Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 462: Explaining it Again -- Synopsis and Review

Synopsis: Continuing on from where we left off in the previous chapter, Nagi and Athena are now eating shaved ice while discussing the King's Jewel thing -- and they are surprisingly in sync with each other!
Finally! I can get down to my seryaz buzinezz!
They discuss the possibility that Mikado could be hiding a King's Jewel inside his castle all while Hayate is absolutely clueless as to what is going on. Finally, it's decided that taking the King's Jewel that Mikado has and presenting it to him is a good way to win back Nagi's inheritance because it's not stealing at all! It's just being kind!
Being smart is one of Nagi's main character traits. Accept it, haters!
With that said, Nagi, Maria and Hayate pay Mikado a visit and put the plan into action. After a brief banter between Nagi and Mikado, she pretends to get all sulky after one of her Grandfather's usual pokes and says she's going to her room for a nap and takes Hayate along with her.

Of course, she actually has a bluetooth headset and a desktop ready and is all set to haxxor Mikado's security systems and deactivate the electronic locks for an hour so that Hayate can get in, steal the Jewel from the Castle's super secret treasure room and its various death traps and get out and win Nagi's inheritance. For some reason, Hayate is all confident with Nagi's support as well as enthusiastic because of the fact that this mission is for winning back his lady's inheritance after all. (he's going to regret it)
Girls: We got a slow one here. Keep up, butler boy!
Anyway, we get a short cut-in of Maria explaining what this Manga is all about and that it's having its Tenth Year Anniversary this October (huzzah!).

Nagi begins the haxxoring process and Hayate proceeds as planned. Of course, once he's in, Nagi can't get in contact with him anymore and after turning on his flashlight, he immediately activates some arrow deathtrap and almost gets killed. The chapter ends here.

Review: Haha! I love how this series is really going back to its roots with the recent beach arc and now this chapter -- a combat butler comedy anime about a boy... who protects a girl... who is in love with him due to a misunderstanding (ok, maybe not so much about the misunderstanding anymore. She seems to have been aware of it for some time now)... and some maid who is apparently also a main character. I'm also pretty stoked that all the flashbacks in the explanation panel are all Hayate x Nagi moments.
Ten years of Hayate. Huzzah!
Anyway, the highlight of this chapter for me would be the rare moment of Nagi and Athena talking in sync with each other -- especially since Athena was all set to stab Nagi with her Antenna hair in the previous chapter for purposely delaying the plot.

Well, for those who want the plot to proceed forward, it seems Nagi will get her inheritance back fairly quickly with this new story arc -- after that, I have no idea where else this story could go except perhaps a recap of the events of the future timeline anime (Yes, they are future timelines. Hata confirmed it both implicitly and explicitly. To deny it is to be needlessly stubborn and delusional!) and then maybe actually approach the end of the series with all the important Birthdays in November and December? (Nagi route! Nagi route!)

I've really fallen in love with this manga (and Nagi in particular) ever since I picked it up just a little over a year ago and I think it's pretty amazing that it's going to be over a decade old soon. I realize that the plot might be a bit plodding for some of you at times, but personally, that's never been a problem for me. The King's Jewel story has never really been the main appeal of the series for me, because I've always liked it more for the interaction between Nagi and Hayate rather than the forced, sometimes cheesy King's Jewel plot. 
Butler and Master work together etc. etc. or whatever it is that Hata said in that one cover.
Let me get this straight: I think that Hata can write a competent story, but dramatic narrative is not really his strongest point. For me, the Manga really shines when it's not taking itself so seriously while still allowing the plot to progress gradually in the background. To his credit, at least Hata's plot has been coherent and relatively consistent all throughout the manga's run -- though I would say that no matter what he says and even if it was seemingly foreshadowed, Athena's arcs felt really out of place in the manga. That doesn't mean I didn't like it -- it still ended with a Nagi flag after all.

