Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 476: I Love Kitties -- Review and Synopsis

Izumi's probably one of the few girls with a distinctive look with the new design
Synopsis: Katsura-sensei checks in with the Hakuo Baka-trio and asks them whatever happened to the Video Koushien they were entering and is surprised to learn that it's still going on and that they're in the finals. It seems they won with a series of cat videos.



They show her the first video which is of a cute cat playing with a butterfly, but in the background, there was a truck accident followed by an impromptu robbery of an old lady from an overly defensive truck driver.

The second video that they used was simply a video of Hina playing with the same cute cat from before.
Hata poking fun at his own manga's fanbase
For some reason, it garnered the most votes. Now that they're in the finals, they've run out of videos, so Yukiji urges them to film a prank video and win the competition and to give her the money. Since they're all rich, they agree and the one they choose to play a prank on is none other than Hayate.

The prank is to have Izumi make a confession of love to him and to film his reaction -- since the others are totally unaware that Izumi actually does have feelings for him.

Izumi reluctantly agrees and confronts Hayate just as he's on his way to see Aika and confesses out loud to him.

His reaction is rather hilarious since he had just been confessed to by Konoha.

Review: This seems a lot like another filler chapter, but it does also serve to tie up some loose ends. Namely, the video koushien thing that's been going on since near the start of Ruka's arc.

Over-all, it was a pretty funny chapter although really nothing to mince words on. I found the poke at the fanbase using Hina rather hilarious... perhaps her runaway popularity has Hata perplexed as well.

The best part was Hayate's reaction though. His facial expression is just indescribable, so I'll just leave it here.
Read the chapter for the frontal version of his expression.
Fanart Corner: No speculation corner nor any new fanart for today, but I did do a little shop on this image to make it so that she's wearing the ring on her left hand -- as pointed out by Doughnut Gunso via twitter.

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My 4-Day Trip To Hong Kong: Day 4



The final day of our trip to Hong Kong was set aside for a trip to Macau. We started with breakfast at Café De Coral at about 9:00 AM. After that, we went back to the hostel room and made sure that our passports were ready for the ferry trip.

Getting to the actual ferry terminal was a simple task since we’d already scouted out the area the day before. Once again, I led the way. This time, we found the street leading to the ferry terminal much faster. It was still about 15 minutes to get to the mall on which the ferry terminal was located on foot from the Chung King Mansions though.

We arrived at the mall by about 10:15 AM and we still had some time before we had to leave by around 11:30. After a short walk around the mall to see what it had to offer, we decided to buy our tickets early.

We chose one of many travel agency stalls which were located right next to the actual ticket terminals and bought two round trip tickets to and from Macau. The attendant told us that we could return at any time before the last boat leaves Macau at 10:30 PM, what we wouldn’t find out until later is that we were just chance passengers on any other timeslot before 10:30 and we had to catch our flight back to the Philippines at 2:00 AM later.

Anyway, we queued up for the 11:30 AM trip and got through customs and immigrations checks without a hitch. My mother was all excited about all the wonderful stuff we’d do at Macau including trying out the free samples of food and the free bus transportation there, but again, the skeptic in me kept telling me, “ideal vs. reality.” Yes, I’m cynical that way, but this is what life has brought me up to be after all.

The boat came at 11:30 AM as scheduled and once we found our seats, we were finally on our way to Macau… what I hadn’t bargained for is that it would be at last an hour and 15 minutes by boat between Macau and Hong Kong.

I’m very prone to motion sickness, so I was a bit dizzy after the trip, but I didn’t let on because my mother worries too much about these things.

Anyway, there was another custom security check after the boat ride, but all we really needed were our passports.

Outside of the Macau ferry terminal, we got some instructions from one of the ladies (at least I think it was a girl… could be a trap :D) promoting the different hotels and casinos and got on the free bus transportation to a place called The Venetian Macau.

Inside the bus, we got acquainted with a Filipino who was actually working at that place and he offered to give us a tour before he assumed his duties there.

