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.

Hayate No Gotoku! Cuties

November 9, 2013

After the lukewarm third season, I thought I was being overly sceptical when the fourth season was announced. Sceptical about if this fourth season was supposed to make amends and make up for the mediocre third season. And so with such feelings that I decided to give Hayate No Gotoku! Cuties a try and didn’t put my hopes up too much for it. After all, there is a saying about disappointment when you set the bar too high your expectation. Based on ‘historical track records’, the first season had 50 over episodes, the second had 25 and the third only a dozen. Going by this dwindling trend, it would likely to expect that there will only be 6 episodes, right? Well, no. It’s not going to look like OVA-like style number of episodes. It is still maintained at 12 episodes. But it’s not the number of episodes that determine the quality and enjoyment of this series.

As I read, the fourth season is somewhat a continuation of the third season (thankfully not a reboot) and takes place some time after the end of the events of that. Mainly it is because many of the characters that appeared with a decent amount of screen time back in the third season, also have their fair share of screen time this time around too. But you won’t see any other plot furthering here because as far as I can see, they are bringing back the randomness of the series by giving a character an episode to focus on. You can tell which character is going to be the main star for that episode when you see them introducing themselves with their brief specs of themselves flashing across the screen. Also introducing a new character which I believed only made a very short cameo at the end of the second season. The blonde loli named Athena Tennousu or A-tan as she is fondly known as. Hmm… Cuties… I can only think why the second title is named so because the girls are going to take centre stage. As is, QT, Quality Time. Geddit? Besides, there aren’t any notable guys in this series, right? Hayate? Everyone loves him when he cross-dresses, no? So cute enough to be a girl. Should have been one. Maybe it’s not too late…

Episode 1
Hayate introduces himself and his predicament including his special talent: Misfortune. And he is already getting into one by the way. We see Hayate working hard as the butler for Nagi and the rest of the apartment residence. Maybe Nagi is just a little irresponsible. She blames Hayate for not waking her up when he already tried to. So after a hard day’s work and putting back Nagi in her bed, Hayate goes to study for his exam which happens to be in 2 more days. He gets a little help from Hinagiku which stretches way past midnight. Then he continues more on his own. By the time he turns in, it is already 3.30am and he only has another hour of sleep before waking up to start the day with duties as a butler. However he notices something strange. Hinagiku who is usually up this early is nowhere to be seen. And then he sees Maria. She looks awful. She’s sick. If she is sick, could it mean Nagi is also sick? His worst fears come true. Soon, every other resident is also sick. Except for Ayumu. But she feigns illness when Nagi can even quip idiots like her won’t catch a flu. Hayate takes care of them for the entire day. A-tan warns him about his important exam. He will be expelled if he fails. Because he has a knack for attracting misfortune, she didn’t mince her words to tell him at this rate he will catch a cold and fall sick on exam day! And then A-tan catches a cold. So it’s nonstop work for Hayate to nurse everyone. On the important day, Hayate feels he is starting to get sick. Everyone is better but because Nagi is very worried and feeling guilty she might have passed on her cold to him, he had to put on his pride and stay strong that he is alright. He continues to put a strong facade in front of the rest that he is alright. After parting with Nagi at Hakuou, Hayate still has some time but he can’t rest because that’s where the jinx begins. He sees Fumi in some stupid stomach pain. Obviously he doesn’t want to help her but Fumi accuses him of turning a blind eye and being inhumane!!! If she had so much energy to accuse him, why didn’t she just walk herself to the infirmary? Why not ask Sharna?! And so Hayate has to take her there. Wasted energy. Wasted time. But that’s not the end. He is forced to help Saki read out some paperwork or else as she hinted it will be on his conscious if she dies in some freezing country… Then… Forced to fight some monster as requested by Isumi and Sakuya that requires his blood. Oh God… Hayate makes it in time to the exam room. But he can’t concentrate because stupid Yukiji is making bored sounds and then playing her stupid portable game. When she loses control of it and hits his head, Hayate didn’t lose his cool but breaks the handheld! That showed her. Somehow he manages to finish the exam. What a day. When he goes back, he is surprised the rest have prepared a meal for him and Maria some medicine. It is what they call, you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. But he can’t rest since Nagi mentions they are out of soy sauce so he goes out to buy them. Not without the misfortune coming along of course.

Episode 2
Nagi tells us how she is going to be a manga author but is spending her time playing video games. If Hayate’s gentle reminder won’t do, Maria just unplugs everything. There’s your answer. Nagi wakes up early on one Sunday morning perhaps because of her growling stomach. She sees Hayate in the kitchen and he cooks for her. She thinks it’s a ploy to get her sleepy again. She tries to resist by doing exercise but gives into the temptation. Yeah. She said she was just napping. When she wakes up, she heads over to Wataru’s store to rent some DVDs. She spots an R-18 video in the midst and is curious. To cover up her intention to rent this, she rents a whole stack of other DVDs as well. In her private tree house, she acts out that she rented so much and accidentally might have rented an R-18 video and thus no harm to see what’s in it. Nagi finds the disc differently labelled than the cover but proceeds to play the video. However it is not porn as Nagi will find out but the scariest horror movie ever! So scared she become that she wants Hayate to be with her for 24 hours! All the time. Does this mean even sleeping with her? At least till she falls asleep. But how can she sleep when Maria and Hayate are asking her if she has fallen asleep every second and talking if she had rented some R-18 video? So once she has fallen asleep, Hayate notices her murmuring in her bad dream and whispers to assure he has defeated all the bad guys. Next day when Maria is cleaning the tree house, she spots the R-18 video and decides to watch herself. After that she doesn’t want Hayate to leave her side… That scary, huh? Nagi won’t go to school since it’s raining and holes up in her room to sleep. Isumi suggests a famous quote to get her motivating since she is a simple minded person. Hayate tries one about hard work and there is a little reaction. So Hayate calls some of his friends to help out with famous quotes but Hinagiku’s is too advanced and Ayumu is just missing the point. He uses Chiharu’s quotes about being a loser and although this manages to get Nagi up, this makes her even wanting more to stay inside and play her video game. Maria comes back and Hayate tells her the problem. She gives Nagi some money and tells her to count it. Imagine it represents life and that amount represents her life till she lives till 80. If she turns her days into yen, she only has enough to buy a video game console. If she thinks she can afford to waste any of that, feel free to use any amount she pleases because that amount will not increase. What you spend is up to you. Nagi realizes the weight of her words and the importance every moment her life is. This has her fired up to go to school. Well, that did the trick and taught her a valuable lesson, didn’t it?

Episode 3
A-tan can’t explain much to us due to her lost memories as she is now Athena Tennousu (Alice version) but manages to tell us she is living in Hinagiku’s closet for some reason. While she is a sleepy head one morning, a big white dog ‘tackles’ her. Just to give an idea how big this dog is. It is the same height as her standing when it is sitting. Hayate finds a lost dog poster so that afternoon they try to find its owner. However it won’t take long because we see Fumi come running to claim her Armageddon. What a name… A-tan feels sad to part with it despite saying she doesn’t care for it. Fumi assures Armageddon loves her because of her hairstyle which resembles its favourite bread chocolate coronet! Wataru is surprised Sakuya left him some operating funds. In cash! 100 million! Then Hayate comes in to return Nagi’s video. Wataru is obviously worried if he is the one who is going to help bank in the cash with him. A debt ridden butler holding 100 million? Very ironic, isn’t it? And so worried Wataru goes Hayate and Saki to deposit but loses the suitcase of cash when Armageddon ‘tackles’ him. It ends up in Yukiji’s hands. Surprisingly, she gives it back and never wanted to steal it! Is this the Yukiji we know? Armageddon brings the suitcase back to Fumi, whom upon opening suddenly realize the sh*t she is getting in. Before she can wash her hands off, Sharna accuses her of stealing it! Even if Armageddon did it, since it is her dog so it makes her the one who also steals it! Sharna scares Fumi that if she is caught, she’ll be executed! Hayate searches for the suitcase and finds Fumi in panic mode. She really needs to find the suitcase so she can wipe off her fingerprints!!! Saki blames herself for being careless and if it is truly lost, she will quit the store and work hard to repay that amount. I wonder how long she will live. Armageddon brings the suitcase back to A-tan. Hayate calls the rest to assure the money is safe but A-tan points out the suitcase is empty. Dang.

Fumi forces Armageddon to talk Japanese. Woof! Woof! Who else can speak animal language? Hayate brings out Tama (in disguise – so as not to shock everybody about a talking tiger) and after a little quarrelling, it is revealed a couple of guys took them while Armageddon was passing the alley. A-tan has Armageddon sniff the suitcase for the scent and has the dog lead them. After several false leads (I guess Armageddon is hungry – always ending up at some food stall), they arrive at the abandoned building. Hayate sees Wataru there too. But they are most surprised to see Yukiji beating up the robbers to claims HER money! Had the duo not show up, she might have taken it and not give it back so obediently. Saki is relieved that the money is found. Wataru tells her never to say to quit because as long as she is with him, he doesn’t mind. Fumi is puzzled that Armageddon likes A-tan more than her. She concludes it’s her chocolate coronet hairstyle. A-tan changes her tone and curses the dog. Later, Nagi and A-tan find that they need to microwave some meat buns for lunch since Hayate and Maria are out. However they don’t know how to operate the machine and the buns end up melted. They get this idea to visit the cafe Hayate is working (to help out Ayumu) but it seems they lost their way. They thought they could rest at the vending machine. Either it doesn’t accept credit cards or they don’t enough credit in their pay cards. Always carry small change. As they hike up the slope, the last stretch to the cafe, they are tempted to enter the convenience store. But they resisted and continued their way seeing they want to taste Hayate’s cooking. So when they finally arrive, they start becoming demanding customers. What will they have for lunch? Meat buns!

Episode 4
Sakuya forces Isumi to do a joke with her to appeal to us how funny they are but it backfires on her. Isumi talks to her mom asking why she doesn’t have a maid like Nagi and Sakuya. It’s because she is responsible. Nevertheless, mommy goes to Hayate to request him to find a suitable maid for her daughter. Him? He too doesn’t think she needs one but on the contrary she points out she is not good using Smartphones. But do you need a maid to teach her that? So when they put up flyers for recruitment, guess who instantly took up the job? FUMI! Even Isumi has reservations on her judgment. How the heck can she pick a dud? Well, mommy feels her face is so much like those Smartphone emoticon, thus she is the best person for the job! WTF?! But when it is time for her to show her ability, Fumi tells them to Google it. I think her contract ends here. That night when Isumi gets a call from Sakuya. She didn’t pick it up because she thought her Smartphone was spoiled as it is ‘shaking’. Sakuya remembers how she hired Chiharu as her maid. When she showed no shame in front of her butlers while in her undies, they decided to begin a groundbreaking project to find her a perfect maid. So, how many millions have they ‘invested’ in this monitoring system spying on a maid cafe? They think Chiharu who works there is perfect but Sakuya thinks she is boring. However she sees her change in character when she dons the maid attire. Very much like having the qualities she desire. Still, she is sceptical. She goes to Nagi’s place just to complain that if only Hayate isn’t a butler but a maid. Yeah, I’m sure Nagi and Maria won’t mind that. Asking Nagi how she hired him, she replies it was fate. Later when she plays at the arcade, she didn’t how to play a gun shooting game. So happen Chiharu was next to her and teaches her. She even got the wrong idea when Chiharu mentions about protecting her (in the games sense). In the end, Chiharu is that nice and funny person she likes and hires her to be her maid. Back in present time, Sakuya visits Nagi who is having writer’s block for her manga. She is happy Chiharu is here to help with some ideas but Chiharu is surprised to see Sakuya. She reminds her that being her maid is supposed to be a secret from Nagi. Sakuya wants to help but Nagi scoffs her off as useless. Sakuya wonders how Nagi came to rely on Chiharu so much when she once relied on her. But this complicated feeling turns into annoyance because Sakuya is going to show how useful she is. However she can’t understand a damn thing when she reads Nagi’s manga. Even Hayate can explain all the complexity. Even Isumi points out she is one boring person not to really understand it. The only way to cure this is for her to wear a funny chicken suit. Then while she is dancing, doesn’t she look funny? On this basis, Isumi thinks she can understand the manga better. Of course not! When Nagi and Chiharu returns, Nagi wants Sakuya to read her work because she believes her good intuition. Isumi is proud to present Sakuya as an advanced manga reader. However Sakuya still can’t understand… Looks like she has a long way to go.

Episode 5
Yukiji convinces Hinagiku to film her for the school guide. Now will she do it in bikini? Suddenly coupons for Hinagiku’s forbidden swimsuit DVD come falling out of her sleeve. Oh shiii… Hinagiku isn’t fond of her 3 stooges fooling around. What more, she sees Hayate giving Miki a shoulder massage. She too would like to have one but is too shy to approach him. She really needs one and thinks of a way to make him offer one. Her chance came when he has her help him study. After all that hinting that she needs a shoulder massage comes to nought because that guy is too engrossed in his studies. Even if she needed one, her automatic pride has her say she doesn’t need one. Bummer. Hinagiku is suddenly called by Hayate. She is not happy it is a ploy by the 3 stooges to get her come to play at Nagi’s indoor resort. But appearing before them is Hayate’s rival, Gilbert (bet you didn’t remember him. So do I). Hayate easily beats him up so this loser wants a handicap by playing two-on-two beach volleyball (since he can’t best him one-on-one). Gilbert has a giant robot as his partner. Who will be Hayate’s? Gilbert thinks Hinagiku looks fragile and picks her. Everyone snickers with glee he just dug his own grave. But Hinagiku is happy to hear everyone calling her a fragile girl because it makes her look so feminine. Or so she thinks. Miki is upset Hinagiku didn’t wear a swimsuit but just t-shirt and shorts. Since when playing beach volleyball must always be played in swimsuit? When the match starts, Hinagiku tries to live up to her fragile girl status (so as to make Hayate look her way). So much so her acting is so bad it’s just horrible. Is this the Hinagiku we know? Till Gilbert gloats he knew she is fragile from the start because of her puny boobs! That’s when she snaps and fights back, destroying his robot. The sore loser summons more robots so Hinagiku pounds them till the robot is cowering in fear! Is this even beach volleyball? Gilbert then says she is breaking a fundamental rule! What rule?! Have they even been abiding it from the start?! The rule she violated is that she is not wearing a swimsuit. Hinagiku casts away her pride and rips off her t-shirt and shorts to reveal the swimsuit she is wearing and defeats the losers once and for all. In the end although Hayate thanks her, he lectures her about her sense of shame, feminine side, blah, blah, blah. Can you blame her for not turning into a wild beast and let him feel the same fate as those robots? Back home after bath, Hinagiku feels her shoulders stiff. To her surprise, Hayate is here to offer a shoulder massage and she accepts it.

Episode 6
Risa and Miki aren’t happy that Izumi introduces the group as Izumi and the rest. Risa is desperate to seek Hayate’s help. Though, he doesn’t look interested in what this idiot has to say. Anyway he has to since she is stealing his milk. Risa is concerned that people are labelling them as the idiotic trio (you mean you just realized this after 4 seasons?) and she thinks she is smarter than the rest. This causes Miki and Izumi to end up arguing with her so it is suggested that they compete to see who the king of idiots via video showdown is. The one who gets the least views online will get the honours and will have to do a punishment game with Hayate. Oh. He has to be involved somehow. Izumi shows Hayate the plant growing footage she is doing. How long will that take? She thought of speeding it up and accidentally snaps it! Game over. Then Miki shows her chicken eggs incubating video. But she got the eggs from the supermarket, right? That means they aren’t fertilized and are just rotten eggs. Wasted… Finally Risa shows off some cool contraption that launches balloons but failed. Boo hoo. So none of their videos worked out. What do we learn? They are all equally idiots! They won’t accept this comment from Hayate and make a fool out of him. While the 3 stooges are studying for a supplementary exam, Risa mentions something unforgettable for her birthday this year. Hayate wished her but gave no present. After pestering, bugging and making a big fuss about it, he just gives her a bookmark. Yeah. She won’t accept this discrimination. Miki thinks she needs to be popular so Risa calls Hinagiku but gets scolded to return and study. Then she calls Nagi and based on her manga magazine, she has to be cute. So if you blush, you’re deemed cute. Huh? With Hayate walking in at the right moment, they ask about his most embarrassing moments. It was so plain that they ignored him and have Izumi tell hers instead. Risa thinks Izumi is a panty flashing pro and wants her to experiment by letting Hayate lift her skirt. Why her? Because if she does it on herself, she can’t see how embarrassing she is! Idiot’s logic. Izumi disagrees and will lift it herself instead. But she becomes embarrassed so Risa and Miki are impressed with that look (Hayate wasn’t watching by the way). But they have to get back to studying since the test is coming up. Didn’t memorize anything, eh? Izumi is tasked to take some sheets to the classroom. She cannot lose them as they are sufficient for each student. However she got distracted by Shiranui and didn’t even realize the wind blew some away. Because of that, she is punished to clean the classroom herself. She accidentally drops a video camera in one of the desk. Trying to make sure it is still functioning, she records a test run. Since it is okay and that nobody is around, she films herself in a serious of impersonations and probably some (erotic) love drama with Hayate. She is freaked out when Shiranui taps on her shoulder. Then she realizes it is late as she cleans up but forgets all about the camera. Next day, she finds that the camera belongs to Miki. Worried that she may see everything since she didn’t erase it, to her relief the memory card is missing. So it was never recorded. Was it? The memory card is in Hayate’s hands…

Episode 7
Ruka’s manager is excited that Ruka has been booked to do an energy drink commercial. But Ruka doesn’t seem happy. So she visits the apartment to tell Hayate her dilemma. She can’t ride bicycles! Because riding it is part of the commercial. I guess there is only one way left since the shooting is tomorrow. But Ruka is pessimistic of her chances and even so is choosy about riding with training wheels. Leave it to Hayate to become the Spartan coach. Since they can’t practice in the apartment grounds (because Ruka trampled all over Maria’s farm!), Hayate takes her to practice at Hakuou’s grounds. First he asks if she would like the kind or strict way. Viewing herself as a pro idol, she chooses the latter. Hope she doesn’t regret it because Hayate really becomes the Spartan coach. One wrong move and he’ll shoot her with his water gun. First, he ties her hands to the handle and pushes her downhill! People tend to do the impossible when they face death? Hope she don’t die first. Ruka thinks she is going to crash but Hayate has got a firm grip on the bicycle. After some words of encouragement, looks like she has to go again. Well, practice makes perfect. Later, Nagi hopes Hayate could teach him too so he asks if she wants the kind or strict way. On another day whereby Ruka is supposed to perform a concert, Hayate is called to her dressing room. Why is he made to put on a maid outfit? Apparently one of her dancers for the last act fell sick. I guess nobody but Hayate could look good in a maid outfit while having exceptional butler skills. Hayate realizes Ruka’s left shoulder is in pain. During rehearsal she fell but as a pro, she has to hold it in and give an astounding performance to her fans. She also requests Hayate to be the one to help her change her dress after every 3 songs. He might be shocked to see her taking off her clothes before his eyes but he can’t be enjoying it seeing Ruka is holding in her pain and trying to do her best. On stage, Ruka continues to wow her fans like as though the pain never existed. During the penultimate song, Hayate spots Gilbert (a Ruka fan, I take). Gilbert thinks Hayate cross-dressed to trick him (because he loves girls) and summons his robot to beat him up. But Hayate won’t let him interrupt the concert and takes out the robot. The staffs mistake the robot as one of those final act dancers. When the final song begins, Hayate wants Gilbert to take it away but his controller broke. Before it could go haywire, Hayate kicks it off stage and then joins Ruka and the other animal dancers to cap a fabulous night. Back home, Maria is so enthralled in seeing Hayate’s cross-dressing (I bet she enjoyed it more than the concert) that she wants him to put on a female sailor uniform. Maybe he should just become a girl.

Episode 8
Ayumu is proud to tell us she knows Hayate the longest apart from the rest. Then she gets embarrassed at this rate the entire Japan will know she likes him (like, we’ve known it for ages). When her stomach growls, she is further embarrassed that Japan will further know her as a glutton. When Ayumu weighs herself, she is disheartened to know she has gained additional 3kg. She thinks the source is Hayate’s cooking for her whenever she works at the cafe. She tries to refuse his offer but can’t bear to let his hard effort goes to waste and eats it. Now here are more handmade cookies… On Ayumu’s birthday, she is sad nobody remembers and hopes at least Hayate would. He is up early baking cookies but I suppose jealous Nagi tells him just giving someone a present and be done with it won’t just cut. Chiharu suggests throwing a surprise party. Easy to talk because she lets Hayate do all the work. At the cafe, Hayate plans the party with Nagi, Hinagiku and the 3 stooges. However Ayumu walks in. In order for their plan not to be busted, they feign ignorance. At the same time, Ayumu is desperate for them to realize today is her birthday and tries to press real hard. The girls give all sorts of excuse on that date and then excuse themselves. Alone with Hayate, Ayumu isn’t going to waste this chance and at least make him remember. But Hayate must feign ignorance. He has to hold out for 2 hours! Thus it becomes a psychological battle and an intense one. Ayumu tries to lead him on but Hayate defends and ignores like hell. In the end, Ayumu loses out and leaves dejectedly. Hayate then calls the rest to prepare the party and when it is done, Nagi has the honours to call her to come back with an excuse she forgot something. But Ayumu doesn’t mind anymore. She has no heart to come back tonight. Till Nagi sucks in her pride to tell her off she wants her ass right here right now because she is lonely and needs somebody to talk to. Ayumu returns and is given a birthday surprise. She is so happy and hugs Nagi. I think she got the wrong idea.

When Hayate is about to leave for the night, Ayumu seizes this chance to walk home with him with an excuse that Japan is a crime laden nation. Yeah, with all those espers and evil super organization, nobody is safe at night especially if you’re a lone girl. Ayumu treasures this moment and doesn’t want to speed up walking home. She gets to prolong that chance when she remembers she left a notebook in her classroom. Hayate agrees to accompany her so she can retrieve it. At school, Hayate had some serious thoughts. If his parents never left him with this debt, he might have enrolled in this school and probably be going out with her now and didn’t reject her like that last time. On the way out, they realize something amiss. Sneaking in was too easy and where was the teacher supposed to be on patrol? Maybe a thief broke in and tied him up? You don’t say… There’s the teacher all tied up!!! Ayumu rushes ahead to get something to cut the rope when the big bad thief (seriously, isn’t that a Hollow from Bleach in a knight’s armour?) is about to chop her. Hayate in his reflex uses Ayumu’s notebook as a sword to put him out of commission. He warns not to touch her because she is an important person to him. Although her notebook is destroyed, she feels very happy. And she thinks she lost some weight during the chaos too. Double happiness.

Episode 9
Hayate hosts a talk show with Chiharu and Kayura as guests. Since the topic is on maids, Chiharu tries to pretend she doesn’t know but I guess her natural experience makes her a dead giveaway. Chiharu is caught in the act by Aika, acting out some manga she just read. This prompts Aika to comment she is cute when she is unguarded. That, is the word of this episode. Chiharu sees Nagi playing her handheld and thus her panties are ‘unguarded’. She flusters when she realizes too late. They think they connect when they realize they watch the same anime. However they soon argue as their opinions differ. Chiharu acts it out and Hayate sees this. Unguarded. Embarrassed? Chiharu walks on and realizes that there are many others who are shamelessly unguarded. Hinagiku whom she thinks is the most unguarded is well, the most guarded because even though she doesn’t look like it, she catches the baseball with her hand before it smashes into her face. Chiharu plays at the arcade to relieve some stress. Nagi is there too. Don’t tell me she’s here to relieve stress too. So the girls get into some intense racing while arguing about that unguarded topic. So much so the arcade employee had to tell them off not to be rough with the machine. Since there is going to be a BBQ gathering, Chiharu has Hayate accompany her to shop for ingredients. She notices his consideration for girls and asks him what happens if a girl confesses to him. He replies in a stupid question instead. Ruka is here for the gathering as she talks to Ayumu. She asks her if Hayate would be her boyfriend if she confesses! Shock! Did you see this coming? Ruka realized her feelings for him when he taught her how to ride a bicycle and thought of deepening their relationship. Ayumu is on alert mode and needs to stop this idol so she gives excuses her confession will futile because Hayate who lives in the apartment with different girls has not even made a single move. Ruka concludes that confessing is not enough and wonders if a kiss would do. Ayumu smacks her! Calm down.

