Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler: An Accidental Kiss (A short scenario with matching fanart by me)

Author's Ramblings: Well... Hayate is on a two-week break until 6/8, so I've got some stuff scheduled for this blog to fill the gap. One is an article on why I love Nagi Sanzenin so much (as if you needed more of that) and the other is this short scenario I wrote with matching fanart.

I call this a scenario because there's really not enough in here to justify me calling it an actual story. Anyway, not much thought was put into this, but I did try to make it entertaining and as true enough to the series as I can while still being a bit whimsical about it.

Shoutout to someone who wants to be called "Nagi Sanzenin" for giving me the idea for this scenario as well as requesting the fanart that comes with this write-up.




Hayate The Combat Butler: An Accidental Kiss

Nagi: Hayate! Hayate! Where are you?

This was the third time that the young blonde had called out for her butler. Although Nagi Sanzenin was now quite far from the impatient little girl that she had been just over a year ago, she was getting a little bit worried.
After all, Hayate would usually come running on a moment’s notice as soon as he heard his lady calling for him.

Well, the truth is that Hayate had simply overslept because Maria had kept him up all night on a karaoke sing-along marathon with her – encroaching upon Hayate’s already measly time allotted for sleep in a single day.

Nagi: Hayate! HAYATE!

This time, there was a clear note of worry in Nagi’s voice.

Hayate: Wah! Wah? What’s  wrong!? I’m coming, ojou-sama! WHOA!

Nagi: Ah, there you are! Oi, oi! Hayate, why are you fumbling around like a drunkard? Watch the stairs, you idiot! Haya...

Hayate: Waaa… out of the way, ojou-sama!

Smeeerp!

Hayate: Mmm….

Nagi: Mmmm…? (Wha? Wha?)

Hayate: M… (Did I bump into something? Such tenderness; and this sweet 
 scent… wait, wait… is this? What am I doing? Could it be… ojou-sama and I are…?)

Yes, in an epic moment of romantic comedy cliché, Hayate had somehow managed to stumble his way into a deep kiss with his petite young mistress.

Still just half-awake, Hayate's self-imposed psychological safeguards regarding his mistress and her tender age were not yet fully operational and so...

Hayate: (Now that I think about it… such luscious lips... ojou-sama might be small, but she really is a very cute girl. I should stop, but… maybe, just a little bit longer!)

Nagi: Mmm… (Ha-hayate? D-don’t stop! No wait… I can’t breathe.)

Nagi: FWAH!

Nagi pushed herself away from Hayate lips and greedily sucked in air. As much as she enjoyed the moment, her butler was already suffocating her with his sudden display of affection.
 
Hayate was now holding her lower body in his arms and hoisting her up to him. The young girl who was quite unaccustomed to kissing anyone at all awkwardly wiped her lips and covered her face in embarrassment.
They looked into each other’s eyes and blushed simultaneously. Nagi was the first to break eye contact. She looked away shyly; face still flushed at the dawning realization of what they had just done.

Hayate, on the other hand, could not take his eyes off of her – drunken with the realization that this young lady before him was a girl – a girl that he could kiss; a girl that he could fall in love with – overcome with happiness at the thought that the most important person in his life right now could also become the love of his life in the near future – or perhaps even sooner. Yes, in his mind, Hayate Ayasaki was getting impatient – even at himself for his own hesitation.

Nagi: Ha-hayate? Th-that was perhaps a little bit forceful, but... If you still want to… 

Nagi blinked twice before continuing.

Nagi: One more time. I-I want to try that again. Let’s do it… properly this time, ok?

Hayate stared lovingly into Nagi’s jade green pools. He had cast aside all thoughts of her tender age at that moment. He was looking at her as the woman he could never see her to be for the very first time – and indeed, he liked what he saw very much.

Hayate: W-with pleasure, ojou-sama!

And then he pulled her closer to him. He was not met with even the slightest bit of resistance from her.  She allowed him to lead the way – yes, to be the man that he never had been for her.

Hayate grabbed the back of her head and then greedily sunk his lips into hers – attacking her lips with his own as if wanting to savor every moment that he had wasted looking elsewhere when she had been by his side all this time. 

The young couple kissed violently, lustfully, unabashedly – as if to spite the world and tell everyone that what they are feeling; what they are doing at this very moment is not wrong.

Hayate was wild, hasty, strong… and Nagi met him unflinchingly, gently,  lovingly. Yes, after all, she had always been his refuge at the lowest moments of his life, now would certainly not be any different – and yet, now it was very different; now, there were no more words, no more misunderstandings, no more explosion of negative emotions.

Hayate: Hah!

Hayate paused in an effort to restrain himself.

Hayate: Ojou-sama? Are you sure about this?

Nagi: I want it. Hurry up!

