|16 year-old Nagi fanart with a little friendly shoutout to... (you know who you are~)|
Disclaimer: This is a personal opinion article from a very biased Nagi shipper. While I try to find a factual or logical basis for my opinions, at the end of the day, they are just that -- my opinions.
Ok, with that aside, let's move on to the actual scene... and instead of talking about it, I'll just show it you. This is from page 16 of chapter 568. The rough scanlations are provided by me. Don't worry, unlike some of the other pages, I'm fairly confident in the accuracy of my translations for this particular page.
|She grew up... so cute and beautiful~|
Now let's move on to "why?" I'm pretty sure some of you might be baffled as to how I came to such a tangential conclusion based on this one page, so let me explain.
First of all, I was extremely paranoid prior to the release of this chapter (of its spoiler pages, actually). Like I said in my chapter 568 review, I was losing sleep, losing weight and really, I became an emotional trainwreck. With that said, my brain was also working overtime. I was imagining all kinds of worst-case scenarios. Now mind you, these worst-case scenarios of mine were all plausible endings (at least from my perspective) or ways in which Hata could conclude the story in a way where Nagi doesn't end up with Hayate.
Now this one is definitely colored by personal bias, but even in my worst-case scenarios, I believe that Hinagiku was the only one who had a legitimate chance next to Nagi. Hata had just made the sinking of certain ships far too obvious and certain non-existent ships for certain characters not shown in the ending simply felt too forced for a writer of Hata's caliber (yes, I hold him in high regard) to go with any other route. Therefore, the worst-case scenarios (for my ship) in my mind were either a no romantic resolution for all girls ending or a Hinagiku ending -- that was it.
In any case, one way that I had imagined it could end badly for my ship was to give Nagi a consolation prize ending. Basically, if after the two year timeskip, Nagi had become a breakaway mangaka and had now become an amazing individual by national or even worldwide standards and in her own right -- then that would have dampened her chances of getting together with Hayate quite a bit. Therefore, becoming a world-famous mangaka or finding some similar measure of mainstream success would have been the death sentence for S.S. Hayate x Nagi in my opinion. That would have been Nagi's consolation prize. Becoming famous and fulfilling her other dream of becoming a professional mangaka -- but that would have been the perfect excuse for Hata to pair Hayate with some other girl -- that other girl, being Hinagiku in my mind.
Fortunately, it didn't turn out that way. What we got was Nagi being an "amazing girl" based on standards applicable only to her. It's only amazing for her to become the awesome 16 year-old Nagi that we see in chapter 568 if you knew who she was before she became that way. Otherwise, she'd just be a rather awesome teenager whose got it all together -- but not really special in any way... and I'm glad that this is how she turned out.
The moment I saw her being special by her own standards, I just knew that this girl deserved her happy romantic ending no matter what happens. I was definitely applying my own judgment towards this particular event, but I am very glad that Hata's writing coincided with my judgment.
In a way, Nagi had become Hayate's true ideal girl at the end of the story after the two-year timeskip. Smart, responsible, independent, while still retaining quite a bit of her domineering personality (the queen factor).
Of course, if we go by what Hata said in his blog, he claims that Nagi had already become an "irreplaceable precious woman" in Hayate's eyes back when she made her speech of independence while simultaneously firing Hayate as her butler in chapter 567.
Still, because I had no way of reading Hata's mind back in chapter 567, I personally needed confirmation -- even if the logical part of my brain kept telling me that Nagi had already won. This is why page 16 of chapter 568 was the moment of victory for me. It seems pretty unobtrusive, but it is really this page that I consider the clincher for team HayaNagi. The time when Nagi's "success" was portrayed as a normal, every day success rather than extraordinary one.
As a final note for this particular article, I think that one way of looking at this finale in order to appreciate it better is by changing your perception a bit.
Really guys, if all works of literature were so harshly judged based on initial impressions and hooks back in the past like most of us do with modern media right now, then very few of those that we call "classics" nowadays would have survived mainstream scrutiny. Whether that would have been a good thing or a bad thing is debatable, but it would certainly be different. So anyway...
Here are some ways that I personally look at it.
As an ending to the story of everyone in Hayate no Gotoku: It sucks.
As an ending that heralds the start of a true Hayate x Nagi love story: It's satisfying.
As an ending to the story of Nagi Sanzen'in: It's radiantly beautiful.
Fanart Corner: With that said, I leave you with a few variations of the opening fanart. The words that Nagi says in the fanart are actually from Roop. See you next week for sure!
By the way.... senpai noticed me again~ so happy!