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.

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...