When Hayate returns, Ruka asks him what happens if a girl confesses to him (I guess there’s no stopping her even if this seems like an indirect confession). But Hayate thinks this is a joke because Chiharu just asked the same thing. The girls realize there is another rival. Hayate adds that there is no way Chiharu would have feelings for him because it would be plain embarrassing. Shock? That’s good and bad news, no? Ayumu and Ruka spy on Chiharu and Hayate making the BBQ ingredients together and realize there is nothing going on. They start to pity Chiharu and conclude any girl who falls for Hayate will have it rough. But their bells are on alert again when they see Kayura interacting weirdly with him. They think it is her way of attracting his attention by assuming some weird character. Hayate and Nagi remember how Kayura first came to this place. She put up a tent in the yard. She was an oddball then as she is now. She considers herself a genius since she skipped grades to enter Hakuou. Hayate didn’t seem as surprised as she hoped. Nagi extends her hand to be her friend but Kayura views it as cheap. Hayate takes Kayura to tour Hakuou’s ‘famous attractions’ including the sleeping and drunken Yukiji. Kayura is happy to view the city below atop the clock tower and feels she will enjoy it here and makes friends with Nagi. But Nagi quips she doesn’t go to school often… Kids, don’t do that. Then Hayate brings Kayura to see the famous Hinagiku-halfway-changing-behind-the-door. Funny. He didn’t even bat an eyelid while doing that. It’s like he’s taking all this normally and as a joke. But it’s not funny for Hinagiku as she beats him up. Back in present time, after the BBQ, Hayate goes upstairs to return Hinagiku’s shirt. The talk about unguarded with Chiharu must have distracted him because history repeats itself when he opens Hinagiku’s door and she is in the midst of changing. Again, that silly grin. Again, that frustrated Hinagiku. Again, the beating. Next time, please knock.

Episode 10
When Maria introduces herself, Makimura butts in wondering if she has a boyfriend. Is she here just to show off her robotic Eight boyfriend? When Makimura fixes Yukiji’s broken walkman, she thought she is a genius but Makimura points out somebody else was better than her. She is Maria and she was the student council president of Hakuou and Makimura as her vice president. Due to her exceptional results, she skipped grades and thus she is younger and petite for a person for her grade. Makimura has recorded several embarrassing videos of Maria (like a stalker) since she has her own set of (otaku) fans. Upon seeing them, Maria instantly throws it at the wall. Her hands slipped. When Makimura leaves for a while, Maria tries to record her voice although embarrassed. Makimura returns in the midst of it and she instantly slams it on the ground. Her hand slipped. Back in present time, the tape is with Makimura but she never knew what is on it since the recorder was broken. Never bothered to try on another player? Yukiji wants to hear but suddenly Maria pops up to retrieve it. What? How? If she wants to hear, be her guest. But her hand may slip… Maria is surprised Hayate receives a love letter. But that guy wants to know how to reject the girl despite Maria advising he should at least meet her and date her if she’s cute. She’s joking, right? However inside the letter is written with nothing but “I love you!”. Gosh. Yandere material! Since there is a returning address, he wants to write the politest reject letter. But Nagi won’t have it that way and writes it for him before posting it. I’m not sure which anime influenced her now. When they get back, the reply letter just arrived in their mail! Super fast. This time it is written “I’ll kill you!” all over! In red! True yandere material! Nagi’s solution is to do a classic romantic comedy. Say what? Ayumu is walking in the streets and dreams of a romantic comedy with Hayate when she sees Maria in such classic scene meeting up with Hayate. Can this be true? What gives? Seems this is all part of Nagi’s plan to make them date so as to make the yandere stalker give up on them. Provided if she is watching. Well, it’s not Ayumu even though she’s tailing them like a stalker.

Hayate and Maria feel awkward trying to follow the script and hold hands. Unknown to them, all the guys are burning with jealousy for him to hold hands with this super cute maid. Another revelation is that the love and yandere letter was written by that father ghost (I forgot his name). He wrote that letter since Isumi gave him stationery and he was bored and wrote it as a prank. Now he is upset Hayate is out on a date with Maria and vows to put a stop to it. As part of the date, Maria wants Hayate to cross-dress! Must he? Do it. When Ayumu sees this, look how disappointed her face is. Next in the plan is for Maria to try a swimsuit. Hinagiku is nearby and sees them. Because Maria is so embarrassed and keeps telling Hayate not to look, what does this scene look like? See the disappointment on her face. Ayumu takes Hinagiku along to spy on them. Now we have 2 stalkers. After Maria buys and wears new clothes, the final plan is at the aquarium. Hayate saves her from being splashed. Their face got too close and they fluster. Maria can’t believe she flustered over that and feels the need to act mature. When she says it’s not like she has any feelings for him, it made her sound like a tsundere. Father priest disguises as a penguin and plans to jump into Maria’s arms. No one can resist a cute penguin, right? When he leaps, Hayate catches him instead. Maria uses this chance to quip how childish he looks. A devastating blow to father spirit. He won’t be back. They bump into Ayumu and Hinagiku who wonder if they’re on a date. Hayate explains and clears up the misunderstanding so off they go. On the way back, Maria notes she enjoyed the fake date (don’t tell me because Hayate cross-dressed) and hopes she’ll find someone like him.  Make it simple. Why not him? She gets embarrassed when Hayate wonders if she said something so she chides him off for lacking delicacy. Maybe not just yet.

Episode 11
As far as I understand this couple of final episodes are an original story from this series’ creator and serves as an alternate ending to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. It’s quite hard to understand what is going on (since it goes back and forth between the dream and current situation) so to sum up in a nutshell: Hayate tries to kiss a girl! Woah! It all starts with Hayate having this weird dream inside the black camellia and meeting a pair of freaks, a tanuki doll and a clock with limbs. After he wakes up in the morning, first thing he asks Maria if she has kissed anyone. Klaus serves kisu fish to Chiharu, Ayumu and Kayura but the former duo flusters because it sounds very close to the word kiss. At Hakuou, Hinagiku, Sakuya, Isumi and the 3 stooges are discussing that they have this weird dream of kissing Hayate. Izumi is targeted by her idiots to kiss Hayate so they can upload it on the internet. Although Hinagiku is embarrassed to have such a dream, she didn’t expect Hayate to come in and ask her to kiss him! He almost got sliced by her sword! The gang continue to talk about this and whoever wants to kiss Hayate at least needs to be in love with him but as Aika points out, nobody will since he is indecisive, dense, insensitive and broke. She hit all the right points. Kayura disagrees and shows proof that there are people twisted enough to love troublesome guys like him. Case in point: Kaoru tries to ask Yukiji out! Seriously?! Him?! I feel Yukiji is only in because he agrees to treat her to booze. Hayate realizes with so many of them having that dream, maybe what those freaks said were true. So when Hayate dreams of them again, he wants to know what’s going on especially since the powers of the black camellia should have subsided. They tell him he has got not much time left to fool around.

Hayate ponders if anyone really loves him when he bumps into Ayumu. She too had that dream. Then she realizes this is the exact same spot they first met. Hayate remembers it was when he had to quit ordinary school and end up being Nagi’s butler. He thinks she would be okay for him but they had to break up when stupid Fumi starts pointing out that they were going to kiss. And why is she so disappointed that they separate without kissing? Whose fault is that? Hayate soon creates a list of those he failed to kiss. That’s almost about every main girl we know, right? Yeah. He got a taste of A-tan’s taser. But he notices Maria didn’t have the same dream like the rest. Talking to her, he realizes that the time limit to this kissing thingy is true. He gets an idea to surprise kiss her and then shrug it off as an accident but do you think a guy like Hayate can pull that off? So he goes off to who knows which girl’s place to ask for a kiss and of course gets violently rejected. Maria calls Hinagiku about Nagi. Next day at school, Isumi detects some bad omen so Hayate is made to tell everything about the tanuki and clock freak. To Isumi, it is a clear sign of something ominous. When Risa mentions Hayate tried to kiss her in her dream, Hayate remembers the time limit of midnight if he doesn’t get the kiss done, he will forever be separated from Nagi (as shown isolated and happily playing video games unaware her subconsciousness is trapped inside black camellia). It is his last chance to cease the cries of the black camellia. The scene suddenly changes as we see cross-dressed Hayate fighting against the drunken monster known as Yukiji. Is he seriously aiming for this drunkard?! I know he is desperate and probably a drunkard won’t mind or remember a kiss but Yukiji of all people?

Episode 12
These are the events that led to that scene. Maria sees Nagi uncomfortably in her sleep and senses something wrong. Hayate goes home and tries to get a change of clothes when A-tan comes up to him. She doesn’t mind kissing him and since she understands it’s to help Nagi. Before they can do it, father priest stops them and gives his stupid 1001 reasons why he can’t. A-tan is annoyed and zaps them both. Armageddon then steals his new butler clothes. Hinagiku couldn’t get Hayate and wonders if he has kissed yet. She bumps into Ayumu along the way as well as the 3 stooges at the diner and they talk about this. Soon, Ruka joins them after sneaking out from her tight schedule. She is here to return his butler uniform. Going back further in time, when Ruka was shooting her energy drink commercial, she accidentally crashes into Hayate and he fell into the river. The only clean change of clothes that fitted him was her idol outfit. She also knows about the dream and is willing to kiss him. Before they can get to that, Kayura beats Hayate up and lectures him why he can’t do that because of her status as an idol. Imagine the rage it will cause when this leaks to her fans who treat her like God. Kayura tells him to kiss Chiharu because she is weak and will do it under pressure. Hayate calls her but she is in the midst of her job and can’t leave so they agree to meet at the park later when her replacement arrives. Meanwhile, Isumi and Sakuya are at Yukariko’s grave and pick up the watch (black camellia). At the park, Hayate calls Chiharu but she is still not off from her job. He waits but he is attracting stares from others. Chiharu calls him and since time is running out, Hayate says he wants to kiss her and this takes her by surprise. Hinagiku gets a call from Maria about Nagi acting weird. She is determined to help him even though it is a dream, she wants to do all she can for him. Ayumu and Ruka support her so everybody gets up to head to the park.

Hayate is desperately seeking for anybody to kiss at the park. God answered his prayers: Drunk Yukiji sleeping in the bushes. Yeah. Anybody. He is going to kiss her but Yukiji wakes up and dares him to challenge and defeat her if he wants to kiss. That’s when the battle starts and Yukiji is quite good with her drunken fist style! In the end, Hayate wins because too much alcohol took effect. He won’t be able to kiss her since Kaoru is looking for her and brings her home. Hayate is at a loss on what to do. Then all the girls converge and ask him to decide which one of them he wants to kiss. Wow. Now he is spoilt for choice. So why hesitate? Ah, the ‘battlefield’… The freaks are watching him and feel pity. Perhaps it was too much for him. Nagi who has just finished her game sees what is going on. She is going to do something about it. Before Hayate could decide (not like he did anyway), Nagi is seen hobbling towards him (with Maria’s help). Hayate sees black camellia in Isumi’s hands and realizes Nagi is actually still trapped in it. Nagi wants to go home but Hayate is still worried about the kiss. She tells everyone off if they are okay with that. Kissing someone for that kind of reason. She doesn’t mind staying trapped in black camellia although she won’t be able to watch her animes or read her mangas because Hayate is more important to her. She isn’t worried because if anything happens, she has him. This made Hayate open his eyes. He catches Nagi as she returns to her slumber. Realizing it was wrong to ask for a kiss easily even if it’s was her sake, a kiss is something that everyone treasures and not to be taken lightly. Since he doesn’t want her to sleep forever, he kisses her. On the forehead. Nagi wakes up but the other girls are somewhat surprised. They didn’t think it was a kiss on the forehead. What kind of kiss were they expecting? Embarrassed yet relieved. If he had been clearer from the start… With the curse lifted, Shin (the clock) and Yukariko (tanuki) move pass on.

Cute But Not Beautiful
I’m not particularly that thrilled at how the special twin original episodes ended this season. Somehow I feel that the magic of this series is slowly disappearing. Maybe it’s my fault on my part because even though I said I wasn’t putting much expectation into it, I still can’t help hope deep down inside my heart that there will be something that would surprise or amaze me. Only the part whereby Ayumu and Ruka ponder about Hayate being their boyfriend. I thought it would be interesting seeing Hayate had a serious thought there for the moment about who would have been his girlfriend had he not walked this path in life. I thought there would be finally some sort of love polygon involving Ayumu, Ruka and Hinagiku. And though it really seemed interesting, thinking back the kind of guy Hayate is, I don’t think we’ll ever see him getting a girlfriend. Of course with Nagi being his master, there’s this tendency for many to pair them together but what are the chances? Maybe they can do alternate spin-offs for that. Multiple ending routes for Hayate for different girls. Sounds interesting?

In the end, those hoping to see Hayate getting closer to any one of the girls would be somewhat disappointed. Last season he had that sort of date with Hinagiku and in this season, it is Maria’s turn. It feels like they’re trying to tease us and making our hopes go up that some sort of romance would blossom. As when Hayate seriously ponders such thought, it is just the spur of the moment and no follow up after that. No doubt that almost every main and supporting female character in this series has a liking for Hayate. Some are more obvious than others and even those who don’t look like it can be said to suspiciously have them. Like the 3 stooges, their overall personality are comical idiots. There is a high chance you might not think they have a thing for Hayate. But as seen in that short delusion of Izumi, one can speculate that there is more going on beneath their idiotic looks. Being idiotic is just their characteristic which might not necessarily be the same with matters of the heart. As long as Hayate doesn’t commit, everyone has a fair chance. But they’ll have to wait till kingdom come if he is to decide. If he decides. Thanks to his density and strong sense of duty and loyalty, it’s safe to say that this won’t turn into a harem romance anime even if the setting is begging for it to be turned that way.

Putting in character focused episodes seemed like fun and reminiscent of how the earlier seasons of this series was about (at least that is how I remembered them) and I personally I liked it better than the black camellia alternate ending since it was a bit confusing and I don’t really remember much of the plot for Can’t Take My Eyes Off You although I watched that not too long ago. It’s nice to see that the main characters have their moment of limelight but seeing that this series had too many characters, the number of episodes that permitted perhaps couldn’t possibly quite cover them all. For instance, what happened to that sister Sonia? She is totally missing in this season. What about those butlers from season one that has more limelight than their young masters, Nonohara and Himuro? Maybe they are just very minor characters but somehow I can’t help think and thought they are big supporting characters (is it because they are butlers like Hayate?). So far they have not appeared in subsequent seasons thus I think they are really just minor characters. Tsugumi and Dolly from Can’t Take My Eyes Off You did not return here and not even mentioned. It’s like as though they never existed. I thought Klaus won’t be appearing this season but since his very brief cameo in the final episode, I can’t say his appearance was just limited to his name appearing on a wooden block in the first episode. I have a feeling that they don’t want to make this old geezer the butt of butler jokes so there is no comical feel to him. Tama at least made a dialogue appearance as opposed to last season even if it’s for just a few lines.

A bit of a disappointment for me is the character A-tan. I thought that she would be a regular and was hoping to learn more about her. Like how she ended up living in the Hinagiku’s closet or her relationship with Hayate as his first girlfriend. None of that is ever addressed partly due to the character focused nature of this series. Maybe I should just go read the manga, eh? And then just when I resigned to the fact that she would just make cameos in episodes that is not her focus, after her own focused episode featuring Armageddon, she ‘disappeared’. The one character which I hoped for to have her own focused episode but didn’t is Fumi. I love this crazy girl (especially made crazier and funnier by Kana Asumi’s joker voice). I had a feeling that she might not get such a dedicated episode but since she is making short cameos in every episode, I also thought it would be suffice that her appearance would be that way. But after that maid hiring fiasco row, she ‘disappeared’. Man, I really wished for her to have her own spin-off series. Although still over the top wacky, at least in this season we don’t hear her spouting about her feuding family like how she always subtly hint in the previous season. That’s the thing about having too many characters. With Hayate as the main character, many of such characters are like on and off. Even I feel Nagi and Maria aren’t as prominent.

This season also has its funny moments and just like last season, the mid-intermission is a couple of Commercial Connecting Theatre and features short comical skits. There also lots of trivia and parodies (including famous quotes from other animes) for you to spot and even though it is not as much as the first season. Partly due to my lack of knowledge in this area too but I did manage to spot a few like that Hollow from Bleach, the parody manga of Baka To Test To Spice (Horo? WTF?!), Sailormoon’s trademark mini skirt dressing, Kayura dressed as Kyousuke from Zettai Karen Children and a parody of that anime called “Zettai Curry – Chilled, Even?” (cleverly parodied!). It is also fun to spot worldwide famous companies with their parodied names (to avoid lawsuits of course) such as American Exponents (American Express), Cutbank (Citibank), Samy Malkman (Sony Walkman), 8-Eleven (7-Eleven), PFP (PSP) and Ybox (Xbox 360).

Since every episode is character focused, to add to the ‘unique’ feature of this season, every ending theme is also different and is sung by that character’s seiyuu. Ranging from typical anime pop to slow ballads, each song serves like a character image song. Those that don’t sound too bad are Maria and Ruka. Also, the ending credits animation is ‘spammed’ with those characters (although other characters sometimes appear but to a minimum). If you really love them and can’t get enough, here’s your chance to feast your eyes on them. Heck, you can just Google it and download such related images. There is only one opening theme, Haru Ulala Love Koi by Hinagiku’s seiyuu. Sounds okay but not that appealing to me. With Ruka as the idol, there are a few insert songs during her focused episode but again, they don’t sound that attractive to me.

Maybe as the seasons pass, I feel the more it has caught on Hayate’s misfortune due to the declining charm that I once found in the series. If there are future sequels or OVAs, it will be down to solely nostalgia and ‘past glory’ reasons that I will continue to watch this. Is there anything that Hayate can do to reverse this misfortune? Perhaps if he starts cross-dressing maybe that will turn things around. At least for many of the girls who would love to see him permanently in a dress. One’s misfortune is the pleasure of others. Because Hayate can do and overcome anything that is thrown to him. Except clearing off his 150 million Yen debt. Well, it proves Hayate is at least still human despite some of his exaggerated superhuman feats. To borrow a trademark line from To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Touma: “Fukou da!” (“Such misfortune!”).

You’re just too good to be true… Can’t take my eyes off you… You’d be like heaven too touch…  I wanna hold you so much… Before I finish crooning this golden oldie from Frankie Valli, let me say that this song has no relation to this anime that I am about to blog now. It has been 3 long years since the second season aired on TV and one year since the movie. That’s when the third season, Hayate No Gotoku Can’t Take My Eyes Off You aired back at the end of 2012, I guess I was surprised that a sequel was made. My expectations of this series to have a sequel were somewhat like Zero No Tsukaima’s final season due to the length of years in between the latest and previous season.

However as I read this season is not a continuation from the story we are familiar with in the first and second season. This third season is considered to be of a different story originally written by the author himself, Kenjiro Hata. Something about that this original idea of his for the series never really quite took off. So it’s like taking the familiar bunch of the characters from the series we know and put them in a totally new plot and storyline. Without giving away too much, we have the spoilt rich brat-cum-genius Nagi who suddenly has a girl claiming to be her little sister appearing before her and a journey that will take them to America.

Episode 1
Nagi. Sports Car. Crashed. Nevada Desert. America. How the? What the? The heat must have gone to her head that she is even blaming the cactus for stealing her handkerchief! Once she calms down, she realizes Hayate will never come to her rescue because he is no longer her butler. How did this happen? We go back in time. Nagi continues to be a lazy bum around her mansion. I know she’s the boss but all she does is play games, read manga, watch anime and then crash. Repeat cycle. Sounds like a loser otaku, eh? Yeah. She’s bored. Real bored. Till she sees a documentary on TV about Area 51, aliens and UFOs that her interest piques. She is interrupted when Maria says the Nevada Police Department is on the line and wants her to come to confirm her deceased father’s belongings. We learn her dad died in a crash in Las Vegas before she was born. She never knew him. Thus she starts ranting passionately about wanting to go and determine her father’s love for her. Hayate and Maria smell a rat. Something is fishy. Yup. They know she wants to go to Area 51 badly. Maria refuses to let Nagi go seeing school starts in a couple of days and she can go during Silver Week. But to Nagi, there are things more important than school (like bumming around the house, I guess) and seeks Hayate’s approval. However Hayate is somewhat inclined to support Maria (oh, those stares) so this doesn’t sit well with Nagi and she leaves the place in a jiffy. Knowing this is just one of her tantrums, she hopes Nagi won’t stay out too late and come back home in time for dinner. Nagi as expected bums at the shop where Chiharu works but the latter advises her on appreciating things before she loses them. Nagi is at the park and realizes she has no money. Don’t panic. She has some debit card left but not much. Somehow she screws up and buys a spicy drink she doesn’t even want. Thankfully Hayate comes by to pick her up and though Nagi is glad to see her but her tsundere attitude means she’s blaming him for the ‘betrayal’. If he wants her to go home with him, he must drink this super spicy drink.

Hayate is distracted by a little girl who calls herself Princess Camellia (Acchi Kocchi’s Tsumiki?) among other bulls*t, Hayate pats her head thinking she is lost. It certainly throws her off her pace but then she points out about taking her eyes off Nagi. Oh sh*t! Nagi has just been kidnapped! Suddenly… Hayate turns into somebody different. Not regarding Camellia’s rant, he forcefully borrows her bicycle and with her in one arm, he peddles down in high speed to hunt down his pursuers! Monster! Nagi seems pretty calm because this is the umpteenth time she has been kidnapped. She knows Hayate will come to rescue her and true enough, here comes the devil! The kidnappers are shocked to see this monster breathing down their neck. After all that drifting and evading manoeuvres, they thought they had lost him but he takes a shortcut and jumps right down onto them. The car crashes. Driver kidnapper knocked out. Hayate quickly disarms the other panicky kidnapper and punches him out cold. No time to even react. I’m sure Camellia could have died from heart attack from that ride. Reminds me of Nuku Nuku’s hell bicycle dash, eh? Camellia isn’t happy with this humiliation and runs away, promising to be back. Hayate brings Nagi back to the mansion but when Maria greets them, she wonders who that little girl is. Camellia reveals that she is Ruri Tsugumi, Nagi’s sister.

Episode 2
Tsugumi couldn’t start her rant because they slam the door on her! Guess what? She stayed out there the entire night! Freezing! So when Nagi and Hayate find this weirdo hanging around outside, they debate about this so called sister and other possibilities before leaving her and go get breakfast. Too cruel! They practically ignore her like she never existed. Well, back to shivering in the cold. Until ‘kind’ Maria brings her in. Nagi seems like the dominant one and Tsugumi reduced to a squealing panicky. Nagi is tired of that same line that she’s her sister. So she’s her sister. So what? What now? Any proof of that? Apparently she doesn’t know her dad or know any other relatives. So when she found out about Nagi, she just really wanted to meet her. Though Nagi has her doubts, she will prepare a place for her to stay. Tsugumi gets excited and is caught in the middle of her act of trying to search the house. Suspicious… But Nagi won’t go back on her word and brings her to a dorm whereby she meets the other tenants that include Ayumu and Chiharu. Nagi is going to leave her and the rest up to Hayate so Tsugumi pleads to her onee-san not to go and hear her out. That name seems to have a nice ring to Nagi but she won’t be swayed. Tsugumi won’t let her go too. Meanwhile Maria is looking through the photo albums and notices there is not a single photo of Tsugumi in it. Tsugumi clings on to Nagi’s leg, begging and pleading. Till Kayura Tsurugino (another tenant) points out that she should have taken this scenario twist as advantage. For a person who aspires to be a mangaka and sell one trillion comic books, all she does is push this delicious development away. Nagi accepts. So easy.

