Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 562: Final Chapter 14: To The Promised Land -- Review and Synopsis

Sakuya still wearing that virgin-killing sweater.
Is it strange that I was cheering for Himegami in this chapter? Of course, I want Hina to win in the fight against him... but he was actually making sense.

Synopsis: Athena Sama, there's a huge light in the sky.

This reaction is... fusion?

Athena: C-could this be... the path to the royal garden!?

Final Chapter 14: To The Promised Land

Person A: Uwaaa, what's with dat light?

Person B: Sugoi!!

Person C: Sasuga, Hakuo!

Person D: That must be expensive

Himegami: Oi, Himegami? Wazzup? What just happened?

Mikado: Athena!!

Athena: THis is bad, desu wa~

Athena: This is... ten times... no... hundreds of times bigger than the path I predicted.

Athena: This way, everyone who has a stone will be swallowed.

Book to Nagi: Welcome

Book: I've been waiting for you to come.

Athena: Monitor! Check the inside of the castle.

Sakuya's butler: HAI!

Hina: Wait a sec! Wtf is goin on here?

Athena: Hina!!

Isumi: Director-san, looK!!

Athena: This is bad!

Mikado: That book is right in front of Nagi!

Book: I'm da book of Orumzuto Nadja. Now, I shall grant your wish.

Nagi: My... wish...?

Athena: Hayate, where the fudge are you, Hayate!

Isumi: Hayate-sama! Stop Nagi right now!

Isumi: If she makes that wish, Nagi can't return to this world!!

Nagi: My wish is...

Nagi: This mansion, with Maria there, with Hayate there...

Hayate: Don't ojou-sama... that is!!

(fails epically at grabbing Nagi)

Nagi: I wish for a world where Hayate loves me!

Nagi wakes up in her room

Nagi: This is...?

Hayate: Good morning, ojou-sama. You're up early this morning, aren't you?

Nagi: Ha-Hayate?

Hayate: Yes, what is it?

Nagi: .....

Nagi: Hayate... do you...

Hayate: I love you.

Hayate: I love you, ojou-sama.

Nagi:.... (tears up_

Nagi: I'm glad... I'm really glad.

Meanwhile, real Ayasaki and Hisui are KO'd and floating in mid-air for some reason.

Isumi: This is...

Sakuya: Wazzup?

I disagree with her wish, but how much better
could most of us have done given what just happened to her?
Sakuya's Butler: The Sanzenin Ojou-sama can't be found on the monitor.

Athena: Thanks to that wish earlier, the royal power took her to the closed world.

Athena: Hayate and Hisui are there too. What's that pitch-dark space?

Athena: It's visible from here so there's no mistake that it's inside the royal garden.

Athena: They lost consciousness because of the power's influence.

Athena: Nagi's wish caused it to become separated, I think.

Sakuya: Then, can't we wake her up?

Isumi: Rather than that, whoever wokes up inside the royal garden.

Isumi: can obtain the royal power.

Sakuya: That's bad ain't it? If Hisui wakes up first, then that's the end of everything.

Isumi's grandma: You can actually drive a wedge into the path.

However, the way it is right now. It's going to close soon.

Mikado: But you need a stone to enter the royal garden.

Athena: Yup.

Anyway, it can't be helped... that thing over there (panel of giant king's jewel)

SFX of someone attacking

MikadO: Wtf?

Sakuya's Butler: It's bad, Himegami is above us.

Hiegami: He's destroying the chain!!

Mikado: That...

Athena: What's he thinking?

Hina: Hey, wtf is goin on here?

Hina: What's gonna happen if you can't take the stone?

Athena: IF the stone can't be taken, when the light over the sky disappears, Nagi will be stuck forever in a dream.

Athena: Hayate too, when the royal garden is destroyed... will disappear from this world. 

Mikado: Quit it, Himegami! Now's not the time to fight!

Mikado: You should know how difficult this situation is more than anyone.

Mikado: Stop doing stupid things. The royal power is here!!

Himegami: You don't get it. The fools are you guys.

Himegami: What caused Nagi's despair? What pushed her to enter? You all don't get it.

Mikado: W-what?

Himegami: I was watching... I know.

Himegami: Unrequited love and unfulfilled dreams as well.

Himegami: That's why this is ok as well, isn't it?

Himegami: Even if it's not real. She will obtain eternal happiness in a dream.

Himegami: My role here is over.

Mikado: Well... what about Hisui then? Hisui too...

Himegami: That's why... you're too lenient.

