Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sanzen'in Fascination: Why I Believe Nagi Will End Up Romantically Together With Hayate: A Hayate The Combat Butler Essay




 



I don’t often talk about Nagi but when I do… WAIT, the premise is a lie and you should know it by now if you’ve been reading this blog often. Not to mention that this is a terribly overused meme. The truth is that I do talk about Nagi and quite often, but it really has been a while since I’ve last written a long article about her. If memory serves me right, the last one was the Athena vs Nagi article and that was written years ago back when the manga was in chapter 413. Now that I feel that we are approaching the home stretch since the manga has finally strayed from the path of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and relegated it to non-canon, alternate fictional timeline status, I believe that it’s time to do a follow-up article of sorts as to why I believe Hayate should end up with Nagi.
All Roads Point To Nagi

Naturally, this is my personal opinion and I am definitely donning my shipping lens when I make this assertion, but I feel that the natural and logical order of events in the manga as well as the supplementary anime (even Cuties and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You which are effectively non-canon by now) would point to Hayate finally developing feelings for Nagi and thus making her the final ending girl.
My reasoning hasn’t really strayed from the original one I stated years ago. Simply put, all the significant arcs in this manga imply that Nagi is the ending girl. To point out a few, we have Hayate promising to protect Nagi forever in the Shimoda arc, Hayate promising to protect her whether in the past or future in the Radical Dreamers chapter, Hayate being able to undo a magical amnesia spell of sorts and remember her in Heaven Is A Place On Earth when his own grandmother tried to make him forget about her and replace her with Maria, Nagi breaking the stone for his sake and Hayate being said to have “seen the future” with her words in Athena’s arc – not to mention declaring later on that she is his life.

Of course, the more recent Ikusa arc also ended on a positive note with an implied thumbs-up for the Hayate x Nagi pairing. Furthermore, even though Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and Cuties are effectively non-canon, let’s not forget that for the 10th year anniversary ending of OVA vol. C, there’s a fictional wedding between Hayate and Nagi – yes, it’s probably all in Nagi’s head and yes, the events of the OVA might be non-canon altogether, but wouldn’t you think that the author is trying to tell us something if Hayate always ends up together with Nagi in ALL of the anime adaptations? Furthermore, don't forget that several of the series most iconic songs including Can't Take My Eyes Off You by EYELIS, Ko No Me Kaze by Iku and even Heaven Is A Place On Earth by fripSide seem to arguably ship Hayate x Nagi.

It’s Hard To Justify An Ending Girl Other Than Nagi

Hayate is a really wishy-washy excuse for a man, to be honest. He is physically strong and mentally capable, but when it comes to romance, he still hasn’t moved on from the mindset he had as a six year-old about the “pain of love” that Athena taught him. As a result, he actively tries to avoid relationships because he deems himself as unworthy of a girl’s affection unless he has enough money to support her.

When people say that Hayate is a better match for X girl, I never actively disagree with them. It’s true, if you were Hayate for example, you’d probably think that someone like Hinagiku, Maria, Ayumu, Ruka or Athena is a better match because of “insert reason here.”

Well, here’s the thing, no matter what personal, psychological, logical, sentimental or scientific reasoning you can think of, you need to get past one particular hurdle first and that is: Nagi Sanzenin is the co-main character of this series and you would have to justify an ending where she does not end up getting seriously hurt.

What I think many other shippers fail to understand most of the time is that in order to have Hayate end up with your preferred girl, it’s not about applying real world standards, it’s simply about justifying said ending in the context of the story.

If he ends up with Maria for example, the three of them could indeed stay together and act as a family, but given how strong Nagi’s feelings are for Hayate as a man and not as a father figure, do you really think that she would be happy or even satisfied with this setup? Perhaps Hata could play it off for comedic purposes, but the long-term implication will always be that Nagi would end up unhappy. Face it, as much as you want it to happen, she is not going to “grow out of love” with Hayate unless Hata pulls a deus ex machine on us and makes sudden last-minute developments in the manga allowing for such an ending to happen – but if it does, then it would be going against all the developments (AND I’M NOT SAYING ROMANTIC DEVELOPMENTS! So don’t even think about using this statement as leverage against my assertions because that’s plain annoying) in the plot so far that subtly imply a Nagi ending.