Also, I don't really feel the need to defend the manga for having derivative characters and plot -- because it really does. The thing is, there's really nothing wrong with that. Despite its characters being derivative of several archetypes, they have really come to grow into very distinctive personalities throughout the manga's run that it's pretty hard to confuse Nagi for example with Shana or any of the other Kugimiya tsunderes nor with otaku characters like Konata from Lucky Star. There's also Hamster who is so normal that there's no other anime character that I can think of who can out-normal her, not in a literal sense, of course. Of course, out of everyone, the real enigma for me is actually the titular character himself. Hayate is really quite a mystery in that he manages to make himself seem very easy to read at times, while also maintaining a certain level of teenage angst about his past -- which leads him to make some strange decisions and declarations at times.

Anyway, the manga can be as complex or as simple as you would like it to be, but as long as you read it with an open mind and avoid being overly critical, it's really a good read with a little bit of something for just about everyone.

With my rambling done, I'll just leave you with this image:

Friday, August 22, 2014

About Atrium Iloilo's Carpark Policy

I usually don't post much about real life, but when I do, it's usually a rant/complaint... so with this in mind, read on.

Here in Iloilo City, there's this little-known 4-floor shopping mall known as "The Atrium" located at the very heart/center of the city. It sits adjacent to a hospital and is only a few blocks away from four other significant shopping malls here: Gaisano City, SM Delgado, Marymart Mall and Robinsons Place Iloilo. 

The Atrium has a 2nd floor carpark, which I happened to make use of today after dropping off my mother at the University of San Agustin. Inside the mall, I had some breakfast at McDonald's and then proceeded to make my way out of the building to buy some medicine on an errand for my mother at a drugstore a few blocks away; because everyone knows that the in-house drugstore of The Atrium sells ridiculously overpriced medicine.

This is when I experienced The Atrium's militant carpark policy first-hand. You see, as soon as I set foot outside the store, an armed security guard immediately chased after me and told me that I had to take my car out as soon as I set foot outside of the building. I tried to explain that I'd already had breakfast at McDonald's inside the store (so I did have business in there) and that I was just on my way to a drugstore a few blocks away and that I would be back right away -- to which he responded (in dialect, of course) that no can do and that their policy is that you have to take your car out as soon as you set foot outside of the building -- no room for further protests/discussion. 

Since I knew exactly how these things worked in the Philippines, I had no choice but to comply. You see, these security guards have no discretion whatsoever in the performance of their duties as far as actual authorization goes. If that was the policy laid out by the management, all that they could do was execute it, because their powers are purely ministerial -- so to speak.

Naturally, the security personnel behind The Atrium's CCTV cameras had been monitoring me ever since I'd parked the car inside the mall. This explains the prompt action taken by mall security as soon as I'd set foot outside of the store. He was probably informed via radio to take action.

Given these circumstances, what do you think of this situation? How would you have felt if you were me? Myself, I was probably quite visibly angry even though I did choose to comply with their request without further protest.

From a legal perspective, The Atrium is technically private property and belongs to whichever person or juridical entity which has ownership of the shopping mall. Therefore, they are well within their rights to enforce the carpark policy which I'd just experienced and any other policy that they may establish within the scope of The Atrium shopping mall itself. Therefore, from a legal standpoint, there was absolutely nothing wrong with what they did. 

From a moral standpoint, again, I have nothing to say against them. The policy is obviously in place in order to safeguard the integrity of the business and ensure that the drivers and/or the passengers inside all of the cars parked inside their carpark actually have business inside the shopping mall -- all the time.

Fom a marketing standpoint, is this really all that wise of them? I am aware that this policy has been in place since time immemorial, but this is the age of social media marketing right now where even a single tweet can wreak havoc upon an established individual or business' reputation. Tell me, Atrium Iloilo, how does it look to the public's eye when you cannot even trust the people who make use of your carpark that you have to monitor every single car, driver and passenger who makes use of it and then promptly sic your armed mall security guards to single out every individual who violates your militant carpark policy? I have to commend them for their prompt action, but aren't you misplacing your priorities here?

I'll admit it, my actions were not exactly morally ethical here, but again, was that really so grave a violation as to warrant the kind of positive action from The Atrium's armed mall security that I received -- making me seem like a two-bit pickpocket? 

