Sunday, May 7, 2023

Narcissu Side 2nd - Guest Review by Mid-tier Guard

The following review is by a friend of mine named Mid-tier Guard who was reading this story for the first time through my stream. These are his comments, raw and unfiltered taken directly from the videos and formatted to be readable. Thanks for the very long, detailed review, Mid-tier Guard.

Good reading. Good writing.

Let's just dive in, yeah?

Side Characters

There was something you told me the other day. It was about how Narcissu 2nd is able to explore more themes and show off 

more scenery because Side 2nd has more characters. It's quite striking to have as many characters here in Side 2nd compared to Narcissu. While watching the replays, I attempted to collect my thoughts on each of them, particularly the side characters: Chihiro, the child, and Yuka. Some brief thoughts:

Chihiro- Chihiro's a good girl. I'll talk about her in the religion section.

Yuka- to put it bluntly, Yuka's presence is pretty weak. Her loyalty to Himeko is commendable, and both the perfect attendance and farewell scenes were beautiful, but Yuka suffers from a lack of screen time. Would've been nice to include her some more.

The Child- looking back, I'm pretty sure I teared up during every single flashback sequence. The voice actress did such an amazing job. I cried along with this character.  

Ultimately though, Himeko was the true star of the the show this time, and the three characters above mainly served to advance her arc, or to drive the themes of Narcissu.

Himeko -Similar to how George Lucas designed the Star Wars prequels to "rhyme" with the original movies, Narcissu 2nd has many, many parallels with the first game. The most apparent one being the dynamic between the respective narrators. The nameless mc from Narcissu, and Setsumi here in 2nd. Where Setsumi is the focus of Narcissu, Himeko is the focus in 2nd. Himeko is truly a complex character, let me tell you. Like I said the other day, the writing in this game is so good that she (and Setsumi) 

feel so real that it's almost like when a friend asks you for your opinion on them. Not sure if you know what I mean. I suppose what stood out the most to me was how she treats Setsumi. In fact, I think her treatment of Setsumi in particular a good place to start. Himeko treats Setsumi very strangely. Clearly, she is seeing The Child in Setsumi. Many of the activities Himeko does with Setsumi, she also did with the child in those flashbacks. They eat ice cream, the walk around the courtyard, cutting hair, Himeko even says certain things to Setsumi exactly how she said to the child. The most significant being that line about making a friend from another age group, which ended up being a lie, as Himeko admits later. The irony is pretty strong here.

Himeko was once a helper on the 7th floor, and fate had her become a patient there, and now she is treating Setsumi the same way she once treated a patient. With one interesting reversal, in that she proclaims Setsumi as the professor. No doubt, because doesn't feel worthy or knowledgeable enough to keep it. We never really learn why Himeko saw Setsumi in that way, other than her having a certain feeling about her. 

This might sound harsh, but it seems a little selfish of Himeko to do what she did with Setsumi. Setsumi's mother has good reason to break down when she learns who Setsumi has been spending so much time with. Himeko is aware that her imminent death will cause pain to the people closest to her. That's why she pushed Chihiro and Yuka away. Yet, she is okay with letting in someone new in to her fleeting life? Given Himeko's skills of perception, I suppose she could have assumed that Setsumi has a certain lifestyle that would allow her to actually spend time at the hospital, and not doing normal things like going to school. Maybe she's even seen her before and knows that Setsumi is a regular patient. I digress. It just seems that Himeko would go as far as to go with Setsumi all the way to Mt. Fuji, with the intent to throw herself off, or die on the hike up the mountain, and apparently abandoning Setsumi with the car.

However, I suppose I should follow my own advice, and just go by what's in the story. After all, if there were no conflict, the story wouldn't be as interesting right? I don't want to give off the wrong impression. I like Himeko a lot, despite what I just wrote. 

