Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 538: Forever Dreamer -- Synopsis and Review

Synopsis: Maria: I gonna call it quitz
So beautiful... although, that dress shouldn't be clinging to her butt so tightly like that unless she wasn't wearing any... (you figure out the rest)

Hayate: Yameru te... ojou-sama no... nande? Nande? Doushite?

Maria: You said it yourself too, didn't you, Hayate?

Maria: Our roles are over.

Hayate: Over...

Maria: I've noticed it since the doujin showdown with Ruka.

Maria: She gave it her all. During that time when her heart was broken.

Maria: She would always come to me to be consoled. I thought that she would never be able to stand on her own.

Flashback
"However... a hero, even when on a broken knee..."

Chiharu: Never gives up! (flashback to Nagi's moment of awesome in Ruka's arc!)

Maria: I was shocku deshita!

Maria: Her growth, I had underestimated it.

Maria: She was always relying on me...

Maria: She had been relying on me like a mother.

Maria: Whatever I thought was bad or whenever I said no.

Maria: I think, that was where my existence was heading.

Maria: I didn't care anymore about her growth.

Maria: Her growth is also thanks to you, Hayate.

Maria: Ever since you appeared, her world has been opened.

Maria: She has been through lots of challenges and experiences... and gained...

Maria: Irreplaceable friends.

Maria: You think she has changed as well, don't you, Hayate? 

Ah yes, this is one of the reasons I fell in love with her. My ideal heroine... and ideal waifu.
Hayate: :'( She... hasn't changed... right now, she can't draw her manga without any choco, right?

Maria: She will draw...

Maria: With or without choco... that girl... with her own power...

Maria: Perhaps if I were with her right now....I would just have cleaning and cooking to do, like a real maid.

Maria: She is steadily growing up. I can't even catch up to her anymore.

Maria: This is unpleasant for me.

Maria: This may just be self-indulgence, but I want to be special to her.

Maria understands... she really does!

Maria: This is why my being a maid ends here.

Hayate: B-but...

Maria: Hayate-kun... do ya remember?

Maria: I'll be turning 18 soon, right?

Maria: It's graduation.

Maria: So won't you please smile?

Shift to Chiharu and Nagi

Chiharu: Here, I've bought enough choco, amirite?

Nagi: Meh, why is it this kind of choco nanoda?

Chiharu: This is probably delicious (blibble blah blah some bleeped out reference)

Nagi: This is not the choco from blah blah blah reference that I do not get

Chiharu: Stop talking and making those baku baku sounds while eating.

Chiharu: Anywayz, howz the drawing going? Lemme have a look.

Chiharu: Ah, it's progressing very well.

Chiharu: Think you can make it in time for the awards?

Nagi: Hmph! Of course nanoda!

Chiharu: Btw, where are Ayasaki and Maria?

Nagi: Saa... they'll be back soon anywayz

Back to Hayate who is alone outside the Violet Mansion now reflecting on Maria's words with a sad look on his pitiful face.

Maria: Keep this thing a secret from Nagi, ok?

Maria: I haven't decided on a specific date yet.

Maria: At the latest, it might be around my birthday.

Hayate: Maria-san is quitting... Maria-san was always with ojou-sama.

Hayate: The ruins of the royal garden.... the last game...I should get the key, right?

Hayate: There's also the matter of mini-athena. And Housen is a maid...and wtf is up with these King's Jewels and the Royal Power?

Hayate: Anywayz, these are the keys to opening the Royal Garden but... I need an explosion of negative emotions to open the road.

Hayate: KUSO! WTF DO I DO?

Machina: Guaaaah!

Housen: Really...

Housen; This snake gatekeeper

Housen: Royal Family servants really give me a hard time.

Review: Well, I'm definitely quite happy with Maria's assessment of Nagi in this chapter.

Hayate thought that Nagi would end up in the poorhouse and die if she didn't have her inheritance but Maria is now putting some doubt in his head as to his mistaken beliefs.

Also, I totally called it in the previous chapter as to Maria's reason for quitting being a maid. At least this proves that there are indeed times wherein Hata-sensei foregoes unpredictability for the logical outcome of the plot structure. Maria even makes a callback to the time in Ruka's arc wherein Nagi first demonstrated independence to her.

Such a feisty little cutie~
It's quite funny that while Maria has maturely accepted that Nagi is growing up, Hayate seems to be the complete opposite and had a very disturbed look on his face when Maria mentioned this. He even goes as far as to deny it for a flimsy reason such as Nagi being Nagi and asking for chocolates. Fortunately, Maria rebuts him quite firmly.

It would seem to me that Hayate has an unhealthy obsession of being "needed" by Nagi and that is why he is total denial mode once Maria mentions Nagi's growth and independence. It would most likely be because he has anchored the worth of his existence to being needed by Nagi -- pretty much like Maria herself, except he's not mature enough to accept that it might not be the case anymore. Really, it's been a long time coming. He should just realize that Nagi does indeed need him, but not to protect her nor perform mundane household chores for her. Calling it now, this will be a future development in the series.

One thing has become certain here: Hata-sensei is intentionally withholding Hayate's reaction to Nagi's manga from us. Hayate reflects on various things in this chapter and mentions in passing just about all of the current unresolved plot threads from mini-Athena to the king's jewels, but he never ever touches upon the meaning of Nagi's manga. So yes, something is up here. As one familiar anon commenter mentions in my previous review, it might not necessarily be a good thing -- but something is definitely up.

Lastly... whoa... ok, so Housen's power level is over 9000 apparently. She easily fought Hayate, Tama and Isumi all at once and now she's defeated Machina and taken his King's Jewel... although she did mention that it wasn't easy. Of course, you can see that she doesn't have a scratch on her while Machina is all beat up.

