Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 447: A Lot Changes In Ten Years. Like Getting A Promotion... Maybe - Synopsis and Review

Synopsis: The Hakuo baka-trio (Izumi, Risa, Miki) are arguing over their little video koushien thing (Hata does not forget even the silliest plot threads) and Risa and Miki use it as an opportunity to harass Izumi saying that there’ll be a “flesh-colored punishment” awaiting the loser. Izumi is all confident that both of them didn’t make any noteworthy videos anyway, but she is surprised when both of them turn up with award-winning documentaries coz y’know, they’re filthy rich and are willing to put in a whole lot of effort just to harass Izumi.

Athena: I'm like sooo ready to confront a murderer.
Izumi’s in a pinch so she comes up with this idea of filming footage of a fish in an aquarium using a fixed camera and watching it grow every day. Kotetsu points out that it won’t work out because fish don’t grow that easily and she’ll need to put some real effort into taking care of it. Somehow the conversation moves to equating growing fast with “promotions,” so Izumi asks her father to give her something for promotions and she returns with a bottle of Remy Martin, for whatever that’s worth. She then feeds it to the fish – who starts growing human arms. She and Kotetsu are freaked out at first, but she decides that this will make an excellent film, so she feeds it some more until it suddenly climbs out of the tank with human arms and legs and some kind of face inside its mouth. It grabs her and tells her that it can’t take any more of that food before running away.
Athena: Yikes! But not a pedo!
Back to Athena… or little Alice if you prefer, who is still all smug thinking Mr. Murderer has finally come and she’s all ready to confront him. But when she turns to face him, it’s actually the fish monster that Izumi had created and she goes all “who the **** are you?” To which, the fish monster responds quite appropriately with “I dunno, but I like little girls!” Good job, Fish… from now on, your new name is Pedofish.
Pedofish: Welcome to MY world.
Athena freaks out at pedofish but Ikusa arrives in the nick of time and effortlessly knocks Pedofish to the moon. He then goes, “I’m too cool for a name.” Athena then clicks on her battery meter thing and says that it’s been ten years since she last heard that line.

Review: Looks like Hata’s decided to finish up some plot threads from the doujinshi arc this time and connect it with the new arc by wrapping up this video koushien thing quickly. Is this a sign that the end is near? I guess it could be, eh?
Just to remind you that these three are still mildly relevant
I was pretty amused when Athena’s smug demeanor was broken with the revelation of Pedofish, who wasn’t who she was expecting him to be. She’s all ready to confront a murderer, but not a fish monster who happens to like little girls. LOL!
Ikusa: Even the back of my head is too cool for you!
Well anyway, one has to sorta wonder how the fish got to that particular island in the first place. Given how often convenient coincidences happen in Hayate however, it’s pretty likely that it just swam all the way up there since it is a fish and it just happened to conveniently encounter mini-Athena at just that particular moment… so Ikusa can swoop in and save the day. Speaking of Ikusa…

Speculation Corner: Yeah, I’m gonna say it: Athena x Ikusa FTW! Seriously, it would be quite congruent with the overarching plot of Hayate to make these two end up together with each other. Remember that Hayate “failed” Athena in the past (in contrast to how he didn’t fail someone else whether it’s in the past or the present… hohoho! Man, ain’t I obnoxious?) and Ikusa was the one who came in at the last moment and basically risked his life to save her. They have a connection from the past that presumably, isn’t marred by bad memories like with Athena and Hayate. Also, the chapter title even implies as much saying that “a lot can change in ten years.”

Furthermore, there’s that scene with Wataru and Saki wherein Wataru finally gives up on Isumi and makes it a point to say “I loved you” in a parallelism to Hayate’s “I loved you” at the end of Athena’s arc. Feelings, schmeelings, Hayate and Athena parted ways at the end of Golden Week and Athena entrusted Hayate to Nagi. Meanwhile, Hayate’s still too emotionally evasive to come to terms with his own feelings so I won’t pretend to know how he really feels. In any case, why cling on to that little addendum (I might not return it next time) that seemed more like an afterthought? Sorry guys, but as far as this biased blogger is concerned, all roads point to Ikusa x Athena. Of course, you can always cling to the "age-gap clause," but really, how old is Athena, really? She sure acted pretty mature for a toddler back then and Hata doesn't seem like the type of Author to care for age-based biases... or at least knows how to manage workarounds to it.

Also, it would be fair to speculate that Ikusa might not have lost his memories after all, but has some other “epically heroic” reason for not disclosing this to Hayate and company.
Anyway, the baka-trio’s antics were pretty funny, but all felt like filler material for me. The real juicy stuff would be:

·        The identity of A-tan’s murderer-san
·        A-tan’s temporary return to her true form
·        Hina’s confession – or lack thereof
·        Hayate’s answer to Hina’s confession – and lack thereof (it’s a sure thing with our oblivious butler)
·        Hayate finally coming to terms with his feelings and getting some damn character development instead of being vague and evasive 100% of the time

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