After a 15-minute bus ride, we were finally at the Venetian Macau. It was a huge Hotel and Casino and was most definitely a 5-star hotel. It was also going to be the host of the Pacquiao vs Algieri fight and had promotional material of the fight all over. We couldn’t enter the actual Cotai Arena, but there was a replica ring with some promotional posters just outside of the West Lobby of the hotel.

Our volunteer guide took us to some food stalls where we could sample some of the pastries that they were selling. I wasn’t really into that kind of stuff, so I chose not to sample any although my mother tried out quite a few.

We cut through the Casino and I had to take out my passport because the guard was skeptical that I was over 21. Inside the Casino, our guide grabbed a few bottles of water for us and told us that it was free.

After that, we made our way to the indoor replica of Venice and the artificial clouds. They even had actual gondolas and oarsmen who sang as they took passengers across the artificial indoor river, which was about a kilometer long. Incidentally, our guide told us that we could ask them to let us ride for free if we wanted because the oarsmen were actually Filipinos. We decided to give it a pass since it wouldn’t be fair to the long line of customers queued up for the ride.

It seems people also liked to throw coins into the lake.  The river path was lined with brand-name shops to the left and right. Finally, we reached the food court area where our guide was working. We said our thanks and parted ways there.

Since we’d seen enough of The Venetian, we decided to go back to the West Lobby and ride the bus back to the ferry to see some other part of Macau.

The Venetian was so big that we got lost quite a few times before we finally found our way back to the bus stop. It was about 2:30 PM now. The traffic was quite dense during the bus ride back, so it took us about 30 minutes to get back to the ferry terminal. We still had some time before we planned to return to Hong Kong by about 5:30-6:00, so we asked for some instructions from a different set of Casino ladies this time – and one of them just happened to be a Filipina once again, and decided to go to the Grand Lisboa to see San Malo.

Grand Lisboa was just a short 5-minut ride from the ferry, se were already there by about 3:12 PM. Just like The Venetian, it was also a very large Hotel and Casino. We overheard some security guards speaking in Tagalog and asked for instructions from them on how to get to San Malo. We tried following their instructions at first, but quickly lost our bearings, so we decided to return to the Hotel to ask again. This time, another Filipino who wasn’t working there offered to take us along to San Malo.

We followed him as he took us a few blocks across the hotel to where San Malo was. It turned out to be some kind of thrift shop/market just like the Mongkok Night market. My mother decided that she wouldn’t be buying anything from there, so we just decided to try finding the Ruins of St. Paul. Unfortunately, the signs in Macau are not as clear-cut as they are in Hong Kong and they were either in Spanish or Chinese.


We ended up somehow hiking our way to the top of some kind of small hill that led to Macau’s Museum. At this point, my mother was too tired from the hike up to even traverse the stairs that actually led up to the museum. I decided to take a look at what was on top and I saw the ruins of St. Paul that we were looking for from there. It was actually quite a few blocks back from where we had walked.

It was already nearing 5:00 PM at this point however, so we decided to make the long walk back to the Grand Lisboa to catch the bus trip to the ferry terminal.

After a long, tiring walk back to the bus stop at the Grand Lisboa, we discovered that we needed to buy some kind of ticket to ride the bus from there, but we didn’t carry any Macau currency nor did we know where to even buy the tickets. The woman assisting the passengers there turned out to be a Filipino once again and she told us to just get on and that we didn’t need any tickets.

We made it just in the nick of time to catch the 6:00 ferry to Hong Kong from the Macau Terminal – at this point, my mother’s anxieties were rising and it was compounded even more by the fact that we had discovered that we were to be chance passengers on the boat. We could only ride if there were free seats since our tickets were booked for 10:30 PM.

The man who was queued up right behind us reassured my mother that we were very near the line so we’d definitely get seats there. She was very anxious at this point that we wouldn’t have enough time to prepare for our 2:30 AM flight back to Iloilo. The kind stranger turned out to be a Nepalese man who managed a business in Hong Kong as a resident there. He made some small talk with us, which served to calm my mother down.