I'm sure I'm not the only one here, so have any one of you out there reading this ever experienced this kind of treatment from The Atrium's mall security? I won't ask you to take my side if you would prefer to take the morally high ground here, but I will ask you to think and reflect -- how would you feel in my situation? 

In my case, I'm never setting foot in The Atrium again, nor do I need to ever buy anything from them and their satellite Iloilo Supermart branches anywhere else in Iloilo City. A multi-million peso business like theirs certainly would not suffer from the loss of a single individual with an earning capacity of approximately less than half a million annually, and I certainly do not need to buy any of the goods offered within their grocery and in-house stores/stalls specifically from within their establishment/s. This is how I enforce my personal principles -- so tell me, what would you do in my situation? Just let it go and be as passive as everyone else when something clearly does not sit well with you?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 461: And Sometimes See a Movie -- Review and Synopsis

Unfortunately, no one really cares that much.
Synopsis: Chiharu points out the obvious that despite the happy-happy ending that Hayate got, he still didn't get the King's Jewel required to win back Nagi's inheritance. Alice chimes in to say that she knows where another King's Jewel could be found, but is quickly interrupted by a scream from Nagi.
This is a matter of monumental importance!
Hayate rushes over to see what's up and it seems that a manga that Nagi was reading went with a bad ending. Alice tries to continue from where she left off about her important info regarding the King's jewel; she is dead-set on advancing the plot at all costs! However, Nagi is totally uninterested and says to just send her the info on Line because she wants to watch the new Godzilla movie. Hayate and Maria conclude that with all her delaying tactics, Nagi just wants to procrastinate instead of actually doing something productive -- even if it's something as important as getting her inheritance back.
Lookit the number of ***** Nagi gives for your King's Jewel story.
Chiharu and Kayura react to this bit of info because... they want to watch the movie too, of course. Alice tries to get her bit of info about the King's Jewel through once again, but no one seems interested. Maria has to go and do the laundry, Hamster has to work, Hina has to go attend to some student council affairs, and Chiharu and Kayura want to see Godzilla. Alice sulks and tells them to go see Godzilla or Gamera or whatever. Chiharu suggests they go to roponggi and to watch the movie and sample the shaved ice while they're there. Alice gets angry and Nagi suggests that they go watch the movie, eat shaved ice, while discussing the King's Jewel business at Roponggi.
Alice: King's Jewels story NAO!
Hayate tries to pacify Alice who is on the verge of exploding from anger. She says that she might as well see Godzilla and Hayate adds to her torment by asking her if she's going too. She responds by asking why she's not allowed to see Godzilla because he's the friend of all children.
Poor A-tan and her serious business.
The group arrive at the Roponggi Hills and Nagi's got a nice print on her shirt again.The place to be quite luxurious. Nagi notes that she had a movie theater at home so this is actually the first time she's seeing a movie with friends.
Bawww! See what you've done, everyone?
Nagi is deciding on whether to go for 2D or 3D and Hayate insists that it must be 2D and offers a fussy, long-winded explanation as to why.
Godzilla is A-tan's friend! Got that?
Inside the theater, Alice wants some snacks but goes about it in a roundabout way telling Hayate that he needs to purchase some. When Hayate calls her out on this and asks her if she wants it, she gets all flustered and shows a bit of her tsundere streak. 
Haha! Tsundere Alice.
Finally, the group get into the movie house and Hayate has chosen seats in the first row after the aisle for everyone because he's all fussy about movies and offers a long-winded explanation as to why these seats are the best. The movie finally begins and Hayate asks Athena if she's actually seen Godzilla and she seems to have the wrong idea about the movie. The chapter ends here.
Review: The Athena fans might really love this chapter. In fact, Athena really stole the show with how naturally funny her character is in her child form and when put into funny situations. Basically, this entire chapter was all about A-tan's flustered reactions when no one really cares about her serious business regarding the King's Jewel - and it works really well for the comedy factor. A-tan x Hayate shippers might also notice that this is the most amount of interaction between the two in quite a while and Hayate even sits next to her in the movie theater while Nagi is in the company of Chiharu and Kayura.
The art of misdirection by Kenjiro Hata feat. Chiharu
In a way, it's also quite a bit about Hata projecting his thoughts onto Nagi by using delaying tactics to forestall the actual introduction of the next big story arc. As a dedicated Nagi fan, I found her expressions here really cute and funny. The new character designs actually seem to suit her quite well.