Hayate moved in a flash – faster than the naked eye could perceive and at that very moment…

Maria: STAHP! If you go any further, Hayate-kun is going to jail! Mou, kids nowadays! If you’re going to go that far, you’d better make sure you’re going to marry each other. Actually, I could call Grandpa Mikado right now so...

Nagi: Ma-Maria?

Hayate: Maria-san? Uh… err… this is…

Nagi was quick to take the lead as usual from her faltering butler lover.

Nagi: Uh… I think I’ll go take a shower.

Hayate: Yes, ojou-sama! I’ll go clean up the mansion.

Maria: Well, you two are certainly in sync today… now I’m a little jealous…

A little while later, as Nagi and Maria were alone inside Nagi’s room…

Maria: Psst! Good job, Nagi!

Nagi: Sh-shut up! Don’t talk about it! It’s embarrassing!

No one ever gave this relationship a chance.
Afer all, it was initially a relationship that was borne out of a misunderstanding. A love that was meant to be forever unrequited... but real love transcends everything – even sweet, cruel words that cause unintentional misunderstandings.

And thus, life went on as usual inside the Sanzenin Mansion… although neither Hayate nor Nagi would get any sleep that night after today’s events; so perhaps, something had changed – you decide.


The End
 
Burn, haters! Burn!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 530: Dreams Come In Various Forms -- Review and Synopsis


This is the face of "filler." When you see it, you'll know it.
Synopsis: Fumi and Sharna are still going on about that making money through rap thing.

Sharna says that it was mistake to try and make money through rap anyway. Fumi wonders what she else she can do.

Anywayz, Fumi reminds us that her family will starve if she remains in the poorhouse.

Sharna suggests finding a part-time job. But Fumi throws a tantrum. She wants FUN AND MONEY! Why don't'ya understand, Sharna-chan!?

Suddenly, Shii-chan appears even though Fumi left her at home. She says she agrees with Fumi!

Shii-chan suggests thinking about how to receive a government grant without tax or something like that.

Fumi likes this idea.

Sharna goes all: WAIT A MINUTE!

Sharna says something about overflowing hopes and dreams and not using dirty methods to attain money.

Fumi blanks out and asks Shii-chan for suggestions.

Shii-chan says there's a lot of dreams in insurance scams, right?

Sharna asks where's the dream in that.

Suddenly, we're shown Shii-chan apparently as an office worker drinking in a bar by herself... and thinking about her grandmother who just died.

Back to reality, Shii-chan says: something like that.

Fumi says she understands. Sharna says that's a crime!

Shii-chan says that she understands and will use her powers to search for a lucrative job that is full of hopes and dreams... by consulting a smart phone... lol

She says she found one! The top ranking hit is... a YOUTUBER! (oh fudge... Hata, you troll)

After some explaining, Shii-chan manages to convince both Fumi and Sharna to get into it... especially when she explains the annual income of a hit youtuber.

So now with Fumi all fired up, they have to decide on what kind of movies to upload.

This is the look of disappointment... or is it awe? Well, whatever.

Shii-chan says something about reaching a particular goal for new youtubers that I can't understand... lol

She also says she has a unique idea that no one's thought of yet.

ANIMAL MOVIES ARE CUTE! (Everyone sing Miku's Doubutsu Uranai nao! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GvSnQbDcf0) She also gets all enthusiastic and shows them a few animal movies like this viral cute cat movie.

Fumi says she's got that stupid dog Armageddon at home, Sharna says they'd better go with a cat.

Anyway, Fumi goes home and then tries to get Armageddon to do something in front of the camera... which he does. He gets up, goes to the fridge, puts some milke IN A GLASS... and then he opens a laptop and shows them a viral video of himself singing Senbonzakura.

He then opens some kind of offer to work as a famous singer with someone on a smartphone and proceeds to walk off into the sunset with a jacket on.

Fumi: Let's... work seriously.

Shii-chan: Yes, Master!

Review: While this chapter was purely filler, it does serve to highlight one of the important recurring themes in Hayate The Combat Butler -- which is, things don't always go the way you planned... but again, this doesn't mean that you give up on your dreams.


As the chapter title says, dreams can come in various forms. Now then, let me go on a tangent and talk about this theme a bit since some interesting talk came up in chapter 529 in the comments section of Doughnut Gunso's blog.

Anyway, I want to talk about several things here, so I've broken them down into subheadings.


Hayate Isn't A "Good Person"

I've talked about Hayate at length in my previous character analysis and I have mentioned something like this in passing once, but anyway, I'd like to restate my personal assessment that Hayate himself isn't really a good person.

Yes, he does many things which one can objectively consider to be good. The effects of his actions are usually good, but at the core of his being as a person, Hayate often has the wrong motivations for spreading his "casual kindness" everywhere. Furthermore, it's his propensity for being casually kind which often results in girls falling in love with him -- and which he has been very hesitant to address throughout the series, even if he should be well-aware by now that he is the one causing girls to fall in love with him.


