Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hayate Reflections: What I Like Most About Nagi's Apperance

There are a great many things to like about Nagi Sanzen'in. There are also an equally great number of things to hate about her.

In any case, I'm not here today to talk about the many complicated facets of Nagi's character that makes her who she is. Nope, in fact, because I'm a bit tired over the holidays, I'm keeping it nice and simple today.

Therefore, for today, I'd like to talk about what I like most about Nagi's appearance.

Now if you know me, you'd know that I like everything about Nagi's appearance, but if I had to choose just one thing, it would have to be her bright, cheerful smile. Specifically, that open mouthed, eyes closed smile that she often reserves only for Hayate. I know a lot of other characters do that too -- especially in modern times. Also, a lot of other characters did that before Nagi as well. For me though, Nagi's smile is the most special. It probably has a lot to do with my bias, but her smile is just absolutely radiant to me... which is why I think I should make that the subject of my next painting.

With that said, I have a request to draw Nagi cosplaying as Lotte from Astarotte no Omocha... I'll have to think about it for a bit.

Fanart Corner

With that said, that concludes this weeks not much of a Hayate Reflection. I leave you with a fanart of Nagi that I drew quickly on a paper place mat today.

Also, which character do you like most in Hayate and what about that character's physical appearance do you like most? Talk to me~

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Hayanagi Day~

Christmas is the day when the misunderstanding began -- but it is also the day when love began three years later for these two. Happy HayaNagi Day everyone~ 
Also, Hata-senpai noticed me again~

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Implicit Understanding - The HayaNagi Chemistry

One of the biggest criticisms against the Hayanagi ship is that there is simply no chemistry between them -- which I believe is a big fallacy. What they lack is an explicit, overt manifestation of mutual sexual interest. Note that I used the word "sexual" and not romantic here. While sexual desire generally follows with romantic love, it is not always necessary. Receipt:

The links above are not meant to be taken as evidence. They are proof that even exerts in psychology can share my views.

With that aside, I would argue that while whether it can be considered romantic or not, there is definitely a lot of chemistry between them. You can claim that this is all platonic, brotherly, sibling love or whatever cockamamie term you want to use, but that doesn't make it so. And please don't think I am stupid, I KNOW that it doesn't necessarily mean that it is romantic either, but simply put, it is open to interpretation -- therefore you are not necessarily right or wrong and neither am I.

Still, the chemistry between Hayate and Nagi, the bond between them, so to speak, was actually built from the ground up. People often claim that their romantic relationship was forced, but considering the actual connection they had with each other which was the very foundation of the manga from start to finish, it was actually a well-earned start to their romantic relationship at the end. I talked about this over here

Over the course of the series, we see how Nagi's love for Hayate develops from that of a simple crush -- to that of true love, albeit, not quite reciprocal love until the ending. Similarly, we see how Hayate's strong feelings for Nagi evolves from feelings of wanting to protect her into someone for whom he would really give up his life for -- an all important question which had to be asked near the end of the story according to Hata's blog. Of course, according to the same blog, Hata only noticed that it was in chapter 567 when Hayate saw the 14 year-old Nagi's profile as she was talking that he (Hata) realized that this was the moment. Of course, most people tend to interpret this as the moment Hayate fell in love with Nagi -- of course, I propose an alternative interpretation. Rather than Hayate falling in love with Nagi at that exact moment, it could also be that he had always subconsciously considered Nagi desirable, it was just at that moment when his psychological defenses were weakened that he realized that "oh, she's not a little kid anymore." I think either interpretation is valid -- it's just that mine actually justifies the ending better.

The chemistry between them is subtly portrayed throughout the series as well. It's seen in what some may consider to be their usual snarky back and forth banter. Seriously though, that snarky banter actually denotes a level of closeness that is only reserved for significant others. A little bit more intimacy and they would actually be a couple at the middle of the series -- of course, Hata did not go this route -- which is fine with me. It doesn't invalidate the fact that Hayate eventually got to know Nagi so well that he felt that looking at her wasting time by playing video games or watching anime all day is relaxing or that Nagi knew Hayate well enough for there to be an implicit understanding between them whenever Hayate got into trouble. Nagi understood that it was a problem concerning some girl and that Hayate needed time to sort it out himself. A great confirmation of Nagi's character development and a subtle way of developing the HayaNagi ship. Again -- showing the deep connection between these two despite of the huge misunderstanding bomb looming between them.

With that said, that concludes this week's Hayate reflections. I'll be back on the 24th with some special fanart for HayaNagi day and perhaps another short post. See you then!

Fanart Corner:

This is my first time using professional artist grade watercolors on Canson watercolor paper. Painted with my Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 color set. This scene was inspired by a recent visit to the beach.

I have to say, this watercolor set was well worth the steep price. Smooth colors and nice, strong pigments. They also mix very well. I had to do a bit of mixing to get the skin tone since the set doesn't seem to have any colors similar to Nagi's usual skin color.

This fanart got noticed by Hata-sensei on twitter, by the way.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Culture Gap In Romantic Love

So I watched No Game No Life: 0 yesterday and I really loved it. You can read the full review here.

