Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 425: I've Got To Ride - Review and Synopsis

I will draw more manga!
Synopsis: Riding high on the wings of inspiration from her moment of introspection and with a little push from Chiharu in the previous chapter, Nagi proceeds to draw her manga in epic Yagami Light-esque fashion. Not even Chiharu’s slight doubts can quell her enthusiasm. She manages to finish all the drawings in a single day with markedly improved quality from her previous wasted manuscript. Still, Chiharu reminds her that she only has two days left and she still has to do the backgrounds and inking. Will she able to finish in time?
She really does help out quite a lot.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a wild Hamster appears. It seems she’s suddenly over her summer cold and wants to help out (with a shirt that cries out “Energetic” at that). Nagi bluntly refuses her offer since she knows nothing about drawing manga. Unperturbed, our dear little hamster suddenly pulls out a PC workstation from out of nowhere complete with a program specifically for digital drawing. Nagi and Chiharu assume that she probably borrowed it from Ashibashi sensei.  Furthermore, she enlists Koutarou Azumamiya’s (Currently Ashibashi Gouji's assistant and the kendo club guy whose butler is Ichimaru Gin from Bleach. You guys still remember him, right?) in drawing backgrounds over the internet.
I will take a potato chip... and EAT IT!
There is a problem however since Chiharu doesn’t know how to use said digital drawing program and neither does Nagi. Again, from out of nowhere, Kayura, who has finished helping out Ruka, appears to help Nagi. Of course, she would know how to use said program since she’s a much better mangaka than either Ruka or Nagi. Chiharu adds that she could also help out if they had another computer. Nagi’s stream of good luck continues – almost as if she were loved by God (God being a Mangaka named Hata Kenjiro). At that exact moment, she receives a mail delivery with a brand new computer workstation from “The Sadistic Princess of Ise.” Of course, as you all know, it has to be A-tan or Alice, or Athena in Alice form if you prefer, since she’s rich enough to prepare a tank if needed.
Got that, Chiharu?

With everything pretty much going her way, all that’s left is to finish drawing and at the end of this chapter, Nagi finally accomplishes the epic task of drawing a complete manga within 3 days – no compromises whatsoever. All that’s left now is the final showdown with Ruka.

Review: Epic! This chapter was epic! Na-gi! Na-gi! Na-gi! Go, Ojou-sama! Man, this really was an epic chapter that really cements in place Nagi’s role as the main heroine of this manga. People have been complaining for a long time that Nagi is still pretty much the same bratty spoiled princess that she always has been over 400 chapters ago, and while that may still be true to a certain extent, she has also definitely changed a lot over the course of this doujinshi arc, and the full extent of her development as a character is really shown in this chapter. Nagi’s become a full-on determinator here and nothing’s gonna stop her dammit! (Albeit, with a lot of help from her friends in true shonen manga style.)
There's something satisfying about seeing Nagi tell her to shut up.
Truthfully, this chapter was totally unexpected as Hata set up the previous one so that we’d all be led to believe that we’d go straight into the competition. It seems that Hata’s not satisfied with Nagi’s emotional turnaround in the previous chapter just yet; he needs to show that his princess is EPIC – and everyone reading this manga should realize this as well! Well, as a 100% Nagi fan, I certainly don’t need any convincing, but this was a pretty welcome chapter for me. It’s worth noting that Sarge Doughnuts actually more or less predicted that this would happen with this little write-up.

Also, as expected, Maria’s reaction from the previous chapter was most likely an early setup for the next arc and hasn’t been touched on any further. In fact, Maria was nowhere to be seen in this chapter, but that’s okay. Her spot in the limelight should be coming up as soon as this arc is over.

This chapter brings up two important points about Nagi’s character that I’m sure Hata has been subtly developing over the course of this manga. First of all, with all the determination she has shown here, we’re shown that she can be capable when the situation calls for it – and this is because of all her experiences up to this point. Secondly, and this one is not quite as obvious unless you were looking for it specifically, with all these people helping her, it seems that almost everyone in this manga really likes Nagi. Even Ruka who has been set up to be her rival doesn’t really hate her – even if she is hell-bent on beating her in this particular competition, she wants it to take place on even grounds so that her victory is not an empty one.
I can help too!
One thing that surprised me here is how both Ayumu and Kayura somehow showed up at the last moment to help out. With Ayumu, I had assumed that Maria actually did take her to the hospital and she was still confined there, but here she is in this chapter, amazingly all over her cold and full of energy. Then there’s Kayura who was supposed to be over at the rainbow village helping out Ruka. Her appearance is conveniently explained away by the fact that Ruka’s done drawing and has asked her to help out Nagi with her manga. I can’t help feeling that Hata’s employing a little bit of plothax just to ensure that Nagi’s manga gets published, but still, it’s pretty good use of Deus Ex Machina in that it’s barely even noticeable and it actually works well given the epic nature of this chapter.
Who else could it be from?

One thing I've noticed is that ever since the end of her arc, Athena has been shown to actually favor Nagi and she does her own bit to help out here as Alice by sending in that second workstation just when Nagi needed one.

Our little ojou-sama has never achieved anything with her own hands in her entire 13 years of life – now with her manga complete, it’s time to show the world just what Nagi Sanzen’in can do… which will have to wait until the next chapter. 
Nagi: It is done! *sheds a single tear*
I’ve said before that I don’t think Nagi can pull out a win here given her current abilities and the direction the story was taking. With this chapter however, I believe I’ll have to retract my statement and say: With the amount of determination she’s shown and with all these people helping her, how can she not win? So I’m going to predict either an actual win as well as a moral victory, or a tie for Nagi, but I really don’t see her losing now with these developments.


  1. I really did like this chapter as well, especially how it has shown Nagi going from a girl who spends all her times indoors with very little motivation and friends outside her fellow rich people, to one that is determined to get victory in her dream no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, and a group of friends who are ready and willing to help her in any way possible. And I'm just assuming that this takes place a day after the last chapter, because there is no possible way the hamster could have gotten better in less then a day, and stolen that PC. Even with that day it still seems weird, and it's beginning to seem our hamster isn't as normal as we were led to think.

    1. I think you're right. A day or so has probably passed given that Kayura's also done helping Ruka with her manga. I really liked Ayumu's happy expression as she was setting up that PC. I've always thought that being "normal" is more of an informed trait of the hamster's rather than being actually true. Remember how she managed to escape those hired killers in a car while she was riding her bicycle with Nagi in tow? In the end though, it seems that Nagi didn't get the constructive critique from Ashibashi sensei that she was supposed to get for her new manga... or maybe that's coming up after the competition.

    2. I looked back at the chapter, and Chiharu says they only have two days left after Nagi draws her sketches, when they had three days last chapter, so a day has passed. And I'm thinking that she is normal, but just in a relative sense rather then actually normal. But when your living with a previously rich ojou-sama who draws manga, a student council president of a prestigious school that wields a magical sword, and a rich girl with magical powers who might be a goddess, anybody will look normal in comparison. And I thought it was weird to about him appearing but never being mentioned again, and seeming to have no affect. Guess we can only see if it affects the future at all.


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