Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hayate Reflections: What Hayate No Gotoku! Meant For Me -- A Guest Post By Mellhurst

Ok, lordcloudx here with a little intro first. First of all, I finally got my limited edition volumes 51-52 (preordered from CDAsia delayed by local post office service  :P). There's a whole lot of content in the extra books, but anyway, I'm only interested in the HayaNagi bits. Seems Maria's got an entire backstory with some new characters even in her extra story in the special limited edition books. Not that I'm interested... not even a little bit~

I'm not sure if the final volumes deserve a full review, really. They're just pieces of extra content thrown in by Hata. Anyway, it's worth noting that in vol. 52, there's a little epilogue showing Maria about to go off and meet up with Hayate and Nagi to collect her birthday/Christmas present.

Before that, Chiharu and Kayura have a conversation wherein Chiharu speculates that Maria might have bet on a 1% chance that Hayate and Nagi would get through everything on their own but she's not certain. Kayura replies that it's fine because in the end, Maria won the gamble.

Also, there's a little bit of an editorial section in the extra books featuring Hata's thoughts on the HayaNagi ending and Hinagiku's last scene. The wording is a bit different, but it's basically the same stuff he mentioned in his backstage blog. I still love how he says it though:
Nagi's height as a 16 year-old is so inconsistent.

"He is no longer a butler, just an ordinary boy. She is no longer a rich ojou-sama, just an ordinary girl. I don't know if they will be happy in the future. No one can tell, but their story has become an ordinary, boring one. A story that is special only to two people. This is the manga's true ending in my mind. Beyond this there is nothing more to write."

The headline also goes: "The manga may have ended but the story of these two's lives will continue.

He also mentions how 16 year old Nagi has become an attractive girl who is no longer incompetent, but that there was something special about the 13 year old Nagi as well. No longer will Hayate ever have to complain about her selfish, whimsical ways... but there was something golden about those times. (yeah, he pretty much said this in Backstage too.)

Also, for Hayate's future, he starts a business using his mad hosting skillz or somethin to that effect. Nagi became a popular girl in school coz she's pretty, cute, athletic, and kind. Hata describes her as the rich ojou-sama who became an ordinary girl. Also, she didn't give up on her mangaka dream -- although she's a lot more realistic now. Seems she won an award or somethin for her manga too. Yay~

Finally, on the cardboard cover behind the glossy outer covering of vol. 52, there's a HayaNagi doodle with Hayate asking Nagi if they should kiss since it's the finale. To which, Nagi could only reply with a "hah?" Also, they're both blusing... cute~

Hater logic for this image:
1. It's just added on at the back, it's not canon.
2. He's just trying to be funny. It's not romantic at all.
(take your pick)
Well, with that said, I leave you with this Hayate Reflection by Mellhurst:

Mellhurst's Portion Starts After This Heading

To me, the story of HnG became about Nagi.

Not because that’s how I started reading it. Initially I cared most for Hayate.
No, it was rather because I am much like Nagi. As a friend of mine said, many of us who would read a manga consistently for years and years would likely share many of Nagi’s traits.

She is kind and talented, but fickle, with low impulse controls. A pretty little darling with a poor temper and a fiery heart.

Like many of us, she struggles in life. In her case it would be because her mother decided to have a child, knowing she’d only live till her 30s, and then her first personal butler abandoned her.

Then she outgrew her foster mother, who considered her an adult at the age of 14, and left to pursue her own life.

Thankfully,Hayate came into her life. She saved his life because she could. He in turn repaid it with endless devotion.

Much like every central character in HnG, Hayate was looking for a place to belong and people to love. Cast out of the Garden Palace after a misunderstanding he was unable to further serve Athena. For that matter, could he really rely on his brother in the end? The lifeguard who made it clear he would put the ideals of protecting the weak ahead of Hayate, even if he was his brother?

To Hayate, his relationship with Nagi was always one of love. Not Eros, but Agape. Like most forms of love it began with a transaction, he loved her because Nagi cared for him, but it quickly became his guiding principle in life. Athena taught him, both in practice and in theory that a man was to protect a woman with his life and provide for her financially. Hayate’s expression of love for Nagi was absolute in that he would sacrifice his life for her, because she was the second person in his life to care for him beyond anything else.

