Hayate The Combat Butler Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Robert Harris
Review Date: Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2007



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kenjiro Hata
Translated by:Yuki Yoshioka & Cindy H. Yamauchi
Adapted by:Mark Giambruno

What They Say
Hayate's new career as a live-in butler for the mega-moneyed Sanzenin family is in full swing, but this job requires more than just mental fortitude and brute strength: he needs to be entertaining too. Whether it's standing up to fire-spewing robots or protecting his mistress's millions from her tycoon grandfather, Hayate must remain calm, composed, and hilarious at all times. The question now is whether Hayate will actually live long enough to pay off his debts... and things aren't looking too good!

The Review
Volume 2 of Hayate is very similar to the first, only more. More characters, more story, more jokes, more references, and it even feels like a longer read. It's hard to argue against it just being better, period, than the first volume. The main �drive� behind the series is introduced amidst the chaos, and while it's nothing especially brilliant (the kind of thing you'd expect from a comedy manga), it give the series some momentum completely separate from the gags.

While the first volume focused on the relationships between Hayate, Nagi and Maria, the second takes that as an established base and starts throwing new characters into the mix. Two of them, Sakuya and Isumi, are relatives of Nagi and play a central role in a number of chapters, and returning characters from the previous volume make some humorous cameos (particularly the mafia members). Sakuya's obsession with comedy is a refreshing change from the archetypical rich girl, and while Isumi's quiet, wide-eyed confusion has been done many, many times before, it's executed well enough here.

The main ingredient of Hayate is the comedy, and that hasn't changed much. If you found the first volume funny, you'll most likely find this one just as good, if not better. The same balance of situational irony and parody is found, with perhaps a few more parodies snuck in than before. It doesn't rely too heavily on the references to other series, so newer readers will still be able to appreciate a majority of the jokes. The addition of Sakuya to the cast really lets the creator go nuts and cram in as much slapstick as possible.

It's much easier to recommend Hayate Volume 2 than Volume 1, because very little has changed; I could honestly just say �it's better� and you could go out and buy it if you liked the first one, but that wouldn't make a very good review. So I'll mention the characters, the comedy, the references and the bizarre storyline, all of which is present here but in larger doses. Starting a series is always a gamble, and many people may choose to hold off and see whether a series can maintain its initial steam or whether it will stall out; with this volume I can safely say Hayate has gained speed and shows no sign of stalling out.



Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 1-4215-0852-4
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left