Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Chapter 431 (A popular character says farewell.)

ハヤテのごとく!/Hayate no Gotoku Chapter 431 Review
Hayate the Combat Butler

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

With Ruka placing her hand on Hayate’s, she has a request for him — buy her some ice cream, and some of the good, expensive stuff.  When Hayate buys Häagen-Dazs, as she requests, which she really enjoys. Hayate is puzzled by her attitude, so she asks if he’s seen the Audrey Hepburn movie, which he hasn’t. She confesses that eating ice cream was on her bucket list, and thanks to Hayate, she got to do that with him.

Hayate thinks that she jumped the gun on making a bucket list, citing she has 41 years left, causing Ruka to demand to know if she’ll die at 57. Hayate tries to look at Ruka’s bucket list, causing her to freak out, saying she’d rather he looked at her breasts than see the lists. When he declines that offer, Ruka doesn’t believe it, especially when Hayate shakily denies having a desire to see them. She turns it up a notch by giving the earnest but embarrassed offer again, freaking out Hayate. When he realizes she’s teasing him, he gets upset.

In all seriousness, Ruka looks at her “get a boyfriend” item on her bucket list and presses her head against Hayate, telling him she could throw everything away for him. Just as she starts to cave into her feelings to truly give everything up for Hayate, the fireworks start, causing the moment to pass. Ruka accepts this, then as she writes a note while having Hayate keep his eyes on the fireworks, she tells him that he must really be unlucky since he could have married an idol like her had she beat Nagi. Ruka slips the note into his pocket, then after watching the fireworks with him for a moment, she quietly slips away.

Hayate knows she’s gone, so he reads the note. One side simply says goodbye while the other teases him, expressing her hope that he regrets not marrying her forever. Hayate tells himself he already regrets it.

Thoughts/Review:

And so the first of the Hayate the Combat Butler characters leaves the series. When characters start leaving, the series is starting to wind down, which in Hata-sensei’s case, will take another decade probably. *lol*

This was a very touching chapter. Ruka got to scratch an item off her bucket list from chapter 379, which was eating ice cream. No doubt, Hata-sensei had this in mind when he had Ruka make the list, considering how he is on making a point of certain things, then providing a payoff much, much later.

Do I think this is the last we’ve seen of Ruka?

I think she’ll show up in either flashbacks, as a namedrop, or possibly in a cameo whereby she checks in with Nagi, Chiharu, or one of the other new friends she’s made. After all, she was asked to go on the trip with the group in the Heaven is a Place on Earth anime (which is considered canon), and she played a small but important role in Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (also canon).  That proves she and the girls stay in touch. I don’t expect her to talk with Hayate though.

Regarding Ruka’s departure, I liked that for a moment, she faltered because of her bucket list. For a moment, she was truly ready to give everything up to be with Hayate, which was a more realistic thing now that her parents took the debt back upon themselves.  However, in the end, she knew that Hayate was resolved (even if he was tempted), and she accepted that and moved on. Even now, her manner of exit still brings a tear to my eye.

As for Hayate, there’s no doubt in my mind that he loved Ruka at some level. After all, Ruka is a hot, beautiful idol, and they would be a good couple, as witnessed by how well they work together. So yeah, Hayate loved Ruka, but I think that in Hayate’s heart, Athena is still number one. Nagi would come in second, thanks to Hayate’s commitment to her. I think that Hina, Ayumu, and Ruka come in third.

I don’t know if we get more aftermath or not, but I’d like another chapter with Hayate returning to the other girls as the fireworks end. I’m sure the gag chapters are soon to come, if for no other reason than to get us through the winter holiday season.

So a bitter-sweet, good chapter in which Ruka leaves the series as a supporting character.

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4 Responses to “Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Chapter 431 (A popular character says farewell.)”

  1. This was a great chapter and a really fitting way to send Ruka off — with fireworks even. Before this arc comes to an end though, I’d like to see Hayate and Nagi have a little chat as well. If anything, that incident from chapter 413 still needs to be addressed directly. Based on Hata’s track record though, he probably has no plans of doing so. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he does.

    I think any of the girls in Hayate’s current harem is a better match for him than Nagi. As far as the plot goes though, I can’t imagine him ending up with anyone other than her — or the cop-out “I’ll be her butler forever while remaining ambiguous about my feelings” ending.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >If anything, that incident from chapter 413 still needs to be addressed directly. Based on Hata’s track record though, he probably has no plans of doing so.

      I agree on both accounts. We’ll see though.

      > As far as the plot goes though, I can’t imagine him ending up with anyone other than her — or the cop-out “I’ll be her butler forever while remaining ambiguous about my feelings” ending.

      I may be wrong, but I sense that Hayate will end up with Athena. I do agree that Hayate might say, “I’ll remain your butler forever,” but at the same time, I can see Nagi having grown to the point to where she doesn’t need Hayate any more, as by then she will be able to stand on her own two feet. As such, she’ll release Hayate from his obligation, allowing him to be with Athena.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For some reason, the Japanese seem to absolutely love the movie Roman Holiday; I think I see more references to this movie in romantic plots in various manga and anime than almost any other reference, except maybe for Romeo and Juliet. The link between the two of them is that the love affairs in both of them end unhappily, like the “Love Suicides at Imado” and the rest of that school of writing. I guess the Japanese have an affinity for the emotional intensity of unhappy love affairs.

    As far as Ruka goes, I never liked her character, and I am glad that she is (probably) gone for good as a major player. I am hoping that we can now get back to Athena, who is my own favorite (and the one with the best figure).

    I would agree with you that I think that Hata is starting to pull in the major threads of his plot and moving toward the end. The fact that Hayate’s brother appears to be scheduled for an appearance brings Hayate’s past, and therefore his whole backstory back to the fore. This appears to me to be an indication of a movement to the end, because the whole plot of this manga really emerges from his backstory.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >For some reason, the Japanese seem to absolutely love the movie Roman Holiday…

      That’s one I’ve not seen.

      > I guess the Japanese have an affinity for the emotional intensity of unhappy love affairs.

      That and unrequited love.

      >As far as Ruka goes, I never liked her character, and I am glad that she is (probably) gone for good as a major player. I am hoping that we can now get back to Athena, who is my own favorite (and the one with the best figure).

      I never had a problem with Ruka, especially since she was the tool to cause Nagi to grow.

      >The fact that Hayate’s brother appears to be scheduled for an appearance brings Hayate’s past, and therefore his whole backstory back to the fore. This appears to me to be an indication of a movement to the end, because the whole plot of this manga really emerges from his backstory.

      Then again, it might be years before he’s mentioned again. *lol*

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