However, she wants Tsugumi to prove that she can do some crazy skill just like her (if she considers waking up late and being un-athletic as super skills). Tsugumi accepts and reveals her greatest skill is Systema, an intense Russian martial art. Hayate doesn’t believe her because she was a cry-baby during yesterday’s hell bicycle ride. Who wouldn’t? That kind of ride would even reduce a mammoth to tears! Tsugumi struts her stuff and before Hayate knows it, his face is on the floor. How did she? When did she? Hayate gets serious this time but once more the same result. Though her hit is weak but he could feel the pain in his bones. This is revenge for yesterday’s humiliation. I didn’t know Kayura and Chiharu are so informative in this Systema and even explain it to us and become unofficial commentators. Hayate wants to stop but Nagi won’t let her butler lose to this sh*t. If he wants to lose, then he better die before that. WTF?! So Hayate gets beaten to a pulp with the swiftness of flexibility of Systema. Just when Tsugumi is to put the finishing blow, Hayate stops her with a Japanese martial art called Ketaguri. Tsugumi falls flat on her face and starts crying like a girl. The rest blame him for going to hard on a kid. Hayate feels bad and helps her up but it’s just a trick to let his guard down and finish him off. Tsugumi starts boasting but is kicked by Nagi for being mean to her butler. In the end, though Nagi is still not fond of her calling her onee-chan, she praises her Systema as cool and hopes she could teach it to her. Chiharu and Kayura also want to learn? Ah well, at least Tsugumi got her own room.

Episode 3
Yukiji doesn’t want to earn her sister’s wrath after blowing the money the latter lent. So she has Hayate go give some documents to Hinagiku instead. He finds her asleep and wonders if she would be mad if she woke her up. A piece of paper flies and smacks into her face. Oops. She’s up. Is she mad? Not exactly. The 3 stooges accuse her of double standards and want her to be a bit nicer. Oh yes she will. Though Hinagiku assures she won’t be mad even if he had woke her up, he says she is quite scary when she’s mad. Oh… So when the 3 stooges broke her favourite tea cup, they know they’re going to be in for hell and start blaming each other. Surprise! She didn’t get mad! In fact, she hopes they’re not hurt. Then when Kaoru accuses Yukiji of wanting to borrow more money, Hinagiku lends her another and hopes she will pay back the next payday. The guilty ones feel something is wrong. They think her anger is building inside waiting to blow up. To deal with it, they’re going to fight fire with fire. This means they need somebody to explode her. So Miki talks to Hayate and wants her to bring Hinagiku out to a kid’s movie since she’s in a bad mood. I guess she manages to convince him by telling about that butler crap that only butlers can do and to make her smile. When Hayate meets Hinagiku and invites her out, she is surprised. Is this the result of being nice? She accepts his offer but her face’s contortion seems scary. It’s like as though she’s mad… Maybe she should practice more on this. Hinagiku meets Hayate and as they head to the cinema, they bump into Tsugumi. Before the brat could get bratty, Hayate takes her away to the alley. She explains she was searching around the mansion and saw one of Nagi’s mangas. Because she gave a stupid reason that everything that belongs to Nagi belongs to her, she got kicked out. And then she saw Hayate. Noticing he is out to see the kid’s movie, she also wants to tag along. Hinagiku doesn’t mind.

But in the cinema filled with kindergarten kids, they are teasing Hayate and Hinagiku as a couple and keep bugging them with questions if they have already kissed, etc. I think they’re more interested in this than the movie. Wise cracking kids… Hinagiku better hold it in. But look how contorted her face is. It’s like she’s going to turn into the Hulk. The movie starts and Tsugumi is fast asleep. Even snoring! Suddenly the film breaks! The movie is cancelled. She laments that crazy things happen when she’s with him but if she loses it now, he’ll hate her. Hayate has an idea to cheer her up. Leaving sleepyhead Tsugumi behind, he takes her to the amusement park. Though he frightens her with a high ride (she has fear of heights), later he reveals she has been so serious and hopes would let the park’s magic cast a spell on her to cheer her up. The duo continue to have fun throughout the day. On the way back, Hinagiku wonders why he is so nice to invite her out. He tells her about Miki’s request. Hinagiku feels disappointed but Hayate says though that he was asked at first, he had a great time with her. Taking her hand, he adds it was nice to spend time with her and to see her have fun. Which is why he needs to tell her this. Gasp! Hinagiku flusters and isn’t ready for this confession yet. Hayate confesses… He needs to borrow money for the train fare as he has used it all up at the amusement park. Hinagiku… Getting mad… So did the landmine blow up finally? Thankfully she maintains her cool but she is about to say something important when the train passes. What? Can’t hear? Can you please repeat that? Maybe if Hayate casts another spell, she would. In the meantime, we’re left hanging and wondering just like Hayate over the possibility of what she said.

Episode 4
Tsugumi seems to be suspiciously reporting to a bird that she will get the black camellia. Asking Hayate on how she can be close to Nagi, Hayate has his doubts because Nagi won’t pay attention to people who don’t interest her. Later Hayate tells this to Nagi and though she feels no malice from Tsugumi, she also feels like she’s about to lose something precious. Tsugumi heads to Chiharu’s store for advice and the latter suggests the latest RPG game. It only costs 7,350 Yen. That is the price to pay for getting closer to your sister. On the way back, she bumps into Kayura who tells her she needs a console to play that. That will cost another 20,000 Yen. Oh, here’s another shooter game that Nagi should be interested in. That will be 6,800 Yen. This better be worth it. Tsugumi is about to show off to Hayate the games she bought when he says Nagi already has them and are crap. FFFFUUUUUU!!! Later having a drink with Chiharu and Kayura, the duo argue their different points on games so much so they want Hayate to bring Nagi here right now. Tsugumi can kiss about getting closer to her goodbye. Nagi passionately explains why both games stink since she actually skipped school and continuously played them finish. Kids, don’t skip school just for this. Since she’s already here, she takes Tsugumi to a computer store and browse through retro games. She seems like a pro. Then she takes her to an anime store and despite ranting like a pro, Tsugumi notices how her eyes light up while discussing the useless subject. Of course Chiharu and Kayura have their say too and thus begin a three-way argument. They love the same thing and yet can’t get along. Sigh… Hayate makes his recommendations to Tsugumi but how come the animes he chose has all the main characters die in the end?! I guess Tsugumi wants to buy them all but finds out she’s broke. For the sake of getting closer to her sister, she is willing to go into card debt! No way man! For a cheaper alternative, Nagi suggests to go get manga. I guess this suddenly flipped some inner switch among our ‘pros’. At Wataru and Saki’s store, Nagi pinpoints the important mangas of a certain author she should read. Unfortunately Wataru doesn’t carry such titles, much to her dismay. Chiharu thought it’s her turn to interject with another title under the same author but he too didn’t carry that title. Now it’s Kayura’s turn but nobody recognizes the suggested title. Did it get cancelled? So another argument on the cards. How can they even fight over the same author? Disgraceful. Tsugumi wanders on her own and into the erotic section. What has been seen cannot be unseen. She more or else grasps the kind of stuffs otakus are into. Surprised? Shock? Disappointed? Finally she picks one doujinshi despite not knowing the author because she read it in Nagi’s room and thought it was interesting. From what Hayate hints, it might be from Nagi as he hopes this author might have a bestselling manga one day.

Episode 5
Nagi didn’t like it when Maria tells her to stop playing her video game and go to school. She gets teased by Chiharu who thinks Maria is like her mother. Because of that, Nagi orders Hayate to spy on Maria to see if she has any bad things that she can use against her. Reluctantly Hayate tails Maria on her errands and didn’t find anything suspicious. He never knew the beautiful side of her in fact. So Nagi is disappointed when he fails to dig any dirt on her. But after seeing Maria easily pacify Nagi with an ice cream, Maria thought Hayate insulted her when he says she looks just like Nagi’s mother. She’s not that old to have a child… What he meant was she is like a mother figure to Nagi. Later Maria calls Mikado to find out about Nagi’s father as she couldn’t find a single photo of him. Of course she couldn’t. Mikado has destroyed every document on him because he doesn’t want to remember that disgraceful thief who died in a car crash. Because she is persistent, he lets in. Shin Hayek was his name and was a conman. He got close to the family to steal the family’s treasures. Elsewhere, Yukiji gets an earful from Hinagiku about, you guessed it, borrowing money. Where did that kind sister go the last time? Apparently she didn’t learn. So much so Hinagiku has to turn into a devil to remind her why their parents abandoned them after carelessly borrowing from loan sharks so hell she is going to have their lives in debt. But you know… Yukiji doesn’t learn. As soon as she spots Hayate, she is going to milk the sucker dry. On a pretence she is starving, he takes her to a diner where she eats her heart out. She even forces him to pay the bill but Hayate doesn’t have enough money. Showing no shame or remorse, she even adds on the orders! She even tries using that toilet trick but sharp Hayate won’t let her get away. He knows all her ruses. During this ruckus, Tsugumi and Sonia somehow join in and start digging in. What the? How the? Just like Yukiji, they have no shame in ordering more dishes and piling up the bill. Everyone is assuming Hayate will pay.

So it becomes a battle of who leaves the table lasts will pay the bill. And the girls continue to shamelessly eat more. Hayate gets this idea that one will naturally leave the table if he gets a call. The only person who will return a miscall soon is Hinagiku. Of course it takes a while since it’s Hayate who is calling. The plan is going well when he bumps into a robber who smashes his Smartphone! Yukiji is so glad the robber came because it prevents Hayate from leaving. Dimwit. Now the store is under hostage situation. However the girls get the better of the robber and force him to their table and make him order! They even argue he should use his stolen money to settle their bill! Despicable! Sonia offers to go get drinks for them when they realize they’ve been had. There is no drink station here and Sonia has already run away. This is followed by Tsugumi who crashes through the window. I guess somebody has got to pay for it. The robber can’t use the stolen money because he stole it to help his sick sister. Despite telling his sob story, Yukiji got the guts to hijack his gun and tell him off how his actions won’t really make her feel better! Would his sister be happy if she got cured by stolen money?! I know what she says is true but really, coming from a person with an even more despicable attitude? It’s just ironic. Hinagiku who was cut off from Hayate’s call just entered the vicinity as she learns from the cops about the armed robber. To her dismay, she sees Yukiji holding up the gun and misinterprets the situation. She barges into the diner to beat her up. In tears, Hinagiku feels disappointed that she has resorted to such actions and should stop hiding and turn herself in. The robber mistakes those tearful pleas as directed to him so he willingly gives up. Hinagiku though relieved, is embarrassed and is still reeling from the incident. And well, Yukiji still didn’t learn because she thinks everything will be okay if she lends her money. No way!!! Go to hell!!! I guess Hayate is the last one standing left as he calls Maria to ‘talk’. Anything is okay with her as long as it’s not about money. Oh Hayate. You’re really screwed…

Episode 6
It starts off with a story that a poor boy grew up wanting to be the best thief. To be the best, he is tasked to steal the black camellia. He begins his journey till he reaches a castle in the middle of a forest. Upon sneaking in, he saw the most beautiful princess in the world. Nagi dreams of her mom, Yukariko. She asked why she married dad. Her cheesy answer was because he was very handsome. She also showed her a beautiful ring. It’s the second week of Silver Week already and Nagi has lost interest to head to Nevada to retrieve her father’s belongings. Where’s the love gone to? Hayate tells her what Maria told him. There’s a reason why the belongings were missing for 13 years. She heard from the police that all those cops and appraisers who had something to do with it all died. Therefore it was moved to a highly secured location where nobody could touch it. The more the reason why Nagi won’t want to go now. Nagi follows Hayate out shopping and because he didn’t buy what she wanted, she throws a tantrum and wants to go to Chiharu’s dorm. If only she knew the way. After Hayate leads her and leaves, she realizes Chiharu is away for Ruka’s concert in Las Vegas. Then it starts to rain and she can’t leave. The creepy sounds and old furniture seem to freak her out. However there is a tenant: Tsugumi. She thought Nagi is here to see her cute little sister. Get real. Since she can’t leave, Nagi wants her to take this time to tell her all about herself. Meanwhile the story of the thief and princess continues. He thought of taking her hostage and escape with the treasure but she points a magnum at him! She mentions God’s cruelty as she has not long to live. That’s why she prayed to the stars she would meet her prince charming before she dies. Though he isn’t exactly what she imagined, he’ll just do since she has not much time left and doubt the man of her dreams will come. But since they don’t know each other, she wants him to be her butler. He’s got no choice. And so this is how Shin and Yukariko met.

Nagi wants Tsugumi to explain her real agenda. She insists she doesn’t have any. Knowing she’s the gullible type, Nagi tricks her by eating a normal sausage and that she would give her this ‘foie gras’ if she had told her the truth. Eventually watching her gulp down the whole thing is just painful. Before she could open another one, Tsugumi lets the cat out of the bag. She’s looking for a black camellia supposedly Nagi’s family’s treasure. She doesn’t remember about it and calls Mikado to confirm. He confirms it was stolen 13 years ago and has been missing since. Tsugumi gets upset she didn’t take great care of it and the reason she couldn’t find it. Because Mikado won’t tell her anymore, Nagi slams and destroys her Smartphone. Look what you’ve done. The argument between the ‘sisters’ could have escalated if not for the lightning that shut them up. Suddenly it is roles reversal as Tsugumi takes charge while Nagi is reduced to a panicky during the storm. A tree would have fallen and hit Nagi if not for Tsugumi’s quick action to push her away. Thankfully both girls are safe. They then quickly check all the rooms for leaks to avoid all the precious doujinshis to get wet. Well, I guess it’s better than nothing. Next morning’s sky is clear so Nagi wonders why she saved her since she now knows she doesn’t have the treasure and no reason to pretend to be her sister. Does she really need a reason to save her big sister? Hayate gets a call from Mikado who wants to speak to Nagi. To add to their last conversation, he confirms Shin is the person who betrayed Yukariko and stole the black camellia 13 years ago.

Episode 7
Shin never had anything in his life that’s why he stole from others to give his life’s worth. Till he met Yukariko, he thought of living every day as a lie to get a chance to steal the black camellia. However he slowly changes and feels he wants to become that man of her dreams instead of someone who will just do and in the end they got married. Nagi adds that the black camellia is among the belongings in Nevada and if she doesn’t get it within 3 days, it will be disposed. Tsugumi wants to make haste but Nagi sees no reason to collect something she doesn’t want just to give it to her. One girl’s meat is another girl’s poison, so the saying (something like that). That’s why she should give up on it. Besides, Tsugumi doesn’t have enough money for the air ticket too. At the festival, somehow there is this quiz show that has the main prize as a one way ticket to New York. You bet Tsugumi wants to enter it. Eh? Do you know how far New York and Nevada are despite in the same America? Ayumu is also entering since she wants to get to the Las Vegas’ concert for free. Since the quiz needs a partner, Tsugumi rushes Nagi to register. However Nagi cautions if she even knows what the black camellia is. It is an old clock that brings bad luck. Anyone who owns it will have their fortune crushed. If that’s the case why would anyone want to get it? Legend has it that if one can overcome the bad luck with their life intact, it will bring the most miracle of miracles. In other words, extreme good luck. Of course that is never proven as nobody has lived through the bad luck. Nagi tells Tsugumi if she plans on something bad, just stop. Something this evil doesn’t suit a dumb girl like her. However if she wants to claim she is her sister, that’s fine. She won’t dig deeper into her identity. As a sisterly advice, please don’t do anything dangerous. Tsugumi is in a dilemma. She still can’t let go the black camellia. Nagi registers them for the quiz. The other contestants include Ayumu-Hinagiku (what the hell is she doing here if she’s afraid to board airplanes?) and Isumi-Sakuya (they’re just entering to win something).

With crazy Fumi Hibino as the quiz host, she asks really odd questions. Doesn’t it sound like her household problems? I mean, her mother is spotted having an affair and in the midst of divorce and suing?! Those are quiz questions?! Anyway Ayumu nails the final question and wins the prize. Nagi thought Tsugumi could give up but she throws a tantrum and runs away. Hinagiku is having doubts flying with her but Ayumu assures she’ll hold her hand. Ayumu is eager to go to the concert because the staging is based on a forest legend motif. Another story is being told whereby there lived an apple tree nymph near a castle. The nymph fell in love with the prince of the castle and they both got along well. But as time passes, the prince being human means his life is short. He wants her to grant his wish to live forever. She became torn as she loved him very much. It didn’t take long before the nymph started taking lives of others and countless futures of other innocent people, turning them into red apples so that she could extend the prince’s life. Tsugumi runs into the nearby forest whereby she hears the voice of a bird reminding her to get the black camellia. They are interrupted when Isumi uses he exorcism. She wants to know why she is trying to get close to Nagi and her true form. A gust of wind takes Tsugumi away and a bird dude reminds Tsugumi that if Nagi has to go to Nevada to retrieve the black camellia, then it is Tsugumi’s job to make sure she gets there. Hayate rushes to the scene thinking he heard Tsugumi’s scream. To his horror, he sees Tsugumi being absorbed by the bird man.

Episode 8
Isumi’s talisman prevents Tsugumi’s full absorption. Bird man has trouble landing (giving Tsugumi the scare of her life). Hayate almost kicked him (giving Tsugumi yet another scare of her life). Hinagiku swings her sword (almost cutting Tsugumi and another scary sh*t), making bird man drop her and flee. Though Tsugumi is safe, she is of course annoyed at how dangerous those people are and mentions she’d rather be kidnapped that way. But wondering if Nagi would worry about her, Hayate assures she will. She walks home alone and along the way meets bird man again. Shidou as he is called, reminds her to use Nagi and get the black camellia. Tsugumi will not endanger her sister but at the same time won’t betray her mom too. She has a peaceful way to solve this and wants him to shut up and watch. But first… Lend her an air fare! Too expensive? Take the budget airline! Meanwhile Nagi is pouting that all her friends will be in America. Hayate thinks she is lonely as there is no one around to play. The tsundere insists Tsugumi is around when Maria comes in with a ransom letter that Tsugumi has been kidnapped. But upon seeing the letter, they smell something fishy. Isn’t this her own handwriting? Did she stage her own kidnapping? More importantly, how the heck did she get to Las Vegas? Nagi goes to the dorm but doesn’t see Tsugumi around. Since Hayate pointed how Tsugumi thought her manga was the best in the world, I guess Nagi has a change of heart and decides to go to America and give her father’s garbage to her.

Nagi, Hayate and Maria arrive at the tight security safe and see the black camellia for the first time. Wondering if its bad luck is really true, Nagi wants Maria to hold it! Okay… Nothing happens… Till the air ventilation starts blowing up her skirt! Is this coincidence? Since it’s too dangerous for Nagi to carry around and the trade is at 9 tonight, Hayate offers to hold it since he is used to bad luck and it’s his job to protect her. I hope he better not regret he said those words. Nagi wants to have some fun since they’re here so Hayate suggests visiting Area 51. But bad luck seems to be creeping in. Hayate almost got run over by a truck and the next thing he knew, he has lost the ladies. His Smartphone died and he frantically starts searching for the ladies (narrowly missing being hit by several cars). Nagi and Maria just came out from the shop and realize Hayate is missing. He can’t speak English and has got no money. Besides, his Smartphone isn’t working too. That really spells trouble. Hayate fortunately bumps into Ayumu, who is surprised to see him here. Seems en route to New York, her plane experienced a mechanical problem and made an emergency landing here about an hour ago. Hayate notes it is about that time he took the clock. Ayumu notes how lucky she is that she gets to be with Hayate in such a beautiful place. I guess it got jinxed because a fountain pipe burst and sprays all over Ayumu. Then something got in her eye and she wants Hayate to help her get it out. He puts his hands over her cheeks and his face inches closer to hers. What does this scene look like? So when Nagi and Maria finally spot him, from their angle it seemed like the lecherous butler is kissing. Nagi heads over to smack his head. All that worry turns into rage before settling down into embarrassment when she learns the truth.

Episode 9
More bad luck for Hayate when he bumps into Hinagiku in a towel in her room. Nagi thought he was going to rape her and blows her top. Hey wait. Seeing Hinagiku in a towel is bad luck? Maybe good luck for us viewers ;p. The 3 stooges are somehow in Las Vegas too. Upon seeing the ransom note, they think it’s real and rush off to handle it. Yeah, they’re going to call Jack Bauer! Hayate goes after them but the soonest he exits the door, he bumps into Chiharu, breaking her spectacles. Seems she and Kayura ended up here due to some problem. Hayate continues to the chase before Nagi gives him an earful about wasting time ‘flirting’ with Chiharu. At the lobby, Hayate argues with the 3 stooges. Apparently the American security thinks they could understand a little Japanese and misinterpret that Hayate is the kidnapper with a ransom. They tell him to freeze. One of them panic and fires his gun, almost hitting Hayate! The public goes helter-skelter. When Nagi and co arrive, she tells Hayate to go away as his bad luck may cause problems with the trade which will be soon. As he sits outside, he meets Yukiji. Don’t even ask. She’s here to gamble away. I should’ve guessed. Learning about the clock and its bad luck, Hayate also says that if both hands point at 8, an immeasurable amount of good luck will fall on the owner. It’s close to that time so Yukiji snatches away and wins big at the casino! Serious! However as she loads them in her car, she got robbed. Boo hoo! Easy come, easy go. The clock is also stolen with it. Hayate reports back to Nagi and gets scolded for goofing off. She wants him to go find it now as Tsugumi’s life could be in danger. If anything happens to her, it’s his fault. Maria thought she was too harsh on him but Nagi will cover for his mistake and think of a way for the trade. She wants Maria to help Hayate. But Nagi won’t go alone as Isumi and Sakuya will follow her (I guess all the gang’s here).

Later Hayate sees Miki and Risa. Where is the third stooge? Apparently Izumi wanted to play a prank on Yukiji and haven’t seen her since. In actual fact, she was hiding in Yukiji’s car when the robbery took place. She calls Hinagiku about her predicament who in turn lets Hayate and Yukiji know. Nagi and co arrive at the trading spot. They are surprised to see a tree in the middle of the dessert and a woman on it named Dolly. She wants Nagi to hand over the black camellia but is told right away that it has been stolen. Upon hearing that, she becomes enraged and orders Shidou and Tsugumi to find it. So it’s safe to say the little sister isn’t kidnapped. One of Nagi’s men reports the whereabouts of the clock so Dolly holds Nagi hostage and wants them to get it. Before Isumi could use her talisman, the tree suddenly disappears and they find themselves back in the dessert. More precisely, they got repelled from the demon’s realm. Isumi is going to make Dolly regret the fact she kidnapped her friend right before her eyes. Meanwhile Hayate manages to save Izumi from the clutches of the robbers and avoiding all the gun fire (hey, he doesn’t have the clock, right?). If only Yukiji hadn’t barged in to claim back HER money, Hayate wouldn’t have a hard time carrying them both out. The robbers try to escape before the cops arrive. Izumi describes the robber who is in possession of the clock when suddenly Tsugumi pops up. She beats up all the robbers and as she targets the one holding black camellia, the clock suddenly transforms into a sword. Hayate pushes her away and gets stabbed in the heart. HAYATE!!! NOOOOOoooOOOooOOooOOOO!!!

