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.

Mayo Chiki

August 5, 2012

What is the difference between a butler and a maid? Butlers are usually assigned to males while females usually get the tasks of being a maid. What happens if it is vice versa? Can a female be a butler? If you cross-dress, maybe. From the premise of Mayo Chiki, viewers are told that the butler in question, Subaru Konoe is actually a female rather than a male as believed by 99% of the characters in this anime. However I am alright and would have gone along with this premise except for a little tiny issue. No matter how you look at it, Subaru definitely looks like a girl!!! I know that in anime you have lots of characters that are androgynous but seriously, no matter what manly clothes you put on Subaru to make her look more masculine, she has that girly look! And the worst part is everybody believes she is a guy. I mean, won’t they get suspicious nor have they asked if ‘he’ is really a she? Not to say that Subaru also acts very manly but like the polite butler that everyone expects to. So yeah, I really can’t fathom how everyone else could not see Subaru is not a girl. Even if I didn’t read the premise, I would instantly tell you my first impression that Subaru is a girl. Woman. Female. XX.

Of course when there are secrets, this means there is a chance that someone is bound to discover it. On purpose or by accident. In the case of Kinjirou “Jirou” Sakamichi, it is the latter. A very unfortunate latter. To make things worse, Jirou has gynophobia (fear of women) because his mother is a pro-wrestler and his martial arts sister, Kureha wants to follow in mommy’s violent footsteps. What better way than to ‘hone’ their skills by doing all the submission and painful moves on the only guy in the house (their father died of an illness by the way)? Hey girls, I have a suggestion. Why not use a punching bag? Realism you say? Well, can’t beat that. Good luck Jirou. You’re going to need them all. And thus over the years of abuse and suffering, he becomes ‘afraid’ of woman that the mere touch by them has him nose bleed. Not to be mistaken for sexual stimulation. So when he finds out about Subaru’s secret, they have to work together with the very sadistic master of Subaru, Kanade Suzutsuki to keep that butler’s identity a secret from the rest. Oh, did I mention that Subaru is such a popular butler in school that almost every girl will start fawning at the mere sight of ‘him’? Yeah. That. Man, this is going to be bloody tough. As if life isn’t already tough for punching bag Jirou. What is protecting one’s secret identity without the complicated matters of the heart getting in the way too? Yeah, life is indeed complicated even for high school students.

Episode 1
Right at the start of the episode, we already see Jirou getting his daily morning abuse from Kureha. Such a rude wake up call. As we learn, mother had left the kids all alone because she’s going on a world tour to find ‘challenging’ opponents. She is so strong that nobody can beat her, literally there is no one else left to fight her. Well, nobody said she was a good mother. In Rouran Academy, Jirou observes the oujo-sama-like daughter of the school, Kanade being served wherever she goes by Subaru. Even in school, Jirou’s reputation must be going downhill because his guy friend, Yamato Kurose thinks the reason he isn’t interested into girls is because he is gay! That already has become a rumour in school. So as he runs away to freshen up himself at an abandoned section of the boys’ toilet, he accidentally spots Subaru using a cubicle. Of all the unused cubicles, he had to open that one. First he couldn’t understand why Subaru is wearing girl’s panties. Is ‘he’ a pervert? But that’s the start of his trouble because Subaru is going to kill him as Jirou no longer have any more human rights! Don’t worry, what Subaru meant is that she will take his memories and not his life. Thanks to Jirou’s lifelong abuse, he can take the powerful punches Subaru throws at him. Fight, fight, fight and what do you know? Jirou ‘saves’ Subaru from a falling glass specimen. I don’t know how Subaru’s clothes can come undone so easily because this means Jirou groped her soft breasts and realizes Subaru is a girl. She thinks his nose bleed is him getting aroused and knocks him out with a fire extinguisher. Ouch.

He wakes up in the infirmary bed only to find Kanade sleeping next to him! And he is handcuffed to the bed. Oh dear. While seductively playing with his mind, she says she is imprisoning him because he has discovered her butler’s secret. So the question that many would ask: Why did Subaru cross-dress as a boy? The men in Subaru’s family have for generations served Kanade’s family as butlers. But Subaru is a single child with no other siblings to inherit the job. Being a girl, she cannot be a butler but Subaru insisted she wanted to. So her father gave her a condition that if Subaru can complete 3 years in high school without being discovered, Subaru will be allowed to be Kanade’s butler and the women in her family are not allowed to be one. Since Jirou has discovered that secret, this threatens that very condition and Kanade thought of doing any means to seal his mouth. Jirou realizes he has to be thankful to Kanade too because she was the one who stopped Subaru from going on a rampage to kill him. Kanade shows her sadistic side when she tests his nose bleeding symptoms by seductively touching his body. Due to his allergy to girls and a bastard who is too scared of having girls touch him, she calls him a chicken, derived from his name Sakamichi Kinjirou… Sakami-Chi Kin-jirou… Sakami CHICKEN Jirou. Geddit? Kanade wants to help him overcome his phobia in exchange he will not tell Subaru’s secret. This way, the condition made with her father is considered not broken. Otherwise, it’s death! How does an unidentifiable corpse found at Mt Fuji sound? Better accept the offer! If Jirou thinks his home will be his sanctuary, then he has to think again because on Kanade’s orders, Subaru is now living with him to make sure he doesn’t spill her secret. There’s always that accidental chance of him seeing her naked, right? Right. And he wouldn’t have count on seeing it so soon. Another memory erasing technique in order I presume?

