the waitresses are all assigned a specific character archetypes, taken from anime otaku culture. Maika's menacing expression instantly catches his attention, and she is offered a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity — as a sadist waitress whose job is to abuse the customers.

Although Maika is baffled when she's told that the people she'll serve actually want such treatment, she's pleased to have found a place where her menacing looks will actually be an asset, and so takes the job after a successful run with some customers. Now she begins trying to balance her double life as the kind-hearted Maika Sakuranomiya, and the cruel sadistic waitress of Café Stile, while dealing with the hijinks of her co-workers in this comedic Slice Of Life that's full of smiles, sweetness, sisters, sadism, surprises, and service.

Blend S is a yonkoma manga created by Miyuki Nakayama and serialized on Manga Time Kirara Carat. It received a 12-Episode Anime by A-1 Pictures adaptation starting 8 October, 2017. Crunchyroll has the streaming rights for North America and can be watched here.

Blend S contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: The stinger of Episode 8 sees Café Stile taking up a preschool theme with everyone dressed appropriately. Miu introduces their new friend, Hideri... and then Hideri wakes up in the middle of the night, having rolled off the bed.
  • Anachronic Order: Like any comedy series of its type. A specific example would be Chapter 5, which was divided into different parts of several episodes. In the order of the manga, the skits of that chapter were adopted into 10:55-13:20 of Episode 2, 15:50-17:45 of Episode 1, and 18:34-20:58 of Episode 1.
  • Ass Shove: In episode 8, Mafuyu does this with a mop towards Dino when the latter refers her as a "loli-granny."
  • Beach Episode: The last part of Episode 6 has the cast take a trip to the beach, where various beach-related gags occur.
  • Big Fancy House: Maika lives in a huge traditional Japanese house, well into the ranks of the wealthy.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • In episode 1, Beat Dance Evolution for Dance Dance Revolution.
    • When the cast visits for Dino and Maika's "date," we get a shot of a department store called 107. Dino and Maika goes to the same store again in Episode 6.
    • In Episode 5, we know that Idol Passport can either be downloaded from AIP Store or Goolegle Play.
    • In episode 6, Mafuyu and Akizuki drink a beer labeled as BIRRA with a gold star in it. That is based off of Sapporo.
    • The radio used in the tropical theme in Episode 7 is Sany.
    • In episode 9, Aika and Maika bought "Cauliflower" flour. It's not a flour made from cauliflower, but a spoof of the "Flower" brand flour.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Mafuyu gets asked out in episode 10, Kaho points out that the height difference between her and her suitor was so great that his head ended up outside the frame.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each waitress of Cafe Stile wears their uniform in a certain color. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both the manga's volume covers and the anime's opening run with it:
    • Maika's is pink;
    • Kaho's is sky blue;
    • Mafuyu's is yellow;
    • Miu's is purple;
    • Hideri's is aqua green.
  • Color Failure:
    • Dino does it twice in episode 2, once after losing a figurine to Mafuyu, and the other after one mouthful of Maika's sadistic parfait.
    • In episode 3: Dino does that when he is reminded that Western Animation does not have Japanese girls with long, flowing hair, and upon hearing that Uncle Chicken was Maika's "first love."
  • Cosplay Café: Cafe Stile is one; its waitresses were deliberately set to act like different character archetypes.
  • Delinquent Hair: This trope was discussed in Episode 3/ Chapter 8. Some time in the past, Maika told her mother she wanted to dye her hair blonde out of her Foreign Culture Fetish, but her mother thinks she was attempting to invoke this trope out of Maika's frustration of her Face of a Thug.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The anime's opening and ending themes are performed by Azumi Waki (Maika), Akari Kito (Kaho), and Anzu Haruno (Mafuyu).
  • Dog Walks You: A downplayed version. Dino does manage to keep up with Owner, but he is very reluctant to take Owner on early morning walks to begin with.