While watching the movie though, I couldn't help but be reminded of Hayate and Nagi's relationship in Shuvi and Riku. This is because there was actually no hint of sexual attraction whatsoever from Riku for Shuvi from start to finish. He was always fully aware that she was a machine and he never looked at her in a sexual way ever.

Yet at the same time, he wanted her to be his wife and proposed marriage to her -- which she accepted after initially rejecting him. Also, he unequivocally declares that he loves her several times after this and she does so as well at a certain point in the movie.

The thing is, Shuvi is a machine, an ex-machina in the shape of a little girl and she even outright declares during their first meeting that she doesn't have a hole -- even though her initial goal was to engage in the act of reproduction with Riku so that she could understand the human heart.

Anyway, they both declared that they love each other and they got married so they were obviously romantically in love. However, there was still not a single hint of sexual attraction from Riku nothwithstanding his claims that he loves Shuvi.

I was pretty certain that a particular term would come up in the English-speaking fandom and hoo boy was I right. I saw several mentions of "platonic love" and "brotherly love," (you know, what Hayate feels for Maria and what he doesn't feel for Nagi, obviously). And it really boggled my mind to see this. Again, people were making vain protests against all evidence and mainly because of reasons like, "it's creepy." Sigh... here we go again.

Furthermore, I did a quick search for Sora x Shiro and it turns out that people in the English community feel the same way as well. They'd rather have Steph or Jibril (who I feel have very little chance) or no romantic relationship at all than have Sora x Shiro be a thing.

This is when I began to understand something. This is just a hypothesis but -- there is a culture gap between Japan's concept of romantic love in general versus that of the rest of the majority of the rest of the world. This is why it is so hard for many viewers to accept the Hayate x Nagi ending even though the vocal part of the Japanese community (even the ones who were on other ships) were totally fine with it.

Anyway, I personally don't ship Sora x Shiro because Hayate x Nagi is my one and only one true ship and I won't bother with ship wars again.

I just wanted to point out that if you still feel that Hayate x Nagi is "forced" or you have some kind of personal feelings against it -- perhaps you should consider that romantic love is actually not a universal concept and can vary across different cultures -- just saying. Like, consider the notion that if you shipped Athena with Hayate super hard, what if it's like something that you've always wanted since childhood? When you finally get this thing that you want as an adult -- sometimes, it doesn't feel so special anymore -- yeah ponder that because I'll be talking about it at length sometime.

With that said, I leave you with some fanart and I'll see you next week~

Oil Pastels on Paper. Also, this is still a Hayate fanart -- look at the silhouettes and you'll see what I mean.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

No Game No Life: 0 -- Anime Movie Review

I just got back from watching No Game No Life 0 and I knew I had to type up this review right away while the movie is still fresh in my mind. So with that said, here are some of my ramblings on several aspects of this movie. Also, I was one of only two people inside the movie theatre -- not counting  Mai Waifu, Nagi Doll who travels with me everywhere :).


The story revolves around two core characters, a human named Rikku and an Ex-Machina (basically a killer machine) in the shape of a little girl who is eventually named Shuvi.

Rikku is a boy who was born in Disboard at the time when the various races were still conducting a great big war thanks to their Gods and their obsession with an item known as the Suniaster which would be manifested to the one true god.

Rikku's village was devastated by a group of Ex-Machinas when he was a child. He eventually grows up to become the general of a group of surviving humans who manage to stay alive through subterfuge as the other races fight each other on the frontlines.

As is to be expected, Rikku grows up to be desperate and somewhat jaded individual with an intense dislike for the other races who have caused the world to be plunged into chaos.

It is at to the point when he is most desperate after having sacrificed another one of his comrades just so he could escape that he stumbles upon a cave lair where an estranged Ex-Machina who has been separated permanently from her cluster (Ex-Machinas work as hive minds) is investigating. Upon meeting each other, the Ex-Machina, who would eventually be named Shuvi, insists that Rikku take her with him as she is curious about the what a "heart" is all about. Her hypothesis is that it is what has allowed humans to keep from being extinct despite the state of the world.

Although Rikku seems annoyed with her at first, the two eventually settle their differences, fall in love, and work together in order put an end to the war and to give Tet, the god of games a chance to become the one true God. It is also an origin story of how the covenants were formed and how the current system of games was established.

A Love Story To The Core

At its core, NGNL0 is a love story between the two main characters. Basically, it explores the age-old anime theme of love between a human and a robot -- which is basically what Shuvi is.

This is where the movie truly shines. The development of their love story is extremely satisfying and it also allows the movie to be extremely cathartic despite being based on a less serious anime series (not familiar with the contents of the light novels -- I'm just aware they exist.)

At first, Rikku only sees Shuvi as a convenient tool whom he may be able to use in order to help the surviving humans in his camp. Little by little however, he is taken in by the innocent charm of Shuvi's ways and starts to see her as more of a reliable partner rather than just a tool. It is at the climax of the movie wherein he finally bares it all and confesses his love for Shuvi through a ring with a marriage proposal.

On Shuvi's part, she initially claims that she is interested in being together with Rikku so that she may find out what a heart is all about. However, she does show a strong attachment for Rikku and always does her best to shield him from harm. Furthermore, when Rikku reveals his hatred for other races and beings -- including the Ex-Machinas, Shuvi offers to allow Rikku to stab her in the chest and end her life (or shut her down completely in an irreparable state as she states) so that he may be appeased.

