Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 404

I am now convinced that the artwork in Cuties is better than Hata's own.

I am now convinced that the artwork in Cuties is better than Hata’s own.

In the last Chapter Review, I have predicted that we would have several chapters on several groups of people who are now spread across Japan, but it turns out that the focus has been shifted back to Nagi after the Golden Week break (in real life). I don’t know if it shows Hata’s wish to speed up the current “Kyoto and Ise” arc, but it would be a good thing if it does. Honestly, this arc has been dragging on for some time already.

This chapter covers two completely different time periods: the parts with Hayate and Ruka cover evening to night time on Day 1, while the parts with Nagi and her saviour cover night time on Day 1 to morning on Day 2. This seems confusing, but the interesting thing is that the timeline doesn’t really matter as we are still capable of understanding what is going on. Apparently I am getting used to the new “Hata style”: screw the timeline.

You are missing quite a few things, man.

You are missing quite a few things, man.

Interestingly, Kayura appears to be the only one who has been doing anything that makes sense in this arc. She tells Hayate on the phone – for the second time on the same day – that Nagi is in trouble. She has also left the bus and started looking for Nagi around (with Isumi), although I seriously doubt if Kayura has any idea at all where to find her…

When asked by Ruka whether he is going to save Nagi, Hayate’s answer is, rather mysteriously, a no. “Hokkaido is far” doesn’t qualify as a valid reason, because such distance cannot be compared with that between Earth and the spaceship Nagi was on, yet Hayate went to space for her. “I trust her” is even more ridiculous, as he was so obviously worried three chapters ago that Maria and Athena decided to go to Nagi’s rescue in Hayate’s place. So, why has he changed his opinion so radically?

Why do I have the feeling that he is not being responsible?

Why do I have the feeling that he is not being responsible?

It turns out that it is merely because he thinks Nagi would be mad if he rescued her, but I am not so sure if he is right. After all, I tend to view the life of “my life in itself (sparkling)” more important than her anger at me for saving her life. Her peace of mind would be completely meaningless if she is dead, and I for one would feel very guilty if my obedience to her reckless decision turned out to be the cause of her death. I don’t know if I have said this before, but sometimes I really don’t know what is in Hayate’s mind.

Anyway, credits to Ruka for suggesting that Hayate could go and save Nagi. Now that her offer is turned down by Hayate, it ceases to be Ruka’s problem, but Hayate’s alone.

Ruka then asks Hayate if he would remain Nagi’s butler forever. Hayate answers that he doesn’t think he would, because there might come the day when Nagi no longer needs his protection, so once he has repaid his 150M yen debt and Nagi is able to live happily on her own, he will quit being her butler. A strong hint through the wind (and calendar) suggests that the day could well be December 24, the anniversary day of Hayate meeting Nagi.

Also, it is Maria's (registered) birthday.

Also, it is Maria’s (registered) birthday.

This is a rather interesting statement, so let’s try to dig deeper on it.

To begin with, Hayate has expressed the willingness to quit. For whatever reason, he wouldn’t want to be Klaus II, devoting his whole life to the Sanzen’in family. His quitting would also mean that he could fall in love with and marry other girls, for he no longer needs to give his full attention to Nagi all the time – although, arguably, he has never given Nagi his full attention.

But let us not forget that Hayate is thinking of quitting after he has cleared his debt. Obviously he still thinks that he is doing his job in order to repay his debt, and I must express my disappointment here – I thought that he had already established such a strong bonding with Nagi that he had started working for something more than money. But this might be his second chance (for me, anyway): instead of unwillingly working to repay his debt, he might willingly choose to remain at Nagi’s service because he wants to.


Maybe that’s why Hata pushed Heaven is a Place on Earth and Can’t Take My Eyes off You onto the screens. The former was a confirmation that Hayate did not want to leave Nagi even when given the chance to repay his debt, while the latter was when Nagi confessed her love for Hayate. If there has not been such “love bonds” between Hayate and Nagi, something has to happen between now and December to give Hayate a reason to remain in Nagi’s service.

So does it mean that Hayate could only marry Nagi, while the other girls could feel free to walk out of the series? I would say, it doesn’t have to be. After all, the Hayate-Nagi ship would only be possible if Hayate loves Nagi romantically, and vice versa. We have already seen other girls trying to win Hayate’s attention, and there have been hints that Hayate has been looking elsewhere. Meanwhile, Nagi has most recently shown some acceptance that Hayate could marry Ruka – if Ruka could get the nod, why not the other girls?

Then again, Nagi has confessed her love to Hayate in CTMEOY, so… what have I said about the story-spoiling anime, again?

As someone who sucks horribly at guessing, I have absolutely no idea how things would turn out to be. What I do think is that, whatever happens would speak quite a lot about this arc. In the best (or worst) case, this arc could provide a solid foundation for Hayate to end his service at Nagi’s, and be free to find his own life and love. In the worst (or best) case, this whole arc could turn out to be complete bullshit.

Now Nagi has the experience to draw a car racing manga.

Now Nagi has the experience to draw a car racing manga.

Captain Obvious Hayate has stated the most important truth that Nagi is blessed with luck – being the main heroine of the series and Hata’s favourite girl, of course she has the best luck among the characters. While so many things could go wrong with her “hitch-hiking”, Nagi finds the best of ride which takes her to Shiga – merely 45 km from Kyoto – over a single night. The “price” is that Nagi is almost scared to death on a 300 km/h ride.

