I guess most of us would agree that this episode is one of, if not the best, so far in this season of Hayate no Gotoku! There is so many plot materials which help make this episode so rich in content, and it surely is an entertaining episode.
However, as there is so much content in one episode, there is a small problem: the pace of this episode is a bit rush, to the point that there are some scenes which come out of nowhere. The result is that, even if you are paying close attention, there is sometimes a feeling that you are missing something.
To begin with, I simply do not understand why on earth Hayate would meet Hinagiku at the hotel room. Okay, Nagi might have decided to rest at the hotel, but whose room is it, anyway? If it is Hinagiku’s room, Hayate would not enter the room (unless…). If it is Hayate’s room, Hinagiku would not be bathing in it (unless…). This encounter is simply… mysterious.
Even more mysteriously, they decide to get into a brawl, and end up in an embarrassing position to get caught by Nagi. Given that it is already the second misunderstanding of the day, it doesn’t seem as emotionally damaging to Hayate and Nagi, but the latter should know (and probably really knows) that there is no need to get angry: Hinagiku herself would put the butler’s head to her sword.
Meanwhile, Ayumu meets the SC Rangers on the streets. We know that Hinagiku and Ayumu have landed in Las Vegas because of a mechanical problem on their plane, but the SC Rangers have also landed here for some reason. Later, Chiharu and Kayura would also join in because of some reason. If this is all because of Kurotsubaki, then we must wonder why it decides to drag almost all of Hayate’s acquaintances here.
While Chiharu has only made a cameo in this episode, there are two interesting things regarding her glasses. The first is that Chiharu has another pair of glasses ready for replacement. The second is that, when she is without her glasses, Hayate doesn’t seem able to recognize that she is the maid he knows as Sakuya’s maid…
As for now, the meetings with so many of his friends do mean misfortune for Hayate, especially as the SC Rangers take the trouble to a whole new level. For some reason, they think that the kidnapping is fun, and decide to make calls to people and organizations that do not exist. Hayate is tasked to stop them from causing troubles, but he ends up causing the biggest of troubles.
Of course, he is doing himself no help by “assaulting” the SC Rangers, Risa in particular. The guard who claims that he understands Japanese complicates matters (and puts the final nail on the coffin) by mistranslating Hayate. Our dear butler is treated as the kidnapper, but luckily the Imperial-Stormtrooper-Marksmanship-Academy-graduate guard’s gunshot misses him, and he has the time to run away from the scene.
With Kurotsubaki in his hands, however, a bit of good luck means even more bad luck would be waiting for him. This time, he meets Yukiji, to whom he turns Kurotsubaki to. Mysteriously he decides to tell Yukiji what myth he has heard about the clock (?), and even more mysteriously Yukiji manages to mistake the myth – by carrying the clock (?) to play slots. I guess she simply thinks that it could bring her good luck. In definitely less than half an hour, it does – Yukiji wins a big fortune.
With Kurotsubaki in her hands, however, a bit of good luck means even more bad luck would be waiting for her. Yukiji has a gun pointed to her head by some masked people, who rob her of the clock (?) and all of her money. However, her misfortune still cannot match with Hayate’s, because while she has lost a lot of money, he is failing a mission which could lose them the life of a human being…
Hayate could blame everything on his bad luck, but the fact is that he is failing. By his standard as a butler, Hayate’s performance on this day has been highly unsatisfactory, so I think Nagi is right to go harsh on him – especially when the life of her “younger sister” is at stake. Still, she is worried about him, so she asks Maria to give him a hand finding Kurotsubaki. The maid teases Nagi for her harshness, while Hinagiku – I don’t know why she has been sitting in the Sanzen’in family meeting – remains silent.
As for Nagi herself, she is going to the trade – without the clock (?). The kidnappers won’t be happy with the situation, but Nagi has to try to negotiate with them somehow. She is showing great commitment to Hayate and Tsugumi here, but going alone would be too dangerous. Sakuya and Isumi conveniently appear, offering to accompany her. We can be rather sure that these two have not come to Las Vegas by accident.
Hayate has no idea where to find Kurotsubaki. Yukiji has no idea where to find her money. Both of them are in utter despair. Miki and Risa then report that Izumi has also gone missing, who turns out being in the car robbed from Yukiji because she thought it was a good prank. Izumi manages to call Hinagiku for help, who seems to have an idea how to locate her. The Student Council President asks for Hayate and Yukiji, the two most powerful people in the hotel, to report in.
Nagi and co. arrive at a huge tree at the middle of the desert (nice human GPS, Sakuya) and find a woman waiting for them, who is expecting Kurotsubaki. Nagi begins her negotiation, but as a 13-year-old, her skills are (admit it) feeble. Instead of calming down a disappointed woman, she manages to piss her off. The woman pointlessly sends a gust of wind over the young girls, and then orders Shidou and (surprise!) Tsugumi to find the lost treasure.