Anywayz, really awesome chapter and Nagi chomping on chocolates never gets old. SEE YA NEXT CHAPTER!

Fanart Corner: Got some new stuff this week.

Hata-senpai noticed me again~
The original pic. Eyes inspired by Prisma Illya.
Showing a little versatility and contrast of styles here.
Still unfinished. Nagi in Illyasviel's signature outfit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 537: Last Regrets -- Synopsis and Review

Don't worry guys, we can expect Nagi to steal the show with some awesome lines pretty soon... she does that.
Synopsis: Hayate: This isn't going too well.

Hayate: At this rate, I won't be able to get Maria to confess to me.

Hayate: How can I get Maria to notice me just a little...

Maria: (turns and smiles)

Hayate: Damn, that's cute... but anyway, it's not like this is the first time.

Hayate: When we first met, it was definitely...

This person is the most beautiful person in the world... Chapter 537: Last

Regrets

Maria: In the end, we didn't find any chocolates for Nagi, didn't we?

Hayate: So, Sou desu ne?

Hayate: I can't let myself fall for her.

Hayate: I have to think of my next move to make Maria confess to me.

Hayate: Should I try suddenly holding her hand? Ah, but taking her hand so

suddenly would be strange. Also, it could be mistaken for sexual harrassment.

Maria suddenly grabs Hayate's hand.

Maria: By the way, Hayate, let's go to that new candy seller.

Maria: C'mon. Let's take a look.

Hayate: Curses! Maria-san is making my heart beat.

Maria: Fuwaa~ these are some stylish chocolates, aren't they?

Hayate: This is not good, I can't think of a good way to approach her.

Maria: Hayate-kun, Hayate-kun, they gotz some free samplez here! Wanna try?

Maria: Ah---~n

Hayate: I can eat it by myself...

Maria: Izzat so~~~

Hayate: This is bad! As expected, Maria's cuteness is overwhelming.

Hayate: When I first met her, I thought to myself, "this person is really

beautiful."

Hayate: Being together with this person over the last 10 months... truly, many

things have happened.

Hayate: Yes, of course! I remember now! I can use this memory.

Hayate: It's nostalgic. I can use these.

Hayate: Ok, then it's settled... on the way home.

Maria: It's totally dark now.

Hayate: Maria-san, Maria-san, do you remember this place?

Hayate: At that time, I was a bit fuzzy in the head and I got ran over.

Maria: It brings back memories, doesn't it? It's been 10 months since then.

Hayate: KUKUKU! GOOOD GOOOD~! This is a nice mood! The nostalgia is floating

all around~

You so ebil, Hayate-kyun~
Hayate: From here, Maria-san will surely take notice of me... and then there will be a poetic confession.

Maria: Various things have happened since then, eh?

Hayate: Yes, really~

Maria: That Christmas Eve... when you entered while I was taking a bath, I really wanted to have you arrested~

Hayate: I-izzat so?

Maria: Yes.

Maria: After that, the mansion was almost destroyed by sexual harrassment. I thought Nagi had picked up a really troublesome kid.

Hayate: I'm SORRY! I'm SORRY FOR THAT TIME!

Maria: Ahaha... it's too late for an apology, however... ever since then, being wtih you has really been a lot of fun everyday.

Hayate: eh...? Wait... could this be? The flow of this conversation is...


Maria: Hayate-kun...

Hayate: y-yearh?

Maria: There's something I've always wanted to tell you~

Hayate: Could this really be...?

Hayate: Something you wanted to tell me?

Maria: Yes, I've really always wanted to tell you.

Hayate: WAIT A SECOND WAIT A SECOND.

Hayate: what ees eet? What ar you hesitating for...?

Hayate: My heart still isn't ready.

Maria: THis is something very important.... some very important words.

Maria: I... I...

Maria: I'm thinking of quitting being a maid.

Time... seemed to stand still for a second.


Review: WOW! WHAT A LOADED CHAPTER! Seriously, going into this chapter seeing nothing but conversations between Maria and Hayate and Hayate's inner monolgue, I kinda thought... meh, wtf is this? Where's mai waifu?

And then Maria just suddenly stole the show with that big reveal at the end.

Anywayz, let's talk about the implications of her decision. WHY is she thinking of quitting. I can think of a number of reasons. First of all, it's an acknowledgement of Nagi's growth. Perhaps Maria has realized that the time when Nagi would no longer need anyone to serve her is arriving pretty fast. In fact, even though Nagi can't seem to do housework, I don't think she'd die of left to her own devices now. She does have friends who can help her out and she has been shown to learn quickly.


Even without anyone teaching her, it might be awkward for Nagi to do housework on her own for a while, but it sure won't kill her. She's not the same incompetent kid from hundreds of chapters ago after all -- not with all her character development all throughout this manga.


Secondly, it's also Maria acknowledging that she can't anchor the worth of her existence to Nagi. Maria is young and talented and has her whole life ahead of her. She shouldn't be wasting it away in servitude to Nagi her whole life -- even if she does love Nagi.

Thirdly, and this one is really in the realm of supporting my ship, Maria is giving way for Hayate and Nagi to be together since she has recognized that Nagi may in fact be ready for a relationship now... even though I can't say the same for Hayate.

Fourth, let's hand a bone to the Maria shippers. What if she's doing it so she can be together with Hayate-kun? Well, my problem with this is that she hasn't shown any kind of "love" for Hayate even if she has found him sort of attractive from time to time. There might be a "romantic spark" between them which could develop into love if they were real persons, but it just doesn't work for this manga's story... so nope.