Moving on to Himeko's personality, you mentioned in a previous stream that some people find her to be too genki, too happy. I don't see anything wrong with that. People deal with bad experiences and death in different ways. Himeko decided to live her life as a 7th floor resident with the same demeanor she had before she became sick. And this is probably why she treats Setsumi the way she did with the child. She's trying to put on a brave face, maybe for Chihiro, maybe for herself, to make it seem like she's okay with her impending death. In her final months, she wants to act like like a helper. She wants to be useful, to be handy, like she used to be. I can definitely imagine that Himeko was quite dependable before being hospitalized. She was good with cars, she knows how to sew, she put effort into being nice to others, like when she sprinted to a nearby convenience store and back to share that ice cream with the child. Himeko doesn't want to be a burden. It goes against the rules after all.

Setsumi- Of course, it wasn't like Himeko wasn't giving back to Setsumi. Setsumi hasn't had a friend in years, and her experiences with Himeko in 2nd were things that affected her way of thinking and acting for the rest of her life. A small mannerism she took from Himeko being the "un", which Himeko in turn took from the child. Or maybe it's a translation thing and it's just to show the character agreeing with something? More importantly, Himeko is responsible for Setsumi being so knowledgeable about directions in Narcissu, and of course, we learn how Setsumi got that envelope. Not really something we needed to know, but such a satisfying twist. 

Anyway, I don't really have much to say about Setsumi other than to say that I love her as well. She had many quotable lines in 2nd, many relatable ones dealing with her guilt and feeling of inadequacy. She truly suffered a lot, even before she became a resident of the 7th floor. Being forced into isolation, and believing yourself to be a burden on the people you love... that's truly an awful feeling. Setsumi is easily my favorite character  in these games, and I imagine that true for most of the fans too. Like what I said about Himeko, Setsumi just feels so real.

About the Themes

Yeah, you hit the nail on the head when talking about these things. Specifically the stuff about the fries, religion, and the endings to the two games. I'll just give my opinions. Sorry if I parrot you a little.

Fries, Lies, and Kindness

As you know, the fries are a symbol for Setsumi's internal struggles that I mentioned above. In terms of how this conflict affects the story, yes, I did enjoy seeing it. The resolution that you kept teasing was... pretty satisfying! I was expecting that Setsumi was going to sit down and actually tell her mother the truth, but Himeko's advice in the end was... pretty good. Learning to like the fries is just Himeko's way of telling Setsumi to learn to accept her fate. In real life there are things like that to. If Setsumi told her mother that she never liked the fries, it wouldn't cure her disease, it would just hurt her mother, with the result being that Setsumi no longer has to be inconvenienced by having to eat food she doesn't like. She's managed to sit and quietly eat those fries until now. In short, it's just another way to say that we need to learn to suck things up. Not much more to it. I did love those scenes though.

I do want to mention that I find it pretty cool that the story used something mundane like french fries to represent Setsumi's conflict. Growing up, I've been taught about universal symbols in literature (not that I'm well read or anything). Things like the meanings of colors, weather, etc. It's very refreshing to see. This is how it works in real life too after all. People getting attached to personal items and such.

About lies and kindness, something Side 2nd touches on is the idea of telling lies, and how that affects the liar and the person being lied too. With Setsumi and the fries, she pretends to like the fries because she doesn't want to take away the satisfaction her mother has from seeing her daughter eat what she believes is her favorite food. However, the biggest lie definitely has to be the one that was told to the child. The one about her parents being away on a trip. You see the effects of that in the story, but what I loved about this was Himeko's monologue about how that lie was actually good. Lying isn't inherently an evil thing, especially when it's meant to spare someone from pain. Sorry if that sounds cliche.


Something else that really stuck out in Side 2nd, and yes, I know it was on purpose, is the role that religion has in this story. Again, it's mainly because Narcissu did not have any religious aspects at all. In fact, the thought crossed my mind early on while watching the replays that perhaps the hospitals in the two games were different, but that of course can't be the case.

About Chihiro, there was one line in the previous stream that Setsumi had when she was thinking about her. Setsumi wondered about Chihiro doing the volunteer work that she does because of her religion. As I said before, I'm convinced Chihiro does what she does out of her own kindness. There are many good people who do the things that Chihiro does, even if they aren't as devout as her. Or religious at all, for that matter. Like I said earlier: Chihiro is a good girl. It says a lot that she maintained affection for Himeko, despite the likelihood that Himeko has acted cold towards her and spoken to her sternly for years, and what finally made Chihiro take a break from her volunteer work was the passing of her sister.

