|Look who's back!|
Synopsis: The long day is finally over. Nagi, Hina, Chiharu, Kayura and Hamster go off to find a place to see the fireworks display. Ayumu suggests going to the top of a high-rise apartment building, but Hinagiku is against the idea because they can’t just enter a building just because it has a good view.
|These moments are why I like Nagi.|
Surprise! The building belongs to Izumi’s father and she’s there together with the rest of the student council trio, Risa and Miki. At the top of the building, everyone admires the view and Hamster asks where Hayate is. Hina replies that he’s seeing Ruka’s parents off together with Kurosu. Hamster wants to call them and tell them to head to the apartment building afterwards, but Nagi stops her and tells her not to be insensitive and to give her some time alone with her parents.
|Hamsters can be so insensitive, eh Ojou-sama?|
Meanwhile, Hayate is speaking with Ruka and she proudly declares that she’ll treat him because she has 20,000 yen from selling her doujinshi. Hayate asks her again to make sure and she repeats the figure with a bright smile. Hayate decides to take her up on her offer and totally doesn’t hold back ordering various pieces of dimsum. They then spend the rest of the day on a pseudo-date having fun with each other and eventually finishing off all of Ruka’s 20,000 yen. The chapter ends with Ruka reaching out for Hayate’s hand and stating that all the shining things she longed for might have been “nothing more than this” while looking at a 500-yen mask that she’d bought earlier.
|Hold back a little, you gluttonous butler you!|
Review: Lovely transition chapter, even if people are going to rage again that it ends with a cliffhanger. I for one do not mind. Let’s go over the things I liked about this chapter.
Nagi – What? She’s my favorite character! Of course I’d mention her FIRST, silly. In all seriousness, it was great to see her do the mature thing and prevent Ayumu (who only has the best of intentions) from interrupting Ruka’s time with her parents as well as with Hayate. It’s just these little bits that help to show just how much she’s really changed throughout this arc – and I believe it’s safe to say that these changes are now permanent even if she does revert to “spoiled brat” mode in less-serious future gag chapters.
|This is very significant.|
Ruka’s 20,000 yen – Just do your maths. I’m not even that good at it and I could tell the implications of this right away. 20,000/200 yen = 100 copies sold. That’s right, this is Hata’s way of telling us (not so subtly) that Ruka did lose on purpose. Oh! But she had one unsold copy of her doujinshi! Simply put, she had one extra copy printed out because she intended to hand Nagi the win just in case they did tie – which they did. How do I know that she sold her doujinshi for 200 yen each? Go back just a little bit to chapter 426 page 11 and you’ll see that Nagi’s selling her doujin for the same price. It’s logical to assume that Ruka is doing the same thing. Anyway, that’s that. They tied but Ruka wanted Nagi to win. The subtler takeway from all this is that she’s basically given up on winning Hayate through this contest. Want more proof? Okay, move on to the next paragraph.
|Read between the lines a little, people. This is super-obvious.|
Ruka’s mask – Ruka buys a mask for 500 yen in this chapter. Take note of how she’s looking at it with a sad, but satisfied smile in the last page while stating that the shining things that she longed for might have been nothing more than “this.” The key here is in understanding the imagery that Hata used – a mask. It’s actually pretty simple and quite logical to assume that the mask is a metaphor for Ruka’s “shining things that she longed for,” which are most likely her dreams. Now go back to the previous “filler chapters” in this arc concerning Ruka. What does she long for the most? To be a mangaka who sells a trillion copies? Nope, Hata made it a point to make her appear as clingy and desperate to marry Hayate as possible. Now it’s easy to see why he did this. All those things were building up to this moment wherein Ruka declares that everything was a façade – a mask, so to speak. Think I’m reading too much into this? I don’t think so, but hit me up with your thoughts in the comments. After all, the last few panels also show Ruka reaching out to touch Hayate’s hand.
I think you're reading is clearly the correct one. Even the "cliffhanger" gives it away. "What will Ruka do with these feelings now that they're all alone!?" She's obviously going to push him away, gently. During the whole date she's the one who's looking very introspective and keeping some emotional distance.ReplyDelete
I do like seeing Hayate all worked up and childish acting, though. It's not a side of him we see much. :)
One thing that struck me about Nagi's attitude this chapter is how similar it is to the end of the Mykonos arc. Everyone else goofing off, while Nagi sits quietly waiting for Hayate to come back. Even Hamster's role of being the well-meaning but oblivious one is the same. Like the ending of that arc, I think the next chapter or two will be good ones for Nagi fans.
Heh, thanks. Another thing that supports the "mask/facade" theory is that Ruka specifically mentions that she lost because of the mask that Isumi gave her to hide her identity in the previous chapter. She was probably partially serious, but was also referring to a different kind of mask.Delete
I hope you're right about the next chapters. Most people seem pretty disappointed that Athena hasn't made her return yet.
Throughout this arc though, we still haven't seen how Hayate feels about the whole matter - which I think is something that I'd really like to see personally before Ruka becomes permanently relegated to side/support character status.
Well...people will complain no matter what. I'm honestly looking forward to the Athena bits because plot and stuff, but also because I can take a small secret pleasure in people slowly realizing that Athena coming back doesn't mean Hayate is going to be all over her or anything. :)ReplyDelete
I do hope we get some sort of reaction from Hayate out of this. Getting a real look at his feelings is a rare thing and I think an arc this long deserves that kind of tidbit.
If the last few episodes of cuties is to be thought of as canon, then it is most likely Ruka still has some lingering feelings at the very least for Hayate. Whether these feeling are going to be more outgoing, or kept hidden is yet to be known.ReplyDelete
I'm also curious for where this will go next, and if it's going to be going to be about Hayate's brother, or something else entirely. There are still a lot of plot threads that need to be dealt with, such as Machinas appearance in Sakuya's yard, the mysterious girl with the picture of Himigami, and thats just leaving out the possibliity of something new coming out. If Hata plans to properly wrap up all of these parts, it's going to take quite a bit.
And I do like Nagis character progression a lot, but she's hardly the only character who's gotten progression. For example, the hamster. Compare her from when she was introduced to now. The way she acts has completely changed from then. She has become a braver and more outgoing person, not unlike Nagi's change.
Hamster is just a consistently great character. She gets overlooked a lot but I smile whenever she appears. Isumi is another character who's on about that same level of being always entertaining even though she doesn't drive discussion.ReplyDelete
I think we will get focus on Ikusa relatively soon because its all tied together with Athena's story. Probably a good stretch of filler between the end of this arc and start of the next one, though.
Hey guyz, dun forget that Maria is probably sulking and everyone will discover that she ran away from home when they eventually get back to the Violet Mansion. Purely wild speculation here. It just came to mind as I was watching Animax's rerun of CTMEOY (dubbed in English). Trying to upload the episode to dailymotion right now, but the uploader keeps failing on me.ReplyDelete