Episode 2
Kurose thinks Jirou-is-a-gay rumour is coming true because he is seen walking to school with Subaru. He warns him about the group called Shooting Star Subaru-Sama or S4 for short. Let’s just say they are an underground fan club of Subaru and you what will happen if they find out about this, right? Why do they wear head masks that look like KKK?! Anyway, true enough there are some s4 members trying to kill Jirou but are taken out by a splinter group of S4 called Watching Over Subaru-Sama (WOSS). Let’s say this club as oppose to S4 who only wants Subaru for themselves, are somewhat a fujoshi fan group who would love to see some yaoi stuff brewing between Jirou and Subaru. Kanade gives Jirou a poorly drawn card (sheep ticket?) but powerful one. With this in hand, Subaru cannot disobey orders given by the one holding this card. Later Kanade makes Jirou go out on a date with Subaru as part of her scheme to help the former cure of his gynophobia. Something tells me this is just an excuse for her sadistic amusement. To avoid suspicions, Subaru is dressed like a girl and what did I tell you? She looks girly enough to be in a dress. They go to the arcade and Jirou plays a crane machine to get her a sheep plushie she likes. Is that blood dripping out from the sheep’s mouth? During the break at the park, Jirou explains his phobia to Subaru. Kanade soon calls Subaru and instruct her to do seductive things on Jirou in the name of curing him. Jirou is allowed to use the sheep ticket and to Subaru’s dismay, she has no choice but to follow every order he says. Jirou feels guilty even making a simple order but I guess Subaru has snapped and wants to ‘warm” him up. Suddenly Kureha lands a double kick on Jirou’s head! Seems Kureha has heard rumours her brother is going out with a guy and tailed him. She thinks Subaru has a perverted fetish to cross-dress! Kureha fights back but is easily defeated by Subaru. Kureha runs away crying in disbelief that she was defeated so easily. So this is the results of her daily training abusing her big brother? So the ‘date’ ends with Jirou leaving for home. He can tell Kureha underwent a huge shock because the teddy bear got ‘butchered’.

This problem though not resolved, there is another one brewing. It’s the physical examinations! Last year Subaru was able to evade it because she was sick but this year as told by Kanade, she must rely on Jirou. So how? For every measurement, Jirou takes the liberty to measure Subaru! I’m sure the other guys will start thinking he is really gay. And since Jirou has this gynophobia, Subaru returns the favour by measuring him. I guess it’s better than having the pretty nurses do it. Due this tiring ‘feat’, they manage to get by. As they eat together on the school rooftop, they talk about friends and Jirou learns Kanade and Subaru was always home-schooled and had private tutors. They only had a chance to attend school during high school so Subaru has never eaten with anyone else before. Jirou suggests that they should start calling each other by their first names since they’re going to be friends. Subaru manages to call him that but soon falls asleep on his shoulder. At least Jirou didn’t nose bleed when she touched him. As usual, sneaky Kanade pops up from her eavesdropping spot. She tells him Subaru probably feels comfortable around him to sleep on his shoulders. Since she has always been guarding her secret, she never got anyone this close to her. With Jirou knowing her secret, they can both be friends, a first for Subaru of course. Kanade dismisses herself as Subaru’s friend because to her, she is nothing but Subaru’s master and doesn’t see her as a friend. They used to be close but that was all in the past. Jirou goes him and Kureha asks him if he is going out with Subaru. He mentions they are just friends. Why is Kureha relieved? Because she had just fallen in love with Subaru!!! OMG! If she’d only know she had fallen in love with a girl!

Episode 3
So imagine when Subaru comes knocking on Jirou’s door only to see naked Kureha coming out from the bath. Kureha confronts Jirou talking to Kanade on the rooftop about Subaru’s reaction in seeing her body. Why is she disappointed when there is no reaction? Kanade fuels the fire by even saying Subaru is madly in love with Jirou. But rest assured, Kanade claims Jirou is going out with her instead! To prove it, Kanade knows a certain birthmark on his body (that gynophobia test). In addition, her smooth persuasion has Kureha believe that this will make them sister-in-laws if the duo get hitched. Thus she suggests a double date at the water theme park. As Subaru goes off to teach Kureha swimming, Kanade explains she and Subaru once came here as children. It was a time when they were kidnapped for ransom. Though the incident was resolved quickly without incident, Subaru felt guilty for failing to protect her. That’s when the distance between them grew and just like Jirou, she too has her own weakness. Later when Kanade sends Jirou and Subaru to get some drinks, Jirou sees a little girl drowning and dives in without second thought to save her. After all that, he passes out. He dreams of his father telling him the meaning of his name. It meant ‘close by’ and in other words, he wants him to become someone strong enough to say “I will protect you, so stay by my side”. So Jirou wakes up with Subaru by his side on the bench, claiming nothing much has happened. Really? Suddenly they get a message from a masked man that Kanade and Kureha have been kidnapped. He wants Subaru to come over to a certain location in 10 minutes. Subaru gets weak when he sees him picking up a metal knife. Jirou realizes this is what Kanade meant by Subaru’s weakness. She explains this has something to do with the previous kidnapping and thus her phobia of any bladed objects. Jirou promises to rescue them and knocks Subaru out with a punch to her gut. That easy?

Jirou arrives inside a building and faces off with the perpetrator whom he realized his target is Subaru. Jirou gets beaten up, enough time for Subaru to catch up and stop the villain from finishing Jirou off with his knife. He is surprised Subaru is no longer afraid of bladed weapons as Subaru gives him a knockout punch. Subaru rescues Kanade and apologizes for her failure. But Kanade notes her loyalty and wants her to stay by her side as her butler and friend. The perpetrator turns out to be Subaru’s father, Nagare, who is also the Suzutsuki family’s butler chief. Looks like another setup by Kanade? Jirou wakes up lying in bed of Kanade’s mansion. You can tell Nagare is not amused and doesn’t like Jirou being close with his daughter. Kanade notes how similar Nagare and Jirou are. Both love their family very much though Nagare can be overprotective and overbearing since Subaru is only his immediate family member. Subaru’s mom died when she was only 5 years old. Though her family members followed this tradition that girls cannot become butlers, Subaru rebelled against it and didn’t need a new mother, probably why she’s so desperate to be a butler. Kanade apologizes for dragging him into this mess as she thought there might be an improvement if she comes into contact with someone similar to herself. Because of him, Subaru can stay as her butler and she did all of this because she loves Subaru, who happens to be her first love. Now it’s Subaru’s turn to come in and talk to Jirou. First she starts crying in his arms. She was scared that she would lose Jirou as her friend then. The touching moment is interrupted when Kureha barges in when she heard her brother is tempting to go out with Subaru despite having Kanade as his girlfriend. This is also news to Subaru and what do you do if you have 2 angry females bent on breaking your neck? You jump out of the window even if it’s the second floor! So happen Kanade was there and he takes her as his ‘hostage’ and makes a run for it. He has had it with her lies and framing of him but she notes that she what she said wasn’t totally a lie. Especially the part whereby Subaru was her first love.