Finally, it was our turn to take our seats and as the man had said, we made it for the 6:00 trip. The trip turned out to be a very rocky one. Since I was very prone to motion sickness, I had to concentrate all the time on making my breathing study and making sure that my eyes were focused on a single object all the time.

By the end of the rough trip that included several power fluctuations inside the boat, my hands were clammy and I could barely stand up, but I managed to prevent myself from throwing up… which I couldn’t say for the old man seated perpendicular to me who had to grab the barf bag.

Once again, we had to go through some customary security check, but were finally back in Hong Kong. We were once again inside the mall by 7:15. I suggested that we go back to the hostel room so I could rest up first and we could do some final checks before we went to the airport.

After walking back to our Hostel and a short rest, we went down to have dinner at about 8:30. This time, my mother was worried about which bus we should take on the way to the airport. We asked a few different people, including two policemen and they gave us different directions each time.

Worry was once again plastered all over my mother’s face. We went to have dinner at the same KFC from day two, but I ended up eating most of our orders up myself since my mother as too paranoid at this point that we might miss our flight – even though it was only about 9:00 PM. She saw a young man who had some distinctly Filipino facial features enter the restaurant and she asked him if he knew how to get to the airport. Unfortunately, it turns out he’d only been here for around 7 days and wasn’t really sure.

At this point, I knew I had to do something before my mother killed herself with anxiety, so I told her, “I didn’t buy anything for myself here in Hong Kong, right? So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna reload our Octopus cards with 100 HKD each and we’re going to use those cards to take the airport express train from the subways so that we don’t have to worry about a thing. So for now, please enjoy your dinner.”

Of course, she still couldn’t eat much, but I definitely saw the fear and worry draining away from my mother’s face  as soon as what I’d said had dawned on her. She agreed with my suggestion, so we stopped by a 7-11 store on the way back and had our Octopus cards reloaded.

After going back to Chung King, we took our heavy luggage, checked out of the hostel and then made our way to the subways. It was only a few stops before the airport express and the airport express train itself was really nice. It had separate seats for everyone and even had a luggage area where you could stow away your luggage. The trip itself took about 45 minutes because we had to switch trains at least twice.

Finally, we’d made it to the airport terminal 2 (as it said on our tickets) by about 11:15 PM. We had to spend a little bit of time finding the check-in counter for the Cebu Pacific flight since there were hundreds of rows of check-in counters inside the airport.

We asked for directions from one of the airport employees and finally found the Check-In Counter for our flight. There was a medium-length line there and one could tell right away and we even got a little taste of “Pinoy” behavior during the queue when a middle-aged man tried to cut in line in front of my mother by pulling his cart in faster when a new check-in counter had just opened up and the employee motioned for my mother to line up there. Fortunately, the employee behind the counter told him that my mother was next in line and not him – much to his embarrassment.
They had to check our luggage and I have to admit that I was a bit worried when they said that they had to send my laptop through their scanners again for a re-check, but not really THAT worried since I’m pretty sure I’m not a drug courier.

After check-in, there was a very long walk that must’ve been at least 1.2 kilometers before we could get to gate 31 where our flight would be. Fortunately, the moving walkways made the trip much faster. We met up with the young couple that we had met in day one. We made small talk and shared our experiences in Hong Kong. It turns out that the Taxi Driver couldn’t figure out where they were staying in Jordan and just left them there in the middle of the street. Just like us, they also had to find a McDonald’s wherein they could wait the night out.

We had a pleasant time chatting about our experiences in HK (mostly my mother, actually) until it was time for our flight. They had to move the terminal from number 31 to 24 about 15 minutes before the flight.

I was still feeling a bit dizzy, so I once again had to concentrate 100% not to give in to the feeling for the 2 hour flight.