Over-all, there's not much to talk about regarding this chapter as there are no new hints about the next story arc yet except for the obvious one that it's going to be about Nagi getting her inheritance back by finding a new King's Jewel. It seems that Athena will play a role in this arc again as well.

Anyway, it's a nice glimpse as to how movie theaters operate in Japan. Here in the Philippines, it's first-come, first serve as far as the seats are concerned. There are no seat numbers, just a ticket to get into the movie house and you're on your own as far as seats are concerned because the movie theaters are rarely ever packed. The top half of the theater might be full for some blockbusters, but there are usually still quite a few dozen empty ones scattered all over. 

Fanart Corner: Here's a little bit of Nagi fanart. I had it turned into a raglan sleeved shirt along with another fanart of mine via a local T-shirt printing service here. The shirt comes with the print for about 7 USD each. 
And I'll wear it too!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 460: The Sea Is With Us -- Synopsis and Review

Synopsis: In the face of the apocalypse, Red-Hawk Scanlations comes through with another chapter of Hayate The Combat Butler, and this time, it's the end of the beach arc.

The chapter picks up where the last one left-off with Hayate being successfully rescued by Ikusa.
A-tan is a little schemer.
We learn immediately that it was Isumi who shot that magical bolt of lightning at the King's Jewel and that it was upon Athena's (now in Alice form) request/command/manipulation.
Et-tu, Isumi?
Nagi confronts Hayate and Ikusa and confirms that her butler is fine, but Hayate is feeling down about not getting the stone. Of course, Nagi tells him that it's fine because that's not what they came here for in the first place.

Just as Hayate is ready to conclude that everything is fine and that things all worked out in the end, Nagi reminds him that he still hasn't won the competition. After a brief pause, Ikusa tells him that "this and that are different things," and impliedly tells Hayate that the competition really isn't over yet.

Hayate rushes off to the seaside restaurant so that he might still win this competition and Nagi has a little chat with Ikusa wherein he basically says that Hayate can win this with the power of friendship.

At the restaurant, Hayate discovers that Souya and Kotetsu have already made a million yen in his absence - to his surprise. Hinagiku comes along and offers to help out and so do the rest of the Violet Mansion group. In the end, they really do somehow make 8.92 million yen with the power of friendship.

Ikusa hands the pouch over to Hayate even though there was nothing inside it anymore.
There was really no point to this... and Hata used the same expression and pose from Hamster like 2 chapters ago.
Hamster says that it's too bad that the charm inside was lost, to which Hina agrees, but Nagi says that nothing was really lost with a satisfied look on her face.

Ikusa says his goodbye, but Hayate catches up to him and hands the pouch over to Ikusa. He still won't admit that Hayate is his brother, but he does promise that he'll save Hayate just once if he ever needs his help since he's a lifesaver. 

Ikusa tells him to make sure not to lose what matters to him most (NAGI! NAGI! NAGI!) and Hayate says that he'll come back next summer.
That's right, sensei. She saved you! As a lifesaver!
Finally, Yukiji has somehow been saved by Fumi... as a lifesaver!

Review:  First, a shoutout to Chloe Noir who was absolutely correct about Isumi being the one who fired off that magical lightning bolt.

As expected, the last chapter was the penultimate arc-ender, making this chapter the actual end of the arc. We have a one-week break incoming, but a new story arc to look forward to next. This is pretty exciting since we're really nearing Heaven Is A Place On Earth's timeline right now and it's just about time for the anime and manga canon to converge and silence certain elements of the fandom who still can't accept that the future anime timelines did and will happen (haters gonna hate~). 

Good stuff from this chapter and almost everything was resolved. Of course while the beach arc was satisfyingly concluded, the overarching King's Jewel plot has still moved just a tiny bit. We still have no idea what A-tan is up to and what Isumi was doing with her in the first place, but we can assume that both of them do have everyone's best interests in mind -- so it's probably a good thing that Hayate's "stone of bonds" was broken.