Anyway, like I mentioned in the comments section of Hayatereport, I don't believe in absolutes like classifying someone as "good" or "evil." What I can say about Hayate's actions however is that he still hasn't found a true personal ideal or reason for his actions. I've compared him to Emiya Shirou and I stand by that comparision because both of them are living on borrowed ideals. This is also why I believe Hayate is straying way behind Nagi in the character development department because Nagi has found her own reasons for being who she is and doing what she does. You may disagree with her reasons, but I find her admirable because they truly belong to her -- she is not hesitant in her actions because of this, unlike Hayate. 

How I Believe Idealism Works In This Series
I've mentioned that the Hayate universe espouses idealism but idealism which is firmly grounded in reality. Allow me to explain:

Let's look at the mangaka arc. Nagi has a simple dream. She wants to become a best-selling mangaka. It's a simple dream that trods on no one's lawn and while it is very unrealistic, it's not something that one can consider as "evil."


So what happens to this dream? Hata steps all over it. He puts her through the wringer in the mangaka arc and crushes her dreams over and over again. Nagi is made to realize that she is very very far from being a professional mangaka when she sees a professional mangaka's scribbles which makes her own manga look like trash.

Just when she has recovered from this, she finds a rival in Ruka and again, said Rival crushes her in a manga-selling competition and Nagi has no excuse at all for her loss this time. She is forced to accept that she may not be as talented as she ever thought she was.


A little bit later, just when she has worked so hard to create a good manuscript that she believes Hayate would surely congratulate her for, she sees her butler apaprently flirting with her rival.

But that's not the end of it. She spills ink on her manuscript and is apparently on the verge of giving up the fight, but... at the end of the day, she doesn't. She finds the will to carry on -- the strength to continue and when she does, when her motivations are just right, she... barely manages to end her contest in a tie with Ruka...


So it seems that Nagi didn't really find any reward at all and while she believes she won, it was nothing mroe than a cheap win which was allowed by her rival, but that's only true if you're just looking at the results. Again, look at the title of this chapter, because it IS one of the overarching themes of this series and that, I believe is how idealism works in the Hayate universe.

Nagi found her reward during the climax of the mangaka arc, but it's not the kind of reward that people are looking for. Yes, Hayate did stay with her, albeit with a heavy heart at what he might have lost in Ruka, but that's not it -- you're not looking at the right reward here.


Nagi's reward was her sense of accomplishment in finally creating a manga that she could be proud of after seeing how miserable her previous creations were. She finally managed to create something competent with her own two hands -- and yes, she did have a whole lot of help, but it was still something she made herself, something she could call her own and which she should be very proud of. But that's not the end of it. During the course of selling her newly-printed doujin, she finds real joy -- the joy of selling her manga to people who were actually interested in it. Her dream of becoming a best-selling manga was somewhat fulfilled here, again, just not in the way that she was expecting. She didn't become a trillion-selling mangaka overnight, but through hard work, dedication, and yes, some luck through the help of various individuals, she at least became a sold-out newbie mangaka in comiket.

So yeah, instead of seeing the series as nothing more than an exercise in pessimism, perhaps try to look at the bright side and try to see how the various characters are indeed rewarded for their "hard work" and "unwavering morals," just don't expect the reward to come in the way that you expect.

Hahaha! No Nagi this chapter but I still managed to talk all about Nagi! Achievement Unlocked!


Fanart Corner: Whee! Got some composite art today using photos of Nagi doll and my scribbles~ Check them out! This is inspired by 40mP's Hatsune Miku song, Little World/小さな世界 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCrYt3SjxHE



















Friday, May 13, 2016

To The Anonymous Commenter On "Starry Night"

Thank you for bringing the link to the original fanfic, "A Beautiful Night" to my attention. I have since talked to the author who has admitted to copying several lines from said fic without permission -- which is why I've taken the fanfic, "Starry Night" down from my blog.

The author of Starry Night is presumably of tender age and did not realize what she was doing.

In any case, to the anonymous commenter who brought this to my attention: again, thanks a lot.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 529: POP STAR -- Review and Synopsis

OMFG! LITTLE NAGI IS SO EFFING CUUUUTE!!!!!

Synopsis: Nagi tells a story about herself and Hisui when they were little.

Nagi was crying during a party and she went outside all alone when Hisui asked her what she was crying about from atop a tree.

Nagi calls her "Hi-chan"

Nagi: Wait, what are you doing all the way up there?

Hisui: Well... the view here is nice.

Nagi: But you'll die if you fall. It's dangerous.

Aren't these Conan's lackeys from Detective Conan?

Hisui: BUt it really is pretty -- the view.