I thought it was also very interesting that, despite what actually happens in the story, religion, or specifically here, 

Christianity/Catholicism, is not portrayed in a negative light. It's become cool to bash on Christianity over the last couple decades, at least in American culture. My guess is because it's a major religion and it oppresses "those" people. Funnily enough, the view on the religion is pretty balanced here, in a Japanese visual novel of all places. Himeko, the character who seems to have the most against Catholicism, ends up becoming a believer again by the end of the story. This is a pretty rare outcome. Even in fiction stories that have a fictitious religion that is clearly based on real world Christianity, the church is often the villain, or at the least, get very little representation in the story. Again, very refreshing. 

As you stated in an earlier stream, Japan's major religion is Shintoism, followed by Buddhism. I'm not sure about the exact numbers, but Catholics make up 2-5% of the population in Japan. I'm not religious at all, and I've never read the Bible, but all the quotes references to the religion seem accurate to me. 

Other Themes

So overall, what did this story mean to me? It's hard to say, honestly. Planetarian, despite being a tragedy, was able to give a feeling of hope by the ending. Narcissu and Narcissu 2nd are true to the descriptions you find online. It's a story about people who are terminally ill, and have no hope. Still though, it is a beautiful story. If I was forced to guess what lesson the author wanted us to glean from Narcissu though, I would say... that life is beautiful. While pretty simple, I believe it fits. Despite most of the characters only having months left to live, they all attempted to make the most of the time they had. Himeko always planned to cut the pineapple tree and visit Mt. Fuji, regardless of meeting Setsumi or not. Setsumi was determined to die somewhere other than the 7th floor, or the home in which she felt responsible for forcing her parents to move in to. We see in the final lines of both games that the respective narrators learned certain things about the true main characters of each story. Some minor things like their age and blood type, but more personal things like Setsumi and Himeko's love of cars and maps. 

The story goes to great lengths to show the isolation that people who are terminally ill face. Setsumi lost out on her childhood, Himeko tried to harden herself to push away her best friend and sister. These are things that happen in real life, but for some there is an even possibility in that the terminally ill patient might not have any friends or family at all, as we saw with The Child. For people like them, it's saddening to know that there's a chance that the nurses and doctors and helpers they have may only see them as patients, or a sick person. They are still people with interests, and feelings. In this story, I get the feeling that many of the background characters, the ones we don't see or hear, have already consigned Setsumi, Himeko, and the mc, and the child to their fates, when, naturally, it's not so easy to accept your own death. It's something that only someone else in their position would understand. This is why I found it so terrible that someone told The Child the rules of the 7th floor. While I understand that it's a sort of tradition for the residents of the 7th floor, even if it were on me, I just don't think I could bear the thought of bringing that kind of despair on a child so young and so unfortunate when they've already been assigned to the 7th floor.

The opposite is true of the mystery person who told The Child the lie about her parents being away on a trip. Himeko really didn't have a choice but to go with the lie, and if it hadn't been that mystery person, it likely would have fallen on her to make up a lie, just as she felt that it fell on her to tell her the truth about God and The Child's prayers.


I suppose I should mention these, since they are important parts to story in both games.

When I first heard you say the name for these games, I had a feeling it would have to do with the Greek myth. In the end though, it actually had more to do with the flower. Nice subversion. Or maybe I just made a bad assumption. That is all.

Mainly, I want to talk about the story that is brought up constantly here in Side 2nd: A Dog of Flanders. I'll be up front and say that I have never read the old novel. I am familiar with the premise of Nello, Patrasche, and Alois, but funnily enough, I actually learned of them when Hayate mentions them in volume 1 of Hayate no Gotoku. I did a little research, and I found that there is a 52 episode anime adaptation, as well as an anime movie based on A Dog of Flanders. This leads me to believe that it must have had quite the influence on Japanese culture if even Hata-sensei chose to mention it as a joke, while Side 2nd uses it seriously here. Any idea if the movie is good?

