Hayate the Combat Butler Chapter 556 Manga Review (Trolling & Forced Love)

ハヤテのごとく!/Hayate no Gotoku Manga
Hayate the Combat Butler Chapter 556 Review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Hayate the Combat Butler Chapter 556 Nagi sees a woman who looks identical to her mother, Yukariko, even down to her dress. The woman coughs up blood and says she escaped from the hospital because she didn’t want to have surgery, but now she doesn’t know how to get back. Nagi offers to take her back. The woman agrees, but wants a latte from Starbucks.

At the hospital, Nagi sees the name on the room door is Kanzaki, meaning this can’t be her mother. Nagi inquires if Kanzaki is OK. Kanzaki says she is, but even if that were not true, it still wouldn’t be a problem. That’s because she’s alone. She can live as she likes and has money for some reason. If she’d gotten married, she’d have a kid Nagi’s age.

Coming home, Nagi sees that this woman is alone as Nagi is. However, Nagi remembers she has Hayate and perks up a bit. When Nagi gets home, she’s disappointed to learn that Hayate is at school, busy on some project.

At school, Hayate worries because now that he knows Nagi’s feelings, he has a hard time wanting to go back. Hina shows up, surprised to see Hayate. Hayate explains it is for Nagi’s inheritance and thus part of his job as a butler. Hina see it differently since Hayate doesn’t have a debt any more. Thus it must be love.

Mikado shows up, revealing he’s been briefed on the situation with Hisui and Himegami. He questions their plan to stop the pair here since if Hisui and Himegami make it to the palace, there won’t be a way to pursue. Hayate wants to get the stones back from Hisui. Mikado wonders how this will happen since Hayate was defeated.

Since Hayate vows to put his life on the line for Nagi, Mikado gives him a King’s Jewel and reminds him of what he told Hayate as a child about the hard worker having the last laugh. Mikado wants him to prove that statement true. However, at that moment, Himegami shows up.

Thoughts/Review:

Hata-sensei is a master troll. That is all. 😉

Yukariko or Kanzaki

I have a hard time believing that some woman named Kanzaki could look 100% like Yukariko, act like Yukariko, have health problems like Yukariko, dress like Yukariko, have an identical shawl to Yukariko, be the same age Yukariko would be if she were alive, but not be Yukariko. So, there are some possibilities.

  • This is Yukariko, sans her memories. She still has access to money, but doesn’t seem to know how or why. So it is possible that the funeral for Yukariko was actually faked. That could also explain Mikado’s inability to let her go because she’s not dead. She’s just been missing for years.
  • This is Yukariko’s ghost. The Kanzaki room is the room Yukariko was in when she died. She’d still have to have amnesia to make this work, or she’d have to be helping Nagi in a silly fashion. As to drinking the coffee, We didn’t see her do it. And remember, Father Radiostar can interact with the physical world as a ghost.
  • Nagi experienced a vision of some kind. She was thinking strongly about her mom and gripping the King’s Jewel when !Yukariko shows up. The jewels have been implied to be more than something to open the path to the Royal Garden. As such, maybe the power of the stone helped create this vision based on Nagi’s current situation and mental state.

I find the first and third of these theories equally plausible.

Pounding the Square Peg Into the Round Hole

Hata-sensei continues to pound the Hayate x Nagi ship come hell or high water. That square peg will go into that round hole ’cause Hata-sensei always wanted the Hayate x Nagi pairing. Using Hina as the hammer is something Hata-sensei hopes is the most effective way of forcing Hayate to say, “Yeah, I guess I love Nagi and want to marry her.”

Hayate the Combat Butler Chapter 556

Here’s the deal. I believe Hayate does love Nagi, just not romantically. He never has loved her that way. Hayate has done a ton for the people he cares for. It doesn’t mean he wants to marry them and have sex with them.

What Hata-sensei is trying to do is force Hayate look at Nagi and start considering the possibility of having sex with her. Let’s face it, at the root of attraction is sex. The moment you think, “Yeah, I could have sex with that person” is when you are attracted to someone, even if those words aren’t your actual thoughts. They are there as a seed of attraction.