Hisui: So... why are you crying?

Nagi: No one wanted to read my manga and I ended up looking silly.

Random Bully Kids: Oi, Nagi! Show us your stupid manga.

Nagi: N-No!

Random Bully Kids: It's ok! (forcefully takes the manga)

Random Bully Kids: Wahaha! What the heck is this? It's so disjointed!

Nagi: He-hey! That's enough, isn't it! Give it back!


Don't cry, little Nagi. I'll read your manga for you~
Random Bully Kids: Shut up! We're still reading!

(one of them pushes Nagi away)

Random Bully Kids: Go over there!

Hisui catches Nagi.

Nagi: Hi-chan?

Hisui: Hey, that's Nagi's isn't it? Give it back!

Random Bully Kids: What's with you, Hisui! You're younger than us!

Hisui snatches the manga away like a ninjer and gives it back to little Nagi.

Hisui: I didn't come here to fight. (I think one of the kids' name is Sonsuru) Neither did you, right?

Nagi: B-but!

Big Bully punches Hisui smack on the face. She falls over.

Big Bully: I remember what you did to me back then. Don't be so cocky, Hisui.

Nagi: Hi-hi-chan! Are you okay?

Hisui: I didn't come here to fight...

Nagi: B-but... such a thing...

Hisui Smiles and grabs a rock.

Hisui: Well... I suppose winning is everything (evil smile)

Narrator: She was all alone at that time, but watching her back (Hisui) as she defeated everyone, a surge of feelings rose up... it was probably "longing."


Back to present day, Sakuya is with Machina.

Sakuya: I said I'd help but... she sure is a pushover.

Machina: Who are you refering to?

Sakuya: My childhood friend Hisui.

Machina: Why is she a pushover?

Sakuya: Well, I think she's a bit like me... probably. She is very transparent.

Sakuya: But, she also has common sense. The intelligent, beautiful girl type?

Machina: I see...

Sakuya: Why did you stammer when you said that!

Sakuya: Well... if you wanna see what she's like. Just wait a bit.

Machina: If it's going to be dangerous then let's go together.

Sakuya: Eh, really?

Machina: Yeah, let's buy a hamburger along the way, ok?

Sakuya: You're pretty transparent yourself, aren't you?

Review: Well, given the way I'm reading Hata's writing style so far, I'd say this chapter was about three different things.


First of all, it's all about showing us a different side of Hisui -- sort of humanizing her in our eyes so to speak, by having her help out an obviously helpless young Nagi against some random bullies.

Of course, Hisui's murderous side was also shown to be present even at this stage, but in that panel with Nagi looking at her back, we also see a hint of loneliness in her (which I will tackle in the speculation corner). We can also see that she was very physically able as a combatant even as a kid. I think Hayate's going to have his hands full with her and her battle maid.


Still, I don't think Hisui is iredeemable nor an absolutely evil character anymore. All that build-up was a red herring as usual. We can see it in the way Sakuya talks about Hisui as her childhood friend and Nagi also referred to her as such. At the end of the day, I think we'll find out that Hisui is just a lonely, misguided kid with rather violent tendencies-- but THAT'S JUST A THEORY! A MANGA THEORY! THANKS FOR READING!

Pushing mai waifu and punching a girl... YES, HI-CHAN! DESTROY THEM ALL!

By the way, you know how she beat those bullies to within an inch of their wretched lives? I do not disagree with her methods. That's exactly what I would have done in her place! Also, I'd probably do more if I saw it was Nagi they were bullying, but that's just me!

Also, anyone else find it strange that Hisui's wearing the exact same type of clothes she's wearing now when she was a child?


Secondly, this chapter is also about developing Nagi's character even more -- because Hata loves Nagi and so do I!  In this chapter, we see that Nagi's mangaka ambitions were present from a very young age. We also see a more innocent, less jaded side of Nagi, rather than the spoiled, rich, otaku, ojou-sama that she would eventually become. 

We see that as a child, Nagi was very innocent and lonely -- and that loneliness is something that has never really left her. It is quite obvious based on her greatest fear of being left alone someday by both Hayate and Maria, but this loneliness can also be perceived in the way Hata draws the experessions in her eyes throughout the manga -- especially when she is feeling down -- but also often when she's just shown in a panel by herself. Even her smile shows a tinge of loneliness... which I must say, is something that she and Hayate have in common about their character designs. If you don't believe me, take a quick glance at any random chapter in the manga that isn't a gag chapter and wherein Nagi's eyes are drawn properly, you will see what I mean.

Finally, it establishes... HAHAHA! Sakuya x Machina! I mean, sure... you can just be dismissive about it and claim that there was no romantic spark between them at all -- BUT THE SAME COULD BE SAID OF ALL RELIGIONS! Hah! You suck if you didn't catch the reference, son.

