Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties Episode 1


Cuties! Chaming! Smiling!

Cuties! Charming! Smiling!

Here we go! A brand new season of Hayate no Gotoku! anime!

As we all know, this new anime series is subtitled “Cuties”, and that each episode would feature a different hero(ine) on a different “route”, with a different ED as well. We already have an episode list up to and including Episode 10, and no matter what “… and more” is supposed to mean, we should be confident that every girl in the picture below would have at least one episode to herself.

Who's your pick?

Who’s your pick?

It would be very difficult to put everything into a coherent plot, I would say, but it shouldn’t be too big a problem if each episode is nicely done – Doraemon never had a coherent plot, but we enjoyed the anime for decades. Then again, I think it would be brilliant if we could see some continuity between the episodes.

We already know for sure that each episode will have a different ED, but I think it is equally certain that we would have the same OP sequence throughout the anime. After all, you do not waste your resources to draw 2 minutes worth of high-quality animation only to use once.

Well at least she can run...

Well at least she can run…

Let’s face it, the OP sequence is rather Hinagiku-centric. The song is sung by her, and the emphasis on her is such that a person passing through would suggest that she is the main heroine – at least of this anime. To sit up first in a group, and to run towards the apartment while everyone is watching her, are the signature moves of the main heroine.

Whether you like the OP sequence depends on whether you like so much focus on Hinagiku, really. The very-hard-to-please Doughnut Gunso would tell you, however, that he/she (I haven’t given away my gender, have I?) has a lot of reservations about it. The thing is, it is simply quite impossible that Hinagiku would be the main heroine of this anime: with each episode featuring a different main heroine, and that the main heroines of the series have always been Nagi and Maria, what would make Hinagiku the main heroine out of her own episode?

"We are not forgotten..."

“We are not forgotten…”

If Hinagiku is indeed not the main heroine of this anime, the Hinagiku-centric OP would become a false representation. This is not going to please anyone. In fact, this is worse than the Hinagiku ED in Season 2 – at least it appeared that Hinagiku was the main heroine in the first half of that season.

The good news is, at least most if not all of the “Cuties” make an appearance in the OP. This is in sharp contrast to Can’t Take My Eyes off You (abbreviated as CTMEOY below, for your sake), in which the OP made Hayate and Nagi into Adam and Eve. In the “Cuties” OP you are almost guaranteed to see your favourite girl at least for one second – unless the girl in question is Saginomiya Ginka.

Whether CTMEOY is canon has always been a subject for debate. There has been enough reference to the current Doujinshi saga that makes the “canon argument” plausible, but Episodes 3 and 5 certainly complicate things by animating manga chapters from a long, long time ago. This has shaken up the timeline badly, and unless we are going to accept the fact that Hayate and Hinagiku have had two “first dates”, the canonicity of CTMEOY must be called into question.

We might expect Cuties to do a better job with timeline than CTMEOY, but it hasn’t. Instead of clearing up some ambiguity, the first episode of Cuties has made things even more ambiguous. Before we mess ourselves up, let’s see if anything could become clear.

So it indeed happened...

So it indeed happened…

To begin with, when is Cuties supposed to take place? At least two pieces of evidence would point to that it takes place after CTMEOY. The first is that Ruka has told Hayate that the DVD of her Las Vegas concert – featured in Episode 11 of CTMEOY – is out, and we know a DVD must come after the concert. The second is that every student is wearing the winter school uniform, while they wore the summer uniform in CTMEOY. Both point out that Cuties comes after CTMEOY.

And then there comes a serious problem: in CTMEOY we saw that Nagi has moved back to the Sanzen’in Mansion, while recent manga development has also suggested that such a move was justified. Yet in Cuties, which I believe to take place after CTMEOY, Nagi has returned to the Violet Mansion, living happily with her friends. So what’s with moving back to the big mansion?

Now everyone's here.

Now everyone’s here.

What does it mean? Well, if we are to believe in the continuity, then either CTMEOY or Cuties (or even both) has to be regarded as non-canon. If we are to believe in the canonicity, then certain continuity issues must be ignored. It is a choice between canonicity and continuity for you, and logically there is no way for them to co-exist.