Anywayz, this was a really nicely written chapter over-all. Once again, Hata starts off with a red herring by making us think that this would be all about Hayate's bumbling attempts at wooing Maria, which was also funny when Maria just keeps pre-empting him, but then it slowly starts to develop into something else and the end result is that even though it's a cliffhanger again, we're left with something really serious to consider -- again, a mark that the end is very, very near for this manga.

Still, if Hata can pull off chapters like these, I have high hopes that this manga will have a very satisfying ending. Also, like I said in the last two chapters -- there's this one ship that's just so sunk right now. This chapter made my heart go doki doki as much as Hayate's.

By the way, a certain blondie just won da Nisekoi~ this tangentially related news is significant for us Nagi supporters!




No break next week, so see ya on  7/27!

Fanart Corner: This is a request from Bill again. Grovel before the princess of heroes, you mongrels! Na-Gil has arrived!

I wonder if she'd use the Gate of Babylon to store her manga/anime collection?









Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 536: Mischievous Maria But I Like Her -- Synopsis and Review


I kinda want to draw Nagi in this pose with just her beautiful face all over the canvas... I think I will. Also, yes. I realize that this is a reference to dat one Chuunibyou animuh.
Synopsis: Hayate: I remember the day we met even now

Hayate: That day, my life was being targeted by the Yakuza because my parents betrayed me.

Hayate: It's really painful to remember... it was sad.

Hayate: That's why that muffler felt doubly warm. I felt truly saved.

10/24

Nagi: I can't draw anymore if there's no delicious chocolate.


Mai waifu is all chibi in this chapter and she looks super-cute!
Hayate: -_- What are you saying now?

Nagi: The manga! The manga! I can't draw it without chocolate!

Hayate: Are you channeling Osamu-san? Didn't he draw his manga for himself?

Nagi: That's right! Exactly!

Nagi: Without chocolate, I can't think! I have no motivation!

Nagi: In order to draw an awesome manga... in order to draw a historical masterpiece.

Nagi: Right now... I need delicious chocolate!

Hayate: Hands her some chocolate

Nagi: DON't YOU MESS WITH ME! At least gimme some choco mint!
 
Only the highest quality chocolates for ojou-sama, you!
Nagi: Since this is also delicious, I'll eat it just this once.

Nagi: This chocolate is necessary but it's the lowest. Gimme some higher quality ones later!

Maria: The ultimate chocolate?

Hayate: Yearh, ojou-tama needs it for her manga!

Maria: I have no idea wtf yer talkin about, son.

Hayate: Well, let me start from the top...

Maria: Hmm... I see... Well then shall the two of us look for this chocolate together?

At that moment, Ayasaki Hayate was thinking.

Hayate: I can only open the door to the Royal Garden if there is love!

If someone were madly in love and had a stone... it would be earth-shattering.

That way, there would be an explosion of negative emotions that would open the gate to the Castle!

Then I can get the loto key and secure ojou-tama's inheritance!

After that, the relationship doesn't matter! It's all for ojou-sama's sake, that's why!

FOr this reason, Maria-san is the best target! Maria-san should understand that it was all for ojou-sama's sake.

However... Maria-san falling for me... I can't even imagine it.

Maria: WTF is wrong with ya, son?

Hayate: No-nothing!

Maria: But it has been a long time since the two of us went shopping together, right?

Hayate: Sou desu ne

Hayate: I'd like to get the ultimate chocolate... but where do we begin?

Maria: Right... usually I'd buy at Aoyama district but...

Hayate: That would be fun but...

Maria: Ah...

Maria: Hayate-kun, how about this?

ULTIMATE Candy Shop

Cheap sweets huh...

Maria: Oh there are lots of cute chocolates here, aren't there?

Maria: Oh, and these are cute too, aren't they?

Hayate:......

Hayate: Anywayz, it's not my imagination. This is a dokidoki situation. Taimu to confession to Maria-san wo!

Hayate: For this reason, I must do this...

Maria: Hayate-kun! Hayate-kun!

Hayate: Hai?

Maria: This character looks like Doraemon, right?

Hayate: Uwaaaaa!

Hayate: WTF are ya sayin, Maria-san! It doesn't look similar at all! Not in the least?

Maria: Eh... rly?

Maria: But this shape is definitely...

Hayate: NOOO! Absolutely not! It's a coincidence!

Maria: Eh... Eh... but...

Hayate: This is bad. My heart is throbbing but this throbbing is totally wrong.

Hayate: Was this choco expedition a failure... no, it's too soon to give up.

Hayate: Maria-san has never even had cup noodles so it's understandable that she wouldn't know anything about cheap chocolates...

Hayate: Yes, of course!

Hayate: Maria-san Maria-san!

Hayate: Ta-dah! (shows her a candy ring)

Maria: Wow! What is that!

Hayate: This was once a hugely popular piece of candy with women. The jewel ring!

Maria: Jewel Ring... huh?

Hayate: What do you think, Maria-san? Women loved this sparkle. You shouldn't be an exception.

Hayate: Wid da powah of this jewel ring! Maria shall fall for me!

Hayate imagination: Maria: Hayate-kun! It's beyootifel!

Maria: Candy ring... huh?

Hayate: ..... eh?

Maria: It's a jewel ring but it's not made of precious metal, is it?

Maria: So if it's a meat bun on top, it's a meat bun ring, huh?

Maria: In that case, where would the meat bun element go?

Hayate: Did she just nearly refute 30 years of candy ring sales?

Hayate: That's not important! What is important is its potential as candy!

Maria: (licks candy) I see...

Maria: It's definitely a delicious candy, isn't it?

Narration: His heart would not stop beating.

Review:
Yah... well, remember what I said about a certain ship getting sunk in the previous chapter? You may now narrow down your guesses... but anyway, that's just me!