Speculation Corner: Right... let's get back to old Hisui here for a moment. Here's an interesting plot-twist. Given what's been shown about Hisui so far, I have a feeling (about 50%) that the one to experience the explosion of negative emotions eventually might not be Nagi nor Hayate, but actually Hisui.

Ok, with that out of the way, I'd like to share an interesting theory by Lucas. What if Nagi dies inside the Royal Garden or somehow dies anyway during the course of this final arc? Hayate sees her dead body, gets a flashback montage, and then maybe reflects for a chapter or two about his life with Nagi and then he suddenly realizes that he's been in love with her all this time and now there's no way his feelings will ever reach her, so he whines like the little bitch that he is.

But... ta-dah! The royal power somehow kicks in and revives her just as Hayate is weeping at her apparent corpse! Happy ending. 10 years later = marriage! Huzzah!

Awight, that's it for now... fanart tiem!

Fanart Corner: Senpai noticed me... again! Hahahaha! Also, I have a new full color CG.

Senpai noticed me! Thank you, Hata-sensei and everyone else for all the likes, retweets and private messages asking me to sell them the bag... even though I CANNOT DO THAT!
I've since edited this to remove the stripes, actually.
No stripes on jacket version. I find this pose really sexy for some reason.. don't you?






 



















Sunday, May 8, 2016

Ayasaki Deconstruction: A Character Analysis of Hayate Ayasaki



Not too fond of this guy, but I don't hate him, at least.

I’ve done quite a few character-centric essays on this blog (mostly Nagi), but I just recently realized that I’ve never talked at length about the titular main character of this manga, Hayate Ayasaki himself. I have to thank Roop Banerjee from the comments for bringing this to my attention.


Now if you know me, you probably realize that I am not that fond of Hayate as a character, but that does not preclude me from doing this character analysis anyway. So to get started on my disorganized ramblings, let’s start with my basic impression of him based on the manga.

Not As Saintly As He Seems
If you only knew Hayate from the anime, you would probably feel very sorry for him – and so do I. In fact, you might feel even more sorry for him if you read what happened to him during the End of the World Arc.

With that aside, you should also realize that Hayate is not as saintly as he appears to be in the anime. He is a good  kid at heart, but he is really not that good. In fact, if we look into his motivations and his past, you will realize that he is a very broken individual – pretty much like a less serious version of Emiya Shirou from Fate/Stay Night  -- if you are familiar with that anime/visual novel.

But I digress… to continue, Hayate may indeed be the type of person that you can rely on to bail you out of trouble if you ask him nicely enough, but his “nice” exterior is really just a manifestation of his very broken personality and his rather misshapen sense of values.


He Is Nice Because He Can’t Say NO!
Sorry, I'm not going to talk about Hayate's repressed cross-dressing tendencies
If you read the manga, then you will notice several instances wherein it is heavily implied that Hayate is not being nice to everyone simply because he’s just a nice guy, but rather, because he simply can’t find it himself to refuse to do something for anyone who asks him nicely enough. In short, he's sometimes doing it against his will -- even if he doesn't always show it.

This is rather dangerous because there are several instances when people simply abuse his apparently kind nature and when he gets fed up, he can resort to violence (albeit for comedic purposes so far) such as with the Hakuo Baka Trio (Risa, Miki and Izumi) whom he has once kicked out of a building for teasing him too much. (It’s somewhere in Ruka’s arc. It actually happened. Look it up if you want. I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to.)

Hayate also selectively feels that it’s fine to use random violence on certain side characters including  Yukiji, Eight, Gilbert and Kotetsu

In fact, in the earlier parts of the manga, even Nagi and Maria have been shown to take advantage of Hayate’s pushover personality a bit too much – and let’s not forget Yukiji (although Hayate does get back at her often).

Anyway, to get back to the point, Hayate has become a doormat of a person over the years because he is an extremely indecisive individual by default. He is the type who will go with the flow rather than put his foot down and refuse firmly. This is actually lampooned in the first episode of cuties – which was also a part of the manga when various characters, including Isumi, Fumi and Sharna take advantage of him for their own ends without considering that they may be heavily inconveniencing Hayate. Also, this is no isolated incident since the same thing happened when Nagi chased him out of the house and he used the money that Maria provided him to help out random strangers simply because he couldn’t say no.

He CAN Say “No” Now
Fortunately, while Hayate’s character development has been extremely slow, he has been gradually learning to take charge of his own life and to actually make decisions for himself – and for his own sake rather than that of anyone else. This is a positive change from him in my opinion and we can see this prominently when he actually outright rejects a confession from Makise Konoha. To add to this, he has also learned to be a lot less vague with his actions and words when he makes it clear to Ayumu , who asked him directly about meeting with Konoha , that he rejected her.

