Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth (Anime Movie Review)

Hayate no Gotoku! Heaven Is a Place on Earth anime movie
ハヤテのごとく!ヘブン・イズ・ア・プレイス・オン・アース 

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

With the doujinshi event over, Nagi is down and not enthused, leading Hayate to want to do something to keep her going rather than become reclusive again. While at a family restaurant that Ayumu is working at, Ayumu invites her housemates to her grandmother’s home in the country for a vacation.  Nagi and Kayura find themselves interested for a weird reason, so everyone but Ruka, who has a concert tour she can’t miss, and Athena (for unknown reasons) comes on the trip.  Also along for the trip are Miki, Izumi, and Risa.  During the train ride, Nagi is excited, but when they get to the country and there’s no phone reception, combined with her accidentally falling into a stream (along with Chiharu) saps Nagi’s enthusiasm.

Nagi and Chiharu take a bath when they get to Ayumu’s grandmother’s home where Ayumu gets Nagi’s enthusiasm up again over the idea of catching beetles, but a spider showing up in the bathroom kills that. Hayate serves up watermelon to work Nagi back up, but she’s not to be made enthused, tossing a watermelon rind at a cicada that’s being too noisy. Hayate cleans her hands, and while Nagi lays there bemoaning things, Hayate looks outside and notices a woman in a kimono in the yard in front of the sunflowers, but she disappears before Maria sees her.  Most of the group come together to make dinner, after which the girls and Hayate participate in a summer ghost story event.

That night, Nagi tries to go to the toilet in the dark and isn’t successful. Hayate comes to her aid, having been up looking and finding a spot to get cellphone service in the area.  As Hayate and Nagi chat and look at the stars, Hayate sees the kimono woman again and gives chase, which leads him into the forest before winding up at an amusement park, where he discovers Miki, Izumi, and Risa are at, having discovered it during a test of courage. Nagi shows up as well, but is taken by the mascot characters of the park.  Hayate tries to save her, but is thwarted when the kimono woman shows up smiling, causing Hayate to wake up in his bed.

It is morning, but while Hayate is concerned for his ojousama, he can’t remember Nagi specifically, and Maria is now the “ojousama” whom Hayate serves. No one else remembers Nagi either, so no one is concerned that she’s gone, and no one misses Miki, Risa, Izumi, or Kayura. As such, the group decides to have a barbeque by the creek, where Maria keeps finding herself trying to serve everyone despite being an ojousama, and she can’t explain why. Back at the theme park, it is still dark outside though the park’s lights are brightly lit. Miki, Risa, and Izumi don’t take the situation seriously despite can’t get out. However, that changes when they learn the truth for themselves, causing Nagi to take control of the situation.

Elsewhere, Yukiji and Kaoru are spending time by a pool when Yukiji reads about a fabulous, valuable diamond waiting to be found in the country where Hayate and company are residing. She commandeers Kaoru’s car, so he jumps in the back and they are off, but she ends up driving the car into a lake in the country. Meanwhile, Hayate is sure that something is not right and tries to remember by having Hina return to the house with him as he has memory flashes of cleaning Nagi’s hand. He can’t remember, so he races off, leaving Hina frustrated.  Hina follows him a bit, shouting in anger at him, when a bus shows up and deposits Sakuya and Isumi.  Hina is surprised they showed up, but when they ask about Nagi, Hina doesn’t know whom they are talking about, leading Isumi to understand why Hayate summoned her.

Back at the house, Hayate encounters the kimono woman, who asks why he’s working as a butler for the selfish Nagi. Hayate tells how his parents left him a massive debt and that Ojousama (Maria in his memories) assumed the debt which Hayate now is paying off. The kimono woman reveals she’s Hayate’s grandmother, the mother of Hayate’s father. She gives him the diamond that Yukiji had read about, saying it is enough to pay off his debt so he can be happy and not be forced to work for that terrible ojousama (Nagi). She says she’ll force Hayate to forget about her and leaves, returning to the theme park where Nagi has gone to the Ferris wheel in order to try to get a cellphone signal.

Hayate gives chase, but returning to Ayumu’s grandmother’s home, he finds Maria-ojousama playing with sunflowers. Maria indicates she’s been forgetting something, which she assuming is a watermelon.  She tells Nagi that Hayate won’t come. Klaus calls Nagi, irritating her so that she breaks her phone.  She screams for Hayate, causing a break in the barrier around the theme park, allowing Hayate to remember as the theme park starts to collapse. The park’s robotic creations start going after the girls. Isumi saves Risa and Izumi while Hina saves Miki and Kayura.  Meanwhile, Hayate’s grandmother wonders if Hayate will be able to save Nagi, to which Nagi is absolutely sure that Hayate will do this, as he’s always done.

