Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 524: Kiss of Murder -- Review and Synopsis

Couldn't get a screenshot of the raw cover, but this face is so much better to look at than that biyatch Hisui anyway.
Synopsis: Hayate: Eh? You are?

Hisui: Been a long time, pops. Have you been doing well?

Mikado: You dun have to worry about that, Hisui.

Hayate: 0_0 Hisui? So...

Hayate has a little flashback to stuff Nagi and Sakuya said about Hisui.

Hayate: So this kid is... ojou-sama's rival for the inheritance. Hatsushiba Hisui.

More flashbacks about Sakuya sayin stuff about Hisui bein greedy and how she must be stopped.

Hayate: But wait... that scar on her face.

Hisui: Now then pops, you were talkin about having a problem deciding who would be the Sanzenin family fortune's successor?

Of course, Nagi is the main successor to the inheritance. Blah blah some drama about not being interested in the inheritance does a cute little pose.

Mikado: Stop it, Hisui. I won't let you take part in the Sanzenin Inheritance. Hisui, you're greedy -- therefore, you're not worthy to possess this power.

Also, Mikado is damn short.

Mikado: This is why I have decided not to pass the inheritance onto you.

Mikado: If you understand this, then GTFO now, biyatch!

Hisui: Izzat so? THen... (grabs a sword from the room decors)

Hisui: Why don't you just die right now?

Actually swings the sword at Mikado (fudge... this biyatch means business)

Hayate: *Parries the sword with considerable effort* Hey, you'v done enough, right?

Hisui: Heh, fine...

Hisui: I just have to get the key and write my name on this will, right?

Hisui: See ya later, pops.

Hayate: Ya awright, pops? (Notices that his sword is still virbrating)

Hayate: Just now, that kid was really trying to...

Mikado: Something about the power of the inheritance being a threat to the world blah blah

Mikado: That's why you should definitely watch out, Hayate Ayasaki. Their eyes are on you. She is the worst kind of woman.

Hayate reflects a bit about how he knows how money makes people evil, but this person he senses... (referring to Hisui)

Hayate: I'm home!

Nagi: Welcome back, Hayate. That storyboard isn't quite done yet but..

Nagi: What's with that face? You hungry?

Hayate: No, it's nothing.

Hayate: (thinking to himself) I'll protect ojou-sama's future... even at the cost of my own life.

Ok, so just in case you don't get it yet because Mikado and the flashbacks can't get enough of repeating it, Hisui is apparently very greedy and that's a bad thing. Also, she's quite violent. She swung that sword with real killing intent to the point that even mister omnipotent combat butler was shaken by it.

Anywayz... SCREW YOU, AYASAKI!? Protect her future? The only future she cares about is the future that involves you. She doesn't need her effin inheritance and she certainly doesn't need to get involved in this little family feud.

Why aren't you reflecting on her inadvertent confession, man? Reflect on it nao! REFLECT! Or better yet, just take a good long look at her and realize just how beautiful she is inside and out, you IDIOT!

Ok... rant aside, this is a setup chapter for something that I have no idea where it's going. I just want Hayate to stop forestalling and tell us how he feels about Nagi's confession already.

Also, why does he think that protecting Nagi's future = winning her inheritance? BAKA! BAKA! BAKA! BAKA! (Listen to that in teh Rie's voice.)

Lastly, Nagi looks so angelic in contrast to Hisui. I think I'm likin Hisui's character already~

Fanart: No speculation for you. Have some fanart instead. Still haven't finished some of these. I also included a video of me showing you how to draw a grumpy Nagi easily btw.

Guess which game I've been playing recently.

Still need to add angel wings and color this.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 523: Whom The Star Says -- Review and Synopsis

Doughnut Gunso noted in his previous review that the art style was changing again. He's correct. Also, Nagi looks really beautiful here. Like a slightly more mature version of her usual self and a lot more feminine/attractive. Amazing what a skilled manga artist can do with a half-body portrait style picture.
Synopsis: Chiharu: Eh? This is pretty interesting.

Nagi: Really?

