Mania Grade: A-
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Text/Translatin Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 9.99
- ISBN: 1-4215-0854-0
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Hayate The Combat Butler
Hayate The Combat Butler Vol. #04
By Robert Harris
November 14, 2007
Release Date: August 30, 2007
Hayate The Combat Butler Vol.#04
© Viz Media
Translated by:Yuki Yoshioka
Adapted by:Cindy H. YamauchiWhat They Say
For full-time butler-in-debt Hayate, attending high school - even one tailor-made for his working class values - remains just a dream inside a dream, and the ritzy Hakuou Gakuin seems galaxies beyond his reach, especially since it's packed with the wealthiest students in Japan! Despite that, and in order to be a first-class butler, Hayate remains resolute in his desire to get an education, even if his new duties involve transporting his mistress's forever forgotten-at-home box lunch to class!The Review
Volume 4 of Hayate arrives swinging new characters and settings around like a club as it wades back into the manga fray. After wrapping up the cliffhanger ending of Volume 3, we’re shot straight into Hakuou Gakuin, the school for the gifted and rich which Nagi (occasionally) attends. After infiltrating the school to deliver Nagi’s forgotten lunch, Hayate realizes that he misses his normal high school life. This leads to twists and turns aplenty, and results in the largest influx of new characters since Volume 1. Between Ayumu Nishizawa, the Katsura sisters and the new butlers, the roster has grown a considerable amount.
Thankfully, the newer characters are all quite interesting. Hinagiku is a fantastic addition to the cast; revered by the students of Hakuou Gakuin, she combines capability and kindness with a childishness that should make her an instant fan favorite. Meanwhile her sister, Yukiji, is the typical well-meaning yet inadvertently antagonistic teacher. Whether she’s stealing Nagi’s lunch or forcing Hayate fight a group of starving monkeys, she never stops being a huge pain, even when trying to help. Nishizawa, on the other hand, is probably the first person introduced from Hayate’s past. She’s a former classmate who stands out only because she is completely average in every respect.
Of course, Hayate has always been about comedy, and the trend continues. The references and parodies are still flying fast and furiously, with Gundam, Dragon Ball Z, Pretty Cure, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Azumanga Daioh and more given their due. Some are quite obvious, while others are easily overlooked. Thankfully, Hayate has never been overly reliant on referential humor, so even if you’re not a fan of anime/manga in general, or you don’t enjoy this kind of comedy, you’ll still find plenty to keep you chuckling.
While solid, Hayate Volume 4 does have some issues. With the introduction of so many new characters, there’s little time left to really develop them or set up complex situations. Also, many of the old characters like Wataru, Saki, Isumi and Sakuya get shafted after the first chapter. They’re great characters, and after growing attached to them for three volumes it’s a little sad to see them shoved aside.
Not quite as good as the last release, this volume of Hayate sees the series retain its characteristically clever dialog, charming characters and unusual situations. For those of you who have followed it thus far, this installment will not lead you astray; for those who haven’t picked up the series yet, now is a great time to start.