Hayate the Combat Butler Manga – Prototype Chapter Review

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

**********SPOILERS!!!**********

Since Hayate the Combat Butler is on a break this week, I thought I’d go back to the origins of this manga series that I enjoy so much.  Prior to the manga fans of Hayate the Combat Butler know and love being done, a thirty two page prototype manga of the same name (Hayate no Gotoku in the Japanese) was produced. I admit, I’m not too versed on its history (anyone who does know, please feel free to enlighten me in the comments), but it appears that this prototype manga was published in magazine form at some point in time. Whether that was prior to the actual manga’s publication, or whether it was published as part of a celebration of the manga series as a way of saying, “this is where it all started,” I cannot say.

Regardless, I thought I would compare this prototype manga to the start of the canon Hayate the Combat Butler manga and write a review.

The premise of the story is the same, but there are a lot of differences. For starters, Hayate has the debt from his parents as he’s standing at the lot where his house used to stand. He’s being chased by the yakuza; he can’t get a job due to not having a legal residence; he has ¥120 to his name; and he decides to go into crime by kidnapping an ojousama, figuring that even if he fails, prison has a bed and food.  Naturally, he meets Nagi at the park, where he sends the two bozos who are trying to hit on her packing for going after his target.

This is where things really start to change. After Nagi thanks Hayate for saving her, she then asks him how to use the vending machine. I laughed when Hayate showed Nagi a ¥100 coin, to which she said she’d never seen such a thing. So rather than give up his coat to her (she is wearing one here), he buys her a beverage with the last of his money before proceeding to tell her a lot of exposition to establish the plot (his debt, the yakuza, etc.). Nagi finds him to be a good person, even laughing when Hayate confesses he’d planed to kidnap her. Nagi finds this confession of Hayate’s as further proof that he’s a good person.

This is where things start getting a little odd to me in terms of plot. Obviously, Hata-sensei wants Hayate to be Nagi’s butler, but how he gets the characters to that point doesn’t ring true.  For starters, if someone said, “I was going to kidnap you” after they’d bought you a beverage with their money and then showed you how to drink said canned beverage, would you want to invite them over, even if you are super rich?  Yet that’s exactly what Nagi does here.

How they get to the Sanzenin estate is not show, but they arrive, Hayate is stunned, and Nagi brings him in. Now enter Maria, who is not happy that Nagi just left a party and has been gone for a while. At Nagi’s word that Hayate is her benefactor, Maria immediately accepts him and she too wants to show gratitude to Hayate. This too comes off as an unnatural reaction.

Now that Hata-sensei has Hayate in the Sanzenin mansion, it is time to bring in the yakuza element and kidnappings as Maria warns Nagi to be careful after some yakuza were in the area screaming about selling a kid’s organs, so they couldn’t let him get away. But how to get Hayate in as a butler? Ah, just have Maria listen to Nagi wax poetically about her savior, Hayate.  So Maria offers him the job of butler, since they just happen to have a position open. Naturally, Hayate accepts. *lol* Yeah, it is pretty silly.

Ah, but in the early days of the manga, there was another person who was supposed to play a larger role — Klaus!  The head butler arrives on cue and wants to know why she’d hire someone they know nothing about. Her reasoning? He was in trouble and Nagi had fallen in love with him. Her amazing insight tells Maria that Nagi’s love will be unrequited as Hayate doesn’t seem to be interested in younger girls. Hoo!hoo!

As silly as that notion is, I did find the twisted side of Maria to be amusing. She was looking forward to seeing this drama unfold as Nagi would be troubled by the fact that Hayate never fell in love with her.

So Hayate now is a butler in the Sanzenin household. Maria’s twisted nature comes to life again as Hayate confesses to not knowing how to be a butler, to which Maria says bluntly that if he can’t hack it, he’ll be fired. Hayate’s response of working until he dies and Maria’s “I’m looking forward to it” response cracked me up though. ^_^

Maria sets the stage for the romantic angle of the manga by asking Hayate to support Nagi’s heart. We learn of Nagi’s many enemies due to her position, which has led to her isolation. Since Hayate understands being isolated, he can relate, and Maria then asks him to protect Nagi. As such, Hayate tells Nagi that he’ll always protect her as that’s his new mission, so all she has to do is call his name and he will appear.

After blowing off the idea of really being kidnapped, Nagi is kidnapped, causing Maria and Klaus to be in a panic. Hayate grabs a bike, conveniently parked on the sidewalk, where like in the canon manga, he then goes after the kidnappers at an incredible rate of speed. Nagi is not the composed, sarcastic girl of the canon manga since this version of the character has not been through various kidnapping attempts.  But, she does call for Hayate, who appears as he did in the canon.

Hata-sensei goes for the gag as he has Hayate run over (which is pretty similar to the canon), whereupon he falls on the hood of the car. However, Hayate doesn’t have that “I’m going to kill anyone that harms Ojousama” air to him. The two kidnappers simply panic because some bloodied guy that should be dead is on their car asking for Nagi’s return.