This is the kind of anime you are watching.

Episode 1 of Cuties is basically the animation of three manga chapters: Ch. 303, Ch. 352 and Ch. 353. Instead of shamelessly copying my previous reviews and bore you all to death, let me simply highlight some modifications as well as some interesting facts. If you want to know what has happened in those three manga chapters, please feel free to visit the links above.

Now Yukiji can rent one.

Now Yukiji can rent one.

While we know that the Violet Mansion is fully occupied in the manga, there is a sign at the beginning of this episode suggesting that room is available. It is most likely because Ruka has moved out. Indeed throughout Episode 1, we never come to see Ruka in the Violet Mansion. It is reasonable: after all, Ruka is only allowed two weeks at the Violet Mansion before resuming work as an idol, so she is likely to move out after Comiket.

"Get your ass into work, Klaus-san!"

“Get your ass into work, Klaus-san!”

Funny enough, Klaus’ name is on the duty board alongside Hayate. It means that Klaus is expected to work at the mansion, but we never saw him fulfilling his duty. In a sense this is a good thing: we simply cannot allow an old, single, male butler to live with so many young girls. Wait, why should Hayate be allowed?

They surely have fun together.

They surely have fun together.

We can see that Hinagiku, Nagi, Chiharu and Kayura – in other words, the Hakuou girls who live at the Violet Mansion – would have lunch together, while Hayate serve them all tea. This is a huge, huge surprise on Nagi’s part – it shows that she can be a lot more sociable than we would have thought. Perhaps this is the true benefit of Nagi moving to the Violet Mansion. Meanwhile, it looks like Kayura is the real lone wolf…?

Put your hair down please.

Put your hair down please.

Apparently it takes about half an hour for the girls to take bath – at least this is true for Ayumu and Hinagiku. For the matter, neither of them take their hairpin(s) off while bathing. Fanservice scenes are… totally unnecessary.

Sweet dream.

Sweet dream.

In this episode Nagi has fallen asleep before 0:30, instead of 2:30 in the manga. Given that she wakes up at 8:30, Nagi has eight hours of sleep. When compared to Hayate (1 hour), Maria (5.5 hours) and Hinagiku (2.5 hours), the sleeping habit of Nagi is actually the most healthy – at least in this episode.

Yes please!

Yes please!

We know that Hinagiku helps Hayate with his revision. In the manga, it is Hayate who asked for her help in Ch. 340. In this episode, it is Hinagiku who offers to help him. Instead of highlighting Hayate’s trust in Hinagiku, this episode chooses to highlight Hinagiku’s gratitude towards Hayate and what she would do to return his favours. The practice question which troubles Hayate involves a mathematical formula and the unknown x. Let us hope that it isn’t the same question as the one he faced when he was staying at Hinagiku’s house.

Bad Bad Acting...

Bad Bad Acting…

Nagi being Nagi doesn’t give up any opportunity to tease Ayumu. The Hamster seems to take it very seriously as she pretends that she is sick as well. Mysteriously Hayate believes in her acting. Either Ayumu’s acting is so good (unlikely as she fools nobody), or that Hayate is too stupid to tell truths and lies apart.

Those harsh words...

Those harsh words…

After four years of wait, Athena speaks again! It appears that Kawasumi Ayako-san has adopted an even higher pitch than in Season 2 while speaking, which makes Athena sound more like a doll than the greatest goddess on Earth.

Maria: "My moment..."

Maria: “My moment…”

We must feel sorry for Maria. In the manga, only Maria noticed that Hayate was sick, and she alone showed care to him and relieved the duties on his shoulders. This was the standout moment of Ch. 353. In this episode, all the girls show their care to him, and although it is still Maria who offers him medicine, she is no longer the only one who cares. I wouldn’t like it too much if I were a Maria fan.

My favourite frame in the OP.

My favourite frame in the OP.

To be honest, there is nothing spectacular about this episode. However, it serves nicely as the introduction to the whole season, and I think we cannot ask much more from it. The artwork has been fairly good as well – at least, I do not see anything which resembles the abomination of CTMEOY Episode 3. Still…

W - who are you, miss...?