Episode 4
Subaru pleads to Jirou to let him stay at his house and be at his service. Hmm… Something is wrong. Kanade calls him to tell him that she got kicked out of the house. So I guess there is no choice but to let her in, eh? They’ll both be alone since Kureha is on a club field trip. Speaking of which, she’s tackling a bear deep in the forest. After Subaru and Jirou practice judo, Jirou is surprised that Subaru wants to wash his back. Is this part of being a butler’s job? In the midst of the washing, Kureha suddenly comes back! She broke her arm and was sent home. Oh dear. Kureha notices Jirou acting strange. Furthermore, she finds a strange pair of panties in the laundry. Thinking somebody is in the house trying to seduce her brother, she kicks open the bathroom door. By that time, Subaru has submerged herself enough in the bathtub. The sight of Subaru in her bathroom knocks Kureha out. Kureha treats Subaru with great hospitality including liking the ramen cup noodle she hates just because Subaru likes them. To add to Jirou’s misery, Kanade is also here to be part of the amusement. As his maid. Then it turns into a butler vs maid battle to see who can please Jirou. I guess the seductive moves are too much for Jirou to handle so much so he collapses. But this is not a funny matter. Kureha is worried and starts panicking that Jirou is dying. Though he is fine recuperating in bed, I feel he is going to need more time to recover because Subaru is giving him to hot treatment to make him sweat more. Eating spicy food, placing hot towels over him… And he’s chained to the bed…

Jirou could guess Kanade’s presence is to take Subaru back. So she brings him to the river bed whereby Nagare is living in a make-shift tent. Jirou is partly to blame for all this. Ever since the incident at the amusement park, Nagare and Subaru entered a cold war. Kanade’s father couldn’t take it and punished both of them by kicking them out of the house and will not be readmitted if they do not reconcile. Kanade’s plan is for Jirou to forgive Nagare. This will have Subaru’s anger subside and they can all go home. Subaru comes by to drag the sick person back and worse still, she now hates her father. Jirou just wants Subaru to forgive her father and end this crap but she is more worried she is not doing a proper job as his butler. When she saw that look on Kureha’s face, she really thought he might die. It reminded her of her mom’s case and wants to stay by his side. Jirou gives her another scare when he collapses. But soon gets back on his feet to scoffs off that he will die from such a simple illness. He wants Subaru to return to the mansion with Kanade because to make her loved ones worry means a failure as a butler. He dismisses Subaru as his butler. So with things returning to normal, Subaru is glad things turned out for the better and Jirou is his friend. Then off she goes to visit her dad who has gotten sick. Then as Jirou talks to Kanade, she kisses him! A test to see if his phobia is cured? I guess this means their work isn’t done. Oh, that was her first kiss too. Jirou thought Subaru was her first love and though she confirms it, it’s not like she’s confine to it.

Episode 5
While Jirou is on his way to school, Masamune Usami crashes her bike into him! She thought of pretending nothing happened and is shocked to see him alive! Is that her first reaction? Since Jirou notices his glasses stuck on to Usami’s thigh, he subtly tries to hint to get it but she thinks this pervert wants her panties! So he manages to safely get his glasses without touching her but when he puts them on, Usami recognizes who this bastard is and kicks him and stomps on his stomach! He finds himself in the infirmary, courtesy of Subaru and Kanade who happened to pass by in their limo and saw a strange kid sleeping on the road. Subaru seems to have a request for Jirou. She wants him to accompany her for the school festival since Kanade is busy organizing it and wants her to enjoy the festival without worries. As they talk, Jirou thought she was referring to his kiss with Kanade when he realized Subaru also kissed him. At the theme park after he was out cold saving a little girl. Well, some may call it CPR but when you stick your mouth onto others, I guess in some ways you can still call it a kiss. Subaru thought he wanted to do it again and prepares to kiss him when in good timing Kanade comes in. In her seductive style, she tells him their class will be doing a cosplay cafe. Plus, everyone wants to see Subaru cross-dress. Jirou notices Kanade dropped a love letter so she teases them about going out with this fellow and forced kiss. Anyway she plans to turn down the confession.

As Jirou meets Usami on the rooftop, she has a bizarre request of him. Be her boyfriend and accompany her for the school festival. He thought he is screwing with her but she explains she is from S4 and the first time she laid eyes on Subaru on this rooftop, she fell in love with ‘him’. During the school festival, there will be a secret all-out war between S4 and WOSS. So if there is a belief that Jirou is going out with a girl other than Subaru, this will shake up those yaoi fan girls. So if S4 if successful, she’ll convince S4 not to touch him ever again. Since Jirou is still reluctant, Usami gets pissed off and starts calling him chicken (I can she can derive this nickname from his name too) and blames him for the war between S4 and WOSS since he is so unusually close to Subaru (everyone else thinks Kanade is the only person Subaru is close to). She even shows him proof of photos of their ‘date’ and how rumours are spreading that Subaru is getting more feminine. Jirou fears Subaru’s secret may be revealed and no choice but to go along with her plan. It gets complicated when Subaru comes into the picture. She asks who Usami is and she thought Jirou was joking when he said she is his girlfriend. But since he confirms he will be on a date with Usami during the festival, Subaru punches the traitor. Jirou’s torment continues because he has to be Usami’s practice boyfriend after school. Even buying swimsuits for her when it would’ve been better if she had done it herself. So embarrassing. So much trouble. So misunderstood. That sums up what Jirou had to go through. But Usami wants him to believe in her because she believes in him. What?

Episode 6
I can’t believe nobody for a second thought Subaru is a girl in that nearly revealing Chinese dress. I know it’s cross-dress cosplay cafe but… See those small boobs sticking out? Though Jirou pretends to be Usami’s lover, it gets worse when jealous Konoe refuses to leave them out of her sight. It’s obvious they’re fighting over him. Till they see this flyer to patron the Animal Cafe. Kureha class is doing this cafe and she is thrilled to see her Usami senpai as well as Subaru. Usami gives Jirou permission to go with Subaru but he is kidnapped by a sheep mascot. That person turns out to be Nakuru Narumi and is the leader of WOSS. Not only she has this fantasy of Jirou and Subaru together, she has this fetish for glasses! Nakuru can tell Usami’s plan to deceive WOSS during the festival and warns Jirou about the deal he made with Usami because there is no way she can influence S4. Before Nakuru can reveal anymore, Usami kicks her away and admits she had been lying to him from the start and runs away in tears. Subaru insists Jirou tell him what’s going on. They infiltrate a secret location whereby both factions are preparing to face off. But what surprises them both is that Kanade is a representative of S4 and will be hosting this event. This causes their presence to be busted. So to make this cult quiz more interesting, the winner will conquer all the losers, including what should be done to Jirou. I guess if you’re a diehard fan of Subaru, you’d even know the slightest minute detail. I wonder if this is embarrassing to Subaru. Jirou and Subaru are on Nakuru’s side but they notice Usami isn’t on the opponent’s team.

