Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Volume 17

ハヤテのごとく!/Hayate no Gotoku manga volume 17 review
Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Volume 17

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Nagi discovers an R-18 adult video in the regular video section and is discovered by Hayate, forcing her to make a rapid replacement of said video on the shelf. She decides to rent a ton of videos and this R-18 video but when she gets home, it isn’t the porn video but a horror movie that she ends up watching anyway despite its scariness.

A flashback story tells how it was decided that Saku needed a maid even though she had two butlers.  She was reluctant but after observing Haru transform from somber student to ultra cheerful maid at the maid cafe, Saku has second thoughts about the maid idea.  When the two meet up by coincidence at an arcade and play a game together, Saku knows she has her maid.

Hayate and Nagi go to a street festival where Hina is playing a costumed hero and does not want them to know about this. However, when Hayate is enlisted to help the performance, Hina’s identity is in danger of discovery.

Nagi gets an old film camera in order to take some good pictures and preserve some memories.

In the final story, Hayate recalls being a kid in kindergarten and learning his dad had stolen everyone’s lunch money.  He runs away from home and runs until he collapses from exhaustion. He awakes to find himself in a massive flowerbed by a girl his age named Athena Tennos.  Above them in the sky is a massive castle named the Royal Garden and she takes him in.  Despite his age, she offers him a job as her personal butler and the two would be the only people living in this massive castle and would be sharing the same bed.

Ah-tan, as Hayate begins calling her, starts training Hayate in his duties. From her, he learns the skills of cleaning, fighting, and more.  Because his body is weak and shows signs of abuse, Athena uses magic to enhance Hayate’s young body, thus making him able to do incredible things.

Hayate’s time passes with Hayate discovering that time moves much slower than normal in the castle. Athena shows him a magic mirror which reveals people and places known to the viewer.  As an example, an image of a young Maria is shown.  Over time, Hayate begins missing his parents, especially his mom.  Athena shows him how to return to Earth to say goodbye to his mom but makes him promise to return right away and not waste time doing anything else.  However, once Hayate returns, he immediately encounters a young Izumi and has to help her with a dog who’s menacing her. She kisses him as a reward and after Hayate discovers his parents aren’t home and apparently didn’t miss him, he returns to Royal Garden.

Athena is not happy when he returns because for her, he was gone for a very long time.  Not only that, but she saw his encounter with Izumi.  So, she decides to continue his training on what it means to be the perfect boyfriend for her.  Hayate learns that Athena doesn’t really like living in this castle and asks her if she wants to live outside.  Despite the opulence of the castle and the fact that they want for nothing, Hayate sees that Athena is unhappy and lonely.  She doesn’t want to live with his family, who are worthless.  Hayate wants to change them but Athena doesn’t want anything to do with them.

Hayate returns to Earth and after a chat with Izumi, he begins doing odd jobs to earn money to buy Athena an adult-sized ring as proof of his love and devotion.  She’s touched and gives him a ring in return and says that when they are adults, they will wear them.  Thinking that Athena will be living with his family on Earth, Hayate leaves the castle, not realizing that Athena already knew that what he planned could never be.

Thoughts/Review:

Wow.  This was a volume of explanations but let me start with the light stuff first.

Nagi’s failed attempt to rent a porno was funny, especially with her attempt to disguise it.  That she accidentally rented a horror movie instead was to be expected along with the results but I liked it a lot.

When Haru was introduced as Saku’s maid, I never even questioned it.  She’d always had her two butlers, but Saku is a rich ojousama like Nagi and so what’s having another maid.  That said, I liked the story which showed why her butlers felt that a maid would be more appropriate now that Saku is 14.  I liked how Saku came to even pick Haru because it fit with everything that had been previously established about Saku’s character.

The street festival and Hina’s playing the costumed, Power Rangers-type hero was amusing, more so because Aika is there and you know loving every minute of Hina trying to keep her identity secret.

The story with Nagi wanting to get some commemorative photos was fun and a nice transition into the BIG story of the manga.