Her initial reaction to Rikku's proposal is a rejection -- which is quite a surprise considering how attached she is shown to be to him all throughout the movie. Of course, the revelation makes logical sense. She was the unit that actually devastated Rikku's village when he was a child, so therefore, she felt unworthy of him.

Fortunately, instead of being angry at her, Rikku reveals that he had an inkling that this was the case all along, but he tells her that it doesn't matter because he made the proposal to her while fully considering this possibility in the first place.

It is a love story tested by many trials and one that pays off in the end. And of course, the best part for me would be that both characters expressly proclaim their love for each other several times throughout the movie. It's really a wonderful emotional pay-off and I can't help but root for the two of them.

It is also a reminder of the different concept of love that the Japanese have. By her own admission Shuvi cannot reproduce -- in short, she cannot have sex. In fact, she outright states that she does not have a hole.

In fact, there is no so-called "romantic development" in both characters in that they do not actually see each other as a girl and a boy in terms of sex. Yet, you can call it platonic or whatever inane phrase all you want, but by the express admission of both characters, it is very clearly romantic love. This movie is a very strong refutation of the sentiment that sex or even sexual attraction is at the core of romantic love.

Nods To No Game No Life

Fortunately, even if you have never seen No Game No Life before, prior knowledge of the series is unnecessary. There are definitely nods and strong ties to No Game No Life, but they are in no way necessary in order to enjoy this movie.

For one, Rikku and Shuvi share the same seiyuu as Sora and Shiro and even their personalities are somewhat similar. Also, if you were waiting for Sora and Shiro and their friends to show up, let's just say that you won't be too disappointed.

Basically, just imagine Sora and Shiro in a more serious setting with their lives actually on the line.

Also, Corone Dola (actually Steph's ancestor from 6000 years ago), the only consistently shown supporting character, who may or may not be Rikku's blood-related elder sister is a strong nod to Stephanie Dola and also has the same seiyuu and personality as her -- minus the comedy relief moments.

The Characters Aren't Invincible

Part of the charm of No Game No Life is that Blank (Sora and Shiro) are basically invincible throughout the entire series. They may be tested from time to time, but we all know that they always come out on top.

On the other hand, Rikku is someone who has clearly suffered nothing but defeat all his life -- this despite being a very clever individual himself with traces of Sora's ingenuity. Shuvi herself is a very powerful machine, but she is not the most powerful being in the movie and not even amongst her own kind. This is clearly demonstrated in her final battle with Jibril.

So yes, this is not the invincible pair that you may have grown attached to in the series, but for the purpose of this movie, the very real flaws in Rikku and Shuvi really add a sense of humanity to both of them -- this despite one of them not actually being human.

Over-All Impressions

That was a wonderful movie wasn't it, Nagi?

I believe I have said enough for anyone to guess my over-all impression of this film. In short: I loved it. While the plot and the mumbo jumbo over Disboard is a bit hard to take in (probably easier if you have read the novels), the love story of Rikku and Shuvi is one to witness. Also, if you ship Sora and Shiro, this movie is great big win for your ship -- through implication. (But hey, that's how Hayate x Nagi won the race)

Watch it if you are fan of No Game No Life. Watch it if you are not a fan of No Game No Life. Unfortunately, it's probably ending its run in Philippine theatres by tomorrow -- but if you can get your hands on this movie - do give it a try. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Let Me Tell You Why Your Opinion Is Wrong -- Along With Your Sense Of Entitlement To It

For those who are still hung-up on how the Hayate x Nagi ending was wrong (your subjective opinion no matter how you insist on it being “correct”), I’ll give you something: I don’t completely disagree with you. I just disagree with your reasoning.

I Am Sorry To Tell You This But Your Rationale Is Incorrect

You see, the most common reason that I read online is that “there were no romantic developments” or “Hayate never saw Nagi as a girl,” which, in my opinion – as far as storytelling and plot analysis goes, is a rather lame rationale. Therefore, let me tell you why your opinion is wrong.
See, you’ve got everything backwards. You are so hung up on which girl deserves Hayate that you’ve allowed your myopic perspectives  shaped by personal bias to rule over your rational train of thought. In fact, for certain people, it’s become so bad that you have actually deluded yourself into thinking that you are logically superior and that you can actually get away with passive-aggressive remarks against other shippers. Seriously, you’re so obvious that it’s not even subtle. At least with me, I’ll tell you straight up that I am biased  AF when it comes to Nagi. I’m not going to pretend to be neutral here just so I can claim some kind of moral high ground.

Okay, got sidetracked a bit. Well anyway, you have it backwards. It’s not all about which girl deserves Hayate, it’s also equally about which girl Hayate deserves. Now when we look at it from this perspective, I can actually agree that a Hayate x Nagi ending is a terrible idea. Seriously, why would I want Nagi to be together with that pitiful excuse for a human being who took her for granted so many times – and not even because he loves Athena (pfft… keep dreaming that ship was sunk, resunk, and then torpedoed below the surface for good measure – fact. What you think Hata’s rationale was = subjective opinion. Get it through your head.), but simply because he was super oblivious to her (Nagi’s feelings).