As both teams are neck to neck, the final question as the tie breaker turns out to be who did Subaru gave her first kiss to. With pleas from Jirou and Nakuru, Subaru sums up her courage to point at Jirou. Eh? Kanade even has a movie as proof. Remember that amusement park incident? Yeah, that. The S4 crowd now wants to kill Jirou. He has to do something about this because the sadist is enjoying herself. No choice, Jirou makes a loud confession that he loves Kanade. She plays it cool and rejects/dumps him right in front of the crowd. Outside, Kanade further teases Jirou that she is not happy he made a false confession to protect himself. As revenge, she hugs him and says she loves him. How does it feel to have a taste of his own medicine? He asks about Usami so she explains that she was a bit different from the others and didn’t try to blend in. He rushes off to find Usami alone at the rooftop. He sees a school resignation letter in her hands as she explains how when she first saw Subaru, she thought how lonesome ‘he’ was and thought ‘he’ might be the same as her. That’s why she thought Subaru would be her friend. However after meeting Jirou, Subaru changed. She thought she hated Jirou but realizes she hated herself for being like this. Since Usami has told him her secret, he tells her his about his phobia. Subaru finds Jirou and has heard the truth from Kanade and apologizes. Jirou introduces Usami to Subaru and they become friends. While Subaru dances with Kureha at the bonfire, Usami vows to change and tears up her resignation letter. Later Usami wants to start off her friendship with Jirou by making him call her first name. But she finds it embarrassing and kicks him. And she hopes to get along well?

Episode 7
Subaru has another weird request to ask from Jirou: Elope with her! Guess whose orders this is from? Jirou faints due to the drugged drink Subaru gave him. Now where will Jirou be when he wakes up next time? Why didn’t I think of it? Right next to Kanade in bed in a luxurious hotspring inn owned by her family. Not sure if anything steamy happened last night but it seems it’s Kanade’s turn to run away from her family. Her family wanted to go overseas for the summer holidays but she didn’t want to. So is kidnapping Jirou the same as what her family was doing in deciding her schedule without her consent? Of course the pretext of this eloping is also to help him cure his phobia. As a start, putting lotion over her body. She’s making it sound so horny… You can tell Subaru is upset because she has a spiked club for the watermelon splitting event and has dug a very dig hole to bury him in the sand. Jirou patrons the beach house to buy drinks and is surprised to see Nakuru, Usami and Kureha working part time there. The trio were supposed to swim to their camp but got lost, separated and chased all the way to this beach by a shark. Usami is getting suspicious of Jirou’s purpose here with Kanade. Jirou tries to prevent the inevitable by having Subaru putting on glasses. Did he seriously think he can fool the rest with this disguise? Even Kureha thinks it’s Subaru cross-dressing. But Kanade dismisses this is not Subaru but her cousin, Punyuru Takanashi! Say what? I guess it was convincing enough for Kureha to believe. Except Usami. She confides in Jirou why is Subaru lying. Call it a good thing because Usami misunderstood Subaru’s fetish for cross-dressing going this far. Can’t she see those boobs are for real? And as for Jirou and Kanade, Kanade tells her that they are eloping. Usami doesn’t believe a word she says and even though Kanade admits she was just fibbing around this has Usami blurt out she and Jirou are close friends. Then she explains all the things they had done together although she worded them in an ambiguous manner. Subaru overheard it and got upset and ran away. Jirou catches up to her and explains he was indeed at Usami’s house because she promised to treat him to her cooking. Usami also wanted to help out with his phobia and starts rubbing her body against his in a swimsuit. Subaru punches him seeing it sounded like harassment. When they return, seems Nagare wants Kanade and Subaru to return to the family. Subaru feigns she is scared of this disgusting scary person, sending heartbreak to that poor father.

Episode 8
Nakuru makes Punyuru read out her yaoi manga between her and Jirou. She throws the book out in her embarrassment! Jirou can’t sleep that night and goes to dip in the hotspring only to find Subaru doing the same. Suddenly Nagare comes in and luckily Subaru is small enough to hide behind Jirou’s back. Nagare still doesn’t like Jirou but his words show that he truly cares for Subaru. Nagare leaves but return upon finding a girl’s panty in the laundry. Trying to cover for Subaru, Jirou lies it is his fetish but Nagare can tell this is his daughter’s favourite panties. Seriously?! Nagare is convinced he has an illicit relationship with his daughter and is going to give Jirou a kick he’ll never forget. But Subaru blocks that kick and knocks him out for good. Jirou also gets whacked when he accidentally sees Subaru’s naked body. Is this the second time? I guess this memory erasing technique worked because Nagare can’t remember why he is sleeping in the hotspring and Jirou his head is slanting to one side. After a day playing on the beach, the gang visit the festival that night. Usami can see through another of Kanade’s lies when she says Jirou is her fiancee. Kanade also realizes that Usami knows Jirou’s secret. So as the duo challenge each other at the stalls, Jirou notices Subaru missing and as hinted by Kanade, she is up in those mountains. Jirou treks along the path only to find Nagare standing in his way. Jirou learns tomorrow is the death anniversary of Subaru’s mom. Since a lot of things happened when Nagare eloped with his wife, Subaru is sleeping by her mom’s grave. If Kanade goes on an overseas trip, Subaru must follow and this means Subaru won’t be able to visit her mom’s grave. Kanade comes by and orders Nagare to enlist her for the event. Then she reveals to Jirou that this is a secret she was told that Subaru wanted to keep a secret from him.

Jirou meets Subaru at the grave. Explaining he has heard from Kanade, Subaru continues that her mom always worried if she would make any friends she is unsociable. Subaru becomes emotional so Jirou hugs her despite knowing his phobia can make him pass out again. He doesn’t care about that and wants Subaru to tell him everything about her mom. After she introduces him to her mom, he finally passes out. Then he wakes up in a tent back at the festival. Just in time for the grand battle royale even with the winner getting the grand prize of a sheep plushie doll and a kiss from the Yukata Beauty. Who? Punyuru?! You can guess Nagare will be entering this contest and is hell bent on ‘killing’ everyone to protect his daughter. As the event starts, Nakuru becomes some drunk stripper and has the uncanny skill to strip anyone of their underwear! WTF?! After undressing Usami and violating Kureha (more like tickling her unconscious), it’s a final face off with Jirou. The other last player standing is Kanade. She has singlehandedly taken out all other participants! Including Nagare. She makes a clever move by holding Jirou’s glasses as hostage. Then throwing those fakes into the lake to distract Nakuru and make her go out. Kanade hugs Jirou for being a brave soul but since she can’t let him win, I guess this means Punyuru’s kiss goes to her. Ah well. Saves all those complicated matters. Jirou wakes up to find himself lying on Subaru’s lap. She lets him know Nakuru went on a stripping rampage after she thought Jirou’s glasses were broken so Kanade had to go down and settle everything. Subaru is happy she won the sheep plushie. Then as they watch the fireworks, Subaru tells Jirou she doesn’t them to be just friends.