  • Double Standard: Female characters get away with things male characters don't, or wouldn't. Mafuyu gets away with repeated physical abuse, and along with Miu force others to dress up in various questionable outfits. On the other side, if Dino looks even vaguely suspect, regardless of it he's obviously not guilty, he's either physically punished or someone threatens to call the police. They also immediately call him out for sexual harassment when he's asking about swimsuits in order to help pick one out for Maika.
  • Evolving Credits: The anime's credits begin with just showing Maika, Kaho, and Mafuyu. Miu and Hideri are added in as they are introduced in the show proper. The ending of the credits has a cork board that has more and more pictures pinned to it representing events from the previous episodes.
  • Faceless Masses: All customers of Cafe Stile are not drawn with eyes. This even applies to Itoh, who is supposed to be dating Mafuyu after the events of Episode 10.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Maika somehow fails to realize that she's sitting on top of Dino while practicing her character in the break room.
  • Family Theme Naming: Through Alternate Character Reading, the Sakuranomiya siblings all share the kanji 香: Aika, Kouichi, and Maika.
  • Female Gaze: Akizuki wears a sexy Oni outfit during one of the anime's Eyecatches.
  • Funny Background Event: In Chapter 5, while Maika is admiring Kaho's pile of prizes, Mafuyu and Dino are playing rock, paper, scissors for an anime figurine in the background, before Mafuyu just punches Dino in the stomach with 'Rock' and takes the figure for herself. The anime adapted that as an example of Mundane Made Awesome.
  • Giving Up the Ghost: In episode 5, Dino does this after being interrogated by the rest of the Sakuranomiya siblings over Maika.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In episode 4, after noticing some customers still thinks Maika isn't sadistic enough, the cast tries to train her into that direction. The result is a Maika that acts like a dominatrix, which is overly hardcore for a Cosplay Café.
  • Harmful to Minors: Played for Laughs in episode 3. Maika found a forgotten doujinshi in Cafe Stile, glanced at it cover... and caused her to hide under a table with Blank White Eyes for the rest of the scene, trying to (literally) distance herself from that doujinshi during the time it's stored at the break room, and again got Color Failure when the owner mentioned its title. So what's that doujinshi about? Bondage hentai.
  • I'm Your Biggest Fan: When Miu reveals she is the famous doujinshi artist Hanazono Folder, Akizuki says he's a big of hers and and asks for her autograph.
  • It Runs in the Family: All of the Sakuranomiya siblings are accidental sadists.
  • It's All My Fault: Played for Laughs in episode 6. Dino bangs his head at the wall as he heard that Maika got a cold, blaming himself of not escorting Maika from her train station back home the previous night. While he banged at the point of bleeding, his coworkers don't seem to take much notice at it.
  • Lap Pillow: Maika offers Dino her lap to lay on in Chapter 8/ Episode 3, as she interrupted his sleep for most of the chapter. Dino initially refuses, knowing what this implies, but Maika said they would imply he would be looking down on her legs, so he complies.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Zig-zagged. Everyone obviously wears the same outfits during work, and Maika and Kaho are almost always wearing their school uniforms outside of work. The others wear a variety of outfits outside of work, though, as they're out of grade school.
  • Locked in a Room: Kaho and Koyo end up locked in the break room because they were too engrossed in their games, and spend the time looking for escape routes and panicking over their plans being interrupted. It's downplayed since the two weren't on bad terms to begin with and once it's done their relationship doesn't change much.
  • Masochist's Meal: Maika throws ingredients in certain bottles into her dessert, not realizing that she's actually putting salt, vinegar, and hot sauce into it. Due to her being a sadist waitress servicing a bunch of masochist guys, the dessert is actually a hit.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Happens briefly to Maika in the manga when, following a passionate spill about yuri by Akizuki, she say that thinks that love between two women is wonderful. She was actually just making the point that, in her opinion, there's nothing wrong with homosexual romance.
    • Happens again in episode 7. When discussing about getting a new waitress and the character she should play, Akizuki says that instead he would like a man. Cue Maika and Kaho staring him in shock. He actually meant a new hire to help him in the kitchen.
  • Mistaken For Paedophile:
    • Dino gets mistaken for one in episode 7 when he starts gushing about Maika's black hair in public.
