Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 416

She will go to Las Vegas alright...

She will go to Las Vegas alright…

I am not entirely sure if my memory is correct.

Said memory suggests to me that, so far, the narrator (arguably Hata himself) has avoided criticising any of the major characters. There were times it openly praised some characters – e.g. on Hinagiku’s intelligence in Ch. 333 – but there seems to be no precedents where the narrator criticised the characters this openly. It might tease them or make fun of them, but it has never used such a negative word as “selfish” on them.

That is, until now.

Aren't you going too far, narrator?

Aren’t you going too far, narrator?

Even as a “Ruka basher” – some people certainly think that I am one – I have never thought of Ruka as “selfish”, let alone “overwhelming selfishness”. Yet the narrator describes Ruka with “overwhelming selfishness” twice in this single chapter – not only once, but twice. As such, l think it would be quite safe to agree that Ruka is being selfish. Nothing beats official statements, after all…

That said, I think it is a harsh statement on Ruka. Not every idol steps on the stage for noble reasons – e.g. to entertain people or to share their talents to the world. Some of them go for fame, while some of them go for money. Now, nobody would say that working for fame or money is “overwhelming selfishness”, so why on earth would working for the attention of a boy she loves is “overwhelming selfishness”?

Why am I still working for money...?

Why am I still working for money…?

Yes, Ruka no longer has the “correct” attitude about her job as an idol. Her willingness to retire (at the age of 16…) clearly suggests that being an idol is no longer her dream – or, even worse, it might never has been her dream in the first place. But then, her decision to step on the stage once again in order to charm Hayate cannot be said to be completely wrong. The entertainment business is about charming people, so what is wrong with charming a specific person?

On a side note: unless my comprehension is so wrong, I tend to think that the narrator is suggesting that Nagi is as selfish as Ruka. That I do agree, although I have absolutely no idea why the narrator mentions Nagi at all. Is it that keen on bashing the two main heroines of the current Mangaka age?

In that case, we would have two girls of “overwhelming selfishness” fighting for the love of Hayate, while the outcome is pretty much predetermined. Oh well…

That's more peaceful.

That’s more peaceful.

Speaking of girls’ fight, the “battlefield” between Ruka and Izumi has been “resolved” effortlessly, with the interruption from Atsumari, Miki and Risa (through the glasses) and finally Kotetsu. The latter three, together with Izumi herself, would be helping Wataru with his store. In this case Ayumu would have no need to rush back to work – in fact, it seems that there is no need for her to report duty at all.

One interesting thing is that it seems that Hayate has no problem with voice recognition after all. The mystery here is that he could recognise the voices of Miki and Risa through the glasses, but then he failed to figure out Hinagiku was Silver Red back in Athens. His stupidity is specially reserved for Hinagiku, isn’t it?

Why would Japanese fly to Vegas for a concert?

Why would Japanese fly to Vegas for a concert?

We might start to think that CTMEOY and Cuties could be canon. After all, a Las Vegas concert in September has been planned in this chapter, was animated in CTMEOY and was mentioned (along with the concert DVD) in Cuties. Before this chapter we only have evidence from the anime which claims that they are canon, but now we finally have evidence from the manga which claims that the anime are canon.

Even as a complete outsider of the business, I have been thinking that the operation led by Atsumari has been utterly ridiculous. How on earth, for instance, would the idol only be notified of a major event one day before? Even if the idol is in peak condition – enough sleep, no alcohol, not ill – she would need time to rehearse, or at the very least to memorize all the lyrics she is going to sing!

As long as there is rehearsal, it will be fine.

As long as there is rehearsal, it will be fine.

This is why I am quite relieved that there is at least rehearsal in this chapter. Even for a manga branded “this is the kind of manga you are reading”, I still expect a little bit of common sense, and a little bit of morality…

At this point, I couldn’t shake the strange idea that Ruka might want to do only the mini-concert, not that one in Las Vegas. After all, her prime motive to perform on stage is to get Hayate to fall in love with her. If she could manage that by the mini-concert, then she could have the best of both worlds: she could win Hayate’s heart during the mini-concert, and then announce her retirement. Well, of course we know from CTMEOY that she wouldn’t do this, but… just saying.

There's something about superstars...

There’s something about superstars…

Ruka is such a model professional in stage performance that the 2-week (?) blank period looks like nothing at all. In fact, with a prolonged period of rest and healthy meals cooked by Hayate, it seems to me that she looks better than during that first concert – although, frankly, there can be no way to get any worse than that one…

Of course, this is a great chance for Ruka to attract Hayate “again”. The question, of course, is whether Ruka has managed to attract Hayate in a romantic way in the very beginning. Do note that this is not the first time Hayate finds a girl attractive: Maria, Hinagiku and (most importantly) Athena are the precedents. Yet so far Hayate has not developed romantic relationships with Maria and Hinagiku, and actually broke up with Athena. So it doesn’t mean anything for Ruka even if Hayate finds (or found) her attractive.

Maybe Hayate won’t be able to marry the girls he finds attractive. He has been assigned to Nagi, after all.

Em... excuse me?

Em… excuse me?

In fact, it doesn’t seem like Hayate is romantically attracted to Ruka – not this time, at least. Instead of falling head over heels for Ruka, Hayate asks her whether she actually plans on retiring. After all, she has put in too much efforts for such great results. It would be a huge waste for her not to make full use of her skills, and a huge loss to her fans if she is not showing her attractiveness any more.