Apparently Nagi is the “half-empty glass” type of person. Instead of being grateful for the woman who takes up all the troubles of driving, Nagi decides to accuse her of driving too fast, for fear of breaking the law or getting into car accidents. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe the woman should have left Nagi behind…?

Why does her face remind me of Yozora?

Why does her face remind me of Yozora?

The woman introduces herself as Doctor Kurosu, a “travelling doctor”. I am not sure if a travelling doctor could have so much money to buy a Lamborghini, but she definitely loves driving a lot. It is very demanding to drive all the way from Hokkaido to Kyoto, so I guess only huge drivers would do so. Come to think of it, Kurosu’s helping hand is simply too fitting for Nagi – it is almost tailor-made for her. Either Nagi is just so lucky, or…

So far, Kurosu appears to be a reliable person. Unless there are even more “unexpected twists” ahead – which would require Kurosu or Nagi to press the self-destruct button – I would expect Nagi to arrive in Kyoto in a chapter or two. Hopefully there would be a friend or two to meet her.

11 comments on “Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 404

  1. according to earlier chapter of the series hayate will repay his debt after working as nagi’s butler for about 40 years. so if he go the normal way, he can’t stop being nagi’s butler by the end of the year. which is I think that is what he intend to do until now.
    but then again there’s ruka and the bet.
    and we can expect hata to make the series run for 40years long when 1/2 a year alone took 5 years in real life :p

    • At this pace, it would take another 8 years in real life to reach December. Well, at least he could skip September as that month is already covered by 2 animes.

  2. Still hard to buy the Doctor “Blackjack” story especially when she drives like crazy Bunta Fujiwara, no matter, I’m more interested with Hayate’s plans although its kinda contradicting but still a relief that he has no plans to be like Klaus as you mentioned nor be like Mikaido for that matter. and so aside from the screw the timeline we have more loose ends to tie up again which is already getting hard to track down as well but oh well still very interesting and you gotta admire Ruka’s attempt to “untangle” Hayate in his current bind, something the other girls are yet to give a shot

  3. This is intriguing. I know Hata is the master of trolling his readers, but I don’t think we’d ever had such a ominous foreshadowing since, let’s say, the GW arc. Somehow this doesn’t feel like ch. 387. Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but Hata has never actually given a clear hint of what could be the finale of the series like this before. I’d heard rumors about the “end being on Dec. 24 before and that Maria’s arc would be the final one, but… Now that we have hints on the manga itself, it feels different. Could it be that Hata is really preparing the ground for the conclusion? This whole thing makes me rather anxious.

    Putting that matter aside, the whole bet thing is already starting to get a little hazy. What’s being gambled here anyway? Ruka attitude seems to be changing over the last chapters. I’d not be surprised if she drops the whole marriage thing in the end. Hayate (thank God) is finally starting to show signs of actually using his head and speaking up about his wishes, so I doubt he will keep putting up with such stuff for much longer. Nagi, well, she seems rather conscious about the situation and is more concentrated on her own experiences rather than worrying over Hayate being with her or not.

    Thinking again, maybe the end is really not that far off after all…

    Kurosu, well… I’ll wait until we learn more about her before forming a concrete opinion.

  4. I would say that the driving scene was an Initial D parody but I’m pretty sure there are no Lamborghini’s in Initial D. The drifting was cool though.

    Black Jack’s condition for helping people is that they have to pay his outrageous fees. Kurosu’s condition is that she only helps people she likes. Depending on what Kurosu’s standards are for what she likes in a person, her condition is either as cruel as Black Jack, worse or she’s actually a really nice person who would help people if they truly need it.

    I almost forgot that Maria turned 17 when she met Hayate. It makes you wonder if Nagi gave a present or something for Maria before running away from the party. In the first anime, Nagi did give a present to Maria before going off with Hayate to the vending machine where they first met. It was slightly sad for me in that it seems that there was no birthday party held for Maria in that episode. Of course, that was all filler XD.

    Nagi didn’t learn from her mistake from when she got lost in the Shimoda trip; when lost, never move away from your current position cause you’ll end up getting more lost. Funny enough, Nagi running into Kurosu was similar to when she ran into Ayumu, both of whom gave her a ride to her destination.

  5. Honestly, I glad that Hayate is starting to want to have his own life at some point. He’s already making plans for not always being there for Nagi and now we get confirmation that his future is truly on his mind.

    Also give the guy a little slack Gunso, he knows he’s in a shonen series where nothing truly bad can happen to Nagi (they all still know but just show it less these days). And this chapter isn’t implying that he’s only working to pay off his debt still. He does have a deeper bond/reason for sticking around, but that doesn’t mean he has to become Klaus II just to show it.

    Anyway, we’ve got a new mysterious character that I’m guessing is just a one-shot to help and inspire Nagi. Unless she happens to know Ikusa or something. For now I guess I’ll see how this manga battle is going to end, but the idea that Hayate could end the series debt-free and with his own life intrigues me so much more. I’m just going to hope that it isn’t a coincidence that Hinagiku has been the only one to have her feelings played for “serious” romance lately. And Hayate’s crush on her has been getting more obvious as well. I shall keep looking forward to developments in their shoujo romance side-story-thing for the time being.

  6. I’m pretty sure Nagi used that “not too far off” line when she was talking to Hayate about Maria eventually falling in love and leaving her, and here some 300 chapters later we hear it again and even shows Maria’s registered birthday. Coincidence? Hmm…

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