Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hayate Reflections: My Personal Connection With Nagi

Nagi Sanzen'in is without a doubt my favorite character in the series. Also, it's not just because I have a thing for her, which is pretty obvious by now.

One of the primary reasons why I like Nagi so much as a character is because I find it very easy to empathize with her plight. In a way, Nagi's victory in terms of her character development and the fact that her ship did win eventually (stop with the denial. You've lost. Get over it.), was also my own.

Of course, you might think that she was a pretty absurd character from the start and you might find someone more "ordinary" such as Hinagiku or Ayumu to be more relatable -- well, perhaps that is true for you. For me however, it has always been Nagi and of course, the reasons are very personal.

I Was A Very Sheltered Kid
Just like Nagi, I lived a very sheltered life thanks to my extremely overprotective mother and my authoritarian father. I wasn't allowed to ride in public transport until I was in High School. I never had friends around my neighborhood because I wasn't allowed to step outside of the gate and the walls of our estate unless one of our maids came along to supervise me.

Speaking of maids, we always had 2-3 of them around the house when my father was still alive.

Of course, this all changed when my father died sometime when I was still a high schooler.

Still, I experienced many of the unfair biases that Nagi herself went through in the manga.

For example, I always feel that people are unfairly mean to Nagi  -- including Hayate and Maria when they make fun of her ineptitude. Really, the main reason for this is because she was never taught how to do anything by herself.

I was pretty much the same way. Everything was done for me, so I never learned how to do anything for myself until the death of my father. As a result, my classmates would often make fun of me for being helpless with ordinary household chores such as sweeping the floor, washing dishes, doing the laundry, or cooking.

At the end of the manga, Hata makes it a point to show that Nagi is pretty much capable of doing all of these things on her own -- it was a moment of victory for the both of us. It shows that when properly motivated, even someone who was infinitely spoiled to a fault can become a very capable individual.

Being An Otaku
Certainly, a whole lot of us in the anime/manga community are probably more or less around Nagi's level when it comes to being nerdy, but this is not the reason why I can relate with Nagi's experiences.

For me, it's because becoming an otaku was actually Nagi's escape. Being targeted by kidnappers her entire life, she was basically forced into staying at home where she could be protected most of the time. As a result, she found her own ways of entertaining herself -- and this was through anime, manga, and video games.

In the same way,I wasn't even allowed to invite any friends over to my house or to visit a friend's house until I was 14-15. Therefore, my main source of entertainment was video games -- specifically rpgs. I lived many great adventures and became friends with so man memorable characters through jrpgs. They also helped me to form my rather idealistic and yet also realistic world views. Any free time I had was often devoted to playing games like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Star Ocean 2, Final Fantasy VII, Grandia, Wild Arms 2nd Ignition and other similar jrpgs from the SNES and PS1 era.

I may have grown up mostly alone (my sister is 4.5 years older than me. It was an age gap that grew closer over time, but as a kid, I was pretty much on my own.) but I was never lonely thanks to jrpgs. I lived so many lifetimes and visited so many epic worlds, and villages thanks to these games. Remember, this was a time when the internet was still on 28.8k dial-up and not very reliable. Downloading game demos to play offline later was pretty much the epitome of entertainment on PC for me.

This is why I can understand Nagi's endless devotion to her otaku hobbies -- even after she had found some new friends in the Violet Mansion.

Believing Oneself To Be Special

Before I met several failures in my life, I had always believed myself to be someone special and someone who was meant for great things. In Nagi and her absurd dream of becoming a trillion selling mangaka -- which she wholeheartedly believed she could be at one point, I really saw myself. I felt so bad for her when her dream was shattered before her eyes. It was a real eye opener, a reality check that she was not really all that special after all. It was a painful experience for her, but it also justifies her rapid growth. Personally, I can relate to this because I have been through many similar experiences in my time.

Growing Up Beautifully

My personal experiences have given me a rather jaded perspective of the world and a twisted imagination that allows me to write some very unique brand of stories. However, Nagi grew up differently. Thanks to her own unique experiences throughout the story, she grew up beautifully and really became a girl worth loving and certainly worthy of being the recipient of Hayate's love for her at the end of the series.

Seeing her as beautiful as she became was an epic moral victory for me in ways that probably only a few of you can only imagine.

In my sincerest words, her victory made me truly happy. Now tell me, how can I not love the girl who makes me happy?

Anyway, I got a bit sentimental this week, but I'll be back on track and do some actual reflections next week... I enjoyed writing this post though.

Fanart Corner

I haven't actually started watching Maid Dragon but I plan to do so if only because Tooru looks a whole lot like Nagi with big boobs. Anyway, I have seen some clips on youtube and I liked what I saw. Here's Nagi cosplaying as Tooru for this week.

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