I had planned to buy some water when they started selling them later since I really needed a drink. My mother took out the apple that she’d bought at Ngong Ping and suggested that I take a bit just to moisturize my throat a bit – so I did.

At one point during the flight, I bought some water from the flight stewardess and the woman who had the seat next to my mother wanted to buy one too, but she only had a 1000-peso bill and they didn’t have any change, so I took out the loose change in Philippine pesos that I still had and bought one for her as well.

I was feeling very nauseous after the flight, but I was also relieved to be on solid ground wherein I could get up on my own two feet again. I felt the worst when I had to sit down and just endure the plane ride.

It turns out that they were monitoring for Ebola as part of the post-flight security check. We were the last in line because I took some time to catch my breath after the plane ride, but fortunately, we made it through without a hitch.

Outside the airport, my cousin was waiting to take us back home in the car. It was 5:00 AM.

Finally, this concludes the last portion of my 4-day trip to Hong Kong. It had its highs and lows, but over-all, it was a trip worth having and I really have to thank my sister for this opportunity to have our first trip outside of the Philippines.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 475: Cuteness Is Justice -- Synopsis and Review

Chiharu looks hawt with the new design
Synopsis: As Chiharu is getting dressed for her part-time job as Sakuya's personal maid, Sakuya barges in on her and notes that she's really sexy. This gives Sakuya the idea to dress her up in a new maid outfit with rabbit ears, frills, ribbons and a miniskirt.

Maria: Maid sense tingling!
Chiharu hopes that none of her friends see her because they'd definitely make fun of her. Sakuya tries to reassure her by mentioning that Maria wears her maid outfit everywhere, but Chiharu counters this by saying that she's not that shameless. Back at the Sanzen'in Mansion with Nagi, Maria senses that she's just been insulted. Sakuya tells her that they're going somewhere where her outfit would be perfectly normal -- and it happens to be Akihabara.

While in Akihabara, they bump into Hayate who's presumably just left from Wataru's store in his quest to find Konoha a job. Chiharu turns her back and tries to hide her face because she's sure that Hayate would recognize her now... but he doesn't!

He notes that it's been a long time since he last saw Sakuya's maid, Haru-san and that the new outfit suits her well and makes her look really cute. He then mentions "Chiharu-san," but he was actually looking at some fugly person with glasses. Chiharu is a bit frustrated to find out that Hayate only sees her as a person with glasses.
Are you effin blind, Ayasaki!?
Hayate bids them farewell and Chiharu is relieved that he didn't recognize her, but she immediately bumps into Ayumu who DOES recognize her and asks her why she's dressed as a maid at the same time that Chiharu herself asks the Hamster the same question.

Review:  Haha! The best part of this chapter for me was how Chiharu suddenly bumps into Ayumu -- who, in her usual straightforward manner just asks her outright what she's doing in a maid outfit.
She kinda looks like Hayate here

As far as this chapter is concerned though, apart from reintroducing us to Sakuya, who hasn't made an appearance in this manga since forever, it feels as if Hata's dragging this Makise Konoha arc out again.
Best part of this chapter
Not really much I can say about this. I enjoyed this chapter for what it was worth, but it does feel like Hata's stepped off the gas pedal a bit when it comes to advancing the plot. With Nagi and Maria's recurring role as inter-mission characters here, it feels like they're not even going to get involved in this arc at all.

As a side-note, I take back what I said previously. Chiharu has now dethroned Aika as the sexiest girl in the Hayate-verse. 

Also, you might remember that in the last episode of Cuties, Hayate calls Chiharu while she's working at Sakuya's place and he seems to implicitly know that she's also "haru-san."

Fanart Corner: Well, it's the same fanart from the previous post. No explanations necessary, I suppose. Oh, and take note of her hand, by the way.



Nagi Sanzen'in Birthday Fanart

It's gonna happen, folks. Just you wait...

I wanted to release this piece of fanart together with the chapter review, but it seems the English scanlations aren't out just yet.