One of the men in black of Nagi chooses this moment to come and inform that Kurotsubaki has been successfully located – we just don’t know how. The woman then sends quite a few tree branches to kidnap Nagi, demanding Kurotsubaki as an exchange. So a faked kidnapping (of Tsugumi) has turned into a real kidnapping (of Nagi). Our main heroine is breaking new records on the times she has been kidnapped.
One might wonder what Isumi is doing as her best friend is taken away. Well, in short, she is too slow – or the woman has been too fast – that the best moment to attack is lost. There is also worry that whatever spell that Isumi uses would hurt Nagi. In any case, Isumi isn’t able to make her attacks before she and Sakuya are “repelled” from the realm by the woman, whom Isumi suspects is a demon.
Why on earth are there so many spiritual beings in this series?
All of a sudden, the scene cuts to Hayate and co., who are inside what can be called a battlefield. Men in masks and black are firing bullets at our dear butler, who doesn’t even have to run in irregular patterns as he flees carrying Yukiji and Izumi in his arms. Hinagiku, who has put on a coat and brought out Shirosakura, checks out on them – and lectures her sister.
We cannot see what has been happening here – thanks to the rather rushed pace of this episode – but we can have a guess. Izumi could have crawled out of the car and was somehow safe. Hinagiku probably has informed Ayumu to call the police, and asked Hayate and Yukiji to stay low. Yukiji, however, wanted her money back so much that she ambushed the men in masks. That could have drawn all those gunfire on Yukiji and Izumi, so Hayate went to save them. As for Hinagiku… I still don’t understand what Shirosakura was for in this scene.
You know, the story presentation is very bad when I have to make up so many things in my head.
Although she is carrying a powerful sword, Hinagiku is surprisingly doing no fighting in this battlefield. Instead, she urges Ayumu for the police, whose ETA would be 10 minutes, and by then everyone’s already dead… Well, she might be carrying a powerful sword, but Hinagiku is no Jedi Knight. She definitely cannot block bullets with her sword, so let’s not blame her too much for not running into the gunfire. Unless, of course, you want her dead.
While the men in masks are showing their remarkable aim at an apparently impenetrable stone wall (They are shooting for fun, aren’t they?), Hayate asks if Izumi has seen a clock in the shape of a pocket watch (I have always been saying that it is a pocket watch!), and Izumi answers that she has seen a blonde ponytail holding it.
Apparently the men have finally wasted all the bullets so they kick their way out. As the blonde ponytail curses their bad luck in not being able to carry all the money with them, Tsugumi takes on his gang, possibly with Systema, to regain Kurotsubaki. As the blonde ponytail panics, something happens: Kurotsubaki transforms into a weapon – looks more like a spear than a sword to me.
The blonde ponytail attacks Tsugumi with the newly transformed Kurotsubaki. Hayate – known for his tendency to save girls – pushes Tsugumi away and takes on the weapon, which pierces through his left chest. His eyes instantly become lifeless…
So, despite all the missing bits here and there, we have a thrilling episode. The greatest revelation, of course, is that Kurotsubaki is a Transformer. So our theory (which I admit I was ready to scrap) that Kurotsubaki is a sword or at least a weapon is correct, after all: now we can truly say that Shirosakura and Kurotsubaki are rivals, as they are both weapons.
The identity of the blonde ponytail could be of interests to us. Somehow, this man has the ability to turn Kurotsubaki into its true form, so he could have known about the it before. He is a robber and he is a blonde… so could this man be the presumed dead Shin Hayek, after all? Well, the first hint for rejection of this theory is that, this blonde doesn’t share the same voice actor with Shin…
There are a hell lot of things to be resolved as well. For better reading, let’s make them into a list:
- The trade is on 24th September, and we know from Episode 1 that Nagi would be left in the desert, moaning that Hayate is no longer her butler on 25th September. I guess we now at least have a clue on why she would say so (assumed death, or any mystical things happening to exchange his life with his butler duty), so let’s see what is to become true.
- Of course Hayate can’t be dead for sure, but one must wonder how on earth he could survive with his heart pierced through. While realistically he has no way to survive, let’s see what kind of unrealistic things could grant him a Get out of Hell Free Card.
- Isumi has unfinished business with the woman, who hurts her pride by kidnapping Nagi right in front of her. If the woman is a human, then Isumi would have to seek her revenge. If the woman is a demon, then Isumi would have to exorcise her.
- Hinagiku could have some business with the blonde ponytail as well. Witnessing her loved person being stabbed in the chest would make her very angry, so we could expect her striking back. Besides, if Shirosakura really is the nemesis of Kurotsubaki, then wouldn’t it be fitting for Hinagiku to have a grand fight against something that takes away luck from the owner with a (perhaps false) promise to grant them good luck in an impossible situation?
There, simply put, is so much to look forward to, isn’t it?