Chiharu: Yes, it's really interesting

Nagi: You know, this is the first time I find you cute.

Chiharu: Wait, whut?

Chiharu: Oh fine, whatever. Anywayz, you'd better get started drawing this. I'll help out too.

Chiharu: By the way, where's Ayasaki?

Nagi: Ah, Hayate is...

Scene switch to Mikado's mansion with Maria:

(I skipped parts but...)

Maria: Sorry, sorry...You ok, grandpa? Is your body doing well?

Mikado: Ah, I'm so useless.

Mikado: Could it be that I am about to be put out to pasture? (closest thing I can guess as to what he actually said)

Maria: Hayate-kun, WTF is he talking about?

Hayate: Eh well, it's very popular. It's from Sayou-san's Radio show.

Maria: Anywayz, he's fine, right?

Hayate: Yeah, more or less.

Mikado: I am not fine! There's nothing interesting to do here!

Maria: Really! Making me worry and all. Screw this guy and his dramatics. Let's go home, Hayate-kun.

Hayate: Ah, okay.

Mikado: WAIT! A little bit more! Worry about me a little bit more, will you?

Hayate: But really, the Sanzen'in house is really amazing.

Maria: Is that so?

Hayate: Yes, there's tons of maids and butlers and lots of work to be done for everyone.

Hayate: By the way, are all these people really necessary?

Maria: Dunno, but the Sanzen'in family really is big. (proceeds to tell im all about the rich, rich Sanzen'in clan)

Hayate: And Ojou-sama is the heiress to all of these?

Maria: It shall be so.

Hayate: Thinks of the three King's Jewels he has.

Hayate: Sorry, but I have something to talk to with Oji-sama, k?

Maria: awright, sure thing.

Maria: Looks like I'll be eating dinner alone.


Mansion Staff: But however...

Mansion Staff: gossiping

Mansion Staff: Hurry up! We don't have much time!

Maria: ?

Hayate: Oji-sama, got somethin to talk to ya about.

Mikado: fu...I thought it was about time you arrived.

Mikado: You wanna talk about Yukarin from now on, right?

Hayate: Er.. nope

Mikado: WHAT?

Hayate: Actually, I want to talk to you about the inheritance and the final game.

Hayate: Will you indulge me?

Mikado: Fine, let's talk.

Hayate: This place is...

Mikado: Basically, this is the control room of all the Sanzen'in family's assets.

All the assets from the Sanzen'in house are controlled here!

And this... is my last will and testament. (Scroll and pen inside some locked lid)

All the Sanzen'in's assets will be transferred through this item with my consent.

Like if you were to write your name here, all the Sanzen'in's assets would be transferred to you.

Hayate: but the key?

Mikado: Right, without the key, this container can never be opened.

Therefore, the key to this lid is what's at stake in the final game.

To become the Sanzen'in family's successor.

Hayate: But why go through all this? Ojou-sama's inheritance is at stake.

Someone who is probably Sakuya: Oya oya... you were here in this place, pops?

Whoops! Wrong guess! It's  teh final boss!

Hisui Hatsushiba and her battle maid appear.

Hisui: To think we'd meet here of all places.

Hayate: You are...

Housen: Ara ara... long time no see, Ayasaki-kun.

Hisui: >) WTF, Housen... you've met?

Housen: Yup, this is Nagi ojou-sama's butler.

Hisui: Oh, so you're... Himegami's REPLACEMENT?

Review: Well, I was bracing myself for a big reveal and some bombs going off, but no dice.

This chapter was all about the Sanzen'in family subplot and Mikado's ongoing game for his own amusement (probably has some kinda DEEEP reason for it) regarding the Sanzen'in family's inheritance... 

Also, I don't get why Hayate's involving himself in this. Clearly, Nagi is not interested in the inheritance and she's financially capable enough to take care of herself without it... sure, she's a little helpless with housework, but that's where YOU come in, Ayasaki-kun.