Also, despite not being familiar with the story itself, I had no issue understanding the relationship between the trio and that of the 7th floor residents with their helpers. Truly masterful.

The Endings

I loved the endings to Narcissu and Side 2nd very much. You may have noticed that I have spoken about the two stories somewhat concurrently throught these comments. This is because I genuinely have a hard time keeping the two separate in my mind, and I mean that in the best way possible. Narcissu contains the ending to Setsumi's story, while Side 2nd sets it up so perfectly. All week, I had a question in the back of my mind, and it was: "Do you believe someone could still enjoy the story if they read Side 2nd before reading Narcissu?" If you could, I would still be interested in your opinion on that. Whether here or elsewhere.

This section is mainly for me to make a confession: the meaning behind the true ending went over my head. 

While this ending was pretty good too, I have to be honest and say that if you hadn't given your view on the meaning of the ending, I would be at a loss on what to say here. I dare say, that if you hadn't mentioned the breaking of the cycle/curse, I might even have said that this ending wasn't very good. I think the reason here is a personal issue. I am not religious, and I do not believe in radical superstitions like magic, or mythical 

creatures (I do believe in luck, though). So whenever Himeko repeated her line about "when there's a prayer, there is also a curse", I kind of just ignored it and filed it as a Catholic thing. Given how realistic the story and characters are, I guess I subconciously assumed that something like breaking a curse couldn't possibly factor in to Narcissu. 

Still though, good ending. I agree with your assessment. Also, I felt chills when I heard Chihiro's voice again.

Vs Narcissu

As I stated earlier, it is hard for me to seperate these two visual novels from each other since together they are a complete story. However, if I had to choose one over the other, I think Narcissu 1 is much better than Narcissu Side 2nd. Mainly, I think Narcissu is much more accessible than 2nd. Not only is Narcissu much shorter, it's also a complete story on it's own. Don't get me wrong, 2nd is a great story as well, however, I believe that it is best enjoyed after reading Narcissu 1, which, as I just said, can be enjoyed on it's own. 

While I enjoyed Side 2nd, I have a feeling that someone who isn't a hardcore anime or visual novel fan, a casual, might be too daunted or may not have the patience to read Narcissue all the way to the end. Again though, I have a feeling that you're less than interested in hearing that kind of complaint.

The Usual

I think I was able to convey my feelings very well, so I'll skip a summary and go into the obligatory thank you note.

I truly enjoyed reading this visual novels. You recommended both Planetarian and Narcissu to me some months ago, and I have them written down somewhere, but even so, I have a feeling that it would've taken me years to get to them, even though I'm pretty sure you told me that Narcissu was free on Steam when you gave me the recommendation. Thank you for sharing these stories with us, as always. 

I can't help but notice that these vn streams are a serious departure from what you normally do. I think I have a feeling as to why you suddenly decided to share these stories with us, aside from your passion for the medium, I mean. I had hoped to have a short section where I talk about my own thoughts on vns, but I'm just a humble fan, ignoring a cringe fan fic or two floating around. All I'll say is that each medium, visual novel, novel, movies, games, etc. all have their place. 

I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings and they helped give you a break from things going on with you. Looking back at this, I am quite aghast. I might have a little too much free time… oh well. It's fun so who cares?

Also, my apologies for missing all of these vn streams. Bad luck. However, I think it’s for the best that I did miss them. I was able to watch these replays and go through the story at my own pace this way. 

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

chatgpt (AI) tells you why Nagi wins over Athena


Hayate's Love for Nagi

Hayate Ayasaki is a complex character in the popular manga and anime series "Hayate the Combat Butler." Throughout the series, he has been romantically linked with two of the main female characters, Athena Tennousu and Nagi Sanzenin. While Hayate has shown affection towards both women, it is clear that his feelings for Nagi are stronger and more genuine.

One of the reasons why Hayate did not really love Athena is that their relationship was built on a foundation of guilt and obligation. Hayate had saved Athena from a dangerous situation when they were younger, and as a result, she felt indebted to him. She later developed romantic feelings for him, but it was clear that her feelings were driven more by gratitude and obligation than true love. Hayate, on the other hand, was drawn to Athena because of her beauty and charm, but he did not have a deep emotional connection with her.

