Continued slapstick comedy blended with ‘70’s American references and heartfelt relationships makes this volume even better than the first two.
Writer/Artist: Shizuru Hayashiya
Translation: Adrienne Beck
Adaptation: Ed Chavez
What They Say
All or nothing! With Ayana and Hayate blazing up the ranks of the Hoshitori, it's only a matter of time before they meet their match. Too bad their match is in the form of Ayana's lovestruck roommate Kuga Jun and her desperately powerful sister-in-arms Shizuma Yuho. Could this spell the end of Ayana and Hayate's unstoppable winning streak and their first taste of defeat? Or can our heroines somehow prevail against a pair of opponents with whom they are so evenly matched? One thing is certain... Ayana and Jun's friendship will never be the same again.
I just can’t believe this series could get even better with this volume. This is even more amazing to me since I didn’t have high expectations before reading the first volume. Not only does volume three continue the hilarious comedy but it also turns serious, in a good way and we learn something surprising about Ayana. In addition, we are finally introduced to Jun’s Sister-in-Arms, Yuho. She hasn’t been around and the two rarely fight any battles because Yuho is a sickly girl. When she was younger, she spent most of her time in the hospital being treated for a serious illness (I have my guess as to what kind but I’ll keep it to myself).
It seems strange that a girl of Yuho’s health would be a sword bearer at Tenchi Academy. However, she has been Jun’s friend since they were little kids, so Yuho saw joining the Academy as a way to keep Jun interested in swordplay. The two have a strange dynamic as Jun usually stands around while Yuho fights their sword matches. Very strange considering you would think it would be the other way around.
It seems Yuho is relapsing into her illness, but she refuses to go to the hospital until she helps Jun realize her dream. Surprisingly, that dream is to fight Ayana. Jun has always wanted to test herself against Ayana and they are both finally the same rank. That and Jun believes Ayana has never revealed her true self in a fight and she wants to draw that out of her. This whole proposed match is very commendable from Yuho considering the dire physical situation her poor health will put her in during the fight, especially when Hayate refuses to go easy on her. Win or lose, will Yuho survive the fight?
Another aspect I find interesting in this volume is Hayate’s sudden attitude. She really believes that Ayana and herself are the two baddest sword slingers around. Hayate’s attitude is probably rubbing some readers wrong, but she only seems to be mirroring Ayana’s attitude when she was younger. It seems that attitude led to the accident that dissolved Ayana’s old Sisterhood. So that begs the question, will Hayate be destined to repeat Ayana’s mistakes?
Don’t let this serious fight/storyline fool you; all the great silly comedy is still to be found throughout the book. Surprisingly, Hayate uses a couple of old American TV show references in comparing her and Ayana to Jon and Ponch from ‘CHiPs’ and to Starsky and Hutch. I can’t forget the appearance of Lawson Mask; you’ll just have to read the book to see that hilarity.
This book is a solid A. If you can write something this funny with an emotional thread that makes it easy for the reader to get attached to the characters, then you deserve the highest marks.