Anywayz, so after 30 years, we finally know what Hisui Hatsushiba looks like. She doesn't seem to bear a family resemblance with Jenny and it looks like my drawing from 1-2 years ago wasn't too far off. OBSERVE!

Dat scar, though.

Close enough, I'd say... given that we've only seen her from the side and behind until now.

Although Hata's design comes with a scar and speaks of all kinds of "EVIL BITCH."

Anyway, so-so chapter. At least Nagi's happy for now and Chiharu doesn't seem to suspect a thing.

Also, Hayate's forestalling his moment of reflecting on his relationship with Nagi yet again... I hate that. You know what? If only Nagi wouldn't be unhappy, Hayate should totally get the forever alone with his debt ending. He totally deserves it after inadvertently leading everyone on throughout this manga.

Well, I don't really hate Hayate.. THAT MUCH... but he has to stop being so effin ambiguous and indecisive. Nagi's no longer even a tsundere around him, why is he still such a vague little depressed emo kid?

Also, he should really stop involving himself in this King's Jewel's business. It's not good for him, not good for Nagi and definitely bad news for everyone around him... oh wait, except some ringlet curls blonde who will apparently be the end girl because people did not read the end of her arc and the follow-up in Wataru's mini-chapter where he confesses to Isumi.

So anyway, not enough info to speculate on anything for now. I'm just waiting to see what Hayate does now that he understands Nagi's feelings for him... or I hope he does.

Fanart Corner: Got two, actually, but the other one needs some digitizing. Anywayz, the colored one is based on Orca Toys' Nagi Sanzenin Cat version and dayuum! She's cute and sexy in this figure. Can't wait for my preorder to arrive. AUGUST! GET HERE SOONER!
Proportions are a bit different from the figure, but I think I got her best assets just right, if ya know what I mean.
I'll definitely color this one. Got the urge to draw it while playing Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 522: Serialization Break 11 Years. From Now On -- Review And Synopsis

Beautiful as always~

Synopsis: Nagi: Ika-chan is ending
Talks with Chiharu for a while about it and how she is sad about it.

Some breaking the 4th wall stuff about long serializations being hard. Also, we see Ashibashi sensei being used to illustrate this.

Nagi goes on a monolgue about long serializations and the climax of the story and about how the ideal is Urusei Yatsura with the climax also being the ending.

Chiharu: With that said... have you drawn any manga lately?

Nagi: Ma-manga?

Chiharu: Yeah, you said you'd submit one to Sunday

Nagi: Ah yes... yes, I should draw, shouldn't I?

Nagi: But ya see, I dun have any interesting ideas lately. We just came back from America yesterday after all.
(Calendar shown... we're still at the final days of September)

Chiharu reminds her that she's still got that competition with Ruka after ten years.

Nagi: Yosh! I shall now devote myself to Ika-chan.

Chiharu: That's devotion to selfishness, isn't it?

She then goes off to consult Hayate over at Cafe Donguri

Hayate: Eh, draw manga?

Nagi: Right, I'm gonna win an award before my birthday.

Hayate: Well, your enthusiasm is admirable, but what kind of manga?

Nagi: Love comedy~! I'm gonna use what happened during the school excursion.

Hayate: Eh, so it's gonna be like a travel manga?

Nagi: Right, and the hero... comes from space in the future and is the ultimate programmer~

Hayate: ...

Nagi: Naturally, she is a bishoujo (panel shows Hinagiku) who crash landed on a pre-apocalyptic Earth from the 20th century (seriously... wtf, mai waifu? What are you thinking? Oh wait... this is a plug for Ad Astra, isn't it?)

She uses an Iphone to call her companion's spacecraft (not sure about this translation)

Nagi: blah blah something about vodafone's acquisition and this is how the story starts

Hayate: Wait... this is too high level for me.

Hamster: Suggests something about Vodafone and the heroine's power.

Nagi: Ah, I get it.

Hayate: so... the story aside, this is based on real life experiences right?


Nagi: The heroine loves to go to buffet places

Hayate: And you're going to ignore all the difficulties of the journey?

Hayate: As expected, it's something strange again this time.

