It indeed has been a very long day for Hayate.
At the beginning of the day he went into the forests with Ruka and the others (Ch. 380). Later he was taking shelter in the wooden cottage with Ruka (Ch. 381), who then kissed him (Ch. 382). He rejected her confession (Ch. 383) and discussed with Nagi whether she could live on her own (Ch. 384). He then went to the Rainbow Village hot spring with Nagi and the others (Ch. 385), where he suddenly suggested a visit to Mikado’s castle (Ch. 386). He went there with Aika, but while the old man was going to tell him how to restore Nagi’s luxurious lifestyle, he was endlessly interrupted by Saki (Ch. 387). He went to help at Wataru’s store, and later he returned to the Violet Mansion, where he found an ill Hinagiku to take care of (Ch. 388 – 389).
These all happened in one day.
And his day has not ended yet. As Hinagiku has (probably) gone to sleep, the little love comedy has come to an end, and we are back to the “serious” business of money and King’s Jewels. As a matter of fact, two chapters of Hinagiku love comedy combined with two weeks with no chapters to put the “serious” matters on hold for a month. How about that?
Unfortunately Athena is not helpful to Hayate in finding the King’s Jewels, as her memories have not been restored yet. That said, if there is a way to speed up her “recharging” process, perhaps it worths a try…?
Athena then retweets Mikado, telling Hayate that he actually knows where one of the King’s Jewels is. We know that Aika has one, Wataru has one, and Ikusa has one (from Hayate). Our dear butler doesn’t know about the first two, so if there is one stone he knows where it is, it has to be the third one. So, Hayate indeed knows where the Jewel is: “with my brother!” Excellent! So, where is your brother, Hayate-kun?
We know that Athena has wanted to find Ikusa – she owed him so much, really. Obviously Hayate would love to reunite with his brother as well, seeing that he is the only sane family member Hayate has. Now it seems that there is one more legitimate reason to look for Ikusa – and his King’s Jewel. Hopefully he would make an appearance soon, because… well, we need an alpha male in this series.
Hayate isn’t given the time to even come close of thinking about Ikusa, because Nagi is calling him from behind. According to her, she has taken a taxi all the way back to the Violet Mansion to speak with him. For one thing I fail to understand why she knows that he is in the apartments – guy really has GPS built in – and for another I do not know what is so urgent so that Nagi has to jump into a taxi and say “Take me to the Violet Mansion, please!” – hang on, did the driver know what “the Violet Mansion” is? Well, that’s not really a problem, because even if he did not, Nagi could have given him the address – hang on, did Nagi know the address of her apartments?
Seriously, this is just odd. Some might say that Nagi has shown significant signs of independence by finding Hayate in the woods, and now taking a taxi on her own. To me, however, it looks more like Hata has finally granted his beloved Nagi the licence to come out of nowhere for no reason which makes no sense at all…
For a start to the debate on “senses”, just tell me what Maria was thinking by allowing Nagi to go into the woods or get into a taxi by herself. Any idea?
Anyway, Nagi took a taxi back to the Violet Mansion and asked him whether he has turned down Ruka’s confession. Hayate confirms this, and incidentally clears his name: he is NOT a lolicon. The thing is, if the grand design of this series is for Hayate to fall in love with Nagi, who is a loli, then Hayate is still a lolicon after all…
“No! Nagi could have reached puberty by the time Hayate falls in love with her, so he is not a lolicon!” Okay, so let’s count to her puberty in 3 (decades), 2 (decades), 1 (decade) – hang on, we already have so many girls who are in their puberty, so what’s the point waiting? My life is too short for such a long wait.
Hayate serves Nagi a cafe au lait as she admires the beauty of the moon. The butler explains that he has added extra milk to make sure Nagi could sleep – if you want to make sure she can sleep, serve her hot milk or chocolate instead of coffee, will you? Nagi suddenly realises that, it is such “casual kindness” which makes him popular among girls.
Nagi then goes on to explain why Ruka has fallen in love with Hayate: she has gone through all sorts of pain while moving forward, but then she is lonely, so when Hayate became the first one to save her and be kind to her, Ruka was very happy and thus fell for him.
The part about Ruka having a similar story to Hayate’s is curiously missing. This theory can also be conveniently used to suggest that Hayate has fallen in love with Nagi for the very same reason. Still, Nagi’s conclusion remains that Ruka is serious about Hayate, rather than being just like a puppy being saved.
Our Mr. Huge Disgrace makes an attempt to turn this into a lousy joke. Let’s listen to Didier Drogba, won’t we?
Whoops! Sorry, apologies. We shouldn’t have listened to that, em, over and over and over again.
