Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Iloilo City: How Far Have We Really Gone?

So while having the car serviced at the Jaro Nissan Service Center, I took a little (long) stroll from Gaisano City to SM City cutting through the Iloilo Sports Complex Road. Started at 9:37 and arrived around 10:08. Anyway, as I took the overpass towards the entrance to SM, I noticed that there was an old beggar lady at the bottom of the overpass on the side of the Injap skyscraper. 

Not the least bit winded from the trip (because I have teh awesome cardio), the contrast of visual information struck me as a little bit sad; the Injap skyscraper, 7-11, Apec 2015 signs, a relatively brand new overpass and a pitiful looking beggar woman at the bottom of the overpass.

I thought about donating some of my loose cash to her, but I didn't. At the end of the day, I wouldn't be helping her -- I wouldn't be saving her from doing the same thing again. Giving alms at that moment would just be plain hypocrisy. I'd just be making myself feel better-- staving off the vague moral obligation compelled by this sight. There was realistically nothing that I could do for this person at that very moment -- except perhaps to let others know so that they may know.

I'm not noble nor pure-hearted, but I can't help but feel that there's just something wrong with this scenario. Iloilo City is obviously investing millions into infrastructure development and yet, the presence of such a sight feels (to me) like a failure on the side of social welfare and the delivery of basic goods and services.

What do you think? Was this a one-time fluke? Could we stand to rethink our priorities a bit?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 507: Karakoi -- Review and Synopsis

What was this "warmth?" By the way, this chapter cover is very similar to my fanfic cover here

Synopsis: While Nagi is asleep, Hayate confronts Sakuya as to why she is really here in Las Vegas. Sakuya then directly asks him if he would quit as Nagi's butler if he were to win the 150 million on this school trip. Hayate hesitates but also declares that it's been a fun nine months being Nagi's butler. He then ominously says that he feels that he's making a huge mistake and that he feels it's going to end before too long. The narrator states that "they lack 'love.'"

Sakuya says that it's ok to feel uneasy about things. They then move to a discussion about the Sanzen'in Inheritance and Hisui Hatsushiba's role. Sakuya informs Hayate that if Nagi loses the inheritance this time, it's going to be permanent. Also, she says that if Nagi wins the inheritance then these fun days can continue as long as Hayate doesn't quit being her butler.

Hayate reluctantly says that it would be a dream come true. We move on to Hina and Izumi. Izumi asks Hina what she'll do if she wins. She says that she'll donate it to someone in need -- said someone being Hayate obviously. As for Izumi, she says that she'll give it to Hayate because he's in need. Hina gets flustered and says that Hayate would quit being Nagi's butler and even leave Hakuo if that happens -- however, Izumi is positive that he'll never leave Nagi alone. This leaves Hina with some food for thought. Now she has to make a definite decision as to what she should do if she wins since Hayate himself says that he won't start a romance with anyone as long as he's Nagi's butler.

Meanwhile, Kananiwa blurts out her plot to find a candidate to open the path to the Royal Garden using this school trip to find someone with an explosion of negative emotions. Hayate overhears this to her surprise and he proposes starting the final orientation immediately.

Review: We may have had a two-week break, but there's lots of plot to be discussed in this chapter.

Let's start with the obvious: Hayate and Nagi's relationship. This chapter is deceptively cruel. While at the onset, it seems like there's going to be some positive development for the HayaNagi ship with the chapter cover, title and the text in the cover, that notion is quickly laid to rest by the actual contents of the manga -- or so it seems.

We see that the manga declares that there's a bomb between them and that there's no "love" between them -- so what does this mean? Naturally, this is open to speculation, but I never thought for one moment that this meant Hayanagi ship = sunk. In contrast, I saw it as a positive development. 

"Bomb" and "Explosion of Negative Emotions?" Definitely reeks of foreshadowing to me.

There are two things happening at this juncture: First of all, Hata finally acknowledges the fundamental problem between Hayate and Nagi that we've known all along -- there's no love (specifically mutual romantic love) between them. Hayate has never once hinted at being romantically attracted to Nagi in any way whatsoever. Now the manga finally acknowledges this -- now things can start moving forward. Hata's not dumb. You can see it in the structure of the manga. The original plans may have changed quite a bit, but the relationship between Hayate and Nagi has always persisted in having this one fundamental flaw -- the main question is: why? Only Hata can tell us, so we must wait.