Nagi: Hmm... but this configuration isn't based on real life isn't it?

Nagi: For 32 pages, I need to cut out unnecessary elements

Hayate: Ah, as expected, Ojou-sama... has really grown up a little bit.

A few days later...

I'm going to kill someone if he betrays her feelings -- for good. A temporary betrayal of feelings is well justifiable.

Nagi: It's done!

Hayate: Have you finished the manga's name?

Nagi: Yup, read it!

Omnipotent Butler Hayata Kun

This is the story of the teen butler and his mistress

The teen butler was experiencing many difficulties

The butler was born with a strong body and was very courageous.

Meanwhile, the oujou-sama was a self-indulgent millionaire.

The two shared many life and death experiences together and naturally, a bond was formed between them.

However, the final stage would be their biggest problem yet.

It would break the ties between them...

but the two of them would get over it together

And the final stage would be where they fall in love with each other for their happy ending. They would live together for many years to come.

Nagi: Well, what do you think?

Hayate: Well... it's certainly an interesting story, isn't it?

Nagi: Right?

Nagi: As expected, using my real feelings to tell the story wasn't wrong.

Nagi: All right... time to draw the manuscript.

Hayate: ... love each other?

Review: Wow... this was a really heavy chapter. It started out innocently enough and I really thought this would be another fruitless gag chapter, and then all of a sudden, Nagi has just inadvertently confessed to Hayate through her manga.

This is it, guys! The end is not just near! The end is HERE! Prepare for t-t-teh DRAMA!

Now there are lots of implications here, but I don't think they're especially bad. The way I see it, this is clearly a setup for the "bomb between them" to finally go off somehow. At some point, Hayate has to make a decision now that Nagi's feelings have been made clear to him.

Of course, the way Nagi's feelings have been suddenly thrust out at Hayate, he really cannot be expected to accept them at this point -- and this is why I believe that the "bomb between them" will go off soon.

If Hayate is going to develop feelings for Nagi, then he needs at least a chapter or two to actively think about her -- where she really stands in his life and he has to make his own decision. There is no Nagi to bail him out this time, like she's always been doing whenever he needs to make a crucial decision.

Naturally, things will never go the way Nagi spelled out so plainly in her manga because that would be terrible writing -- but the question is: How will her heart be broken? How will Hayate respond to her feelings right now? We know for sure that he has never considered her to be a romantic prospect before, well now he has no choice. He can't be evasive with this girl and he knows it.

Don't forget that we've still got the Holy Grail War Royal Garden wars to worry about, so if the bomb is going to go off, it has to be very soon.

Anyway, amazing chapter and I eagerly look forward to what comes next -- although I also have butterflies in my stomach knowing that Nagi is going to get hurt again pretty soon... still, we need to get this misunderstanding out of the way -- FINALLY!

The ball is in Hayate's court now... let's see what he does with it.

Anyway, there are lots of little things in this chapter too, such as the nod to the whole 10 year promise with Ruka and Hayate acknowledging Nagi's growth as an individual but... they all pale in comparison to the actual gist of this chapter.

Sanzenin Nya~gi
Fanart Corner: Well, I still don't have much time for digital art, but I definitely have time  to draw this sketch which I plan to color soon.... WOO HOO! Mai waifu is so cute and sexy! Hold that pose, baby! I think I've fallen in love all over again~ I love this new figure from Orca Toys! I've already preordered mine. Can't wait for August~

Babeh~ you are absolutely gorgeous~!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 521: The End Of The Long Journey -- Synopsis And Review

Today is Hina Geeky's birthday, so... happy birthday! You fictional character, you.
Synopsis: Everyone's going home on the same plane and they talk about the happy memories they had during the trip. I couldn't care less what they're talking about.... especially with Aika and her butler-lover.

Hina's afraid of planes as usual. Nagi talks about how fun the trip was and how they went to the Jungle and Las Vegas. Next up will be Hayate's birthday, her birthday and then... Christmas (big smile). Hayate: (sorta sad, meaningful smile).