As if on cue, Hayate leaps in to the rescue. After making sure that Nagi is OK, he addresses his grandmother, returning the diamond to her. She’s not happy by this since this will mean Hayate is returned to a life of misfortune and money woes.  Hayate agrees that things won’t be easy, but Nagi is important to him for saving his life, so he asks if he can continue to work to pay off his debt, which Nagi happily agrees to. Seeing Hayate’s resolve, his grandmother vanishes and the illusion drops, revealing a ruined theme park that she’d taken Hayate to as a kid. Maria, now a maid again, and Ayumu gather the others to return to the house for breakfast. Elsewhere, Yukiji finds the diamond and gives it to Kaoru to pay for the car, though he says he won’t sell it since it is a gift from Yukiji. After that, the group goes to the summer festival as planned.

Thoughts/Review:

With the forthcoming arrival of the new Hayate the Combat Butler TV series, I figured I better get the movie watched, which I’ve had for some time.

I’m REALLY glad I caught up on the manga since this movie takes place after Kayura is a resident at the apartment house that Nagi owns. I liked that the movie has the renters at the house, save Ruka and Athena, go on the trip. While the anime addresses why Ruka couldn’t come, but gives her screen time just the same, the movie oddly skips on Athena in her kid form. There is a moment where the older teen Athena is shown, but that’s it.  Not sure why she was skipped.

Anyway, while the movie isn’t anything that funny or great, I found I liked it quite a bit.  Although the cast is huge, the writers make sure to give all of the girls at least some screen time.  In doing so, the effort is made to give fans of the manga moments they want to see — the student body trio (Miki, Risa, and Izumi) having their normal, stupidly fun time; Hina and Ayumu touching on their feelings for Hayate; Nagi being her normal, spoiled self; Hina kicking some arse; Isumi kicking some arse; Sakuya being Sakuya; etc.  Of course, this all culminates in Hayate coming to Nagi’s rescue when she calls.  As such, I feel that fans of the manga will have some satisfaction seeing key, expected moments fulfilled.

Wataru and Saki are relegated to a cameo at their new store, which hasn’t yet opened in the manga (at least, not that I remember since Ayumu helped them pack up things for the new business), so I guess that might disappoint some.

While I’m thinking of it, another clever element was how the movie worked the backstory of Hayate and Nagi in via still images during the OP credit sequence (which Ruka sang through). That was where we got to see Athena.  The anime production team also used it to show certain key moments from the manga, which I loved.

I’m not sure how involved with the movie that Hata-sensei was, but I liked the introduction of Hayate’s deceased grandmother (she appears on the LE edition of volume 31 of the manga, as drawn by Hata-sensei).  I would like it if she appears in the manga story. Considering that other anime-only characters have appeared in the manga, it is possible that she’ll be used in the manga.

Another moment I liked from the movie was the visual of the sunflowers.  I was immediately reminded of the volume 2 manga cover, where Hayate and Nagi are in a field of sunflowers, which are taller than Nagi.  I wonder if that was purposefully done.

Something that was purposefully done was a bit of cosplay by Kayura. I didn’t recognize the one school seifuku she produced at one point, but I loved her dressing up as Saber from the Fate/stay night franchise.  There were a few other nods as well, as well as what I figure were product placements (which don’t bother me).

Other than that, I find there’s not much to say about the movie. It is a fun experience, going through the elements that one would expect from a Hayate no Gotoku anime, but it isn’t anything extraordinary. Certainly worth watching, especially if you are a fan of the franchise.

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8 Responses to “Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth (Anime Movie Review)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    When did Hayate call Isumi?

  2. Anonymous says:

    That’s an excellent summary of the movie. Nothing remarkable, but entertaining nonetheless.

    FYI Kagura was actually first introduced in the movie and didn’t appear in the manga until a few months later.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >FYI Kagura was actually first introduced in the movie and didn’t appear in the manga until a few months later.

      Oh yeah, I remember that was the reason she was introduced to the manga because of the movie.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If only all of the bgm of the Hayate movie is added in youtube.

  4. Lan says:

    This movie was bad. The animation was good, the soundtrack was lacking, the story was incredibly lacking, and overall there was no comedy which is key to this anime. There was numerous characters who i have either forgotten about or never been introduced too, which sucks because not every Hayate fan has read the manga.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >There was numerous characters who i have either forgotten about or never been introduced too, which sucks because not every Hayate fan has read the manga.

      Welcome to the Japanese anime/manga world. ^_~

      Actually, Kayura was introduced in this movie. But I hear what you are saying.

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