Taking it a step further, if you say, “I could have sex with that person, not want to kill myself the next morning for doing the nasty, and still want to hang out with this person as I have always done with or without sex,” then you can say that there’s a romantic love element involved. And this is the square peg that Hata-sensei is so desperate to pound into that round hole, even if it makes the audience say, “Put a bullet to me. Bullet in the brain pan. Squish.”

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

  • Himegami shows up. But is he alone? Or is he secretly working for Mikado?
  • I don’t remember Hayate ever being told for sure that Mikado was Santa-san from his childhood. If that’s true, he took Mikado’s words about their first meeting as if it were no big thing. Not only that, but Hayate remembered what Mikado said.
  • Hina is finally in a position to help with a battle, should one happen.

In the end, Hata-sensei proves himself in Hayate the Combat Butler chapter 556 to be a master troll while speeding the Hayate x Nagi ship to shore, even if it crashed into the pier.

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31 Responses to “Hayate the Combat Butler Chapter 556 Manga Review (Trolling & Forced Love)”

  1. “Square peg into the round hole?” Really now? Can’t it be that Hayate never showing any sexual/romantic interest in Nagi from the start wasn’t a “design flaw,” but rather an intentional plot element intended to differentiate her from her rivals? One way of looking at it is that Hayate has had the wrong idea about “romantic love” all along while Nagi has been slowly maturing in her outlook as to what “romantic love” is all about — slowly growing from a possessive and selfish “Hayate is mine, mine, mine!” sort of love, to the more mature “I want to be with him, but I also want him to be happy” sort of love that she has at least demonstrated to some extent nowadays?

    But, well, the majority of people who read the manga say that is forced — so it must be so, right? 😉

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Can’t it be that Hayate never showing any sexual/romantic interest in Nagi from the start wasn’t a “design flaw,” but rather an intentional plot element intended to differentiate her from her rivals?

      When I look at the prototype manga, I see that Hata-sensei wanted the Nagi x Hayate pairing. I do think that Hayate was intended to show more interest in Nagi, based on earlier chapters. However, the story kept pushing the two further apart, especially after the Athena backstory arc. I believe Hata-sensei tried to remove Athena as a choice because I think he saw the problem Athena created. Athena and Hayate have a long, sweet history. Hayate rescuing Athena, the woman he loved, is a very romantic thing. So I know Hata-sensei has been desperate to kill that, but among fans, that won’t die.

      I don’t think Hayate has a wrong idea on romantic love. I believe he genuinely loves Athena and Athena genuinely loves Hayate. The way the manga has been done to date, the most believable pairing at the end would be Athena and Hayate. That’s because a ton of groundwork exists for that pairing despite Hata-sensei’s attempts to torpedo it.

      As to Nagi, I don’t disagree that Nagi has been maturing. Indeed, I’ve loved watching Nagi’s character growth. I think the only thing that harmed Nagi is that earlier when Hata-sensei was growing Nagi’s character, he couldn’t help but keep using her as an element in the gag humor since Nagi works well in a lot of those situations. As such, that seemed to negate her character advancement, which is unfortunate. Now that the manga is ending, Hata-sensei has stopped using Nagi in gag situations that negatively impact her character growth, which is a positive thing.

      • Let’s be objective here: the Athena ship is sunk, to put it bluntly. It’s not that Hata tried to torpedo it, it’s that he did torpedo it and it’s sunk.

        Now as for Hayate loving Athena, there are only two real indications of this “romantic love.” The time when they first met as six year olds, which is arguably an underdeveloped puppy love — and then when they met again as adults. Take note that they never actually had any time to develop their “romantic love” for each other. At the time that they met again, they were both holding on to the relationship that they had in the past — as kids. They only interacted for the shortest time after Hayate had successfully rescued Athena — that was it. Is that really such a “developed” form of romantic love? Rather than developed, I’d say “reciprocal” is the more appropriate term here. They both had feelings of attraction for each other.

        As for how believable the Hayate x Nagi ship can be — just about as believable as Wataru x Saki, I’d say.

        With that said, Athena x Hayate is moot and academic as far as manga canon goes at this point — unless you still care to disagree. It can be the most plausible, most believable pairing in the real world, but as far as good storytelling goes, it’s totally implausible.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          For Athena and Hayate, they are the only ones to have feelings that aren’t unrequited. Hayate told Hina he loves Athena. Athena admitted to Ayumu that she loves Hayate. They’ve got a long history together. So there’s way more groundwork there. Plus, there’s the cute, sweet factor.