Episode 9
Usami calls Jirou to help her out in her part time job. But what he didn’t know is that he’s supposed to be working in a maid cafe. Don’t worry, he doesn’t have to cross-dress. The cafe owner, Maria though Jirou is Usami’s boyfriend but he dismisses anything like it. Even so, she hopes he can continue to be her friend. Trouble starts when Kanade patrons the shop as a customer. I guess Maria allows her since she was paid off a handsome sum. What happened to Subaru? I don’t know how Kanade gave her the slip but Subaru is being mistakenly picked up by a butler cafe staff to start serving the customers streaming in. So while Subaru is busy at her end (she had to work to repay the door she busted. If not, repay with her body. Yikes!), Kanade does what she does best, enjoying the amusement of seeing Usami and Jirou serve her to her whims and fancies. After spending such long hours (enough to piss Usami off), she is ready to go home till Nakuru and Kureha show up. They are temporary part timers hired by Maria. Kanade continues her patronage playing a fighting video game when bored Jirou wanted to go wash some plates but accidentally trips and rips Usami’s clothes. Why when guys do this, their hands must grope the breasts? Kanade compounds his misery by making up lies about Jirou’s maid fetish. Kureha believed her and runs out crying. While Nakuru goes after her, Kanade continues her teasing. She warns Usami about Jirou’s extreme fetish for maids with garter belts. Then twisting everything and messing with Usami’s mind if she likes Jirou or not, she convinces Usami to show her garter belts to him as proof if Jirou doesn’t have those fetishes. Unbelievably, Jirou would’ve fallen into that hypnotizing garter belt fetish trap (I guess he really digs it) if not for Subaru finally showing up (must have repaid her debts, eh?). Jirou asks Subaru about what she meant about being more than just friends. She flusters and just says that wasn’t a confession and what she meant was to be best friends. Then she returns to Kanade who has just called Kureha to clear up the misunderstanding. Usami hopes Jirou can come back here and work part time once in a while. Then she gets embarrassed and upset when Jirou mistakenly hears a ringtone that she specifically assigns Jirou’s number to.

Episode 10
Kureha looks forward to her 16th birthday. She parties along with Nakuru at Usami’s place and I’m not sure if her home is haunted with ghosts! After giving Kureha her presents (guess what Nakuru gave? Yup. Glasses), Nakuru and Usami put on a play acting as Jirou and Subaru respectively. I think it’s just Nakuru wanting to play out her fantasies. Kureha’s birthday bash continues at Maria’s cafe as Kanade and Subaru also joins in. This has her remember her 8th birthday whereby she kicked up a fuss of wanting to see daddy. Jirou calmed her down by using all his savings to buy a teddy bear (that she uses to wrestle with it). Then Kanade plays a customized fighting video game with Kureha (she was moe enough to convince a couple of game geeks to design the game in a day!) using Jirou and Kureha as the main characters. It sounds so perverted… Jirou throwing his underwear… As Kureha is being chauffeured home, she remembers during her 10th birthday, she hated mommy for whatever reasons and sulked by herself at the park. She remembers Jirou coming to pick her back and remembered that expression on his face. I hope it wasn’t the expression of her doing submission moves on him. She further remembers how Jirou never failed to remember her birthday. Except for last year. Seems he went out with Kurose after they manage to get some platinum tickets for a live show. So when he came back, Kureha took out her frustrations on her brother and even ripping the t-shirt he bought at the event. I don’t know. At this point I’m hating her for forgetting all the good deeds he has done for her. So what if he happened to forget this important day and that is just once and his first time. Kanade suggests Kureha quit being Jirou’s sister and be hers instead. Because Subaru sounded like she was defending Jirou, Kanade jokes she should be Jirou’s sister instead. Then Kureha remembers the times Jirou had been there for her in place of her mother and forgives him. When she returns home, she is happy to find Jirou has bought her a big polar bear stuffed doll. He has learnt from his mistake never to make her cry again like last year. Kureha is so happy that she hugs him. And by that she means doing all the wrestling moves. Happy birthday Kureha. Finally Usami plays a customized video game by Kanade. I already guessed it. No matter how you look at it, win or lose, it’s to piss her off.

Episode 11
As Jirou and Subaru walk to school together, Usami crashes into them. Their face was close enough to kiss. Usami breaks them up thinking she’s about to see 2 guys kissing in public. Then she scoots off and gives her half eaten bread to them. Jirou bites it and Subaru thinks it’s like an indirect kiss. Wait. She said that? Kanade joins them for lunch at the rooftop and I could see from a million miles that she planned something. Putting white wine into Subaru’s food made her drunk and wanting to strip! Taking advantage of that, Kanade orders her butler to lick the sauce off Jirou’s neck. Subaru is about to confess something to Jirou but falls asleep. Ah, miss the all-important part. Jirou notices Kanade spacing out. After putting Subaru in the infirmary, back in class Jirou thinks he may have heard Kanade making a weird but cute sound. Nyu? He’s not hearing things. Even the classmates heard it but Jirou tries to cover it as his voice. Not working. Taking Kanade away, she reveals she has this secret the entire school doesn’t know and this is her only weak point. Whenever she has hiccups, she can’t help adding “Nyu” at the end of every sentence. I don’t know whether she’s doing it on purpose because it seems so fake but by saying this, she has become cuter and has this tendency to attract guys towards her. Subaru has recovered enough to explain further that it happened once when Kanade was a child and at a party when this happened, the adults find it so cute and even argued to offer to stop her hiccups. Her bodyguards failed to quell the incident so much so the police was called in to take care of it! Similarly the same thing happened 4 years ago but this time Subaru was there to stop it. But I guess things changed because Subaru is also captivated by her cute voice that she wants to monopolize it! Anyway Kanade sends her home to retrieve tools to stop her hiccup. Yup, part of her scheme to get her alone with Jirou and do some seductive stuff. So by the time Jirou runs off and bumps into Subaru who has returned (that fast?), Kanade’s hiccups have already stopped. See? Was she faking it? But she’s not faking this one when she falls down a flight of stairs and sprains her ankle. Though she is hospitalized and her injury is deemed nothing serious, Subaru feels guilty for failing to protect her. She cries in Jirou’s arms when Nagare pops up. I guess he also wants to admit Jirou into hospital but he is here to relief Subaru of her duties. Seeing she let Kanade get injured, it is obvious that as a butler, she must take responsibility. Nagare will take over her duties to tend to Kanade but Kanade won’t allow anyone else to be her butler. However as Nagare mentions, this already has been decided by her father. Though Kanade will talk and convince her dad to overturn his decision, Nagare says that if she stops being a butler, Subaru can stop pretending to be a boy. Subaru accepts her fate and feels honoured to have served her. Then she runs off. With her leg injured, Kanade sends Jirou to go after her. He catches and hugs her. Vowing he won’t let her go even if he falls, Subaru is alright that he doesn’t have to keep her secret anymore and it’s goodbye. Not a punch to his gut but a peck on his cheek. Ultimate nose bleed! Let it flow!

