Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 424



Just as Maria (and Athena) has expected, Nagi messes up badly by spilling ink all over her manuscript. Just as we have expected, Maria steps up to perform her “mother role”. What I have – honestly – not expected is that Chiharu would stop her, and take up the task of cheering Nagi up from her.

One might ask why Chiharu decides to do this. There might not be a definite answer to this question, but my guess is that Chiharu thinks this is not the occasion for Maria to do things the “mother way”. We know for sure that Maria would clear up the mess for Nagi, and to offer her comfort. Most likely she would tell Nagi that failure isn’t that horrible, because she would support the little mistress no matter what. What I foresee is that Nagi would accept Maria’s words, admit defeat and give up on the doujinshi competition. This, as Chiharu would tell you, is not what Nagi should take.

She has the best of intention...

She has the best of intention…

I don’t think Maria is offering the wrong thing to Nagi – I wouldn’t say offering comfort to your friend in sorrow is wrong. Yet while “comfort” could warm Nagi’s heart, it is not going to make her a better mangaka. In other words, Chiharu thinks that it is in Nagi’s best interest to block her from her comfort zone, her escape route. This is why Maria’s “mother way” is not needed now.

In four words: no pain, no gain.

So, what would Chiharu do? Instead of the “mother way”, Chiharu employs the “Otaku way”. By making references to anime, Chiharu talks about real-life (?) examples instead of empty advices. More importantly, Nagi needs some “heroes” to follow. We might not notice it, but if we admire some anime or manga characters, we would follow their examples: we think like they do, and we do like they do. Look no further than to the numerous attempts to perform “Kamehameha”.

Yet we keep on being told to give up on our heresy...

Yet we keep on being told to give up on our heresy…

What kind of heroes should Nagi follow? It would be the main protagonists who have a dream, who face difficulties which seem unable to overcome, but who never give up. They are great examples for Nagi to know that people do not give up so easily (we are actually living in paradise when compared to some main protagonists…), and their victory should inspire Nagi that, if you are the one with the toughest mind in the contest, victory will eventually be yours.

Some say you would have no enemy if you manage to live longer than all of them. Well..

Chiharu doesn’t only talk about hero stories, she also points out something very important: no one has ever forced Nagi into the doujinshi competition. Nagi was the one who decided to do it, and it means that she was – and still is – looking for something in this competition. Of course, the competition has been contaminated by her bet with Ruka, but let’s forget about that shit and go back to the basics: what was Nagi’s initial motivation to battle Ruka in the doujinshi competition? It was that after reading Ruka’s first doujinshi, she thought that she could make a better one, thus becoming “something special” by beating someone who was special!

Now you remember. Finally.

Now you remember. Finally.

In a sense, Nagi has not lost to anyone but herself. By agreeing to a stupid bet with Ruka, which in my opinion is an insult to manga-making, Nagi has forgotten about her own dream. When was the last time we heard Nagi talking about her ambition to sell trillions of her manga? It has been way too long, because Nagi has simply forgotten about that. That ambition – unrealistic but pure – has given way to a bet which has zero respect to the boy who has become a prize. This is why Nagi was thinking that the doujinshi competition has become meaningless – she has replaced her true ambition with a motivation of no true value.

Yes, we all know that Ruka has exactly the same “motivation”, but Ruka’s way of thinking shouldn’t be Nagi’s way of thinking. Let’s not forget that Ruka is almost certain that she would be giving up her mangaka dream – she is going back to the idol business. So in a sense she wouldn’t, shouldn’t and doesn’t care about the manga business any more. She has every right to insult the manga business by offering a stupid bet. Yet Nagi is not Ruka: she still has her manga dream, although she has forgotten about it. While Ruka is okay with insulting manga, Nagi shouldn’t be following!

That is your one true ambition.

That is your one true ambition.

Luckily, Nagi now remembers. She remembers that she was born into a family with everything, so she has been nothing. She remembers that she wanted to become “something special” because she wanted to be something different from her everything – if her family has the world, she would have to be another world in order to get something new. She remembers that in order to be “something special”, she should become a mangaka who sells trillions of copies. She would become a legend, and a legacy.

As she aims to be “something special”, she would need to do “something special”. As such, she has to forget about the below-par “nothing but scribbles”. She needs to do something of the (or at least, her) highest quality. She is not going to compromise because there is little time left. In fact, time is too short for garbages.