Hayate Doesn’t Deserve Nagi – Not The Other Way Around

I mean, Hayate totally took Nagi for granted in Ruka’s arc. He never even once thought of the suffering she was going through and opted to be together with Ruka instead and help her out with her teenage idol crisis drama. Meanwhile, Nagi was left to fend for herself – albeit, with a lot of help from her newfound Violet Manison friends. As a result, she came out much better and became a true force to be reckoned with at the end of the manga. Based on the merits of what she has gone through alone, Nagi achieved some well-earned character development whether your subjective opinion agrees with the reward she got for it (Hayate seeing her in a romantic light at the end of the manga) or not.

But Hayate Does Deserve Nagi

Still, even though I said that Ayasaki doesn’t deserve mai waifu, he does deserve her after all. No, I’m not backtracking. I’m making a point using contrasting statements for reader impact. It works if you have the basic ability to read between the lines. I’ve heard that many people are lacking in this area nowadays – how sad it must be if you are one of these people.

Furthermore, Nagi deserves to be happy with Hayate after all that SHE has gone through for him. Again, not the other way around.

Back on track, you see, Ayasaki does deserve Nagi because in the end, he was the one who came back and freely chose her as his partner. There is no other way to interpret that ending – especially when you consider “word of God.” The only way you could interpret that as a friendship thing is if you are a literal dickhead who thinks with his wiener and only values women for the sexual aspect of romance and therefore, you require in your little anal headcanon that Hayate must have expressed sexual desire for Nagi in some way within the run of the manga for the ship to be acceptable.

Here’s why you’re wrong (just thought you'd like to know):

The Ending Is Just The Beginning

Yesss, as hard as it may be for your little dickhead to cram this concept into it, the ending of the manga where Hayate and Nagi hold hands and walk off to talk together under the starlit sky in the same park 3 years after they met was just the beginning of the Hayate x Nagi romance. It wasn’t meant to be a full-blown romantic ending but instead, signaled the start of their relationship. It wasn’t “so romantic,” because they were just a new couple. A boy and a girl who happened to like each other and decided to give love a chance. What happens at that point afterwards is something private between the two of them that the prying eyes of us manga readers will never see – and it’s quite fine that way.

Fanart Corner

Ah yes… I love to vent during a Wednesday and especially when I'm feeling sick. The words just roll off the old keyboard. Anyway, here is Nagi displaying her most beautiful smile for you. You can always tell which anime I've been watching based on the style of fanart I draw. These are rendered with Staedtler Colored Pencils that I got from my sister. I did some research online and these are apparently artist grade. I dunno but... it doesn't look that much different from my Faber Castell classic colored pencils which are considered student grade.

I might do a digital version of this next week. Maika-chan's smile seems to suit her well.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Happy Birthday, Nagi! December 3, 2017

Fanart Corner:  First of all, Happy Birthday Nagi!  Nagi was born on December 3, 1991 based on the manga’s timeline, so she would be 25 years old in our time. I was working on this birthday art since last week. I had a more elaborate background planned, unfortunately, I came down with a cold and so it really drained all of my creative energies. In the end, I went for something simple but pretty. When in doubt, go for anime bubbles.

Out of all the clothes Nagi has worn (and she has worn a lot of them), I think this dress from her first meeting with Hayate is the most iconic. They met on a Christmas Eve while Hayate had just been sold off by his parents to the Yakuza while Nagi had just run away from a boring high society party. Two people from two completely different and equally spectacular backgrounds -- who would get together three years later as two ordinary people in love.

Hayate Reflections: Anyway, for this week’s Hayate reflection, let’s talk a bit about S1 of the anime. Specifically, this scene:

While watching it earlier this week, I couldn’t help but notice how similar it was to chapter 566 of the manga. It was almost like the manga was a more serious version of this particular scene.

We have Nagi in some kind of a trance in this episode, while in the manga, she is living in some kind of reality constructed by the Royal Power in order to fulfill her wish. In any case, the essence of it is that she’s running away from reality because she feels that Hayate does not value her.

Therefore, in the anime version, Hayate bakes her a cake and asks her to remember all the happy times they spent together. Nagi then takes a bite of the cake and is snapped out of her trance – which prompts Hayate to hug her from out of nowhere.

It’s a bit more dramatic in the manga but it’s basically the same thing. Hayate asks Nagi not to replace the days they actually spent together with an illusion, then with the help of a king’s jewel and a picture with a message that he got from Maria, he convinces Nagi to leave her illusionary world with him.

This makes me suspect that even though this part of S1 was non-canon, that Hata had a heavy hand in it. Which one you prefer is up to you. I’m just here to point out the similarities. I personally prefer the manga version btw. In fact, contrary to popular opinion, I thought the finale was quite well done apart from the loose ends that couldn’t be tied up. They weren’t deal-breakers for me as much as they may be to some of you.

Also, someone from another fandom posted something really brilliant via twitter. 

I think this applies to a lot of things – especially to the polarized opinions regarding the finale, so I shall paraphrase it as such:

People don't seem to realize that there's a difference between subjective (opinions) and objective (facts). No matter how many times you say "Hayate ended horribly" or "the finale had bad writing" it's always going to be subjective. Take a hint.

