Hayate The Combat Butler Chatper 558: Last Chapter 10: Thank You, Baby -- Review and Synopsis
|And thank you for writing this manga, Kenjiro Hata-sensei!|
I have some special fanart and other stuff to talk about later, so enjoy the synopsis (if you want) while I organize my thoughts.
Nagi is 14 now... that makes me feel somewhat nostalgic... and she looks absolutely beautiful in that dress.
Also, I'm not sure if it's just a projection of Nagi in her 14th birthday or if it really is a timeskip. Based on the narration, it seems like a timeskip, but just wait for the unofficial scanlations from DKThias or ask someone better in Japanese if they know.
|You are beautiful, no matter what they say, Nagi... and words can't bring you dooown~|
Chiharu, Aika and Hinagiku in the background.
Maria: It's been a long time since the two of us went fishing.
Nagi: Not at all, this is the first time for both of us. Also, this is just
within the mansion.
Maria: Anywayz, do your best or there will be no side dish for today.
Nagi: People still do that?
Nagi: Well, I guess it can't be helped... then, time to go fishing.
Maria: Ah, there it is!
Nagi: Eh? Already?
Maria: Oh, it's pulling hard. This must be a big one!
Maria snags some piece of broken stuffed toy's head.
Maria and Nagi: 0_0
Maria: This looks kinda familiar.
Nagi: Isn't that a character from the amusement park?
Maria: I haven't seen it for a long time. So it died in a place like this.
Nagi: No, no... he's not dead. I'm sure the person who wore it is just fine.
Don't say such ominous things
Maria: It seems various things have been dumped into this lake.
Nagi: Yup, even though it's in my front lawn.
Nagi: Anyway, it's my turn to try.
Nagi: Eh, it seems something appeared
Maria: Eh, really?
Nagi: But it has a weak pull.
Maria: Oh, then maybe it's another piece of debris?
Nagi snags a small damp booklet that says something like "Ultimate Attack"
Maria: Wtf is this?
Nagi: This is the Sanzenin's ultimate deathblow. (I think this is a reference
to the first few chapters of the manga.)
Nagi: Hayate's special move was based on this. Although there was supposed to
be an expansion. It's now a phantom book.
Maria: This place has really become an illegal dumping ground huh?
Nagi: It seems this pond has become the dumping ground for various unfortunate
Nagi: (thinks about some amazon listing for some obscure reference that I dun
get). Surely, this must be illegally dumped!
Maria: Stop it with that line of thought.
Maria: With that said, I'll fish properly this time---
Maria: It's pulling hard!
Nagi: Is it a real fish this time?
Maria: Yes, it's definitely a fish, based on its shadow from what I've seen
from "Fishing King"
Nagi: Isn't it okay to say the name?
Maria: Anyway, this feels like a really fearsome koi
Nagi: Koi? It's been a while hasn't it? It must be a monster fish.
Maria: Whether it can be a side dish or not, I don't know. But for now, I'll
just catch it---
Suddenly, Maria catches Shenron... or some asian dragon at least...
Maria and Nagi: ......
Maria: Well, that is an extremely big Koi isn't it?
Nagi: No, no... where are you even going with this gag?
Maria: Anyway, it hasan't escaped yet. I'll show you I can catch this fish.
Nagi: Eh? No thank you! I don't want such a disgusting fish.
Dragon: kukuku, could it be that you were the one who put a needle in me, you
Nagi: A monologue! This fish is doing a friggin monologue!
Maria: This fish has been living for a long time, hasn't it? It's natural to
develop the ability to speak.
Maria: Anyway, at this rate... this is bad. At this rate, I'll be dragged into
Nagi: Not at all... isn't it about time you let go of that rod?
Maria: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!
Maria: A maid must stake her life on her dishes!
Nagi: T-that much...
Maria: If I get dragged into the water, I will become a very wet maid...
therefore, before that, Nagi!
Maria: Could you go into the water and catch it with your bare hands?
Nagi: I will not! Even though I see it all the time on SUNDAY, I refuse! C'mon
Dragon: Kukuku and in that moment...
Nagi: grabs Maria by the waist
Nagi: In any case, I ... definitely... won't you let it go!
However, you are useless... that's why ---
Both get pulled into the water
Nagi: See? In the end, we both got wet!
Maria: Why is this so muddy anway.
Maria: That's why you should just let go of that rod!
Maria: Well, well, looks like tonight's side dish is nothing.
Nagi: Eh? But I worked hard, please make it!
Maria: But a promise is a promise after all
Nagi: ARRRGH Why are you being so stubborn?
Maria: Well, I think there something in my underwear.
Nagi: Seriously, whose fault is that?