Secondly: the declaration that there's a bomb between them feels like a strong foreshadowing that Nagi will become the candidate to open the path to the Royal Garden with an "explosion" of negative emotions. See where that's going?

Therefore, I don't see this as a death sentence for my ship, but rather, as a huge step in the final, logical conclusion of this manga. With that said, it's still a 50-50 thing. At this stage, Hata has now laid the flag for what might be the end of the Hayate x Nagi relationship, while also being the flag for what could be the decisive event for the development/realization of a romantic relationship between them. 

Harem ending and other cop-out endings NOT happening.

Also, this chapter rules out several possible endings. The "I'll be her butler forever" ending is definitely a no-go now because of two events:

1. Hayate is reluctant about saying "that would be a dream come true" when Sakuya suggests that he should be Nagi's butler forever so their happy days can continue. He also feels that his current relationship with Nagi is going to end soon.

2. Hinagiku's re-declaration of Hayate's previous statement that he would never enter a romantic relationship as long as he is Nagi's butler.

These two are definitely flags towards ruling out the I'll be her butler forever ending and also points towards a definite romantic ending for Hayate.

Finally, the dimbulb girl of the group, Izumi openly states that Hayate won't quit being Nagi's butler and leave her alone. Why does she believe this? Why do I think her opinion matters? Simple: she's pure-hearted -- and this is a shounen manga. Nuff said.

So now the stage has been set for the final phase of this manga. The time for ship wars is now past. Any questions/speculations we might have had about the ending will soon be answered -- and all we can do is wait.

Personally, I choose to stay positive and root for my ship until the very end.

Fanart Corner: I exhausted myself mentally analyzing this chapter, so I'll just dump these without any comments.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 506: Older Female Relatives Tend Not To Mind Their Own Business -- Review and Synopsis

Nice background art here. I notice Hata can do some pretty detailed BGs when he wants to.
Synopsis: Continuing from where the story left off. Nagi and Hayate meet up with Sakuya who explains that she's here because Mikado said this trip would be important for deciding who gets the inheritance... in other words, she has nothing better to do. Nagi explains that this school trip has not been very fun and Sakuya can't have that, so she decides to make it fun by randomly going up to Isumi and pressing her completer.

Kananiwa reveals to Yukiji and Sonia that if there's more than one individual left in the competition when the time is up, then everyone is disqualified.

I'm here to stare at your cute face, Nagi... that's what!

Meanwhile, Yukiji meets up with Hayate and Nagi and tries to buy off Hayate with one million yen to press his completer. She reveals that she has been buying off the other competitors using Aika's money. However, Aika herself meets up with her butler/lover, who tells her that she's proven herself... and thus, she promptly gives up. Which leaves Yukiji in a bit of a pinch due to her deal with Aika.

Review: Well, looks like they weren't kidding when they said that the Level 5 Competition is really coming to a close. The way I see it, I don't think Yukiji will last another chapter and it really will come down to Hayate, Nagi, and Hinagiku now that Aika and Isumi are out of the way.

Anyway, exciting stuff... or rather, a good setup for more exciting stuff in the coming chapters. We still have to find out how Ruri Tsugumi fits into all of this. Also, it's about time for a Hinagiku chapter, methinks. By the way, Chiharu, Kayura and Izumi are still in this competition as far as I know, so we can't count them out just yet. They might turn out to be cop-out winners just in case Hata doesn't want to make any definite statements at the end of this arc just yet.

Fanart Corner: Whee! Here's a new one from me. I really like how this turned out. It's actually based on my Nagi doll -- which is basically COSPA's Nagi bust on an Obitsu type body. I'm uploading a pic of said doll together with the fanart.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 505: Please Read Ad Astra Per Aspera -- Review and Synopsis

Nagi Cover FTW!

Nagi cover! Yes IEEEYESSU!


Hayate: Have you gone nuts again, ojou-sama?

Nagi: Listen, stupid! The author has a new series, see?

Hayate: Oh it's AD

Nagi: Yeah, it's AD!