In contrast, Hayate's relationship with Nagi was much more meaningful and genuine. Nagi was initially infatuated with Hayate, but as they spent more time together, they developed a deep and meaningful bond. Hayate became Nagi's butler and caretaker, and their relationship evolved from one of employer-employee to one of friendship and trust. As they faced various challenges and adventures together, their bond grew stronger, and it became clear that they had developed true feelings for each other.

Another reason why Hayate loves Nagi truly is that she accepts him for who he is. Hayate is a complex character with a troubled past, and he struggles with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Nagi, however, sees him as a friend and a valuable member of her life, and she never judges him or makes him feel less than worthy. Their relationship is built on mutual respect and admiration, and this is what makes their love so genuine and pure.

Finally, it is worth noting that Hayate's feelings for Nagi are reciprocated. Nagi has shown time and time again that she cares deeply for Hayate and is willing to do whatever it takes to make him happy. She has even risked her own safety and well-being to help him, which is a clear indication of the depth of her feelings.

In conclusion, while Hayate Ayasaki had a relationship with Athena Tennousu, it was clear that his feelings for her were not as genuine or deep as his feelings for Nagi Sanzenin. Hayate and Nagi's relationship is built on mutual respect, trust, and genuine affection, and it is clear that they are meant to be together. Their love story is a beautiful and heartwarming one, and it is one of the reasons why "Hayate the Combat Butler" remains a beloved series among fans.

(AI) ChatGPT tells you why Hayate Loves Nagi

Hayate Ayasaki, the male lead in the anime and manga series "Hayate no Gotoku!" (also known as "Hayate the Combat Butler"), has had many romantic interests throughout the series, but it is clear that his attraction to Nagi Sanzenin, the wealthy heiress and main female protagonist, is particularly strong. In this article, we will explore the reasons why Hayate was always attracted to Nagi Sanzenin.

Firstly, Nagi possesses many qualities that Hayate admires. She is intelligent, creative, and independent, which are all traits that Hayate finds attractive. Nagi is also passionate about her hobbies and interests, which is something that Hayate respects and admires. Her confident and assertive personality is a contrast to Hayate's more reserved and humble nature, making her an intriguing and fascinating character to him.

Secondly, Nagi is a source of comfort and support for Hayate. Throughout the series, Hayate experiences many challenges and hardships, but Nagi is always there to offer him a helping hand or a kind word. She listens to him when he needs to talk and encourages him to pursue his dreams. This emotional support is important to Hayate, who has faced many difficulties in his life.

Thirdly, Nagi challenges Hayate to be a better person. Nagi's high standards and expectations push Hayate to improve himself and strive for excellence. She is not satisfied with mediocrity and encourages Hayate to aim for greatness. This challenge is both invigorating and inspiring to Hayate, who values personal growth and self-improvement.

Fourthly, Nagi and Hayate share a deep emotional connection. Despite their differences in social status and background, the two develop a strong bond throughout the series. They have a shared history of facing challenges and overcoming obstacles together, which creates a sense of intimacy between them. This emotional connection is the foundation for any successful romantic relationship.

In conclusion, Hayate was always attracted to Nagi Sanzenin for a variety of reasons. Her intelligence, independence, and passionate personality were all traits that he found attractive. Her emotional support and encouragement helped him overcome his challenges, and her high standards challenged him to be a better person. Their deep emotional connection and shared history created a sense of intimacy and trust between them that is essential for any successful romantic relationship. It is clear that Nagi was not only Hayate's employer but also the love of his life

Another ChatGPT (AI written) article

Nagi Sanzenin, the wealthy heiress and main female protagonist of the anime and manga series "Hayate no Gotoku!" (also known as "Hayate the Combat Butler"), has captured the hearts of many fans with her unique personality and charming demeanor. Throughout the series, there have been numerous romantic interests for the main character, Hayate, but it is clear from the beginning that Nagi was always meant to be his true love interest. In this article, we will explore the reasons why Nagi Sanzenin was always meant to be Hayate's love interest.