With that said, this concludes this week’s Hayate reflections. Once again, a happy birthday to the love of my life, Nagi Sanzen’in.  I wish you and Hayate happiness in the future that I can never be a part of.

See you guys next week for sure~!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hayate Reflections Will Be Postponed To This Weekend: For Now, Happy Birthday, Athena!

As the very long title says, this week's Hayate Reflections is postponed to this weekend to coincide with Nagi's birthday!

For now, though. Here's some fanart of A-tan for her birthday... gotta protect that smile.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hayate Reflections: My Favorite Songs From The Series

Ok, let's keep this post nice and ... neutral, I suppose. I realize I've been making a lot of shipping posts lately and I guess it's time for a break. Therefore, I promise to keep the shipping talk to a minimum in this article wherein I share and explain some of my favorite songs from the series.

Here they are in no particular order.

Ko No Me Kaze

As a Nagi shipper, how can I not love this song? It's basically the main dynamics of Hayate no Gotoku! In a nutshell. The lyrics do a great job of describing the bond between Hayate and Nagi. It's also a sweet, sentimental tune to listen to by itself. It really triggers a lot of nostalgia whenever I heart it.

Shichitenhakki Shijou Shugi

Ugh... the intro on the video sounds a bit broken. Anyway, speaking of nostalgia, this is one of my favorite anime opening songs of all time -- and not just in Hayate no Gotoku! It's just so upbeat and happy. While Ko No Me Kaze shows a little bit of the serious side of the series, this song just captures the happy-go-lucky feel of the entire show as a whole. It's a song that I think perfectly embodies the series' wacky, lovable cast.

Heaven Is A Place On Earth

YES! Shameless-self-insert for the win! Anyway, I'll be honest, taken by itself, this song barely sounds like a Hayate song -- at least if your perception of the series is based on S1 and S2 -- and it should very well be at the time this movie was released since it was after S1 and CTMEOY hadn't aired yet. With that said, it is once again a song that really fits Hayate x Nagi perfectly. It feels like a song that was written just for them and it's by the same group that did the amazing To Aru Kagaku No Railgun openings. It has sweet, and yet rocking tune that comes out epic over-all. I especially love the slow instrumental start. The song develops a bit like Nagi's personality in the manga IMO. Sweet and slow at first, but gradually more and more prominent.

Heart of Flower

Wait, a Hina song? Really? Well, yes. This is a slower version of Power of Flower. I don't really care about the song's message, but Shizuka Itou has a very nice voice. It's very pleasing to listen to this one, so it earns a spot in my list.

Straw Hat Fantasy

It's a song sung by Nagi herself (well, Rie Kugimiya singing as Nagi), what else is there to explain? Well... ok. Out of all the Nagi solo songs, I think this is the one that captures her childish, quirky side perfectly. Kugimiya's voice can also be quite sweet at certain portions here. Really shows off Nagi's tsundere-ness.

Can't Take My Eyes Off You (Nagi x Hayate)

I have to admit that the opening sequence of the anime really influenced me a bit when I chose to include this song in my list. Gotta love the Hayate x Nagi shipping. Another reason is that this version starts with Nagi singing in her super cute voice. I love to play it inside the car when there's a passenger around who knows nothing about me. When Nagi's singing starts, it really surprises them since her voice is so high-pitched and child-like. (cute!)

Here I Am Here We Are (Hayate, Nagi, Ruka version)

Again, the main reason why I like this song is because it's a Hayate x Nagi song. I actually made a translation for this one but you see, I'm an unrecommended (that's not a word, btw but if you're pedantic enough, I suppose it magically transforms into a legitimate word) translator who obviously uses machine translations and edits them into "seemingly correct" English (LOL) and my translations cause irreparable, horrible, 'orrible harm to DA WORLD, so nevermind.

Anyway, it's a Hayanagi Song and it's Hayate and Nagi singing it. What's not to love about it?

Paradigm Shift

Although Ruka is supposed to be a super idol, I think Shizuka Itou is the one with the better voice. In any case, I'm not too fond of the many Ruka songs that came out together with CTMEOY, but Paradigm Shift is that one exception. I can't place what it is I like about this song exactly, but it just seems to me that it fits the singer's voice quite well -- unlike many of the other Ruka songs which sound a bit like she's trying too hard to be Risa Oribe.

Aaand that's a wrap. These are my favorite songs from the series. If I were to pick my favorite, favorite one, it would be a toss-up between Heaven Is A Place on Earth and Shichitenhakki Shijou Shugi.

What are your favorite songs from Hayate? Let me know in the comments!

Fanart Corner
Today is nice twin tails day in Japan. Here's a nice girl with some very nice twin-tails for you~ Naturally, it is mai waifu Nagi! Anyway, see you next week.

I might do a digital version of this one. This was rendered in oil pastels.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Just How Did Ikusa Strike The Right Pillar?

This week's Hayate reflections is really a reply to Roop Banerjee's comment on last week's article about the good old RG.

So a bit of a recap, in chapter 263 of Hayate (which I never covered in this blog, btw), good old tiny A-tan says that in order to exit the Royal Garden, someone possessing a King's Jewel must come to rescue the person trapped inside (who opened the RG with a King's Jewel in the first place).