Himegami: Hisui was the chosen person to fall in to this situation. In the end, she will win.

Himegami: That's why don't get involed anymore than this.

Himegami: Victory goes to those who work for it. 

Himegami: The eternal dream will be answered as well.

Himegami: I don't think my substitute butler Ayasaki can be saved but... you reap what you sow.

Himegami: Well, he was supposed to die last year anyway.

Himegami: He found last year quite enjoyable, so he can't complain.

Himegami: He's a uselss 2nd class butler. He can die for his lord's dream. He'd like that, right?

Nagi's tears of joy seem pretty fake to me. Give our main heroine a little time, she'll come around.

Isumi: Athena-sama, the road... it won't work anymore like this!!

Athena: It can't be helped, Isumi-san. The road, we have to...

Isumi: hai!

Himegami: I see, so be it!!

HImegami: Anyone who gets in the way of this situation--

Athena: !?

Shirousakura appears

Even if this dream isn't real. Hayate has no right to drag her away from it if he cannot love her romantically. At least let her be happy after everything his sin by lack of knowledge and omission has put her through.

Hina: I dunno what's goin on but...I won't let you get what you want.

Himegai: !?

Athena: Hina!

Hina: You handle the path for Hayate and the others to return meanwhile... (thank you to doughnut gunso for the clarification.)

HIna: I'm going to fetch that stone over there.

Himegami: Who the fudge are you...?

Hina: I'm just a hero of justice passing by...

end of chapter!

Review: I have a few things to say about this chapter, but let me divide the review up a bit for easier reading.

Also, some highly perceptive anon commenter on this blog totally called it on the mansion being sucked into the Royal Garden -- or at least something to that effect happened in this chapter.

What I Liked

Well, things are moving along at a better pace than the last few chapters. At least now the stage has been set for a good finale. I believe that in order to be truly satisfying, the ending should have a definitive answer to two very important questions:

1. Will Hayate ever love Nagi romantically?

2. Can Nagi's love for Hayate snap her out of the fake dream that she has concocted for herself?

With that said, I'll always believe in Nagi's love for Hayate. At the very least, this series has shown us that her love isn't fake even if the premise was a lie. I believe (perhaps with Hayate's help) that she can overcome this trial that she is currently facing.

As for Hayate, let's just say that if platonic love is all he will ever have for Nagi, then this whole story would have been pointless -- and a big waste of Nagi's character development.

We also have Hina stepping up to the challenge and seemingly about to square off against Himegami. That was a nice touch. It gives her a chance to shine and show off what she can do with the Shirousakura. At the very least, she's taken Himegami by surprise.

I was actually rooting for Himegami when he started lecturing everyone about Nagi and Hisui. I have to agree. He's right except for dragging Hayate into things. I believe that if Hayate really has no romantic feelings at all for Nagi, then he should just pack up and leave the Royal Garden as soon as he awakens and leave Nagi in her deluded but happy fantasy for eternity.

Of course, I really don't see the story heading in this direction. As I've said many times before, I fully expect Nagi to make a dramatic comeback even though she's made a pretty selfish wish right now and inadvertently dragged everyone into it.

Furthermore, Hata has set the stage for Hayate to really shine and redeem himself as the main protagonist of this series. If he expects to convince Nagi to come back to reality with him, then he'll have to do it while overcoming the fake Hayate in Nagi's dream world who apparently is "in love" with her.

What I Didn't Like

I really didn't like how Hayate got a free ticket into the royal garden just because he was holding a King's Jewel.

Also, he was unconscious for almost the entire chapter -- which prevents us from seeing any kind of introspection from him regarding what has happened between him and Nagi so far. We really, really need a good, clear look into what Hayate is thinking at this point because Hata has kept him ambiguous about how he really feels about Nagi for so long. All we can do is glean implications from his reluctance to tackle the issue of Nagi's feelings. Some people see it this way or that way, but we have no actual confirmation of any of our theories because Hayate just can't say it out loud.

With that said, things are moving at quite a clip and I'm pretty excited for the next chapter. I really hope we see things from Hayate's viewpoint pretty soon.

Nagi's Wish

Nagi's wish was obviously a big mistake on her part. Yet, how much better could most of us have done. Here we have a young girl whose heart had just been broken. Not only that, the very foundation of the love that she had developed for so long turned out to be a lie. I think we can afford to give her a little leniency for her selfish, irresponsible wish. At the very least, wait until the next few chapters before blaming her because I'm pretty confident she'll redeem herself.