Hayate’s Past
Now that we’ve established that Hayate isn’t such a nice guy even if he apparently IS a nice guy, let’s try to figure out why? What probably goes on in the head of our cross-dressing combat butler?

Hayate’s past might be known only to a few characters within the manga, but it’s always been pretty much an open book to us.  We know that Hayate has extremely abusive parents who not only trained him in all sorts of illegal activities, but also sold him off to the mafia for his organs in order to pay off the debt that they probably ran up through gambling and poorly-planned get-rich quick schemes.




His brother was the one family member whom he seemed to look up to, but Ikusa just had too much of an archer complex and wanted to spread himself really thin and save THE WOOORLD!

His one refuge 10 years ago from the current date of the manga was meeting with Athena and becoming her butler/live-in boytoy  (they were six and Athena is an extremely mature six year-old, remember that!) inside of the Royal Garden. It was at the lowest point of Hayate’s young life when his father had just betrayed him that he met his first love, Athena. Being at a rather impressionable age, Hayate naturally took to whatever piece of advice Athena had to give him and this was when his rather ill-conceived notions of love began to take form – when Athena taught him “the pain of  love:” that you do not deserve to have a girlfriend unless you have enough money to take care of her for the rest of her life.

Athena’s Roadblocks of Love
In my opinion, this triggered two psychological roadblocks to romance within Hayate’s mind – and which has been a huge barrier between him and Nagi (and with every other prospect except Athena, but who cares about these other prospects? Not I, my friend. Not I.) 

1.       He believes that he is not worthy of any girl since he is (was) nothing more than a debt-ridden butler. The complete opposite of someone who has “enough money to take care of a girl for the rest of her life.”  Currently, Hayate seems to have grown out of this attitude a bit, but not quite completely, I would say.
2.       He has become extremely attached to money. This can also be attributed to him living in scarcity for practically all of his life – but I’m betting that Athena’s initial conditioning when he was a child has a lot to do with this as well. This is apparent in the way he wants to protect Nagi’s inheritance at all costs and how he sees money as the thing that had been protecting Nagi all her life. This definitely hasn’t changed as you can see right now in the current chapters how he values protecting Nagi’s inheritance when she had just inadvertently confessed her truest feelings to him through her manga. If he does not give justice to Nagi’s feelings, then Hayate would be the worst character ever in his own manga – but I do have faith in Hata and his unobtrusive style of developing his characters.

Hayate’s Relationship With Nagi
It’s no secret that I’m a big Hayate x Nagi shipper (for Nagi’s sake and nothing else), but don’t worry, I’ll keep the shipping talk to a minimum… really!
Hayate’s relationship with Nagi is rather hard to pinpoint. Many people happily want to believe that it’s purely platonic, but Hayate doesn’t treat Nagi like a little sister at all – nor does he treat her the same way that a real butler would treat his mistress for that matter.

We know for a fact that Hayate and Nagi are actually quite friendly with each other. Whenever they interact, their conversations just flow very naturally – this is of course, not unique to Nagi and Hayate as the same could be said of Hayate x Hinagiku and Hayate x Ruka… not so much for Athena x Hayate, actually (think about that for those still sailing the sunken ship).

If anything, I’d say Hayate treats Nagi like a cute junior (kouhai), someone younger than him whom he doesn’t view as a romantic prospect (yet) because of her age. I would say that he imagines himself to be something like a doting, protective senior when it comes to his relationship with Nagi. This is why he is able to have natural, friendly conversations with her and even make frequent pokes at her because of her hikkikomori otaku lifestyle.

She is “Different”
Yet, one frequently observable thing about Hayate’s relationship with Nagi is that he values her much more than anyone else in his life. He has proven this time and again – and the best example of this is still Heaven Is A Place On Earth (It’s canon. Suck it, haters!)  Let us also not forget that Hayate’s demon mode and his special move, the titular Hayate no Gotoku! is reserved only for Nagi’s sake. So at the very least, this proves that Hayate cares a whole lot for Nagi – even if we cannot definitely call this “care” love for now – dismissing it as purely platonic is delusional, but keep dreaming if that helps you sleep better at night~
 
His special move was created out of a need to rescue Nagi.
Furthermore, Hayate himself is aware that he gives Nagi special treatment. He has no qualms about admitting that she is “his life.”  He has mentioned that she is a “special case” when Ruka asked him if he would treat her the same way if she became a resident of the Violet Mansion. Again, we can dismissively say that this is just because Nagi is still his mistress, but then again, Hata has proven how he loves giving a nod to continuity in this series, so I would like to assume that there is something else that makes him treat Nagi differently.