The funny thing is that even those ghost pirates and the ridiculous signs and curry boxes all over Higan island were properly explained as being Isumi's handiwork, so she was presumably the "companion" that Athena was talking about during her conversation with Ikusa. Can we also assume that "Higanman" was her doing in the first place? In that case, she really is one of the most powerful characters in this story alongside Athena.

I have to say that I really disagree with Athena and Isumi's methods of "caring" for the people they love without being open to them about what they are doing. It really does nothing to endear Athena to me when I'm convinced that she's being manipulative and she seems to prove it whenever there's a serious chapter with her involved. She can she's doing it all for Hayate's sake all she wants, but wouldn't you think it would be better to let him know about it unless you have something to hide?
Seems she knows a lot more than she lets on.
What I found interesting was Nagi's reaction to the whole incident in that she doesn't seem to mind it all that much (although we already knew she went to the beach for Hayate's sake in the first place). It almost seems as if she knew a lot more than she was letting on with her last comment saying that, "nothing was lost."

Also, it's pretty funny how Ikusa says something similar to one of Nagi's lines in chapter 89 of this manga. Specifically, the whole, "this and that are different." (this is especially true in the subbed anime version.)
Does this line look familiar?
Yup, sure does.
I like how one of my speculations came true about how Hayate would still win the competition with the power of friendship - and in fact, it's blatantly stated in the manga. 

Fumi actually saving someone at the end was a nice touch. Maybe she still has a chance with Ikusa after all?

In summary, we have a sort of happy-happy ending to this beach arc with Hayate restoring his relationship with his brother and tying up some more loose ends from 10 years ago. It's also worth noting that he promised to come back next summer -- which could mean that Hata plans to make this manga last one more year? Well, maybe not, but a flash-forward is in order since he had to use one large panel just to have Hayate say that.

Over-all, the beach arc was a lot of fun. It brought together elements of Hayate's old comedic style along with the more serious tones of Ruka and Athena's arcs and is a good testament to what the manga/series has become over the years. It also remains true to its shounen roots by having Hayate win the competition in true shounen manga fashion. 

I believe we still do have a few more days until HIAPOE, so the timelines might not converge yet in the new story, but we'll see.

Fanart Corner: No speculations from me this time, but I did have some time over the weekend to draw some new Nagi fanart. I made her body semi-chibi and this is actually designed to become a shirt... which it did. I really like the caption I included in her shirt. The playful tongue-out expression is based on some of Hata's older artworks.
Click on the image and check out the caption on her shirt.

Naturally, I had to turn it into a real shirt.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 459: Stone of Bonds -- Synopsis and Review

Sure, sure. Hina can have the cover this time. I do not mind.
Synopsis: Hayate rushes towards Nagi who turns out to be screaming about nothing but some dead jellyfish. After confirming that his mistress is fine, Hayate turns back towards the possessed Yukiji (Higanman) and Ikusa and it appears that Higanman has turned super saiyan because of the King's Jewel.
Yukiji: Sekai de ichiban o-bake sama!
Nagi asks WTF is going on here and Hayate briefly explains that Yukiji's been possessed and her powers have been amplified by the King's Jewel. 

Ikusa says he can't even touch her when she's that powerful, but Nagi has a plan. She rushes up to Yukiji and then proceeds to bribe her with 500 yen into purifying the evil spirit.
Nagi's a more effective exorcist than Isumi here
Higanman is stopped dead in his tracks and he can't believe that he's geting defeated by a mere 500 yen. Yukiji asks for just a little bit more, so Nagi ups the ante up to 1500 yen for purifying the spirit.
I guess she does tend to solve everything with money, eh?
This time, it really does work and the spirit is purified bathing Yukiji's body in some kind of magical array of lightning bolts. The ghost isn't done just yet though. In order to get some kind of revenge on Hayate, he decides to throw away the pouch containing the King's Jewel into the ocean.
They're finally working together
Hayate and Ikusa team up and Ikusa throws him towards the pouch, but just as the pouch is within reach, the Jewel slips out and is then struck by a stray bolt of magical lightning -- presumably from the evil spirit.