Everyone's asleep later on, Hayate and Hina have a short chat coz she can't sleep and stuff. Hina congratulates Hayate for being free now since he chose to be a butler all his own. She also says that this is going to be the start of his new life.

Meanwhile, the masterminds behind the King's Jewels plots are placed into dramatic panelization (Mikado, Himegami effin AOI, and Mikoto Tachibana) LOL! Also, the narration says that the end is starting~ or "this is the beginning of the end."

Review: This is really a transition chapter to put closure on the Level 5 School Trip arc more than anything else. We're shown that everyone more or less made good memories during this school trip.
Is it just me or has Nagi grown a little bit taller lately? I know she definitely looks more mature now with the new art style. More teenager than kid, so to speak.
More importantly, Hina is correct in stating that Hayate is now free from debt, so if he has obligated himself to be Nagi's butler again, this time, it's his own free choice. In any case, he chose to get involved with Nagi's world again and thus, he can't blame anyone for anything that might happen to him at this point on as he enters the holy grail war Royal Garden War. You could definitely argue that Mikoto basically forced him into his current role, but then again, whoever said he needed to accept her request? If his main goal is to protect Nagi, then what does she even have to do with the Royal Garden? Nah, man... he dug himself deeper into this on his own.

Anyway, I'm more interested in Nagi's attitude in this chapter. We're shown that she genuinely enjoyed the level 5 school trip arc even though there were a few hitches here and there -- echoing everyone else's sentiments. Furthermore, Hata has used her to specifically name drop several important events that will no doubt be taken up in this manga:

  1. Hayate's Birthday (remember that she made a promise to buy him a wristwatch with money she earned from her part-time job)
  2. Nagi's Birthday
  3. Christmas (definitely very significant as this is the day they met)

Of course, we can't forget a certain goddess' birthday as well, even though Nagi failed to mention it since she's not even aware of it. Come to think of it, I don't think Hayate even knows.

It should also be noted that Maria has mentioned that her birthday is on Christmas Eve... although she seemed unsure when she mentioned this. That will definitely be significant later on.

After everything that's happened so far, will you really betray this smile, Hayate-kun?
If the last few panels are to be believed, then Mikado and Himegami (why the fuck is he Aoi?) will definitely play some pivotal roles as we go into the final arc.

It's been a fun many years with Hayate and the gang and now the manga has explicitly stated that this is the beginning of the end. There are definitely still many things to come and things to be excited for including Athena's eventual resurgence into significance and of course, the "bomb" between Hayate and Nagi -- how will it be resolved? 

Naturally, Hayate will inadvertently hurt Nagi's feelings but she'll be able to live through it given all her character developments so far and then Hayate will live happily ever after with A-tan because that's definitely some good storytelling right there, amirite?

Bitter sarcasm aside, I can't help feeling a bit sentimental as I read the last panel of this chapter. Hayate and all its characters have become a huge part of my life ever since I started reading this manga, specifically. Now that things are finally coming together for, what I expect to be a bittersweet yet beautiful finale, I can't help but tear up a little as I type this blog entry.

Liz has mentioned in the comments before that the manga might end at excactly volume 50 given Hata's penchant for long-term planning -- I'm inclined to believe this might be true.

Still... there are still many things to come, so watch out for it and try to keep the anti-Nagi sentiments (because for some reason, other shippers just feel that it's only right to attack Nagi before promoting their own ship) and ship-wars to a minimum, ok?

Fanart Corner: I've been flooded with requests from people asking me to draw them anime style lately (really, I should charge a fee for these) so I haven't been able to color any of the fanart I presented last time. However, here's a video of me speed-doodling Nagi on a mini whiteboard. Also, this is not the most efficient nor correct way to draw her. This is just one way of drawing her... and fast!

Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me (Dreamcast): A VIsual Novel Review by Mid-Tier Guard

To Derek Pascarella, Marshal Wong, Duralumin, Lewis Cox, Piggy, Nico, Danthrax4, Lacquerware, EsperKnight, SnowyAria, VincentNL, cyo, and Ha...