While Nagi recognises that Ruka is serious about Hayate, she has no intention of giving her butler to anyone. As such, she has entered a serious bet with Ruka – forget about the money, basically it means that whoever wins the competition would get Hayate.
Nagi then tells Hayate to help Ruka in this competition. For one thing, she doesn’t see how she would lose. For another, this would be the very last time Hayate could help Ruka with anything. After Comiket, Nagi would return to the Sanzen’in Mansion, because – mark her words, folks – “I’m sick of living in these poor apartments.”
She is sick of everything that is going on with the Violet Mansion. She wants everything back to normal.
Perhaps I am being oversensitive here (again), but I think that this chapter is quite, em, controversial. So much could be taken out of this chapter to form schools of arguments and theories, and we might actually be entering endless debates soon. In the worst (or best?) scenario, this chapter could polarise your opinions on Nagi.
What complicates things, I think, is that Nagi is showing some of her good side and some of her bad side in this very same chapter. You might form an argument around her good side, and also form an argument around her bad side. Let me try to kill more brain cells by trying to form arguments on both sides.
It is undeniable that Nagi is as serious as Ruka, and we are finally seeing some real “rivalry” between Nagi and a girl. In fact, Nagi’s only “love rival” before Ruka was Ayumu, and the “rivalry” between them was more like childish bickering. By taking on a love rival more seriously, Nagi could really be growing up.
The seriousness is based on a correct understanding of Ruka’s heart. Nagi has given a textbook summary on how and why Ruka has fallen in love with Hayate, despite the missing part on the affection out of similarity. In the past Nagi has often been thought of as not caring about what the others think, but now she is showing great understanding of Ruka, and she is giving her some respect.
At least she is not willing to take any advantage over Ruka in the doujinshi competition. If Nagi really wants to win the competition at all cost, she could have told Hayate not to help Ruka. His assistance to Ruka has been key to her victory at Comisun (for the argument’s sake, let’s forget about Hinagiku). However, Nagi isn’t trying to hinder Ruka’s progress by taking Hayate away from her. This can reasonably be interpreted as Nagi’s ambition: she wants to defeat the “full power” Ruka, instead of a hindered one.
Over the Comisun saga, I have always been wondering: what’s with this “competition”? Why did two doujin circles fight against each other when the market is so big that both could survive? It appeared to me as a “personal grudge” of Nagi on Ruka: she is the Special One, and I want to become like her, so I have to beat her. Fair enough, but as she focused on defeating Ruka, Nagi has become lost: she wasn’t trying to draw a good manga any more, she was merely trying to sell as many copies as possible, by whatever means.
As we move into Comiket, Ruka finally joins the madness because she wants to win Hayate from Nagi. The young lady responses by placing a bet of 150M yen on their competition, so essentially whoever wins in this competition would get Hayate. While the love rivalry would get both parties all fired up, both Ruka and Nagi would be doing no good for their manga career. They would only focus on the competition, not drawing manga. Yes, the quality of their manga would be essential for a victory, so they would still try to improve on their skills. The main issue here, however, is priority and attitude: Why did you join Comiket in the first place?
Not to mention, by gambling with Hayate on a manga competition, Hayate is not being respected as a person. He is reduced into a prize for the winner to take. As a sophisticated living being, it is an awful feeling being treated like a mindless object. Even Hayate protests: “What about my feelings?” The answer for him is sad: “They don’t matter.” So, in the worst case, Hayate could be forced to stay with a person he doesn’t want to be with simply because her love “is serious”.
This brings us to another worrying question: what does “love” mean for Nagi? From my own observation, the only answer is “possession”. She thinks that Ruka’s love is real because “she wants you no matter what”. This makes me wonder: I want an iPhone 5 no matter what (I am getting one tonight, by the way), so does it mean that my love for an iPhone is the same as Ruka’s (and Nagi’s) love for Hayate? Think before you say yes, please. What I have never liked about Nagi’s (and now Ruka’s) attitude towards love is that it is far too aggressive. They want Hayate, and they do not want Hayate to be with other girls – but they never care about what Hayate thinks. They want Hayate to be with them, without even wondering whether the boy wants to be with them. They seem to think that Hayate would be happy with them if they own him. He is therefore seen as an accessory, instead of an independent individual.
Things like the above really polarise my ideas about Nagi. Not to mention that we all know the outcome of the competition: Hayate remains Nagi’s butler in the movie and the new anime, so Ruka has not been successful taking Hayate away. Hata might be eager to remind us that Nagi is a “win it all” character in this series, but not everyone likes “win it all” characters.
Of course, given that “this is the reality of this manga” (Ch. 387), we might not have to assume that anything would go very serious in the first place. The silver lining for me is that, someone just give both Ruka and Nagi a slap in the face and tell them that they are both doing it wrong. I need Kayura for this.