Hayate falls into the ocean feeling defeated and Ikusa dives in to rescue him. Hayate says that he did it again and Ikusa responds by saying that he just has to apologize again while handing him the pouch that contained the King's Jewel.

Review: Really action-packed chapter here. Naturally, Nagi stole the show -- quite fittingly. If you ever doubted the awesomeness of Nagi Sanzen'in, let this chapter clear your doubts.

I'd thought that Hata would make Nagi the damsel in distress again, but she turns out to be pretty useful in defeating "Higanman" - using her brains to outwit the evil spirit and exploit Yukiji-sensei's personality.
At least she didn't get kidnapped again
Looks like one of my speculations finally came true here because I did say that it might just be something insignificant in the previous chapter review. 

Also, I was just joking around a bit about Ikusa x Hayate being a thing, but that panel on the last page sure looks mighty suspicious.
Looks like Kotetsu has a lot more to be worried about than he thinks
On things other than Nagi, I noticed that Ikusa was calling Hayate by his name here and he seems to impliedly acknowledge everything that Hayate said in the previous chapter -- he even treats him more like a brother now -- which is a good thing.

Anyway, a very fun fast-paced chapter and it gave Nagi a chance to shine. I'm a bit disappointed in Hayate being so helpless throughout all of this though.
That was surprising
Still, now that the King's Jewel that he was after has been broken, it either needs to be repaired (which I doubt) or he'll need to find another one to restore the Sanzen'in inheritance to Nagi. Either way, I think this beach arc is just about ready to be wrapped up now.

Speculation Fanart Corner: Okay, not going to bother with speculations this time as this looks like a penultimate arc ender and I really do have nothing to work with this time around. Instead, I'll just show you another piece of fanart requested by some Goddess of Gensokyo. Also, I still don't encourage more fanart on the subject matter.
Umm... just read it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 458: Give a Troublesome Person Something Troublesome And Only Trouble Can Follow -- Review and Synopsis

OMG! Look at Nagi hogging the spotlight! I mean, she's only the CO-MAIN Character, after all. Why does she have to be in this manga all the time, huh?

Synopsis: Nagi wakes up inside the hotel room and after complaining a bit about “working so hard,” she starts thinking about how Hayate is doing right now and that she should help him as his master. Outside the room, she gets a glimpse of Isumi walking past. She sees Maria and asks her about Isumi but Maria says she hasn’t seen her.

No captions necessary (I'll type one in anyway). This one is just pure lulz.

Back at the beach, Hayate and Ikusa are confronted with the “mystery person” from the previous chapter and it turns out to be Yukiji in a mask. She starts calling herself “Higanman” and claims to be seeking revenge on Hayate for yesterday. It seems that the ghost who was possessing Hinagiku has been transferred to her and the ghost now wants revenge on Hayate for taking his treasure (all that boxed curry from the island). Ikusa calmly deduces that she’s been possessed.
Hayate: Nice eight-pack, bro.
An amusing conversation between Hayate, Ikusa and “Higanman” ensues and Ikusa vows to defeat this evil spirit as a lifesaver, but Higanman argues that hurting him will hurt Yukiji too. Of course, Hayate knows how durable Yukiji is, so he has no qualms about it and tries to strike her right in the face, but she successfully evades at least three successive blows from him (two are offscreen). Hayate eagerly tells Ikusa to go all out on Yukiji since she can take it.

Higanman fires some kind of spirit hadoukens at Ikusa, who effortlessly dodges them and then moves in for the finishing blow, but he is taken by surprise when Yukiji blocks his attack with one hand and uses some kind of spirit blow which pushes him back several paces away.

The evil spirit relishes the strength of his host body and shows that he’s even managed to steal Ikusa’s treasure in the scuffle. Ikusa says its war if he doesn’t return it, but the Higanman is unperturbed by his threat.

Suddenly, the pouch glows and gives the ghost even more power and Hayate concludes that it’s because of the King’s Jewel inside, but Hayate’s attention is then taken away with a nearby scream from Nagi.