          Still, Hata-sensei had to torpedo this twice. That’s because fans weren’t letting go of that ship. Fans still aren’t letting go of that ship, even if they know that the Nagi ship is going to be forced on them.

          As for how believable the Hayate x Nagi ship can be — just about as believable as Wataru x Saki, I’d say.

          The Wataru x Saki romance was actually developed. In the beginning, Wataru was betrothed to Nagi, whom he didn’t love. He did love Isumi. Saki being somewhat of a ditz had her affections for Wataru grow over time. During this time, Wataru became aware of Saki’s feelings and began to understand that he didn’t want a life without Saki. And Saki came to understand that she wanted to be with Wataru. Thus they are together.

          Had there been similar growth between Nagi and Hayate over the years, then there wouldn’t be such opposition to the pairing. However, now that the manga is ending, suddenly Hata-sensei has to make Hayate do a 180 and see Nagi differently.

          • Wataru became aware of Saki’s feelings and began to understand that he didn’t want a life without Saki. ,

            Saki’s feelings for Wataru are explicitly detailed in the manga. Wataru’s feelings for Saki? Totally implied. Seeing Saki as a possible romantic partner in the future? Nope — not even after he made his final choice. All he said is that he wants to “build a future” with her. It’s a romantic line, but without further explanation. It’s romantic by implication only.

            What you said about Wataru not wanting to live a life without Saki is happening to Hayate in terms of Nagi right now. The shorter development cycle of Wataru and Saki’s “romance” (again, still no romantic implications from Wataru) is really due to the fact that theirs is a clean side story that Hata didn’t fill with obstacles like love triangles and king’s jewels.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            The fact that Wataru dropped his feelings for Isumi and only goes for Saki pretty much seals it. Wataru is being a bit of a tsundere in his attitude with Saki, but he doesn’t want her being with anyone else romantically based on his reactions to Saki’s omiai.

          • Even with just 1-2 chapters of introspection from Hayate, it wouldn’t be a 180 degree when some of these “developments” for the other ships happened in a single chapter. It all depends on how Hata pulls it off.

            The opposition to the Hayate x Nagi pairing mostly stems from anxiety that Hata can’t pull off such an ending convincingly. In other words, we’re already (well, not me) judging Hata for what he hasn’t written yet… while calling him prejudiced ;).

            Still, Hata-sensei had to torpedo this twice. That’s because fans weren’t letting go of that ship. Fans still aren’t letting go of that ship

            Somehow didn’t see this earlier… anyway, I have an answer for that: “Yes.”

      • Sorry, but I need to make this clear:

        From my viewpoint, Hayate and Athena did not have a long sweet history.
        What they had was a puppy love when they were kids that ended in tragedy. Hayate was unable to rescue Athena from the RG when he was younger and Athena herself pushed him away in order to protect him.

        Hayate was powerless at that time, but fortunately, Ikusa was there to rescue Athena.

        Flash forward to ten years later, Hayate is now stronger, but Athena herself noticed that he was happy with Nagi now. She didn’t want to take away that happiness, (regardless of how the fans perceived that moment — this was Athena’s personal perception) thus, even if she could have taken him away from Nagi at that point, she didn’t. Meanwhile, Hayate was given the chance to put a closure to his tragic past by Nagi herself — maybe she didn’t mean it that way, but the fact of the matter is that the chance to rescue Athena came directly from Nagi’s sacrifice. This is why their relationship really ended at that moment of “I loved you,” but because Hayate showed faint signs of lingering feelings for Athena once every 30 chapters, A-tan fans kept hoping — so Hata had to put a real closure to that as well, when it really should have ended a long time ago. Now this, we can directly blame on Hata for writing in those hints — but I think the fanbase is to be blamed as well for being so vehement about denying any other ships except their own that they failed to read the logical outline of the plot.

        Now if Nagi becomes the latest victim of the RG, it’s a deja vu of Athena again. Once again, Hayate is in danger of having the most important person to him (by his own declaration) taken away by the RG. But this time, Hayate isn’t powerless. He’s stronger, and he isn’t alone… he may not be as powerful as Hisui or Midas but he has one more chance to do it right — and let’s hope he gets it right this time, but only after sorting out his real feelings for Nagi.