Episode 10
Nagi questions Dolly’s intention. She wants the black camellia because it is a magical sword, a king’s sword which grants eternity to anyone stabbed by it. Nagi couldn’t care less about the sword but worries about Tsugumi because she is pretty useless. Dolly thinks so and thinks of getting the job done herself. So when Hayate gets stabbed by the sword, it isn’t long before he gets up again. No blood, no wound. Hey, maybe the baddie missed. Suddenly a large tree appears and wants the black camellia to be given to her. After causing much havoc in which the robbers flee, Hayate spots a familiar ring on Dolly’s finger. She shows Nagi as her hostage but Hayate isn’t panicking. In fact, he looks annoyed and needs to talk with Nagi. Dolly’s patience is tested when suddenly Isumi attacks her with her talisman (she might be wearing a stupid mask but I guess that’s not the point). Tsugumi becomes upset she attacked her mother and fights her. Shidou wants Dolly to return to the sanctuary since she has strayed too far and got weakened but all she can think about is getting the black camellia. Shidou flies Dolly away and has Tsugumi abandon her fight to follow suit. When it’s over, Nagi apologizes for being harsh but something is wrong with Hayate. He’s acting strange. Like he doesn’t care. She reminds him about his duties as a butler and he drops the bombshell that he quits! OMG! Say it isn’t true. Next day back at the hotel, the rest know Nagi is putting up a brave front that she doesn’t need Hayate. She wants to go sightseeing. Along the way, they meet Kaoru in a fancy sports car. Seems last night Yukiji called him to buy one and wanted him to use all his savings and will pay him back later since she’s loaded with cash. Oh dear… If he had only knew… He offers a ride and Nagi is up for it. Hinagiku will search for her sister while Maria the same for Hayate. Ayumu will accompany Nagi.

Riding along, Kaoru wonders where Hayate is since he is always with Nagi. No answer. To change the subject, Ayumu shows the black camellia. Woah! How in the world? Last night, she picked it up after the robbers dropped it during their getaway. So with her having this clock means… You guessed it. The tire gives way. Car out of control. No brakes! CRASH! Ayumu thinks she has dropped the clock somewhere along the way and goes to look to it while Kaoru heads to the main road to find someone. So if you remember the first scene in the first episode, now we’ve caught up to it. As Nagi sits waiting, she breaks down upon thinking Hayate is no longer with her. So emotional she becomes that she promises to become a better person. She’ll go to school and won’t be selfish. If only he was here. Ayumu heard her cries and tells her it is more the reason why they should go look for him so she could tell her feelings. Meanwhile Hayate is being annoyingly pestered by Yukiji to help retrieve her money. Yeah. She won’t easily let that go. He’s busy. Who cares? Anyway to make it quick, he agrees. Yukiji shows him one of the robbers she tied up in the car boot! How the hell?! She wants Hayate to speak English and find out more. I guess we’ve been fooled by Nagi and Maria to think he may not know English. Hey, he’s a multi-purpose butler, right? Though not the best but at least it’s decent. If he doesn’t want to be killed by crazy Yukiji starting up the chainsaw, he better talk. He says if the team got separated, when they need to get their share, they have to meet at Starside Hotel in the annex top floor, room 1203. Are you happy now?

Episode 11
Nagi and Ayumu head back to the hotel. All their friends are willing to assist in finding Hayate and don’t blame Nagi since Hayate had a sudden change in character and quit being her butler. As they ponder where he could be, suddenly Nagi realizes something. She might have misunderstood everything the entire time. Confirming from Izumi and Hinagiku that Hayate got stabbed and stood up just fine, to her shock this clock isn’t what it seems to be and putting the pieces back together again from Hayate and even Yukariko’s words, things are seemingly falling into place. Tsugumi pops up to steal the black camellia, only aware that it’s a clock that brings bad luck. Yeah. Here come the pumpkins dropping on her head. Nagi pleads to Tsugumi to get the ring from Dolly. I guess the sister thingy made her agree. Besides, Hayate’s life depends on it. Nagi then wants Maria to bring something over from Japan now and also to get in touch with Ruka. In 3 hours, Klaus arrives in his jet to give Nagi her mother’s wedding ring. Because with this, they won’t be blindly looking for Hayate as he is also looking for the same thing. Ruka in an interview shows off the ring to the media that her friend lent. This is a ploy by Nagi to also keep repeating this footage on TV to lure in Hayate, in which he sees it and gets moving. A short interlude shows Mikado presenting Yukariko a pair of those rings. He wants to prove that Shin is only out for her money and not love. Once he knows the worth of it, he will turn into his true colours. Meanwhile Tsugumi easily obtains Dolly’s ring and messages Nagi. Too easy that she didn’t suspect it’s a setup by Dolly to get her to reveal their meeting point. As everyone prepares for Ruka’s concert at Starside Hotel, Chiharu notices something odd, both hands of the clock never strike 8 at the same time. Hayate arrives at the hotel and sneaks into Ruka’s room when she’s on stage. To his surprise, he sees a note left by Nagi to come up to the wedding hall at the rooftop.

Once he makes his entry, Nagi explains about this magical sword made by a king who wished for eternal life. The sword exchanges souls. When it stabs the first time, it absorbs the soul from a body. The second time transfers it to another body. So by transferring the soul from an old body to a youthful one, a soul can continue being reborn. Thus Dolly must have repeated this process countless times to grant her king eternity. However she made a mistake and lost it. During that time it contained the king’s soul and somehow ended up in the possession Nagi’s family. Because Dolly can’t leave her sanctuary very long, she tricked amateur thieves to get it for her. A man didn’t know what it was and fidgeted with it on his way back. It activated and he got stabbed at the same time he got into an accident. Then 13 years pass. The soul of that man trapped inside the clock till Hayate got stabbed by it yesterday. Nagi knows this isn’t Hayate but her father Shin. Nothing left to hide, they both talk especially about Yukariko who died 8 years ago. Nagi tells all the good things and the bad (including about losing the wedding ring) but notes whenever Yukariko talked about him, she was always happy. She guesses she loved everything good and bad about him. Nagi won’t let go of the clock even if it brings her bad luck because it contains her beloved Hayate’s life. Suddenly Dolly crashes in. I suppose wanting to teach the person who taught Tsugumi to be thief is just an excuse to retrieve the black camellia. Nagi won’t give it to her since Hayate’s soul is trapped in it and that her king died 13 years ago. Shin confirms when he was on his way back to see her then, he was stabbed and that the exchange of souls means the king died in his heavily wounded body. He wants her to return the ring she also took from him. The ring that signified their eternal love. Dolly won’t believe their lies and still believes if she stabs the black camellia, her beloved will appear again. If they’re not going to give it to her, she will take it by force. Meanwhile Yukiji is prepared to take down those bastards who stole her money. She’s serious. Armed with a helmet and body pads, she goes butt kicking! She’s undefeatable! Even if one of them has Maria hostage. But the place starts breaking apart when plant roots crack the walls. Enraged Dolly is now a monster plant.

Episode 12
Hayate thinks he is dead. However we know this isn’t the Underworld. There are clocks everywhere and the racoon doll that greeted him is too ugly to be an angel (that’s what Hayate quipped. Smack!). More precisely he is inside the circuits of black camellia where eternity here is a fate worse than death. A night world where the sun never rises. The bad luck stems that your soul will always be trapped here till someone else’s soul transfers in. Of course, the rumoured good luck never comes to pass because both hands can never strike 8 simultaneously. But good luck does exist. It is a prayer to someone. That prayer is a song. You come to this stage and you sing to that person and this will cause both hands to strike 8. However when the song ends, your soul will vanish. In other words, you exchange your soul to bless someone outside. Oh, there’s another rule: You have to dress as a girl to sing. I guess that’s why nobody’s done it, huh? Dolly is getting more enrage and pushes her limits. Tsugumi is worried about her but Dolly attacks her thinking she is being ungrateful. Isumi arrives on scene but is stopped by Shidou. Because the bird man does nothing but take in Isumi’s talisman, Tsugumi wants him to persuade Dolly back to the sanctuary. Tsugumi fights Isumi and explains even though Dolly isn’t her real mother, she considers her as one as she saved her from death of abandonment in the dessert. Though Isumi takes a beating, she revives and is going to show Tsugumi true hell. Oh no. Shin takes Nagi and run while Shidou tells Dolly he body won’t last. Since she lost her sanity and knocks out Shidou. Meanwhile Maria tricks one of the robbers to set herself free. The other robber flees to the rooftop to escape via helicopter but gets caught in the middle of a powerful spell exchange set by Isumi. Hinagiku wants Yukiji to take Maria and escape. Still thinking about the money? Hell, there are things more important than that? Tsugumi is unconscious due to the blast when a pillar comes crashing on her. Luckily Hinagiku cuts them to pieces with her sword. She wants Isumi and Sakuya to take Tsugumi to a hospital and will take care of Nagi.

Shin learns that Nagi finds this Hayate person as the most previous person in the world. They reach the helicopter and guess what? Yukiji is inside! Sure, she helped Maria get away but she can’t leave her money. There’s nothing more I can say. Unfortunately Dolly grabs Nagi and the helicopter. And all those audiences in Ruka’s concert are in awe with the super tree effects in the background… Awesome, no? The only way out from the helicopter is to jump out the other side. Hinagiku is paralyzed due to the height but Yukiji surprisingly takes her out and jump. Don’t worry. She has a parachute. What about the money? There are more important things than that, right? Amazing. The helicopter is crushed and Dolly turns her attention to Nagi. She insists her beloved is still inside the clock. Nagi insists he is not. Dolly will crush her when Shin dangles the black camellia before her (he took it from Nagi before she was taken away). Shin has a favour of Nagi. He hopes he could find his stolen wedding ring. He is going to prove whether the person in this clock is her beloved or Hayate. He stabs himself. Shin passes Hayate on the way in. He tells him his daughter is in trouble and wants him to help her. Dolly tosses Nagi seeing she has no need for her anymore. She is about to greet her beloved but as we all know, it’s Hayate. He slashes away her branches and quickly jumps to save Nagi. Dolly crumbles from despair upon realizing he isn’t her love. With no place left to go but down, is Hayate crazy to jump? But they don’t have any parachute? He believes Shin will protect them. Just don’t let go of his hand. Can’t take my hands off you? And notice how both hands on the clock is at 8? Yup. Miracle time. The duo get soft landing from Ruka’s concert balloons floating in the air. Hayate apologizes for his lateness and his duty to always protect her. This causes Nagi to turn emotional. She confesses she loves him more than anyone in the world. If you want further proof of this miracle, even though it is raining money in Las Vegas, Yukiji is not bothered in scampering to get them. Unbelievable. She’s cool. She thinks she had won some and could do it again. And we can thank Shin for that miracle. I guess inside the black camellia, nobody actually sees you cross-dressing when you sing on stage, right? He sees Yukariko at the end of his performance and they both reunite before vanishing shortly.

When Hayate and Nagi land, they see weakened Dolly. Nagi tells her a message from her mother that her beloved left for her before he died. “Thank you, Dolly. I love you”. Dolly is released from her sorrow and disintegrates into thin air. The clock is now broken but they are in time for Ruka’s encore performance. In the closing scenes, we see Kaoru this close to losing it when Yukiji told him the truth. However he had a reprieved thanks to Maria. Tsugumi hands over the ring to Nagi and leaves with Shidou (who is quite a good looking guy without his bird mask). Later Nagi places the ring and the broken clock at Yukariko’s grave. Because it has stopped moving, the bad luck also ceased. Nagi ponders the amazing thing of Yukiji’s lottery win of overcoming the clock’s bad luck but Hayate notes her happiness was only fleeting and that she doesn’t have the money anymore. In a way, it’s bad luck. More importantly, Hayate states if she had succumbed to the allure of money, she would have lost her sister instead. A much worse fate. But something still bugs Hayate. Yukariko may have died with the impression Shin may had an affair. Nagi isn’t worried about it because when you’re faced with bad luck, there’s bound to be a misunderstanding or two. Mistakes and sad things will happen. But real love won’t succumb to bad luck. That’s why she knows they’ll be alright.

Can’t Believe My Eyes Of This Mediocrity
So… I guess I can’t say that the ending is too bad at all. There have been lots of comments I read around the internet and many didn’t receive this season well. It was quite a lukewarm response. I too in a way felt like that at the beginning and though it isn’t all that great either in the end, at least it does wrap things up as far as this season is concerned. Firstly, when you have viewers who have watched the first and second season and loved it, there are expectations to conform to. When that expectation is not met in this season, many felt disappointed. I mean, the first half of the series felt like fillers with the real plot going on very slowly. What would you think if you had episodes that have Hayate going on an outing-cum-date with Hinagiku, a trip-cum-lesson from the otaku pros at Akihabara and a four-way diner standoff to see who foots the bill. Pretty random, huh? Then things start to pick up and get grimmer in the second half. They added some supernatural stuff and lots of drama to go with it. In conclusion, it may not be what I expected but the series did not suck that bad either. In other words, in the middle. Mediocre. Did I put that right?

The main focus is still on Hayate and Nagi. As usual, he is her loyal butler and the rich bratty tsundere being the tsundere has her own pride. Grumpy, grouchy, lack of any enthusiasm and very much annoyed at the very least. The events unfolded made her realize she was this close in losing something very important. You could say lady luck is shining on her because unlike many, they don’t get a second chance. I’m not sure if she her character has changed permanently for the better at the end since we get no chance to see her typical attitude once she lost Hayate. It was like she has matured after figuring out the nature of the black camellia and handled Shin and Dolly calmly. Okay, maybe not perfect but at least she’s better than before. Now that she has confessed to Hayate, will they end up like Yukariko and Shin? Will history repeat itself? Only difference is that Hayate despite being a poor butler won’t resort to being a thief and steal. Nagi will definitely be alright as long Hayate (and Maria) is watching over her.

Tsugumi’s role as expected turns out to be more than meets the eye. It was fun seeing her gullible and idiotic side and thus the reason why she is being played around by Nagi. Suddenly a sister pops out from nowhere. Even the densest person would have gotten suspicious. But Nagi knows that she is not a dangerous person. That’s why she leaves her to do what she wants. Tsugumi is torn between her mother and sister, both whom she isn’t blood related too. Dolly took her in the same way Nagi ‘accepted’ her. I guess that’s what you call showing your gratefulness. Despite knowing Dolly was just using her and making her do all the work, she still stands up for her till the very end. Dolly was just lost in love. She loved someone so much for so long that she became frantic when she lost the tool that gave her beloved eternity. She became blinded and obsessed in retrieving it at all costs. Sometimes in love, you have to let go. Something in which she finally does. Though Shidou is another subordinate, I find it odd that he is often at the end of receiving attacks and just standing there doing nothing but taking them. I don’t know. It looks a bit funny. It’s not like he has any other powers, does he?

Shin may have once started out as a thief but in time his love for Yukariko grows stronger and truer. The misunderstood came about because Mikado never really trusted that guy and the convenient events that happened only made him look like a thief. It all came to a fitting end when he reunites with Yukariko. After 13 long years… That’s really a long time but that doesn’t compare even the slightest when you’re in eternity. As for the other recurring characters, I felt that some of them were just there because it is a Hayate series. In other words, for the 3 stooges, their presence is of course for comical purposes. Fans would be crying blood if Hinagiku hadn’t a role to play for. Ayumu was forgettable and probably I was getting my hopes up to see if she would confess to Hayate. Except for that one short ambiguous scene but that’s nothing conclusive either. She must have realized that Nagi’s feelings for Hayate are stronger than hers. Isumi is a big surprise because she was displaying a very serious side instead of a goofy one. In fact, I don’t ever recall she has displayed her habit of getting lost. Except for that short last scene at the airport. Maybe that’s why Sakuya tags along with her. Speaking of which, this kansai-ben girl doesn’t seem to be going around doing her usual tsukkomi. I guess the nature of this series means she can’t anyway.

Many of these side characters do not really make a deep impact but I suppose in their little way, they too help advance the plot of the storyline. I thought Chiharu was going to be a regular seeing that she appeared quite often in the first half. As far as I remember, she doesn’t really appear much in the previous seasons. Then during the trip to America, she and Kayura became somewhat redundant. Just around because everyone else is. I guess this is better than just one episode cameo appearances like Wataru, Saki and Sonia. Now that I think about it, what about that talking tiger, Tama? You don’t see him talking, right? It’s like he’s really a real tiger. In fact, he doesn’t even appear much. I thought Klaus too was going to be reduced to a background character. But that one moment of bringing Nagi’s order is at least better than nothing. At least he is not a character for comic relief. Not enough screen time for that. The worst character still goes to Yukiji due to her love for money and learning nothing from spending it all. Sometimes you want to beat up this woman for wasting away. But you got to hand it to her. She’s quite persevering in getting what she wants and won’t let others stand in her way.  And not learning from it of course. So hopefully in the last bit, it isn’t a miracle that caused her change in character. Let us hope that deep down in her heart she still has this kindness and humanity that made Hinagiku once looked up to her. The craziest character goes to Fumi. She’s really crazy and an oddball in a funny sense. I wonder her domestic household problem is the one causing her to go psycho. Maybe that’s her way of taking out her stress.

Though the series is funny in its own way, I felt that it isn’t as funny as before. Maybe the first half since it felt like fillers. There isn’t even much trivia to spot and even if there are any, it would probably in that otaku episode. As said, the second half is grimmer and had you jump straightaway into this part without knowing what the series is about, you would never thought this series’ strong points were in comedy and parody. Sometimes I also feel there is a little horror genre setting. One obvious reason why I said that is because when I look into Dolly’s eyes, they are bloodshot red and her aggressive nature adds to that. Each time I look at her eyes, it just sends shivers down my eyes. Maybe to seasoned horror fans and others won’t amount to anything much but it was scary for me just to be looking at her un-human eyes. Also in the first half, there is a scene in each episode whereby Ruka dramatically speaks in abstract form about the main story. I thought this girlish Hayate look-a-like would play some sort of a role in the later story but I guess I’ve been fooled. She’s just an idol only after all. Besides, I thought she had that little ‘scary’ look.

For the first half of the show, we have a comical segment that at the front and at the back hosted by Hayate. I guess it is to give viewers some laughs since I have said the first half felt like fillers. They are not related to the main story anyhow and are just for fun. For instance, having a cooking show, a quiz show and a very twisted storytelling of the Urashima legend. In some segments, the 3 stooges will be frolicking and the most annoying one would of course be Yukiji. I don’t even know what the drunk woman wants. Because Sonia doesn’t appear much, in that only episode she appears, she rants about with Hayate in this segment. Yukariko closes the segment by having a punishment game and have the person she has in mind strip down to his/her undies: Herself. Fanservice? For the mid-intermission part, it is called CM Connecting Theatre and is divided into 2 short parts. As usual, more comical crap like Isumi’s mother indirectly berating about bringing up her own daughter, Fumi talking a subject with Sharna only to be easily distracted with something else, trying to make someone repeat a word 10 times and then asking a question, Chiharu and her opinion of making a better cup ramen (which isn’t ramen in the end), Tsugumi and Nagi demonstrate their contrasting handwriting which may or may not reflect their type of character and the 3 stooges showing the stupidity because they think Stonehenge is in America while the Maoi statues are in Shibuya instead of Easter Island. People, remember to study your geography and world history properly.

I think they tried to distract us with a little romance but in the end I felt it was rather redundant. That supposedly date with Hinagiku eventually didn’t amount to anything because viewers are left to their own imagination of what she actually said to Hayate. I’m sure Hayate x Hinagiku fans would have most likely interpreted it as “I love you”. But what are the chances? I remember Ayumu too had a crush on Hayate in the previous seasons (and also vividly how Hayate ‘rejected’ her by giving a lame but hilarious reason of why he loves 2D women). The rate this season was going, I thought there was no chemistry going on between them. Till that very short incident at the fountain at Las Vegas. It seems to hint that Ayumu still has feelings for him till the bad luck of a burst pipe occurred. After that, everything about the possible romance about them just vanished when Nagi comes into the picture. Of course the romance had to boil down to Hayate and Nagi. I don’t recall Nagi having ever said such bold words before. Not that her ego and tsundere character would allow it. But it makes you wonder is it the kind of love that is apparent between master and butler or does it go beyond that? On a trivial note, I don’t remember the inside of Nagi’s mansion in the previous seasons. So when I see how luxurious the place is to the point where crystal clear water, mini waterfalls and little streams are flowing inside the house in just about every room, it makes it feel so Zen. That’s why I felt odd. Was her mansion like this before? Can’t really remember.

As the seiyuus of the recurring characters are retained, the new ones breathe new life for this season. As expected, Yuka Iguchi did a suitable job as Tsugumi because only bratty whiny shrieky lolis are perfectly done by her like how she demonstrated as Maria in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai, Index in To Aru Majutsu No Index and Yashiro in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Kana Asumi was equally amazing as crazy Hibino. Just think of Amagami SS’ Miya gone crazy. Other casts new to this series include Youko Hikasa as Kayura (Mio in K-ON!), Tomokazu Sugita as Shin (Gintoki in Gintama), Akemi Kanda as Dolly (Asuna in Mahou Sensei Negima), Hitoshi Yanai as Shidou (Akihiko Tojo in Jormungand) and Haruka Yamazaki as Ruka (Kaidou in Kokoro Connect). There is one aspect of the voice acting which I find odd. It’s those who voice the Americans. It is great that they try to put in some realism to have such minor characters speak in English instead of easily ‘dubbing’ it in Japanese for convenience sake. Although there is no ‘Engrish’ accent, the weird part that strikes me is that the way those Americans speak feels like Germans speaking English. Do you know how Arnold Schwarzenegger sounds like, right? Something close to that. Especially those robbers. Unless you’re telling me those robbers aren’t from America then maybe there is this possibility. We never see them unmasked either. The opening theme is the same name of that Frankie Valli’s song and is the debut of the Japanese group eyelis. Don’t be mistaken that if this song will also sound 1960’s American pop. Sounds like your typical anime pop and with the singer’s cute voice, it makes the song sound, well uhm, cute. The ending theme is by Haruka Yamazaki entitled Koi No Wana. Sounds like anime rock. Because the end credits features Ruka and feels like a music video, given the feel of that video that’s why I thought Ruka would have played some role in the anime instead of just being an idol singer.

I’m not sure if this is going to be a trend by I notice that this season and the movie of this series had taken after names of American songs (Heaven Is A Place On Earth is the name of the movie which is also the same name for Belinda Carlisle’s hit single). It got me speculating what kind of title they should put in for the fourth season. How about Wham’s lively Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go? That will be fun. Maybe something a little more serious with Police’s signature song, Every Breath You Take. How does Peabo Byrson’s If Ever You’re In My Arms Again sound? Or the dance pop of Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun? Ah well, I don’t want to go back to the 80’s just to come up with possible names for the next season. By the way, the next season is already airing at the time of this blog and it is not named after any 80’s song either. Speaking of luck, I thought Hayate has always been a kid with bad luck ever since his parents left him with a mountain of debt. It may look like a reprieve when Nagi hired him to be her butler to pay off his debts but that doesn’t mean he got any luckier, right? So in this season he beat the odds of a clock that supposedly brings bad luck and reached a somewhat happy ending with Nagi. I guess he wasn’t so unfortunate after all. Like they say, it’s the law of averages. You have got to be lucky, sometimes.

Do you remember that kid who was being left a staggering 150 million Yen debt by his useless and now missing-in-action parents? So young, so poor and so in debt. Till he was being saved by a tsundere stinking filthy rich girl who doesn’t even know the true value of money, that this boy finally works as her personal butler-cum-bodyguard-cum-confidante to pay off his debts and of course to show is gratitude and loyalty. Yeah, we all sure remember those hilarious times as the sequel Hayate No Gotoku 2nd Season came and went as fast as it did back in 2009.
 
