Monday, November 4, 2013

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 428: We Will Race into the Sky - Review and Synopsis

Fanart by me. Inspired by Doughnut Gunso's chapter 427 review. Hayate's monologue taken from said review
What would Hayate say just in case Nagi lost? Doughnut Gunso thought up some pretty hilarious lines in his chapter 427 review and this inspired me to draw the above fanart. Hayate with sparkly eyes down on one knee shamelessly spouting all kinds of cheesy lines... anyway, on with the synopsis and review!

Synopsis: While Hayate, Hina, and Dr. Kurosu wait outside of the Comisun area, the identity of the mysterious suit person is revealed first thing in this chapter. As I predicted, it’s not Hayate. As I did not predict, it’s also not Atsumari but turns out to be Ruka’s father together with her mother.

We finally find out what Hayate, Hinagiku and Kurosu did in order to “make Ruka happy” and it was basically just fetching her parents. It turns out that her parents got into an accident in Hokkaido after forcing their debt on her and running away.

They were apparently seriously injured but were healed thanks to Dr. Kurosu. At around this time, Ruka also announced that she would be taking a break from her idol career due to poor health.
Ruka's parents. Looks like Ruka takes after mom except for the hair color.
Hayate’s only role was to convince Ruka’s parents to see her again since they were basically quite ashamed to show their faces in front of their daughter again and weren’t sure whether she would forgive them.

It’s revealed that Ruka’s parents would support her idol career or her manga career from now on. Outside the grounds again, it’s shown that Atsumari might have helped out with this as she’s shown talking to Hinagiku.
Yes, Hata Kenjiro. An accident. That explains EVERYTHING!
 Inside the Comisun area, Ruka then asks her parents to read the doujin that her father had offered to buy from her and it’s the same story of Murasaki Shikibu who travels to the present world. Tries to become the world’s best novelist, but gets distracted by many things along the way. In a twist to Ruka’s first draft of this story however, she abandons her passion for novel-writing because she thought she would be happy with the one she loved, but she begins to disappear as soon as she says this. It seemed that fate was telling her that she could do nothing but write novels. This mirrors Ruka’s career as an idol and it culminates with both Ruka and her character, Murasaki Shikibu coming to the same conclusion that they took on this dream for their own sake and finally, Ruka declares that she loves being an idol.

Review: Aww… I was wrong. I was so sure that it would be Atsumari in that suit, but it just turns out to be Ruka’s father. That said, I can’t help but feel that this development is not only mundane, but a little bit too convenient for Ruka – in effect, some things feel a bit rushed.

First of all, I find it absurd that Ruka’s parents didn’t even try to get in contact with her after they had their accident even if they were ashamed of themselves for leaving her with that debt. I think most people would forget about stuff like that if they’re on the verge of death – as Ruka’s parents admitted they were. Of course, Japanese culture might be a bit different.

Secondly, and this is more important, while I like the fact that Ruka has finally come to realize that she does indeed love being an idol (I so predicted that!), it just came out of the blue and wasn’t even mildly foreshadowed throughout this manga. Of course, there’s still the possibility that the next chapter will be a flashback covering Ruka’s realizations during her time with Kayura in the Rainbow Village (innuendos are intentional).

Another thing that I found a bit off-putting can be summarized in this question: Why did Hinagiku need to tag along with Hayate and Kurosu? It seems her only purpose there was to take the passenger seat and ensure that Hayate gets to ride in the trunk in the front of Kurosu’s precious Lamborghini. No, really… I can’t think of anything else. It would have been different if they needed to do some puzzle-solving, dungeon-exploring or bad guy ass-kicking, but it was just Hayate smooth-talking Ruka’s parents into seeing her.
Say all the cheesy lines you want. You're still as oblivious as ever, butler-boy!
Finally… ugh, Hayate is free to be his usual oblivious self again thanks to this chapter since all the conflicts that would have required him to make an actual choice between Ruka and Nagi have now been conveniently resolved by Hata in this arc without Hayate’s help.

It’s nice to see that Atsumari isn’t so bad after all as she seems to be involved with the reconciliation between Ruka and her parents. In a way, my prediction wasn’t so far-off. It’s just that Hata chose to resolve the Ruka-Atsumari relationship differently.

So… in the previous chapter, we got Nagi’s happy ending for this arc and then in this chapter, we get Ruka’s happy ending and her return to her idol career. This is all well and good because we’re now steadily moving towards Heaven Is A Place On Earth’s timeline and eventually, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You's. I’m sure that any arguments about CTMEOY being non-canon has already been put to rest with the cover of Nagi’s manga in the previous chapter.
Ruka's moment of awesome.
I didn’t really care much for Ruka’s manga, but it was still nice to see it nonetheless. The story itself felt as rushed as the rest of the developments in this chapter, but the conclusion was nice, at least. It was great to see the shifting mirrored perspectives between Ruka and her version of Lady Murasaki.

To conclude this review, here’s a little something I noticed: Hata has once again implied that Nagi has extremely good luck. He’s said this at least once or twice before during the Kyoto and Ise portion of this arc. This is an important point methinks because everyone knows that Hayate’s special talent is being loved by misfortune. Now what do you think Hata’s trying to imply here? Hmm? Hmm? Tell me, coz it’s sooo not obvious! >D

Okay, fanboy shipping aside, I found this to be a so-so chapter. It’s great that we’ve finally resolved most of the conflicts in this arc and we should be moving along to the Royal Garden and King’s Jewels/Nagi’s fortune part of the story soon, but that doesn’t prevent this particular chapter from feeling rushed and slightly unpolished.  

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