Maria's Letter

Nagi is currently in the fantasy world that Hayate dreamed about just a few chapters ago. She can and she will snap out of it and I believe Maria's letter, which she was clutching as the explosion of negative emotions happened will have something to do with it. I think the letter might contain a simple message like, "reality is much more beautiful than you might think."

Fanart Corner: Just one unfinished sketch of Nagi for this week. Didn't have a whole lot of time to draw.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 561: Final Chapter 13: Liberi Fatali -- Synopsis and Review

Synopsis: Chiharu: Wa... father?

Chiharu: This guy is your father? The guy who left you with that 150 million yen debt?

Chiharu: But wait... then that story of redeveloping this neighborhood...

Chiharu: Complimenting this apartment and being kind to Nagi!?

Shun: Yup
Kanzaki sure changed quickly.
Shun: That was a lie, of course.

Chiharu: o_o

Shun: Hayate, I heard you were having fun with your rich ojou-sama.

SHun: From observing you, I was able to collect some interesting info.

Shun: But you were here in such a place, huh? Such a failure.Such a failure

Hayate: What failure!? Look how much I've gone through because of you and mother!

Hayate: Come to think of it.. where's mother?

Hayate: Dad is collecting info so mom must be...

Hayate has a flashback about Kanzaki

Hayate: C-could it be...

Dad: ;) You're as dull as ever, aren't you?

Chiharu: Ayasaki-kun!

Hayate: The hospital! Ojou-sama is in danger!

HAYATE'S EVIL MOM as Kanzaki: Thanks for seeing me today as well. I'm on your side.

Kanzaki?: Ah, wait a minute

Phone message

Shun: Hayate caught us.

Kanzaki?: -_- .....
Hayamom so evil~
Nagi: Why do they all go away? Why does everyone close to me go away?

Kanzaki?: Isn't that because... no one loves you?

Nagi: ...... eh?

Kanzaki?"  For example, that guy you always talk about... your butler, Hayate?

Kanzaki?: You said he confessed to you on Christmas eve but...

Kanzaki?: Was that really a love confession?

Hayate: ka-san!

Kanzaki?: Ah, Hayate-kun, it's been a while.

Hayate: As expected...!! what are you...!

Kanzaki?: Why? You're the same, aren't you?

Kanzaki?:  Fooling the rich ojou-sama from the moment of introduction

Kanzaki?: J-U-S-T L-I-K-E H-A-Y-A-T-E-K-U-N

Kanzaki?: But you really intended to kidnap her. Even using the sweetheart angle.

Hayate: That's wrong! I wasn't! I wasn't fooling her!!

Kanzaki?: But you know it was a misunderstanding don't you?

Hayate: I do know but...!!

Hayate: I didn't confess to her, I needed money and I wanted to kidnap her. That's a fact but...

Hayate: It's definitely a misunderstanding but... I never intended to fool her!!

Nagi: A misunderstanding...?

Nagi: That you loved me...

Hayate: o...ojou-sama...

Nagi: I see... so it was my misunderstanding...

Hayate: Ojou-sama!!
Is it strange that I don't hate Hayate's mom and actually agree with her here?
Hayate's mom grabs him and prevents him from chasing Nagi.

Hayate: Let me go! Let me go!

Hayate: Why? Why do you always do such cruel things...!!

Kanzaki?: The fault isn't mine, is it?

Kanzaki?: This is all your fault. Repent for your sin.

Nagi: Maria! Maria! Help me!

Nagi: It's a big problem... Hayate ... isn't ... with me...

Nagi: It wasn't love...

Nagi: Maria... why aren't you here?

Hayate: ojou-sama you know...

Nagi: Don't come near me, liar!

Nagi: Hayate, you liar! What do you mean you're going to protect your ojou-sama!!

Nagi: I wish you were gone! I wish it was Maria here right now!

Hayate: That's wrong! That's wrong!

Hayate: It's true that the result is that I fooled you but truly...

Hayate: I wanted to protect you...!! Truly, I...

Nagi: So... does that mean you love me...!

Nagi: That you loved me....


Nagi and Hayate in tears looking at each other

Nagi: That was all a lie! a lie! a lie! Everything was a lie! Everything... (Jewel lights up)
Nagi! Nagi! Mai little Nagi! Don't cry, my baby!


Hayate: Ojou-sama!!

King's Jewel Explodes

Text: Hayate's thoughts and Nagi's wish for all the lies. And then---!!

I have two extreme reactions to this chapter. On one hand, seeing Nagi so miserable here... MAI POOR LITTLE BABY! WHY HATA! WHY MUST YOU PUT HER THROUGH THIS!