    • Mafuyu's background reveals this happened to an ex-boyfriend of hers, as she started dating at a pretty early age.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Mafuyu and Dino face off to see who gets to take home an anime figurine. There's a long, dramatic buildup with the two posing and hamming it up... and they square off in a game of rock, paper, scissors. Which ends in Mafuyu uppercutting Dino.
  • No Cartoon Fish: The tuna Maika brings to the riverside gathering is a picture of a real-life tuna, which clashes greatly with the typical art style.
  • Nosebleed: One of the Running Gag of this series involves Dino nosebleeding due to Maika.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • This is one of the main running gags when it comes to Maika's Face of a Thug. She'll be intending to say or do something nice, or harmless, only for it to come across as sadistic. Often times, this is accompanied by a situation which just makes the unintentional "sadism" more likely to happen through her own clumsiness or ignorance, like asking people if they like being tied upnote , or calling customers filthy after squirting ketchup in their faces.note  To everyone else it always comes across as though she's actually a sadist.
    • Maika offers Dino to use her lap as a pillow to make up for her interrupting his nap. Dino, nervously takes her up on this offer, and Maika becomes so infatuated with Dino's foreign blonde hair that she begins stroking it, which makes Dino even more uncomfortably nervous. Then the others walk in and start to call the cops on Dino.
  • Opposites Theme Naming: With regards to Miu and Hideri; Miu is written as "light rain", and Hideri is "drought".
  • Parody Commercial:
    • The end of the second commercial break for episode 4 has a commercial advertising for a new series in Manga Time Kirara called The S-dere Maid and the Weakling Butler, using the same format that Anthology Comic usually advertises for series. But when Dino interrupts the end of the commercial, viewers starts to recall that plot is what Miu has in mind before the commercial break.
    • Episode 6 has a parody of PSAs. The first time, Miu reminds people to not drink until they're adults. The second time, Miu is massively hung over, and the message "drink alcohol after sending material to press" is shown.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Discussed in Episode 2, when a customer to Cafe Stile, after seeing Maika and Maufyu's gigantic parfait special on a menu, says he'd be too embarrassed to order this if Stile wasn't a Cosplay Café, and orders it. Extra points for the fact that these customers probably don't count as "real men."
  • Ship Tease: The scene where Kaho and Akizuki got locked in the break room in episode 5 pretty much cemented their status as the Beta Couple.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show Within a Show: Magical Girl Frill, a Magical Girl series of which Mafuyu and Dino are fans.
  • The Stinger: The anime has a post-credits scene which usually caps off a segment in the episode or provides a segue into the next one.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Maika's siblings all have a natural sadist side, although none have her Face of a Thug problem.
  • Surprisingly Good English:
  • Temporal Theme Naming: Mafuyu, Maika, Kaho and Akizuki represent the four seasons, respecitvely winter, spring, summer and autumun.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In Episode 10 of the anime Kaho plays a rhythm game that features a remixed version of the opening theme.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink!": A shishi-odoshi is frequently seen and heard at Maika's home, to let you know that she was brought up in a traditional Japanese home with some serious cash.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: It's fair to say many of Cafe Stile's customers are masochists.
    • When Maika heard that she'd be playing as the sadist at Cafe Stile, she was puzzled as to why would anyone wanted to be treated like garbage by a waitress. Dino explained there're people who like that—and he's right. Moments later when Maika treated her first two customers that way (and completely accidentally!), those two customers are clearly quite happy with the experience.
    • Maika accidentally uses salt, vinegar, and tabasco sauce in her dessert in the second episode of the anime. After she says it's her dessert, it becomes an instant hit with the masochist customers.
  • Trauma Button: For both Kaho and Akizuki, any reminder that they have a different type of social life compared to the general population is enough to make them depressed.
  • Work Com: About working in a Cosplay Café.
  • Yonkoma: A prerequisite for publishing on Manga Time Kirara.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Invoked. The waitresses wear Grade-A versions of it as part of a Cosplay Café uniform. Kaho, especially, would be a Grade S since she plays as the local Tsundere.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/BlendS