Happy Valentine’s Day! On such a special day, Doughnut Gunso offers you a long essay on the Hayate-Hinagiku relationship…
Many people would agree that love is about finding your soul-mate, but the definition of “soul-mate” differs from person to person. Some say that your “soul-mate” is someone who makes a perfect match with you in a lock-and-key model, even if the two individuals are quite different people. Some say that your “soul-mate” is your mirror image and your true equal, the one on Earth who is the most similar to yourself.
Different interpretations of the term “soul-mate” contribute to different “philosophies of love”, and I don’t think there is a “universal truth”. My opinion is that whether a “philosophy of love” is right or wrong should be judged on a case-by-case basis.
So, instead of starting a general debate on “philosophies of love”, let us do a case study: The Hayate-Hinagiku relationship (a.k.a. The Hayate-Hina ship) which is yet ongoing but unresolved in the work Hayate no Gotoku!.
Very Similar People
It has long been suggested that Ayasaki Hayate and Katsura Hinagiku were very similar people. Some say that Hayate and Hina were mirror images of each other, and some even say that they were gender flips of each other. In order to avoid exaggerations, it would be legitimate to ask: Just how similar were they?
Very well, let’s compile a list on their similarities:
- Both suffered an unhappy family life. Both had been abandoned by their biological parents, but were given a huge debt from them.
- Both had a life-changing event at the age of 6. Hayate ran away from home for the first time at the age of 6, and then he met Athena. Hina’s parents abandoned her and Yukiji some days before she turned 6.
- Both possessed a wide range of skills, so that they could solve virtually any problem. Yet, both were horrible in acting.
- Both had taken up an honourable position – Hayate was a butler and Hina was the Student Council President. Both had a catchphrase which showed that they were very proud of their positions – “I am the butler of the Sanzen’in Household!” “I am the Student Council President of Hakuo Academy!”
- Both were the only known cross-dressers in the series, and both had a “heroic identity” in the opposite sex. Hayate was “Maid Star”, and Hina was “Silver Red”.
- Both were very popular people. Many girls in the series had fallen for Hayate, and in Ch. 273 it was confirmed that Hayate was popular among female students in Hakuo. Hina had always been the school idol, and it was suggested more than once many male students in Hakuo liked her.
- Both were the “toys” of the author, Hata. For – perhaps – comedic relief both were the victims of unnecessary bad luck which they hardly deserved.
- Both were said to be the “Parody Sues” of the series according to the – readers, haters, critics, whatever.
The list may be exhaustive although not yet exhausted, but as the list above shows that Hayate and Hina were of similar background, abilities and even received similar treatments from the author Hata, it should have been enough to justify the claim that Hayate and Hina were very similar people.
People pick on their similarities to speak for or against the possible Hayate-Hina ship. Some say that as similar people they were true soul-mates, so they would offer perfect support to each other, and they would therefore make a perfect match. Some say that similar people do not work as a complementary pair, and in a dispute they would put in similar efforts to hurt each other, so such a relationship is not desirable.
So, was the Hayate-Hina relationship good or bad? Interestingly, we have seen both the good and the bad about the Hayate-Hina relationship. Supporters love the good moments and say that this ship is wonderful, while the bad moments have always been easy meat for the critics.
There are many wonderful Hayate-Hina moments throughout the series. Canonic examples include the Old Campus arc, the Cohabiting arc, the Hina’s Birthday arc, the White Day arc, the Date arc, the Beach Volleyball arc, etc. Even the first season of the Anime, in which half of the content was original creation, put in several lovely Hayate-Hina moments, most notably in Ep. 17, 23, 27, 33, 39, and of course 48. All three Hayate no Gotoku! novels have at least one scene in which Hayate and Hina demonstrated excellent teamwork.
