Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Chapter 432 (Pondering what might have been.)

ハヤテのごとく!/Hayate no Gotoku Chapter 432 Review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Ayumu invites Nagi to join the rest of the girls on the balcony to observe the fireworks, but she politely declines, citing being tired.

On the streets below, Hayate looks at Ruka’s note and wonders whether he made the right decision or not in turning her down. Hayate becomes annoyed when he notices all the romantic couples around. Naturally, one really lovey-dovey couple wants him to snap a picture of them, which he does, capturing the two kissing.

Hayate returns home to find no one else there. Checking his phone, he sees the texts from Ayumu, stating where the group is watching the fireworks. Since Hayate missed it, he looks at Ruka’s note, feels depressed, and starts to think about what might have been with Ruka again when Nagi shows up, wearing a mask, and calling herself Life Ender-chan. Nagi makes a failed attempt to cheer Hayate up, then she gives him a present — a sketch of himself, signed by her.

Hayate remarks on this messy doodle, leading to a retort by her. She takes off her mask and says that it is the first thing she’s signed, but while it is worthless at the moment, one day it will be very valuable in ten years. Her earnest attitude actually causes Hayate to feel better and he accepts her gift.

Hayate asks how the doujinshi sales went, to which Nagi says assuredly that she naturally sold out. After acknowledging the help she’d received, Hayate praises her for her hard work in such a short time. This causes Nagi to blush, after which she tells Hayate they need to go to the beach.

Thoughts/Review:

And so the doujinshi arc has now concluded. In some ways I’m glad, but in others I’m kinda sad. I’m glad because there are lots of other plot threads that need to be picked back up, so it will be nice to advance those stories. It is sad because I did like Ruka.

I know some didn’t like this, but I liked Hayate’s pondering about whether he should have gone ahead and hooked up with Ruka or not because it is realistic. I can’t imagine that people haven’t made a major decision in their lives, then after the decision wonder, “Well what might have been if I’d made a different choice?”  Let’s look at Hayate’s position for a moment.

From Hayate’s perspective, at the moment, Hayate’s in love with Athena, based on his remarks to Hina during the Golden Week trip to Greece. However, Athena is currently an unknown quantity. At the moment, Athena has lost some of her memories and she’s in child form. But, assuming that she returns to her young adult form (which I think it is safe to say will happen), there’s no guarantee that she would get into a relationship with Hayate, even if he confessed his feelings to her.  There could be any number of reasons for her declining to be with Hayate romantically.  Therefore, Hayate’s love for Athena may be unrequited.

With Ruka, there is no uncertainty about where Hayate stands with her. He knows Ruka loves him deeply.  Ruka is a hot, popular idol.  She’s witty and intelligent to boot.  So, if Hayate had decided to be with her, even if she wasn’t number one in his heart, he’d at least have a beautiful someone he cared about and who truly cared for him. However, if he did go this route, it wouldn’t be fair to Ruka because Athena would always be number one in his heart. I think Hayate was very much aware of this.

As such, when Hayate sees the romantic couples, he gets annoyed because he has no one. Naturally, he begins thinking, “well, maybe I should have just taken Ruka up on her offer, then I could be among these happy couples.” That’s his mindset when he returns to Yukari-chan House, and thinking he’s alone again, starts pondering about what might have been as he thinks about Ruka. It was all very realistic to me, and made for a good way to end the Ruka element of the arc.

(As I said before, I think Ruka will get the occasional cameo or name drop, but I don’t think she and Hayate will ever speak again, at least not for the foreseeable future.)

Nagi being at the house didn’t surprise me since she’d made her excuse of being tired earlier.  For Nagi, she’d not only won the doujinshi contest and accomplished the near impossible, proving she could do things she set her mind to, but she had allowed for Ruka and Hayate to have time together. For her, there’s no doubt that this was pretty difficult considering how the initial drive for her to defeat Ruka was to prevent Hayate from going off with her. However, it is moments like this that make me think that when the manga is ending, Nagi would be able, even though it would pain her to do so, to allow Hayate to go with the girl of his choice if it isn’t her.

Nagi has grown, and that growth shows in this chapter. Nagi is still Nagi, so she gets a little agitated at her portrait of Hayate being called a scribble, but then she concedes that in fact it is a worthless scribble, but she plans to make it worth something in ten years. I like seeing that her drive to continue moving forward is still there.

Speaking of Nagi, I did like the little nod to Sailor Moon that she did. I couldn’t get into that manga myself, but I liked the nod just the same.

So yeah, I do like this chapter a lot for the closure it brings to the arc, and the realistic reflections on Hayate’s decision to not be with Ruka.

As to what’s coming up, I suspect gag chapters, but Hata-sensei can often be full of surprises. I’d love it if he actually pressed forward with things. I think last year around this time, he teased the main plot again, so he might go that route this year as well.

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8 Responses to “Hayate the Combat Butler Manga Chapter 432 (Pondering what might have been.)”

  1. mentaromega says:

    Really?