Naturally, what applies for Maria applies for all the other girls in Hayate’s harem as well. Nagi just would not be truly happy unless she ends up together with Hayate as his official romantic partner. If you haven’t figured this out yet after reading hundreds and hundreds of chapters of this manga, then we have nothing to discuss… and of course, an ending with Nagi ending up unhappy just wouldn’t work for this series.

Just to make things nice and clear: Can you really imagine an ending with the main heroine having her heart broken and becoming emotionally scarred for life?

B-B-But What About Hayate’s Feelings Here?
Nagi: They don't matter, of course!
What about Hayate, you might ask? You say that he’s been in love with A-tan before/he’s still in love with her? You say that he has feelings for Hinagiku and it would be like a dream come true for him to be with her? You say he was feeling sad to have to let go of Ruka? You say that he’s always had a crush on Maria?

Well… you’re right on all counts, but this is not really a point against the Hayate x Nagi pair. Again, it would be a huge blow against the Nagi ending if we were applying real world standards here, but in the context of the story (and this is my opinion), it actually works in favor of the Hayate x Nagi ending because Hayate hasn’t shown any real feelings of romantic interest towards Nagi… yet.
Hayate: Ojou-sama and me? Well... I don't dislike her?
What we are sure of however is that Nagi is definitely in love with Hayate in a romantic way and with everything that she has been doing so far just to get him to notice her, it would be a terrible ending and a horrible waste of time if he does not at least notice her as a girl at some point. Therefore, the fact that Hayate hasn’t shown any romantic feelings for Nagi yet, but has shown interest in all the other girls in his harem is actually great news for Nagi shippers like myself.

Naturally, you could argue that there are other girls who deserve him more and who have done much more for him. It’s hard to be objective about this point of conflict of course, so I won’t even try to defend Nagi here except that I will say that in my opinion, Nagi stands on a more or less equal footing with whichever girl you think deserves Hayate more.

Finally, as some food for thought on this particular subtopic, I’d like to ask: why are people so quick to assume that just because Hayate hasn’t shown any romantic feelings for Nagi that he wouldn’t be happy if he did become romantically involved with her? Again, the problem here is applying real-life standards to a fictional and rather idealized story. It's really easy to justify Hayate eventually developing or even having already developed feelings for Nagi and just actively suppressing it... of course, if you ship another girl, you'll probably deny this to death, won't you?

Nagi And Hayate Aren’t A Bad Match

Again, this goes back to how many shippers believe that other girls would be a much better match for Hayate. Looking at their respective characters as shown in the manga however, Hayate and Nagi are definitely not a bad match for each other. In fact, you could even say they were made for each other in certain ways. Let’s go over these:
1.   The Age Difference Between Them Is Perfect
Yes, you could say that Nagi is too young for Hayate right now, but look at it this way, Romeo and Juliet, widely considered by many to be an exemplary love story have characters who are the same age as Hayate and Nagi.

Even if you were to apply real world standards, which I won’t, you’ll find that 2.3 to 3 years is the ideal or preferred age gap between dating couples. Again, I’m just using that as an example that they’re not a bad match for each other.

2.   Even Their Names Are Compatible

How about their names? Windless calm and gust of wind seem like they were made for each other for me.

3.   Unlucky Boy Meets Lucky Girl

Finally, let’s not forget that Hayate’s defining characteristic is that he is extremely unlucky. Guess what? Nagi has been stated in the manga before to be extremely lucky. In fact, Hayate himself admits that “she has amazing luck of the draw.”

So Why Hasn’t Hayate Shown Any Interest In Nagi Yet?

Very simply… because Hata wants to keep the other ships afloat for as long as possible – they help to keep his manga profitable, after all. Unlike other series like Zero no Tsukaima wherein the hero and the heroine were basically officially a couple long before the ending, the ships have become so integral to keeping Hayate No Gotoku! Alive and profitable that I believe Hata is very reluctant to have Hayate show any concrete romantic feelings for Nagi before the manga is ready to really end.