With all the parodies as well as the mix of the odd characters, it was no doubt that the first season was a surprise hit (at least in my opinion). However the sequel doesn’t last a whole year as its predecessor as it is only half that duration. Twenty five episodes to be exact. That doesn’t count the single OVA episode prior to its release. So this sequel promises to see further developments between the characters especially Hayate and Nagi and perhaps add a few more new characters as introduced during the OVA. In for another hilarious ride? Watch to find out.
 
Episode 1 starts off randomly with Nagi being forced to participate in Hakuou Academy’s freestyle marathon run. With Hayate by her side during training, can she even make past 50 metres? Tell that to a manga freak who locks herself up in her room all day drawing manga. Yeah, she collapsed after 3 metres. Klaus takes this chance to make a bet. If Nagi does not finish first place in the marathon, Hayate must quit. Oh boy, that’s pretty dangerous don’t you think? Furthermore, she has major competition in the form of Hinagiku. What’s more, the winner of this competition will win 150 million Yen cash prize! Yeah, a big motivation for Hinagiku’s useless drunkard sister-cum-teacher Yukiji to even enter the race. Hayate trains Nagi till race day. Thankfully this race has competitors racing in pairs so Nagi can be rest assured that Hayate will be on the lookout. And since this is a freestyle marathon, apparently shortcuts are allowed. If you know where they are. Good for Hayate-Nagi team. Of course the duo encounter obstacles in the form of other butlers such as Nonomura and Himuro. Then there’s that weird distraction from Maria and Saki in weird (and embarrassing) Max Heart Pretty Cure parody. The inevitable happens when Hayate is faced with Hinagiku. She is the only person left standing for Nagi to reach the finish line. Hayate would do anything for Nagi and that means turning into a devil. No, he does not transform into a horned imp. Rather, he changes their battle stage on a suspension bridge. If you remember, Hinagiku is well afraid of heights. With her scared stiff and paralyzed, Nagi is just metres away from the finish line when Yukiji crosses it first! By a hair’s length! I can’t believe that drunkard won!
 
Therefore in episode 2, Klaus is going to fire Hayate as part of the deal. However Nagi is the boss so she is going to fire him as well. Plus, Maria seconds Nagi’s decision because it was Klaus who made Maria and Saki don that embarrassing stint back then. So panic Klaus changes his mind and decides to give him a second chance. He recommends Hayate to do some butler training at some Tiger Den place. Say what? On his journey, he meets a young priestess, Fortesia, who on one hand could take out some loser otaku robber all by herself but at the same time is so money-minded. As fate would have it, Fortesia seems to be the person in charge of that Tiger Den (some church) and to train incompetent, useless and trash butlers. Of course Nagi gets suspicious that Hayate may get picked up by weird women and due to his bad luck with them, she calls him one night and she misinterprets when she hears a woman (Fortesia) yelling back about no handphone policy in church. Thus the next morning, Nagi intends to head where Hayate is. It seems the test Hayate will undergo is some RPG-like quest called Butler Quest. Yeah, form a party of 4 and retrieve the Butler’s Medal through the dungeon. Uh huh. How is this really going to help in his training? So the other members in his so called party will be Nagi, Yukiji (she become broke after repaying all her debts to Hinagiku from her win – so she’s basically here for the treasure) and Wataru (based on Saki’s recommendation). A twist in the end shows Isumi talking to an old sister named Fortesia! Oh my. Unless there are 2 Fortesias, one must be an imposter, right?
 
The so called adventure-cum-training begins in episode 3 and useless Yukiji goes out as soon as it starts. So the remaining brave ones trek through the treacherous and haunted labyrinth dungeon. The gang meets the ghost of a dead priest Rin Regioster of this church as he tells them to seek some flower to heal Hayate since he got poisoned while protecting Nagi from the traps. While Nagi and Wataru get chased around by ghosts and robots, thankfully Hinagiku appears in time to save them. Hinagiku was given a wooden sword Masamune to fight by Isumi while she herself heals Hayate a little. When the gang regroups, Fortesia reveals her true nature as she summons a monstrous robot to wipe them all out. However Hinagiku unplugs the power source so it’s good as scrap metal. We hear Fortesia’s story on why she wants to exact revenge on Nagi. Daddy was a mafia back in Sicily and his first job was to assassinate Nagi but was thwarted by Hayate. Daddy decides to go to Japan and be a cook seeing that being a mafia wasn’t his forte but ended up getting poisoned by a blowfish. Yeah, so she blames it on them for her revenge. Hinagiku dukes it out with Fortesia when possessed Yukiji returns. Another humongous robot unleashed. Wataru saves Fortesia from being crushed and offers her words of advice so much so you can tell that she’s actually starting to fall for him. With Hayate’s determination to protect Nagi, he gets the much needed super power to destroy the mechanical being and the ghost freed courtesy from Isumi’s exorcism. However the impact has destroyed the whole church. And the old sister thought she just wanted a ghost exorcism. When they return, Hayate has passed the test and is back as Nagi’s butler. He has to. Otherwise Klaus would have to go to :).
 
Valentine’s Day is approaching in episode 4 so Nagi is preparing hard her chocolates for Hayate. But we all know the disaster it will turn out at every try. Ayumu too has the same thinking but seeks Wataru for advice. Hinagiku on the other hand has received many chocolates from her fans alike. She spots Ayumu being harassed by the MIBs outside the school gates for trespassing so she allows her to come in. Ayumu wishes to see Hayate so Hinagiku arranges for butler boy to meet her. But shortly after so, Ayumu rushes out of the room. What has just happened? Seems she gave Hayate obligation chocolates rather than her handmade ones. Does she regret making both now? Underneath a bridge, Ayumu reflects on her actions. Hayate shows up and her instant reaction was to hug him (yikes!). She gives him her handmade chocolates and says that he doesn’t have to give her an answer now (fans should know that she holds a secret crush on Hayate). Ayumu goes to find Hinagiku and gives her a box chocolate as token of appreciation and both girls become good friends. Meanwhile Hayate is annoyed that Rin seems to be hanging around in the mansion rather than going to heaven. Hayate also asks Maria for advice about receiving Valentine chocolates but she has no experience in such an event. Thus Maria is in a dilemma to give him chocolates or not. As for Nagi, I guess all the times she tried failed so she orders Hayate to make and giver her chocolates. Hayate and Maria both make their chocolates but each time Hayate unknowingly makes better themed chocolates than her. She gets depressed so Hayate cheers her up with some words and gives her his chocolates after giving his to Nagi.
 
In episode 5, Ayumu’s brother, Kazuki, remembers how he first met Nagi and fell for her. In present time, Nagi once again leaves the mansion and I wonder if those bunch of SPs are really doing their job. Can’t even keep an eye on a little girl. As expected, Nagi realizes that a stalker is following her. Actually, he is Kazuki. He panics and starts saying "I love you". It’s really embarrassing if you consider many passers-by watching them in broad day light. To make up for it, he takes her out to places like the train station (seriously Nagi is so excited sitting in one), playing video games at the arcade and a boat ride at the park. Of course Nagi starts acting up and is going to fall over. Thankfully Hayate pops out from the water to keep her from getting wet before disappearing to who knows where (if you watch closely, he has been following her in the shadows all along). The day ends and the duo will soon have to part. Kazuki notes that Hayate may be the person in Nagi’s heart but he isn’t going to give up early yet. In the second half of the episode, Nagi is upset that Hayate isn’t seeing her as a woman. One night while Nagi is bathing with Maria, the latter leaves and hands Hayate the task to give Nagi towels. The obedient butler does so and in great timing, sees her naked when she stands up from the bathtub. After all that ruckus, Hayate blindfolds himself to help clean Nagi. Since he did make Nagi feel better, she pecks him on his cheeks. Maria saw the whole thing and wonders how they ended up in that situation but feels glad for Nagi.
 
However Nagi is still embarrassed by all that so in episode 6, she doesn’t want to see Hayate’s face for the next 3 days. That means he has to leave the mansion for that period. Now he’s homeless, eh? Don’t worry. Maria gave him 1 million Yen as allowance! That’s enough for him to last a whole year! Of course holding so much cash means attracting money-minded people like you know who. He also meets people who seem conveniently in dire need for money so generous Hayate gives them what they need till he is all broke. Yeah, homeless and broke now. Luckily he is found by Hinagiku as she takes him in. Funny thing about Hinagiku’s mom is that she is quite enthusiastic about Hayate and even wants to put girly clothes on him. He sure does have a girly face. Hayate stays in Yukiji’s room (she stays at school, remember?) as Hinagiku helps him study for his exams. Of course Hinagiku misinterprets that he had a fight with Ayumu. Soon all the people who received money from Hayate come to the mansion and return the money to Maria, prompting her to wonder where he is. She finds out that he is in school and decides to go undercover by dressing as a student to observe him. However she is stunning in it that the boys are starring at her and attracting unwanted attention. I’m not sure if those glasses help. Then Hayate and Maria come close in the elevator and both pretend to not know each other so Maria thinks of playing a little prank on him.
 
Maria must be really enjoying teasing Hayate in episode 7 because that kid’s face is so red. Then the elevator stops, he wants to apologize to her, they accidentally got into an ambiguous position and Hinagiku sees it. Before anything else could happen, Hayate and Maria escape. Hayate confirms who Maria is and when the latter realizes that she left Nagi home alone, she leaves. That night, Hayate and Hinagiku shop for dinner ingredients and after they reach home, they cook together. Then to her surprise she finds out he and Ayumu aren’t dating and her mind starts to run wild because she’s home alone with a single guy. You know what that means when 2 healthy kids are strung together. She panics and runs out, he chases after her. Hinagiku meets Ayumu on the way and with Hayate by her side, it’s Ayumu’s turn to misinterpret. She thinks they’re like newly-weds and have committed adultery?! Thankfully Hinagiku explains the truth. On their way home, they pick up a homeless black kitten and nurse it. As Hayate goes out to get some stuff, the girls chat as Hinagiku finds out the real background story about Hayate being in debt and all. Hinagiku decides to support Ayumu for Hayate.
 
Episode 8 is the day Hayate is allowed to return. Because Hinagiku’s mom is allergic to cats, Hayate brings it back with him. Nagi is happy to see them both and decides to take care of the cat which she calls Shiranui. Has she forgotten she has a cat? A big one? Yeah, that white talking tiger named Tama. Feeling abandoned, eh? Tama plans to get even or rather put the blame on Shiranui by making it shred Nagi’s manga work. Well, the kitten does it and because they didn’t really expect that, Nagi comes in and sees Tama as the one who shredded her work. Grrr… Plan backfired and he’s being locked away. Isumi pays Nagi a visit but it seems Shiranui doesn’t like her. So she goes to Sakuya for advice. She should have known better to come to this comedian for one. After soaking in the hotspring, Sakuya suggests changing her appearance and proceeds a total make over for Isumi. It is embarrassing for her to wear frilly skirts but if that’s what it takes to make the cat like her, then well so be it. On her next visit to the mansion, Hayate sprays a little diluted catnip extract on her so Shiranui instantly likes her and mentions that her usual kimono may have a smell that cats don’t like. Isumi gets upset when she finds out Sakuya made her go through all that embarrassing stuff. Isumi later successfully bonds with Shiranui and Tama is let out because as Hayate says, it is no fun without him. And all the photo shots of them are being sold by Sakuya to Wataru (that guy is totally taken by Isumi in a skirt).
 
Fortesia is really in love with Wataru no matter how she goes around in her thinking so in episode 9 she takes up his offer to rent his videos as an excuse to see him. However she notes his interaction with Saki and you know, doesn’t like the other woman. Soon a pair of bungling baddies accidentally kidnaps Saki so Fortesia asks how important she is to him. She’s like his family, you know. She further adds if he would kiss him if she saves her. What kind of thoughts are coming from this sister? Anyway Wataru kisses her cheek as advance payment. She goes into hyper mode and saves Saki unscathed by slicing the car in half. Wow! What’s worse than a crazy sister? A crazy sister fantasizing that she’s in love. Don’t mess with her. The next time Fortesia goes to rent videos from Wataru, Saki is not too happy over their ‘friendliness’ and gets this thirst to kill. All women have that instinct, I guess. In the second half, of all people to ask, Makimura had to ask Yukiji for advice on love. Yeah, she fakes that she’s soooo experienced in it. After that she reflects over her boyfriendless status and wants Hayate and Nagi to hold a social party so she can grab a boyfriend for herself. A rich one. Some teacher. Later she goes about trying to ask some people for some experience at a social party. It ends up having Hayate doing a mock confession to Izumi (one of the student council’s 3 stooges. Finally I get to remember their names). Yukiji put words in her mouth as part of her experiment and after realizing that boyfriends aren’t what she really wants because she loves booze more them, so to hell with boyfriends as she rushes to the social party for the booze. Speaking of which, the party is in a total mess.
 
Episode 10 starts with a short flashback on how Ayumu meet Hayate when he saved her from her speeding bicycle without brakes. That’s when she fell in love with him. In present time, Hayate intends to buy Hinagiku a birthday present when he bumps into Ayumu on the streets. He asks her for advice and what do you know, the 3 stooges show up and they all agree to help choose a present for Hinagiku. And yeah, Hinagiku spots her girls on the streets and thinks they’re ditching their duties. So she learns straight from Hayate’s mouth that he doesn’t have the right to date any girl because he doesn’t have money to support her for the rest of his life (I understand what you mean, Hayate). Furthermore, he got this idea during kindergarten when some girl told him if he wants to have a girlfriend he must be strong and have lots of money. Some concept that was. But good thing is at least Ayumu knows Hayate doesn’t hate her. Hayate goes home and after giving Nagi a hairpin as her present, he asks Maria when is her birthday but she avoids answering him. Thinking he may have said something wrong, he searches for her to apologize. Maria eventually tells him that her birthday was set to be 24th December. Why? She claims she doesn’t even know her real name or even how her parents look like. Hayate gives her a weird rabbit stuff doll as her present and promises to give her a much better present on her birthday. On an unrelated note, that rabbit doll seems to be a character from a TV show – "I’m an assassin from hell. It’s another day of massacre!". Don’t judge a book by its cover.
 
Hinagiku seems to be thinking a lot on Hayate lately though she denies she’s in love or whatsoever in episode 11. That’s what they all say. As tomorrow is the Hinamatsuri festival, Sakuya accidentally breaks a Hina doll. Isumi says that if the seal is broken, the unluckiest person will be cursed. Oh uh. You know who that is. So it is bloody shocking for Nagi and Maria when they see Hayate dressed in a maid outfit doing chores. Yeah, like their dreams of putting on girly clothes on Hayate came true. Even Hayate doesn’t realize it till Maria points it out. To Hayate’s horror, he can’t take it off. So we find out the curse was by a craftsman who has some sick fetish of cross-dressing and the only way to dispel it is to defeat the owner of the highest place in this area. In other words, beat Hinagiku at the top of the student council room, the clock tower. What else is new? Meanwhile Hinagiku is still confused about her feelings for Hayate and though Rin tries to point out, eventually Hinagiku thinks her unsettled feelings stemmed from their unsettled fight. Matters are made worse when Isumi hands a letter and her poor explanation makes Hinagiku to believe it is a challenge letter. On the day of the festival, Miki seems interested to know what Hayate is hiding underneath his cloak and chases him. Though he manages to lose her, he bumps into a loser butler, Kotetsu. He instantly falls in love with him! He isn’t going to let Hermione (the alias Hayate gave so as not to give away his identity) escape! He’s sure having a streak of bad luck.
 
Hayate is having a tough time getting away from Kotetsu’s persistent advances in episode 12. It gets worse when Miki (Kotetsu is her butler by the way) is enthusiastic in watching the developments. Furthermore, when she points out that Hayate is actually a boy, Kotetsu goes into a rage and thinks he’s like all the other girls who have betrayed him. WTF?! Hayate manages to give him the slip but Kotetsu kidnaps Nagi in order to lure him out. Hayate ends up over a cliff and that’s when the craftsman spirit appears. He is still sick even in death. After learning Nagi’s life is in danger, Hayate now couldn’t care less about his appearance and takes the shortest route to where she is. Right through the festival, even if it means everyone seeing him in that embarrassing outfit. While Hinagiku is forced to give the crowd a karaoke rendition, Nagi on the other hand spites Kotetsu for his actions. He’s going to regret ever kidnapping her. Besides, she’s a veteran of being kidnapped, you know. Now, you have got to love what that acid tongue girl says to him. "Your cheap love is the reason why you’re not popular with girls", "You care only about the physical appearance", "Where’s the heart?". All so true. By that time Hayate has arrived and is ready to give Kotetsu a piece of his mind. But Kotetsu has opened his eyes. He has realized. Thanks to Nagi, he can move on. No wait. He wants to move to Holland and marry Hayate because they legalize gay marriages there! Yeah, it’s gotten worse. So Nagi pounds him instead because Hayate belongs to her and only her. The craftsman after seeing how fierce Nagi is, uplifts Hayate curse. When Hayate goes back to his room he remembers that he has a match with Hinagiku. He rushes to the clock tower and finds Hinagiku sleeping there. Waited too long, eh?
 
So Hinagiku wakes up and thinks it’s part of his sneaky plan to take the enemy when she’s got her guard down. The battle begins in episode 13 as Hayate tries to reason with her. It seems the Masamune sword though gives Hinagiku great powers, its side effect cause her to be very emotional. Yup, she loses control of herself. Was it Hayate’s profuse apologies that got Hinagiku to stop short of striking his head? Whatever it was, it seems she calmed down and shed tears. Then she puts her head on his chest. Emotional alright. After that, he hands her his handmade cookies as her birthday present. Hayate learns that Hinagiku’s real biological parents went missing and left her with an 80 million Yen debt and they managed to get by because of Yukiji’s sly character before settling in a foster family who was a teacher in her school. Upon realizing she had a past, Hayate proceeds to show her the beautiful night lights of the city. Afraid at first, she soon is in awe of the magnificent view. That’s when she is really certain that she is in love with him. The next day, she is back to her happy self and though she notes it is great to be in love, she is still scared of heights. Maybe some things aren’t easily overcome.
 
After that filler popularity contest at the start of episode 14 (Hooray! Hinagiku tops it! The poll results are actual results, just to let you know), this episode has Isumi bumbling in one of her exorcism duties. Since she is not well since, Hayate is being tasked to visit her. He meets her mother Hatsu and realizes where Isumi gets her ditzyness and disorganized thinking. Yeah, it’s all in the genes. Even grandma. How could mummy and granny mistake the former for Nagi’s new butler? Then a real monster shows up but Isumi is too weak to exorcise it as it has her in its grasp. With a little focus, Hayate banishes the real monster after finding out the real one was just playing video games. WTF?! On the way back, there are many close instances to take Hayate’s life. There’s one where somebody groped Maria’s butt and put the blame on him. Hayate finds out the culprit to be some little girl in a voodoo-like mask. They confront, he kicks her face, she gets mad, unleashes great powers, but withers away. Yeah, she turns into a petite old hag. She’s supposed to be Isumi’s great grandma Ginko and she is out to kill Hayate in order to take his blood and maintain her youthfulness. Though Isumi notes she was doing it for her, Hayate feels guilty for kicking her face and allows her to suck his blood. Uh… Maybe she sucked too much. He’s like a zombie now.
 
A mysterious meteorite has crashed into Shimoda Onsen in episode 15 and it is rumoured to have potency values like increase in bust size, grades and healing lost spiritual powers. Uh huh. So a reason for some of the gang to head down and take a dip (not to mention the fanservice). Hayate, Maria and Nagi take a train there and seeing that the ladies have no common sense in the outside world, he’s got a tough time watching over time. Elsewhere, Ayumu starts her early cycling trip there. Seriously, she’s cycling the whole way? Then at a train stop, Nagi gets separated from her servants as the train leaves without her. So Hayate desperately wants to go save his milady but on the other hand, can’t leave Maria alone. Thankfully Hinagiku is on the same coach so he leaves Maria in her hands as he jumps out. Kids, never jump out from a running train ever. Don’t attempt this anyhow. Nagi’s wandering has her in some Russian ramen store. Call it a good thing or not because Ayumu happen to stop by. The duo continue their journey while exchanging light insults. I don’t know if they can reach in one piece. This probably gets tougher because a car with a group of masked terrorists pulls up and wonders which of them is Nagi but decides to kill them both anyway. Seriously, can a bicycle outrun a car? Not when your life is at stake.
 
So thinking that they’ve lost them in episode 16, Nagi learns that this bicycle is precious to Ayumu as her mom bought it for her. This doesn’t sit too well with Nagi so she gets off and tells her to continue the journey without her. Eventually the terrorists catch up but luckily so does Hayate. He makes a deal with Ginko to give Isumi his blood so she takes them all out with her powers. They meet up at the next station so Nagi wants Hayate to help Ayumu pedal to her destination seeing that this is her precious bike. As for Nagi and Maria, they’ll be in the safe hands of Hinagiku. On their way, they meet an obnoxious foreigner in their speed car and give them a taste of their own medicine. Hayate asks Ayumu what she wants for White Day so she feels she doesn’t need anything because she has him. Everyone reaches the destination safely. Nagi tired from the journey, dreams of her late mom who said she will support her as the stars in the sky before her passing 8 years ago. Later Nagi soaks in the hotspring with Sakuya but the former starts to act like a drunkard. Hayate catches hold of her. Wait a minute? Isn’t this the second time he sees her naked? And there’s no reaction from both sides whatsoever? Nagi thinking that there is no meteorite proof at the hotspring, concludes that a UFO crashed instead and it’s a first strike by the aliens! In her room, she’s praying real hard to meet that alien and hopes it will use its super technology to give her a sexy body. WTF?! Be careful what you wish for because an alien did crash into her room.
 
That alien Maya, seems to have been separated from her spaceship while doing research on the planet. So in episode 17 besides Hinagiku finding it real hard and in a dilemma to tell happy Ayumu that she loves Hayate, Nagi hides Maya from the rest as she helps Maya find her spaceship in return for a sexy body transformation. So that’s her motive, eh? Anyway the spaceship isn’t at the hotspring but at Isumi’s residence. Nagi sees Hayate at her doorstep and becomes suspicious. He’s here to keep his end of the deal and give his blood to Isumi as promised. Isumi doesn’t want to get his blood like this so she leaves. I don’t know why Kotetsu is there but he isn’t giving up on his gay love for Hayate. So when Nagi sees them… Yeah, she thinks he’s into this sort of things too. She throws a tantrum and unknowingly gets into the spaceship. Ginko gets upset for anyone who touches her ‘toy’ accidentally activates it so the spaceship blasts off with Nagi inside. There is one way to reach her before it’s too late. Yeah, some baseball guy will do the trick. This is going to hurt. A lot. Nagi regrets that she won’t be seeing Hayate again when to her surprise he shows up. Okay, I don’t know what Yukiji is doing in there besides getting drunk but Maya takes control of the spaceship, thanks them and before Hayate knows it, he’s in a dream state and thought of seeing a grown up version of Nagi. When he wakes up, he finds himself and Nagi sleeping next to a grave overseeing a tombstone. He learns Nagi’s mom, Yukariko was buried here. She was suffering from an illness and since the mother and daughter was always arguing, she died too soon and Nagi regrets that she should have made up with her. After everyone gathers for a celebration, Hayate alone at the tombstone apologizes to Yukariko on Nagi’s behalf and vows to protect her for the rest of his life.
 
Speaking of regret, in episode 18 though Ayumu did mention she didn’t want anything from Hayate for White Day, in her heart, she really does want something. Hayate is out on the streets to get something for Ayumu anyway so he bumps into Hinagiku for advice. She’s feeling guilty than ever. Hayate got some cookies and is practicing giving it to Ayumu at the park (of course Ayumu eavesdropping) so he accidentally gives it to Maria, who gladly accepts it. Then he sees Ayumu and makes a promise for her to wait here by 6pm because he has something to give her by then. His bad luck continues when he bumps into Hinagiku and she finds out what happened. Furthermore, he has no more money to buy that gift again. So she takes him to Donguri cafe belonging to her friend, Hokuto Kaga, so that he could bake his cookies. However the cafe which normally does not have many customers suddenly experiences a surge in them so Hayate has his hands full in serving them. Luckily Maria and Hinagiku had heard all about it and lend him a hand so he could bake his cookies in peace before the deadline. He manages to give Ayumu the cookies, making her feeling very happy. That night, while Hinagiku walks home, she gets a pleasant surprise from Hayate as he too gives her his homemade cookies for all that she has done.
 