On the other hand, the implications towards the ending of this chapter puts a huge smile on my face. That's right folks, there's no getting off this train now... unless you just drop the manga~

Well, the full chapter reveals some interesting things and helps me put things better into context. Two things I've noticed:
Nagi just needs a hug right now.
1. Hayate said so much more when he revealed the whole misunderstanding to Nagi. It really has a lot more impact with the full thing said. Also, his mother is really, really evil. She even prevented him from chasing after Nagi immediately.

2. Nagi also said a whole lot more than I expected. Her saying that she wanted Maria to be with her and not liar Ayasaki is really what triggered Hayate's not so manly tears.

Hayate's tears from Nagi's wrath... so delicious~

3. Hayate was trying to say something while explaining why he wanted to protect Nagi. He kinda stopped when Nagi asked him if he loved her... but what was he trying to say there exactly... :)?

Well, I dunno when the next chapter comes out now... coz it wasn't shown. Hopefully, it's next week coz things are getting so exciting.

Kanzaki = Not Yukariko
I've been trying to disprove the Kanzaki = Yukariko theory for a while. I guess some people see this as the last stand for a non Hayate x Nagi pairing at the end so we can go with a happy family end instead. Well, that ain't happening now. Kanzaki wasn't who she said she was all right!

Fanart Corner: It was my birthday on the 20th and... I even got a belated greeting from Hata~ (I let him know it was my birthday via a Nagi doll pic tweet). Anyway, featuring some fanart that some online friends drew for me here. The last one is mine.

Fanfic Corner: Instead of thinking too deeply about the implications of this manga now that we're near the end, I thought I'd dial it back a little and enjoy the show. Here's a scenario I thought up based on this chapter:
Nagi is sucked into the Royal Garden
Hayate tries going in after her but is quickly rejected
by Nagi herself
Hayate goes down on his hands and knees. Moar salty tears come down
He stands up, looks at his trembling fingers
Hayate: In the end... these hands couldn't protect anyone... not even the most important person... not even..
Hayate: Uwaaa! (gets kicked from behind)
Hina: What do you think you're doing!
Athena: You're not even going to go after her? I didn't fall in love with such a pathetic excuse for a man
Hayate: Hinagiku-san... A-tan....
Hayate; But I can't... she knows... about the misunderstanding... she hates me now.
Athena: You really are dense, aren't you?
Ayumu: Hayate-kun... Nagi chan would never hate you
Ayumu: She's in pain right now... she's suffering, but she would never hate you... and even if it looks like she does... I know that she really doesn't!
Ayumu: Just because she hates you doesn't mean she does!
Hayate: Still... I have no right to go after her... not when I don't love her...
Hinagiku: (bitchslaps Hayate)
HInagiku: Why did I fall in love with such a whiny loser...
Hayate: Hinagiku-san...?
Hinagiku: That's right! You heard me! I'm in love with you and I still am! But... when I looked into your eyes. I knew dammit! I knew that you only had eyes for her! That's why... that's why... don't say such cruel things like "you never loved her."
Athena: We loved each other once... so I know this is true as well.
Ayumu: We all know...
Izumi: Hayata-san is crying... so much right now, but so is Nagi-chan... so, the solution is simple
Mikado: Didn't I tell you once? Use that stone, Hayate Ayasaki. Use it to prove to me that it's the stubborn, hard workers who win out in the end.
Hayate: (flashback Nagi montage)
Hayate: I see... I... am a fool...
Hayate: I couldn't see something that was just right in front of my eyes. I spent all this time denying it...
Hayate: I see... all along... from the moment we met... I... like her....
path to royal garden magically opens~
everyone: Go to her
Athena: The person whom you love more than anything else in this world... the person who loves you more than anything else in this world... she's waiting
well... that's it for now
?? really ripe for some juicy drama this story is

but yeah, I think Hayate will need one more final push from everyone

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hayate 561 Partial but Major Spoilers (I LOVE SPOILERS!)

Ok guys... these are not complete yet, but we learn several things:

1. Kanzaki = probably Hayate's mom and has been deceiving Nagi all the time

2. Hayate's parents are still up to no good

3. The misunderstanding has finally been unveiled. Nagi's crying, Hayate's crying... but it's still Hayate's fault! You couldn't protect her smile at all, Ayasaki!

Hayate's dad

Chiharu: Wa... father?

Chiharu: This guy is your father? The guy who left you with that 150 million yen debt?