This way, he can keep stringing along all the shippers and keep everyone guessing until the very end. He will of course lose some impatient followers this way, but I believe the die-hard shippers (myself from the Nagi ship included) would keep following his manga to the bitter end just to see if they’re proven right or wrong in the end.

Right now, if Hayate were to even show the slightest hint of romantic interest in Nagi, then all other ships would be sunk – and that’s not a good thing for Hata’s manga.

Anyway, no matter what happens I’m in this for the long-run and if you’re a die-hard shipper whether you’re on my team or not, I invite you to see it through with me to the bitter end. Let’s discuss, argue, talk about why our waifus are better than each other’s and then let’s all have a good laugh in the end when Hata trolls us with a totally shocking conclusion. (We can kill him later)

The Title Of The Series In English Is Hayate The Combat Butler

Lastly, lest you all forget, this series is not complete without Nagi as the co-main character. As much as the story is about Hayate, it is also about Nagi. Being the titular "combat butler" means that Hayate is fighting to protect someone -- and that someone happens to be Nagi. In short, her role will always be integral to this series from start to finish -- whether Hayate finally succeeds in paying off his literal and moral debt to her or not. (thanks to Lucas Kits for this point and for the fun discussions from a fellow Nagi shipper.)










24 comments:

  1. Nice article... totally agree with it :)

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    1. I also because nagie Mom and dad also want they get together as one

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  2. It's like the title of the finale of Season 2 says: “It's really a story about a young lady and her butler.”

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    1. And also stated in the beta manga as well as in more recent chapters, I migt add.

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  3. One way that can be justified for Nagi not getting Hayate is use that as the climax of her character development. At the beginning, she believed she could get anything she wanted by throwing money at it. Now, because of hayate, she believes she can get what she wants through hard work and determination. The final lesson for her would be learning that sometimes, you won't get what you want no matter how hard you work or how much you want it, and learning to accept it.

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    1. Indeed, that would work in terms of making it a positive character development for Nagi, but that would still result in a terribly lopsided ending IMO. Hayate gets to choose a happy-happy ending with a different girl that he apparently has "loved all along" which results in him rejecting Nagi's feelings and everything she's done for him throughout the entire manga. So in other words, we have Hayate with a happy-happy ending while Nagi gets a bittersweet ending, when in fact, relative to Hayate and their respective abilities and personalities, she's the one who has been working her butt off for him the entire time and not the other way around -- again, taking into account what both individuals are naturally capable of. It also doesn't take into account his several promises of "forever" to her and results in him breaking another promise of forever to a girl other than Athena. It's very contradictory to the plot even if it does somewhat result in a positive final character development for Nagi. It also means that Hayate will never ever see any kind of attraction in Nagi as a girl/woman, which again is a very lopsided conclusion to this manga and a lot of wasted potential for a more satisfying ending. Finally, it also means that Hata would need to find a different way to justify Hayate's why Nagi is so special to Hayate -- and personally, I find the old "the relationship is platonic" argument quite lame when his special move and the manga's Japanese namesake was created especially for her.

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    2. I might add that Hayate didn't promise forever to Nagi just to Nagi, but also to Yukariko's grave and impliedly to Athena when he declares that "she is my life."

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    3. We also have to take into account the subtle cues such as Athena "passing the hat" to Nagi and then subsequently giving her an empty ring box. Saying that she plans to make Nagi her bridesmaid would be pushing it IMO since again, that would be a devastating emotional blow for Nagi no matter how much the author tries to justify it -- which he doesn't seem to be doing, IMO.

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    4. Actually,I was just mulling it over and I can personally think of a satisfying scenario wherein Nagi doesn't get Hayate in the finale... but why would I give other shippers the benefit? :D.

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  4. Allow me to say we should agree to disagree, but highly appreciate the effort for in-depth analysis - something that I don't seem to have the energy to do anymore.

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    1. Naturally. I don't think a Nagi shipper and a Hina shipper will ever truly see eye-to-eye, but it's fine that way as well, isn't it?

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    2. And what do you think of this article? do you agree or what are your thoughts

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    3. Sorry I overlooked that I have follow up question (I don't have an avatar to easily recognise my part of the discussion).