Nagi decides a change of pace in her life in episode 19 and wishes to follow Hayate to buy his new handphone. No guys, you’re not dreaming nor is this an April Fool’s joke. At a crowded store, Nagi gets lost though she pins the blame on Hayate. Of course with her small stature, it’s no surprise that the lost and found employee would mistake her for a lost child (which she really is). While waiting in the room, Nagi is confronted by 3 young punks teasing and mocking her. She decides to fight them all via Hayate No Gotoku Trading Card game! Wow. Some shameless advertising of their products, eh? I suppose all the illustrations are from the real cards itself. The power ups, the combos, you know those sort of stuff. Because the heroine of the show can’t lose, she eventually unleashes some super combo to defeat the trio. When Hayate arrives, he sees Nagi being treated like a boss so she gets embarrassed and starts denying everything. In the second part, Sakuya’s birthday is coming up so all she wants from Hayate is a good laugh. Easy? Not. So with Nagi, the duo observe anything funny that may arise from Maria’s actions. Since they can’t be a stalker, Hayate is being suggested to do a comical jab. The one whereby hitting he person with a paper fan whenever a joke arises. Nagi and Sakuya sure must be enjoying this. After having several close shaves, Hayate thinks he finally hears Maria says something funny. He rushes over to slap the fan but slips and accidentally hugs her instead. Pissed off Nagi hammers him. Sakuya sure is enjoying this. Later Sakuya thanks Hayate for the wonderful joke and hopes he’ll do his best on the real day. Yeah, that was just practice you see. I guess she can’t help wanting more because Sakuya is watching Wataru trying to jab Isumi. Can her ever jab at her cute face?
 
The reason why Rin’s soul can’t rest in peace and go to heaven was because he has a regret. And that regret in episode 20 is… He wants to flirt! And this guy was a priest in his life?! He thinks of flirting with Maria but she can’t see him. He and Hayate go to Isumi for help and since taking over somebody’s body to flirt is out of the question, Rin has Isumi dressed up as a maid but since Isumi does not have the spirit of a maid, Rin loses interest. However Isumi is adamant on seeing this mission through and will learn what it takes to obtain the spirit of a maid. This includes eavesdropping on Nagi’s interrogation on Wataru on what he thinks on maids (how embarrassing for that guy once he finds out). So Isumi is ready to show her maid spirit as she spins but trips on her long skirt. Considering that a failure, Sakuya suggests to introduce a real maid instead. One she has recently hired and is working part time at one of her cafes. She is Haru and is exuding all the moe appeals a maid should have which could make the slightest otaku geek go gaga. She teaches Isumi how to be a maid like wearing a shorter skirt and putting on fake smiles. At the end of the day, Isumi gets by and Rin is satisified. So is he ready to go to heaven? Not yet. Actually that was just an April Fool’s joke as he has more regrets and won’t be resting in peace soon. Isumi is near breaking point that she has been put through all those embarrassing moments and is going to send him to heaven anyway. While Isumi chases after him, Hayate is bewildered when Haru thanks him for taking care of her master (not Sakuya). Then Hayate is send crashing into the house so furious Maria has him clean it up in a maid outfit. It is revealed that Haru is actually Chiharu, one of Hakuou’s student council members. She thinks that Hayate and co don’t recognize her because she doesn’t deal directly with them. Plus, she doesn’t want Hinagiku to find out she is working as a maid.
 
Tama gets more screen time in all the other episodes combined in episode 21. A short flashback how young Nagi found him in the heart of Africa and proceeded to be its mom and take care of him. Wait a minute. There are no white tigers in Africa. So how? Yeah, her pals must be thinking it has to be a cat then. Anyway Tama as usual doesn’t like Hayate and Shiranui because with those 2, Nagi pays lesser attention to him. So on an attempt to get back at Shiranui, Tama accidentally gets locked up in a delivery truck with the cat to parts unknown. Can this spoilt feline survive? He’s having a hard time trying not to get spot by humans because he’s thinking that they will shoot him to death upon sight. Hayate finds out about Tama’s case from Rin (who is watching eternal reruns of Isumi’s maid skirt tripping. Sick guy!). Tama finds Shiranui and for once is glad to be with it. Seems that they’re not far away (not in another district at least) because they spot Miki and Izumi. Shiranui steals Izumi’s handphone with GPS but even with directions, he couldn’t possible know where his home is. So he turns to the forums for help instead. Mostly unwanted and unrelated comments except an anonymous one which proves helpful. As Tama follows the directions, he then sees Shiranui playing with a hand puppet in the middle of the street. Hey! Isn’t that Pucchan from Gokujou Seitokai?! What is he doing here?! Anyway it’s lifeless without someone having to put his/her hands through it. Then Tama is in a dilemma to save Shiranui from an oncoming truck or not. In the end, he decides to save Shiranui and puts his life in danger. Before Tama becomes road kill, Hayate swiftly appears and saves them both. However Tama’s cover has been busted and the crowd alerted of a tiger’s presence. But Hayate disperses them by saying that this couldn’t be a tiger because it looks ugly and is just a costume. Now he feels like ripping the butler apart. When the gang arrive home, we find out that Nagi was the anonymous sender who helped Tama. Their bond sure goes back a long way.
 
In episode 22, Nagi asks Hayate what he wants for his birthday and his reply is a wristwatch. Thus Nagi shocks everyone by deciding to work so that she could buy him that gift. She ends up at Donguri but Hayate is there to keep an eye out for her. Guess who is there working part time too? It’s Ayumu. The rivalry is still there. It’s like a cat and a dog, oil and water, fire and ice. You could feel the tension. So the battle to see who could do better begins. But it seems Nagi can handle the work pretty well. Then a famous mangaka enters but he starts breaking down after getting lost in his plot for his story. After getting a good lecture and coffee brew from Nagi, he calms down and gets inspiration to go on. Wow. The master getting a lesson from his fan. Maria who is worried on how Nagi is doing, disguises herself in a nurse outfit (probably must be the SPs sick fetish) and patrons the cafe. Of course both sides pretend to not know each other. Then the mangaka returns and instantly falls for Maria. He wants to marry her! Hayate intercepts and after thinking how not to give away Maria’s identity, says that she is a man! That guy believes it and leaves. Yeah, another cheap love based on appearance, I guess. Maria is not too happy and gives Hayate a long lecture.
 
It’s Sakuya’s birthday in episode 23 and Chiharu is disheartened to learn that Sakuya’s pals include Hayate and the rest. This means there is a high chance her cover will be blown. We learn she took up this maid job when her dad’s company is going to bust. Noticing how some maids aren’t doing their job properly and wanting to show them the proper way, she takes up the offer. But soon after her dad’s company was saved after an investment group showed up. Chiharu learns that Nagi is too tired from her part time job to attend so in a way she is happy. But her happiness is short lived when a student council member, Aiko, spots and recognizes her instantly. Chiharu starts to panic and pleads to keep this a secret. Her actions tell us otherwise. Big trouble. Because Wataru is the only childhood friend that turn up, Sakuya has him do some onstage comedy. Urm… His finger trick is lame. Eventually Nagi and Hayate did show up for the party and while Sakuya is comforting Wataru in the waiting room, they get into an ambiguous position that anyone could misinterpret. And that person happens to be Isumi. You just wish she’d be lost at this moment. And now that Hayate is here, Sakuya has him do the onstage comedy. But Hayate is a natural. The crowd is going wild with the lines that I can’t comprehend. He may be better than Leno, Lettermen or O’Brien! Then later the gang meets part of Sakuya weird family (her dad doing strip talk show?). Nagi walks away after seeing how close they are. On the other hand, Hinagiku is surprise to see Ayumu working at Donguri. She makes up her mind to tell Ayumu her feelings for Hayate.
 
Ayumu and Hinagiku take a walk in episode 24 but to Hinagiku’s horror, Ayumu wants to ride a Ferris wheel. Though Ayumu finds out her fear of heights, she manages to take her mind of it. That’s when Hinagiku confesses her love for Hayate and that she has betrayed her. Ayumu isn’t surprise because she was expecting they’re already dating and have done all sort of things (wink, wink). Plus, Ayumu remains positive and optimistic that no matter who Hayate loves, she’ll make him look at her eventually. So a race to see who’s first to sweep Hayate off his feet? Meanwhile Nagi has gone missing so the gang searches for her. Sakuya learns Hayate has a missing older brother and because of her onii-chan complex, she wants to call him one. Eventually Hayate finds Nagi staring at the moon from a rooftop. She tells of her loneliness so he assures her that she has a family in the form of himself and Maria (I guess Klaus and Tama aren’t that prominent, eh?). However Nagi points out that Maria too will one day leave her when she falls in love and all that stuff. Hayate, needing to comfort Nagi at her depressing point, pulls off that lame finger trick and earns her wrath. Nagi instantly hugs Maria when she comes as Sakuya unleashes a lavish fireworks display. This is her birthday party, right?
 
Nagi falls sick in episode 25 after all that recent ‘hectic’ activities. I guess being ill doesn’t mean she still can’t be sarcastic or a spoilt princess. When she finds out she and Hayate are the only ones in the mansion (the rest went out for a while), she gets flustered. But not wanting to be alone, she requests him to stay by her side. He reads a twisted picture storybook of Alice In Wonderland (Hinagiku as Alice and her 3 Stooges as rabbits – Playboy bunny outfits, that is). Maria comes back and finds her not really resting but Nagi wants Hayate to entertain her for the next 3 hours and sends him to go buy Packy sticks. Before that she secretly puts a tiny camera on his bowtie so she and Maria could have fun watching his adventures. Of course, bad luck Hayate experiences a string of misfortune along the way and I’m not sure if Nagi and Maria are enjoying it. His bad luck include needing to cross-dress and work part time at a maid cafe after forgetting to bring his wallet and going to every store only to find Packy has been sold out. This is why it is sold out. Hayate sees everyone eating Packy on the streets! Some urge or his bad luck. Then Hinagiku and her 3 Stooges saw how pitiful he is without one and proceed feed him, much to Nagi’s dismay. Not giving up, Hayate goes to a secret phantom store and just his luck, there is 1 Packy left! However Ayumu picks it. Hayate is bent on taking it from her but Ayumu buts on her cute innocent face so I don’t think he’s got the heart to do so.
 
He searched high and low and till the ends of the Earth and still no Packy. Frustrating. Refusing to give up, he goes to Donguri and makes his own Packy! On his way back, Hayate got into an accident with a truck. Nagi is very distraught and guilty that she sent her butler to her death over a little snack. Just as she’s about to leave, he pops up fine. So we hear he did get banged by the lorry but was saved by a super bouncy football. Wow. Kids, remember to have such a ball in hand. He hands the broken Packy snack to Nagi and though only a stick, it is the best snack Nagi ever tasted. That’s because of all the effort he put in. So appreciate it, girl. Hayate also says he knew about the secret camera all along because he’s her butler so he knows everything about her (thank God he’s not a stalker). Nagi is able to rest in peace and that night as Hayate accompanies her and sits sleeping, Nagi pecks his cheek. The new school term begins and is Nagi ready to go to school or keep faking her illness? Yeah, if she can still shout like that, might as well.
 
So ends another season. However I feel that this season is not as wacky as its predecessor. Though partly that’s because the number of episodes have been halved, this season made several developments between some of the characters. While obviously it is Hayate and Nagi (heck, they’re the main protagonists – besides their love development still like that lah, so-so only), it was also mainly on Hinagiku and Ayumu. Their character development was mainly on their feelings for Hayate. I don’t know but I think it’s just me but I find Hinagiku having some sort of an ego problem while she’s sorting out her feelings for Hayate. On the contrary, Ayumu was the cooler one though she may be a simpleton. Because of that, I find Hinagiku to a certain extent exuding less cool and calm personality than in the previous season. Like Ayumu said, love isn’t about losing or winning. Probably never-been-in-love-before Hinagiku got that mixed up. Who will win the race to Hayate’s heart? Or will it ultimately be Nagi or the appearance of a 3rd unknown outsider? Or maybe he’s still into 2D girls and got no money to support a girl.
 
Speaking of the other characters, I felt that some of the other characters from the first season have been sidelined. It’s like it could have been done without them. For instance the butlers Nonomura and Himuro and the names of their young masters that I have forgotten. The first episode did fans a favour by introducing a host of the main and supporting characters like them but they hardly make any appearance in other episodes and even if they did, it was just a handful of seconds. Just like Makimura and her robot boyfriend Eight. Worse screen time than Klaus and Tama. Hey, that vile superintendent of Hakuou, Kuzuha and her servant, Shion, did not even make a single appearance! Whatever happened to them? What about Nagi’s grandpa, Mikado? And I still don’t understand the significance of that pendant he gave Hayate back in the first season. Didn’t play a prominent role here, eh?
 
As for the new characters, they did not leave much impact either. After the first few episodes of the initial arc, I thought I would see more of Fortesia but she too was reduced to a minor character after that. Rin is just bumming around and Ginko is just prominent during the Shimoda Onsen arc. Kotetsu is hilarious but Hayate really wished he was locked up somewhere and the key thrown away for good. And the producers even have the cheek not only to introduce new characters in the last episode but in the final few seconds of it! Total viewers teasing, I’d say. As far as I can remember, those 2 new students in Hakuou did make their brief appearance in the OVA. I was wondering when they’d show up and to my surprise it is at this moment. Not to mention some blonde little milady-like girl that seems to be connected to Hayate in his past. So yeah, other than the character developments, there were developments in some of the characters’ past as well like Hinagiku, Maria and Nagi which offers interesting insights. Yeah well, like they say if you want to know more about those mysterious characters, read the manga.
 
I think it’s my ignorance on the knowledge of otaku culture parodies that I find this season totally lacks in as compared with the first. Well, the fansubbers didn’t prompt so naturally I wouldn’t even realize a parody has occurred. Therefore the out-of-this-world hilariousness is less but not to a complete zero. I guess they replaced those parodies and trivia which you’d see very much abundant in the first season with the developments that I have mentioned. Just for the record. I’ve spot a few besides the one I’ve mentioned in my blog (nothing to be proud of, seriously) such as Street Fighter, Yugioh and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. The mid-intermission for this season too is different. No more random lines but a pair of cards featuring still pictures of characters in focus of that episode in some position or certain action. The title of each episode too seemed toned down and lacks that wacky and witty punch which I felt the predecessor has.
 
Both the opening themes are lively and upbeat pop pieces. The first opening is by ELISA, Wonder Wind while the second opening is Daily-daily Dream by KOTOKO. Those familiar with KOTOKO’s singing style will be glad to know that she still maintains them here just like how she did for the themes in the first season. The first ending theme, Honjitsu Mankai Watashi Iro features a karaoke outing with Hinagiku and her 3 Stooges. Sounds pretty good. Why not, it’s Hinagiku’s seiyuu of course, Shizuka Itou. I find the second ending theme a little bit weird. Though the techno dance beat of Karakoi ~Dakara Shoujo Wa Koi Wo Suru~ by the seiyuus of Nagi and Hayate (Rie Kugimiya and Ryoko Shiraishi respectively) feels like one of those tsundere love songs Nagi and Hayate would sing about, I find it weird every time Nagi says "Zo!".
 
I’m not sure if they are going to make another third season out of it since they did not announce it at the end, just like how they did in the first season. Perhaps they were just testing to see if they were able to retain the fans’ interest. Hmm… Not so sure since as I have said there were half the number of episodes as compared to the first season. But with so much promising developments, it’s hard not to continue even if they have budget problems like the eternally broke and bad luck stricken butler. Even with his streak of misfortune, in a way Nagi is his blessing in disguise, don’t you think? But even if they do come out with a sequel, you can bet that I will be just like Hayate, always loyal ever ready to serve his milady no matter what it takes. Yeah, count me in for the ride. Anime, the Nagi of my life. Just that I don’t have a 150 million Yen debt to my name.
 

Hayate No Gotoku

Hayate No Gotoku OVA

October 3, 2009

I remember vividly that at the end of Hayate No Gotoku’s first season, it was announced that a second season is already in the works. Albeit it took a whole year for the second season to be aired. But before the airing of the second season back in April 2009, a 1 episode Hayate No Gotoku OVA has been released and serves as an ‘appetizer’ for the hilarious and random series that is to come.
 
Also sometimes dubbed as episode 0, for those who can’t remember what this anime series is about (I doubt it unless you totally ignore watching or reading up the synopsis of the series), it’s about that Hayate boy who has been left a staggering debt of 150 million Yen by his useless parents. He is saved by super filthy rich but spoilt bratty girl Nagi who takes him in. So now that he owes her this debt, he works as her butler, confidant, bodyguard and any other job is required at her whims and fancies. Of course the usual romance along the way which viewers can spot but the duo are so dense about each other’s feelings that sometimes you feel like knocking your head on the wall. Just made up that last part. And yeah, what is a story without the rest of the other hilarious and colourful characters.
 
In this particular OVA, as mentioned right at the start, the producers are going to ignore and ditch the original work of the series and focus on fanservice. Yes, you heard me right. It’s an outing to the beach and who wouldn’t love to see cutie Hinagiku in her swimsuit. And the gang don’t have to travel far to the shores of Okinawa to do so. Nagi is so rich that she builds a tropical-like beach right within the perimeter of her super large estate. Is this how rich people spend their money? Yeah, a couple billion of Yen is no big deal to Nagi. And half of the world population is starving, you know. But that’s beside the point. However Nagi is reluctant to take a swim because she’s a hammer in the water although she denies that it isn’t a human’s destiny to live above water and such. Hayate offers to teach her but Nagi gets embarrassed having the thought of putting on a swimsuit. She leaves in a huff thinking that it is too early for both of them to show their bodies in a swimsuit while Hayate gets a little depressed and wondering why she is angry.
 
Soon, the rest of the other gang arrive to have fun. Sakuya, Isumi, Wataru, Saki and the 3 stooges (still can’t remember their names. Sorry). Even Yukiji tagged along. Well, the more the merrier. Maria has already prepared beforehand an abundant choice of swimsuits for them to wear. Yeah, she even has one for Hayate to wear… Still love making him cross-dress, eh? Though the plan is to have Yukiji in charge in hopes of getting Nagi to swim, but you know, she has an ulterior motive. Yeah, a promise with Maria to drink all she wants. And you thought she has turned over a new leaf. Not.
 
Oh yeah. The moment we all have been waiting for. Girls having fun in their swimsuits so get prepare to excessively bleed to death from excessive moeness. Wataru blushes when he sees Saki in her swimsuit so Sakuya teases him which girl he should choose (Wataru has a crush on Isumi). Saki and Isumi get the wrong idea that he is a pervert. While the kids have fun, Yukiji and Makimura are drinking to their hearts content (who the heck is that sister nun drinking with them?) while Nagi continues to lock herself in her room reading a book. Hayate tries to persuade Nagi to go have fun with the rest but she is still stubborn. But he knows her heart wants to join them for she is reading the book upside down. Nagi gives an excuse that she’s doing it on purpose as brain exercise but we can tell she is struggling. Soon Maria comes in to request Hayate in joining them so Nagi pushes them out of her room. Nagi is upset that Hayate doesn’t have a clue about her feelings. An evil spirit seems to be lurking nearby Nagi as Isumi senses a bad aura.
 
Hinagiku arrives at the mansion thinking of bringing back her sister (Yukiji) before she causes any trouble. However she starts to get nervous when she thinks that this is her first formal visit to Hayate. It is the feelings of the heart. She then spots Ayumu nearby rehearsing her lines to ask Hayate out to the pool with her. Nagi watches Hayate and the rest play beach volleyball from afar while branding him as a traitor. A black cat, Shiranui, comes up to her and she thinks it is here to comfort her but it soon leaves to join the rest. So much for loyalty. Hey, cats don’t have that, right? So it’s Tama’s screen debut to comfort her but Nagi is too pissed to even notice him and thus ignores him. Yeah, end of his short screen time. Bummer.
 
Hayate is worried about Nagi so Maria suggests perhaps it is time to go invite her since maybe she has given up on being stubborn. He goes to search for her in one of the chalets but accidentally sees Hinagiku’s student council assistants changing. In his embarrassment he apologizes and leaves. He then checks out the next chalet and sees Hinagiku changing. Because of Hayate’s wrong choice of words (or rather depends on how you interpret it) that it is not like he wants to see her body because he wanted to, Hinagiku gets upset thinking that her body isn’t worth looking at. He apologizes and quickly leaves. Then he enters another room whereby Ayumu is seen rehearsing some cheesy lines to say to Hayate. She gets very embarrassed and so Hayate leaves. He finally finds the right room with Nagi in it and it seems she has changed into her swimsuit though wearing a robe over it. Embarrassed Nagi is going to show her swimsuit to him when Hinagiku and Ayumu rush in to apologize for their behaviour. When he says he’ll forget what he saw, Nagi misinterprets and gets upset with Hayate the cheater and runs away. That is when the evil spirit possesses her.
 
Back on the beach, the evil spirit causes her mischief for the rest using Nagi under her control. It seems she was able to possess her by feeding on her negative emotions. Hayate orders her to return his milady so the spirit explains her intentions. She wanted to swim in the pool and ocean but because of her flat figure and unable to put on a swimsuit, she hates those who are able to flaunt their curvaceous and nice bodies. She hates those who can shake their breasts thoughtlessly without thinking the difficulties faced by the flat chests (WTF?!). Even if the rest thinks she is shallow, the spirit says this Nagi girl is similar to her, like how she hates them isolating her. The spirit unleashes her powerful wind powers and this time Klaus makes his debut by ordering his SP Force and security robots to take out the menace. MIBs coming out from the sand? How long have they been stationed there anyway? But the spirit sends them flying away and thus, end of another short appearance for Klaus. It is Hinagiku’s turn to face the spirit as she rushes up the high diving platform. Before she gets to strike her, she realizes her fear of heights and is paralyzed. Sakuya mentions how this is a job for Isumi but that girl is nowhere to be found. Lost at sea is a better description.
 
Now it’s Hayate’s turn as his determination to protect Nagi has him making a great leap and breaking through the spirit’s tough barrier. His plea for her to come back has Nagi snap out of the spirit’s control. With Nagi in his arms, the duo crash land into the sea. The spirit isn’t done yet but luckily Isumi is back and puts a seal on her. Later Nagi comes to and finds herself and unconscious Hayate washed up upon the shore of an unknown deserted island. Nagi’s heart is beating fast because her otaku background has her thinking of the inevitable CPR event. Yup, mouth to mouth resuscitation. Nagi tries to summon her courage and though hesitant, she is going to do it when Hayate opens his eyes. Embarrassed Nagi punches him. Later Nagi feels guilty that all this is her fault and if she had only been honest in the first place. Hayate cheers her up by commenting she looks good in her swimsuit and vows to protect her for the rest of his life. Just as Nagi was to cuddle up closely to Hayate, Maria comes by. Yeah, the rest of them are here too. So were they on the other side of the island? Nope. They are indeed on a deserted island but this island is within the perimeter of Nagi’s estate. Just how big is her estate anyway?! Meanwhile Yukiji is seen collecting 500 Yen as entrance fee to Nagi’s beach. Hinagiku isn’t pleased with what Yukiji is doing (though she says the money will be used for her monthly expenses – erm… that’s not even a good reason). She puts her foot down and starts lecturing her to refund the money.
 