Chiharu: But wait... then that story of redeveloping this neighborhood...

Chiharu: Complimenting this apartment and being kind to Nagi!?

Shun: Yup

Shun: That was a lie, of course.

Chiharu: o_o

Shun: Hayate, I heard you were having fun with your rich ojou-sama.

SHun: From observing you, I was able to collect some interesting info.

Shun: But you were here in such a place, huh? I'm such a failure.Such a failure

Hayate: What failure! Look how much I've gone through because of you and mother!

Hayate: Come to think of it.. where's mother?

Hayate: Dad is collecting info so mom must be...

Hayate has a flashback about Kanzaki

Hayate: C-could it be...

Dad: ;) You're as dull as ever, aren't you?

Nagi and Kanzaki's portion
Nagi: Why do they all go away? Why does everyone close to me go away?

Kanzaki?: Isn't that because... no one loves you?

Nagi: ...... eh?

Kanzaki?"  For example, that guy you always talk about... your butler, Hayate?

Kanzak?: You said he confessed to you on Christmas eve but...

Kanzaki (Hayate's mother), Hayate and Nagi 

Kanzaki?: Why? You're the same, aren't you?

Kanzaki?:  Fooling the rich ojou-sama from the moment of introduction

Kanzaki?: J-U-S-T L-I-K-E H-A-Y-A-T-E-K-U-N

Hayate: !!!   

Hayate: Wait, who's fooling someone with his introduction...

Hayate: I'm not fooling her! It's a misunderstanding!

Nagi: That you loved me...

Hayate: o...ojou-sama...

Nagi: Aha... ahahaha...

Nagi: A misunderstanding...? ah... ahahahahahaha!

Later inside her room:

Nagi: It wasn't love...

Nagi: Maria... why aren't you here?

Hayate: ojou-sama you know...

Nagi: Don't come near me, liar!

Nagi: That you loved me....

Nagi and Hayate in tears looking at each other

Nagi: That was all a lie! a lie! a lie! Everything was a lie! Everything... (Jewel lights up)

My English version of the Hayate x Nagi pages/DA BOMB!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 560: Final Chapter 12: Broken Mirror -- Synopsis and Review

I like how desperate Hayate is to search for Nagi in this chapter. Also, broken mirror seems to be an allusion to the sinking of S.S. Hamster.

We're at December 23, apparently. One day to go in the story before the big finale... and I'm not sure if Shun kidnapped Nagi or if she ran away on her own. I'd like to believe it was her choice to disappear. We'll see...

The final chapter of THEIR STORY, fools!

Synopsis: Final Chapter 12: Broken Mirror

At Hakuo Academy and Hisui's Final Battle

SOmehow, it's finally finished

Isumi: With this, we can stalk whoever opens the path to the Royal Garden from here.


Sakuya: Ah yeah, we can definitely get some detailed info with this but... is this ok?

Isumi: Why, wazzup?

Isumi: It's fine. There's nothing we can't see using this right now. We'll definitely see when the path opens.

Sakuya: It's not about that. This is the finale so let's not carried away, k?

Sakuya: But, you can see inside, but what about communication?

Isumi:S'wright, We got that too. We'll be using that.

Sakuya: ....

Hayate's so happy to see dad again~
Sakuya: Is this thing safe?

Isumi: S'awright. using this, you can speak directly through your consciousness.

Sakuya: I see but... sorry for complaining but I dun get it.

Isumi: Anywayz, just try the earphones on.

Sakuya: oh, sugoi! The words are echoed directly from your head.

Isumi: and with this helmet on, the output is increased.

Sakuya: Oh, I'm getting an image. This is some great VR stuff.

Isumi: Anywayz, Hayate should have one of these earphones too.

Sakuya: yearh

A-tan: We can even find our enemy's location.

Ayumu: Ha... tomorrow is Christmas Eve huh?

Ayumu: Hakuo Academy's Christmas Party is coming up huh?

A few days ago...

Ayumu: Eh, a Christmas Party to lift Nagi-chan's spirits?

Hina: Well, it's not just that but...

Chiharu: It turned into something big.

Hina: Will you come, Ayumu? YOu're more than welcome.

Ayumu: Eh?

Chiharu: Ruka's coming too.
This is a normal greeting in the Ayasaki Household.
Ayumu: Th-thank you but I... have prior engagements.

Ayumu: What should I do... I wonder.

Ayumu: No... there's nothing that I can do.

Hayate: Nishizawa-san!

Hayate: Sorry, but about Christmas Eve...