Funny stuff from Nagi here. I like the way she's rage-eating that chocolate bar.
So... not much to say about this chapter. Once again, it advances the plot -- with gags. Classic Hata style. Anyway, Hayate has now chosen his "target" and he has finally revealed his Evil-ebil plan. Yup, it's exactly what I said it was. He plans to make Maria fall for him and then break up with her causing the necessary explosion of negative emotions.

Still won't believe that Hayate's an evil bastard?
It's wrong in so many levels and we all know it's not going to work out as planned -- we just dunno exactly how it will backfire. Of course, there's a strong inclination towards Nagi being on the receiving end of some of the backlash -- which I don't like, but it's a necessary thing and I hope Hayate gets his just desserts at the end of all this.

Also, let me take this time to address people who are going to complain about Nagi reverting to her brattish ways in this chapter -- get it through your skulls, people. Nagi IS a brat. That's who she is -- take it or leave it. It's done for comedic purposes in this chapter and it works It DOES NOT do away with her character developments so far and if you say otherwise, Hata will just prove you wrong sooner or later anyway. Gawd, why did I even bother to write this?

Ok, so that aside... I guess that's it for this review. See ya next week coz no break!

Fanart Corner: Traditional media time again. I've also got one work-in-progress that I won't bother to post here until it's done, so see ya next week when it's done.

She was a skater girl, he said "you're a little girl." She wasn't good enough for him. HE had a pretty face, but his head was up in space, he needed to come back down to earth~

A loli with her lolly... so META!

(Hata gave me a "thank you" for this one) Their special place~. Pic inspired by the BG for 40mP's Sampo Michi/Avenue
Not an actual fanart except for the chibi Nagi at the bottom. This is from my 365 Nagi photo project. VN style because I used to be an EVN dev... back when I was young and foolish. Now I'm young and jaded.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 535: Even piled on and on, it won't become the truth -- Review and Synopsis

 
A Maria cover is fine every once in a while
Synopsis: If the Sanzenin inheritance is lost, Ojou-sama will become poor

If it's lost. Ojou-sama will die.

I need the loto key to win her dat inheritance. Which by the way, Yukariko has hidden inside the RG and blah blah... (look... I'm just gonna skim this part coz he's just explaining the royal garden stuff)

Oh and 12 King's Jewels confirmed.

Ok... now let's skip to him meeting Ayumu.

Hayate: (let's use Dkthias' version) Should I fall in love with someone for ojou-sama's sake?

Ayumu:Ah, Hayate-kun! (sweet smile)

Hayate: Nishizawa san

Ayumu: Why so serious, bro?

Hayate:......

Hayate: Yo, Ayumu... you in love with someone?

Wall slams!

Ayumu: Ya know, Hayate-kun! I keep telling you that I'm in love with you!

Hayate: 0_0 Ah...

Ayumu: My feelings for you have never changed and I want to date you, got it!?

Hayate: (Somehow... wasn't that an amazing thing to say?)

Athena: -_- Wtf is up wid dis melodrama in mah house?

Hayate: Uwaaaa!

Ayumu: It's not like that!

Hayate: Sorry bout asking something strange like that, Nishizawa san.

Ayumu: S'fine... now s'cuse meh!

Athena: So wtf was up with that crude question?

Hayate: S-sorry!

Hayate:(b-but... I see. Nishizawa san loves me.)

Hayate: If so, I can use this... for the path...

Ayumu x Hayate montage

Even this chibi Nagi has a sexy butt... I'm going too far, aren't I? Well, just look up there and marvel at her beautiful smile... yeah.
Hayate: No... that's difficult. Such true love cannot be shaken by misunderstanding. There's no way that can be cruel enough.


Hayate: But, without opening the road, I can't get ojou-sama's inheritance.

Also, right now, I'm not sure about the key's wherabouts.

Hayate reflection: (bottom line is, I can't let Hisui get the inheritance)

Maria: Yo, welcome back Hayate kyun! How wuz teh violet mansion?

The last line made Hayate reach a conclusion

Somehow, even if it's a cruel outcome, I will be forgiven if it's for ojou-sama's sake.

Maria!

Maria: ?

Hayate: However... how can I enter a relationship with this person?

Hayate: Does she have a boyfriend or a lover? No, of course not, right?
However, living together under one roof for 10 months isn't enough, is it?

Hayate: In the first place, is Maria attracted to the opposite sex at all?

Maria: Wazzup? Why do you have such a weird face on?

Hayate: I was born this way.

Maria: Ara ara... that's not true. When I first met you, you were so cool.

Hayate: R-really? Izzat so?

Hayate: Could it be? Is this a sign?

(gonna skip stuff)

Hayate: For ojou-sama's sake, Maria-san... I will make advances on Maria san! (evil face)

Maria: ...

Maria: Sorry but... forget I said that.

Maria: Hayate-kun has a strange face after all.

Review: First of all, thank you very much for confirming what I've been saying all along, Mr. Ayasaki! NOW... you have truly sunk to a new low!

Well, naysayers!? What say you now? You thought he was thinking of doing it to himself? Hah! What do you think about that?

Now then... let me also just take this time to say that I believe this chapter just sunk a dormant ship. Which one? Well, I'll leave that up to your imaginations. Just take note of the conversations here and Hayate's own reactions (even after it's been properly translated) and you'll see. I'm just gonna be as vague as Hayate here and not say it directly.

Ok so... first half of this chapter is just Hayate summarizing the Royal Garden business so far. He also said some things halfway through related to Hisui that I did not read properly, but it's OK! Believe in the veteran translators! They'll clarify things for you... or I will as soon as I sit down to give it a second reading... maybe.