        At the end of the day, we can see that Hata is good at stringing plotlines together but not really as good at characterization. This is why we see many characters act out of character throughout the manga for the convenience of the plot. So my point is, while from a character/personality based perspective, Hayate x Nagi may seem implausible, it actually makes the most sense from a plot-based perspective. In the end, it boils down to a matter of perception — which is why I declare a ceasefire please. I never talk about other ships the way you have recently about Hayate x Nagi, so is it ok for me to ask for a little reciprocity? There are so few of us actively supporting this manga after all.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I appreciate your passions for Nagi. I really do. 🙂

          I will remark that I find it humorous that you have disdain for Hayate as a character, yet are desperate for Hayate to end up with Nagi. 😉

          • Because Nagi has proven her love for Hayate and that love is reserved for Hayate as far as the story goes.

            Also, while I talk ill about Hayate often, that’s because of his own actions as shown in the story so far. The things I write should be taken as “live reactions” to what I read.

            If you’re curious as to how I really feel about the butler boy, here ya go: http://www.jaded-perspectives.com/2016/05/ayasaki-deconstruction-character.html

            (basically, what he lacks is a moment of reflection — especially on what Nagi really means to him. Declaring that “she is my life” means nothing if we don’t see the “why is she your life?” That leaves people guessing and most people against the Nagi ship just want to guess: he’s honorable and grateful to her for clearing his debt — but that makes for a pretty awful storyline IMO.)

            I don’t believe that he’s beyond redemption just yet. I don’t really “hate” him as a character as I think he is actually very dynamic. He’s gone through the reverse type of character development as Nagi.

            While Nagi’s basic traits as a person would make you hate or at least dislike her initially, her character is given room to grow and she grows beautifully as an individual as the manga progresses.

            While Hayate is the sort of nice guy that you’d want as a friend and an all-arounder that you can depend on initially, his lack of foresight, his indecision, and his general lack of regard for the feelings of the people around him (treating people like objects) as revealed as the manga progresses actually makes you think twice (or in my case, want to punch his face in) about your initial assessment of him.

            Both main characters are very dynamic and well-developed — it’s just that Hayate seriously needs to do something to redeem himself before the manga is over or he’ll have been a failure as the titular protagonist of the story.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            Interesting. Thanks for your insights on Hayate. 🙂

  2. This was a f***ed up review. love and sex? what?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The whole process of selecting a mate has at its core, sex. A good relationship will not be based on sex, but a good marriage needs good sex and good friendship. It is a combination thing. There are a lot of people I love as friends, but I’d never want to marry them or have sex with them. There are people I know that I’ve though, “Yeah, I could hit that,” but I wouldn’t want to marry them. It is that combo of both that’s the rare find.

      • I think the problem here is that you’re conflating sex with romantic love. If you’re arguing that Hayate and Athena’s relationship was based on romantic love — then you’re also arguing that Hayate wanted to screw Athena when they first met as six year-olds. Attraction does not necessarily need to lead directly to sexual attraction. Libido is different for everyone — feelings of attraction do not necessarily need to stem from sexual urges — but that’s a psychological debate not worth going into. Let’s just say I don’t see it your way and be done with that.

        As for laying out a good foundation to end up together, I would argue that plot-wise and not speculative emotion-wise, that Hayate x Nagi is the only true logical pairing. I’ve noted the signs in several of my essays on my blog before — but there’s really no need to read those. The implications in the narrative through foreshadowing have become really painfully obvious at this point.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I would just disagree that attraction isn’t sexually based. Even as a child, I may not have had a clue about sex or the like, but I know that I had sexual responses to girls I found very attractive at times. It wasn’t until years later that I understood these responses to be sexually based. So for me, if I find a woman attractive, it is sexual at its core even if I like her for all sorts of other things.

  3. what I think happens to yukariko is the same thing they did with H.G. Wells in warehouse 13. to protect her

  4. I’m sorry but I think hayate loves nagi in a romantic way, he’s just not sure himself. I think he only hasn’t shown any physical attraction towards her overltly but romantic love is much more than just that. I think it’s safe to say that hayate cares most about nagi, maybe we haven’t got an objective proof of his romantic love towards her but that doesn’t rule it out exactly. Also, I think if he had shown even a slight physical attraction towards her then the other ships as well as the manga would’ve been over. As for the square peg into the round hole, I think that’s ok. If the square peg is small enough, it can fit into the round hole. What I mean by this is that, despite their differences, if two people are compatible enough and enjoy spending time with each other then it’s ok to be polar opposites.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’m sorry but I think hayate loves nagi in a romantic way, he’s just not sure himself. I think he only hasn’t shown any physical attraction towards her overltly but romantic love is much more than just that.

