Okay, my bad.
In the last Chapter Review I suggested that all the events since Ch. 310 would have to happen in two days, so it created an impossible timeline. However, such a conclusion came as a result of a flaw in my reasoning. The main point is that Hayate did not have to find out Nagi’s Maria site on June 1, but instead a few days later. With that in mind, I tried to remake the timeline since Ch. 310, minus the Wataru arcs.
- Hayate was forced to wear Ayumu’s street clothes. (Ch. 310)
- Ruka agreed to meet Nagi and Chiharu at the Violet Mansion. (Ch. 311)
- Ruka arrived at the Violet Mansion and met a cross-dressed Hayate. (Ch. 311)
- Hayate and Ruka went to karaoke, and they met Maria. (Ch. 312)
- Ruka met Nagi at the Violet Mansion. (Ch. 313)
- Nagi-Ruka friendship began. (Ch. 314)
- After witnessing Hayate hugging Ruka, Hina began to understand about Ruka. (Ch. 315)
- “Side: Nagi” had a meeting at the video game station. (Ch. 319)
- Nagi decided to make 1000 offset books. (Ch. 322)
- Hayate needed to see Ruka again so he borrowed school uniform from Hina, whom met Ruka as well. (Ch. 320)
- After the “Side: Ruka” meeting, Ruka collapsed at her own apartment. (Ch. 321)
- Ruka appointed Hayate as her health manager. (Ch. 322)
- Nagi gave Chiharu 210K yen for printing her 1000 offset books. (Ch. 332)
- Nagi began running her Maria site. (Not shown)
- Hayate’s life of serving 5 ladies began. (Ch. 323)
- Hina began reading and researching manga. (Ch. 323)
- Ruka saw for the first time Hayate wearing butler suit. (Ch. 323)
- After consulting Maria, Ruka entered Hakuo looking for Hayate. (Ch. 324)
- On Hina’s advise, Hayate went to the public bath in Hakuo. (Ch. 325)
- Ruka found out that Hayate was a boy. (Ch. 326)
- Hayate brought Ruka to the Violet Mansion to work with Nagi. (Ch. 328 – 329)
- Hayate found out Nagi’s Maria site, and told Ruka about it. (Ch. 332)
- Hina advised Ruka how she should draw her manga, and Ruka finished her storyboard. (Ch. 332)
I hope this could help solving our “time problem”. Actually, you can see that the truly problematic day was June 1, for it was the most eventful day, and quite a lot of chapters referred to this day. Once we have made sense of June 1, the rest are easy.
According to this new timeline, Hina had 4 days – instead of one – to understand manga, and this certainly makes more sense. You can learn much about something in 4 days, if you are hard-working enough.
Hina certainly learnt much. You might want to skip the narrator’s praises for fear of over-praising, but look at one hard and solid fact: Hina’s advices led Ruka to draw a much better manga than before, and Hayate – someone who had won manga competitions – honestly said the manga was “good”. Only a person with deep knowledge and profound insight of an issue could offer such simple and effective advices. Full stop.
So, what had Hina learnt about manga? She learnt that the foundation of a manga is to be read. And, unlike a book, a manga is meant to be read by anyone, because pictures are, in most cases, easier to read than books. As such, in its foundation, a manga should be simpler to read than books. This is why Hina guided Ruka to make everything simple, easy to read and with fewer dialogues. When the manga is easy to look at, Hayate and Hina could see that Ruka had the talent to make a good story.
Granted, Hina didn’t do anything spectacular, but simply told Ruka to solidify the foundation. She did not try to make Ruka’s manga into a grade of 100 right away, but successfully made it a grade-of-50 manga. Some say that Hina was not ambitious enough, but this was the way Hina expressed her ambition. Before questioning Hina’s approach, please consider the solid fact that she raised Ruka’s grade by 30.
In the previous chapter Hina did not only tell Ruka to make copy-bons instead of offset books, but also specifically stated the number “30”. Now that Hayate had read the storyboard, he was confident that it could sell 50, or even 100 copies – as Ruka sold a total of 11 copies in the last 2 sales, Hayate’s prediction was a further proof that her manga had greatly improved. His question was: Why did Hina insist on only 30?
Hina revealed that she wanted Ruka to experience a sell out in this Showdown. This would give her courage and confidence, so she could make an even better manga, and look for an even better sales result. This “step-by-step” approach is, of course, a part of Hina’s teaching policy. To make sure that Ruka would achieve a sell out, Hina asked her to make fewer copies to sell. Surely this is a small trick in it, but then, even if her sell out was a matter of 30 copies, it was still almost 3 times her previous 2 sales put together.
The thing is, the way Hina calculated the number of sales was almost identical to Nagi’s – the only difference is that Hina included an extra “adjust downward for the margin of error”. Of the 1M followers of her blog, Nagi predicted that 0.1% of them would buy her manga. Of the 20K attendants to Comisun, Hina predicted that 0.15% of them would buy Ruka’s manga. If Nagi was a genius when it came to money, then perhaps Hina was not that far behind her…
Hina also revealed that, “for the sake of what is to come”, she wanted Ruka’s books could all sell out in the morning.It sounded as if Hina had a hidden plan for “what is to come”, so what would that “what is to come” be? Just like Hayate, we could only wonder.
Luckily, Hina changed the subject. She smiled with satisfaction and asked Hayate to witness Ruka becoming a great mangaka. How was Nagi doing, then?
It seems to be true that, when one person knows your secret, you should expect that a second person would also know your secret. For several days Nagi did not let anyone know that she had been constructing a Maria site, but then two people found out her site on the same day – first Hayate, then Chiharu.
It turned out that Nagi did not only want to advertise her manga through the Maria site, but she also wanted to sell the doujinshi with a fake (Why fake when you could have the real one?) Maria photo album, and to have Maria turn up as a salesgirl. This was a very complete and practical sales campaign, although to be honest a lot of people and companies launch such campaigns – including Shogakukan and Hata.
Chiharu, though, was not impressed. She questioned Nagi’s true objective: Did she really want to be a good mangaka? Or did she want to be a good businessperson? Nagi’s reply seemed to have suggested the latter, as she stated that “What matters most in this world are the numbers!”
This is true in a lot of ways. When we judge how good a film is, we look at the box office and the ratings (Coming with the text comments are the numerical ratings…). When we look for “good” videos on YouTube we look at the number of views and the likes and dislikes, all are numbers. These numbers are excellent indicators of the popularity, and partly the quality, of the subject, as they are (arguably) objective and easy to understand. While we all judge whether someone or something is good by the numbers, it is unfair to single out Nagi for criticism.
Still, Chiharu could not agree with what Nagi was doing, as she suggested that it was not the normal way to succeed. The thing is, it was exactly not what Nagi wanted. She did not want to follow the “normal” (but safe) way. “I want to be something special!” she yelled. She had to do something special, something others would not do, something… unorthodox.
Her determination was so strong that Chiharu did not raise another objection. The risk, however, lied with Nagi. Doing things the unorthodox way means that there would be no past experience for her to look at, so if anything went wrong, she could almost have no help. Well, great ambition comes with great risks, and I can only hope that Nagi was ready for the risks.
So, it was finally June 12, and the Comisun began! It means that this would be the last time I hold the “Which Side Do You Support” poll, so please take your final chance to vote!