Hayate No Gotoku! OVA

April 17, 2015

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the manga, thus a blatant excuse for them to come with a new OVA series, Hayate No Gotoku! OVA! Actually it is all not that bad and I welcomed it very much although with some scepticism. After the successful debut of the first season of the TV series way back in 2008 (woah! It feels like a bloody long time), every subsequent season after that feels like it has been going downhill. At least not by a steep gradient but a gradual slope. Unless you are a fan of the series but that is another story… So for me, the magic of the first season was never reached again and with the lukewarm season of Can’t Take My Eyes Of You as well as Cuties, I wasn’t going to put much hope on this. After all, for an old timer like me, I’m still going to watch this out of nostalgia’s sake. I mean, it’s probably dying out and one of those last few moments where you can catch Rie Kugimiya best at her tsundere Nagi role… Really…

Episode 1
After being fascinated with an RC themed anime, Nagi is captivated by its advertisement of its latest RC car, MagnumX. Without hesitation she orders it but she is disappointed upon learning she has to assemble it herself. She quickly loses interest but Sakuya is here to give her already assembled Grosshopper model to her as motivation. Nagi is awed by the way Hayate handles the car. But when she first tries to operate it, it hits her shin and thus her interest in it quickly dissipates. She’s all over it. She’s going to bed. As she sleeps, she dreams about the Grosshopper God lecturing her about her inept ability to control and the need for more control. With Nagi arguing she is a girl to begin with, Grosshopper apologizes for not being easy to let girls play with. All he does is run forward and only wanted to run alongside her who has chosen him. Nagi wakes up trying to look for the model and regrets not giving it enough love. Since Sakuya has several models in her home, she left that one here. Hayate helps Nagi practice and you know what they say about perfection, right? Yeah, all you need is love. Next morning, Hayate is surprised to see Maria handling MagnumX like a pro! Not only she assembled it but polished it up as good as new. We take a detour to see the 3 stooges at the airport. Hinagiku is also there with them but her fear of heights is preventing her from boarding the plane. I don’t know how they persuaded her to get onboard because Izumi’s trivia on the odds of deaths via airplane should have been a great turn off.

One morning, Hinagiku wakes up to find she has donkey ears! It’s a long story and thus that’s why it is omitted! We don’t care, do we? She sees Isumi for help and she just might have the cure for it: Wear a cap. What in blazes?! But if she really wants to cure the root of the problem, she needs money as the ingredients will cost her. How much? After giving her special 93% discount, she’s a lucky girl to have it at 150 million bucks. Oh sh*t… The cap is a much cheaper alternative, eh? So the 3 stooges are pretty suspicious that she is wearing a cap especially of that Hanshin baseball team. Of course the cap cannot be a long term answer especially if Hinagiku is worried about Hayate’s views on her. And here comes that guy as Hinagiku instantly tries to kill him with her sword. Ever heard of knocking first? He hears her out and suggests taking up a job worth that amount. Based on Isumi’s explanation, the remuneration commensurate with its difficulty. In other words, the death odds are higher for a high paying job. Hinagiku is confident and takes that 90% death odds job. The moment she hears she needs to board a plane to Canada, she quickly chooses the one with 10% death odds. Slow and steady? In the end, nothing got resolved. Later we find out that 150 million bucks is in Zimbabwean dollars. You know the super high inflation of that currency, right? Ah well, it is all about getting used to wearing a cap…

Episode 2
Nagi is giving lots of lame excuses so Maria tells her off to just go for her damn hiking class activity! The effort is rewarding with lots of scenic views. But to Nagi’s disappointment, she didn’t realize that they have to hike down. Thanks to that, she has lots of muscle aches the next day. When Hayate is cleaning the big mansion, there is a door that he isn’t familiar with. Maria shows him the huge room filled with dense jungle. It is actually their sauna! As they walk around, the lights suddenly goes off. Cue for them to fumble in the dark and fall over each other. Can you call this a steamy scene? They need to get out since the sauna is still working and their clothes are making them feel hot. Since Maria’s skirt is entangled with something, she is going to take it off and warns Hayate not to peek. Or else! After doing so, Hayate leads the way and must never ever turn his head back. But then Maria faints. He is in a dilemma to save her and look back. He is going to risk this when Maria gets back up. Phew! That was close. However she is still suspicious if he had turned around. Then again she collapses on his back. At that moment, the lights come back on. In his relief, Hayate turns around and sees Maria without her skirt! OMG! Maria fanservice! Even though it’s a paltry limited scene but it’s worth it (because we’ve never seen her for fanservice)! Upset Maria locks him away in a prison guarded by Tama. Hello, he’ll be your hell warden for today, tomorrow and the rest of your days.