So yeah, Hayate has now become the "piece of ass" that we've all thought he was trying to be in the previous chapter. Time for his reality check soon-ish

Also, ya know what this looks like? This looks like the spiritual adaptation of the final two episodes of Cuties! Hayate's going around trying to find the right girl to fall in love with in all the wrong places. Anywayz, we all know how that ended, but the implications of his "falling in love" are quite different here. The stakes are much higher with the misunderstanding bomb looming just beyond the horizon. Gotta thank Bill again for reminding me of this. I was actually thinking about it all last week and then forgot about it.

Also, hasn't Hayate learned his lesson from observing Nagi? She won't end up in that poorhouse scenario in his head. Heck, if she needed money, she could just use her luck to become a millionaire through gambling... or just use her financial genius to make a killing in the stock market. Remember, she has luck as her superpower and she is at least mature enough to use it effectively nowadays.

Anyway, interesting stuff and no break next week, so see ya then!

Fanart Corner: Traditional media is awesome! Here are a few more stuff I've completed. Also, Hayate is totally looking at dat ass... I know I would.

Dayuuum Nagi! Drop this silly butler and choose me instead! New ship! Me x Nagi! I will serve and love you foreeeever!

Colored pencils on canvas. People warned me not to do it because it would look blurry... I don't listen to people! This one is pretty big, actually.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 534: Kiss to Kimei to Kiss -- Review and Synopsis

Hata sure loves to show off dat ASS! Nagi's turn next, ok?

Synopsis: Someone and someone: It's been a long time, hasn't it?
Someone else: It's nostalgic (probably Ruka and Hayate saying these)

Chiharu: Wait a sec, I'mma change clothes.

Ruka: yearh yearh watevs

Hayate: Imma prepare tea

Ruka: BTW, Hayate

Hayate: S'up?

Ruka: Ya remember that kiss?

Hayate: WTF ARE YA SAYING ALL OF A SUDDEN!?

Ruka: Eh? You've kissed me. So who else have you kissed since then?

Hayate: That's some strange talk... who else would I have kissed since... (remembers that Makise girl)

Hayate and Ruka: ......

Ruka:You have kissed someone else haven't you?

Ruka: It's only been two months but you've already kissed a different woman.

Hayate: Bah! How should I know? It was an accident ok? An accident!

Ruka: I see. You haven't changed at all. Still as popular as ever, I see.

Ruka: I mean, you even managed to hook this super kawaii idol-chan, didn't you?

Hayate: Like I said, whatevs! I dunno!

Ruka: You'r quite humble, ain't ya?

Hayate: It's true!

Chiharu who feels like a third wheel: Ayasaki really is popular, ain't he?

Chiharu: I'mma goin to Nagi's. How about u, Ruka?

Ruka: Oh, sorry. Gotta get back to work.

Ruka: Nagi's manga is due out soon, right?



The cuteness... it's overwhelming!

Chiharu: Yearh.

Chiharu: Watch out for it. It's really interesting.

At the Sanzenin's

Nagi: Being an idol sure is hard eh?

Chiharu: Rly.

Chiharu: by the way

Nagi: whut?

Chiharu: Do ya like Ayasaki?

Nagi: W-w-w-why?

Chiharu: Well... that is...

Chiharu: Well, this manga's hero and heroine are you and Ayasaki, amirite?

Nagi: Like I SAID... WHY WOULD YOU THINK THAT?

Nagi: Really, you otaku confuse fiction with reality!

Chiharu: You're one to talk!

Chiharu: So? What it is it really?

Nagi: That's right! I love him! Is there a problem with that?

Chiharu: No, no... there's no problem at all.

Nagi: Well, I didn't even start all of this!

Chiharu: Eh? Such as?

Nagi: Like a confession of love! These feelings all started from Hayate!

Chiharu: Eh, really?

Nagi: That's right! Hayate fell in love with me at first sight!

Chiharu: Is that so? I'm shocked. Ayasaki is a lolicon.

Nagi: Hayate fell in love with me, that's why I made him my butler!

So hard to choose! Too many cute reactions from mai waifu this chapter... dun worry, baby! You'll be just fine.

Nagi: What else do ya wanna know? I'll tell you everything!

Nagi: First of all, that time when Hayate confessed to me.

Flashback to Hayate's "confession.

Narration: It was actually a kidnapping.

Chiharu: Really? That Ayasaki?

Nagi: That's right! And he was really pushy about it!

Chiharu: He sure doesn't look like he's capable of that.

Nagi: Yeah, really.

Chiharu: So... are you two planning to get married in the future?

Nagi: Well, if all goes well, we'll get to that eventually.

Chiharu: I see! Good luck then. Do your best as a manga artist and to get the Sanzenin inheritance.

Nagi: Uh... why?

Chiharu: Isn't it obvious?

Chiharu: Other than money, you have no appeal as a woman.

Nagi: Shaddup! I do so have appeal as a woman.

Chiharu: Wait a sec, calm down.

Chiharu: What kind of man would find a woman who is an arrogant hikkomori mangaka appealing?

Nagi: Who're you calling an arrogant hikkikomori mangaka? You're being impolite!

Chiharu: That's why I'm telling you to calm down a bit.

Chiharu: Ayasaki kun is a lolicon!

Chiharu: He only has eyes for you and he's confessed, that's great.

Chiharu: But in 10 years time... do you think he'll still feel the same for you?

Chiharu: Definitely, that guy doesn't react to girls of the same age like Ruka and Hinagiku.

Chiharu: That's why money will be an important factor for the future of the two of you.

Chiharu: Without money you won't be able to buy anything. Money opens the way to happiness, don't you think?

Nagi: I see... well, you have a point.

Chiharu: Yeah, if the business fails. It will eventually end in divorce.

Chiharu: Eh, is that so? You haven't confessed yet?

Nagi: I'll confess ok! Now go home already!