Ayumu: There's Nagi-chan's party at Hakuo, right?

Hayate: Eh? Ah, yeah, that's it.

Hayate: And I don't think I can go with you guys.

Hayate: Sorry...

Ayumu: Eventually... things fall into place.

Many things have happened over the past year. On that day that I went looking for Hayate-kun, that was the day that Hayate-kun met Nagi-chan for the fisrt time.

Eventually, the future came closer.

Athena's flashback: When I looked into his eyes, I understood. I was no longer reflected in his eyes.

Ayumu: It's ok. Do your best to cheer up Nagi-chan. Have fun!

Ayumu: Anyway, I'll be going back to my Parents' home for Christmas Vaction. Bye Bye, Hayate-kun!

Ayumu: I wonder what it was... I wonder what it was about this past year for me...

Ruka: Now everyone! Lez get excited!

Fumi: Uwaaa! Sharna-chan Sharna Chan! Somehow, this is really exciting!

Fumi: I gotta take a pic of me with this bamboo sword or somethin (dunno what she's talkin about but it's some nonsense)

Sharna: Stahp it... just stahp!


Miki: Someone had to be santa, right?

Izumi: Hina-chan kawaii!

Chiharu: Dude, we even got fireworks now?

Kayura: Dat overflowing wealth!


Hayate: She said she'd go to the bathroom but she suddenly disappeared!

Hina: Eh? How about her phone!?

Hayate: I can't get through to it.

Kayura: Maybe she went home?

Chiharu: I guess it's possible.

Chiharu: It can't be helped. I'll check the apartment. Ayasaki, you go to the mansion.

Hayate: HAI!

Hayate: Ojou-sama...

Klaus: This is bad! I know where Hisui is!

Athena: Eh?

Mikado: Well, spill it! Where?


Himegami: Once, that old man used that unlucky guy's misfortune to open the road.

Hisui: In this party, there's bound to be such a person, right?

Isumi: A friggin airship?

Mikado: Not only that... that is...

Hisui: Well then are you comin?
Hisui: Oh hai guyz? Didja miss me?
Himegami: I suppose

Inside of that thing is the king's jewel

It can collect an innumerable amount of negative emotions therefore...

Butler guy: Sakuya-sama! That king's jewel above is opening the path!

Sakuya in virgin-killing sweater: WHAT!?

Isumi: They're forcing it open---

Peoples: Uwaaa...

Peoples 2: wtf is that?

Saki: Projection mapping?

Wataru: Awesome...

Hisui: Well then, sorry to barge in~

Isumi: I shall exterminate thee!

Hayate: Ojou-sama!

Hayate: ..... she's not here...

Hayate: Chiharu-san... how about there?

Chiharu: Well over here... 

Shun: Well, well... isn't it the party today?

Chiharu: Ah...

Chiharu: Well, Nagi disappeared...

Shun: Eh? Well, that's not good.

Shun: If that's the case, then I'll help look too.
Hayate's dad totally deserved it...maybe?
Chiharu: Thanks, sorry for the bother.

Hayate: Chiharu-san, where's ojou-tama~?

Chiharu: Ayasaki-kun... this is-

Hayate: Chiharu-san: OUTTA THE WAY!

Chiharu: Eh?

Chiharu: Wait...

Chiharu: What are you doing, Ayasaki kun?

Hayate: What am I doing?

Chiharu: Hah?

Hayate: What are you... what are you doing here...

Hayate: What have you done, dad!

Chiharu: ...... eh....?

Shun: Ah... I've been found out.

Text: Together with Chiharu is... Hayate's dad? Next issue: SHOCK!

All right... kid's gloves off. The other ships have no qualms about criticizing our ship left and right, so I'm gonna speak my mind without reservations as well in this review -- not that I plan to criticize other ships though. We're better than that -- we've always been.

Well, we're certainly moving at a fast pace. From December 10 in the previous chapter, it would seem we're already at December 23 if we go by Ayumu's declarations.

Anyway, several important things were revealed in this chapter. First of all...

Called It On Redevelopment/Real Estate Guy = Shun Ayasaki

Like I predicted in chapter 555, The real estate guy trying to buy the Violet Mansion for his company really was Shun Ayasaki AKA Hayate's dad... as Hayate has so accurately PUNCHED the statement home in this chapter.
Ahem... I love it when I'm right~
Now it's pretty easy to take a wild guess and say that Nagi's disappearance was because Shun kidnapped her, but I don't really think so. I'd like to believe that Nagi willed herself to "disappear" from Hayate's sight for a while. For what reasons? Well, there are a number of possible reasons, but let's wait for the manga to clarify this point.

