A Blessing in Disguise: The Denseness of Hayate and Hinagiku Could be Beneficial in Building Up Their Relationship

It All Begins with an Ignored Observation…

For your information, Doughnut Gunso is a very selective blogger. It means that I would only write articles on topics that interest me, so you know you would have to kill me before I write a word on, say, Kotetsu-Hayate relationship. It also means that I have a tendency to read into things a little more than ordinary people, over topics I am interested in.

This is why, in the most recent “Mystery Room” arc, I still have my attention on Hayate-Hinagiku relationship. While other people begin speculating on the King’s Jewels, the dark magic cult and Himegami, I notice that both Hayate and Hinagiku have been challenged on love issues, and both display their maturity – or the lack of it. Hayate claims (for the OVER 9000!!!!-th time) that it is ridiculous for a girl to love him – once again displaying his “denseness” for the feelings of the girls for him – and he finds love talks “embarrassing”. Hinagiku is commented for the first time that she is “dense” about love, and her denseness is beyond Ayumu’s imagination.

This observation leads me to my argument of the arc: both Hayate and Hinagiku are so dense, so immature, that they are not ready for a love life yet. Not only they are dense about the feelings of other people, but they are dense about love itself: they do not know what love really is. While they do not know what love is, it is better for them not to enter a relationship – at least not yet.

Hinagiku: The Girl without a Definition

What do you mean, “I guess”?

Critics are always quick to point out that, so far, Hayate has not expressed any special feelings for Hinagiku. She is not “the person that I love” (Athena), she is not “my life in itself” (Nagi), she is not “my senior co-worker” (Maria) or even “my classmate from my previous school” (Ayumu). The funny thing is that, somehow, Hayate doesn’t even know who Hinagiku is to him.

A very easily overlooked example could be found in Ch. 320, when Hayate and Hinagiku visited Ruka at her apartment together. When Ruka asked who Hinagiku was, Hayate responded with “She’s kind of a chaperon I guess.” Now, what was that? Everybody would know that Hinagiku was accompanying him, unless they assume that Hinagiku was holding Hayate hostage. What Ruka wanted to know was the relationship between Hayate and this strange girl, but Hayate failed to say so much as that Hinagiku was his friend or classmate. He even failed to introduce Hinagiku by her name, which was a serious violation of courtesy – a mistake a professional butler would never make.

See? He introduced Ayumu all right.

The failure to answer “Who Hinagiku is to you?” shows that Hayate has never defined his relationship with Hinagiku. Somehow, it seems that the words “friend” and “classmate” appear a bit unsuitable for Hayate to use on Hinagiku, so he did not use them. But then, if not a “friend” or “classmate”, then who was she to him? He did not know how to answer this question, so he hesitated to the point that he forgot to introduce Hinagiku by her name. She had to step up and introduce herself – a rather embarrassing moment, in terms of social courtesy.

As Hayate did not – and still does not – really know who Hinagiku is to him, he doesn’t know how to treat her. When he is thinking of how to deal with Hinagiku, “tricks her” and “fool her” come up most frequently in his mind. He might want to treat her as a friend, but there are moments when he takes hold of her hand or even body without thinking. But then, he never dares to believe that Hinagiku loves him, because he is sure that it is inappropriate – “Hinagiku-san is always getting mad at me!” He only finds himself at ease with Hinagiku when he serves as her butler, because once he can tell himself that Hinagiku is his mistress, he knows how to handle her. Her resemblance to Nagi is a bonus point.

As Hayate struggles to understand who Hinagiku is to him, there is no way he could tell anyone, including himself, that what kind of feelings he has for her. This leads us to another interesting question: Of all the girls Hayate has known for some time – for the argument’s sake, let us not consider the cases of Ruka and Kayura, whom Hayate has only known for about a month – why is Hinagiku the girl Hayate fails to figure out who she is to him?

The Only Underdeveloped Aspect of Hayate

So developed at work…

Despite his young age, Hayate has a lot more life experience than many of us. He knows how to survive in inhuman environments and situations. He knows how to deal with different people while protecting what are important to him. He knows what are expected of him in different tasks and he generally performs and delivers.

As such, he knows exactly how to deal with people who he can relate to his past experience. He has been the butler of Athena before, so he knows how to serve Nagi as her butler. He has worked on several jobs before, and there must have been seniors at different works, so he knows how to treat Maria (and arguably Klaus) as his senior. He has been to school before, so he knows how to make friends with schoolmates.