Firstly, Nagi is the main female lead in the series. As the central character, she is given more screen time and attention than any other female character, which is a clear indication that she is an important figure in Hayate's life. From the very beginning of the series, Hayate is employed as Nagi's butler, and it is clear that she is the one he is meant to serve and protect. This dynamic sets the foundation for their relationship and establishes Nagi as a key player in Hayate's life.

Secondly, Nagi and Hayate have a strong emotional connection. Despite their initial rocky start, the two develop a deep bond throughout the series. Nagi is initially cold and distant towards Hayate, but as the story progresses, she begins to warm up to him and reveal her true feelings. Hayate, in turn, becomes more protective and caring towards Nagi, demonstrating a deep level of loyalty and devotion. This emotional connection is the cornerstone of their relationship and provides a strong basis for a romantic connection.

Thirdly, Nagi and Hayate have a shared history. Hayate saves Nagi from kidnappers in the first episode of the series, and this act of heroism sets the stage for their relationship. As the series progresses, we learn more about Nagi's past, including the tragic death of her parents and her struggles with loneliness. Hayate is there for her every step of the way, offering comfort and support when she needs it most. This shared history deepens their emotional connection and creates a strong sense of intimacy between them.

Fourthly, Nagi and Hayate complement each other. Nagi is wealthy and privileged, but she lacks social skills and struggles with basic tasks. Hayate, on the other hand, is poor but resourceful and skilled in a variety of areas. Together, they make up for each other's weaknesses and create a strong team. This dynamic is essential for any successful romantic relationship, as it requires a balance of strengths and weaknesses.

In conclusion, Nagi Sanzenin was always meant to be Hayate's love interest. From the very beginning of the series, their dynamic was established as a central part of the plot, and their emotional connection and shared history deepened throughout the story. Their complementary personalities and abilities create a strong foundation for a romantic relationship, and their chemistry on screen is undeniable. While there were other romantic interests throughout the series, it is clear that Nagi was always the one meant to capture Hayate's heart.

I asked ChatGPT to write me an article

Hayate Ayasaki, the protagonist of the anime and manga series "Hayate no Gotoku" or "Hayate the Combat Butler," is known for his kindness, loyalty, and unwavering devotion to his employers. Throughout the series, Hayate has been shown to have feelings for several of the female characters, including Nagi Sanzenin and Hinagiku Katsura. However, in the end, Hayate chose Nagi over Hinagiku, leaving many fans wondering why.

To understand why Hayate rejected Hinagiku and chose Nagi, we need to look at the character development of both girls and how they relate to Hayate.

Nagi Sanzenin is the wealthy heiress who employs Hayate as her butler. Despite her privileged background, Nagi is often lonely and has difficulty connecting with others. However, Hayate is different. He treats her with kindness and respect, and she comes to rely on him emotionally. Over time, it becomes clear that Hayate is the one person who truly understands and accepts Nagi for who she is. In return, Nagi grows to care deeply for Hayate, and their relationship becomes the central focus of the series.

On the other hand, Hinagiku Katsura is the student council president at Hayate's school. She is independent, strong-willed, and initially, she is shown to have a crush on Hayate. However, as the series progresses, it becomes clear that Hinagiku's feelings for Hayate are more of a romantic ideal than a true emotional connection. While she respects and admires Hayate, she never opens up to him emotionally in the way that Nagi does.

In the end, Hayate chose Nagi over Hinagiku because his feelings for Nagi were deeper and more genuine. He came to see Nagi not just as his employer but as his friend, confidante, and even love interest. Nagi, in turn, grew to rely on Hayate emotionally and saw him as someone who truly understood and accepted her.

While Hinagiku was a strong and capable character, her feelings for Hayate never seemed to go beyond admiration and respect. In contrast, Hayate and Nagi's relationship was built on a deep emotional connection that was evident to everyone around them.

In conclusion, Hayate's decision to choose Nagi over Hinagiku was not a matter of superficial attraction or physical appearance but rather a reflection of the emotional bond that he had developed with Nagi throughout the series. Hayate and Nagi's relationship was built on mutual respect, understanding, and love, making them the perfect match for each other.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Happy HayaNagi Day 2022! (December 24) And Merry Christmas!