Among the many lovely Hayate-Hina moments we could see that they often helped each other out. Hina helped Hayate out of troubles such as the Butler’s Quest, the Valentine’s Day and the White Valentine, and of course the “everyday’s help” in the Athena saga. Hayate helped Hina to get rid of the “monster” in the old campus, to nurse Shiranui, and saved her from falling off the cliff. Some readers comment that every single event of Hayate-Hina teamwork was a success, and above all other examples, the two combined their powers and practically saved the world from King Midas.
The Hayate-Hina relationship drew a lot of attention in the story. A good portion of the main cast, recently extended to Alice (a.k.a. Chibi-Athena), Tama, the cat spirit and arguably Isumi, either knew about the Hayate-Hina relationship or witnessed a Hayate-Hina moment. Several characters offered advice to either or both of them, and some characters made use of the Hayate-Hina relationship for their personal gain.
In short, the Hayate-Hina relationship made up a good portion of the story, has been beautiful and successful, and was known by many of the characters. In every sense, this is a very good relationship.
However, there are many other moments which suggest that the Hayate-Hina relationship didn’t work as nicely as we imagined, and for 300 (Or, to be fair, 270, for Hina was introduced in Ch. 35.) chapters the relationship failed to blossom. In all fairness, it was a failure on both Hayate and Hina.
We all know that Hina had romantic feelings for Hayate, but all along the series Hina failed to express proper emotions to Hayate. She was often impatient and angry at Hayate. She was unable to tell him that she loved him, although she “implied” that she loved him through lots of blushing. Above all, Hina had been wasting time: She took a very long time to recognize her feelings for Hayate, to admit her feelings to Ayumu, to find out that Hayate had someone else in his mind.
We don’t even know whether Hayate had any romantic feelings for Hina, even though it is clear that Hayate had a certain kind of feelings for her. He was afraid of Hina’s wrath, but no matter how hard he tried to stay in her good grace, he would fail in the end. On several occasions he wanted to make her happy, but he often hurt her unintentionally during the process, so his attempts could hardly be regarded as successful.
So, what exactly happened? If they were a perfect match, why would their relationship drag on forever? If they were a no-match, why would they look so lovely at times? I am of the opinion that, it all comes from the similarity, or the parallel, between Hayate and Hina.
In Kindaichi Case Files, the main antagonist Takato Yoichi once said the following to the main character Kindaichi Hajime: “You and I are a pair of parallel lines. We never cross each other, but we would always stay by one another. It’s like being twins.”
Several characteristics of parallel lines must be observed before we move on to the next part of our discussion.
- Parallel lines share the same slope, so they are very similar in nature.
- Parallel lines don’t share the same points. Even if you try to find points in the parallel lines with the same x-coordinate, their y-coordinates differ.
- There is a constant gap between the two lines which can never be increased or decreased on their own.
So when we say that two people are “parallel people”, they would also share the characteristics of parallel lines, and therefore…
- They are very similar.
- They share different points of view, or that they would not agree with what the other is thinking.
- There is a constant gap between the two people which can never be increased or decreased on their own.
With the above points in mind let us investigate into the Hayate-Hina ship more.
Similarity, Different Points of View and the Gap
Although the context of Hayate-Hina (possible love relationship) and Kindaichi-Takato (sworn enemies) are – so far – completely different, Takato’s words could be applied to Hayate and Hina.
I think it has been well-established in the above that Hayate and Hina were very similar people in nature, so there is no need to repeat. The question is: Why would similar people share different points of view and thus create a constant gap between them? Shouldn’t similar people share similar points of view?
Not really, for points of view arise not only from the nature and character of the person, but also his or her personal experience. Similar people they were, but Hayate and Hina had very different life experience. Hina had Yukiji to protect her after their parents abandoned them, while Hayate had to run for his own life. Indeed, they already had different opinions about being abandoned. Hina insisted that her parents were “kind”, and there must be a reason they abandoned them. Hayate insisted that his parents were the worst people in the world, and there was no excuse for abandoning him.