      Romantic love is a combination of things. There’s no doubt that Hayate romantically loves Athena and vice versa. Hata-sensei having Athena say, “Hayate has moved on” is just Hata-sensei’s desperate attempt to torpedo that pairing. He knows that in terms of narrative, the story to date has lain out a good foundation for Hayate and Athena to end up together. After their tragic childhood where they found a moment of happiness together, then after Hayate risks everything to save Athena from King Midas, then what more romantic finish could one have than to have Athena and Hayate end up together.

      Right now, there’s only Nagi’s affection and love for Hayate. Nagi has never been a glint in Hayate’s eyes. He loves Nagi for sure, but he’s always seen her as a little sister type who needs to be protected. Since Nagi saved him, Hayate feels bound to save her, and that makes total sense and shows Hayate’s sense of honor.

      For Hayate to now start going, “OK, I can marry Nagi, mate with her, and start a family with her” isn’t something that comes off as very believable. That’s because no real groundwork exists to support it. Hata-sensei wants that ending, and he’s going to use elements he’s put in to try to establish this relationship. However, because those elements didn’t get developed further due to how the story moved forward, Hata-sensei is stuck with what he has and thus he’s going to force it to come about no matter what.

      • Romantic love is a combination of things — in the real world. Romantic love is whatever the author says it is in a fictional world. Sure, it has to have some element of realism in order to be believable, but arguing that Hayate having feelings for Nagi is unbelievable seems incredibly unfair on our ship when it’s obvious that the main reason for this is really because Hayate showing any kind of outward signs of attraction towards Nagi earlier would very simply sink all other ships — especially when he has already declared that she is his life.

        Right now we can only see that it’s Nagi who has feelings of attraction for Hayate. As for Hayate, he doesn’t know where Nagi stands in his life just yet, he’s never had to give it any thought until Chiharu revealed everything to him. Let’s not act like it’s been 10 years since they first met, it’s barely been a year since he knew Nagi. While we may never have explicitly seen any signs of attraction from Hayate before, I believe it’s never too late even if it’s shown as just a single hint at the very last panel of the manga. Shippers may find this hard to swallow, but the actual groundwork for such a thing to happen has been in the plotline since day one. It’s not forced if we, the Nagi shippers saw it coming for a long time. Again, I’ve already pointed out several hints leading towards this in my essays on my blog.

        We are indeed in the minority, but remember, “majority is correct” is a fallacious argument. Just because the majority of the english-speaking community choose to deny our ship, doesn’t mean that the author is incompetent — not when we can point out several reasons why the story was always meant to be developed this way.

        Can I just end this with: PLEASE stop attacking our ship? I never talk about other ships precisely because I don’t want to trample on the feelings of other individuals, but it seems that other shippers have no qualms about sharing their unwarranted opinions on our ship. Aren’t there better things to talk about?

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          This isn’t an attack on your favorite pairing. You should know that, or at least I’d hope you would. It isn’t personal. What I’m saying is that I agree that Hata-sensei is going to have your ship come true. All I’m complaining about is that there isn’t any real development there. A few, scattered poles in the water do not make a pier. That’s why the majority of folks aren’t happy the Nagi x Hayate pairing. Most of these folks would accept a lot of other ships because there’s more groundwork laid for them, even if that ship isn’t their ship.

          As I’ve said, Hata-sensei intended for the Nagi x Hayate ship from the start. The way the story came out, this ship just didn’t get developed. Yes, Nagi grew as a character, but Hayate never, ever saw Nagi in a romantic light. As I mentioned earlier, Wataru opened his eyes to his relationship with Saki and started seeing her in a different light. Then over time, he abandoned his thoughts of Isumi and went for Saki, though in a sweet, non-icky way.

          • I know you weren’t trying to attack my ship, but your constant criticism of my ship “Hata is forcing it,” “Hayate never had romantic feelings for Nagi therefore it’s forced” is something that I would personally interpret as an attack no matter what your intentions were.