The reason I want to believe this is partly because I want Shun Ayasaki to be a reformed man... or at least one who is trying in this manga. I mean, if an assassin who killed hundreds of people in the Tokugawa Era could reform himself as a mild-mannered defender of justice in the Meiji Era... why can't Hayate's parents -- or at least his dad do the same?

The other reason is because of a theory put out first by meandanime in the comments section: Hayate might learn about forgiveness from Nagi's love for him. Recall Nagi's closing statements in CTMEOY: 

"When you're together, there will always be misunderstandings, but real love doesn't succumb to misunderstandings. Forgiving someone and being forgiven. That's what binds people together... and that's what the story is all about."

In other words, I want Nagi to have one last moment of awesome before this manga ends... and I'm sure Hata-sensei won't disappoint in this regard.

To Forgive And Be Better For It

Also, even if Hayate's dad hasn't reformed, I still want Hayate to learn to forgive him... from Nagi. After all, that's one way of moving on -- a concept that many people have a hard time coming to terms with. Forgiveness isn't about the other person, it's about Hayate himself accepting that what has happened (some things when broken can never be repaired) is the past and that he is better than his past self. This would also prove that his dad -- his parents, can no longer affect him, no matter what they do, they have no more power over him: this is what forgiveness is all about.

On "Hata-Sensei" Is Rushing It
Based on the pacing of the last few chapters, there is definitely that rushed feel to the story -- but let's not condemn Hata for something he hasn't done yet -- and that is: write an unsatisfactory ending. Just because the story seems rushed right now doesn't mean that at least the core plot (core story IMO being what happens to Hayate and Nagi and not your King's Jewel's intricacies, sorry) won't be resolved satisfactorily.

I believe based on ma-- errr... some anonymous commenter's response that there is still time to set off the "bomb between them" and go into a final "within the Royal Garden" mini-arc to end things with a bang.

Truth be told, there are lots of ways that Hata can botch this up, but right now, he still hasn't -- so let's not condemn him for it. If you truly support this manga, let's stop the hate. (especially the hate against OUR ship)

On Kanzaki = Yukariko With Amnesia
There is some faint possibility to this theory -- but I would call this sort of development quite cheap. It would also destroy all the developments so far with Nagi's independence and Maria's acknowledgment of said independence with her act of departure... which brings me to my next point.

On Maria's "Irresponsible" Departure

On one hand, based on Nagi's current depression, we could call Maria's sudden unannounced departure quite irresponsible. On the other hand, another way of seeing it is that she is the one who has been closest to Nagi -- arguably even more than Hayate. She has witnessed Nagi's incredible growth and transformation over the past year. So definitely, she probably knows Nagi a lot more than we give her credit for. It might seem like her decision was irresponsible right now, but it can also be seen as her final act of trust and acknowledgment of Nagi's growth. She trusts that Nagi will be fine even if she does this. Yes, she might have to cope with the pain of loss for a while, but Nagi has already proven her strength of character  -- and perhaps this is what spurred Maria's decision to leave; because she had faith that her ward is much better than most people give her credit for -- much better than most readers of this manga give her credit for.

Just because Nagi looks depressed right now doesn't mean she's totally regressed to the way she was in the past. People don't work that way. I trust Hata-sensei at least knows this much. If you've been reading this manga for years, shouldn't you at least put a little faith in the author when he hasn't even finished it yet?

I am presenting another side of the coin -- another way of interpreting her actions. How you view it is up to you -- I choose to be positive. You may blame Hata for being a horrible, horrible writer all you like if it helps you sleep better at night.

Something I Didn't Notice Before

Credits to Roop Banerjee for finding this. This is great stuff and is based on things actually in the manga as opposed to interpretations of stuff in the manga -- which a lot of people seem to have a habit of doing.