That’s where the “wow” comes in.  “Ah-tan” had previously been mentioned as Hayate’s first girlfriend but she seemed like some spoiled brat from the brief flashbacks.  There was a bit of that in her character but she had surprising depth that I didn’t expect.  On the whole, I really liked this flashback story of Hayate and Athena.  I hadn’t been asking the questions of how Hayate became super strong and could survive damage that would kill others.  I hadn’t been asking questions on just where Hayate learned his many other skills either, to include sword fighting.  I didn’t ask because up until now, I’ve considered Hayate the Combat Butler to just be a fun, funny, romantic-comedy, adventure series.  I find that the flashback actually changes that perspective somewhat.

The only thing that bothered me was the fact that Ah-tan made Hayate a butler.  I did go back an re-read the first volume of the manga and it appears that Hata-sensei was pretty careful not to have Hayate make any references to indicate he’d never done butler work before.  He did ask what his duties would be but as soon as Maria gave him a cleaning assignment, he did it and then after Nagi saves him from the Yakuza, Hayate basically shifts into a butler’s role with no training.  Again, I never questioned this back then but now in light of what Hata-sensei has written here, all of that now has an explanation and now, as I said, the manga has taken on a new light to me.

So, how did Athena end up in the Royal Garden?  This clearly isn’t her normal residence as the newspaper showed an article saying that she was still missing.  With time apparently passing very slowly in the Royal Garden, just how long has it been for her up there?  Hayate’s brief time on his first trip back to Earth had her insisting that he’d been gone for a very long time.  How’d she survive alone for so long?  How’d she learn to do magic and apparently work things so that all her needs were taken care of even though she was the only person in this massive castle?  Does she somehow know Maria since a young Maria showed up in the magic mirror?

The part where Hayate struggles to do odd jobs to buy Athena a ring reminded me of a very similar story that has happened in other titles, but the one that sticks out in my mind is what Keiichi did in Ah! My Goddess to buy Belldandy a ring.

I really want to read more but unfortunately, Viz has decided that they won’t release the next volume until September.  *_*  That’ll put us an additional two volumes behind Japan by year’s end.  Right now, we are TEN VOLUMES behind Japan and next month, volume 28 is being released there which will make that ELEVEN!  I’m not happy about this but I guess the series isn’t selling that well and that’s a real shame.  Other than a lack of translator notes, Viz’s treatment of the manga is been first class for the most part.

If Viz doesn’t have plans to release more manga when September rolls around, I’m probably going to read ahead because the release rate is just  ridiculous, assuming they continue at all after September.  *_*  Maybe sales of the manga will pick up and Viz will want to release more on a faster pace.  In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes open for what Viz decides to do.

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8 Responses to “Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Volume 17”

  1. Cube says:

    A-tan is <3

    That is all.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Well, I do look forward to seeing more about her in the next volume.

  3. proscientia says:

    It’s a brilliant series with some reservations. I’ll be picking up my volume 17 soon (haven’t bought manga in a while due to being busy).

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Yeah, must support good manga. ^_~

  5. MadMac says:

    17 is one of my favorite volumes so far. I really wish this manga wasn’t so far behind in the U.S.

    Just an aside, if you’re planning to watch the movie this summer it will almost certainly have massive spoilers for anyone who isn’t up to date with the manga.

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    17 is one of my favorite volumes so far. I really wish this manga wasn’t so far behind in the U.S.

    I wish this as well. ^_^; I’m hoping that Viz won’t abandon the series as this is one of my favorite manga titles.

    Just an aside, if you’re planning to watch the movie this summer it will almost certainly have massive spoilers for anyone who isn’t up to date with the manga.

    Hmmmm. Well, that kinda sucks. I did watch the TV series first before reading the anime (1st series that is) so I suppose I’ll suck it up if the movie does have a ton of spoilers for the manga. I’m betting the manga will still be better.

  7. MadMac says:

    The thing with the movie is, well…From what I understand it’s an original story and not something from the manga at all, but there’s something huge that happens in the manga about 8-10 volumes from where you are that it’s basically impossible for the movie to keep from spoiling.

  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Oh. Hmmm. Well, I’ll play it by ear then. When it comes to anime movies, I tend to fall far behind. I have a stack of movies to watch and just haven’t done it. ^_^;;;

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