Chiharu: Money is very important for your future!

At Ruka's studio.

Ruka: But I'm glad to hear that you're not dating anyone, Hayate.

Ruka: If you were to fall in love with someone, I'd be a little shocked, that's why.

At that time, a thought entered Hayate's head.

The path to the royal garden could be opened by feelings of unrequited love.

Through an intense love that suddenly becomes cold, surely the explosion of negative feelings that will open the path will come right?

Hayate: So whose love should I use for ojou-sama's sake? Whose love should I use?

Review: We've got a loaded chapter here. We're shown just what's in Nagi's or how she perceives things from her perspective. No surprise that she thinks Hayate's head over heels in love with her. She might have doubted it at some point, but the butler's own confusing signals left her with no other choice but to believe in the scenario that she already had a bias for in her head: that Hayate fell in love with her at first sight.


So was she wrong? Well, the manga definitely tells us that she's probably dead wrong, but how wrong is she really? Was there really not a single trace of love/romance on December 24 of that night? Again, Hayate's inner monologue would seem to indicate that the answer is yes, but because we have little reason to believe in the character's own monologue in the Hayate-verse, let's not be too sure here. Remember that Ruka also said she hated her idol career -- just before her own emotional breakdown and only to retract her statements later -- so let's not jump to hasty conclusions here.

He's still thinking of her... even while concocting a totally evil plan -- more evil than anything Hisui has done so far.

With that said, things seem to be leading towards the big "bomb between them" which will probably culminate when Nagi attempts to confess to Hayate just as he's thinking about an evil thought like using someone's love to open the path to the Royal Garden.

Which leads me to Ayasaki himself: seriously, what is he thinking? Why would he even go this far for Nagi's sake? Well, I do believe that he himself doesn't even realize why he is doing this because he's never reflected on his own actions before. All that matters to him now is winning Nagi her inheritance -- without taking her feelings into account -- AND this is his big mistake which will eventually lead to probably him triggering the bomb between them and causing Nagi's eventual heartbreak. Also, does he really think Nagi would approve of his actions? Of course! I forgot, he's not thinking of Nagi's or anyone else's feelings at all. Like I've said before, for all his facade of selflessness, Hayate is a lot more selfish than Nagi ever will be... wait! I didn't say that before? Well, I'm saying it now.

Let's not delude ourselves here, Nagi's heartbreak WILL happen. The plot demands it and to have it go in another direction wouldn't just be a shocking swerve, it wold be a big waste of the developments of the plot since the very start of this manga 533 chapters ago.

The only question after that is how Hata chooses to resolve it. Let's just say that if Nagi becomes the candidate to open the Royal Garden, it's going to be painful to watch for a while, but that basically seals the deal in her favor in the  "ending girl" department.

Of course, there are lots of things still to come in-between. For one, Chiharu now knows Nagi's feelings. Since she's smart and inquisitive, she might figure things out on her own -- now Maria chose to be silent about the misunderstanding, but what would Chiharu choose to do? Let's wait and see because her actions might be crucial in the future... or not.

As for Ruka, well... it just seems to me that Hata just wanted to remind us that she's still a part of this manga and that she's still a fun character. She doesn't seem all that bothered with her so-called "scandal," because like she said in the previous chapter, it's all groundless.

By the way, if Hayate goes through with his plans, he's worse than Hisui. Someone needs to slap some sense into him soon!

SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

Fanart Corner: Funny how timely this fanart is. I just wanted to draw Nagi in this pose/face after seeing how Hayate describes her to Athena as the type who even complains to the sun when it rises in the morning. Love these colored pencils... and watercolor pencils recently. GOODBYE digital art!

She's not wrong.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

What If? A Hayate no Gotoku! Alternate Retelling: Chapter 4: I’ll Be Waiting



Read Chapter 1

With superhuman speed, Hayate made a mad dash to save his lady from the clutches of his own parents.

Carrying Nagi on his shoulder, Hayate’s dad had already jumped out of the bedroom window and was a good 15 meters away from him, but Hayate managed to close the distance within a fraction of a second. To an onlooker, it would have seemed as if he simply warped from one point to another.
“Dad, you let go of her right now!”
At the same moment that he closed in on his lady’s abductor, Hayate unleashed a furious spinning roundhouse kick in mid-air aimed at his father’s back…
SPAK!
Hayate’s Dad spun around.

“Uh… was that supposed to hurt me, son?”

“…”
“Hayate, you hit your own father!” Hayate’s mother who was trailing behind them scolded him.
“Muahaha! Seriously? You’d hit your own father? More importantly, who taught you to kick like that? That was awful. No power behind it at all… you see, it’s all in the hips, son. Gotta rotate your hips as you throw your leg forward… like so!”
CRACK!
The force of the kick sent Hayate sprawling backwards. He gripped his chest in pain.
“Uaaaaah!”

“Hrmph… well, I can’t go easy on you even if you’re my son after all…ugh….wha---t---the….”

Hayate’s father fell forward unconscious. Nagi stood up and dusted her clothes off with a nonchalant expression on her face.

Still reeling from the pain, Hayate noticed something glittering on her right hand. It was a needle. She had used a syringe of some kind.

“Oh don’t worry, Hayate. It’s just a tranquilizer. It should put him out for a good 3-5 hours, but no permanent damage. I always carry one or two handy. It’s not easy being a billionaire heiress after all.”

“Y-you! What did you do to my husband you little…”

“Um… I really think you should stop.” Nagi retained her stoic expression and pointed the pistol that Hayate’s father had been using straight at Hayate’s mom. This caused the older woman to freeze in her tracks.
“Nagi, Hayate… are you ok?”
By the time Maria had arrived with the Sanzenin SP’s all the action was already over.
Nagi left the cleaning up operations to Maria and the SP’s.
Reluctantly, she approached a shivering Hayate, who had curled up into a fetal position. He was probably more emotionally scarred than physically hurt. Still, they needed to talk.
“Hayate…”

“Ojou…sama?”He looked up reluctantly at his lady.