Anyway, I hope you guys like it. I think Nagi should let her hair down more often. Maybe Hayate might actually notice her that way.

Oh, and just in case you haven't seen it yet, here's a preview for OVA volume C. First saw it from Doughnut Gunso.
Left-hand side sort of confirms my fanart, doesn't it? Wouldn't trust anything from this just yet though.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My 4-Day Trip To Hong Kong: Day 3


The third day of our trip to Hong Kong was reserved for Ngong Ping and the cable car ride. We had seen some ads for the place on the way to HK Disneyland the day before and it was actually on the same route as HK Disneyland except instead of getting off at Sunny Bay on the Orange Line, we just had to take the Orange Line until the last station. Since we hadn’t visited the famous night markets yet, we also planned to stop by Mongkok, Jordan and the Shim Sha Tsui public markets on the way back.

We also planned to go to Macau on the fourth and last day of our Hong Kong trip so we decided to spend the morning looking for the ferry harbor to Macau. I took a look at the map we had the night before and saw that it was actually just a few minutes away from the Chung King Mansion on foot. We set off at about 9:00 AM.

Starting at the iSquare mall, we kept going forward or parallel to the mall and according to the map, we should just take a left turn when we couldn’t keep going forward anymore and that would take us to the Harbour City malls and finally, the Macau Ferry Harbor.

The weather was cool as usual, but by this time, I’d gotten acclimated enough to the cool air that I didn’t even feel like wearing my varsity Jacket anymore. Unfortunately, we found that we couldn’t go left any further just as the map said because there was a small group of makeshift bungalows that blocked the path and they seemed to be some kind of noodle houses. Thus, we went the opposite direction to the right looking for a place to get across to the street where the ferry was supposed to be located. We had to go back all the way to the Clock Tower before we could finally cross.

With that little setback out of the way, we were finally on the street to Harbour City and the Macau Ferry. My mother still showed signs of anxiety every now and then that we were on the wrong path, but I was more than confident that we were going in the right direction. After fifteen minutes of walking, we finally reached the Macau Ferry.

It was actually quite surprising because the ferry was actually located at the third floor of a shopping mall – which was nice. We checked out the ticket prices and then saw a bakery selling all kinds of sweet and savory pastries. We bought a few items for the trip to Ngong Ping and then decided to eat brunch inside a McDonald’s in the mall.

After a quick brunch, we went back to our Hostel room to prepare for the trip to Ngong Ping. It was only about 11:30 AM. Once again, we took the iSquare mall entrance to get to the subway station and from there, it took us about 30 minutes to get to the last station of the Orange Line wherein we could take the cable car to Ngong Ping.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a huge mall there. We decided to take a little walk around it later after we were done with Ngong Ping. Asking for directions from a security guard, there was a five minute walk to the cable car area. Upon reaching the place, we found that there was a long queue to get to the cable cars – about two 50 meter ramps full of people. My mother was once again anxious that we didn’t buy a ticket for these cable cars first and that we shouldn’t be lining up here. I took a quick glance that the signs and reassured her that the tickets were sold at the top and that we just had to stay in line.

There was around a 45 minute wait before it was finally our turn. We decided to take the normal cable cars instead of the glass ones and I didn’t bother downloading the tour guide app which was being recommended by the advertising posters. My mother discovered that they gave discounts for HSBC credit cards, so she decided to use hers and we got a 10% discount for the tickets – about 270 HKD for two round trip tickets.

When it was finally our turn to ride the cable car, they set aside a single car for the both of us because apparently, there weren’t that many people visiting right now.

The cable car ride was nice and pleasant with a great view of the surrounding environment. We could also see the giant Buddha statue from there. It seems that Ngong Ping was actually a small island and that the Tung Chung station was near the airport. The ride took around 25 minutes before we finally reached Ngong Ping proper. Upon descending from the cable car, a few uniformed employees greeted us selling souvenirs with our pictures on them.

