ハヤテのごとく！/Hayate no Gotoku Manga
Hayate the Combat Butler Chapter 558 Review
Nagi and Maria go to the lake on the Sanzenin property to fish. Maria gets the first bite, only to snag the rabbit head of one of the mascots from the private, Sanzenin amusement park. Maria wonders if the guy who wore it died since she hasn’t seen him in ages. However, catching this item reveals stuff has been illegally dumped in the lake.
Nagi gets a bite, only to snag a ruined book. It is the remains of the Sanzenin Secret Technique Guide which Nagi had started to burn a long while back. Nagi decides to release the book back into the water, which Maria agrees with. Nagi feels all sorts of inconvenient things have been illegally dumped into the water and starts listing things.
Maria returns to fishing and gets a real bite. Instead of a giant fish, it turns out to be a dragon. Maria decides it is just a giant koi. When the dragon does a short monologue, Maria theorizes that this is because koi live a long while.
Maria is being pulled into the water, but she won’t let go of the poll. Maria asks Nagi to help by going in and grabbing the koi (dragon) bare handed. Nagi rejects this, but when Maria gets jerked forward, Nagi grabs her. This results in both of them getting pulled into the water, where they lose their catch.
A month and a half later, after Nagi’s 14th birthday, Maria leaves Nagi’s service with a resignation letter.
And so we say goodbye to Maria. Kinda sad, but since the manga is sure to have a termination date, Hata-sensei has to shut down plot threads left and right as fast as possible.
I was a little bummed that when Nagi and Maria went to the Sanzenin lake, there wasn’t a mention of the trip they took earlier in the year with Hayate. However, Hata-sensei did go back an acknowledge a couple of things from early in the manga. The first being the amusement park on the Sanzenin estate. I wonder if Hata-sensei had thought about doing more stories there, but the flow of the manga never allowed him to get back there.
The other item of greater interest was seeing the ruined book on secret battle techniques that Hayate was keen on learning. This is Hata-sensei acknowledging that his plans for the manga shifted. Back then, Hayate was trying to become a Combat Butler to match the other Combat Butlers at Hakuou Gakuen. Since this wasn’t working for Hata-sensei, he simply dropped it as a plot thread and moved on. I do appreciate Hata-sensei giving us insight like this.
I don’t know what, if anything, the dragon is supposed to be a parody of. I saw someone mention a Pokemon, but I don’t think that’s the case. This could be the real King of the Lake (or whatever it was called) from earlier in the manga. If so, then we might see this dragon again.
On the other side, I was amused by Maria insisting the dragon is a koi. Maria seems to go out of her way to deny the truth and come up with another explanation. 😆
The thing that surprised me is the time skip. Hata-sensei basically skipped some six weeks. Hata-sensei mentions some stuff happened with Hisui and Himegami. We saw an image from Nagi’s 14th birthday. Then we just go to Maria leaving the manga. I hadn’t expected this at all.
Now that I’ve had time to think about it, things make sense to me. Hata-sensei has an end date for Hayate the Combat Butler. So he doesn’t have time to take his normal, meandering wind-down. He needs to wrap things up quickly since the manga will likely end sometime this year. By skipping forward some six weeks or so, Hata-sensei gets rid of Maria and doesn’t have to deal with whatever things Hisui and Himegami did.
And so goodbye, Maria. We will miss you.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
- I can see Hata-sensei possibly doing quick flashbacks if things Hisui and Himegami did during this six week period affects the end story, but otherwise, I don’t think that we are going back.
- I think we will see Maria again, only in the final chapter.
In the end, Hayate the Combat Butler chapter 558 has some humorous moments. At the same time, Hata-sensei takes a look back at old plot elements from early in the manga’s history before saying goodbye to Maria.