Not to say that this OVA isn’t good but it does not offer anything new besides serving as a filler before the start of the second series. Hey, we have been told about that right in the beginning. It was fun to see many of the characters again and they still have the same peculiar personality that they do back in the first season. Some things never change. It’s good especially for Hayate because it shows his gratitude and loyalty towards Nagi. It’s bad especially for cunning people like Yukiji because money and getting drunk are the two things which pretty much occupy her head. As for the several new characters which appeared here, I supposed it serves as an introduction and a signal for them to be making their debut in the next season.
 
So the love-romance relationship between Hayate and Nagi is still progressing nowhere to how many viewers would like it to be. Unless you are a Hinagiku fan of course. She and Ayumu show a little potential in developing the ‘race’ for Hayate’s love and hopefully in the second season we will get to see some of it. I wonder about Maria’s case too since I remember a point back in the first season she did seemingly hint that. Or maybe it was just impulsive. Overall this OVA is rather enjoyable and even for those who have not watched the first season, should find this easy to watch since there aren’t many otaku references and parodies used here.
 
Having said so, now I am ready to go watch the second season. I’m not sure if it is a good thing to have high expectations since I really did enjoy the first season. Is that a bad thing? Well, if the second season doesn’t live up or isn’t any better than its predecessor, high chances that you’re not going to be satisfied when the second season ends. But I can count on Hayate and the gang’s antics, that’s for sure. Definitely looking forward to that.
 

Hayate No Gotoku

Hayate No Gotoku

November 2, 2008

I’m sure all of us have dreams of living the rich and luxurious life. And that we have several personal butlers and maids to serve and tend to our whims and fancies. Alright, snap out of it and face reality already! You’re dreaming way too much. Hahaha. But still, no harm done in dreaming, right? Anyway, you’ll understand what I’m trying to say if you have watched Hayate No Gotoku or also known in its English equivalent, Hayate The Combat Butler.
 
This is another wacky comedy series. Only thing is, many of the hilarious jokes and lines have otaku parodies in it. That’s right. Too much of them in fact. It is so bad and overflowing with it, so much so I have even stumbled upon a website which has thoroughly listed down in detail the exact timing and moments of when an anime parody occurs! Really. No joke. So for an average anime lover like me, it kinda feels scary. But it’s a damn good source for referencing. So in the anime, you’ll notice that in each episode there will be lines and dialogues that are purposely being censored out with a beep when they make those references. Partly, they don’t want to get caught infringing some copyright laws, do they? So keep your eyes and ears sharply peeled and be on the look out for it all.
 
Therefore, you really have to be a real obsessed die-hard anime otaku geek to really understand all the jokes that comes in this anime. Or else, a quarter-baked (perhaps even less than that) person like me, you’ll be wondering what is going on and the meaning of it. Besides being filled with cultural and anime otaku jokes, the comedy here is also quite nonsensical and in-your-face. I guess that is what helps it contribute to the wackiness of the series. Some of the scenes are so wacky, graphic (on purpose), or even copyrighted, so much so from time to time you’ll see a little kid with a big cheeky smirk on his face carrying a sign which says "Can’t show" as a censor.
 
Initially, I thought the series was going to last like around 24-26 episodes but to my surprise it lasted a whole year’s worth of episodes. 52 anime parody filled episodes! Darn right. Uh huh. It’s like viewers will be laughing and their bones tickled with all the anime otaku parodies for the whole year. Nothing wrong with that actually. And remember to leave your logic and reasoning section on the doorstep.
 
So let’s meet our main protagonist of the series, Hayate Ayasaki. No, he’s not the rich teenage boy who lives in a super huge mansion with all the luxurious amenities right at his fingertips. He’s on the opposite polar instead. A very poor but hardworking boy. So how poor is he? He doesn’t even get a single present from Santa Claus. Even Hayate himself asked Santa personally why didn’t he get even one. Do you know what was Santa’s reply? "Because you are poor". WTF?! Since when did Santa learn to discriminate?! Life is tough for Hayate but that doesn’t deter him from working hard to earn little scraps of paper called money as a delivery boy. However, his good intentions didn’t go down too well. When the delivery company Hayate works for finds out he is still a high school going student, they fired him.
 
But that’s not the end of his misery. You see, Hayate has another problem which is the cause of his misery. His parents. To describe them in a short sentence. Useless bums. Why, they are the source of Hayate getting fired from his job. Not only that, they took his hard earned money and happily spend it away on gambling! What kind of parents are they?! The last straw came when Hayate comes back to his poor run-down apartment to find his envelope which is supposed to be his wages, to be debts accumulating to 150 million Yen! Courtesy of his stupid parents. Yeah, they’ve already ran away and left all this debt to him. As expected, loan sharks appear to retrieve the sum from him. In a desperate attempt, Hayate jumps out of his window and flees. Poor kid.
 
Hayate needs to think of a way to get out of this situation fast and all in good timing, the stumbling upon of a little rich girl brat, Nagi Sanzenin, at a vending machine in a park. Say, I wonder if this is a new trend of fated encounters because this case of a boy-meets-girl at a vending machine reminds me of the one in Sola. Remember Matsuri and Yorito’s case? Worst than Matsuri, Nagi doesn’t know how to even operate a vending machine! Rich kids… Back to the story. Hayate thinks of kidnapping this rich little girl to demand for ransom but he needs to say it in a way so that she doesn’t feel threatened. I’m not sure of what Hayate said, but it sounded something like wanting to go out on a date with him. Because of that, Nagi blushes and agrees as she gives him her phone number and reminds him not to be unfaithful. Uh huh. The narrator of the series is being sarcastic by saying "Due to the wrong choice of words, their relationship has become complicated". Darn right he is. And it’s going to be even more complicated. However, Hayate isn’t the only one being targeted by kidnappers. Nagi too has many kidnappers targeting her. Luckily, Hayate’s there to punch them away.
 
So after the duo disperses and Hayate takes out his coins to make a ransom phone call, he accidentally said his name and hangs up. Before he could make a second one, he dropped all his coins into the sewers. His day just couldn’t get worse than this. Soon he spots Nagi being forced into a car by a group of men. Hayate’s instinct to save her goes into action and we see his super strength skill in peddling a bicycle from a lady who passed by and gave him her scarf. So okay, he got hit by the car. However, the baddies saw his scary face and decides to give up Nagi and give themselves up to the police. Nagi feels indebted to him and Hayate collapses after telling her how he needs a job. The lady whom Hayate borrowed the bicycle from, Maria, soon arrives. Nagi then decides to help Hayate by making him her butler. So is this the start of Hayate’s new life or misery? Well, that depends on how you look at it. But it’s better than running away from loan sharks with a 150 million Yen bounty on his head.
 
Hayate soon finds himself in Nagi’s huge mansion. I know it’s mind boggling to see such a huge estate right smack in the middle of Tokyo. Of course Hayate would feel awkward in his newfound environment. He also finds out that Maria is a maid of this mansion. Also, the other head butler of the house, an old geezer named Klaus, isn’t too fond of Nagi choosing him as her butler and wants Hayate out. Another thing he finds out that Nagi is some sort of a manga artist wannabe but due to Hayate’s shallow knowledge of the manga world, he thinks it’s a picture diary, pissing that little brat off. Because of that, Nagi is upset and throws Hayate out of the house. What a way to make a bad start. While wandering outside the mansion, Hayate has been kidnapped by those loan shark baddies. Maria spots this and informs Nagi. Nagi feels guilty and can’t abandon the person who saved her so she decides to go save him in some cheap disguise. Well, the rational is, she can’t face him after kicking him out like that due to her whims. At the dock, Nagi arrives to save Hayate and calls herself Mask The Money. Seriously, anyone can see through that disguise. Nagi takes out her briefcase of 150 million Yen to pay off Hayate’s debt. With that, the loan sharks leave with their money. Hayate is grateful and thanks her. But since honesty isn’t the best policy here, Hayate’s words pisses off Nagi once more and they started arguing so much so Nagi wants Hayate to pay back the 150 million Yen! Ah well, that’s what being her butler is for. I’m not sure how long it will take but it’s better than being harassed by loan sharks anytime. Or is it?
 
So in each episode, we’ll get to see how Hayate tries his best to serve his Nagi oujo-sama (milady). At the same time, Nagi’s feelings for Hayate will grow and you know, viewers hope to see some chemistry between them. Don’t worry, it won’t turn out to be an explosive affair as the air-headed duo will still maintain their master-butler relationship with some bickering. Okay, maybe lots of bickering. Besides, another thing which makes this series hilarious are the bunch of wacky and zany characters. And by golly, this series sure has lots of them. Count them all if you will. So let me briefly go through most of them.
 
A little more on Nagi first. This little girl has a sharp tongue but even if she has a selfish exterior, deep down in her heart she still cares for the one she loves. As for Maria, this 17 year old maid (better believe it. She’s really 17 years old) plays a surrogate mother role to Nagi, whose parents are who-knows-where. She provides advice to her and Hayate at times and is very much afraid of cockroaches. There are moments which may hint that Maria does have feelings for Hayate (like when she got her face too close to his) but it’s nothing conclusive. as for Klaus, he’s just really a side character who tries to get more screen time. Better luck next time, gramps. Then there’s Nagi’s pet, a white tiger named Tama. At first, Hayate is shocked to see Tama speaking in human tongue and even standing on 2’s (who wouldn’t). How does he do it? Well, after living with humans for so long, I guess this tiger has learned something. Not only that, this perverted tiger at first only does this talking and walking manner in front of Hayate and later to other guys, but never to girls. Why? Because he doesn’t want to shatter their dream. What logic is that?
 
Oh yes, did I mention that Nagi doesn’t really attend school? Why doesn’t she? That’s because she doesn’t like it. Rich people… As long as they have money, they think they can do whatever they want. Speaking of which, it seems Nagi too has several pals from the prestigious Hakuou Academy. Yeah, it’s a school for the very rich, elite and super smart. In short, another bunch of weird people on the loose. Anyway, Sakuya Aizawa is a student of this school and besides being Nagi’s cousin, this arrogant brat is a stand-up comedian wannabe. She doesn’t hesitate to whack anyone with her paper fan if they made a bad joke or correct them about it. Hayate gets the end of it most of the time. Then there’s a slow and soft-spoken lady who is always wearing a kimono and a stole, Isumi Saginomiya, who’s also Nagi’s best buddy. Besides being able to perform powerful exorcisms, a signature trademark of this girl is that, she could easily get lost. She’s on equal par with Ryoga of Ranma 1/2 and Zoro in One Piece. You’ll even wonder in amazement how she gets astray from a simple location to well, a complicated far away one.
 
Other students of Hakuou Academy include Hinagiku Katsura, who is the student council president and also the kendo club president. Ironic thing about this girl is that she is afraid of heights but the student council room is located at the highest peak of the school’s clock tower. She’s another possible candidate for Hayate’s love interest but as usual, nothing really conclusive. Then there’s the school’s 3 cheeky girls of the student council whom I dubbed the 3 stooges because of their nonsensical and no-relation-in-whatsoever antics. Think of it as they’re just out to have some fun. They are Miki Hanabishi, Izumi Segawa and Risa Asakase. Since this is a prestigious school for rich people, some of the students here have their butlers accompany them to school. Like a kendo club member Koutarou Azumamiya. He has a crush on Hinagiku but other things points to him as a weak loser. That’s right. His butler Kaede Nonohara (looks like Gin of Bleach) seems to have more control over him. Nonohara doesn’t hesitate to brutally punish Koutarou when the latter’s asking for help or being weak. So who’s the master in this case? You figure it out. Then there’s a little kid called Taiga Ookouchi, but it is his butler, Himuro Saeki, who seems to steal the limelight. Yeah, Himuro seems to be like a charming person with always a rose in hand and petals flowing around him. Wait a minute. Isn’t that Taiga throwing all the petals to make that dramatic effect? Ah well, so who’s the master here again.
 
Then there’s this teaching staff of Hakuou Academy, Yukiji Katsura, who is Hinagiku’s elder sister. She doesn’t fit to be a teacher because she likes getting drunk and doing all sort of crazy, weird and funny stuffs you never see teacher do. Besides, she is so concern about her pay and is afraid of anything she does which will get her a pay deduction. Besides, Yukiji lives inside the school itself (another poor and sad case but more on the stingy side) so she doubles as a 24 hour security patrol woman. Now that really save costs. Also, there is a girl who is Hayate’s childhood friend named Ayumu Nishizawa. You could say that this girl likes Hayate a lot but secretly. She attends a different school (because she’s not rich, duh) and I remember there’s 1 point early in the series where she finally meets Hayate and confesses to him. But Hayate had done some thinking of his own (Nagi comes to mind, that is) and decides to tell her that he prefers 2D girls more (Haruhi Suzumiya comes to mind?). Oh the shock and heartbreak. But I guess this doesn’t stop Ayumu from trying. Umm… I don’t know if that’s true or not because in most episodes, you’ll see cameo appearances of her enjoying and munching some foodstuff she got in her hands somewhere. This girl really loves to eat. There are many more other characters, but I’ll briefly introduce them as I go by.
 
Since it’s impossible for me to blog each and every episode in detail (partly because I forgot most of them ;p), I’ll just blog on some of the more memorable ones (the ones which I remember lah ;p). For instance, like in episode 3 how Klaus decides to test Hayate’s butler’s skills against a machine named Eight. Of course, since Hayate is the hero, he has to win, right? Or episode 4 where Hayate tries to bring Nagi’s bento to school but got stopped by a suspicious Yukiji instead who thinks he’s an intruder instead. Then in episode 5 Sakuya decides to coach and train Hayate to be a comedian and in double episodes 6 and 7, Hayate has a daunting task to retrieve some tea wearing a very expensive cashmere coat (better be careful or else not only his debt is at stake, if you know what I mean) when he bumps into and saves Isumi from danger (I don’t know, how come these loan sharks are the same people). So you could say that this shy girl too has some feelings for Hayate. Again, nothing conclusive. It seems that there are lots of girls who likes this butler boy. So as Hayate barely comes home alive (not to mention the cashmere coat all torn up. Uh oh), he falls ill. But he wakes up to find a never-seen-before maid by his side. To cut things short, she is Saki Kijima, the personal maid of Wataru Tachibana. Who is this young brat? To cut another long story short (I’m feeling like I’m getting into the flow of this anime’s comedy), he is Nagi’s fiancee! Not that they both agree to it. It’s something that both their missing-in-action parents arranged.
 
So here’s the deal. The love triangle, that is. Wataru is actually more interested and has a crush on Isumi instead but you know, Isumi being saved by Hayate… So this jealous guy challenges Hayate to a duel in episode 7 over Isumi but Hayate loses on purpose so that Wataru and Nagi’s engagement could be called off. Unfortunately, this only hurt Wataru’s feelings even more as Hayate, Nagi and Isumi tries to go after him to apologize but got lost in an underground subway instead. We get to see first hand how Isumi uses her exorcism techniques to fend off those evil rats. By the way, over the series you’ll see Wataru running a video store and his store has a complete collection of whatever animes you can think of. Even unheard of. You’ll also notice Saki is torn of wanting to be Wataru’s master or lover but again, nothing really conclusive. Plus, you won’t see them making much appearances because this anime isn’t about him. Duh! Obviously it’s gotta be Hayate lah.
 
We’ll also get to know of Nagi and Maria’s sick fetish of putting girly clothes on Hayate like in episode 8 how they forcefully put a girl’s school uniform on him. Doesn’t he look cute? Yeah, they’ve even got the guts to put on a cat costume, which stimulates Tama’s pervertness as he tries to pound on Hayate. Can’t believe that sick tiger is actually ‘doing it’ (censored of course). OMG! Even Klaus! Are you wondering what a video game console is doing right out in the garden, besides a cue to be stepped on? Anyway, this episode also sees Hayate being challenged by Maria to a snooker game in which if Hayate loses, his debts will increase but it ended with Maria letting Hayate win because she thinks he’s a good kid but a jealous Nagi comes in to tell Hayate not to lay a finger on Maria as Maria did mention how she would allow him to do anything on her as a reward.
 
Episode 9 has Hayate trying to motivate Nagi to go to school and when she reluctantly does, she comes home only to realize she had forgotten her notebook and Hayate has to brave the night and retrieve it in some haunted section. In episode 11, Hayate, Nagi and Maria visits the head of the Sanzenin family, Mikado, who is also Nagi’s grandpa. Looks like a love-hate relationship between Nagi and Mikado as the former doesn’t hesitate to beat up that old guy if he’s being mischevious. Here, Mikado gives Hayate a pendant glowing with a dark aura but I’m not sure the significance of this as throughout the series it’s hardly ever being used or referred to. Mikado also tells Hayate about a condition for Nagi’s other relatives to claim his large inheritance if he ever kicks the bucket. Something like if they suceed in making Nagi cry and apologize, they’ll inherit all the wealth instead of Nagi alone. Huh? Also, Hayate meets a foreigner named Gilbert (later you’ll learn that he is somewhat related to Sakuya). Gilbert starts attacking them but after having deep thoughts about Nagi’s predicament, Hayate boldly claims that he will protect Nagi’s life and that if anybody wants to get her, they will have to go through him first. Hayate easily defeats Gilbert and Nagi is embarrassed about Hayate’s remarks but gladly accepts it. But for Hayate, he has found a new meaning and purpose in his life. Other than repaying his debt, of course.
 
After Hayate meets up with Ayumu in episode 12 and rejects her confession, Ayumu decides to follow Hayate back to Nagi’s mansion but got lost in the huge garden instead. Call it a woman’s instinct because soon after Hayate saves Ayumu from Tama’s advances (I don’t know how it feels like to lose one’s virginity to a tiger), Nagi appears and both girls have that fiery aura of asking who the other woman is. I smell cat fight. Yeah, Nagi has a dragon aura while Ayumu… WTF? A hamster aura? Anyway, Ayumu backs off for now. Because of this, Nagi will call Ayumu, Hamster Burglar, whenever they come into contact. Since Hayate is still young and can’t be denied education, in episode 13 Nagi and Maria has him enrolled in Hakuou Academy. With this, he could get some studies and as well be near Nagi. Hayate does his best to study for his entrance exams but the sample questions itself are one kind. How weird? "Why are manholes round…". Uh huh. Even Klaus long guest flashback story and Yukiji’s experimental teasing didn’t help much. So due to all that mental and physical exhaustion, Hayate manages to sit for the test. As everybody starts to celebrate Hayate’s entrance, Yukiji is being called by the school’s director. Why is Yukiji panicking? The director tells her that Hayate has failed by 1 point. So close. So what does this has to do with Yukiji? Yeah, she has to deliver this bad news to him. Meanwhile, the whole gang is partying heavily at Nagi’s mansion. See, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
 
So in episode 14, Yukiji is having a tough time trying to indirectly tell Hayate that he flopped. Because of that, Yukiji gets beaten up by Hinagiku. Eventually, Hayate finds out he failed by a single point and goes into depression and runs away from the crowded hall. Maria manages to find Hayate alone in the garden and comforts him with some word of advice. This manages to lift his spirits up as Hayate strives to continue to do his best for Nagi. Another close facial encounter between Hayate and Maria but nothing serious. And because of Maria’s earlier recommendation letter, Hayate has been admitted to Hakuou Academy. Congratulations, boy. Episode 15 sees Hayate going to school with Nagi for the first time. It must’ve been a long day because he got his butler necktie stolen by Himuro and Hayate tries to get Nagi join back her former kendo club which she quit a long time ago (she joined because of Hinagiku but quit after finding out how tough it was). Unfortunately Hayate is being challenged by Koutarou but after being informed by Himuro about Hayate’s strength, he decides to ask Nonohara to fight in place of him but gets punished instead. Eventually in episode 16, the battle turned out to be between Koutarou and Hinagiku (representing Nagi) while Hayate takes on Nonohara. Hayate wins the match by using Koutarou as a human shield. After the match, Nagi decides that Hayate should train and come up with his own special butler killer move technique, after witnessing Nonohara’s hand beams. Throughout the series, I don’t ever remember Hayate obtaining or showing off one though we see him undergoing some training. Like in episode 20 whereby Hayate searches the Sanzenin’s library for a book on ultimate attacks. With that, Nagi decides to train him using methods from the book but decides to scrap it when she finds out that a technique which would get the person she likes even more. Uh huh. Something about being naked. So Nagi rushes off somewhere and reads it alone. Later Nagi finds out that Hayate has been training for Hinagiku’s sake and has the book burned. Nagi is sure tsundere. Also, Nagi bumps into Ayumu and the latter proposes her to a challenge. Singing in a karaoke? Anyway Nagi beats her flat but it seems Maria seems to be enjoying herself with her marathon karaoke sessions and poor Hayate has to stay and listen…
 
After Nagi’s manga work has been rejected in episode 17, she tries to gain work experience that normal people do like cleaning the house and cooking. But we all know rich little brats cleaning means messing things up and cooking means a kind of poisoning. Than there’s this random what-the-hell-does-it-mean episodes include episode 18 whereby the girls of Hakuou Academy take a field trip to some island or some RPG-like episode 10 by the 3 stooges in an old video game. Saki seems depressed in episode 19 and Wataru thinks he forgot to buy her the furisode (a type of kimono) for her Coming Of Age Day ceremony. Since that guy has no money, he buys a yukata instead and Nagi thinks it’s for Isumi. But it’s revealed that Saki’s depression is her inability to decide which colour for her new handphone. That’s it? Then there’s episode 26 whereby Hayate faked amnesia to Ayumu because he’s still embarrassed about their last encounter so Ayumu takes this opportunity to say that he is her butler. And when Nagi reclaims Hayate, she tries to enact scenes Hayate went through in her mansion to get his memories back even though Hayate hasn’t really lost them.
 
Eight comes back for revenge against Hayate in episode 21 when Hayate and Nagi are at the Sanzenin’s amusement park right at their backyard. Gives you a bigger picture of how rich this kid is, huh? Anyway Eight is defeated and soon upgrades himself to 8.1 and does another attack inside Nagi’s mansion but still backs off after Tama tells his sob story of being abandoned. A story which is something similar to Eight’s case. We find out that Eight is created by a professor named Shiori Makimura and throughout the series they’re like an odd couple dating. A scientist dating an A.I. robot? Anyway Makimura becomes a teacher at Hakuou Academy in episode 23 and takes over Yukiji’s place as homeroom teacher (after being fired from her lab) for Hayate, Nagi and co. Jealous Yukiji has been demoted to sub-homeroom teacher and so in order to get her position back, she tries to blackmail Makimura by implicating innocent Hayate! By accident, Yukiji takes a picture of Hayate and Makimura in a compromising position. Thing is, Makimura believed that she has been violated by Hayate! And Yukiji even claims innocence! WTF?! An enraged Eight comes to Makimura’s rescue but I’m wondering why he has a self-destruct button there. I think it’s a cue for him to lose. Even after the explosion, Yukiji still blames Hayate for it and her emotional passionate speech about being a dutiful teacher moved Makimura and her students. In the end, Yukiji does another of her sly schemes by taking Makimura to a bar and making her pay for it because she’s senior. Sly. Nagi takes Hayate fishing in episode 22 at their mansion’s large lake. But their romantic outing has been ruined when a giant lake monster (sorry, not Nessie) overturns the boat. They return home to take a warm bath but naughty Tama seems to be breaking the heating system no matter how much Hayate fixes it.
 
