As you all know, there are only 12 pages in this chapter. As many of us don’t have a copy of Shonen Sunday in hand, we can only guess what happened. Maybe it’s because Hata or the magazine is too preoccupied with the movie, or that Hata simply cannot give this chapter (or arc) enough… substance.
So, Hayate brought Luca to Nagi, so that the two could draw together. However, it is debatable whether it was a good idea. For one thing, they wasted too much time on ice-breaking (or Monster Hunting). For another, it failed to bring enough boost in morale, unless you think that mourning to each other is a good thing. There was definitely some progress on Nagi’s manga, but it seemed that Luca remained helpless looking for her own story.
Finally, Luca lost her concentration and lied down. Then she saw the DVD-box of Cyber Formula. Hata explained that quite a few broadcasters aired this anime at 5 a.m., so that people – Hata included – had to wake up very early only to watch this anime. Apparently Hata loves this anime so much, that he commented that the last two episodes (The final race, of course.) were one of the best in anime history. I think the last episode of Zero (one of the OVAs) was even better, though.
Nagi and Luca then debated over their favourite character. Just like any other fan-war, it turned out to be a brawl, fueled with praises of one’s favourite character and the criticisms of the others – well, no hater would admit that he is criticizing any character. Still, the most common tactic to support one character is to criticize the others, and most of us use this tactic consciously or subconsciously.
It might be interesting to examine the favourite character of Nagi, Luca and Chiharu respectively.
Nagi – Kazami Hayato
The main character of the series. He joined Cyber Formula at the age of 14, and became the youngest Cyber Formula champion in history. He kept becoming stronger with each year, and was crowned 4 times in 8 years. Of course, Kazami himself suffered a lot in these years, especially since the serious accident he suffered after he reached the “zero realm”. He was no doubt a hard worker, but to many he remained a genius driver who won titles with ease.
Luca – Shinjyo Naoki
At the beginning of the story, Shinjyo was a much better driver than Kazami, and was one of the young stars in the race. However, as the story went, he become less of a top and more of a flop. There was too much arrogance and mental instability in him, that made him making the wrong decisions at critical moments. That, combined with the fact that he really was not as good as Kazami, was the reason why he earned only one champion title to himself – when Kazami temporarily retired from the race because of serious injury. At different stages of the story, he did reflect on his failures, and worked hard to make improvements. He might not be a winner, but he was a hard worker.
Chiharu – Karl Lichter von Randoll
For your information, he was an Austrian. His long and hard-to-remember name has been a running gag among fans. Well, if Shinjyo was a “hard working flop”, then Randoll was a “prodigy flop”. He was regarded by many as the elegant genius on the race course, but while he had always been in top 3, the fact remained that he has never won a champion title. Well, he was still very popular, for he was funny, he was elegant, and he was blonde.
Hata himself suggested on his Twitter that he was a Kaga fan. As for me, I am a Knight Schumacher fan.
The fan-war between Nagi and Luca could not be settled, and they decided to watch all 37 episodes to decide who was right. As it would take almost 19 hours to do this, it would significantly hinder their progress. Chiharu tried to stop them, but ended up joining their discussion. Hayate and Maria simply stood there and enjoyed the circus. In the end, it was Hina who took up the hated task: turning off the TV and lectured the mangakas.
We can’t be sure why Hina looked so pissed off. Perhaps she was annoyed seeing Nagi and Luca playing around without purpose. She was a very serious person, after all. To her, even when you are playing around, you’ve got to be more serious. It’s just that… how do we fool around seriously, Hina?
In any case, Hina successfully got Nagi and Luca back to work, and they were working very late – so late that Luca had to seriously consider whether to stay overnight at the Violet Mansion. Chiharu questioned that whether there was any futon for her. Did that suggest there was no more futon for new-comers…?
Well, that could be bought, but this was not the time. Hayate, therefore, suggested Luca to use his futon. Two facts would justify his suggestion. One, he slept for one or two hours everyday, so it was true that he barely used his futon. Two, he was a boy after all, so – if he did not care about manner – he could lie flat on the floor without the futon.
However, he did not explain it clear enough before Nagi gave him a punch in the head. Well, words fail and cause misunderstandings. The best way for Hayate to communicate with anyone would therefore be – to shut up.
With Nagi’s punch, the issue was dropped and they went back to work. At nearly 3 a.m., Nagi could not take it any more, and fell into deep sleep. Hayate took care of her – very good care, mind you – and Luca saw to that. She then asked Hayate a question: If she rented a room and lived in the Violet Mansion, would he treat her as good as that? Hayate answered that he would try his best, but Nagi was “a bit of a special case”.
“What kind of special case?” you might ask. The most “straightforward” answer would be that Nagi was his one true love, so of course she was a special case. Yet, there are some alternative explanations as well.
- Nagi gave him a new life by hiring him as her butler, so she was a special case.
- Nagi gave up her inheritance to help Hayate save Athena, so she was a special case.
- Hayate vowed to serve and protect Nagi with his life, so she was a special case.
Yet, he did not elaborate, so we could not know whether the “special case” is romantic or not. Yet, one thing remained the same in all the above explanations: “Milady is my life in itself! (Sparkling)”
To whatever extent, Luca knew that Hayate treated Nagi in a very unique manner – a manner she envied, but she could never have it. She looked crestfallen because of it. Chiharu, who was half asleep, “witnessed” this small incident, and foresaw something which might be… unpleasant.
With that, we could almost be sure that the Hayate-Nagi-Luca triangle was formed, and that the two girls would become rivals-friends. Where would that lead to? It remains to be seen in future chapters!