So underdeveloped at love…

Yet, there has been – always been – an area in which Hayate fails miserably: romantic love. “What is love?” was the question he asked Fr. Ghost and Maria on Valentine’s Day. Given the fact that he had had his first love relationship with Athena at the age of six, you might wonder why he asked such a stupid question: didn’t he know much more about love than a priest (Catholic priests are known for their vows of not entering marriage) – and Maria, a girl who (as far as we know) has never been in a love relationship with anyone?

Unfortunately, as it turns out, Hayate really knows very little about romantic love. The way he reacted to Ayumu’s first confession – the infamous “I only like 2D girls” line – was borderline idiocy. His reflection on this was arguably inaccurate – as we would know from later development, it was Athena, not Nagi, who had been blocking Hayate from falling in love with other girls. He needed heavy hints from Maria and clear instructions from Hinagiku to decide to tell Athena – 10 years after their break up – what he really thought of her. As we can see, his performance has been too immature for someone who has fallen in love once.

“Why are you so harsh on him? He is only 16!” you might say. While this is a valid defense for any other teenager, it simply doesn’t work on Hayate. After all, he has too much life experience to be considered a child, so I don’t really see why we should allow his “defense of immaturity” in an area he has more experience than even some adults. But then, while his experience makes him capable and matured in other areas, he still remains a child at love issues. Why is it so?

Companions in the “dangerous world”…

Let us not forget that not even Hayate could become a grown-up at the age of six. He matures in other aspects of his life not because he started working at the age of six, but because he is still working at the age of 16. He has been working in the world of grown-ups for 10 years, so he has had 10 years to mature.

An Understanding since the Age of Six

Whereas, since the age of six, Hayate has never entered another love relationship again. Given his (very, very) tight schedule, he didn’t really have time to settle down and rethink his relationship with Athena, until 10 years later. Funny enough, when he mentioned Athena to a third party for the first time, he was speaking to Hinagiku (and the SC Rangers), just when everyone was preparing for her birthday.

Answer: Old Stone Age.

While it is not exactly important for Hinagiku to be the first girl who got Hayate to talk about his former girlfriend, it is important to understand that it has been 10 years since he last talked about Athena and her teachings. “What era is the story from?” mocked Hinagiku, but she (accidentally) hit at the point: it was from 10 years ago, and Hayate’s understanding of love has never changed. But then, do you really think that a six-year-old knows what love is?

Now Hayate has a problem: he has the body of a 16-year-old, but he also has a mentality of a six-year-old, so his body and mind don’t really match. As he has the body of a 16-year-old, he isn’t oblivious of sex appeals: he blushes when he has his eye candies. As he has the mentality of a six-year-old, we could see that he is very childish when handling love issues. We always say that Hayate is a very dense boy, but it might be that he is only immature. He could only compare his feelings for a girl with reference to his relationship with Athena, and that was 10 years ago.

His only two mistresses.

With that in mind, we can understand why Hayate – and Hata – compares Nagi to Athena, because his relationship with Nagi is very similar to that with Athena. Both girls saved him when he was in deep grief. Both gave him a new meaning of life. Most importantly, both have a lady-butler relationship with him – the only strong personal relationship Hayate has ever experienced in his life, and the only personal relationship upon which Hayate had established a love relationship.

Now, Hayate has no such relationship with any girl other than Nagi – their tenancy at the Violet Mansion doesn’t count – so his feelings for them are clearly different from that for Athena (or Nagi): if his feelings for Athena was love, then his feelings for the girls would not be love. However, given his limited, narrow and even twisted understanding about love, his judgement is highly questionable.

Just so you know, I am not really saying that this counts.

Anyway, Hinagiku is among the many girls whom Hayate thinks he is not in love with. The funny thing is that, while he can see what other girls are to him, he is totally confused about Hinagiku. In a sense, she is different from the other girls and simply belongs to an aspect which he has never really understood.

The thing is, when he doesn’t know about love or his own feelings for Hinagiku, these two things could actually be one: he loves Hinagiku.

Hinagiku: A Mind that Goes Wild All the Time

Hinagiku is said to be dense because she doesn’t know about Ruka’s love for Hayate. In fact, there are a lot of love-related matters that Hinagiku doesn’t know. She did not know that Hayate had feelings for Athena until he told her about it. She does not know that Izumi and Nagi also have feelings for Hayate.