“Thanks for saving me.” She said with a smile… but it wasn’t her usual smile. There was a certain sadness in her expression as if she were saying goodbye to an old friend.

Hayate himself must have noticed this as he was almost on the verge of tears again just from looking at her face.

“I’m sorry…. I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

“Hush” Nagi placed her index finger on the lips of the agitated little boy before her.
“But, Hayate… I promise I won’t be angry at you… so please, tell me the truth. Did you approach me on that Christmas eve just so you could steal from me?”
“N-No… umm… I mean, well, yes and no!”

She raised an eyebrow.

“My parents really did abandon me that night and left me with nothing but that letter. I was more angry than sad, so I just ran out of the house and wandered around aimlessly. That’s when I saw you in front of that row of vending machines… I just thought that you were really beautiful! The moment I saw you… I just knew I had to get to know you better.”

Nagi blushed a little at Hayate’s unabashed description of her.

“I… didn’t know what my parents were planning at first, but when you took me in as your butler, that’s when they came in contact with me again. They somehow managed to slip a note into my room. They told me to start replacing the expensive paintings in your house with fakes that they provided me with. They would sneak the paintings in through the mail in the early mornings since I was always the first to get up and answer the door. My parents are experts at forging art pieces so an ordinary person with no training wouldn’t be able to spot these fakes at a glance.  I didn’t want to steal from ojou-sama… so I trashed the first few fakes that they sent me, but then… they slipped another letter into my room and told me that you would get hurt if I didn’t go along with them. I hate to say it, but my parents are really terrible people and I never wanted ojou-sama to get hurt because of me, so I had to do as they said.”

“… and it was going well until you taught me how to spot fakes… but you should have figured that out by yourself. It was such an elementary mistake…”

“I know. Well, I suppose you could say I let my guard down, ojou-sama.”  He could not look her in the eye anymore as he said this.
What Hayate wanted to say was that he let his guard down because he liked her so much, but he hesitated to do so for fear that she might hate him more than she already did.
“I see…” Her voice was cold and lifeless.

“Ojou-sama?”

“I understand your circumstances, Hayate. I really do… but I suppose…”

“Please don’t say it!” Was what Hayate Ayasaki was thinking at that moment, but the words refused to leave his lips.

“I suppose… this is goodbye for now.”

“NO…please… no… don’t leave me, Nagi ojou-sama…” Again, these were the words Hayate wanted to say, the words he should have said at that moment, but could not.
“I have an empty mansion just a few blocks away from here. It used to belong to my mother. It’s been abandoned now, but it should have all the basic amenities you’ll need and you should find the place quite livable – perhaps even more comfortable than your life as a butler here has been. Also, don’t worry, I won’t press charges against your parents… I’ve made them promise to leave you alone in my care… but I also think we need a little distance from each other after this incident… to at least think about what comes next, which is why I’m sending you away for now. I’ve already paid for your schooling in Hakuo, so you don’t need to worry about that.” Her voice was calm and steady, but to Hayate, it felt as if she was slowly killing him with the cold treatment she was showing him.
Hayate had never seen this side of her before. It was like she was some lifeless robot reciting a death sentence in front of him.

“Wait! Wait! Don’t I get a say in this?” Protests rang out in Hayate’s head at the thought of being separated from his precious ojou-sama, but he could not find the voice to let them be heard. His tongue was frozen in place by guilt; crushed into silence by the weight of his own betrayal.
 And so, in the end… they had to part.
It was over.  Her decision would not change. His words would not sway her anymore – he was certain of this because he knew that she was making the right decision.
And yet, the thought of being separated from his most precious person – the thought of never seeing her again, perhaps forever, finally spurred Hayate into action.
“WAIT! Ojou-sama!”

Finally, Hayate Ayasaki’s silence was broken.

“Hmm…? Do you have something more to say?” Nagi replied matter-of-factly.
“Yes I do! I-I can’t put it into words right now… it’s not the right time, but… please… I do have something to tell you… so, on December 24, at the place where it all began! Please, can I see you again at that time? I’ll wait for you. I’ll wait for you no matter how long it takes!”

“I see…” Nagi scratched her head as if deep in thought, then she turned to face him with a smile.
“Ok, let’s see each other again… so for now, this is goodbye, Hayate.”
“Goodbye, ojou-sama” Hayate bowed his head low. Mercifully, it began to rain on that night, obscuring the tears which were streaming onto his cheeks.
And thus, time moves forward to December 24. Loser Park. Somewhere in Japan.
“The words that I couldn’t say back then. The words that I’m struggling to say right now. They are all the same.” Was what he said.

He was almost as tall as her now. It wasn’t always this way. Just a year ago, she actually towered over him. Right now however, they were almost at eye level.

“The way you looked at me with those kind and lonely eyes. The way you took my hand in yours, I always knew how you truly felt.” Was her reply.

He held the palms of his hands in front of him. Looking a bit hesitant, he continued.

“You never doubted me – even though I could never say things correctly.”

She took a step forward. They were closer now. Close enough for him to hear her breathing. Close enough for him to smell the sweet scent of her golden hair fluttering in the breeze.
Thus, she spoke.

“I was always one step ahead of you, listening for the familiar echoes of your footsteps.”

And he answered.