If they could have different points of view on their parents, it would not be surprising at all if they had different points of view about love, and that they failed to figure out what the other one thought about them, even if – or arguably, because – they were so similar in nature.
Perhaps we should not blame Hayate too much for his failure to recognize Hina’s feelings for him, because from his point of view, the chance of Hina loving him was an absolute zero. He read her expressions and knew that she was acting “strange”, but he could not figure out that it was because she had a crush on him. One plus one doesn’t equal two if two doesn’t even exist.
Hina was never of the opinion that Hayate loved her either. In the beginning she thought that he loved Ayumu. She expressed clearly that Hayate had no other meaning than thanksgiving by giving her a birthday present. During the Athena saga, she knew first-hand that Hayate loved Athena, and it followed that Hayate did not love her. After the saga, she still thought that Hayate had no feelings for her.
Hayate and Hina similarly shared different points of view. From Hayate’s point of view Hina did not love him, but from her point of view she did. From Hina’s point of view Hayate did not love her, and we can’t be sure what Hayate thought about Hina from his point of view. The difference in points of view made it difficult for them to treat the other properly, and it gave rise to a gap between them. The gap was small enough for them to remain very friendly to each other, but way too big for them to come together as one in a romantic relationship.
Okay, we discussed the origin of their different points of view on family problems, but we have not yet discussed the origin of their different points of view on love issues. Indeed, what gave rise to such a gap between them? Or, to quote Ayumu, “Just what kind of school life do they share to end up with such a misunderstanding?”
Basically, it was a failure in communication. This failure, in turn, originated from two shortcomings which were shared by Hayate and Hina, so when they tried to communicate, they often failed.
1. Both had troubles expressing their true feelings
It is almost common knowledge that Hina was a Tsundere, for her refusal to confess to Hayate her true feelings. She preferred more non-verbal means, like helping him out of troubles whenever she was available. Hayate, although clearly appreciative of her helping hands, could not figure out that she had romantic feelings for him. Indeed, he thought it was simply her good nature that led her to help him. Hina was frustrated by his continuing failure to recognize her feelings, and every time she was reminded of his dumbness, she lost her temper at him. This led to Hayate thinking that she hated him. There is absolutely no doubt that Hina was having troubles expressing her true feelings to Hayate.
What about Hayate? At different times in the series Hayate wanted to tell Hina something, but rather surprisingly he often failed. He wanted Hina to stop hating him, but he kept doing stupid things which angered Hina. He wanted to cover for his accidental grab of her from behind, but he acted in arguably the worst way and that made Hina mad. He attempted to persuade Hina to move into the Violet Mansion, but what he had done was almost a complete failure, and if Alice did not blackmail Hina she would never move in. Yes, Hayate was unable to convey to Hina his true intentions.
Both Hayate and Hina were, therefore, unable to express their feelings or thoughts to each other. They found it difficult for the other one to get their messages, and they could always call it a lucky day when, somehow, the other one understood what they wanted to tell.
2. Both had troubles understanding people
Hayate had always been accused of his lack of delicacy. Nagi, Maria, Hina and Ayumu all told him that he lacked delicacy. He didn’t understand that some things he did would embarrass girls, and he failed to understand that a lot of girls around him liked him. Recently he was making progress in this area, by showing signs of understandings to Maria, Alice and Saki, but he still failed with Hina.
Hina is an interesting case. Sometimes it seems that she could almost read minds, and she often offered the correct kind of assistance to different people. It seems that she understood people, but not quite so. Miki criticized Hina for “acting on your own”, by thinking that everybody could do what she could do. Hina had absolutely no idea why she had received so much chocolate from girls on Valentine’s Day. She had a completely wrong idea on how Ayumu would react to her confession that she loved Hayate. She failed to understand that Hayate could have feelings for Athena, even when he remained silent after she asked him about their relationship. She failed to see that Hayate was not really in the mood of drinking coffee with her because Tama was also there.