    I have seen no indication whatsoever that Hayate is still in love with Athena. Like he said during their parting at the end of the Greece arc, she was the girl he loved. Past tense. And if he has shown any romantic inclinations towards Mini-A-tan, I must have missed them – feel free to correct me, but with references pls.

    I have to admit that this arc didn’t really grip me at all. Ruka was a nice and diverse character, and she has all my sympathies. But in the end, she was just one more figure tossed into the grinder as fodder for Hata’s Nagi fixation. And all “growth” notwithstanding – which culminates mostly in persevering for once where she would have given up one step earlier, like she almost did again – I once more simply feel myself too far away from Nagi to really care.

    Maybe I’m simply too old, but she is and remains too childish for me to really identify myself with her. And I dislike that contrary to other, in my opinion much “worthier” characters, she still needs the pampering and support of an army of other characters whose existences seem dedicated to wipe Nagi’s rear.

    And so, the more Hata makes his preference clear, the more I find myself disattaching myself from the show which genuinely excited me in the past. The disastrous movies and weak “Cuties” season fueled this disattachment. Also, I am worried and convinced at the same time that Hata will have Nagi relapse into the the old Tsukkomi role. Why? Because – brutally put – Nagi is a one-trick pony. Take her extreme wealth and lack of common sense away, and I believe she’s going to be _boring_.

    Well then, Hata. Prove me wrong, after the upcoming expected barrage of 4-5 months of short stories “revisiting” old characters that the majority of readers will have mostly forgotten to care about. And then we’ll see how you’ll continue.

    It is heartening in a way to me that at least you seem to still sail ahead with full power 🙂 … but sorry, I’m increasingly falling behind.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Like he said during their parting at the end of the Greece arc, she was the girl he loved.

      And that’s true, but that doesn’t mean she’s not still #1.

      >Past tense. And if he has shown any romantic inclinations towards Mini-A-tan, I must have missed them – feel free to correct me, but with references pls.

      He hasn’t, but then I wouldn’t expect him to. Man, I need to look up the chapter where Athena visits him. Regardless, Hayate is not supposed to let on that he knows her, but he did do what she asked and made sure Hina got into Yukari-chan House.

      >Maybe I’m simply too old, but she is and remains too childish for me to really identify myself with her.

      *lol* I only laugh because from an “old” standpoint, all of the characters exhibit childish traits of one sort or another, which at my age, is easy to see.

      I guess my perspective on Nagi comes from a different place than most. For me, she was the heroine of the series alongside Hayate, the hero.

      I watched the first anime series before reading the manga. The anime was great at times, tedious at others (the combat butler parody of Yu Yu Hakusho). When I read the manga, I simply took it as a gag manga, nothing more. It flowed much better than the anime did, thus I began enjoying it a great deal more than I had the anime.

      In this context, Nagi was the spoiled ojousama character in this gag comedy. Hayate was the “can do anything” element for this gag comedy who’d come to Nagi’s rescue whenever she needed.

      Once I realized that there was a real plot in the manga, which happened during the Ah-tan flashback, I went back and reread the earlier chapters. Suddenly, things I’d just blown off as part of the gag manga came into focus. Both Nagi and Hayate became much more interesting to me than their normal master-servant-romantic-comedy mix.

      >Take her extreme wealth and lack of common sense away, and I believe she’s going to be _boring_.

      Her extreme wealth is gone at the moment. And I don’t see her lacking common sense. If anything, she’s very keenly aware of her position. When you look back at the beginning of the manga, she was already making preparations to be on her own should her grandfather cut her off (the stock market). As time goes on, she realizes she didn’t understand the value of money as she should, thus she took a job to earn the money to buy Hayate a present. It took her a while, but she finally understood her manga sucked and went the extra mile to get it done. But, she acknowledged the help of those who’d helped her.

      I guess it is because I reread the manga every time Viz puts out a new volume (reread the volumes Viz has put out), but I see the path Nagi is on more and more with each reread, taking into account the volumes I’ve read that Viz has not bothered to publish yet.

      >Well then, Hata. Prove me wrong, after the upcoming expected barrage of 4-5 months of short stories “revisiting” old characters that the majority of readers will have mostly forgotten to care about.

      I will say that this is the one aspect of Hata-sensei that I don’t care for. Granted, some of the short stories and gag chapters are fun, but the extra slow pace at which he pushes the plot forward is frustrating.

      That being said, I guess the Japanese don’t mind. Indeed, his publisher likely appreciates such a popular series having such easy jump in points. ^_^;

      >It is heartening in a way to me that at least you seem to still sail ahead with full power 🙂 … but sorry, I’m increasingly falling behind.

      Thanks. ^_^ I’m sorry your are falling behind. Just out of curiosity, have you ever gone back and reread the manga from the beginning?