Having saved Nagi’s life, Maria and Klaus arrive. Nagi gets mildly annoyed by Hayate getting excited to see Maria again and his excited explanation to her of why he’s so strong and durable.

As I look back, it really is quite amazing how much improved Hata-sensei’s canon work became over his prototype manga. Rather than just making wild leaps in order to get the characters into places he wanted and to make certain information known, in the canon, Hata-sensei manages to get the flow of things correct, so that things happen in a logical way. We, the audience, are already expected to believe that Hayate is virtually indestructible as well as incredibly strong and fast. Therefore, adding to that by Maria magically knowing Hayate’s feelings for Nagi and the like in the prototype was just too much.

Since I’m a big fan of the Hayate the Combat Butler manga, I’m really glad I had an opportunity to see the manga’s origins. Although the canon chapters that superseded the prototype are far superior, there’s no denying that for me, I found the prototype chapter to be rather fun.

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8 Responses to “Hayate the Combat Butler Manga – Prototype Chapter Review”

  1. I actually read this prototype manga as the first chapter since it’s listed as chapter 0 and I just picked up this manga a few months ago. I personally found the writing to be pretty consistent with Hata’s style before the Radical Dreamers chapter and then the Shimoda arc wherein his style was slowly evolving to the one that we see now in chapters 400+. At least that’s what I gathered from playing catch-up and tearing through 413 chapters of the manga within 5 days. I can’t remember them clearly now, but I remember noticing a whole lot of plotholes in the earlier chapters which were never really resolved. Hata’s definitely a lot more careful nowadays.

    As for Nagi, she actually reminds me of the more mature version of her that we’ve seen being developed throughout the doujinshi arc in this prototype chapter — so perhaps Hata might’ve had plans to move her personality towards this direction from the beginning… or, it could just be wild speculation on my part.

    I enjoyed seeing that twisted side of Maria. There’s been a few times where she’s shown that side of her in the canon manga as well, I believe. One particular instance I can think of is when she decides to spy on Nagi working together with Ayumu (without Hayate) in that cafe.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >As for Nagi, she actually reminds me of the more mature version of her that we’ve seen being developed throughout the doujinshi arc in this prototype chapter

      Well, she certainly isn’t tsundere in the prototype. I’m not sure if “mature” works for me or not. I’d have to think about it. She certainly is different, and I suppose more mature in that she doesn’t fly off at the handle. So yeah, I guess that does work.

      >I enjoyed seeing that twisted side of Maria. There’s been a few times where she’s shown that side of her in the canon manga as well, I believe. One particular instance I can think of is when she decides to spy on Nagi working together with Ayumu (without Hayate) in that cafe.

      Yeah, I’d forgotten about that. I need to reread it, but it seems to be less twisted than Maria getting shivers at thinking about Nagi suffering. ^_^;

  2. Mad Mac says:

    I’m pretty sure the prototype manga was originally published as a one-shot manga in Shonen Sunday.

    One shots are basically the print version of television pilot episodes. A short story is drawn by the manga author that advertises the thrust of what the potential long form manga will be about, and whether it proceeds past that point depends entirely on how popular the one-shot proves to be. I’ve heard of manga authors, even established ones spending years throwing out various one-shot manga until one of them “hits” and they’re able to continue it.

    Naturally, when the one-shot is selected for serialization then the beginning story essentially gets re-done, this time with the full assistance of the publishers editing team and what not. The finished product is frequently very different then the one shot in a lot of areas. I’m thinking of, for example, the oneshot for Zettai Karen Children, wherein the big reveal at the end is that the mysterious mentor/supervisor reveals his hidden ESP power, whereas in the canon version he is a completely normal human with no powers at all!

    You’re totally right about the plot holes in the prototype chapter of Hayate and how much it was improved later, but it does have it’s charms when read knowing how much things have changed years after the fact. I think some things like Maria’s predictions regarding how things would proceed between Nagi and Hayate are in large part a clumsy way to make it clear to readers what to expect from the story. In a lot of ways the prototype is as unsubtle as the canon manga is subtle about the authors intentions.

    (I could be wrong on some of the details on one-shots vs serializations, but that’s my understanding of things.)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >You’re totally right about the plot holes in the prototype chapter of Hayate and how much it was improved later, but it does have it’s charms when read knowing how much things have changed years after the fact.

      I agree. There was a charm to reading how things were back when everything was still being ironed out.

      Thanks for the info. ^_^

  3. Anonymous says:

    I thought Maria is psychic because she all of a sudden knows Nagi is in love with Hayate.

  4. MrProfGenius says:

    I love so much this Manga and Anime version too. But i’m really sad i can’t watch and read all “Hayate no Gotoku” story T^T nice manga review~

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