|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.