From this perspective, maybe Hayate has been attracted by Ruka after all. The loss to the fans would also be the loss to Hayate, and he certainly isn’t willing to let that happen. As such, we might see him trying to persuade Ruka to stay in the idol business, which – as we have mentioned before – isn’t her dream any more.

So, all in all, Ruka has successfully attracted Hayate with her stage performance. It is just that it isn’t in the way she prefers.

12 comments on “Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 416

  1. Lots of events happening while the “fog of war” is in effect on the Ruka/Hayate team. (which is that i believe to be the “main war” between Nagi and Ruka

    Looks like its gonna be a painfully slow development before we see the how this loose end will be fixed (lets see got quite a lot already Machina and Sakuya, Yozora is out there somewhere, and Hayate’s Kings stone hunt to name a few) Anyone got the full list?

    Ruka, Selfish is it? Well the main war is in itself is also a selfish one with Hayate as price. Takes one to know one I suppose. But motivation is motivation no matter what means you use and I guess its no surprise since It was Hayate who opened her heart with her “Can I trust you question”

    For Hayate, sounds like a familiar “instant revenge tactic” from a page in Hina’s book in her Birthday Arc, then again, its very VERY rare that “inseperable” SC Rangers would act individually anyway and seeing as Ruka also have the same glasses a couple of chapters ago even for Hayate figure out

    So far no new season / movie announcement guess its gonna be a while before we see any new developments (that may put stir the canon again)

    • Speaking of trust, now that Hayate has promised to marry Ruka should she win in the competition, and that he would “make her happy”, it would be interesting to know how Ruka would react should these promises not be fulfilled.

      Just don’t tell me this is the “despair” Yozora needed from Ruka…

  2. I actually didn’t mind Ruka being selfish in this chapter as she’s actually doing it in a way that doesn’t step on other people’s toes unlike the way she’s been behaving with Izumi in the last two chapters. Nagi did mention that falling in love with Hayate was Ruka’s first bit of selfishness ever since she was born anyway and thus, she’s entitled to be that way. I don’t really see it as Hata-sensei casting Ruka and Nagi (by inference) in a negative light whether or not “selfish” is the correct reading for that kanji. (rikaichan says both “selfishness” and “calculativeness” are valid for 打算 btw, but I’m no l337 JLPT levels person, so I’ll just add that and be done with it). Furthermore, she made the funniest expressions in this chapter, so I don’t think Hata meant it to be taken that seriously as a character flaw. I’m still not abandoning my theory that Yozora Housen/the puppetmaster behind her might be pulling the strings in the background and we’ll see an epic encounter before this arc is done.

    I think the term “selfishness” or even “calculativeness” itself might not have such a negative connotation as used by Hata in this chapter. This is a bit of a personal bias, but people who selfishly work to achieve their goals are often the ones who find success without stepping on others on the way up. Being selfish doesn’t have to mean being callous to other people, but simply being too absorbed in your own affairs to bother with the petty needs of others. On the other hand, people who apparently have had grand, selfless or noble goals have, throughout history, also had the most potential to become dictators, genocidal political leaders and such… but I guess that’s overanalyzing things a bit.

    Also found it funny how Hayate basically threatened to kick the baka-trio down a building the same way he did Kotetsu.

    I do think that both CTMEOY and Cuties will eventually become at least partly canon, but only the episodes that actually advanced the plot and not the ones which were adapted and modified from previous manga chapters.

    As this arc continues, my writer’s instinct tells me that Hata might just be using this entire mangaka arc primarily for Nagi’s character development as she’s already experienced “failure/hardship” twice here. Once from having her manga read by Ashibashi sensei and once again from suffering a moral defeat to Ruka in their first unofficial doujinshi battle. I’m not sure whether to count the end of chapter 413 just yet, because it still hasn’t been cleared up just what that was all about.

    As for Hayate, it seems to me that he unconsciously or maybe semi-consciously suppresses the development of any serious romantic feelings that he might have for any of the girls. He’s never once tried to form an emotional connection with any of the girls and even declaring his love for Athena was said in the past tense. I think Hata might be doing this to keep everyone guessing even if it seems that he’s (Hata) already made a definitive choice.

    • Well, I still think it is one thing for Hayate to think negatively of the girls (he actually has quite a few negative comments on other girls as well), but another for the narrator to think so. After all, the narrator is the “voice of God”, so if the narrator says A, then it is A.

      A bit of selfishness could be something some readers have been looking for. We have quite a few girls who are too good to get into a battle of love, and perhaps that’s why they won’t win in the battlefield. Although, somehow, I would be glad if they stay out of the fight…

  3. I assume that Hinagiku makes her voice sound like a dude when disguised as Silver Red.

    I’m really not sure if CTMEOY is canon any more now that Ruka’s Las Vegas concert is now two weeks away in the manga’s timeline.

    Its good to know that no SC Trio scheme goes unpunished whenever Hayate’s involved XD. At least this way, they will continue with their original plan of filming the touching story of Wataru and Saki.

    Oh, and Kotetsu being kicked out of the window more than made up for the “light” uppercut Hayate gave him previously XD! Combat Butlers sure are durable.

    • We still haven’t arrived at the Comiket, which is set to start from August 3, so there actually is still at least 6 weeks between now and the concert (late September, according to CTMEOY). So time is not an issue when canonicity is concerned.

      I think the SC Rangers might simply look for other weird ideas instead of filming Wataru and Saki. It is disappointing, but that’s the SC Rangers for you.

      Remember that Kotetsu is almost as strong as Hayate. If Hayate can’t get killed from falling over the Clock Tower, Kotetsu wouldn’t be killed from falling over a building.

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