Episode 12
Usami finds Jirou lying around and after learning what happened, she offers him a ride to where Subaru is. I’m sure because of her reckless riding, it’s not that he has nowhere else to hold but her boobs. He finds her at the hotspring inn and she doesn’t feel like going home tonight. Jirou calls to inform Kanade so the latter hopes they can have their very ‘first experience’. This has been bugging Jirou all night that he can’t sleep. Furthermore, Subaru even asks if there is something he wants to do more than kissing. I guess he’s trying hard to hold it in though he says he would prefer to do it with the person he loves. Subaru snuggles up close to him and he got the wrong message and is prepared to do it anyway. He gets punched instead and all Subaru wanted was to sleep together. Nothing more. So they sleep while holding hands and this calms Subaru down because mommy used to do this for her when she couldn’t sleep. I hope Jirou doesn’t lose all his blood by the time morning comes. She thinks she can’t go back being a butler but he is okay for her staying like a normal girl. Next morning Kanade and Nagare pick them up home. Jirou gets his usual from Kureha and she thinks his homosexuality has awakened after spending a night with a ‘guy’. When Jirou comes to school, he learns from Kanade that Subaru has transferred to another school. I guess you know what this means for S4 & WOSS, right? One big gloomy fan group. Suddenly, Subaru returns! Oh wait. It’s Punyuru as a new transfer student in Kureha and Nakuru’s class! Well, I suppose this way Subaru won’t have trouble trying to hide her secret. Of course even if everyone else doesn’t see it, Usami can tell that Subaru is cross-dressing but can’t help wonder why. Kanade makes Jirou carry her around like a princess as he starts to observe her soft and curvy features. If only his nose bleed didn’t get in the way of this enjoyment.

Later Jirou talks to Subaru about her choice of becoming a girl. He knows she wants to be a butler but circumstances have made it impossible for her. Seeing how she really wants to be Kanade’s butler, Jirou vows to leave it to him. He enters the most dangerous place in school. A place filled with crazy S4 and WOSS girls who do not hesitate in attacking and blaming that bastard for making Subaru transfer out. Jirou defends his ground well but instead of fighting back, he begs for them to cooperate for the time being. They start gathering signatures from everyone for a petition to have Subaru back as a butler. Seeing how everybody really wants Subaru back, Punyuru also signs it. At the end of the day, Kanade takes all those signatures back to her father and the result? Subaru is back to being Kanade’s butler! Hooray! Order is restored. Now the fan girls have a reason to continue existing. So if Subaru’s back, what about Punyuru? I can’t believe the rest believed that crappy reason she had to transfer out. Of course Usami is annoyed that everyone didn’t see through that obvious disguise but nevertheless feels happy of how things turned out. That night, Subaru calls Jirou out to the park because she wants to thank him properly. Not as a butler but as a girl. Okay, do you see where this is heading? Since Jirou is hesitating whether he wants it or not, Kanade has to come out of her hiding (those darn plan of hers again) to ‘warn’ that if Subaru doesn’t kiss him, she will. Instantly Subaru nails a good one right on his lips. Too bad his nose bleed had to ruin it all. Better hurry up and cure it or else they can’t go further beyond than this. Woah! Did Subaru actually say that?

Episode 13
This filler episode feels like giving Nakuru’s turn of attention among the main girls. Jirou is browsing through porn mags suggested by Kurose when he finds a BL magazine in the midst. Kurose thought he is really gay! Then Nakuru shows up at his doorstep and his first reaction is to close the door on her! Don’t let the true pervert get in! Call the cops! But he relents since Nakuru threatens to scream kidnap. She’s here not for Kureha but to seek his advice. Huh? Really? This was what happened. Few days ago while Subaru is relaxing in his hot bath, she saw something shiny from afar. Fearing the worse, she instantly dashes out, jumps across every obstacle (including a truck) and up the building to take out the photographer who turns out to be Nakuru, snapping secret shots of her. Nakuru then decided to save her glasses instead of the very expensive camera equipment and finds herself falling off the building. She could’ve been a pancake if Subaru didn’t grab her. Then at the cafe, Nakuru reveals her intention of wanting to sell those photos to the WOSS fan girls so she could make some money to publish her own doujin. However the steam was covering the picture so it’s no good. Kanade overheard this and willingly helps Nakuru out by giving out more pictures of Subaru! In butler form of course.