Ayumu is being told by the teacher to think seriously about her future career. Didn’t believe her wish to become a musician, eh? She thinks hard and it seems her future career is to be Hayate’s wife. Why am I not surprised? However with each scenario of Hayate getting poorer and accumulating debts, can their power of love keep them together? I guess it’s pretty hard to imagine. Therefore she concludes he needs to stay poor for the rest of his life while she works and gets rich. Therefore she seeks Nagi’s help. However her CV is just pathetic so much so Nagi advises her that she should know when to give up. I think her plus point is her baseless confidence… Upon hearing her musician dream, Nagi ticks her off. I’m not sure why Ayumu is lamenting she has no egg within her but this has Ayumu wondering about Nagi’s mangaka dream. Still hasn’t come true yet? Well, dreams aren’t supposed to come true easily. She asks about the story she is drawing now. It’s about some spirit girl working hard. Ayumu gives her an idea so Nagi gets inspired about it. She thanks Ayumu for it and perhaps her ability is bringing out the egg in others. I guess she took it too literally as she is trying to start a chicken farm. Yeah well, go lay eggs.

Episode 3
Outside the dorm, Maria is making a mark for her garden. Because everyone starts guessing she is going to grow some sort of food, she will go with it. She had intended it to be a flower garden. But when she starts suggesting what kind of food is suitable to be grown, the rest becomes uninterested. There is a ramen stall nearby Nagi wants to try. Hayate allows her but cautions that she needs to eat a balanced diet and they can go for it during supper. Therefore Maria notices Nagi cutting down on her dinner intake and lectures her about the junk food that is bad for health. Hayate thinks that having it once in a while is good but Maria is absolutely strict about this. No buts. At this rate, they cannot hope to eat ramen. They think getting credentials from someone will make Maria change her mind. Despite Hinagiku waxing lyrical about it, Maria is still convinced. Kayura suggests drawing a manga to express her will so Nagi draws some awesome ramen themed manga. Not working. But with everyone talking about ramen this, ramen that, this makes Maria also want to have some. Everyone gets a taste of the delicious ramen as Maria thinks once her corn garden is mature, she’ll harvest it and make corn flavoured ramen. Meanwhile, Isumi thinks she is better than her mom since she has started Facebook. However, mom says she started that a long time ago and has mastered other social media sites. When Isumi shows off her iPod, mother says she doesn’t listen to music. Isumi too…

For an upcoming tough test, Nagi wants not just a reward, she wants an exciting one. Any ideas what constitutes an exciting reward? Well, Maria reminisces about her sea monkey gift she got. It all started enthusiastic but eventually she got disappointed and it all died out (including the sea monkeys). Same case for Hinagiku but hers is more on flowing soumen. Chiharu then suggests yakiniku and this interests everyone. Since nobody had been to one before, as they discuss about it, everyone had the misinterpretation that Hayate will treat them to it. Now everyone is all ears and joining in! With their super high expectations, looks like cheap meat won’t do. However Hayate has his pride because Nagi knows it might be quite demanding for him so he promises to treat them all. He just shot himself in the foot. So he goes to see Sakuya for suggestions to treat everyone to it without having to pay. And without getting caught by police. Haven’t you heard? There is no such thing as a free lunch! I’m not sure about this economics book she gave him but she suggests him to barter and exchange or trade up. So what can he trade? A massage coupon? Try harder. Yeah. She’ll the most give him a spoilt walkman… Now, who is he going to exchange this with? Isumi’s mother thinks this is an iPod and insists she wants it to rival her daughter’s. Hayate believes he got screwed because he traded down for a video tape of Winter Sonata. But since Yukiji wants this, she forces her trash of old school uniform on him. It’s just getting harder and harder to get that yakiniku treat, eh? However there is this guy who has a fetish for Yukiji’s school uniform and is willing to pay big. And so the day is saved (and Hayate’s reputation) because everybody is enjoying the delicious high grade yakiniku. It’s always good when someone else treats you, right? Maria wonders how he did this. It’s a trade secret ;). Lastly, we see everyone playing this series’ beta version of the Life board game. I suppose the best ‘ending’ has to be Nagi marrying Hayate. A hint?