Maria: Fufufu... seriously... you... seriously.
Nagi:This isn't the time to laugh!
Maria: ah... ah...
Maria: That was fun
And so after a month and a half.
Surprisingly, the ordinary days continued.
With Hisui and Himegami's case aside, the maid did not talk about quitting.
The unchanging daily slapstick continued.
But then as promised, she watched me until my 14th birthday.
And then leaving behind a single letter, like the wind, she just disappeared.
Letter: For Nagi
Review: Let me just say that I absolutely loved the pacing of this chapter. It had me teary-eyed by the end... and no one is going to rain on my parade and try to convince me otherwise.
Yes, it wasn't perfect, but it was well done IMO. There are definitely things that could have been improved upon, but personally, I am quite satisfied with what we were given.
|I love how her expression goes with just about anything here.|
It was great to see Maria goofing off and being all childish while Nagi was all serious business. It's a rare role reversal in this series and really drives the point home that Nagi is now a mature, independent girl who can handle herself -- and that Maria herself is still just a teenager who wants to have some fun every once in a while. The contrast in their reactions in this chapter was just magical as well as funny to watch.
With Maria's subtle expression changes, it felt as if she was saying her final goodbyes to us -- the readers. I knew at the point when she looked back at Nagi with those kind eyes that she was probably saying, "this might be the last time, so have a good laugh while you can."
In fact, she does exactly this. I think this is the first time that we have seen Maria laugh so openly in the series. By her own admission, she had a really good time, but more than this, I feel she's also acknowledging Nagi's growth even more -- especially when she sees that it's Nagi, the girl whom she raised like a daughter/little sister all this time, who is now admonishing her for not taking things seriously.
It was a nice intimate moment of bonding between Maria and Nagi. Perhaps they've shared similar moments before (just not fishing), but it was never explicitly shown in this manga until now... and it sets us up perfectly for the next plot twist.
After that time skip to Nagi's 14th birthday, Maria just suddenly disappears leaving a note behind for Nagi.
The implications of that note aren't clear, but what is clear however is that this manga is really ending. For one, I think this is the first time that Nagi has ever acted as a narrator. I had to do a double take when I saw that because it was really off-putting. I've never seen/read Nagi do a narration before -- especially not a serious one like in this chapter.
Maria Looked Like "Fresh 17 Year Old"One thing that I noticed in this chapter was that Maria looked really young. I think it was very intentional on Hata's part given her seemingly carefree attitude here. Her eyes were wide and innocent and she was quite playful -- to the point of annoying Nagi. It might be a "last minute character development," but it was done quite well, in my opinion.
What I Didn't Like
Of course, this chapter wasn't perfect. There seem to be some rumors that Hata is being forced to end this series earlier than expected. Whatever the case may be, I wish him the best of luck. I don't really like following production drama, but I do hope that he does the ending justice.
So what I didn't like: Well, Nagi has foreshadowed since time immemorial that Hayate's birthday -- especially the present that she'd buy him, would be an important event in the manga, but it seems we won't even get to see that. We skipped right to her birthday and Hata didn't even dedicate a chapter to that. While I'm at it, Athena's birthday just flew past without so much as a mention.
I think it's really a lot of wasted potential that we weren't shown Hayate's birthday, but if it speeds the series faster towards its conclusion, then it's ok with me. It's not ideal, but I can accept it.
I'm A Bit Scared
At this point, I'm not really scared for my ship anymore. What I am more scared of however is that Hata will waste even more potential by never having the bomb go off.
"There is a bomb between them." This bomb was always meant to go off and I believe that the best type of ending for this story can only be pulled off this way. But given the precedence that Hata has now set with this chapter, I am a bit apprehensive that it might not happen.
Here I Am, Here We Are
Finally, I'm a bit surprised to read the Japanese comments on Hata's twitter. It seems that they found the scenes really nostalgic and sentimental as well. In fact, Nagi's narration actually seems pretty familiar: the lyrics to "Here I Am, Here We Are" Specifically, I'm referring to this stanza:
I really love you, I really hate you,
What is this habitual magic that allows me to be strong in front of you?
These daily dramatics...
Experiencing these everyday hints from behind you
The tears are about to burst from my face
Fanart Corner: Together with my fanart for this week (Nagi in a virgin-killing sweater drawn just today), I have a special fanart drawn for me by Denzil. It's Nagi with long hair not in twin tails.
Also, if you guys want your fanart or even articles featured here, please do tell me. I'll even let you post on this blog for all your Hayate x Nagi or Hayate-related articles in general.
|She makes this lewd sweater look cute|
|Thanks, Denzil! I love it!|