Review: Whoo! Lots of stuff happening here and another Nagi cover FTW! First of all… all of my guesses as to who the mystery person might be were dead wrong as it turned out to be Yukiji who has presumably contracted the ghost who possessed Hinagiku and made her sick. Pretty sure someone guessed this scenario correctly in one of the forums and/or blogs that I lurk, but I can’t remember who. Anywayz, props to you whoever you are, mystery soothsayer person.

Secondly, wow! Ikusa’s huge! Did you see the difference between him and Hayate? Ok, so maybe Hayate’s in semi-chibi form, but how about how he towers over Yukiji? Betcha he’s at least 183-185 cm.
Ikusa: Hmph! Don't get cocky. I'm only using 10% of my powers!
This chapter establishes several things at least. Now we know almost for sure that the King’s Jewel really is inside that pouch as it gave the ghost some kind of power. So if it’s not the King’s Jewel, then it has to be some other kind of magical artifact, but it’s highly unlikely to be anything else at this point.

This chapter also establishes that both the Katsuras are really top-tier in terms of strength in the Hayateverse with the way Higanman in Yukiji’s body was able to block a blow from Ikusa. Granted, it probably wasn’t a 100% committed blow, but remember that Ikusa has stood on par with Athena’s magical memory recover hammers with just his physical strength alone and has cut off King Midas’ right arm with the Shirousakura pretty handily.

Anyway, enough about Ikusa. Let’s talk about Nagi for a bit. I like how Hata sorta redeemed her character a bit in this chapter what with her getting tired and giving up so easily the last time. This chapter shows that she still cares for Hayate even though she did bail out on him and she’s actually eager to get back and help him out after she’s rested up a bit. With that said, it seems that she’s in trouble again and needs rescuing according to the cliffhanger in the previous arc.

All-in-all, this was another great fast-paced chapter for the beach arc. I wouldn’t say it was worth a one-week wait, but Hata does deserve a break every now and then with the way he’s been churning out these chapters fairly regularly.
Naturally, I have no idea what Nagi is screaming about this time.
Speculation Corner: Okay, I’m honestly all out of guesses here as to who Nagi’s mystery tormentor/abductor could be. Hata just makes it impossible to guess with the lack of information before these cliffhangers – which isn’t a bad thing, btw. I’m just pointing it out. Anyway, I’m gonna go with Yozora Housen on this one… or it could be that she’s just screaming over something absolutely trivial like a giant cockroach getting in her way or something.

Okay fanart time, so that Goddess of Gensokyou from last time requested this one too. I kinda like how moe her face turned out here… although I do not (openly) encourage more fanart on the same subject matter.
If you don't get the scene in this image... good! You don't want to know.
This is other one is also fanart request from a Hintko-chan. Naturally, I don’t support this pairing… with that said, if Hayate continues to be a dunce about Nagi’s feelings, I wouldn’t mind if Himegami or some other new male character started showing interest in her and she actually responded. At least we know that Robot 13/13-kun got a rise out of him a few hundred chapters ago. I’d like to see how he responds if a real rival (other than the Hamster’s brother) started showing some interest in Nagi. I mean, Maria got all those letters from the boys when she was Nagi’s age and I don’t see Nagi losing to her in terms of looks (when they were the same age… nah, Nagi’s way cuter), so why shouldn’t she have a few admirers of her own?
I never have and never will ship Himegami x Nagi
Anywayz, that wraps up this review. See ya in the next chapter!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 457: Ten Year Gap -- Review and Synopsis

Synopsis: Hayate realizes something about this competition due to Fumi and Yukiji's antics. He thanks both of them sincerely and sends Yukiji along to the hotel to look after Hina. He also sends off Fumi to go and help some other people at the beach after thanking her properly.

Hayate finally realizes that he was being a jerk.
Souya and Kotetsu arrive at around the same time and Hayate actually treats Kotetsu like an actual human being this time. He asks Souya where he can find Ikusa and then leaves the restaurant in Souya and Kotetsu's hands.