Nostalgia No Gotoku…
Well, I guess I can’t complain. It feels like a long time since I watched the last Hayate No Gotoku series (even though it was just a couple of years ago) and since there is no serious plot in the story whatsoever, I guess these ‘fillers’ (although I read from some comments over the internet like Hinagiku’s donkey ears is actually adapted from part of one of the story arcs) are good enough to satiate the nostalgia feel. The series still hasn’t lost touch of its trademark comedy like how it uses to censor out popular brand names instead of making up some fake pun. And as you can see throughout the OVAs, there are quite a handful of them so don’t suspect your audio to have any defects if you start hearing strange beeping sounds.

The short random skits are fine and perhaps the series is too short for me to deduce whether or not the trend of this anime is continuing to go downhill. Therefore just as far as this OVA is concerned, by itself there are still moments that bring out the laughs (because you’d already know the characters as they are beforehand) as well as the big nostalgia factor. Therefore don’t expect for any proper fleshing out of the characters or their development since this series feels episodic in nature and standalone with a handful of other characters ‘missing’ from the show. Even for those making a short cameo doesn’t do justice to them considering the fact that there are quite a number of characters in this long running series.

I am not sure about the short ‘Bad End’ segment usually shown after the next episode preview. Maybe only fans of the series can understand this. Or perhaps this is just something random. For example, when Hayate becomes penniless due to unfortunate events after Maria gave him a stack of cash to go on a holiday (as Nagi is throwing a tantrum), it is like déjà vu again like his predicament similar to that snowy Christmas night. But this time it isn’t Nagi who is going to save him but Izumi who invites him to come to her place. But the thought of her dad makes Hayate think twice. And then… Bad End! Huh? But I could understand the one whereby Hayate and a few others inadvertently form a human chain grabbing on to each other’s hand while trying to save Koutarou falling off a cliff. When it comes to Yukiji’s turn, she screws up, slips and everyone falls off! Bad End indeed! And of course the one whereby all the events we have seen never happened or even started out because it was just a big dream! Yeah. Where in real life would a pretty young girl take in his debts and make him her butler? Bad End! The kind of ending we definitely do not want to see.

Another reason for that nostalgia feel is the reuse of ending themes which were opening or ending songs from the previous seasons. It is the upbeat and lively tune of the titular piece featured in the first season for the first episode. This is probably the trademark song of the series (maybe because it is the first) and remains one of my favourites (the other being Chasse). Honjitsu Mankai Watashi Iro ,the second ending theme is a reuse that of Hinagiku and the 3 Stooges’ ‘karaoke session’ (this time only accompanied with weird dances by other characters) from the second season. Finally the third ending theme is reusing Can’t Take My Eyes Of You by Eyelis. If they ever made a fourth OVA, my guess is that they will use the one from Cuties… Noticed a trend? Just saying…

Overall for this series, I guess everything in general is still okay. Since I am not a big fan of it, my guess is that the producers will need to try harder to appeal to me if they are planning to make another season. As I have said, the series itself is getting old (holy smokes! 10th year anniversary? Only super popular mangas can actually go on for so long like a certain pirate and ninja…), I myself am getting old and interest waning fast. Thus only the nostalgia of the series is the big factor attracting me to stay on. Heh. I think I am repeating myself. Well, better that than having to be eternally in debt of 150 million Yen! And that is not in Zimbabwean dollars, mind you.

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