It must be because of the debt, right? Well, Hayate paid off his own debt near the end of the Level 5 arc and yet, he also freely choose to continue on being Nagi’s butler again.  Still, this cannot be considered a confession of love from Hayate and we can clearly ascertain this based on the look of shock on his face when he read Nagi’s latest manga plot detailing her feelings for him.

Yet again, Hayate still hasn’t responded to her confession and has instead dedicated his life to ensuring that Nagi becomes the sole heiress to the Sanzenin inheritance. We have no clue what he thought of her confession and again, we can dismissively claim that he is only trying his best for Nagi because of his promise to Yukariko – but again, that would be a denial of the continuity and connectedness of the events of the manga; and we all know that Hata loves to connect seemingly unrelated events together and will somehow make even the most insignificant event/action relevant at a later stage. It’s convoluted and not as straightforward as you might be used to from reading young adult novels from western authors, but that’s the way the manga rolls – deal with it.

So what we can be sure of is that Nagi is “special” to Hayate, but why this is so, is something that no one can really say for sure with 100% certainty. In my opinion, Hayate himself is ill-equipped to answer this question because he has never really given his relationship with Nagi the kind of reflection that we all want to see from him (whether you are hoping for this ship to sink or sail).

Complementary Opposites
With that said, it would not be very bold of me to say that Nagi completes Hayate and vice versa. We all know the basics that they are both the main characters of this manga and the usual  opposing character traits that they possess, but here are two more points you might not be aware of.
 
You do know I had this subject matter in mind when I drew this fanart, right?
1.       Hayate might be the king of misfortune, but his life has been generally peaceful and happy together with Nagi. Why is this so? Could it be because his mistress is “blessed by luck?” Again, you have the choice of being dismissive and underestimating Hata here, or you could (finally) admit that he does have a good plot outline for this manga and we are still on track even though he had to change a few events around because of the third anime season adaptation.
2.       Hayate is extremely passive and noncommittal. Instead of coming to a point and making a definite choice when the chips are down, he’d rather get depressed and become evasive.  In fact, the women in his life have been the ones who have bailed him out of making some of the most crucial choices that he should have made himself. Just take a look at the Golden Week arc when Nagi saved him from having to make a decision himself by sacrificing her inheritance just so he wouldn’t feel depressed (also, how can you not love her character after that?)
So why was Nagi able to make that decision so quickly? Because she is Hayate’s complementary opposite, that’s why. Hayate is indecisive and Nagi is extremely decisive – to the point of being needlessly impulsive at times. When she says she will do something, she will do it by hook or by crook even if she is often ill-equipped to follow through on her bold statements. After having grown out of her tsundere nature, we can also observe just how straightforward she can be – especially in expressing her feelings for Hayate, which she no longer feels the need to hide – even if Hayate had been too dense to notice them until he saw her manga (he might still not know the full extent of her feelings at this point as well.)


Lopsided Co-Development
A long time ago, people would have been justified in hating Nagi and singing praises for Hayate. In the light of the more recent developments of the manga however, the opposite is quite true – unless you’re reading a different manga and/or you just hate Nagi, in that case, screw you, hater! Die in a fire!
This fanart accurately sums up my impression of how much their respective characters have been developed so far.

Anway, we have all seen Nagi’s amazing growth throughout this manga. We can complain about how abrupt this growth has been and how unrealistic it is, but it is what it is. The author has favored her development and she has matured into quite an admirable young girl – even though she still has her flaws and is definitely still a work-in-progress.

At this point however, let’s go back to Hayate. Throughout the 500+ chapters and 47 (soon to be 48 and I’ve preordered it because there’s a special naughty card of Nagi) volumes of this manga, his character development has been very subdued. Yes, there are some slight signs of development here and there, but there have been no major breakthroughs like what we’ve seen from Nagi:

  • ·     She is able to sleep on her own now when she used to need Maria by her side.
  • ·     She has learned to use her incredible luck to beat even someone who is supposedly unbeatable at games like Maria.
  • ·         She has now become the most insightful member of the “brainy” group. She is the one who always comes up with the best ideas.
  • ·       She has grown out of her initially tsundere nature when it comes to Hayate, although she still retains a somewhat subdued tsundere persona.

And if you want to see just how much she has changed as a character, just imagine the Nagi from season 2 of the anime and how she would react if she ever saw Hayate confessing to say someone like HInagiku? She’d probably try to beat him up or scream at him in a comedic fashion, right?
Now imagine the Nagi from the current manga chapters in the same situation. Boom! Explosion of negative emotions! Why? Because her love for Hayate is real – it is something that she has nurtured (despite the misunderstanding) throughout the manga and even if you dismiss it as idealistic or “incomplete,” the manga heavily implies that this love isn’t fake nor is it some form of compensation with Nagi lying to herself as in Ruka’s case. I personally do not look any further than that.