Maria: What a stupid title eh? LOL

Nagi: Finally, the time has come eh? For this manga to be censored

Maria and Hayate: ...

Hayate: Nah

Maria: Yearh, it hasn't been decided yet

Nagi: TAKE THAT! Here's the effin evidence!

Words on magazine: The serialization of the manga will leave this magazine

Hayate: Ahh...

Nagi: This is us, isn't it? This is definitely us!

Hayate: Everything will be daijobu. It's been more than ten years and it seems this manga is not that good.

Nagi: Whadja talkin about!?

Maria: More imporantly

Nagi: WTF are you babblin on now, Maria?

Maria: Where do you think this new series is going?

Nagi: Where do I think?

Hayate: Btw, Ad's first chapter has like 83 pages

Nagi: 83 peygeeee?

Hayate: Yearh, and full colors and stuff!

Nagi: Blah, blah, stuff about Ad Astra Per Aspirin

Maria: Didn't we start out that way too?

Stuff happens and they all agree that Ad Astra's success is actually good for this manga

Anyway, they start talkin about Ad Astra's stuff. Like that there's a robot there, so is it sci fi?

Maria: It's an effin futuristic world!

Nagi: The author used that once in Masterpiece Theater

Nagi: speculates about the robot

Suddenly, 8-kun and Fumi appear

Maria and Hayate: WTF?

Fumi: You summoned this guy with that remark

Hayate: Why was this piece of junk born, anyway?

Hayate: Anyway, we've decided that this manga is good for our manga, k?

Fumi: Of course, and I have a stupid idea for making it popular quickly!

Maria: OOH, such groundless confidence!

Fumi: It's gotta be erotic, gross and violent!

Nagi: eh...

Fumi: Yes, Fumi loves ero, guro and violence! ... That's why we should have some of that too!

Hayate: lolwhut?

Eight: :)

Nagi: Whoa, I haven't seen this in ten years

Eight: C'mon, c'mon! It's been years since we last fought!

Hayate: Look, what is more important right now is the new series...

Eight: STFU and fight! (shoryukens Hayate)

Nagi: Uwaa

Maria: Now we're getting some violence huh?

Eight: Well, do you remember?

Hayate: Now I angry... Hayate smash!

Fumi: Yes, yes... this feeling!

Hayate: (hokuto shinkens Eight) Here's some guro for ya!

Fumi: Yeah... that's the stuff!

Nagi and Maria: ...

Fumi: and now everyone... for the finale!

Fumi: ERO!

Shot of Sharna in a fanservice pose with only a bikini bottom on.

Sharna: Fumi chan...

Fumi: Phew, with this, the manga will be DAIJOBU!

Sharna: Here's some more violence for you!

Nagi: Ah well, let's do things at our own pace.

Maria: I know, right?

Review: That has to be the most appropriate title in the world. Anyway, this is a Hayatesurrance filler chapter wherein Hata teases us a bit about his new series. Ad Astra Per! I guess it's fine... but there's nothing to review here, so like, see ya next chapter.

I don't think I'll be covering Ad Astra, but I might give it a read sometime. Also, Sore Ga Seiyuu's anime is surprisingly good. I recommend you give it a try. It's not all MOE MOE cutesy stuff... although it is quit a bit of that too.

Also, the ERO portion should have been Nagi.

Fanart Corner: Hehe... I've been wanting to color this fanart for a long time and now, here it is. I've also included a version with text just for fun. Anyway, See ya next chapter. Still have some pending fanart that I need to color and one I've been wanting to draw for some time. This is based on Kotobukiya's Nagi swimsuit figure. Just in case you didn't know that already. I added a blush to her mouth and changed the mouth a bit.

Nagi is laifu! Nagi is best waifu!
You sure are, ojou-sama. Sexy and cute!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 504: This is a Story of Friendship -- Review and Synopsis

Any bets on when we'll start seeing a loli Yukariko doujin?
Synopsis: This chapter is basically Kananiwa talking to mikado and revealing how Yukariko, Himegami and everyone else fall into the king's jewel plot. We learn that Yukariko found the stones when she was a little girl and this triggered everything regarding the royal power. Anyway, Kananiwa is using the school trip to find a worthy candidate to open the royal garden. Also Athena was eavesdropping the whole time and thinks something should be done about Kananiwa. Mikado says he's got this. Also, it seems Kananiwa is a relative of Mikado's and possibly a candidate for his inheritance.