He would eventually also fall into Eros with her, but Hayate had been in limerence with Nagi since the very first time she paid for him in cold, hard cash.
Nagi on the other hand fell for Hayate at first sight, the connection deepening as he took a car to the head for her. Yet her feelings needed time to grow. But every time her love wavered, she reaffirmed it, giving up her wealth in Greece when she crushed the stone. She finally decided to trust fully in Hayate’s feelings during the Level 5 school trip, giving up emotionally on the debt that bound them. In the end he became the single guiding point of her life as she fell into despair upon learning that she might not be able to spend her whole life with him and share everything. Yet when Hayate reaffirmed his devotion to her she was quickly ready to return with him.

The romantic comedy, the delightful romcom that was the bread and butter of Hayate the Combat Butler, was in the end a coda. It was a romance all along.

Fanart Corner

Lordcloudx here again. Here's this week's fanart. Got another reply from Hata-senpai for these. Always, happy to get noticed by senpai~
With that said, see you next week~
They did promise to do this after all~

Watercolors on Ink... I kinda like how clean this came out. Almost looks digitally drawn.

Thanks to Bill Plunderbones for the idea behind this 4koma.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting For The Final Volumes of Hayate

Yeah... well, my limited edition copies are still in transit right now so, nothing to talk about this wednesday... but, it's become a tradition on this blog to post something Hayate-related on a wednesday, so I had to put something up.

With that said, this can't be filed under my usual Hayate Reflections at all because I'm not reflecting on anything or even analyzing anything at all this week... at least not while I don't have my copies of the final volumes and the extra books just yet.

So uh, why don't I talk a bit about my plans for the future of this blog?

1. Hayate Reflections

This is something that just sort of came out of the blue. Bear with it. A lot of my ideas are quite spontaneous. Anyway, I plan to do a Hayate Reflections post every Wednesday from now on wherein I (or some guests) reflect on the characters, specific chapters or some other aspect of Hayate no Gotoku!

2. Samantha and The Pieces of A Heart

This is my latest original fiction story. It's a 7-chapter story that I plan to release by next week, so watch out for it! It's already been written and I'm just editing it a bit and doing a few illustrations here and there. It's going to be a children's story that should have some significance for adults as well, so I hope you read it.

3. Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger

I've abandoned this story some time ago... but it's really not quite done yet. I should start it up again sometime. It's a good writing exercise.

4. Skip Beat

I promised someone that I'd pick up on this manga. I might blog it if I get some time and manage to catch up to the latest chapters.

5 Translation Projects

Someone asked me to translate one particular light novel. I'm not sure how well I'll be able to do it, but I'll try to make some slow and steady progress on this once things quiet down a bit after I'm done with these finale volumes of Hayate.

Fanart Corner: Well, here are this week's pieces. They're not much, really, but... here ya go:
This is a rescan because the colors didn't come out right last time

It's all about this pic with Nagi next to the painting and not the painting itself :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hayate Reflections: How Did Ikusa Become Rich? And Site Related Stuff

Hayate: Why are elder siblings so much better at everything?

So we all know that Hayate's brother Ikusa Ayasaki can perfectly cosplay as a seductive female while actually being a man with six-pack abs... how that works, we'll never know because Hata doesn't seem to care that much about Ikusa... and frankly, neither do I.

Well anywayz, one question that's been bugging me since he had his own arc is that he's apparently really rich. Like, the guy owns a five star hotel which he named after himself. So... assuming that he didn't just get rich by luck, how could he have become so successful. Based on what we've been shown of him, he seems to be all physical and not very sharp. I wouldn't say that he's an idiot, but he seems very likely to be the type of person who solves things with his fists. So... this got me thinking:

"How did Ikusa become rich?" 

Of course, while talking to Roop Banerjee, she actually had the perfect answer.

As we all know, Ikusa has a very muscular physique, but more importantly, we hardly ever see him wearing a shirt. Well, that's because he only owns two shirts according to himself when Ayumu asked him. So there we have Ikusa Ayasaki's secret to success: he saved money by not buying shirts!

Haha, ok just a little something to maybe get a laugh out of you as we await the final two volumes of Hayate coming this weekend and their corresponding additional content. Personally, I'm quite satisfied with the ending, but seeing the covers for volumes 51 and 52 does get me a bit excited though.

Now, on to other things

The End of 365 Nagi 

I've been participating in a daily photo project along with a few others on tumblr for the past year. Well, today happens to be the final day. I did it! 365 days of daily pictures featuring my Nagi dolls and figures.

Here's the website:

I can only speak for myself, but making my subject matter the love of my life really made it quite an easy task. It never felt like a burden at any point and on most days, I'd actually snap several pictures and felt tempted to post them all instead of choosing just one pic.
 I now officially own every commercial Nagi figure ever created -- limited editions and all. I also have copies of several of these figures just in case.