Meanwhile, Yukiji has arrived back at the hotel and Isumi is tending to Hina who has apparently been possessed by an evil spirit -- but with the same symptoms as a cold. Isumi tells Yukiji that Hina'll instantly recover if someone else gets possessed by the evil spirit -- just like a normal cold.

Hayate finds Ikusa and they finally have a heart-to-heart talk as brothers after ten years. Hayate reveals that he understands why Ikusa made him go through this competition and that he would have given the "treasure" to him win or lose. Ikusa doesn't seem to disapprove, but he still claims that he's not Hayate's brother but that if his faint memories of his brother and family are true, then he would have been proud to have a brother who survived such a past and grew up to be so honest.

The talk is interrupted by someone exclaiming "found you," but we'll have to wait  some time before the next chapter since the manga is taking a one week break.

Review: This was a pretty good chapter. For once, things went as I would have liked them to and Hayate received some degree of character development here by realizing that he was taking the wrong approach the whole time.

Hayate was focused on winning the battle (the competition with Ikusa) when in fact, he wasn't looking ahead at the war (the reason Ikusa made up this competition in the first place). Thanks to his experiences during this beach arc, he now realizes that the competition itself didn't really matter and that he was actually being a jerk to his friends the whole time all because he was so dedicated to getting Nagi's inheritance back.

I have to commend Hata-sensei for his use of psychology in this arc (in the whole manga, actually... but that's a story for another day.) From a psychological standpoint, Hayate thought that winning the competition was the only way to get his "treasure" back from Ikusa, but thanks to the ridiculous things mentioned by both Yukiji and Fumi, he realized that this whole thing wasn't about winning at all. It was really just all about finding out what Ikusa's motivations were really all about with this whole competition. We could say that it's because he has an 8.92 million yen debt, but Nagi already disproved that assertion 3 chapters ago and Ikusa himself confirmed that it was initially just a joke. Thus, you could say that Hayate used a bit of psychoanalysis on Ikusa here.

In any case, I appreciated the talk between the brothers and with things all but wrapped up, I think this beach arc is finally coming to an end. I'd say we have 4-5 chapters or maybe even less to fully wrap up this arc.

While it's not over yet, I'd like to say a few things about this beach arc:
At least we know why Isumi's here now.
I like how things tie in quite neatly in this arc like Isumi suddenly showing up from out of nowhere in the previous chapter. Here, it's revealed that she probably showed up in order to help out Hina because she sensed a ghost or something. 

I really enjoyed the comedy here which is really a throwback to the tone of the series before the serious Athena arcs took precedence. Don't get me wrong, I liked the Athena arcs (mostly because of Nagi's chapters), but I didn't really find them to be all that special when compared to the other arcs (or lack thereof) in the manga.
Who do you think this is? You have 3 guesses! Make em count!
Speculation Corner: Well, there was a cliffhanger with some voice going, "found youuuu!" at the end of this chapter, so we'll focus on that for this speculation corner. I have 3 guesses.

  • Ruka Suirenji: I think that it's nice that Hayate realizes that he doesn't have to win this competition, but it would be even better if he actually did win -- and having Ruka show up and helping him win the competition with the help of her fame and camera crew is one of the best ways to win.
  • Sakuya: Well, Isumi's here. Even though the two aren't always together nowadays, I wouldn't put it past Sakuya to show up and somehow help out. She could do a lot just by herself and with her two butlers as well as machina, or she could just use her wealth to help out somehow, although I don't think Hayate would appreciate that.
  • Nagi and company: Although Nagi and Hamster just recently bailed out, I wouldn't put it past them to come back -- this time together with everyone else in order to help out Hayate. 
Regarding what Ikusa said about someone that he could grow to love in the previous chapter, I jokingly said in a comment that the one who best fits his description would be Hayate -- perhaps this chapter proves what I said to be true after all? In fact, Ikusa never stated outright that it was romantic love that he was referring to.  

Finally, I finished drawing this fanart of Nagi (again) just in time for this week's chapter review. What do you think? Isn't she cutieful? This is also requested by some Goddess of Gensokyo.
Nagi! Nagi! Nagi! Nagi! ... Nagi!