When we finally got to Ngong Ping, which was just outside the cable car station, we discovered that it was a tiny village that looked a lot like the kind of Chinese Village you’d see in the Once Upon A Time In China films. There were various small attractions designed especially for tourists such as a greenscreen make your own movie booth, several souvenir shops and at least two restaurants.

It was nice and cool and despite there being a good amount of tourists, it didn’t really feel all that crowded. We took a few photos left and right and I even got to pose as Bruce Lee in one of the cardboard cut-out promo materials. There was also a film being shown inside one of the houses called “Walking With Buddha,” but we decided to skip that one since we had come to Ngong Ping to actually experience the sights and not watch some documentary.
As a side note: I actually DO know how to use nunchaku. Video because it did happen:



Checking my watch, it was almost 2:00 PM. The village opened a path to a wider area that led to the Buddhist temple and to the left was the path to the giant Buddha. We saw a street vendor selling some kind of Chinese waffles and decided to try one.

There were several benches scattered throughout the area since it was wide and open in the path past the village houses that led to the Buddhist temples. We chose an empty bench and sat down to eat some of the pastries that we’d bought from the bakery earlier along with the Chinese waffle.

The waffle was nice and crunchy with some kind of sweet filling what I thought were just empty air bubbles at first. It looked yellowish, so I presume that it was custard.

After we were done with our snacks, we decided to go up to the Giant Buddha first. Upon arrival at the entrance, we discovered that it was a very long walk upstairs – possibly 20 flights of 30-40 steps each. This is just a rough estimate and I’m sure you can find more accurate info on this if you actually look it up. Actually, the walk upstairs reminded me a lot of some Touhou stages.

We had to stop every two flights of stairs since my mother has a heart condition, but after around 20 minutes, we finally made it all the way up.

There were dozens of people taking pictures of all the sights there – and there were a lot of them. You could see the landscape below, the very grand giant Buddha, and then the several smaller statues at the four diagonal sides of the Buddha starting from the entrance.

There was a souvenir shop inside the building on which the Giant Buddha was sitting on as well.

Once we were satisfied that we’d seen everything there was to see there, we made our way down. Fortunately, descending from the Giant Buddha’s temple was much easier than going up to it.

It was about 3:45 PM now. My mother suggested that we make our way back to the cable car, but I saw that there was one more place we hadn’t visited – the Buddhist temples. We made our way to that area and it was a really pleasant place.

Despite all the souvenir shops and tourist accommodations purposely placed there, you could still feel a solemn air to the place – even though I’m about as un-religious as they come. The Buddhist temples were positioned sort of like what you’d see in affluent Japanese mansions in anime. There were several buildings and one central building and there was a sort of park just outside where there were several incense-burning pots. Unlike the Taoist temples in Cebu, they actually allowed tourists to take pictures inside the temples – although flash photography and noise was discouraged.

I took several pictures of the different statues they had – they were mostly golden in color and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were actually gold-plated, or perhaps even pure bronze.

Having toured the entire area, it was now time to go back – and it was just about time since it was approaching 5:00 PM. We stopped by a souvenir shop on the way back and my mother bought a red delicious apple for 4 HKD and I got a bamboo katana for 28 HKD.

We made our way back to the cable car and because of the rush of people going back to the Tung Chung station, we had to share a cable car with two Caucasian couples. I could tell that the taller, middle-aged ones were British from the way they spoke, but the two younger ones (looked younger than me, actually) spoke some kind of non-English European language.

It was quite cold inside the cable car and my mother was shivering as well as the two British passengers. The younger Caucasian couple didn’t seem to mind at all – which leads me to believe that they’re from Finland (a little in-joke there. I’m sure those of you who know me caught that one.)
My mother struck up a short conversation with the British couple and talked about the line with a stream of small flashing lights right next to the cable car and how she was perplexed at what they were for. The guy said that they’re probably for the planes – which made perfect sense, since the cable car lines actually ran along the airport strip.

