At the end of my previous Chapter Review, I questioned the possibility of rounding up the “Mystery Room” arc in 16 pages. After all, if an epic battle between Isumi and Yozora is to take place, it could easily take away 8 to 10 pages, so Hata would be left with 6 to 8 pages to explain everything and sum up the whole arc! This is highly improbable, even with – or especially with, actually – Hata’s pacing of his story.
It turns out in the end that there is a fundamental error with the above analysis: an epic battle scene could make rounding up of the arc more difficult, but we are never guaranteed an epic battle scene in the first place! If there is no epic battle scene, then everything would become a lot easier!
One of the main reasons we end up having no epic battle scene is that Yozora never wants a serious fight. She is here to look for the possibility for Ruka to open the path to the Royal Garden. She is also here to burn the coffin. Once these things are done, she wants to leave the apartment. In other words, she isn’t interested in a fight with Isumi. As we all know, rivalry would never be real if one of the parties is not serious about it. Without a real rivalry, there is no epic battle scene.
It is hard to turn down a fight with a literally fired-up Isumi. As such, Yozora makes use of a rather dirty trick: making her threat on a powerless Athena. Surely, Isumi cannot use her full power when Athena is around, or when Yozora has her hand against Athena, ready to hurt her?
This trick seems to work, as Isumi looks as if she is caught completely off-guard. However, Hayate quickly comes to the rescue, for reasons ranging from saving an innocent young girl (he is a lolicon, after all…) to protecting his first and (so far) only true love. Athena is then quickly taken away by Tama, who incidentally walks on two feet and speaks. Luckily, in the heat of the battle which is not epic at all, nobody seems to have noticed it.
Yozora then fights Hayate. As we can see, she is fast and very aggressive, and it looks like our invincible butler is losing his battle. Fortunately, Isumi quickly comes to his rescue, and fires another wave of spells at Yozora. However, Yozora – in an impossible posture, mind you – catches the spells with one hand again. The easy conclusion is that, even with her full power, Isumi could not even scratch Yozora. However, given that she has lost her concentration when Yozora held Athena half a hostage, it is arguable if Isumi is still in her full power.
In any case, if Isumi cannot hurt Yozora, who could? Ah well, just don’t ask me this question…
Yozora could be formidable, but as suggested above, she isn’t really keen on fighting anyone. As Isumi is stunt for a split second after Yozora caught her spells, Yozora takes the time to escape through the broken window – she might have entered the room through this window – or lack thereof – after all.
Yozora leaves with such speed that Hayate and co. could only watch her go. In a sense, Hayate and Isumi have been completely defeated: they could not catch the intruder, and they could not protect the coffin. The miracle is that they have not lost anything important, as (perhaps) the only important thing – the other half of the photo of the 28th, is now in Isumi’s hands.
In fact, Tama suggests that they might now be better off, as they would have much more room after the coffin is gone. He is expecting that, after clearing up the mess, he and Fr. Ghost could have a room as big as the bathroom underneath. But then, Isumi approaches Hayate and asks for the former coffin room to be her guard room. This leaves Tama and Fr. Ghost with Hayate’s one and only plan for them – the storage room. They are not going to be happy about it.
It remains uncertain whether Isumi is really living in the apartment. She might regard herself as the guard of the apartment, but guards don’t live in the guard room: they are only staying in the guard room while they are on duty. Still, given Isumi’s (in)ability to find directions, it might be better if she stays in the apartment as long as she could. Or, maybe she would do fine, as long as she remembers how to crash-land into the apartment.
As the “Mystery Room” arc comes to an end, it is time to do some head-counting:
- Hayate, the combat butler;
- Nagi, Hayate’s “life in itself”, Hata’s favourite girl and the win-it-all;
- Maria, the (often forgotten) other main heroine;
- Athena, the prototype of Nagi, and the first and (so far) only love of Hayate;
- Hinagiku, the most loved-hated and the exceptional-normal;
- Ayumu, normal to the extreme;
- Chiharu, Nagi’s best pal and big sister figure;
- Kayura, Nagi’s friend of the soul;
- Ruka, rival of Ayumu and Hinagiku for Hayate, and rival of Nagi in manga career;
- Tama, cat number one;
- Shiranui, cat number two;
- Fr. Ghost, arguably the first known supernatural otaku.
Even if we don’t count Isumi, we still have nine people, two cats and a ghost. What a very, very crowded apartment we have. So Chiharu is right: this is going to be an interesting summer.
Isumi goes to visit Sakuya, and reports that she has already set up a special barrier. A spell is secretly placed under the roof of the apartment, so that intruders like Yozora cannot easily get near. Isumi then shows Sakuya the photo she has in hand, and Sakuya reveals to us that the rather very dark boy in the picture is Himegami – a legendary name among readers.
So, what do we know about Himegami? He was the Sanzen’in butler before Hayate. He could have been forced to quit because he attempted to steal the Sanzen’in family treasure. He, like Athena, was used by Mikado, and was punished for pursuing the power of God. Now that it is shown that Himegami is related to “the 28th”, presumably the dark magic cult which also seek “the path” (supposedly to the Royal Garden), could we say that “the 28th” and Mikado are looking for the same thing? In the most extreme case, could Mikado himself be one of “the 28th”?
One thing to note is that the manga Himegami has considerably darker skin than in the First Season anime. Yet another proof that at least half of the First Season anime is random original work…