Review: Well... ya know, lots of interesting revelations about the King's Jewels plot and all here, but... no Nagi no like for this blogger. But yeah, plot is moving along at a steady clip, so I suppose it's time to speculate on who becomes Kananiwa's candidate?

Well... there are three possibilities the way I see it.

Nagi: Coz she's gonna be so in despair over possibly losing Hayate and stuff.

Hinagiku: I dunno... just insert your favorite rationale here, I 'm sure others can think of this stuff better than me. Anyway, she's apparently important to the plot right now and she's part of the school excursion, so...

Third party interference: Time for Hisui Hatsushiba to come in since she hasn't made a move in a long time and does not appear to be in cahoots with Kananiwa.

Anyway, I dunno... but just lemme say it again: I really like Kananiwa's character for some reason. Sure, not as much as I love Nagi, but yeah...

By the way, I'm totally shipping Mikado x Athena right about now... it's wrong and I know it!
I mean... they're together even in the OVA with a picture of Nagi and Hayate married.
Fanart corner: Man, I am soo lazy to finish my fanart these days. Here are a few. One finished and one unfinished... that is all. See ya next chapter!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 503: The Goblin of Las Vegas -- Review and Synopsis

She's either wearing a g-string or nothing at all for her skirt to be digging into her ass the way it is in this cover.
Synopsis:  Kananiwa and Wataru's mother are havin a little conversation and it seems they know each other... and Kananiwa's here to talk about KING's JEWELS BUSINESS! (meh)

Then we get a totally unrelated page involving Maria... oh wait, it's Hayate dreaming about Maria.

Anyway, he wakes up and finds that it's just Nagi in front of him (Hayate, you poor tasteless fool). Nagi says that it's just the demon of Las Vegas. It's because this manga isn't popular anymore... is it going to be alright? She says that weak-spirited people need to watch out.

Anyway, Nagi breaks the 4th wall for a while, but the gist of it is that Wataru's mother is in Las Vegas. Back to the old hags and their King's Jewels conversation. It seems that they came across the jewel before while they were playing hide and seek as kids in Mykonos. They knew each other well enough to call each other nicknames.
Good stuff for those into "adult women."

Anyway, Mikoto refuses to tell Kananiwa anything, so she says she'll find out on her own anyway since there's some kind of power in the stone. Kananiwa theorizes that Yukariko probably did get the royal power.
Mikoto insists she doesn't understand but that Kananiwa should stop coz it's all nonsense.

Kananiwa goes "well thanks for fuckin nothing! And says she's going back because she still needs to oversee the school excursion.

Mikoto says that it'd be nice if it all goes well, eh? And reveals that she believes Kananiwa is trying to find a candidate for the royal power through this excursion.

Next page: ZOMG! Mai waifu is so sexy in a bunny girl outfit.
Hayate: WTF are you doing, ojou-sama?

Nagi: Well... it seems the demon of Las Vegas got to me to.

Hayate: Pull yourself together.

Anyway, Hayate remarks that nothing has happened yet and this Las Vegas trip just seems like a tour for being the final phase considering what they had to go through earlier.
Nagi says that maybe the final test has already begun.

Suddenly, a wild Sakuya appears... fuck kansai
Anyway, she sorta says something along the lines of... she's the main character in this final phase.

Nagi and Hayate: ...

Nagi: See, Hayate? This girl's been infected with the demon of las vegas.

Review: Oh yeah! This is a 10/10 chapter just for that one-page Nagi service!
Half-kidding aside, not much is really going on for now, but there's some juicy plot-related stuff revealed here -- such as the fact that Kananiwa and Mikoto were childhood friends and that they both knew Yukariko/Nagi's mother.
Nagi has some really nice curves for a loli
It seems that Kananiwa has some kind of great wish that she needs the royal power to fulfill. Also, the mention of Yukariko kinda lends credence to the idea that Mikado might be trying to revive her.