More importantly, Hinagiku knows nothing about Hayate’s feelings for her – to be fair to her, nobody does. She never believes that Hayate loves her, and she finds Hayate’s care for her annoying. She doesn’t like it when Hayate unconsciously touches her, so she is untouchable for him – literally. It means that, even if Hayate has feelings for her, she would not know about it, because there is simply no way for Hayate to convey his message to her. The only thing Hinagiku knows is that she loves Hayate, but that’s all.

Too much…

One might argue that, if Hinagiku loves Hayate so much, she could simply step up and help him grow up. This is a very valid argument, and many critics indeed demand Hinagiku to do something more than the “Tsundere thing” to be worthy of Hayate’s love. However, Hinagiku suffers from her own little problem. While Hayate thinks too little of love issues, Hinagiku is the exact opposite: she thinks too much.

As we all know, intelligent people love to think – so is Hinagiku. As we all know, what a person thinks must be supported by solid facts to be meaningful, or they would be no better than wild imaginations. Unfortunately, what Hinagiku thinks about love are mainly wild imaginations which embarrass her.

She came to the conclusion that Hayate and Ayumu were on a date after Valentine’s Day, without asking either party for clarification. She thought that it could be “dangerous” to be alone with Hayate in her own house if he was not on a date. She imagined a sex scene between Hayate and Maria at night, for which Ayumu told her off. She imagined a whole “confession scene” which was laughable and not working. Her heartbeat accelerated when she was alone with Hayate in the coffee shop late at night, while nothing actually had happened yet. She thought that she would have to play the “couple” game if she moved into the Violet Mansion. She pictured scenes in which Hayate made fun of her chest size or donkey ears, and got angry with him before he said the lines…

Too much!

One might wonder why Hinagiku could have so many things running in her head, while 9 out of 10 are wrong. To begin with, Hinagiku is a girl, and girls often think about their love issues. But then, she doesn’t do her researches and find evidence to support her imaginations, so what she thinks could easily go wrong. When she makes a further imagination based on a previous wrong imagination, then the resulting imagination is even more wrong.

One might then ask why Hinagiku, clearly a student who understands how important research is, does not do her research. For one thing, she is a very busy person – arguably as busy as Hayate himself, so she doesn’t have time to research on love. For another thing, she finds love issues very embarrassing – she keeps blushing whenever she thinks or handles her love issues, and clearly she doesn’t want her face to be turned into an apple by researching on a subject which embarrasses her.

Begin your research on love already!

Most importantly, as Hinagiku thinks too much about love but does too little research on love, she misses the whole point about love. To her, love is all about embarrassment and ridiculously feminine things which she is unable to do. She makes things more difficult and complicated by setting hurdles for herself, and she doesn’t know that love could actually be very simple – she just has to be herself. Love is about care and happiness, not forcing a girl to act girly. Hinagiku needs to understand this, or she would have a mountain to climb.

Obviously, her lack of understanding about love is detrimental to her love life, as she is clearly less mature than Athena, Ayumu and even Ruka. Hayate, Ayumu and Isumi commented on her similarity with Nagi, and Hinagiku should not be happy about it. Why would a 16-year-old want to be compared to a 13-year-old?

On Denseness

Hayate and Hinagiku are both dense about love: they know too little about love. Interesting enough, this explains why they are also dense about romantic feelings of other people.

THE Comparison Table.

As suggested above, Hayate’s understanding of love is based on his romantic relationship with Athena when he was six, which was built on a strong lady-butler relationship, but in the end “failed”. He tends to compare his feelings for other people with those for Athena, and in the very same way, Hayate tends to compare other girls’ feelings for him with those from Athena. “If a girl loves me, she would do what A-tan has done, right?” Well, seems legit. Obviously the girls do no treat him like Athena did: they do not train him, sleep with him, kiss him on the lips, tell him to confess very loudly or exchange rings with him. To Hayate, this simply means one thing: the girls don’t love him!

You might argue that Nagi has overcome this hurdle by giving up her right to inheritance so that he could do what he wanted to do, but there is still one problem: Whatever we say about Athena’s intentions, Hayate doesn’t know about them and simply thinks that Athena has given up on him – “She fell out of love with me.” When boys are rejected by girls who once loved them, the conclusion is always the same: I am not worthy of her love after all.

THE Conclusion.

So, Hayate thinks that girls who don’t do things like Athena did to him would not love him, and the girls who actually do things like Athena did to him would give up on him someday, somehow. By this train of logic, we might finally agree with Hayate: it is impossible that a girl would fall for him. If he simply doesn’t believe that a girl would love him, whatever she says or does would not convince him that she loves him.