W – who are you, miss…?

Sigh.

Where’s Tanuki?

Here.

Here.

18 comments on “Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties Episode 1

  1. Its finally here! The OP song is nice but I prefer CTEMOY’s OP. I don’t mind the Hina-centric theme of the OP since every other characters are shown. I’m looking forward to seeing the new ED for each episode. “Cuties” also uses the same OST’s from CTMEOY.

    I found the first episode to be quite hilarious and Hayate’s Tsukkomi lines were quite good. The CM Theatre returns and it even uses one of the chapters from “Colorful Hayate no Gotoku”:
    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/colorful_hayate_no_gotoku/c006/2.html

    I’ve noticed how in the beginning, the scene showed a close-up of a peculiar bird. Possibly, a reference to Shidou and Tsugumi’s spy birds. Little Athena has a very rich girl-way of speaking and I think the voice fits her current form well. Heck, I think Little Athena sort of replaces Tsugumi in Cuties since, like Tsugumi, Athena is shorter than Nagi and she also has a hair antenna XD.

    Fumi and Sharna’s scene had some added dialogue like Sharna pointing out that Fumi deserved her stomach ache because she ate something that was meant as an offering. Oh, and it seems that Wataru’s store is still in the progress of opening which implies another “before CTMEOY” theory.

    I really liked how the episode showed the time of the day through close-ups of clocks, wristwatches and phone-clocks instead of text boxes like in the manga version. The visuals are really good in this anime, imo. Its been a while since I’ve seen the full view of Hakuo and man did I forget how big it was XD.

    I like how the episode ends with all the girls making dinner for Hayate. Sure, it wouldn’t make Maria special but then, the first episode wouldn’t have had a good ending. The whole point of this anime is to give more spotlight for each girl and one boy.

    • One thing I like about the production team is their music and songs. Let’s not forget the movie theme song, which is equally excellent. Among Hinagiku songs, the Cuties OP is easily one of the very best, up against “Honjitsu Mankai Watashi Iro”.

      Now that you have mentioned Tsugumi, I do agree that the pitch of her voice is quite similar to chibi-Athena. Then again, most likely Athena is an “upgrade” of Tsugumi.

  2. Not bad for the first episode.

    The only thing that surprised me was Athena’s voice though.
    I thought her voice would be somewhat mature like in the 2nd Season and what we get is a really cute and childish voice 😀
    But it fits her current condition though.gy

    I think we don’t really need to relate the OP theme with the story….
    CTMEOY’s ED only has one character in the animation and she only get a little screen time in that season.
    Let us say the Cuties OP is a tribute to Hinagiku, which she deserves after so many embarassing fanservice and such.

  3. Looks like it will be a while before we actually see the Athena Saga on tv, still can’t find time to watch it though and no interesting developments so far

    and hair thickness is to head size is still off though

  4. This was a very enjoyable episode, I think! I was smiling all the way through, even though it’s all an adaptation of the manga. I mean, it just fits very nicely as Ep1.

    As for the timeline… No comment.

    The art is pretty impressive. Lively, smooth, colorful and pleasant all the way through. I guess that’s important even with a few unconsistencies. My favourite so far after S2’s art, with the first one following close behind.

    Yay for A-tan! Though it’d be even more awesome to see her in her normal form… But I guess that’s impossible for now. I wonder what they are planning for her episode? If I was willing to bet, I’d say that we probably will see chapter 306 animated, but we will see. 😛

    For another season of “happy-go-lucky light hearted slife of life” Hayate no Gotoku, this really seems promising!

    • Yes, the art has improved a lot in this episode. Hope they can keep this standard of art throughout the whole season, or else…

      Spoilers suggest that Athena’s episode would get her involved in a “crime”. My bet is that it would be the Armageddon arc, i.e. Ch. 316 – 318. Oh, as an introduction to that arc, Ch. 306 should be included as well.

