Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hayate Reflections: Culture Gap In Romantic Love

So I watched No Game No Life: 0 yesterday and I really loved it. You can read the full review here.

While watching the movie though, I couldn't help but be reminded of Hayate and Nagi's relationship in Shuvi and Riku. This is because there was actually no hint of sexual attraction whatsoever from Riku for Shuvi from start to finish. He was always fully aware that she was a machine and he never looked at her in a sexual way ever.

Yet at the same time, he wanted her to be his wife and proposed marriage to her -- which she accepted after initially rejecting him. Also, he unequivocally declares that he loves her several times after this and she does so as well at a certain point in the movie.

The thing is, Shuvi is a machine, an ex-machina in the shape of a little girl and she even outright declares during their first meeting that she doesn't have a hole -- even though her initial goal was to engage in the act of reproduction with Riku so that she could understand the human heart.

Anyway, they both declared that they love each other and they got married so they were obviously romantically in love. However, there was still not a single hint of sexual attraction from Riku nothwithstanding his claims that he loves Shuvi.

I was pretty certain that a particular term would come up in the English-speaking fandom and hoo boy was I right. I saw several mentions of "platonic love" and "brotherly love," (you know, what Hayate feels for Maria and what he doesn't feel for Nagi, obviously). And it really boggled my mind to see this. Again, people were making vain protests against all evidence and mainly because of reasons like, "it's creepy." Sigh... here we go again.

Furthermore, I did a quick search for Sora x Shiro and it turns out that people in the English community feel the same way as well. They'd rather have Steph or Jibril (who I feel have very little chance) or no romantic relationship at all than have Sora x Shiro be a thing.

This is when I began to understand something. This is just a hypothesis but -- there is a culture gap between Japan's concept of romantic love in general versus that of the rest of the majority of the rest of the world. This is why it is so hard for many viewers to accept the Hayate x Nagi ending even though the vocal part of the Japanese community (even the ones who were on other ships) were totally fine with it.

Anyway, I personally don't ship Sora x Shiro because Hayate x Nagi is my one and only one true ship and I won't bother with ship wars again.

I just wanted to point out that if you still feel that Hayate x Nagi is "forced" or you have some kind of personal feelings against it -- perhaps you should consider that romantic love is actually not a universal concept and can vary across different cultures -- just saying. Like, consider the notion that if you shipped Athena with Hayate super hard, what if it's like something that you've always wanted since childhood? When you finally get this thing that you want as an adult -- sometimes, it doesn't feel so special anymore -- yeah ponder that because I'll be talking about it at length sometime.

With that said, I leave you with some fanart and I'll see you next week~

Oil Pastels on Paper. Also, this is still a Hayate fanart -- look at the silhouettes and you'll see what I mean.


  1. Sometimes romantic love could just be wanting to stay with someone forever in any way possible, something which many interpreted in hng as hayate considering Nagi as his sister. What hayate felt was something he didn't want to label and he clearly put Nagi in a much higher position than he did the rest of the characters. This might seem to be typical of a butler but who knows what thoughts hayate really had which were kept concealed from us? One slip was that dream hayate had about Nagi. That just shows what he unconsciously desired but had repressed from showing in the waking hours.


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