So Nakuru was able to sell out all the photos to those desperate fan girls but with cash she realized she still had one more problem: She’s in a slump and can’t finish her doujin despite the volume was already so thick that Kureha needed to use her special chop to nail the stapler down. And tomorrow is the convention. She even got Usami to help out. Nakuru gives some of Subaru’s photos to Kureha. She got so excited that she decided to show her Jirou’s room since he is away at Kurose’s place. Cheeky Nakuru starts searching for porn mags and finds quite a few. At least this proves he is interested in woman, right? As reward for ‘letting’ her rummage his collection, she leaves behind a BL magazine as a reward. So that’s how it got there. Continuing her work, she is still in a slump and figured she needed more help and called Subaru and Kanade over too! And when Nakuru is done, Subaru’s super chop like as though she’s using a sewing machine has Nakuru’s volume finally completed. Then she wants to ask Subaru about something. No, not about BL or glasses. What could it be? Seeing her so nervous and shy, Kureha and Usami think something is really wrong. However Nakuru decides not to ask them eventually. Next day at the doujin convention, Kureha and Usami spy on her since they smell something fishy (why are they dressed in Hidan No Aria and Kampfer outfits?). To their surprise, they witness Nakuru’s fans buying everything so it’s an instant sell out. After that they tail her to the bookstore, anime and game shop. Kureha realizes something amiss in all her purchases. She bought boy-girl romance stories instead of BL! Could it be she’s in love?! So shock that their presence got busted by her. So after accompanying her to measure her bust and buy some bras, finally Nakuru decides to tell them what’s bugging her. She wants to know what they think about her bust. Disappointed? Well at least you can see the frustration on Usami and Kureha’s face. After all the trouble they went through… Since she can’t ask them for advice (I figure those 2 are flat, that’s why), so she went to see Jirou for it. And so that is how this came to be. STORY TOO FREAKING LONG!!!!!!!!! But it’s not over yet. Nakuru wants Jirou to date her tonight. Yes, she’s serious.

Surprisingly, Jirou didn’t turn her down and go with her request. So they hold hands (hold your nose bleed there) and even eat her delicious bento. Jirou is trying to restrain himself no matter how cute Nakuru is looking now, underneath that exterior lies a true pervert. Nakuru also seeks his advice on her slump on BL stories. Yeah, why him I wonder… Anyway she’s serious that there’s a reason for this. Asking him his opinion when he sees her breasts, you can’t blame Jirou for putting on a cynical expression because no matter how serious she sounds, maybe it’s just the topic that she’s asking. Nakuru further reveals a while back, a boy confessed he liked her! Shock! Never in anyone’s wildest dreams, eh? Of course she rejected him because she decided to devote her life to BL novels. Knowing that she is not the type that is popular among boys, she started to think about herself. Then another weird request: She wants him to fondle her boobs because she heard rumours that by doing so it will make them smaller. WTF?! Well, she does mention about her complex of her boobs and prefers them small. Jirou gives his honest opinion that everyone has a complex or two and that guys won’t fall in love just because of breasts. Really? Is he that sure? Nakuru wants him to prove that statement with his body! He has to or else she can’t concentrate on her BL novels. What made him said okay? Well, she thought he would be the one who would save her. Yeah, Jirou the hero and all saviour. Now you know why the main girls flock around him. So if he bears and gets through this, she may just be able to get over her complex. As she starts rubbing all over him, Jirou is finding it hard not to nose bleed and manages to do so (oh, if only the rest were here to see this, I can guess what kind of reaction they’ll put and the action he will receive). Nakuru gets motivated that and even thinks he is good BL material. Hell no! He pushes her away and in that instant her glasses fell off. Suddenly Jirou sees how pretty she is! Man, she’s damn cute! Nakuru is relieved to have got over her complex but as she looks at Jirou, she can’t help notice how cool he is. Her heart suddenly skipping beat. But she got so scared at this thought that she runs away from him. Now she doesn’t want him close? So you see now why guys can’t understand women?

Cheesy Turkey…
I just can’t help but feel annoyed at the end. From the way things are going and from my experience of this type of shows (oh sure, I must be a real expert in watching genres like these now), I wasn’t placing much hope on the ending. I guessed that Subaru’s identity will come close to being exposed but since that didn’t happen, it turned out to be her life job on the line. And yeah, Subaru eventually gets to keep her job and be Kanade’s butler in the end but that is all to be expected, right? At least they didn’t use money, power or status to turn that around and instead the subtle power of friendship. So are they saying that if we get enough signatures, we’ll be able to turn things around? If only that ever works in real life (okay, sometimes it does). So maybe it wasn’t really about letting Kanade get injured the reason why Subaru got her job back but I am speculating that it is a test by Kanade’s dad to see if Subaru wasn’t just capable as Kanade’s butler but have her own circle and friends too. You can have the best butler in the world but if that butler lacks the kind of important values between other humans, then I guess you’re as good as nothing. The story flow isn’t anything unique either. You get your usual beach fanservice episodes, the school cultural festival, the maid cafe instalment and the boy-and-girl-alone-at-the-hotspring-inn drama as your expected cuppa. Some episodes give more prominence to a particular main girl and as Jirou goes along keeping Subaru’s secret, he peeks a little more into Subaru’s past and understands the situation better.

So the other thing that I am annoyed is the characters themselves. Perhaps it is the pace and the flow of the series that made me feel this way. For instance take Jirou. It’s mind boggling that he developed this phobia of girls touching him after getting abused by the 2 closest women in his life. I mean they just touch him. It’s not like they’re hitting him or something. And with so many incidents of coming into contact with females, why didn’t his body develop some sort of wacko immunity to cure his nose bleeds just like how he got them in the first place? So each time contact is made, he tries hard to hold it in. If he can’t, he passes out, wakes up somewhere. Otherwise he is just some plain ordinary guy who to his best abilities would help those out in need. Sounds pretty normal for a main character, eh? If he’s really scared and chicken of girls, what is he doing in a co-ed school in the first place? He could’ve transferred out to an all-boys’ school. Maybe being scared of girls doesn’t mean he fears them. See how he is still okay with porn magazines? I guess 2D is okay, eh? Yeah, 2D girls rock! Hopefully that nose bleed phobia will turn into nose bleed of stimulation instead ;p. Or else he will have to live with the reputation of being gay and make some crazy girls go wild and happy. The way this repetitiveness is played out somehow reminds me of a similar anime: MM! Fortunately Jirou didn’t turn into a masochist like what Tarou did and was all along. In both series, they experience getting beaten up. Lots of them. It’s no fun being guys like them. Unless you enjoy these kind of things.

I guess Subaru is the one I could say that undergoes the most change. She opens up her heart to others ever since meeting Jirou and her identity being found out other than members of the household. I feel that Subaru is torn in a lot of ways and in a dilemma between the roles she has to undertake. Though she still does a splendid job as a butler, at the same time there is this feeling that she wants to be a friend. Though she may be acting like a boy, there are times when she needs to be a girl. Get what I mean? Her growing feelings for Jirou is getting pretty obvious so I suppose even Kanade had to back down and give her a chance for Subaru to act like a real girl at least once in front of Jirou. Subaru may have a few other quirks with her and since we know that she has a phobia on bladed objects, how come she overcome them so fast and easily during that fake kidnapping incident? When you develop a phobia, it’s not that easy to just cure it and for Subaru’s case it was just poof! Gone. So why can’t Jirou do the same for his gynophobia? I guess this means with him having a long way to go, it gives a reason for the rest to stay around him. Is this chicken such a fun guy?