Today is ハヤナギの日 (HayaNagi day). They met on this day and their relationship began with a misunderstanding. Hayate wanting to kidnap Nagi for money because his good-for-nothing parents sold him to the Yakuza and eventually being grateful to her for giving him a job as her butler and Nagi thinking his kidnapping attempt was a confession of love and assuming for the longest time that he was madly in love with her when he always only saw her as a child and a master that he is eternally indebted to for 156 million yen as payment to the Yakuza. They met on this place called Loser Park on Christmas Eve

They would part on this very same day, one year later. The debt has been cleared, the misunderstanding had been settled with tears and now, Nagi is a little bit wiser, a little bit more independent, and decides to set him free to find happiness.

2 years later, Nagi, they would meet again on Loser Park on December 24th, Christmas Eve: the very same day when they first met. They greet each other, and Hayate declares that his feelings of wanting to protect her future has never changed over the past 2 years. And so, their hands intertwine and they walk off together. Nagi is no longer a billionaire heiress and Hayate is no longer boy in debt. This time, there are no misunderstandings. Surely, something has changed between them as well.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Happy Birthday 2022, Nagi Sanzen'in!

You know, it's kinda funny how whenever I tell people outright that I am in love with a fictional character online, the judgmental presumptuous comments just come pouring in. It's as if people think they know the entirety of my existence from a single statement that I made. Of course, don't get me started on the snide remarks I get when they find out that the fictional character I'm in love with happens to be 13 years old and eventually 16 as she is portrayed in her story.

In any case, if you know me, then you'd know that I always say this without reservation: I love Nagi Sanzen'in from Hayate the Combat Butler. It's not something that I just decided on a whim. I followed the manga for years after all. I jumped in a bit late but I quickly caught up and when I had read all 413 available chapters at the time that the manga was being actively published, I found that I not only liked the co-main character, but that I had genuine feelings of love for her.

It might have been the timing of everything. I was reading this manga at a low point of my life, so to speak. It was a time when I found little meaning in living and there was really nothing to look forward to in the future. Reading manga was nothing more than just another way for me to pass the time -- a form of escapism to help me forget about my mundane daily life.

At this point, Nagi in the manga was also going through a low point in her fictional life. She'd just learned that she wasn't the genius manga artist that she thought she was and she'd seen her butler whom she misunderstood at that time to have been hopelessly in love with her, hugging another girl from behind.

It was like the reality that she had always believed in had been shattered in front of her... and looking at her plight, I didn't feel just pity but quite a bit of rage. Rage at the unfairness of her situation and how the person she loved couldn't even care enough to notice her feelings when she was at her lowest point. It felt just as unfair as the things that I was going through at that time...

and... it was truly beautiful for me the way the story unfolded. At the end of this particular story arc, she managed to create an original manga story by herself, and it was something that was interesting enough for people to buy her manga without her using any gimmicks. Nagi is an actual genius, so using some marketing tricks, she could have easily sold a lot more of her manga, but she chose to let the story she wrote speak for itself -- because it was also a story that culminated all of the pent-up frustration, heartache, and tiny bits of triumph that she had achieverd at that time, as unpolished and amateurish as the actual story might have looked to a professional manga artist. It was a real first step for a character who was initially billed as spoiled, selfish, and unable to achieve anything by herself.

I think this was the moment when I realized, I was in love with her -- and of course, she never disappointed until the end of the story. She just kept proving why I fell in love with her, even at the point when the misundertanding between herself and Hayate came to light and her heart was spectalularly broken... it was a beautiful redemption in the end.

So yes, I am 100% dead serious when I say I'm in love with her. Certainly, it's a type of love that will never be reciprocated, but that doesn't mean that these feelings are any less real. So once again, let the negative labels and name-calling roll in, let people judge me harshly based on their subjective experiential standards, all because I love a fictional, underaged (as she's portrayed in the story) girl and loving her makes me happy.

Happy Birthday, Nagi Sanzen'in. (Nagi is officially 31 now in our timeline. She was born on December 3, 1991 according to the manga).