  2. Interesting review. Well, I personally tend to not read beyond what the author has officially written. Hayate says he’s happy with his current life and this happiness is not inferior nor superior to any other kind of happiness, so I’m going to say that he has probably left behind any hang-ups he might have had regarding his would-be relationship with Ruka as well as with Athena behind with that line — IMHO it’s a perfect foreshadowing event for him being able to break through magical barriers based on his strong feelings of wanting to protect his mistress in HIAPOE.

    I’m with you here that even if Nagi has grown, she is still Naggy (lol) after all, so it was fun seeing her tsundere side rise to the surface as well as this indicates that she is no longer under the same amount of tension/pressure that she must have been experiencing during the doujinshi competition.

    As for your theory that Nagi will let Hayate go and be with Athena in the end, I can definitely see it happening, but we have to think about what Hayate will do in case that happens. First of all, there’s Hayate’s debts of honor to Nagi that keeps piling up as this manga (let’s include CTMEOY as well) continues. We all know that Nagi doesn’t really hold him onto those debts because of her strong feelings for him, which actually only piles up to his debt of honor even more. So anywayz, my point here is that Hayate’s debt of honor is a personal one — only to himself and he has declared that “he has seen the future,” thus, with these lines, I really can’t see him leaving Nagi to be with anyone else right now or even in the future — even if Nagi forcefully pushes him away — wait, actually, if Nagi forcefully pushes him away, that would just be even more reason for him to return to her given his personality.

    Of course, the main argument against this is that Hayate has acknowledged that Nagi is growing up and the time may soon come when she will no longer need him. There’s a flaw with his way of thinking however in that Nagi has never really needed him to be her butler as she could have found any number of replacements – who, while probably not as skilled as him, would have been sufficient. The reason that it had to be him, which he is still quite oblivious to, is obvious to everyone else. The question is: what will he do once he realizes his lady’s feelings for him? FYI, I really can’t understand his response to her confession in CTMEOY either. (Animax tried to make it clearer though, but it’s pretty difficult to buy that “we’ll have to cherish it together forever” line coming from the oblivious butler. I’m inclined to believe that he totally misunderstood what she said.)

    Anywayz, just my convoluted, totally biased thoughts as a Hayate x Nagi shipper.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Hayate says he’s happy with his current life and this happiness is not inferior nor superior to any other kind of happiness, so I’m going to say that he has probably left behind any hang-ups he might have had regarding his would-be relationship with Ruka as well as with Athena behind with that line — IMHO it’s a perfect foreshadowing event for him being able to break through magical barriers based on his strong feelings of wanting to protect his mistress in HIAPOE.

      That’s a good point for sure. My own shipping for Athena x Hayate may be clouding my vision here. Athena wasn’t a part of that movie, so it is difficult to say for sure. I guess that once the Athena element is wrapped up, we’ll have a lot clearer picture.

      >…it was fun seeing her tsundere side rise to the surface as well as this indicates that she is no longer under the same amount of tension/pressure that she must have been experiencing during the doujinshi competition.

      For me, it also was a reminder that Nagi is Nagi. She may have grown, but she’s still Nagi.

      >Anywayz, just my convoluted, totally biased thoughts as a Hayate x Nagi shipper.

      Heh! I understand that. But you do make very good points. And if Hayate ended up with Nagi down the road, whereby daughter would follow the path her mother laid out in marrying her butler, I would not dislike that outcome.

  3. iloveanime says:

    i like your blog..you only like certain manga it seems..try read one punch manga and other manga too..

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Did you mean One-Punch Man manga?

      I do read certain manga, just as I watch certain anime. Part of this is due to time constraints. However, another part of this is my particular tastes. So naturally, I would gravitate to anime/manga that would match said tastes. ^_^

  4. arimareiji says:

    Thank you for such a thoughtful, well-said review. (^_^) I’d wholeheartedly concur on most points, particularly wrt Hayate pondering the road less-traveled and Hata-sensei possibly laying the groundwork for Nagi to let him go.

    One thing, though… my apologies if I misunderstood, but Hayate doesn’t strike me as the sort of character who could choose to be with someone just because it’s logical or convenient. Ruka would have been good for him in the aspects you mentioned, but I think there was more to it than that. At least IMO, he was what-iffing (and regretting, as he said) his decision because to some degree she had honestly captured his heart.

    Ah, well. I wouldn’t have guessed it, but I’m realizing Ruka really did grow on me. Still mainly a Hina fan, but there’s some room in there for Ruka too. So maybe I’m just projecting onto Hayate? (^_~)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Ruka would have been good for him in the aspects you mentioned, but I think there was more to it than that. At least IMO, he was what-iffing (and regretting, as he said) his decision because to some degree she had honestly captured his heart.

      I agree that he cared deeply for Ruka, no doubt. He wouldn’t have done all that he did if he didn’t care for her. In that regard, I believe he did love her, but I just believe he loves another more (and obviously, I think that person is Athena).

      >So maybe I’m just projecting onto Hayate? (^_~)

      I’m probably guilty of that as well. ^_^ Hina is awesome, no doubt about it. She could easily carry her own manga IMO, especially if said manga fleshed out her whole backstory.

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