After about a 15-minute ride, we were back at the cable car station. We entered the Gateway mall that we’d seen earlier and discovered that it was really a shopper’s paradise – if you like branded items that is. The mall basically consisted of factory outlet shops for just about every brand you could think of from Prada to Louis Vuitton, Adidas, and Coach.

In any case, it was already getting close to 6:00 PM, so we decided to have an early dinner in there so that we could go straight home after visiting the night markets on our way back.

Once again, dinner was at McDonald’s inside the Gateway mall and this branch was quite a bit more crowded than usual, although we still found a place to sit. I could tell my mother didn’t find the food at McDonald’s all that appetizing since that’s all we’ve been basically having since we got to Hong Kong. In fact, I could tell that she’d lost quite a bit of weight in the 2.5 days that we’d spent here.

After dinner, we took a short walk around the shops and I asked my mother if she wanted me to buy her birthday present here, but she refused after taking a look at the prices. In general, you can expect the prices in Hong Kong – even for the factory outlets to be at least 500 pesos more at the minimum than what you can get the same item for in the Philippines.

Finally, it was time to return to the train station and stop off at Mongkok for the night market. My mother was a bit tired at this point considering the trip to the Giant Buddha, so we decided to just see the Mongkok night market instead of visiting all the other night markets on the way back as we’d originally planned. We actually had to find the train station again from the mall, but thankfully, the signs are very easy to read in Hong Kong.

We made it without a hitch to the train station and it was already about 7:00 PM by then. It was good timing since the night markets were apparently most active at 7:00 PM and up. We got off at Mongkok on the red line at about 7:20 and from there, we had to find the night market on foot. I saw what looked like an appliance store that also sold video games and we went inside. I was hoping to find some cheap PS Vita games since the Asian PSN is based in Hong Kong after all. Unfortunately, the shop only sold Xbox 360 games. We exited from a different side of the store and then suddenly, we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the Umbrella Revolution with people in tents with umbrellas on top lined up in droves – no kidding.

We retraced our steps a bit and finally, we’d found the Mongkok night market. Basically, it was an outdoor row of stalls like the kind you’d find at Divisoria in the Philippines. In fact, they even sold very similar items such as “I Love Hong Kong” shirts, sets of keychains, umbrellas with samurai and gun handles, flashlights, survival equipment and fake branded shoes and bags.  Basically, they sold stuff that you’d most likely find at DX.com.
My mother was interested in a set of keychains but found that the price was too high at 100 HKD a set. Just when we had walked about two stalls away, the vendor called us back and tried to negotiate a good price with us. My mother is pretty hard to convince however, so we went our way. We’d soon discover that this was how the vendors here operated. They always expected you to turn down the initial price, so they’d call you back and try to get you to agree on a lesser price once you try to walk away.

The night market was set up in one line from start to finish and the train station entrance was actually at the very center, so we had no fear of getting lost there. Also, the umbrella revolution was located at the end of the night market just left of the train station entrance.

I found only one place selling anime-related goods there and was quite disappointed to see that they sold nothing but bootlegs with anime figures painted even worse than what you’d normally find at Comic Alley in the Philippines. Still, they sure had a lot of Miku-related items – that’s a plus, I suppose. I was almost tempted to get a Miku wall scroll, but decided against it considering that it would only add more bulk to the already considerable amount of luggage we had to take back to the Philippnes.

There were actually lots of Filipinos browsing the goods there. It was easy to tell since they were speaking in Tagalog. The night market vendors themselves could actually speak in simple Tagalog.

After some bit of haggling with a particular stall, my mother finally settled for 7 “I Love Hong Kong” shirts at about 80 HKD. It was a good price actually. She also bought a set of keychains for the same price.

