Nagi and Ayumu are escorted by the police to the hotel. Clearly the two girls (or Kaoru, for the matter) must have found help. Kaoru is nowhere to be seen, so one might assume that he is at the police station for some questioning, while the two girls are sent back to the hotel. Otherwise, I fail to see why Nagi and Ayumu could take a police car like a taxi.
Grabbing Kurotsubaki tightly, Nagi is determined to get Hayate back and to talk to him properly once again
before throwing yet another tantrum at him. She turns and asks Ayumu for help, and while Ayumu happily agrees, she is not the only one – Maria, Hinagiku, Chiharu, Kayura, Sakuya, Izumi, Miki and Risa are all there to help her. To be honest, this “assemble scene” is a bit too… old-fashioned for me.
After a minute of scapegoating Miki and Risa for the mess, the girls begin to think about how to find Hayate. Sakuya raises the question of why someone would want this clock – which brings bad luck to its owner – so much. Indeed, Dolly wanted the clock so much that she looked – to quote Sakuya – “like her parents or lover was killed, or something”.
Nagi suddenly realizes something, and begins to think of everything that has happened: Hayate’s quitting, Dolly’s anger, and Shin’s betrayal. Risa then feeds in yet another incident – while trying to drag Izumi into their “scapegoat” group – that is Hayate being stabbed by Kurotsubaki. Upon confirming with Izumi and Hinagiku that Kurotsubaki is a Transformer, Nagi’s thoughts run even faster. Apparently she has all the pieces for her jigsaw puzzle, and sure enough – she has figured out an answer.
Like almost all detective stories, we – unlike Nagi – are still not given one or two pieces of key evidence to confirm on any theory. Meanwhile, the detectives – Nagi in this case – all have a habit to either think silently while other people are watching, or mumble inconceivable words or phrases. I understand this is necessary suspension in detective stories, but it frustrates me nonetheless.
Out of nowhere, Tsugumi appears and snatches Kurotsubaki from Nagi. The elder sister tells Tsugumi to stop, while also demanding whether she knows what Kurotsubaki really is. I am waiting for you to tell me, genius! Tsugumi acts as Captain Obvious of the Day and says that it is a clock that brings bad luck, which is brought to her almost immediately.
While still refusing to reveal the answer, Nagi starts asking for favours. To Tsugumi, Nagi asks her to take the ring from Dolly. To Maria, Nagi asks for an urgent delivery. To Hinagiku, Nagi asks for contact with Ruka.
Now, this is not a personal attack on Nagi, but on all detectives who enjoy keeping the answers a secret: Do you guys know how frustrating it is for idiots like me to wait for you to make your big revelation? Why can’t you simply say what is on your mind? Stop fooling around and GIVE ME THE ANSWERS NOW, DAMN IT!!!
You know, this could be a reason for some characters in the story to hate these detectives…
Anyway, Klaus makes the urgent delivery – Yukariko’s ring – by himself. Nagi suggests that Hayate would be looking for it, without giving a reason. The ring is then passed to Ruka, and the news that she has acquired a very expensive ring for her concert at Starside Hotel attracts the attention of the press. Hayate, who leaves the TV on while reading newspapers, notices the ring. Everything is going on with the script that Nagi has written…
There is a flashback featuring Mikado, but we will come back to him later.
Tsugumi goes to steal the ring from her mother, who is only taking it off while she goes to bath (fanservice, anyone?). Perhaps surprisingly, Tsugumi finds the ring resting on a branch, so she takes it with ease. Things would be a lot easier if Tsugumi runs at once, but she chooses to inform Nagi right in the “crime scene” that she has stolen the ring. Sure enough, a dark figure appears behind her, and… well, you know what would happen.
Meanwhile, Hayate and Yukiji jump into the car and drive their way to Starside Hotel. One might wonder how Yukiji would know the way to the hotel – turn-by-turn navigation was not available in 2005, let alone the error-prone Apple Map. And I am not sure if I could remember the way by a day’s staying in the area.
At the Starside Hotel, Ruka’s concert is about to begin. Ayumu, Chiharu, Izumi, Miki, Risa and Kayura attend the concert, while Maria, Hinagiku, Sakuya and Isumi do not. Given that Hayate’s life is “at stake”, I am not sure if it is a good idea to enjoy Ruka’s concert like nothing is happening out there, despite Nagi’s reassurance. However, as Ruka appears on stage with “Bokura, Kakeyuku Sora e” (OP of the Heaven is a Place on Earth movie), I guess there is no point arguing.
Meanwhile, Nagi is going… somewhere. She has to go alone
since she knew from last time that not even an army could save her from kidnapping, so there is no point having company, and Maria knows it. She does suggest Nagi to keep Kurotsubaki in a safe, but Nagi doesn’t care for one reason with at least two interpretations. As Nagi is not telling us the truth now, I am not giving out the interpretations just yet. Have fun guessing, fellows.
What we should take notice now is that Maria is staying at the same floor as the bad guys, who are nesting in Room 1203…
Hayate and Yukiji arrive at the Starside Hotel, and the Hakuou teacher leaves the car in full gear. In her own words, she is “sending all the guys who stole my money to Hell”. The gear, obviously, is to prevent her being sent to Hell by the bad guys instead. As Hayate has his own agenda, he is not helping Yukiji with her quest. This is not to suggest that he would help her if he is free (pun intended, if you know what I mean).
Hayate sneaks into Ruka’s private changing room, apparently in search of something. There he sees a note from Nagi, who informs him that the ring is on the top floor, in the wedding hall, so there he goes. And sure enough, Nagi is expecting him there.
Nagi says that she has figured out the secret of Kurotsubaki, but it is Isumi who gives us the answer: Kurotsubaki is a magical sword which exchanges the souls of people. The king who made the sword has been transferring his souls into younger bodies over and over again, so that he could live forever.
