Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 507: Karakoi -- Review and Synopsis

What was this "warmth?" By the way, this chapter cover is very similar to my fanfic cover here

Synopsis: While Nagi is asleep, Hayate confronts Sakuya as to why she is really here in Las Vegas. Sakuya then directly asks him if he would quit as Nagi's butler if he were to win the 150 million on this school trip. Hayate hesitates but also declares that it's been a fun nine months being Nagi's butler. He then ominously says that he feels that he's making a huge mistake and that he feels it's going to end before too long. The narrator states that "they lack 'love.'"

Sakuya says that it's ok to feel uneasy about things. They then move to a discussion about the Sanzen'in Inheritance and Hisui Hatsushiba's role. Sakuya informs Hayate that if Nagi loses the inheritance this time, it's going to be permanent. Also, she says that if Nagi wins the inheritance then these fun days can continue as long as Hayate doesn't quit being her butler.

Hayate reluctantly says that it would be a dream come true. We move on to Hina and Izumi. Izumi asks Hina what she'll do if she wins. She says that she'll donate it to someone in need -- said someone being Hayate obviously. As for Izumi, she says that she'll give it to Hayate because he's in need. Hina gets flustered and says that Hayate would quit being Nagi's butler and even leave Hakuo if that happens -- however, Izumi is positive that he'll never leave Nagi alone. This leaves Hina with some food for thought. Now she has to make a definite decision as to what she should do if she wins since Hayate himself says that he won't start a romance with anyone as long as he's Nagi's butler.

Meanwhile, Kananiwa blurts out her plot to find a candidate to open the path to the Royal Garden using this school trip to find someone with an explosion of negative emotions. Hayate overhears this to her surprise and he proposes starting the final orientation immediately.

Review: We may have had a two-week break, but there's lots of plot to be discussed in this chapter.

Let's start with the obvious: Hayate and Nagi's relationship. This chapter is deceptively cruel. While at the onset, it seems like there's going to be some positive development for the HayaNagi ship with the chapter cover, title and the text in the cover, that notion is quickly laid to rest by the actual contents of the manga -- or so it seems.

We see that the manga declares that there's a bomb between them and that there's no "love" between them -- so what does this mean? Naturally, this is open to speculation, but I never thought for one moment that this meant Hayanagi ship = sunk. In contrast, I saw it as a positive development. 

"Bomb" and "Explosion of Negative Emotions?" Definitely reeks of foreshadowing to me.

There are two things happening at this juncture: First of all, Hata finally acknowledges the fundamental problem between Hayate and Nagi that we've known all along -- there's no love (specifically mutual romantic love) between them. Hayate has never once hinted at being romantically attracted to Nagi in any way whatsoever. Now the manga finally acknowledges this -- now things can start moving forward. Hata's not dumb. You can see it in the structure of the manga. The original plans may have changed quite a bit, but the relationship between Hayate and Nagi has always persisted in having this one fundamental flaw -- the main question is: why? Only Hata can tell us, so we must wait.

Secondly: the declaration that there's a bomb between them feels like a strong foreshadowing that Nagi will become the candidate to open the path to the Royal Garden with an "explosion" of negative emotions. See where that's going?

Therefore, I don't see this as a death sentence for my ship, but rather, as a huge step in the final, logical conclusion of this manga. With that said, it's still a 50-50 thing. At this stage, Hata has now laid the flag for what might be the end of the Hayate x Nagi relationship, while also being the flag for what could be the decisive event for the development/realization of a romantic relationship between them. 

Harem ending and other cop-out endings NOT happening.

Also, this chapter rules out several possible endings. The "I'll be her butler forever" ending is definitely a no-go now because of two events:

1. Hayate is reluctant about saying "that would be a dream come true" when Sakuya suggests that he should be Nagi's butler forever so their happy days can continue. He also feels that his current relationship with Nagi is going to end soon.

2. Hinagiku's re-declaration of Hayate's previous statement that he would never enter a romantic relationship as long as he is Nagi's butler.

These two are definitely flags towards ruling out the I'll be her butler forever ending and also points towards a definite romantic ending for Hayate.

Finally, the dimbulb girl of the group, Izumi openly states that Hayate won't quit being Nagi's butler and leave her alone. Why does she believe this? Why do I think her opinion matters? Simple: she's pure-hearted -- and this is a shounen manga. Nuff said.

So now the stage has been set for the final phase of this manga. The time for ship wars is now past. Any questions/speculations we might have had about the ending will soon be answered -- and all we can do is wait.

Personally, I choose to stay positive and root for my ship until the very end.

Fanart Corner: I exhausted myself mentally analyzing this chapter, so I'll just dump these without any comments.

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