Join Hayate as he searches for his place in the universe equipped with only the uniform on his back, an indestructible body, and one absolute belief: in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only butlering.
Writer/Artist: Kenjiro Hata
Translation: Yuki Yoshioka and Cindy Yamauchi
Adaptation: Mark Giambruno
What They Say
Final exams are close at hand and Hayate can no longer afford to ignore his studies, but if he's hitting the books, who will keep the Sanzenin mansion spick and span? Anticipating just such an occasion, head butler Klaus arranges for Mecha Butler No. 13 to take Hayate's place. Fully automated and machine-engineered to domestic perfection, this new cybernetic manservant boasts a wide variety of dazzling features and capabilities, from performing soothing backrubs to giving Nagi candid advice on her latest manga. Is Hayate truly this easy to replace?
It’s character study time! I have a confession to make: I really enjoy character study time. It’s no bizarro story-driven Hayate, but that’s okay. Because when it’s character study time, each chapter is focused on one character in an unusual situation as we get to see how they react. It’s like cracking your watch/phone/console open and discovering what makes it tick. Who doesn’t like a little exploratory surgery?
There’s a pretty wide variety of characters prodded under the microscope this go-around. Hinagiku has a major emotional breakthrough as the previous volume’s story resolves itself, which will no doubt be a source of dramady in the not-too-distant future. Saki and Wataru both get a sense for how important they are to each other, the manga Nagi has been drawing for the past who knows how many volumes is finally shown (with helpful contributions from Izumi), we get to see a day in the life of Maria and sneak a peek at Hayate’s jealous side.
Along the way a kitten flies at 23 kilometers per hour, a competent robot butler convinces Maria to put on cat ears and a tail, Yukiji foils an armed robbery, and Nagi worries about the impact Haruhi will have when viewed out of broadcast order. It’s not all about the secondary characters though, as even Hayate gets to fail at lip reading in very significant ways, drop off the student council tower to imitate Jackie Chan, and reveal his room houses the ghost of a dead Zeon soldier. All very relatable and, more importantly, very <I>hilarious</I> incidents. Then there are the references, and I must admit to being a little dazed as the brunt of them went right over my head. But the comedy in Hayate has never been entirely reliant upon pop culture knowledge, and my enjoyment remains intact.
Hayate isn’t the funniest manga I’ve ever read, but has an appealing comedic flow and caused me to chuckle more than a few times. Even the chapter titles, particularly “If You Feel Sorry for Me, Then Give Me Money, plus a PS3 and an Xbox 360” and “With All the Money You Spent on Sister Princess Merchandise, You Could Have Bought a Car” show the absolute focus on nerd humor here. How can you not appreciate a chipmunk in a kimono calling Hayate L_ke Sk_walker? I would like to suggest that it is impossible, or at the very least, improbable.