Then they gotta go to the Abraxas Pillars and while holding hands, slash the right pillar, which is only one out of 365 pillars. So like liddle A-tan didn't want liddle Hayate to try it and she never told him about these conditions coz she just knew that Hayate would suggest they try it. Anywayz, long story short, when Ikusa comes into the garden, he just casually rescues Athena by striking the right pillar. How did he do it? Why, there's a crying girl in front of him, how could he not do it!?

LOL HATA... brilliant explanation there, huh?

So How Did He Do It?

So like, that leaves a huge plothole, like we know that both Ikusa and Athena survived the trial and are happily outside the Royal Garden by the end of the series, albeit, Ikusa has apparently lost his memories -- which again was never expplained.

So really, how did Ikusa strike the right pillar out of 365 and given that he never had a previous bond of any kind with Athena in the first place, why was he willing to risk his life for such a fool's errand?

Well, I have a theory...

He Didn't...

Ikusa never struck the right pillar in the first place. He and Athena died when they tried it 10 years ago. The Ikusa and Athena we see at the end of the manga are actually doppelgangers taking their physical form but inhabited by one of the many lost spirits inside of the Royal Garden. Naturally, they also inherited the abilities of the originals. Because Athena spent such a long time inside the royal garden, the doppelganger who took her place also assimilated her memories. Of course, there was no time to do this completely for Ikusa, which is why he remembers very little about his family and his past.

Fortunately, whether they are the originals or not, the new inhabitants of the host bodies decided to live their lives as Ikusa and Athena. So in a way, they really are the same persons anyway -- even if they are just copies of the originals.

Also, cockamamie theories aside, It seems pretty clear to me that Hata was also side-shipping Ikusa x Athena. The reason that nothing really came out of it by the finale is because Hata didn't want to die just yet -- kthxbai see ya next week~

Fanart Corner

Got two for you today. Enjoy~
Remind me to take a better pic of this painting. Also, I might digitize this next week.

Hayate became happy with Nagi at the end of the series -- why, even Hata-sensei agrees~

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Time To Be Pedantic About The Royal Garden

Ok, let's talk about the Royal Garden this week. See, I've noticed a lot of fans of this series while it was still running really loved to employ double standards a lot and didn't even think twice about it.

Sure I'm guilty of that myself, but I am quite self-aware that I am doing it -- so that makes all the difference. Well, it probably doesn't, but I digress. Let's get back on track -- the Royal Garden.

So this week, I want to be a bit pedantic and list off some complaints/questions off the top off my head about the Royal Garden and how it functions.

Does It Have Magical Electricity?

Based on the what we have been shown about the Royal Garden, it is entirely possible that it does not have electricity. After all, we see here in this panel from chapter 181 of the manga that the mansion is basically powered by magic and as Athena says:

So that would explain how the place gets lighting, but there is a bit of a conflict here. Take a look at these panels from chapter 180.

Here is Athena's sacred bedchamber from chapter 180. The chandelier can be lighted with candles, so it's no big deal, but check out that huge electric lamp as well as the bedside lamp over there. To be honest, this place looks like a more ornate version of Nagi's room.

So yes, if it is a place where eternal flowers bloom, then does it have eternal electricity as well? Is there some eternal nuclear fusion generator buried somewhere in its unexplored depths?

Does It Have Plumbing?

Well, I'm pretty sure it does. If you consider this panel once again from chapter 180.

So yes, we have running water, folks. Homesteaders and preppers would be proud. I suppose given the magical nature of the mansion itself, it probably has eternally running water.  Therefore, bathing, washing dishes, washing clothes and I suppose potable drinking water are fine because the mansion itself most likely has a magical water purification system  -- or Athena can just do that herself with her vast magical powerz, but then, here's the thing: plumbing also means that it needs to have some form of human waste disposal -- so how does that work?

Given that the mansion itself exists in some plane of existence that is clearly different from our reality, then this means that it needs to have a self-contained waste disposal facility. Of course, if we assume that the space around the mansion within the reality of the royal garden is infinite, it wouldn't be too hard for whatever magical entities that created the mansion to provide it with an eternal sewage facility.

Of course, they could just be dumping their sewage off a cliff. That reminds me, how do mansions isolated from the rest of the world which seems to be pretty common in anime/manga deal with their waste material anyway?

How About Food?

This is an issue that was never really tackled during the run of the manga. In fact, we never even see Hayate or Athena eating while inside the Royal Garden.

Given that we have very little facts to rely on, there are quite a few assumptions that we can make.

1. Athena simply enters and reenters the portal at will and goes grocery shopping. Given that she is apparently super rich, that wouldn't be much of a problem.

2. Athena can use her magical powers to conjure food as well. Of course, magic generally consumes stamina in fiction (or mana points/magic points/mp) if this were an rpg. Using the rule of equivalent exchange, this means that Athena can only conjure up as much food as she has the energy to do. Of course, by consuming said conjured food, she can easily restore her stamina/mp and conjure more food. If she is wise (which she is based on her IQ level and lore, not on actual deeds) and stocks up on long-lasting food items, then that easily solves the food problem.

