Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Volume 22

ハヤテのごとく!/Hayate no Gotoku manga volume 22 review
Hayate the Combat Butler Volume 22

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Since I’ve already reviewed this volume based on the Japanese tankoubon, this review will focus on the Viz release, then some last moment thoughts.

Although I’m still irritated with Viz because of them falsely accusing me of copyright infringement, my love of the Hayate the Combat Butler manga trumps that, so I will continue to promote it.

Taking a look at the story in the manga, this second volume of the trip to Greece tying in with the omake chapters from early in the series shows how well Hata-sensei plots out his stories. Considering the years between those omake chapters and volume 22, it is nice that he is able to keep on top of things so well.

Also, this volume shows how Hata-sensei can successfully blend comedy elements while pushing plot threads forward, this time Hina’s love interest in Hayate, Hayate’s and Athena’s reunion, and Ayumu’s and Nagi’s growing friendship on top of Ayumu’s and Hina’s deepening friendship. Hata-sensei worries too much about losing audience with major plot pushes or long story arcs, but I think he worries about nothing. I’m not sure how much of this is driven by his editor, but I am reminded of how slowly Hata-sensei ultimately progresses with the main story plot.

Still, there’s no denying the pleasure of Hayate the Combat Butler, which is why I will promote even the Viz version, which thankfully goes the extra mile on the Japanese honorifics, which I like considering how very Japanese the story is.

The Viz release has the usual extras of Hata-sensei’s note, the 4-koma strips (I wish those were in color, but oh well), the “goddess” page at the front of the manga, the dating sim page, and the advertisements for the next two volumes of Hayate the Combat Butler.

This is where Viz disrespects English-speaking fans. They advertise volume 23 as coming out in November 2013, but that is obviously a massive lie. As of this posting, the volume is scheduled to be released February 11, 2014.

The other thing that sucks for we English-speaking fans is that in Japan, Hata-sensei insisted that volumes 23 and 24 be released together so that folks could get the final two volumes of the Golden Week in Greece. We won’t see volume 24 until September 2014, assuming Viz doesn’t push it out even further. *_*  Isn’t that just lovely, eh?

I realize that not enough folks are buying Hayate the Combat Butler, otherwise Viz would sell these on a proper, four volumes per year schedule rather than the measly two volumes per year we are graced with. It really is a shame because this is a really good manga series, combining whacky comedy, romantic comedy, and interesting stories.

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4 Responses to “Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Volume 22”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is this kind of disrespect for the fans that costs Viz, et al. at the cash register.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I hear ya, but from their standpoint, they consider fans as disrespecting them by not buying the manga, thus while they’ll continue to publish the manga due to contractual obligations, they just aren’t going to do it very frequently, which simply exacerbates the problem (IMO).

  2. OverMaster says:

    So he worries about losing the audience if he pushes the plot forward? Most Western authors, instead, would worry about losing the audience with a stalling plot that goes nowhere, or progresses far too slowly with no payoff.

    I can’t say I can side up with Hata in this one.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      If you notice how the manga starts, it doesn’t appear to have much in the way of a plot. The manga is structured to be a gag series, with the occasional parody and with a generous side of romantic comedy. As I see it, the fear is that in Japan, most fans are into the series for the comedy aspects and not so much for the plot aspects. So, if they stray too far from the comedy, Hata-sensei and/or his editor fear losing audience, especially newer audience members.

      The shifts to gag chapters more easily allows new readers entry into the series without having to know massive background information or the like. When Hata-sensei shifts to plot chapters, these new fans either go back and find out what happened (which is what I imagine they’d do, but I could easily be wrong), or they say, “Where’s by gag humor? That’s it, I’m not reading this any more!”

      Considering how fickle Western fans are, I wouldn’t be surprised if that turned out to be the case. ^_^;;;

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