“I tried so hard to hide these feelings. I never realized that this was my biggest mistake.”
These were his sincerest thoughts at that moment. There was no room for misunderstanding.
Her face felt slightly warm despite the decidedly cold winter breeze. Strangely enough, although it was winter, it was not yet snowing in this particular part of Japan.
“Do you still remember? The first time that we met?” Was her question.
“Of course, how could I forget?”
“I always kinda hoped those days would last forever.”

She looked far into the horizon with a knowing glance. The sun flared with a bright orange glow – the last rays of light before nighttime.

“I… felt the same. I truly did… I’m sorry.”

Upon hearing his words, she moved closer. Cupping his chin with her long, delicate fingers, she looked kindly into his deep blue eyes.

“Don’t say that… ok? ‘Sorry’ is a word of regret.”
She looked up into the sky. Hayate could only stand and watch, entranced by her every movement. The way her long golden hair tied up in twin-tails fluttered in the breeze, the way she closed her eyes with her head raised high.

“Listen, Hayate… sorry is a word of regret – so don’t you ever say something like that to me again. To regret means to dwell on the past. What has happened cannot be undone, so even if things seem painful, keep moving forward and never look back.”
“But – I thought you’d hate me if I didn’t say that. I did such a terrible thing.”

He was on the verge of tears.

“Hey Hayate! It was so much fun wasn’t it?”

She changed the subject.
“What?”

“I can’t believe it’s been a year already.  Every day just felt like a wonderful dream.”

Night had fallen. The conditions were perfect.

Hayate took a deep breath. He had asked for this meeting because he wanted to say something to her… but he still needed one final push before he could say it.
“Hey, do you think they were watching over us, ojou-sama?”

“Hmm…?”

“The stars, I mean. Do you remember?”

“Oh yes. You mean when I told you the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi?”

Hayate looked fondly into the night sky.

“Yeah, I just feel that everything fell into place perfectly at that moment… like someone was watching over us.”

“Perhaps, Hayate… perhaps…”

And then…

“Nagi onee-sama… I love you. I’ve always loved you. From the moment that I first saw you, my feelings for you have never changed!”

He had finally said it. The words flowed naturally from his lips. There was no hint of hesitation in his tone. She had told him not to live life with regrets after all – so there would be none from Hayate Ayasaki – even if…

A strong gust of wind blew past just as he had made his confession. Still, there was no doubt that Nagi had heard what he had to say.
She closed her eyes. It was cold, but it wasn’t snowing – just as when they first met. She was wearing a pure white dress that seemed to dance with the wintry breeze as it clung to her petite, feminine figure.

She turned to the side and bowed her head low. A thin smirk formed on her lips. Hayate’s heart was about to jump from his chest in anticipation.

She knew how he felt of course, she had always known.

“1,117 days… or equal to 159 weeks and 4 days.”
“What?” Hayate was understandably bewildered by her response.

“That… is the wall of time that separates us, Hayate. It’s quite a distance, isn’t it?”

“Nagi onee-sama…”

She looked into his eyes. They were definitely almost at eye-level now. He had grown a lot in just a year. Given one more year – perhaps even a few months time, he would probably be taller than her.
“Hayate, I like you but… I’m not sure if I can tell you the words that you so desperately want to hear right now.”

“I… see.”

“So therefore!” She suddenly raised her voice, which startled Hayate before he could even think of becoming depressed.
“1,117 days. That is the wall of time between us. I want you to prove to me that you can overcome this distance! Become stronger, faster, taller … and break down this invisible barrier, Hayate… become strong enough to endure and overcome any problems that come between us, be it kidnappers, a 156 million yen debt or a bitter misunderstanding... until then…”

She turned to face him. She was smiling – the same smile that she had shown him on this very night just 365 days ago.


 
“I will be waiting... at the other side. So grow up fast, Hayate.”
Hayate closed his eyes and clenched his fist with a firm resolve in his heart.

“Definitely! As long as you are waiting for me, Nagi onee-sama, even if the Milky Way itself tries to get in-between us, I will become strong enough to kick a wormhole through reality just to reach you.”

She leaned forward and closed her eyes… and he too closed his eyes in anticipation.

He felt something wet and warm… on his left cheek – which caused his heart to beat wildly.

Hayate might have left the park just a little bit disappointed on this night, but this was much was fine… for now.

“I’ll be waiting.”

It began on Christmas eve on this very spot just one year ago. And on this very same spot, it begins… the story of their love… from this day forth…

The End


Author’s Notes

Well… this is possibly the longest story I’ve written since the last 4 years or so give or take. I’d like to thank my facebook acquaintance, Bill Plunderbones for urging me on to finish this fic.

Nagi is a very special character for me and I hope you can see that in this fic.

I wrote this story with the intention of making it a stand-alone piece of fiction whether you are familiar with the characters of the manga/anime or not, while still remaining true to the original characters.

The title is a dead giveaway. This is a “what-if” scenario that changes a few things around in their circumstances and most notably reverses the age-gap between Hayate and Nagi. If you feel that Hayate doesn’t act the way he does in the manga in this piece of work, I would argue that this is not exactly the same Hayate from the manga since in this version, he never met Athena and never learned about “the pain of love.” Also, Nagi is older than him in this fic, so even if he has a personal bias against younger women, it wouldn’t really matter in this scenario.

I usually use a show-don't-tell method when I write, but I find that style doesn't work as well for a dialogue and character driven universe like in Hayate the Combat Butler -- so you might find that I'm a bit more direct with my storytelling than usual. That much is intentional.

By the way, regarding the art... this actually just started out as a piece of fanart with a short scenario written for it -- but with Bill's coaxing, it grew into something a little bit larger than that. I actually didn't use digital manipulation that much. The pieces of fanart I'm using here are all drawn with colored pencils and felt-tipped pens.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this little piece as much as I enjoyed drawing and writing for it. See you in future stories to come. -lordcloudx