  5. There are two words that definitely screwed this episode’s timeline: “Las Vegas”.

    I believe this happened before the HIAPOE’s timeline (because of A-tan’s absence in it and in CTMEOY), if only Ruka’s statement is to be remedied and considering the continuity of the series related to manga. A-tan’s voice made her being far from the voice of her previous self.

    It is still a nice episode overall.

  6. Thinking to a series of chapters that happened soon after Ruka’s appearance in the mansion, “Mystery Room 1 until 8”, if you think about it, it is related to the Sanzenin inheritance. Episode 1 of Cuties is pretty much chapter 353 “He caught a cold because he is no longer an idiot”. However, Mystery Room is from 363 until 370.

    Thus, I have one conclusion.

    The “timeline” of the series goes like so:

    Hayate no Gotoku S1 -> Hayate no Gotoku S2 -> “Blank space in between” Hayate no Gotoku S4 or “Cuties” -> Hayate no Gotoku CTMEOY

    P.S. If you watched CTMEOY, they(Hayate, Maria, Nagi) return to the mansion, while some(Chiharu, for example) stay in the Violent Mansion, apartment, whatever you wish to call it. There can only be one thing that can happen. Ruka probably loses, or backs out. Nagi reclaims her inheritance. Tsugumi appears as her sister. Everything that happened in CTMEOY would then, happen.

    • The problem is, according to “Mystery Room”, Ayumu moved in after Ruka. In this episode, Ayumu is living in the Violet Mansion, so it should be after “Mystery Room”. The mystery is that Ruka doesn’t seem to be a resident.

      And then there is the Las Vegas concert DVD. The concert was a part of CTMEOY, so Cuties should be after CTMEOY.

      I am pretty sure about the timeline. It is some continuity issues that bug me.

    • The timeline really is confusing. Isn’t it? Watching episodes 1-3, the timeline just becomes even more confusing.

  7. I just watched this episode now… And this is what I have observed about Hayate’s relationship with the tenants for as long as the episode does not focused on any of the heroines of the story and consider that this is after the CTMEOY…
    -to Nagi – Hayate’s master/Hayate’s younger sister/”his life in itself” (as long as she is not the focused heroine of any manga arc/anime episode, she is this to Hayate. Besides Hayate has more interactions with Hinagiku and Maria than with Nagi in this episode, even if Nagi wished Hayate to be more of a boyfriend)
    -to Maria – Hayate’s older sister/Nagi’s mother figure (Chiharu replaced Maria to be Nagi’s older sister)
    -to Hinagiku – Hayate’s closest friend (if love has not yet entered in the picture for both of them)/Hayate’s current [and secret] love interest (if it has. When an arc (such as CTMEOY) not focused on Hina (and the focused heroine there is Nagi), there are chances that some HayatexHinagiku moments will enter in surprise to us (such as Episode 3 of CTMEOY).)
    -to Chiharu – Hayate’s friend/Hinagiku’s friend/Nagi’s older sister (the latter is pretty obvious for now)
    -to Kayura – Hayate’s friend/Nagi’s otaku friend
    -to Athena – Hayate’s master (rather distant than Nagi’s due to his relationship with her in the past)
    -to Ayumu – Hayate’s friend (not sure since it has been awhile since I have seen this two interacted, I don’t know)

    This is my observation… and I had only read the manga from Ch. 150-ish to 302, then from Ch. 388 onwards. So what are your opinions about this

    • It is true that Hayate hasn’t shown much romantic interest in Nagi in this episode. Then again, she managed to confess to Hayate by the end of CTMEOY, so we’ll see.

      Hayate does have a crush on Maria (Ep. 5 of CTMEOY is evidence), and he still has feelings for Athena (main reason why she was allowed to rent a room in the first place). We shall see whether their episodes would touch on those feelings.

      Curiously, Hayate’s care for Hina, and vice versa, become even more obvious in this episode. If they have a romantic relationship developing, they are making good progress.

      I am actually surprised that Ayumu hasn’t shown more affection for Hayate in this episode.

  8. Cuties? I like this character design in this season the most. It’s better than 1th-2nd season’s.

    If they choose the same character design in the next season (or OAV, etc) , I would watch them more.

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