      If you want my comment, I would say that I respectfully disagree with the arguments of the essay. It is not about the facts - we all have the same facts for reference - but the approach to frame all the facts into an argument.

      Let me just say I do not agree with the approach of the article.

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  5. even i have to agree that nagi will end up with hayate. because she even hina to some extent are a lot like atan the girl he loved. they are confident, intelligent and tundere and are stubborn.

    when hina recently asks hayate what kind of girls he would date he says one with confidence. in hayate's thought was atan but hina feels he is talking about nagi. not so subtle.

    when ayumu confesses to him and he sees nagi’s sad face and he could not understand why.

    he met nagi in the same state as atan he lost hope in life and they both got him through. nagi said the same thing as atan be my butler. she said the same thing as atan which reminded hayate of atan. then atan was introduced.
    hayate has low self confidence so he doesnt think someone like hina, maria or nagi will like him. and he respects nagi so he feels that having such thoughts about her will be rude and also the fact that she is younger( 3 years but still).

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    1. :D. By the way... is that you, liz? I think I recognize you from one of the other Hayate blogs I lurk in.

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    2. yup its liz and i liked ur article.

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    3. A-tan just restored his faith for humanity but she saved her from yakuza even have him continue his social relationships. He always admired Nagi for being by her side as mask the money when he really was hopeless and troubled. Though Athena was the first but Nagi is far more to him.

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  6. Wow, u and me have the same thoughts. It's really obvious the hayate will end up with nagi. Have u observed this
    1. Season 1- in the end hayate was with nagi
    2. Season 2 - same as season 1, they were together
    3. Movie - together
    4. Can't take my eyes off u - nagi confesses to hayate and he also said thank u for saying that, all we have is something very special and we have to cherish it all through our lives (I don't understand y he said that, watch the English dubbed to check what hayate actually said)
    5. Cuties - hayate kisses nagi on the forehead. Why no other girl? No other girl because she is the main femal protagonist (maybe)
    I can conclude by saying that there is a 90% chance that hayate will end up with nagi

    I liked your article alot

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    1. Yes, of course.

      There's still the argument that the main characters don't necessarily have to end up together, though. In Hayate and Nagi's case however, I still believe that Nagi's feelings are just too strong and too real to justify another ending girl other than her. All she has done throughout the manga as her character was being developed is prove how real her love for Hayate is. It might not be the "kind of love" that other people want, but her feelings for him are genuine and undeniable. All that is really left is for us to find out how Hayate feels about her -- and that event is probably coming up very soon.

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    2. I do believe that after knowing Nagi's feelings about Hayate in CTMEOY her father told Hayate to take care of her and they did all the things in Cuties just to ensure his feelings for her. It was not properly declared there but being spirits they could see something more in Hayate's heart for her.

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  7. I just wanted to say I agree with ya 100%. As I read the manga everything seemed to keep pointing towards a Hayate x Nagi ending.

    However, I am worried that Hata might be influenced by his fan-base, as Athena and Hinagiku seem to be fairly easily the most popular characters, which I simply do not get.

    I've read posts from furious fans of other mangas, 'cause a mangaka seemed to bow to fan preferance and put the MC with the most popular girl, rather than the one that seemed to be intended. Hopefully that doesn't happen here.

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    1. Well, whether Hata is influenced by the fanbase or not, it's really out of our control. Personally, I believe there's not much point in worrying about that. My motto is: http://i64.tinypic.com/30rmm9e.jpg

      I personally respect other peoples' preference for Athena or Hina, but what I can't tolerate is how many of them seem to think that Nagi has no chance at all or how some of them see it fit to attack Nagi's character in an effort to make their chosen girl seem more appealing.

      The old "Hayate has no romantic feelings for her" argument is rather amusing. People don't realize it, but that's really the last and only obstacle to sealing the deal on Hayate x Nagi. They act like it's impossible, but isn't really just an inferiority complex/wishful thinking? Because if Hayate shows the slightest hint of romantic interest in Nagi, everyone else automatically loses and they know it.

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  8. Nice~
    I really liked reading your blog to end��
    In my opinion Nagi is the most beautiful character in the whole series ��

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