3. This is probably the most plausible. Athena mentioned that flowers bloom eternally in the Royal Garden. Given that it is known as a "Garden," there might be a royal food garden hidden somewhere inside of it as well where eternal fruits and vegetables grow. As long as you get enough molybdenum and other essential nutrients, a vegan diet can actually be pretty healthy.

4. The Royal Garden has an eternal refrigerator that has every food item you can imagine and it is magically restocked after every 24 hours.

5. The Royal Garden is magical. You don't get hungry in the Royal Garden. You can take in food and liquids as much as you want, but your body doesn't need it.

But Seriously, Eternal Electricity Is Such A Fun Idea
We don't really see any electronic items inside the mansion, but who is to say that it doesn't actually have eternal electricity as mentioned earlier? We could attribute the lack of electronic appliances to Athena's penchant for being traditional and old school After all, her character is written to be someone who is not that adept with technology -- although on the other hand, she did develop that hi-tech monitoring facility inside of Hakuo with Isumi -- so yeah...

So anyway, just think about it. You could power up six different monitors at once... oh wait, mai waifu Nagi already did that.

Anway, the point is that you can do something as awesome as that and never have to worry about the electric bill afterwards.
Does It Have Wifi?

Oh shi... Nagi (13 year-old version) would never be satisfied if she were trapped in the Royal Garden instead of Athena.

I mean, Athena and Isumi needed that special facility inside of Hakuo in order to monitor the inside of the Royal Garden. I doubt that normal wifi signals could reach that far considering that it seems to be an alternate reality.

None Of This Matters But...

Of course, these are all irrelevant details and it's really not worth even thinking about these when there are glaring plotholes and inconsistencies which are far more critical to the story than any of the stuff I've mentioned in this article.

Still, I think that it should serve as a warning to future writers that readers can actually get this pedantic, so you'd better be prepared to have an explanation for every nook and cranny of your made-up reality if you choose to go that route.

With that said, this is still one of my favorite stories ever with the girl/woman that I fell in love with now and forever. Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Royal Garden and how it works, so tell me what you think in the comments.

So with that said, see you next week~

Fanart Corner:

Hayate's birthday is coming up, so I came up with this watercolor painting. It's actually two different paintings that I put together using digital editing software. I'll make a fully digital version of this by the 11th.

Check out Hayate's pendant.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hayate Reflections Halloween Edition - Dead Stars

Man, my titles are so click-baity nowadays. Anyway, as much as you might be tempted to think that "Dead Stars" refers to some gothic horror theme, it really doesn't.

Actually, today, I'd like to talk about a very old Philippine short story that was originally written in English called "Dead Stars" by Paz Marquez Benitez.

In this story, there's this guy named Alfredo, who is in his thirties. He has a long-standing fiance named Esperanza. Now society takes it for granted that he will eventually marry this Esperanza, but he feels that he is growing out of love recently. Now, once upon a family dinner party, he happened to meet this sister-in-law of a Judge named Julia Salas.

After a brief comedy of errors, he discovers that he had presumed that Julia was the sister of the judge and kept calling her by the Judge's surname of Miss del Valle.

When the judge confronts him about his error, he goes up to Julia to apologize and quite amused, she relates a similar experience she had with a Mr. Manalo whom she kept calling Manalang and the two form a sort of connection. There is all kinds of CHEMISTRY between them!

Anyway, they spend six weeks flirting with each other but nothing sexual and it culminates at the end of Holy Week with them saying a somewhat bittersweet goodbye to each other.

Flash forward eight years later and now Alfredo is married to Esperanza, but he happens to come back to the same place where he met Julia so many years ago. He sees her and of course, his heart starts beating fast... until they actually meet and then have a long, casual conversation together. 

Later on, contemplating on the moment, Alfredo realizes that he is not only quite satisfied with his marriage, but also by the calm order of his life in general. He no longer felt the same way for Julia Salas even though he had never forgotten her over the course of eight years. He likens his feelings of longing for her to the light of a dead star -- seemingly bright from afar, but actually dead when up close.

Well... isn't that familiar? Isn't it sad, A-tan?

Ok, that concludes this week's Hayate Reflections. Have a Happy Halloween and see you next week!

Fanart Corner

It would take I know... a Hata Kenjiro... and he would need the glow of dawn that paints the sky above. To try and paint a portrait of my love~

Hayate's birthday is coming up. This painting will form a part of his birthday art which I'm working on right now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Betrayal and Expectations

Recently, I made this post in my facebook timeline:

As expected, quite a few people rushed in with likes -- despite probably already knowing the answer.

The reality is that I'm pretty sure most of the likers took my click-bait in the vain hope that perhaps I'd post a real-live person and declare that I might actually like a flesh and blood human being and not a 2D manga girl. Of course, my eventual answer wasn't anything unexpected:

Mai waifu is looking at you this way if you expected something else.

Still, despite all evidence to the contrary all over my timeline (and all over the internet for that matter), many people clicked the like button and set up the wrong expectations for themselves because maybe, just maybe, there's that sliver of a chance that I would go for the twist ending -- that instead of going down the clear, logical path of my actions based on previous foreshadowing events, I would actually do something different from the norm that I had established.