" I just realized that for every romantic moment that hayate has spent with the girls, there has been a parallel moment that he spent with nagi. The rooftop scene with hinagiku at the clocktower is similar to the rooftop scene with nagi at sakuya's house. After the conclusion of ruka arc, the moment hayate spent with ruka was similar to the one he spent with nagi. Even the titles of the chapters were the same." - Roop Banerjee January 26, 2017 at 6:24 AM

Chapters 58,145,146 (Distance)
Chapters 430 and 432 (Shining Brightly)
Chapters 218 and 459 (Stone of Bonds)
There are many more examples like this as well as chapters with almost same titles.
Chapter 427 (No Regrets) and Chapter 537 (Last Regrets)
Chapter 2 (In English, Unmei means destiny) and Chapter 280 (Destiny)
Chapter 211 (Radical Dreamers) and Chapter 538 (Forever Dreamer)

Bye, Hamster! You were a nice Hamster till the end.
Sinking Ayumu's Ship

Ayumu's ship was sunk rather unceremoniously. Also, she gave the nod to Nagi by thinking about Athena's words and making the connection that Hayate met Nagi on the day that Ayumu went searching for him. By the way, Christmas Eve is the most romantic day in Japan. I think we have more than enough of these "random moments" which seem to be meant to develop the groundwork for Hayate x Nagi --- to at least speculate that these are actually NOT SO RANDOM MOMENTS intentionally written in by Hata-sensei and intentionally littered throughout key moments in the manga.

Yes, Hayate never saw Nagi as a romantic prospect in any of these moments -- AGAIN, must I repeat myself over 9000 times that this is an intentional plot design intended to distinguish Nagi from everyone else? The ROMANTIC GROUNDWORK or SCAFFOLDING or SUPPORT PILLARS or FOUNDATION or whatever the fudge you want to call it, doesn't necessarily have to consist of lovey dovey moments of Hayate going all gaga for Nagi (this is me, btw). They just have to logically lay out the FRAMEWORK for an ending that supports the assumption that Oh... I dunno... maybe...perhaps...somewhat...by some twist of fate... Hayate might see Nagi as a girl sometime? Yeah, that's all we Nagi shippers need. Not the lovey dovey ideal moments of smoochie woochies that you have in your head as the ideal "ONE TRUE LOVE" scenario.

Hayate Doesn't Know How He Feels About Nagi

Again, this has been going on since the level 5 arc. Hayate felt that something was off about their relationship. The narration explicitly said that "they lack love." More accurately, they lacked reciprocal romantic love because Hayate never reciprocated Nagi's romantic love for him.

So right now, again, I present another side of the same coin. You say that Hayate only sees Nagi as a sister? I say Hayate doesn't know how he feels about Nagi because he's never reflected on her initial "confession" through her manga and even after knowing about the misunderstanding through Chiharu. Hayate is being evasive about Nagi's feelings and that is why we see all these moments of confusion from him. You say it's only because he feels guilty? My friend, what a wonderful story you have in your head... I'm being sarcastic, just in case you don't get it.

On Hisui's Attack

One thing that surprised me about Hisui's attack is that we all thought that the final battle already happened -- but it seems she really didn't do anything until now.

Also, it's very surprising that Hisui hasn't considered the possibility that Nagi could open the path. She's had Yozora stalking Nagi and company since forever, so one would think she might know about the misunderstanding -- but this doesn't look to be the case. Either that or she doesn't want to hurt Nagi in the process of acquiring everything for herself.

In any case, it looks like she's almost succeeding in opening the path to the Royal Garden -- now... there does not seem to be an "explosion of negative emotions" just yet, so Nagi and Hayate's own bomb is still set to go off. Nagi still has that King's Jewel that Wataru gave her after all.


To end things on a positive note, I'd like to believe that Hayate no Gotoku! Is actually a formulaic love story -- something that people coming in with all kinds of unrealistic expectations can't seem to accept. IMO it's a lot closer to stuff like Urusei Yatsura and Inu Yasha from Rumiko Takahashi. There can be ships, but the author makes it clear who the one true pair should be from the start. Reading back on Hayate no Gotoku! The key moments of awesome are always reserved for Nagi and Hayate always treats Nagi special (YES I know you'll hit me with your plates of platonic again) and I mean very special when compared to all the other ROMANTIC PROSPECTS in his life. This HAS to be intentional somehow if it's been happening since the start of the manga, right?

Anyway, I'd like to believe that amidst the fan pandering of the Prisma Illya's and the Yuri on Ice's, the full-blown harem antics of the To Love Ru's and the Nisekoi's, there is still a place for the simple boy meets girl love story with a little twist that is Hayate no Gotoku!

Fanart Corner: Yeah, I've got quite a few today including another one drawn for me for Valentine's day by Denzil.

Thanks again, Denzil! I can only dream that she'd even look my way~

I'm buying this figure when it's available. PREORDER OF COURSE!

Nagi makin this virgin-killing sweater look cute~

AMV Corner: I'm adding in this AMV made by a friend of mine here. It's so rare to see a Hayate x Nagi AMV after all.

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...