With that out of the way, we were both tired, so it was time to go back to the Hostel. It was already about 9:30 by the time we got back to the Chung King Mansion at Tsim Sha Tsui via subway. Fortunately, Tomorrow would be our last day at Hong Kong and we’d already reserved it for a trip to Macau. Over-all, the Ngong Ping trip was quite a refreshing break from the excitement of HK Disneyland although the Mongkok night market wasn’t as impressive as it was hyped up to be.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 474: Kittens And Girls Are Cute -- Synopsis And Review

Aika is now officially the sexiest girl in the Hayateverse based on proportions
Synopsis: We begin with Hayate asking for some advice from the love master, Aika. She doesn't believe Hayate would make such a straightforward declaration that he was becoming too popular at first, but he reveals that he had inadvertently made a girl fall in love with him.

For some reason, Aika shows him a picture of her boyfriend and Hayate agrees that he is quite handsome. She continues her story and tells him about her trip to Tahiti with him wherein he never even once approached her -- in short, nothing happened on the trip except for him calling her "milady" for the entire trip. She also saw him happily speaking with a local girl.


And you'd better not forget that, son!
Done with her story, Aika tells Hayate that half-hearted kindness can earn great anger.

We cut to a flashback with Hayate and Konoha together looking for a part-time job. She asks him if he is dating Ayumu and he responds the same way he always has that he's Nagi's butler and that he can't have a romantic relationship.
Lol that "tugging on your sleeve attack" gets em everytime!

However, Konoha proposes that it doesn't have to be romantic between them and that it would be enough for her if they could just keep getting along.

We return to Hayate and Aika and he's totally perplexed by what Konoha meant. Aika concludes that Hayate is popular and that the girl is in love with him... obviously. She also adds by saying that she thought that he was only popular with flat-chested girls and assumes that Konoha is a large-breasted girl by what she said.
Shut up, Aika! Flat chest is a status!
She warns him that girls in love are especially cute and will often talk in a sweet voice that you never hear anywhere else when they are speaking with the one they love... just moments before her boyfriend calls her and she starts speaking in said cute voice.

Of course, Hayate wasn't supposed to hear that and she slaps him one after the conversation with her BF.
No caption necessary.

After that, she gives him some advice for dealing with Konoha by basically luring her into the dark and seducing her into kissing him. Hayate follows her advice for some reason and it actually works and she ends up confessing to him and then kissing him -- which is what Ayumu saw in the previous chapter.

Hayate rushes back to Aika to complain, but she is surprised to hear that he didn't want to date Konoha after all.

Review: Okay, so it really was a misunderstanding between Konoha and Hayate, but the kiss was certainly real. Anyway, It's going to be interesting how this turns out.
New girl is super-aggressive!

On the other hand, it doesn't have to lead to anywhere because Hayate has already found a job for Konoha and doesn't really have to do anything with her now... except that he's somehow suckered himself into a pseudo-dating relationship with her.

It's going to be interesting to see how the other girls react once they hear of this from the hamster -- assuming that Hayate doesn't sort out this misunderstanding first.

Still, this new girl is certainly super-aggressive, but she doesn't have Ruka's charm for me. She just seems to be a rather plain, poor girl with a nice body and a cute face -- that's all. 

In any case, Hayate hasn't been shown to have any real feelings for her the way he did for Ruka, so I can't really see this ship taking off any more than it already has -- but, you never know with Hata-sensei.

One thing that I found interesting aside from seeing Aika flustered once again is her perception of Hayate as being a flat-chested tsundere magnet only. It's interesting to see how the characters view one another within the Hayate-verse since it's very different from what you would see as the manga reader.  The case of Aika and her view of Hayate is one example, but another example would be Wataru and Saki only finding out just recently that Ayumu was in love with Hayate all along. The fact that the different characters all have incomplete information regarding one another really serves to make their interactions that much more realistic for me.

Anyway, no speculations for now, but I liked this chapter. Oh, and I liked that one panel with Hina and Nagi in a rather fanservicey pose as well... I'm a lolicon, that's why. Anyway, it seems the next chapter will be released on Nagi's birthday, so that's going to be something special, I hope.