So what's next for this project? Time for 365 Nagi overdrive! I'm going to take pics beyond 365 but no longer constrained by the daily picture obligation nor will I limit myself to only one picture per day. Nagi's still got a huge wardrobe to try on and I've got quite a few amusing ideas to try out, so watch out for it!

Samantha and The Pieces of A Heart

I've been writing a new children's story lately and I'm just about ready to end it. Currently writing the final chapter. I think it will be quite different from the usual fare but pretty much standard for me. I've you've ever read any of my works before like Wings, Fade, Allusions and Hikari's Ribbon, then you'll know what to expect. Also, no... this is not a visual novel. Speaking of which, I've decided to upload a full video playthrough of the full 4-chapter version of A Million Promises on youtube. Right now the videos are set to private, but I might make them public someday.

For now, here's the first chapter of Samantha and the Pieces of A Heart. I'll probably finish this story no later than next week:

Art Corner
Well... I decided to mix in some art that doesn't involve Nagi along with the usual fanart. So I'll leave ya with these and I'll see you again soon. I'll definitely be posting next week, of course~:

This is my largest scale and probably most detailed drawing to date. Rendered in Faber Castell Classic Colored Pencils on a 10x15" illustration board
Nagi rendered in Watercolors
Cherry Blossoms... coz they're super easy to paint but look really impressive

My sister and niece

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Chiharu Harukaze -- The Character I Came Closest To Hating

If there is one thing that Hata has been criticized for, it's that he introduced so many characters into the story that some of them were basically useless. Off the top of my head, there's Hisui Hatsushiba, Ruri Tsugumi, Yozora Housen, Kananiwa, and Android Shii (or Android Elle if you prefer).

Also, because there were so many characters, most of them never got a chance to become fully developed even though the manga ran for 568 chapters. In the end, the story was just about Hayate and Nagi and the focus of the finale obviously went in that direction -- to the disappointment of many fans who were hoping for more of a closure to many of their favorite characters and who saw a lot of wasted potential. Yeah, I get your gripes guys... that doesn't mean I agree with them though.

Now with that said, I think most of you would agree with me that Hata's characters (apart from Hayate's parents who were basically made to be hated) are pretty hard to really hate -- right?

Anyway, the one character that I really came close to hating was actually Chiharu Harukaze. The reason for this being that I really, really disagreed with the way she was pushing Nagi in the mangaka arc. I didn't like her seemingly high and mighty attitude at that time. Thinking that she knew better and trying to force Nagi to improve.

Well, if you were thinking of arguing with me because of the previous paragraph, you can stop. I was wrong -- completely wrong. This has been really proven in the last few chapters of the manga. Chiharu wasn't being high and mighty with Nagi at all -- rather, she was one of the few characters who actually respected Nagi and treated her as more than a kid. I never realized it until that moment when she gave Hayate a big fat slap (which he deserved, I might add) when she learned about the misunderstanding with Nagi. Now I won't say that she was in the right to slap Hayate here or that she was doing it for the right reasons -- but really, that's beside the point. What that moment confirmed for me is that Chiharu never took Nagi lightly and that she really did think of Nagi as a good friend rather than some kind of little sister character to be pampered and coddled.

In my opinion, she was one of the few people who treated Nagi the way she always wanted to be treated -- as someone capable of taking care of herself. This one is easy to confirm: in chapter 568, note how Nagi thanks Hayate (while he's not around) because he doesn't protect her anymore.

While we're on the subject of chapter 568, after the 2 year timeskip, we see that Chiharu is still living together with Nagi in the now renovated and repurposed Violet Mansion. Sure, she may be doing it out of necessity, but the back and forth banter between her and Nagi shows that she really was Nagi's friend through and through.

So yeah, I totally read Chiharu's character wrong and admittedly, that's because I was personally overprotective of Nagi that I didn't want to see someone "bullying" her.

Still, Chiharu is the character that I came closest to hating in this series. As for Hayate's parents... I can't say that I personally hate them. It's like, you can't hate a cockroach, you simply crush it beneath your feet if it gets in your way. It's that simple.

With that said, I leave you with some fanart of Nagi for now (ink and watercolors on drawing paper) See you next week for sure~

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Orca Toys Sanzenin Nagi Cat Version White Repaint 1/6 Scale Figure

Greetings! I promised to make this post earlier so here it is. This is going to be a mostly visual blog post showing off my newly acquired Sanzenin Nagi Cat Version (white repaint) by Orca Toys. And really, she is an amazing figure to behold, so instead of talking about it... just take a good long look~

So, here we go:

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...