So how about Hayate? Let’s imagine the Hayate from 400 chapters ago if he ever saw Nagi in trouble:
Hayate: OMG! Ojou-sama is in trouble. I must rescue her! Here I come, ojou-sama!
Now let’s imagine how the current Hayate would react:
Hayate: OMG! Ojou-sama is in trouble. I must rescue her! Here I come, ojou-sama!
Ok, let’s say Ayumu confessed to him (which she already did)
Several hundred chapters ago Hayate: I prefer 2D women!
Current Hayate: Ehehe… (patiently waits for something to happen to bail him out of this situation)

My point being: yes, he has changed a bit, but not by much and his character development feels extremely lopsided next to the co-main character (mai waifu). Hayate’s development needs to catch up with Nagi’s or he just keeps making himself look bad next to her, in my opinion. I’d go as far as to say that Hayate doesn’t deserve her (or anyone for that matter) at this point even if I still want them to end up together for Nagi’s sake.

Major breakthroughs for Hayate so far:

  • He has finally learned how to say no at times.
  • He has started considering his own future and happiness
  • He finally acknowledges that girls do find him attractive

He's still got a long way to go in my opinion... but that can be rectified with...

Hayate Needs Some Introspection

We need a window into Hayate’s thoughts at this point. It’s been far too long. We need to finally see how he thinks and what he thinks about the rapid developments going on around him. Hayate is already an intentionally vague character and it doesn’t help us in understanding him any better when Hata purposely hides his deepest thoughts from us.
Just look inside yourself and embrace your inner lolicon, Hayate... actually, you don't have to. She's only three years younger than you and you're both teenagers.

There is some excitement building up as we go into the final arc and prepare for this much awaited introspection but at the back of my mind, there is this nagging fear that we will never have it and Hata will just show us Hayate making his final decision out of nowhere and then explaining things away with a one-liner. That could make for a cute ending, but the frustration level of some readers might have hit the saturation point at that stage and Hayate’s character might seem irredeemable (he already is to some readers) if Hata waits too long to spring the butler’s inner thoughts on us.

Anyway, this concludes my very disorganized ramblings on Mr. Ayasaki. I hope you found it entertaining, at the very least and I eagerly await your comments for further discussion.





Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 528: Pranks and Useless Things are What Make Life Difficult - Review and Synopsis

I really don't like Housen.

Synopsis: Pranks and Useless Things are What A Hard Life Is Made Of
 

Hayate is in a panic and wants to go rescue Klaus immediately. Nagi decides to leave Klaus alone and concentrate on finding the key before Hisui does. Hina explains that it will be difficult to release him if what they want is info on the key.

Miki and Risa panic that the old geezer will definitely tell Hisui and Housen about the key.

Make way for the heroine!
Nagi believes that they should concentrate on finding some negotiation material first and leave the rescue to another person (her phone shows that it's Sakuya she's getting into contact with... because we all know that Sakuya is secretly a ninja.) Nagi says that they only have a few hours and they should find the key within the clock tower before Klaus starts talking.

Nagi also thinks that there should be more than one hint.

Hina and Yukiji suggest that they should start at the library so off they go.


Mean Hisui gets tired of interrogating Klaus for info about the Loto Key and leaves Housen to torture Klaus while she sleeps. Housen proceeds... by tickling his foot with a feather.

Meanwhile, Izumi finds herself in all sorts of trouble -- and becoming the object of fanservice while Hayate and company are investigating the bluprints of the Clock Tower in the library.

When she shows that (cutieful) face, you know she means business.

While brainstorming for a hint together with everyone and looking at the map of the 1st and 2nd floors, Nagi discovers that they spell out "Kagi" in Katakana or KEY.


Review:
Well, the only thing I really noticed is how delightfully insigtful Nagi has become. In fact, ever since her failings in the mangaka arc, she has become one of the most reliable characters in the manga as far as mental tasks, insight, intuition and a (whole lot) little bit of luck is concerned. She has really entrenched her status as the main heroine -- moreso than the main male character at the moment, actually.

Are you impressed yet, Hayate? You should be.

Anyway, she was great and I love how she's drawn here. Oh, and in related news, Volume 48 of the manga comes with those Heat Transfer something cards that reveal something sorta naughty at the right temperatures... I'm getting one because Nagi is in one of those cards together with Chiharu and Sakuya.

Kinda surprising that Nagi would call on Sakuya for help. I mean, it's not like Sakuya has ever been the physical type although I would definitely say she's very reliable.

Aside from that, we have some Izumi fanservice... if you like that sort of stuff. Anyway, not much to talk about this chapter, so let's look forward to the next one.

Fanart Corner: No new fanart this week, so have some pics of Doll Nagi instead. These are two different dolls, by the way. The one in casual clothes is the limited edition that looks sideways and the one in the yukata is a normal edition... I love them both~






Oh... and check out my new bag.