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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. This is especially vexing to Maika, as in reality she's the exact opposite—she's almost too kind and gentle.

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 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 bully 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 (mostly) 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, which was serialized in Manga Time Kirara Carat from 2013 to 2022. 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, while Aniplex USA has the home video rights.

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.
  • Art Shift: During Episode 11's stinger, the art becomes more shoujo-styled while Maika is apologizing for a remark she made earlier.
  • Ass Shove:
    • In episode 8, Mafuyu does this with a mop towards Dino when the latter refers her as a "loli-granny."
    • Mafuyu does this again in the last act of episode 12 with the same motives, this time her victim being Hideri.
  • 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 DanceDanceRevolution.
    • 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 the App Store or Goolegle Play.
      • The game in question is called AiPara in manga.
    • 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 8, when Miu sees Hideri, she is coming out of a Fukya Sands, but her illustration paper comes from Dekaido.
    • 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 by Itou in episode 10, Kaho points out that the height difference between the two was so great that Itou's 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."
    • Dino is completely drained of color in Episode 11 after Maika sternly tells him to step aside.
  • Company Cross References: In Episode 3, as Dino mentions anime girls with long, flowing hair, Shino of Kiniro Mosaic and Hifumi of New Game! appears in an eyecatch. These three series are all published by Hobunsha under the Manga Time Kirara brand.
  • Cosplay Café: Cafe Stile is one; while its waitresses wear fairly typical waitress uniforms, they deliberately act like different anime character archetypes when serving customers (like the Tsundere or the Cool Big Sis).
  • 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.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: In Episode 10 of the anime Kaho plays a rhythm game that features a remixed version of the opening theme.
  • "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). The final episode concludes with an all-cast version of the theme.
  • 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. He later laments it not necessarily because of having to get up earlier, but that he can no longer watch late night anime due to needing to sleep earlier. He puts up with it because Owner makes Maika happy.
  • Double Standard: Female characters get away with things male characters don't, or wouldn't. Mafuyu gets away with repeated physical bullying, and along with Miu forcing others to dress up in various questionable outfits. On the other side, if Dino looks even vaguely suspect, regardless of if 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.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: The cast seems remarkably unconcerned about Dino's blatantly obvious crush on Maika, even though he's 26 to her 16 and her boss. They demonstrate some concern, but usually only when it's funny. Maika's big sister cheerfully assumes he's Maika's boyfriend.
  • Evolving Credits: The anime's credits change over time.
    • It begins with just showing Maika, Kaho, and Mafuyu. Miu and Hideri are added in as they are introduced in the show proper.
    • After the dog, Owner, is introduced, Maika is riding on him for part of the credits sequence instead of the star she rides before that.
    • The ending of the credits has a cork board that has more and more pictures pinned to it representing events from the previous episodes.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Miu may have very perverted thoughts, but even she will stop a friend from committing a heinous act, intentional or not.
      Miu: Please don't aim for early retirement due to a scandal. note 
    • Hideri may be a narcissist who is obsessed with being the cutest, but even a frilly, midriff-baring Magical Girl cosplay outfit proves to be too much.
      Hideri: You need to understand TPO, Time, Place, and Occasion!
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Kaho gets these as a result of being forced to study all night, but having Eye Bags means she can't show her face to the customers. Fortunetely, Mafyuyu fixes it with some makeup.
  • 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 think 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 Chapter 14/Episode 3. Maika found a forgotten doujinshi in Cafe Stile, glanced at its cover... and it 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. Then she got Color Failure when the owner mentioned its title. So what's that doujinshi about? Bondage hentai.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: A downplayed example, but Dino is so excited to take Owner to a dog park with Maika in episode 11 that he wears a suit and tie. While he looks nice, Maika asks him if casual clothing wouldn't work better. When they do head out, he changes into more practical clothing.
  • 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.
  • Insistent Terminology: In episode 8 Hideri has a Potty Emergency and requests to "pick some flowers." Miu repeatedly clarifies Hideri's going to "use the restroom," but Hideri refuses, claiming Idol Singer don't "use the restroom."
  • 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.
  • Large Ham: The entire staff at Café Stile are pretty hammy, but Hideri takes the cake. Sora really sounds as if she has the time of her life voicing as this loveable crossdresser.
  • 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 high school and uniforms are no longer required.note 
  • 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 spiel 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.
  • Modesty Shorts: After Dino raises concern that Maika's jumping around will result in some unintended upskirts, Maika shows that she's wearing shorts under her skirt.
  • 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.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Episode 6 implies Miu tends to be loaded on energy drinks on a looming deadline.
  • 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 doing, something. Just about anything will do, be it her being nice to him, rude to him, or close to him. He says it happens when he is excited.
  • 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.
    • In episode 11, Maika notices Hideri has a loose string on his uniform and tries to grab it. However, she trips, and when Dino comes into the room a moment later, Maika is on top of Hideri. Dino calls him a lucky perv, and slams the door shut out of jealousy. Then he says they should be in opposite positions.
    • Definitely a running gag for Dino with the police.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: Volumes 1-5 each have one waitress of Café Stile on the cover. Volumes 6 and 7 are pairs (Maika and Dino, Kaho and Akizuki) while Volume 8 is Maika with the rest of the main cast drawn in Super-Deformed style.
  • 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 an underage drinking campaign by Brewers Association of Japan. The first time, Miu uses her big sister act to remind people to not drink until they're adults, cheerful music plays in the background, and the message "alcohol is for people 20 years of age and older" is shown. The second time, Miu is struggling to not drink and rambling off-topic, the music slows to a halt, and the message "drink alcohol after sending material to press" is shown.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Conversed in episode 7. When Akizuki accidentally grabs Kaho's breast, she didn't seem too upset by that. At this point, it's Akizuki who started to freak out, because as the waitress playing the Tsundere role, Kaho should have beaten him up.
  • Pun-Based Title: Blend-S is a Japanese shorthand for "Small House Blend Coffee," one that gets usage even in major convenience store chains. But the title also combines "do-S," a colloquial term for "Super Sadist."
  • 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.
  • Sick Episode: The last part of Episode 5 has Dino, Kaho, and Mafuyu go visit Maika's house after she catches a cold.
  • 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.
  • Temporal Theme Naming: Mafuyu, Maika, Kaho and Akizuki represent the four seasons, respecitvely winter, spring, summer and autumun.
  • 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 anyone would want to be treated like garbage by a waitress. Dino explains there're people who like that—and he's right. Moments later, when Maika treats 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.
    • When Maika's hair is undone in preparation for ponytail day, it flies out wildly because Maika has long had problems with static electricity messing with her hair if it wasn't tied down. While in this state, Maika huddles down on the floor and begins chanting names like "Medusa", implying they were used on her and making the others worry they've inadvertently awakened some past trauma.
  • Wall Pin of Love:
    • Episode 10 has Dino attempt to demonstrate this with Mafuyu, but it fails due to the height difference.
    • Episode 11 is outright titled Good at Tsundere, Bad at Kabedonnote . It has Dino attempt to explain the concept to Maika. He is unable to explain it in a reasonable manner, so Hideri pushes him towards Maika to demonstrate it. They play patty-cake instead. The stinger of the episode then has Maika pin Dino to the wall and apologize for her earlier behavior.
  • Work Com: About working in a Cosplay Café.
  • Yonkoma: A prerequisite for publishing on Manga Time Kirara.

Alternative Title(s): Blend S