            Secondly, yours and other people’s definition of groundwork isn’t my own, then.

            We will have to agree to disagree here because from what I can see, your definition of groundwork is Hayate showing signs of attraction to Nagi from the start and that wouldn’t have worked out. I’ve already pointed out several reasons but here are a few off the top of my head:

            1. The misunderstanding has been a core plot point since day one and it’s only now that Hayate has learned of it. He can only start considering Nagi now that the misunderstanding has come to light.

            2. Let’s face it. After declaring that “she is my life.” Hayate showing any overt signs of attraction towards Nagi that early would have sunk everyone else’s ship early as well.

            3. One reason why Hayate hasn’t found Nagi attractive is because he finds her immature. However, Nagi has been intentionally (by Hata’s hand) maturing very quickly as of late. She’s still not a perfect character, but she has grown beautifully in terms of personality. So it’s understandable why Hayate, who hasn’t been looking her way and has been busy with “looking out for her” has never taken the time to seriously consider her — that may be changing now… and I don’t see that as forced even if it’s late into the manga’s lifespan. Hata could have definitely paced it out better, but I still don’t see it as forced. The groundwork is there – you just have to look past the initial bias that “hayate had no romantic feelings for her = will never see her that way”

            Meanwhile, those moments of attraction/single panels that Hayate has shown for the other girls (what you guys like to call reciprocity) doesn’t really cut it for me as “groundwork.” There’s no active development in the plot to really call it that — and if there is, those are the ones that are really scattered, few and far between. You’d have to actually interpret them that way (see them through rose-colored lenses while relying on unsupported assumptions) to think that they were meant to be “groundwork.”

            This is where we’ll never see eye to eye as shippers, I’m afraid. So can we please just stop the Nagi ship criticism and call it quits? This doesn’t just go out to you but to everyone out there reading this.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            For me, I just wish Hata-sensei had done more than he has. I think he didn’t establish more groundwork because (1) he needed Nagi to provide gag humor and (2) he needed Hayate to do the harem stuff. There are a few polls in the water, but a few, widely scattered polls do not constitute a pier. 🙂

            For me, for the Nagi x Hayate ship to work and not feel forced, Hayate would have recognized Nagi’s feelings long ago. He would have started considering her feelings and such. He would have evaluated his life with her. That’s what I constitute as groundwork. Having it sprung on him from outside sources at the last moment combined with the other girls taking themselves out of the running (save Ayumu apparently) just feels forced.

            But be that as it may, that’s just how I see things from a writing perspective. 🙂

          • But… the gist of that argument is that “he didn’t write the romance explicitly like I wanted, therefore it’s not groundwork.” I’ve laid out my arguments as to what I think constitutes the “groundwork” it’s just not the type of groundwork you’re looking for, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

            If Hayate had noticed Nagi earlier and had shown feelings for her, then Nagi would really have been just another one of his harem girls. As it stands right now, Nagi is “unique” from everyone else because Hayate can’t actually place his feelings for her. He doesn’t even understand how he truly feels about her because he’s never really reflected on it. It’s no longer him being dense at this point, but rather, him putting up a mental barrier against seeing Nagi as a romantic prospect. Why this is so is still up for debate, but I don’t think it’s worth the debate since we’ll just see for ourselves as the manga speeds toward the ending.

            This “uniqueness” of Nagi being the only girl in his harem (with arguably the strongest and most well developed love for him) whom Hayate has shown zero attraction for actually makes her more endearing to me as the co-main character of this series.

            Also, here’s something that might redeem Hayate (or Hata as a writer, if you please) just yet: what if he did notice Nagi long ago and Hata just hasn’t been showing it to keep us guessing? It could easily be shown in a series of flashback panels wherein Hata explicitly tells us that Hayate did have some brief moments of attraction towards Nagi in several key moments of the manga’s story. It’s just that he keeps trying to suppress/deny these feelings. It’s never too late to write in something like that. Do you still think that would be forced?

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            But… the gist of that argument is that “he didn’t write the romance explicitly like I wanted, therefore it’s not groundwork.”

            I disagree here. Good writing is good writing. I had a massive theory in Negima that didn’t go the way I thought. In terms of what did happen, the groundwork is clearly there. It was there for my theory too, but my theory was wrong. That doesn’t mean the groundwork wasn’t laid out.