Yes, it was not only Hayate who was being dumb.
With their failure to express their own ideas, they could only pray that the other would understand them. Unfortunately, neither could understand what the other wanted to tell them, so when they were thinking about each other, they kept looking at different points, and they ended up developing different points of view.
When Parallel Lines Become One
So, does that mean that Hayate and Hina would never come together? I don’t think so, otherwise we would lack an explanation to the many good Hayate-Hina moments mentioned above. The real question is: What brings parallel people, who share a gap between them, together?
Parallel lines remain parallel lines because they share the same slope but have different points. Now, what if we assign the same point to lines with the same slope? Plot “them” on the same grid and you will find that there are no two lines, but only one single line. The two lines merge together to become one.
At different stages of the story, Hata assigns Hayate and Hina to solve the same problems. To be more exact, Hata often sends Hina to help Hayate with his troubles. They were given the same points on the problems for their consideration, and as similar people they shared more or less the same point of view. In other words, they ceased to interact from the different points of view about the other, but the same point of view about the problem. The outcome is obvious: They teamed up perfectly to solve all problems, and fans like these moments.
The cooperation and togetherness between Hayate and Hina when they teamed up against the same event was so good that, not only they could solve problems, but they could also communicate more effectively during and right after the events:
- Hina, although still mad at Hayate for his freedom marathon trick, treated him a little nicer after they went into the Butler’s Quest.
- Hayate realized the necessity to give thanks to Hina after they talked about Shiranui’s future.
- “The Heady Feeling of Freedom” was the crowing moment of Hina’s birthday, which was an event in itself.
- Hayate gave Hina White Day biscuits after both were involved in giving Ayumu her White Day present.
- Hayate was determined to go after Hina to give her thanks after she helped him with the volleyball game, and she openly demanded him to treat her well.
- When they talked about Athena, Hayate openly shared his deepest secrets to Hina alone, and she answered almost every single question in his mind.
- They had a peaceful walk by the beach for some time after they defeated King Midas and other monsters together.
Admittedly there are some exceptional cases, but on the whole it seems that, when their minds were joined together by the same problem they were solving, Hayate and Hina could come closer to the mind of each other, and they could briefly share the other’s points of view.
The most wonderful thing about them sharing the other’s point of view is that they could offer the best kind of help to each other when they understood what the other was thinking. Hina poured her heart out and told Hayate her family secrets, and Hayate comforted her by reminding her she was not at a bad position, and her fear of love and height began to ease. Hayate poured his heart out and told Hina his secrets with Athena, and Hina pointed at the right direction for him to solve the problems (which he followed), and in the end his guilt towards Athena was removed.
When two people can get into the deepest secrets of each other and remove the pain from which, it could not be more justifiable to say that the two are soul-mates. Therefore, Hayate and Hina were soul-mates to each other – when they shared the same point of view.
To Be Together
So far, Hayate and Hina remained unable to share the same point of view on the feelings between them. Since they both lacked the abilities to express their own feelings and to understand each other’s feelings, we could not expect them to make everything clear through their everyday interactions. Instead, expect more platonic interactions and “meaningless teasers”. This may be disappointing, but obviously Hata enjoys this game.
My humble opinion is that, Hayate-Hina shippers should forget about the small flies like the “night in the coffee shop” incident or the “Alice and Hina moving in” incident. Rather, look for problems and troubles around them, for the most effective way for Hayate and Hina to understand each other is to get them into troubles or problems together. Given that both Hayate and Hina suffered from ridiculous bad luck, it would be much more likely than not that big troubles would come to them again.
Of course, it would be far too unstable if a relationship relies solely on troubles or problems. The most important thing for Hayate and Hina to do, therefore, is to understand each other’s point of view more and more through their perfect cooperation when facing troubles, so that in the end, love becomes the “same point” for these two parallel people, and the two become one, joined together by love.