Which brings me to the point of this post: If you felt somewhat betrayed by the ending or that Hata had "trolled you" with all his "teasers," perhaps you need to re-read the manga and re-examine your personal biases inside your head. (There is no need for me to do this. Simply put: I WON! We won, Nagi shippers! :D)

Basically, did Hata really betray your expectations, or perhaps... were you not, to some degree, seeing something where there was actually nothing? The"bits and pieces" of hints towards the Hayate x Nagi ending finally came to fruition in the finale. Certainly, it could have been done better, but it wasn't without any foreshadowing, nor was there a lack of evidence -- Hata, just didn't provide the evidence that coincides with your bias inside your head of what romantic love SHOULD be.

Anyway, with that dead-beaten horse of a topic out of the way, here is this week's art post:

Fanart Corner

This week's art post was inspired by a Hatsune Miku song and comes with a poem. Definitely, our past selves should serve to remind us that we are much stronger than we often give ourselves credit for -- so whatever problems you may be facing in life, just remember that you've been through  worse before! Go,you! Also, see you next week!

I followed the very rounded eyes that Hata used on Nagi as the manga neared the finale. It's just so cute.
I think this goes against expectations too. You would think that the older and more mature version would be the one doing the consoling, but I made it different in this pic.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hayate Reflections: The Golden Week Arc

While many people laud the Golden Week arc as the high point of the Hayate manga wherein things got serious and the plot really kicked in, I personally am not that big of a fan of this arc. In fact, the only reason that I liked it is because in my mind, even before the manga had ended, Hata had confirmed the HayaNagi ending with this arc and had heavily foreshadowed Nagi's turning out to be a capable, responsible individual someday.

Now whether Hata was actually thinking these things when he was actually drawing the arc is something we'll never know unless he's confirmed it somewhere -- which personally, I'm not that interested in finding out. Of course, given that things did turn out heavily in Nagi's favor in the end, I'd say my speculations are at least partially justified.

What's Wrong With Golden Week?
With that said, let's just get straight to what I believe is wrong with the Golden Week arc. No, it's not about having plot holes or that the drama was forced or that it was Athena's arc. After all, it ended in Nagi's favor no matter what.

What I did not like about the Golden Week arc is that it did not seem to fit with the mood of the series at that time. Yes, there had been a few times where the series got serious and abandoned the comedy for a moment in favor of actually taking the characters and their situations seriously, but in the Golden Week (and End of the World arc) arc, the tone of the entire series suddenly shifted. All of a sudden, it seemed as if people could actually die in the series and Hayate's decisions actually had some really serious implications. (Of course, we know this isn't true because no one really died in the series unless you count Yukariko, but she's already dead.)

Up until this point, Hayate no Gotoku! Was still pretty much a gag manga with the romantic and dramatic elements often developed in the background and taking a back seat to the comedy in the foreground. For me, the change was too drastic and it feels like the Golden Week and End of the Week arcs in particular do not fit in too well with the rest of the series.

The Same Could Be Said For The Finale

Actually, the same could also be said for the finale. Most of my criticisms for the Golden Week Arc defnitely apply to the last few chapters of the manga. With that said, I can be more forgiving of the finale, because of two reasons: .

1. It's the finale. It's the manga's last hurrah and Hata's last chance to wrap things up and end it the way he wants. 

2. At this stage, the Golden Week arc from before had already set a precedence. Therefore, when the finale came, the change wasn't as jarring. Also, the build-up to the misunderstanding bomb going off had been gaining ground. Thus, the finale didn't feel as out of place with the rest of the manga as Golden Week.

3.  The transition to the finale felt a lot smoother than that of the End of the World Arc which just came about after Hayate was reminded of Athena by Nagi. There were many permanent changes already set forth by the time of the level 5 arc. The debt was cleared for real. Nagi was maturing quickly -- which is self-evident with the way she ended level 5 with a bang and without Hayate's help.

Fanart Corner

Well, here are some pieces of fanart. Two for today. Also, Hata retweeted me again. Thank you, Hata-sensei! I will love Nagi forever! Naturally, I love the HayaNagi pairing too~

See you guys next week for sure~

Me and Nagi~

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hayate Reflections: News From Japan

I've read some rumors online that Hata's new work will be related to Hayate no Gotoku! I suppose it's not surprising considering that his previous works are also in the same universe. With that said, I'm not all that interested.

Anyway, while the series might have ended, there are still a few celebrations for it here and there. Just recently, there was a "Hayate Only" doujin fest featuring different fan-made manga and other fanworks. I'm really happy to see a lot of HayaNagi content and some illustrations of 16 year-old Nagi. (pic taken from twitter)

Aside from that, there are two more series completion celebrations scheduled for the next few months. Hata-sensei himself will be there doing illustrations and autographs. Also, it seems there'll be some new promotional material such as badges and stuff... speaking of additional material. I bought this Hayate themed box from amazon ages ago, it still hasn't arrived.

The page for the events is here:

November 1-5, the event will be held inside of Fukuoka City, Hata-sensei's birthplace and on December 1-10 in Osaka, the place where Hata-sensei spent his days as a student.

Fanart Corner

Unfortunately, I couldn't finish this today. Look forward to the full version next week... I have certain "plans" for this image.

To give you a hint as to what I'm planning. This image is based on a recent Hatsune Miku pic from my favorite vocaloid producer. (vague hint, I know)

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

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