In episode 24, Hayate and Wataru saves Isumi’s stole from a naughty Tama. Isumi decurses Hayate’s pendant. Unfortunately, Isumi fell into Hayate’s arms and made it looked like they’ve kissed, which causes a huge misunderstanding for Wataru and Nagi. Jealous Nagi even confronts Hayate and bluntly asks him if he likes Isumi, in which that guy even admits that he likes her! Though I’m thinking it’s not of the lovey-dovey kind of love. Nagi is hurt and in her outburst says that in that case, Isumi should buy him for 150 million Yen. Since Isumi has overheard their conversation, she has no qualms in accepting it. Oh no. Now Hayate is Isumi’s butler. Due to that, Nagi runs away from home and lives and work at Wataru’s video store. So in episode 25 while lots of them are still shock over the new developments, Gilbert comes by at Wataru’s store to suggest they stage a kidnap on Nagi to see how far Hayate’s love for his master. The plan begins and but Hayate hasn’t taken the bait yet. I don’t know why the location is underground Isumi’s house. But anyway, Gilbert is in a huge mecha but that robot suddenly goes crazy and has killing intent. You guessed it. It’s a robot developed by Makimura. Be afraid. Be very afraid. As the robot goes on a rampage, everyone wonders if Hayate will show up. Before the robot could smash Nagi, she screams Hayate’s name and in the speed of light, he arrives to save her. With his will and determination, he beats the crap out of both the robot and Gilbert. The duo had some reconciliation as Hayate thinks the condition of needing to defeat him to get Sanzenin’s inheritance has put Nagi in a more dangerous position. But Hayate also says that since he has neglected his duties as Isumi’s butler, he may be fired. Nagi then offers him to be her butler again, which he gladly accepts. With that, Isumi too accepts that he is Nagi’s butler and all is well. For now.
 
The second half of the series introduces a villainess named Kirika Kuzuha. Well, she’s actually the superintendent of Hakuou Academy and Hinagiku is wary of her because of her whatever evil schemes. Kuzuha has a giant white snake as her pet and a female butler named Shion Kuresato, whom she is somewhat romantically involved in. Uh huh. Something close to yuri. Kuzuha also has fetish for anything sweet and if she doesn’t take enough of them, she collapses. Instantly. So in episode 27 we see her appearance to create her own trouble of fun by organizing a Butler Battle Tournament to see which butler is the strongest. The winner gets the honour to challenge Shion for the main prize, which is 100 class credits. Something which class ditchers like Nagi would definitely want. Another reason for holding this is because Kuzuha has taken quite an interest in Hayate. As the battle starts, we won’t get to see lengthy battles and you’ll get to predict who gets to advance. In each match, the objective is to take away the butler’s tie in order to win the bout. Hinagiku enters the tournament as a butler to stop Kuzuha’s plans.
 
Episode 28 starts off with Hayate facing a mysterious butler (actually it’s Klaus and Tama, looking all fierce and powerful). The funny part is that because Klaus was getting into hyper ripping mode, his clothes were shredded into pieces and thus lost the match. So much so, Hayate advances without touching his opponents. The finals is between Hayate and Hinagiku. As expected, Hayate wins and gets the right to face Shion. During the match, it seems Shion has the upper hand. I don’t know why but Hinagiku and the 3 stooges noticed Shion’s weakness and tells Hayate to take off her shoes. With that, Shion turns into a chibi little childish girl, with her powers lost. Kuzuha takes the opportunity to escape with Shion as Hayate is declared the winner. Kuzuha is now even more interested in Hayate and decides to scrap this Butler Battle Tournament. What’s this? She’s the leader of some organization called The League Of Mysterious Dark Butlers? Over the next few episodes, there will be short moments whereby Hayate engages in parody butler battles (like Yugioh) with 1 of Kuzuha’s Dark Butlers. Of course Hayate wins all of them, but is still unsure of what that battle means. I feel that it doesn’t really leave an impact on the series and serves more as fillers.
 
Episode 29 takes a break from Kuzuha’s schemes as we see Saki’s mom arranging her for an omiai (a meeting for soon-to-be wedded couples and their parents to meet each other). Saki finds out that the person she’s arranged to be married is a teacher from Hakuou Academy, Kyonosuke Kaoru. Hayate, Nagi, Wataru and Sakuya spies on them. Though Saki and Kaoru had different love interest in mind, Hayate’s lips reading misinterprets the whole thing and sends shockwaves to the rest. They decide to crash the omiai by enlisting Tama’s help but to no avail. Then it’s revealed that Kaoru’s love is no other than that drunkard Yukiji as she drags him away while the rest head home. Episode 30 has Nagi playing a Detective Conan-like role to solve the ‘murder’ of Yukiji at a hotspring but the ending was confusing that I didn’t really get it. When Sakuya tells Nagi that she’s a brat because she has no siblings in episode 31, Nagi orders Hayate to bring her 2 lost kids so she could prove it to her. But the kids seem to be little thieves and are caught in the act by Hayate and Sakuya. In order not to break Nagi’s heart, they decide not to tell her and fakes a kidnap story instead. All hell breaks loose until the kids’ parents eventually showed up to pick them up. Another I-don’t-get-it episode 32 with Isumi getting lost as usual on her way to Nagi’s mansion. She meets some carp guy who requests her help to evacuate some phantom inhabiting his lake. Besides, remember that afro Nabeshin guy from Excel Saga? Yeah, he makes his cameo appearance here as well. Can’t have a parody without him, huh? Might as well. Since this whole anime has been over-parodied from the start.
 
Kuzuha starts her plan to get Hayate in episode 33. First she turns down requests from the Dark Butlers to attack him after several failed attempts. At Hakuou Academy, it is the cultural festival and it seems Yukiji has dragged Hayate into doing her work, which pisses off Nagi who searches for him but can’t seem to find him. Nagi’s wondering has made her encounter a mysterious fortune teller who hypnotizes her to bring Hayate. Hayate gets call from Maria about Nagi’s disappearance but that little girl appeared behind him. Nagi leads Hayate and Hinagiku to an abandoned part of school and that fortune teller is a masked butler in disguise starts attacking them. Though our heroes are triumphant in the end, but it seems Nagi went away with Kuzuha and her snake after telling them that she’ll show the true meaning of this festival. Nagi is still under Kuzuha’s spell in episode 34 as they arranged a manga sale competition. The one with the highest sales by the end of the festival wins. Hayate has to win or else he has to wear an embarrassing maid outfit. And so it begins. Since Hayate is running a cafe with recipes from the manga, the cakes are so delicious that their sales increased. In order to counter this, Kuzuha sets up a lucky draw with lavish prizes to attract sales. Buy a little book and win a very expensive prize? Hypnotized Nagi enters Hayate’s cafe and requests a cake. Looks like the tastiness of it manages to bring tears to her and even snaps her out of her hypnotism. At this point in time, Kuzuha is leading and time is running out. Kuzuha enters the cafe to have her last laugh and victory. But the tides are turned when Maria calls them to order 2000 cakes which comes with the manga for their bodyguards. In just the nick of time, Hayate’s class wins the competition. Haha, Kuzuha must be sulking. So close yet so far. In the aftermath, Hayate and Nagi reconciles as Nagi forces Hayate to cross-dress in an embarrassing outfit.
 
Since Nagi needs new material and inspiration for her manga work, she orders Hayate and Maria to go out to get some for her in episode 35 but it seems the duo are like on a date as seen in the eyes of Yukiji and the 3 stooges. They try to set them up and even make them kiss but I don’t think it went their way. In the end, they bought a camera for Nagi but she is so mad because she thinks they were having fun the whole day while she struggles with her work. Klaus has more screen time in episode 36 as he thinks of retiring and Nagi gives the green light. Klaus intends to retire in Brazil as Maria and Hayate tries to convince him to stay as Nagi’s butler. Of course they set up some comparing tasks in which all of them has Hayate doing better than that old geezer. Time to retire… I’m not even sure about that part whereby Hayate cross-dresses as an angel to give a voice of reasoning to Klaus to stay. Probably it’s that sick fetish of Maria and Nagi to see him in a girly outfit. Then Nagi says about the ironing of newspaper in which Hayate hasn’t mastered yet. This is enough a reason for Klaus to stay on. Later it seems, that all this was part of Tama’s scheme so that he could tag along with Klaus to Brazil as well because he wants to meet some female tigers there. Only thing is, like Hayate said, THERE ARE NO TIGERS IN BRAZIL!!! In episode 37, Nagi wonders what type of girls Hayate likes after reading her own zodiac love fortune. Of course his ambiguous answer once again upsets her as she runs away. Nagi then decides to be a ‘normal’ person and she happens to bump into Ayumu. So by following her around and even staying at Ayumu’s place, Nagi thinks she can be a ‘normal’ person. You’re going to hear lots of statements from this rich kid which makes you go "She’s so rich so much so she doesn’t even know how it really works". Though Ayumu calls Hayate about Nagi’s stay, Hayate has been following Nagi from the start and is assured of her safety and leaves. The last few scenes made no sense because Hayate tries to save Isumi stuck on top of a tower. Wataru and Saki are there to rescue her too. It ended with everyone falling off and landing on Hayate, including Sakuya and Isumi’s bodyguards. Huh?
 
Kuzuha once again tries to get Hayate in episode 38. As Mikado is organizing a Christmas party, Nagi escapes with Hayate to a park. But their romantic tryst is interrupted when Kuzuha and her Cyborg Butler attacks them. Hayate lost the match but could have been done for if not for Kuzuha being distracted by a crepe van. Nagi’s ex-butler, Himegami, who now goes by the name Princess God (actually that’s what his Japanese name also mean) saves him. But the next day, it seems Hayate has lost his butler skills and is unable to do chores properly. Himegami explains that during the fight last night, Kuzuha has drained all his butler powers and thus is unable to protect Nagi further. Maria and Klaus suggests Hayate to take some time off. But Hayate gets a shock of his life when he receives a letter asking him to meet somewhere. The next day, Hayate hands in his resignation. Oh dear. I guess he must be thinking this is the best way he could protect Nagi.
 
In episode 39, we find out that letter is from Kuzuha and is a blackmail telling him that Hayate has to join them or they’ll get Sanzenin’s estate. Plus, there’s an embarrassing photo of Hayate being beaten then. Hinagiku gets word of this and she isn’t pleased at all so she tells Nagi who then arrives at some stadium where Kuzuha and co are. Upon arrival, Kuzuha tells them how she and Shion went to the Amazon jungles to get some ingredients when they stumble upon an ancient butler civilization and an ancient butler robe being protected by a giant white snake. Hayate and Hinagiku then realized that Kuzuha has been under the control of that snake. So looks like the real puppet master was the one without limbs all the while. Kuzuha wants Hayate to wear that ancient butler robe, which has previously rejected other butlers. After chanting some spell, it seems Hayate is in a red maid outfit with cat ears! WTF! Himegami and several bodyguards enter to take on Kuzuha, Shion and the snake but it seems Nagi is enjoying herself by trying to strip Hayate! Sick girl. But Nagi did say how she’d give up everything for Hayate’s sake, which made him snap out and his robe turned into a golden armour. Hayate defeats the snake and also frees Kuzuha and Shion from their captive spell. From now on, the duo will be like so girly with each other and not that threatening anymore. It seems this is part of Himegami’s plan to get the armour as he’s planning to collect several more as he disappears. Later Hayate and Nagi are at the park’s vending machine where they first met and Nagi attempts to kiss Hayate but since that guy is dense and doesn’t understand what she’s doing, she smacks him. Mood spoiler.
 
The remaining episodes seemed like fillers but still hilarious nonetheless. Like episode 40 where Nagi pesters Hayate to watch the sunrise at some beach (Knight Rider parody!), the 3 stooges mistakenly thought Yukiji is going to resign after seeing her resignation letter and pleads to her to reverse her decision only to find out that the resignation letter belongs to Makimura and the latter is emotionally touched by their kindness and decides to stay put (episode 41), Nagi wanting to find out Hayate’s weakness but at the same time Nagi tutors Wataru while Maria does the same with Hayate only to make Nagi jealous when she spots 2 of them tutoring quite close to each other and thus Maria concludes that Hayate’s weakness is not understanding a girl’s heart (episode 42), Nagi acts cold to Hayate so that he could chase him and deepen their relationship with Sakuya providing help on her luxury liner cruise which is soon hijacked and on the verge of sinking as they face man-eating sharks (episode 43), Nagi’s manga work has been given approval to be made into an anime as the gang tours the anime workplace and gain insights of how animes are being done but the end production is disgusting because it’s filled with fanservice and the lead character Hayate is a muscular manly female version called Britney (episode 44… I know it sucks but it’s hilarious!), Maria gets to enjoy a day of relaxation at some health spa courtesy of Nagi but ends up doing work there like correcting those part timers of Hakuou working there (episode 45), Wataru in shock after seeing Isumi in a different school uniform and follows her along with Nagi to a school where he thinks she’s in love with a baseball captain but in fact Isumi’s there to exorcise and calm the dead spirit of a girl who has a crush on that captain (so that she could wipe the sweat off his eyebrow?) with Wataru’s accidental help (by losing of course) when he plays ball with him (episode 46), Klaus has a robot butler named Thirteen which looks like Hayate to fill in the latter’s shoes when he’s busy studying (episode 47). Thirteen does a much better job than the human one so this sends Hayate into depression. But Thirteen seems to notice about Hayate and Nagi’s relationship and tries to bring them close together. In the end, he sacrificed himself to destroy a meteor which is heading towards Earth.
 
Hinagiku and Hayate gets a love letter each to meet somewhere and they think it’s from the other but it’s just a ploy from Koutarou to have a rematch with Hayate whom he again lost to (episode 48). Fans of Hinagiku can expect her to get more screen time here and well, it seems she and Hayate are going out. Also, it’s Hinagiku’s birthday and Hayate unknowingly gives her a stuffed dog (or is it a rabbit) when Hinagiku tries to save a cat from a tree. Consider that as Hayate’s present to you. Of course the 3 stooges too have their fair share of screen time in episode 49 by inviting Hayate and Nagi to their movie club as they try to make lots of films (most of them embarrassing shots and voice-overs of Hayate. They love picking on this guy, do they?). The reason they’re doing this is to prevent the club from being shut down and after their success, the gang proceeds to have a normal story telling competition. I can’t believe it too that Wataru is the president of this lame club. And I don’t get it about their successful short film of Hayate jumping down from the tower. Then in episode 50, Nagi and Ayumu reluctantly teams up in some high school girls quiz competition, in which they won against brainy Hinagiku and Miki team. The prize… Ayumu gets an all-you-can-eat ticket while Nagi receives a trophy which looks like Hayate. Episode 51 has Nagi sending Hayate to retrieve a tiny box but on the way he gets roped in by some head-hunting butler-cum-escort service guy who wants to hire him for 150 million Yen. Though it’s tempting for Hayate, he losses the box but manages to retrieve it after chasing it all around the world. When he returns, he is surprised to find that Nagi and co has organized a party for him and that tiny box is actually a gift for him, which is a timepiece. Hayate is now very certain of his loyalty to Nagi and later calls that head-hunting guy to reject the offer. It’s then revealed that this was a plan set up by Mikado to test Hayate’s loyalty. He would’ve fired him anyway if he had taken up the offer but now knows where his true heart lies. Episode 52 has Nagi, Maria and Hayate enjoying a trip to a Mediterranean island. I don’t know how Ayumu and Hinagiku got paired together in their holiday and they’re soon joined by the 3 stooges. In this final episode, as Hayate tries to retrieve Nagi’s straw hat, he goes back in time but at the same place to rescue a young Nagi from kidnappers and terrorists. He manages to do so and earns her trust. So when he gets back to present time, Nagi remembers him as a liar who took her straw hat and disappeared. But he gives her back her straw hat as they watch the starry skies on the beach.
 
Well if you think it’s over, then think again because it really hasn’t yet. At the end of the last episode, there is a teaser statement which states how they are on to the production of the second season. This is even confirmed with a news leak from the series’ website and a weekly manga magazine just after the season ended. Wow. Too much parodies, rip-offs and trivias so much so they hadn’t had enough of pulling them all off in 1 season, huh? So how many of those trivias did you spot? I know for me it isn’t much but I wasn’t keeping the score line either. Those trivias and parodies, they also come in the form of cameo appearances of anime characters from other series, the head bust or statue, or using/borrowing some skills/techniques used in other animes. Each of them are quite neatly done.
 
Though I have to admit that when I first started watching this show, I was brimming with enthusiasm. As the series goes by, I kinda noticed that I didn’t have the same enthusiasm and felt it was less funny. The main reason being that since many of the jokes are from anime otaku and culture, I didn’t really get them, thus taking most of the fun out of me. But when the series was reaching its end, it got me excited again because I was interested to know how it will all end. However, I couldn’t really say it was much of an ending.
 
How popular is this series then, you ask? Besides the original manga which the anime is based on, there has been 2 video games of the series launched up to date. There is also a light novel released about a month after the anime started airing, and another one which is released just before the anime series ended. And if you want to count the soundtracks, oh boy, there are the usual opening and ending albums, as well as the original soundtrack. On top of that, you have several audio drama CDs, radio CDs and let’s not forget the character single albums. Now that’s a lot of things to listen too. And if you talk about those merchandises like figurines, mugs and posters… It’s a scary thing. So you’ve got to be real kiasu, erm… I mean a real die-hard fan to collect them all.
 
If you’re into current anime drawing and art, then I suppose the bishie-like drawing of this anime should appeal to you. Of course there are times when the drawing is exaggerated but it’s all in the name of comedy. The mid-intermission of each episode features a still picture of the characters in some outfit or pose as they say random lines. Some are funny while some doesn’t make sense. Probably it’s just to give the characters a little more dialogue lines. At the end of each episode, viewers are treated to Nagi and Hayate’s
Butler Network which lasts for a few seconds. Well, actually the animation here has the characters being drawn on a cardboard on a stick as though it’s like some puppet play as they rant on topics like their character image song. Viewers will sometimes get a little fanservice shot courtesy of our protagonists (and even Hayate in cross-dress mode!). Later on, the Butler Network will temporarily feature other characters as the main host like Wataru and Saki, and Ayumu as a guest.
 
The voice acting is excellent and each of them suit perfectly to the zany characters in the series. Rie Kugimiya is the voice behind Nagi as she does a splendid job making her sound selfish, childish, tsundere and at times caring. Viewers can easily recognize her as the voice of Shana in Shakugan No Shana and Louise of Zero No Tsukaima. Likewise, Hayate is voiced by Ryoko Shiraishi whose voice also fits the always-on-the-lookout-for-his-milady character and also one who bears the brunt of many unfortunate circumstances. Her other prominent voice role was as Kaede in Mahou Sensei Negima. Veteran seiyuu Rie Tanaka did Maria who also did roles like Suigin Tou in Rozen Maiden and Yomi in Azumanga Daioh. But the voice that I really got to love (and perhaps you too) is the narrator’s. Voiced by Norio Wakamoto, you can’t deny loving his low sexy voice (just like his role in 2×2=Shinobuden as Onsokumaru). His role as the narrator is quite sarcastic and his statements are really in-your-face type. Just like how he narrates at the start of each episode just before the opening credits about what a butler is, the super combat battle of boy who will risk his life for a girl, and later a much shorter intro of one who masters being a butler will rule the world and that the butler war has shaken up the world!
 
The other seiyuu cast are equally good as well. Some are so good that they did multiple voice roles in this series, which I can’t even distinguish from! Just wow. They include Shizuka Itou as Hinagiku (Wilhelmina in Shakugan No Shana), Miyu Matsuki as Isumi (Harumi in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Kana Ueda as Sakuya (Mikan in Gakuen Alice), Juurouta Kosugi as Tama (King Of Gods in Shuffle, Arlong in One Piece), Marina Inoue doubles as Wataru and Shion (Kana in Minami-ke), Mikako Takahashi as Ayumu (Ayumi in Honey And Clover, Rushuna in Grenadier), Hitomi Nabatame as Yukiji (Mikoto of School Rumble, Yuuna of Maburaho), Rina Satou in multiple roles such as Makimura, Eight and Koutarou (Punie of Dai Mahou Touge), and Megumi Toyoguchi as Kuzuha (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist, Meg in Bakuretsu Tenshi). There are other star-studded casts who played minor extra roles here such as Ai Shimizu, Emiri Katou, Jun Fukuyama, Tomokazu Seki, and Yuko Goto. As for the background music, I’m not saying that they suck nor they appeal to me. But I want to mention that some of them has that carnival-like tune with all those horns playing in the background. So it’s kinda like an eyebrow raiser to me. Sometimes I feel it doesn’t suit the scene.
 
If you are familiar with songs sung by the singer KOTOKO, then you should be able to recognize their style of music here as they sing both the opening theme songs of the series with the 1st opening theme which is the same title as the name of this series and the 2nd opening theme entitled Shichiten Hakki Shijou Shugi. Both sound lively and upbeat which suits the series well. As for the ending themes, I’m not sure if they’re from KOTOKO or their members (not that I know of) because there are disparaging reports on who they credit the songs to. I feel the ending themes are slower than the opening counterparts and I kinda noticed that the animation for the end credits has some fanservice in it. Can’t do an anime without one these days, huh? Also, I happen to notice that at some point, each of the end credits has Nagi going to sleep or waking up. There are 4 ending themes which lasts for 13 episodes each, in which the in-series characters divide the 52 episode series into 4 seasons. And I thought this was the 1st season. Perhaps the season here refers more to the story arc (seriously, is there any major besides that Kuzuha one?). Anyway the ending themes are (in appearance order) Proof by MELL, Get My Way! by Mami Kawada, Chasse by Kaori Utatsuki, and Ki No Me Kaze by IKU.
 
I need to mention something about the episode title too. I’m not sure if the word ‘creative’ is the right one because I feel some of them are just plain weird. Some are so long that it doesn’t even make sense but hilarious nevertheless. Then some are short like "Hina Love" (my favourite), "Marriage Meeting" or "Spring" and some are just normal like "Normal Talk". So okay, there are some creative ones like "Goodbye Teacher Despair ~ Graduation Special", which is supposed to be a reference of that dark comedy Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. And remember don’t attempt to copy the stunts anywhere or anyhow. They are ridiculously absurd that’s why they can only be done in such animes. Also remember to heed their advice to watch this show at a safe distance and in good lighting as narrated by the characters at the start of each episode. Got it?
 
Somewhere in the 3rd quarter of the series, just after the next episode preview, there will be a short section of "Do you know…" as told by Nagi to viewers. Since my knowledge is shallow, I’m not sure how true those facts are or if they’re made up with some anime otaku references. Speaking of the next episode preview, there are 2 other student council members of Hakuou Academy who rarely make their appearances. Even so, I remember most of their short appearances are towards the end of the series and their most prominent (meaning memorable to me) ones are holding up the sign which says "Next episode preview". They are Aika Kasumi and Chiharu Harukaze. Sometimes I feel that their presence can be done without.
 
It’s nice to see how Hayate and Nagi’s relationship turned out in the end, though they’re still both air-heads (hey, that’s what the narrator described them, okay). See how a 150 million Yen debt could turn into? Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for Hayate. Say, don’t you think this series lack some serious love-comedy? I know about the comedy part but where’s all that love viewers want to see going on? I’m sure many viewers would like to see it between Hayate and Nagi, though some may prefer Hayate to go with the other girls. But well, perhaps the parodies come first. I was also hopping to catch Hayate to battle some butlers like Nonohara or Himuro (and any others) but it wasn’t much. Perhaps more of this in the next season?
 
So life of being a butler has never being easy as these days you will need to do more than just multi-tasking. Yeah, you need to be a superhuman in order to 100% loyally serve your master well. Plus, if you think Nagi is so rich, don’t you think she should hire more butlers and maids? Ah well, let’s just think of it as saving costs or if you want to look at it from another side of the coin, stingy poker. But hey, if one can do a job of a hundred men and even better, why not just hire 1, right? Uh huh. Today’s butler means you don’t just serve, but to be a bodyguard, confidante, you name it, it’s all in one. As for Hayate, I think he’ll be doing fine as he goes by. Though it won’t be a walk in the park, with all the support (which comes with all trouble of course) around him, I’m sure he’s here to stay. As for me, I don’t think I need to hire a butler anytime soon. I’m not that filthy rich, you know. And of course, not intending to be one either. No relevant skills… :'(
 
Hayate No Gotoku