It’s not about intuition, but knowledge, I would say…

Hinagiku doesn’t do her research on love. Not only that she doesn’t look actively for information about other people’s love life, she also isn’t paying attention to things happening around her. She knows nothing about Izumi’s crush on Hayate or her exchanging SMS messages with him. She doesn’t know that Risa has had a kiss with some guy. Now, these two girls are (supposed to be) her closest friends, yet she knows so little about them. Her busy schedule as Student Council President really is not doing her any good in this respect.

Of course, the above only proves that Hinagiku is ignorant, not dense. The real problem for Hinagiku is her weird idea about love. These ideas embarrass her and make her unable to behave properly in front of the one she loves, and she expects other people to have similar feelings. She was of the opinion that Hayate did not have any feelings for her, because she did not see Hayate’s embarrassment when he asked her to move into the Violet Mansion. One would wonder why the apparent lack of embarrassment indicates the lack of feelings, but this is what Hinagiku thinks: as she is embarrassed by love, so should Hayate – and other people, for that matter.

Well, she isn’t giving her a chance to blush, anyway…

Now, Hinagiku doesn’t see people embarrassed very often. While Hayate is busy with his “harem members” (and vice versa), Hinagiku is mostly busy with her work. Mysteriously, when she comes into the scene, people simply stop blushing at Hayate. Ruka, for one, never blushed in front of Hinagiku (until she asks about Ruka’s crush on Hayate, that is). If Hinagiku needs people to blush in order to understand their feelings, then we could see why she knows so little.

“So, who is more immature?” you might ask. This is very hard to tell: Hinagiku is only doing a bit better than Hayate because she clearly knows that she loves Hayate, but Hayate is also doing a bit better than her because he already had confessed to someone. Overall, these two are reasonably well-matched in terms of maturity – or the lack of it.

A Blessing in Disguise

Now we have two equally immature people here, and it could be a real disaster if they fall in love at this moment. Hayate, with his six-year-old mentality, would not know how to treat Hinagiku well, while his 16-year-old body would keep touching Hinagiku in ways she isn’t happy with. Hinagiku, with her wild imaginations, would keep thinking too much about every single action and word by Hayate, and gets angry too frequently at him that Hayate would think it is better to simply do nothing.

Hark who’s talking?

While other couples could take time understand each other and compromise, Hayate and Hinagiku would not be able to, as they are both very busy people. As you all know, Hayate has a very horrible daily schedule, working and studying day and night with only one or two hours to sleep. Hinagiku is almost always working at school or studying in her room, even during summer holidays, so she doesn’t have much time for Hayate either. With so little time for each other, both of them would be unable to save their ship if it hits a rock. Before we know, they would break up. Rejoice, haters.

Things need to be done to their busy schedules. Hayate would have a lot more free time if he could give up on his tutorials with the SC Rangers (or Izumi alone, to be more precise), his part-time job at Cafe Donguri and/or the health management of Ruka. Hinagiku would not have to stay at school so much if she steps down from her post as Student Council President. All these things take time to realize.

An alternative is for them to develop a communication effective enough so they would not misunderstand each other so often. We often say that it is not the quantity but the quality of their time together that makes a strong couple. If they can turn their very little time together into very wonderful and romantic moments, they would still be fine as a couple. Of course, they need to be mature enough in love to build up such a relationship.

Even if it is not a date, it is still a nice thing to go to concerts together.

This is why their denseness could be a good thing for them – for the time being. Both Hayate and Hinagiku need time to mature and be available for love, and their denseness prevents them from discovering each other’s feelings when they are still not ready, leading to an unhappy relationship. They could be friends and enjoy a rather nice friendship while taking their time to be ready to enter a love relationship.

The important thing is that they do not only have friendship, but a certain tension: Hinagiku has made it clear that she was and still is in love with Hayate, and there is no sign that she is giving up. Hayate has yet to define his relationship with Hinagiku, but while he is afraid of her wrath, he still has strong cohesion to her – just look at how much time he spends in the Student Council Room, where he simply does not belong to, with her.

“So what if they fail to enter a relationship, and end up being with other people?” The answer is that, as they have never been in a love relationship, they would suffer no loss at all: Hayate could avoid another failed love relationship, and Hinagiku could preserve her precious first kiss. More importantly, they can still be good friends for the rest of their lives. No break up, no heartbreaking, and everything should be good.

Of course, as a Hayate-Hinagiku shipper, I still have the grand wish that the two could come together as a couple. It is never a crime to have a wish about something.