            I think back to all of the romantic comedy series I’ve ever read. In every case, the groundwork is there for the actual outcome. In Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki, I was a Ryoko shipper. However, the groundwork laid out wasn’t just for Ryoko. The groundwork was laid out for a harem ending. In that story, this is why everyone with a ship was able to cite stuff that supported their ship. Initially I was angry about the notion of a harem ending, but once I saw how the foundation had been laid for it AND that a harem ending came with a logical story reason, then I was OK with it.

            Hata explicitly tells us that Hayate did have some brief moments of attraction towards Nagi in several key moments of the manga’s story.

            I never saw attraction. I saw someone who thought of Nagi and decided he couldn’t leave her side. I do think these are the random polls Hata-sensei laid out to try to build a foundation for a Hayate x Nagi ship (I think of Hayate’s initial rejection of Ayumu’s confession), but they never were really developed. As they stand now, I see these as Hayate wanting Nagi not to have the lonely life he suffered. Nagi may have all the money in the world, but Nagi was always alone. Based on the kind of guy Hayate is, Hayate wouldn’t wish that on anyone else and so would do whatever it takes to make sure Nagi doesn’t have to suffer. I think this is how most people see them.

            That doesn’t mean that Hayate doesn’t care deeply about Nagi and love her like a sister. I think that’s where he stands now. But that’s just how I see things. 🙂

          • I must disagree with the notion that there is such a thing as “good writing.” There is only “competent writing.” Good is a subjective quality. What is “good” for you doesn’t apply to everyone else regardless of what precedent manga/stories you may put up as evidence.

            You misunderstood what I said.

            I said that Hata could explicitly show us Hayate having moments of attraction in several key moments of the manga. You didn’t see it back then — which is why it can be shown with additional scenes and perhaps some inner monologue from Hayate in a flashback. I wasn’t asking about how you interpreted the moments already in the manga. Again, as you said, that’s your personal perception. I’m not going to try to change that.

            “Hayate seeing Nagi as a sister and ONLY as a sister forever” this too is personal perception/opinion. We’re on two sides of the coin. We see the same things. We interpret them differently. That is all. And that is why I ask you to stop criticizing my ship.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            I interpreted those moments when Hayate thought of Nagi (such as when Hayate had a flash of Nagi when Ayumu confessed to him early in the manga) as him realizing that he was going to sacrifice his own happiness to make sure Nagi was happy and never alone. This way, Nagi wouldn’t have to go through the things Hayate went through. That’s how I saw those moments.

            And that is why I ask you to stop criticizing my ship.

            Actually, I’m not criticizing the Nagi x Hayate ship. Indeed, I’ve repeated said that I’d have no problem with it, were it properly set up. I realize that you and I don’t agree on this point, but lets step back and take a look at this objectively. If Hata-sensei had set this up properly, you’d just see people saying, “Well, I didn’t want Hayate to end up with Nagi.” I think back to the arguments in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki about who would end up with Tenchi. Arguments could be made for all the girls since there were elements that were in the anime to back each ship. However, in the end, Kajishima-sensei wanted the harem route. There were people who objected to this (myself among them), but in the end, I could not deny that the harem route was properly established and that within the story, it was a political element as well.

            For me, Toradora! is a series that that properly does a relationship where the male and female leads aren’t attracted to each other, but fall in love with each other over time. I’ve never read the source novels, but the anime and manga do a good job showing this. Taiga’s and Ryuuji’s relationship are very similar to Nagi’s and Hayate’s, only Ryuuji is not an official butler. The joy of Toradora is seeing how Taiga and Ryuuji shift from being in love with the each other’s best friend to falling in love with each other. (Did that made sense?) There is a natural progression that flows out nicely. It is that element that I find missing in Hayate the Combat Butler.

            But that’s just how I see things. I believe that’s how most readers are seeing things. And I believe Hata-sensei didn’t write things properly because as I’ve said before, it would kill too much of his gag comedy material. While I certainly enjoy the gag comedy, ultimately, it got in the way of the plot. I think that’s a big reason why the manga is all but dead in the U.S.

  5. OverMaster says:

    Please, series, end up already. I guess the time for a death with dignity passed long ago, but still. Just go away already.

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