Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 460: The Sea Is With Us -- Synopsis and Review

Synopsis: In the face of the apocalypse, Red-Hawk Scanlations comes through with another chapter of Hayate The Combat Butler, and this time, it's the end of the beach arc.

The chapter picks up where the last one left-off with Hayate being successfully rescued by Ikusa.
A-tan is a little schemer.
We learn immediately that it was Isumi who shot that magical bolt of lightning at the King's Jewel and that it was upon Athena's (now in Alice form) request/command/manipulation.
Et-tu, Isumi?
Nagi confronts Hayate and Ikusa and confirms that her butler is fine, but Hayate is feeling down about not getting the stone. Of course, Nagi tells him that it's fine because that's not what they came here for in the first place.

Just as Hayate is ready to conclude that everything is fine and that things all worked out in the end, Nagi reminds him that he still hasn't won the competition. After a brief pause, Ikusa tells him that "this and that are different things," and impliedly tells Hayate that the competition really isn't over yet.

Hayate rushes off to the seaside restaurant so that he might still win this competition and Nagi has a little chat with Ikusa wherein he basically says that Hayate can win this with the power of friendship.

At the restaurant, Hayate discovers that Souya and Kotetsu have already made a million yen in his absence - to his surprise. Hinagiku comes along and offers to help out and so do the rest of the Violet Mansion group. In the end, they really do somehow make 8.92 million yen with the power of friendship.

Ikusa hands the pouch over to Hayate even though there was nothing inside it anymore.
There was really no point to this... and Hata used the same expression and pose from Hamster like 2 chapters ago.
Hamster says that it's too bad that the charm inside was lost, to which Hina agrees, but Nagi says that nothing was really lost with a satisfied look on her face.

Ikusa says his goodbye, but Hayate catches up to him and hands the pouch over to Ikusa. He still won't admit that Hayate is his brother, but he does promise that he'll save Hayate just once if he ever needs his help since he's a lifesaver. 

Ikusa tells him to make sure not to lose what matters to him most (NAGI! NAGI! NAGI!) and Hayate says that he'll come back next summer.
That's right, sensei. She saved you! As a lifesaver!
Finally, Yukiji has somehow been saved by Fumi... as a lifesaver!

Review:  First, a shoutout to Chloe Noir who was absolutely correct about Isumi being the one who fired off that magical lightning bolt.

As expected, the last chapter was the penultimate arc-ender, making this chapter the actual end of the arc. We have a one-week break incoming, but a new story arc to look forward to next. This is pretty exciting since we're really nearing Heaven Is A Place On Earth's timeline right now and it's just about time for the anime and manga canon to converge and silence certain elements of the fandom who still can't accept that the future anime timelines did and will happen (haters gonna hate~). 

Good stuff from this chapter and almost everything was resolved. Of course while the beach arc was satisfyingly concluded, the overarching King's Jewel plot has still moved just a tiny bit. We still have no idea what A-tan is up to and what Isumi was doing with her in the first place, but we can assume that both of them do have everyone's best interests in mind -- so it's probably a good thing that Hayate's "stone of bonds" was broken.

The funny thing is that even those ghost pirates and the ridiculous signs and curry boxes all over Higan island were properly explained as being Isumi's handiwork, so she was presumably the "companion" that Athena was talking about during her conversation with Ikusa. Can we also assume that "Higanman" was her doing in the first place? In that case, she really is one of the most powerful characters in this story alongside Athena.

I have to say that I really disagree with Athena and Isumi's methods of "caring" for the people they love without being open to them about what they are doing. It really does nothing to endear Athena to me when I'm convinced that she's being manipulative and she seems to prove it whenever there's a serious chapter with her involved. She can she's doing it all for Hayate's sake all she wants, but wouldn't you think it would be better to let him know about it unless you have something to hide?
Seems she knows a lot more than she lets on.
What I found interesting was Nagi's reaction to the whole incident in that she doesn't seem to mind it all that much (although we already knew she went to the beach for Hayate's sake in the first place). It almost seems as if she knew a lot more than she was letting on with her last comment saying that, "nothing was lost."

Also, it's pretty funny how Ikusa says something similar to one of Nagi's lines in chapter 89 of this manga. Specifically, the whole, "this and that are different." (this is especially true in the subbed anime version.)
Does this line look familiar?
Yup, sure does.
I like how one of my speculations came true about how Hayate would still win the competition with the power of friendship - and in fact, it's blatantly stated in the manga. 

Fumi actually saving someone at the end was a nice touch. Maybe she still has a chance with Ikusa after all?

In summary, we have a sort of happy-happy ending to this beach arc with Hayate restoring his relationship with his brother and tying up some more loose ends from 10 years ago. It's also worth noting that he promised to come back next summer -- which could mean that Hata plans to make this manga last one more year? Well, maybe not, but a flash-forward is in order since he had to use one large panel just to have Hayate say that.

Over-all, the beach arc was a lot of fun. It brought together elements of Hayate's old comedic style along with the more serious tones of Ruka and Athena's arcs and is a good testament to what the manga/series has become over the years. It also remains true to its shounen roots by having Hayate win the competition in true shounen manga fashion. 

I believe we still do have a few more days until HIAPOE, so the timelines might not converge yet in the new story, but we'll see.

Fanart Corner: No speculations from me this time, but I did have some time over the weekend to draw some new Nagi fanart. I made her body semi-chibi and this is actually designed to become a shirt... which it did. I really like the caption I included in her shirt. The playful tongue-out expression is based on some of Hata's older artworks.
Click on the image and check out the caption on her shirt.

Naturally, I had to turn it into a real shirt.

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