Kanade being the sadist is amusing to see how she will toy with those around her. She always stays one step ahead of everybody and will not allow any space for others to step over her. That’s why she’s seen as close to perfect. She’s already got Subaru as her butler, now she’s got Jirou as her personal toy. But her amusement in teasing Jirou too much has become such an annoyance instead. Don’t take this the wrong way that she’s a cold-hearted person (everyone has a little devil in their hearts) as she still cares for others but in her own way. Since you don’t really know what is going on in her mind, you can’t tell whether she likes Jirou for real but my guess is that she does or else why continue to toy around with him? There are many other guys whom she can take out her amusement from or even slap their face with cash with (that’s what she did for the school nurse) but why him? To make sure he keeps Subaru’s secret hidden may work at the start but as the series progresses, that doesn’t seem viable anymore. After 13 episodes, you think that some kind of trust has formed between them, right? Besides, do you think Jirou is the kind of guy who would expose somebody else’s secret just like that? So you think she doesn’t have feelings for Jirou? Not that she would show it even to us.

Muscle brain woman is what describes Kureha best and that is what makes her totally annoying. In her quest to be strong just like mommy, poor big brother has to endure her daily tortures. Doesn’t she have a heart? Doesn’t she know how her brother feels? Maybe too much brute force has made her an airhead and someone who is so gullible enough to believe any weird and false rumours she is being told about her brother. Doesn’t she know or trust her brother well enough? Maybe all she’s interested is just giving him some wrestling moves. But at the end of the day, she still loves her brother very much because she’s the only family member she’s got. You can blame mommy for irresponsibly leaving the house to search for someone stronger. Well at this rate, I don’t think she’s coming home because she’ll be finding none. Usami I can classify her as a tsundere while Nakuru really is a true pervert with her obsession for glasses and BL. Nagare like a good father to Subaru can be too overprotective at times and though he might try to sound or act cool, he usually ends up looking like an idiot. At this rate, I guess he and Jirou won’t be burying the hatchet very soon.

For the romance part, I guess you can say the main characters love revolves around Jirou and Subaru. Kanade may be a bisexual because she did indicate though Subaru was her first love, it’s not like she is going to stick to it till kingdom come. Kureha loves Subaru but still thinking that she is a boy. However even if she did mention that she likes him, I feel it is more towards the admiration sense because you don’t see her flustering like girls do when they’re in love. So what happens if she really gets to know Subaru is a girl? Will she turn yuri then? Usami started out liking Subaru and now she also likes Jirou as far as I can see from her interactions with the chicken idiot. Nakuru’s passion is of course BL stuff between the duo. Whatever happened to S4 and WOSS in the end? I felt that their presence didn’t have much impact in the sense that they may be obsessed over Subaru but I don’t see that passion here. Maybe it’s because they don’t have much screen time. Even so I thought since Subaru is so damn popular, if they are true obsessed fans then they would be stalking to wherever she goes. The way Subaru goes out to town and even on that fake date dressed as a girl with Jirou, you would think that some diehard fan girls would be around and take notice. Even that physical examination should have the guys at least raise an eyebrow but no… They just think how close Jirou and Subaru are. With everyone this ‘dumb’ and not as observant, it’s safe to say that Subaru’s secret is very safe. Even a smart girl like Usami still can’t fathom why ‘he’ cross-dresses. Everybody open your eyes! It’s a girl I tell you no matter how you look at it! Then again, I don’t really want to reveal it either because it’ll shatter lots of dreams and fantasies. Yeah, the truth hurts so it’s better for things to stay as they are now.

There are quite a few trivia to spot in this anime. For example, I thought Maria’s maid assistants look awfully familiar. I thought it could just be coincidence but then I found out they are actually cameo appearance made by KissxSis twin sisters, Ako and Riko despite being named Milk and Choco respectively. I also didn’t realize it at first but there are quite a few scenes with cameo appearance from Mirai Suenaga. Who? The mascot character for Culture Japan created and designed by fellow Malaysian Danny Choo. On a trivial note, I notice the episode titles are taken from a speech that occurs somewhere during the episode. Some of the next episode previews are filled with sexual innuendos that it makes you chuckle in amusement upon realizing what they’re actually doing. For example the one whereby Subaru was worried about doing something properly, how sensitive it would be and how much it hurts but it turns out to be blood donation. For the mid-intermission, the characters sputter random nonsensical words that sometimes do not make sense. I’ve been wondering about that sheep plushie and it still bugs me that people find them cute since it has a drop of blood dripping from its mouth… Maybe it’ll get even more popular if it had its guts spilling out or brain sliced open… Just saying…

After hearing Yuka Iguchi’s trademark annoying high pitch squealing characters such as Index in To Aru Majutsu No Index, Yashiro in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko and Maria in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai, it was really a surprise to find her voicing Subaru because she really sounded different using a lower voice as the character. At first I couldn’t recognize her but when Subaru starts squealing in panic, suddenly it occurred to me how familiar this voice was. Then it hit me. No doubt that is the voice of Yuka Iguchi! Looks like I’ve been so stereotyped by her voice roles that I am utterly surprised that she could even voice this kind of character roles. Eri Kitamura is fitting as Kanade like her other sly characters like Rin in Kodomo No Jikan and Ami in Toradora. Kana Hanazawa as usual does her best in a full retard mode as Kureha like how she did for the titular character in Kobato, Rana of Freezing and Shiro in Deadman Wonderland. Other casts include Satoshi Hino as Jirou (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima series), Mariya Ise as Usami (Stocking in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Kana Asumi as Nakuru (Yuno in Hidamari Sketch), Keiji Fujiwara as Nagare (Sven in Black Cat) and Natsuko Kuwatani as Maria (Suisei Seki of Rozen Maiden).

Subaru may not match the all-in-one butler of Hayate and the bishonen demon butler Sebastian but like any butler, despite the gender, financial status or race, butlers do their best to accommodate their master’s needs, whims and fancies. That’s what butlers are for and that’s why they are so handy to come with. So if I ever find myself caught in the same position as Jirou, probably the first thing I would do is to blame the butler because well, the butler always did it! Haha! Enough about butlers already, I prefer maids though.