Anyway, nothing going on as of yet as far as the students are concerned -- it's a bit strange that Sakuya is here though. It leaves me wondering what her role in this final phase might be.

I'm still liking Kananiwa even if she is being made out to be the villain of this arc. It's also interesting to see her getting flustered when Mikoto reveals that she's aware of her plans.

Also, a little note on this chapter: I'm not sure what the demon/goblin of Las Vegas is all about, but I think it might mean something like, Las Vegas has a certain allure to it that causes you to act er... strangely.

Fanart Corner:  Didn't get to finish this one, but I'll try to get it done by this weekend along with two other fanart in-progress.
Just bought Steins;Gate for PS Vita and finished Hyperdimension NepNep so...
 Nagi: I am the mad otaku! Sanzen'in Nagi!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 502: The Plan Is Proceeding As Scheduled -- Review and Synopsis (Japanese Raws)

The most beautiful ADULT woman in the series!
Synopsis: Synopsis: Chapter Title: The plan is proceeding as scheduled.

Hayate: Whoo! This is really Las Vegas ain't it? 2009 Las Vegas! (it's still 2006 in the timeline... I think)
These breaking the 4th wall jokes are getting old.

Nagi: -_- yearh.

Aika: THE fuck is up with this competition? Even those that win don't win!

Aika: Anywayz, if you came up here, then you just came here to witness mai victory!

Hata really likes showing Nagi in that smug, talking with her back turned to you pose.

Hayate and Nagi: Somehow, Aika just became really scary.

Aika: (secretly assessing everyone's power levels over 9000... except Izumi)

Aika: So if I can't beat Nagi, Hayate, Hinagiku, Izumi and Yukiji, I can't win this thing.

So she decides to form an alliance with the weaker survivors of the school trip including Izumi and Kayura.

Everyone: But Izumi is usless.

Aika: S'awright, being useless has its advantages.

Izumi: CHOTTO!

Aika: You got 250,000 yen left, so you can gimme 10000 yen, right?

Yukiji and Sistah: Oooh, Rasu Begasu is naisu, desu ne?

Yukiji: But ya know what Las Vegas is really famous for? Casino! Casino!

Sonia: Anyway, we gotta win this competition nao so concentrate!

Aika: Hoho, but you dun have any money right now, right? Here, 10000 yen for the Casino!

Yukiji: ZOMG! Awesome!

Aika: SHe's going to be a useful ally.

Yukiji: Man, I blew that 10,000 yen, but I dun have any money other than this... wait! This card (the cowcow credit card)

Yujiji to man in black: Hey, can I use this card to get 10,000 yen?

Man: Of course

Yukiji: Yeah? Then how about 100,000 yen?

Yukiji: (with wads of cash in hand) Woo hoo!

Aika: The interest rate is going to kill you.

Sonia: WTF have you done?

Yukiji: oh noez? What should I doooo?

Aika: I'll take on your debt for ya, Sensei... you just gotta retire right now for me.

Sonia and Yukiji: 0_0

Review: Due to my half-baked knowledge of Japanese, I find that my chapter summaries are getting more amusing every week. Anyway, not much Nagi in this chapter, so meh. 

It's an Aika chapter and as foreshadowed earlier, it seems Aika will be having a pivotal role in the final half of this Level 5 Orientation Arc. This is the most amount of character development that Aika has ever received since she was first introduced into this manga -- and as we can see, far from the unperturbed, cool girl that she purports herself to be, she is actually quite stubborn and determined in her own way; a trait which Hata-sensei seems to favor and encourage.
Clearly not enough Nagi in this chapter.
In any case, she takes a rather pragmatic approach since she knows that Hayate, Nagi (with Hayate), Hinagiku, Yukiji, and Isumi are very formidable competitors -- and she can't win against them by herself, so she sets up a winning strategy for herself by first removing Yukiji as a threat and then subsequently turning her into a powerful ally.

Which is nice... but I dun really care about Aika nor Yukiji -- so anyway, she apparently has a good chance of winning right now as a wildcard in this competition, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Fanwork Corner: I'm just going to share (again) this BIASED TRAILER for the nonexistent Golden Week Arc that I've made earlier since I haven't drawn anything new recently.