*** PARAGRAPHS FOR DUMMIES IN RELIGION ***
Souls, in many religions, are believed to be undying. The body, on the other hand, could age and stop working. It is generally believed that when a person’s body stops working, the soul departs from the body. The only difference between religions is where the soul would go. The meaning of “death”, therefore, is that a body that contains a soul stops working.
Now, if the soul of a person could be captured and transferred into another body, said person has not “died”, as the body that is containing his soul is working. The fact that the body is different from before is irrelevant. Provided that a soul is supplied with endless bodies to transfer into, the person could live on and on.
The same applies to the king in this anime: as long as there is a body he could transfer his soul into, he can live. Theoretically (i.e. given that the world would not end on 21 December 2012, or any other date), he could live forever. Yes, some people might argue that the perfect definition of “eternity” should not involve the changing of the body, but it seems to be the closest thing the king could have. Definitions do not concern the king, after all.
*** END OF PARAGRAPHS FOR DUMMIES IN RELIGION ***
It appears that in one of the routine (?) transfers, Dolly was interrupted halfway through the process – after the king’s soul was transferred into Kurotsubaki, but before being transferred to another one. As
the evil family gets everything from treasure to people in this series and leaves nothing else for the rest of the cast things turn out, Kurotsubaki fell into the possession of the Sanzen’in family. Dolly needed to get Kurotsubaki back, but as she couldn’t leave her sanctuary for too long, she needed someone else to do it for her. As Shin had already tracked down the magical sword, he became the “someone” Dolly targeted.
I sincerely believe that Shin had given up stealing Kurotsubaki after he fell in love with Yukariko, so Dolly would need to threaten him a bit. She decided to take Shin’s wedding ring with her crow, and it worked. Not only did the rings symbolize the love between him and Yukariko, but the rings themselves were a trial set by Mikado himself. He was sure that Shin, upon knowing that the rings were expensive, would sell the ring behind Yukariko, and return claiming that he had lost it.
For some reason, it seems that Shin knew about this trial, so unfortunately it means that he could not tell his wife the truth – that the ring was lost. In order to take his ring back, Shin had to take Kurotsubaki from Yukariko. This explains the flashback in Episode 8: he took Kurotsubaki not because he betrayed Yukariko, but because he loved her and wanted to show his love for her by taking the ring back.
On his way to meet Dolly, Shin happened to touch Kurotsubaki, causing it to transform from clock to sword. The light emerged from the clock/sword made Shin lost control of his car, and he crashed into an oncoming truck. Arguably, this was not bad luck – Shin contributed a lot to his own demise.
Accidentally, Kurotsubaki stabbed Shin, so the king’s soul was transferred into Shin’s body, which was supposed to be heavily damaged in the car accident, so our poor king had probably died. Shin’s soul, on the other hand, was locked into Kurotsubaki until it was transferred into Hayate’s body.
This is a theory that I failed to come up with, and I admire the brilliant minds that have put it up. As Shin is a foreigner, it is understandable that he could speak English, so he was able to interrogate his hostage in English. As he was the butler of Yukariko, his allegiance was to her instead of Nagi, so he “quit” being Nagi’s butler without hesitation – this is to assume that he did not recognize his own daughter at first sight.
Now, in the wedding hall, father and daughter finally are reunited, and as the conversation goes on, we know that both Shin and Yukariko love each other very much.
So, back to the one reason and two interpretations I mentioned above, if you still remember, for Nagi to keep hold of Kurotsubaki even if it brings bad luck to the owner. The “one reason” is that Hayate’s soul is trapped in Kurotsubaki. The first interpretation is put forward by Nagi herself, that as Hayate “is the most important person in my life”, she would treasure the clock that contains his soul. The second interpretation is that Nagi is sure that Hayate would protect her from any bad luck even inside the clock, so there is nothing for her to be afraid of about Kurotsubaki. Come to think of it, nothing bad has happened to Nagi ever since she got hold of the clock.
If the latter is the case, then let us conveniently tut-tut on the fact that Hayate did not protect Ayumu.
The family gathering is cut short, as there is yet another family problem: Dolly has sent Tsugumi into the wedding hall with her trucks, as she confronts Shin and Nagi. Upon being told that her king has died 13 years ago, Dolly does what every really Big Bad would do – transforming into the BIG BAD. Apparently, she believes that should she stab someone with Kurotsubaki again, her king would come back to life.
Meanwhile, Yukiji is tearing the gang of robbers into pieces with her physical strength and bullet-proofing gear. She is right to brag about that “without the element of surprise, you can’t beat me”, but then an element of surprise has arrived: Maria has been captured as hostage. Our invincible maid has fallen into new low…
There seems to be only one thing to do in the next episode: beat Dolly and get Hayate into his body again (wait, that counts as two). We are not sure whether Dolly could stay longer out of her sanctuary in her BIG BAD form, but if she couldn’t, then our boss fight would be heavily restrained. Getting Hayate’s soul into his body again could be more of a problem: if Hayate is to regain his body, then Shin’s soul would have to return to Kurotsubaki. For readers this is a no-brainer, but if Nagi has any love for her father, then it is a very hard decision to trap his soul into the clock again.
As such, I present a (crazy) solution to end this happily: we can just stab Kurotsubaki into Dolly. This will trap her soul into the clock/sword, and Hayate would become a girl, while Shin stays alive in Hayate’s body. Come to think of it, everybody would be a winner, because Hayate would be turned into the gender which fits him more, and nobody would have to fight for his (her?) love again. The best of all: Kotetsu can finally marry Hayate!
Come on now, just give me this ending, please! It will surely turn this anime into classic!