I… do not remember how long have I been complaining about Nagi’s wrong concept on the doujinshi events. Now that I have heard Nagi saying – or, in fact, thinking – “It wasn’t for Hayate, and it wasn’t to defeat Ruka. It was for me!”, my only response is an Emperor Palpatine quote:


Maria stands there, watching Chiharu gets Nagi on fire again. She suddenly realises that she has done nothing – or, to be fair, she has not been allowed to do anything. Athena’s words are the final nail on the coffin: “It looks like your mother role isn’t needed any more.”

Allow me to say no to this. I would say it is only that the “mother role” isn’t suitable for the current situation. No matter how great a mother is, there are certain things she would never be able to do for her child. This is why we need a bigger social circle than our family: certain roles can only be played by friends, teachers, lovers and our children.

Soon there would be "Return of the Maid".

Soon there would be “Return of the Maid”.

Yet, when the time has come, Maria’s “mother role” would be needed again. When Nagi has got what she wanted from the doujinshi competition, she would want to report this good news to her family – and for that Nagi would certainly go to Maria. Nothing replaces the love and care of a mother, after all.

By the looks of it, we are going to skip a few days in the story, and arrive straight on 13 August, the day of the “final battle”. It looks like Hata doesn’t want to detail the final days of Nagi’s (and Ruka’s) work. In a world where anything that can go wrong would go wrong (Murphy’s Law), it seems that the printing houses – or at least, machines – could do no wrong.

The biggest challenge for Nagi is that she really has too little time to redo all her work. Normal ways would not allow her to finish her manga in time, so she must do something very innovative. As I cannot draw, I don’t know how Nagi could do it, but maybe drawing bigger and fewer panels per page could be a start…

6 comments on “Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 424

  1. this is too rush in my opinion, I mean… Nagi’s recovery. It used only 1 chapter for recover her despair. I expect Nagi will be in despair and finally recover within 2-3 chapters.
    @Doughnut Gunso, you might expect Ruka will abandon her dream as mangaka but I don’t think Ruka will shut her dream because she might choose idol job in that mini concert to pay her debt but she never said to Hayate or other people that she will throw manga-making career completly. After her debt vanish, she will return to her dream and hope, I quess.

  2. Nice Pal Patine Quote and I love the “Return of the Maid” caption. I think you started complaining about Nagi’s attitude towards this competition when she had that talk with Hayate regarding Ruka’s feelings.

    Some people have been speculating that this event might mark Maria’s return as a potential love interest for Hayate since Nagi apparently no longer needs her as a mother. I agree with Chiharu’s decision to “mother-block” Maria since it would have ruined everything that Nagi’s learned throughout this arc if she just suddenly gave up and ran home to Mommy. Looks like it was understandably quite a shock for Maria, though.

    I honestly didn’t like that all it took was some manga determinator references from Chiharu to snap Nagi out of her depression even if it makes sense within the context of the story and Nagi’s personality.

    I can totally relate with Nagi’s feelings. I was born into a family of overachievers and I’ve always been living in the shadow of my elder sister. It took me quite a while to come into my own and realize what I really wanted out of life and the things that I could do that defined me as a person – which appears to be the main thrust of this “becoming special” theme that Hata has been slowly developing for Nagi throughout this very long arc. My circumstances might be a bit different, but the goal of “becoming special” is probably pretty similar to how Nagi feels.

    Realistically speaking (even though this is a pretty absurd manga), I don’t think Nagi would be that bad as a mangaka. She’s got the drawing skills and she can concoct a good story if she puts her mind to it. She just really needs to work on her weird sense of aesthetics and realize that this Britanny thing just isn’t going to work out.

    As to drawing, it’s realistically possible to make a decent manuscript within 3 days. I’d estimate that if you worked for around 8-10 hours a day, you could get around 15 pages of finalized manuscript done in a day as long as you use several “dirty” shortcuts including tracing, using oversimplified chibi characters for expressions and skipped out on character shading and background details – which Hata is guilty of from time to time. Nagi seems to have a lot of drawing experience, so she’s gonna have to work harder than she’s ever worked in her entire life, but she should make it in time now that all the excess mental baggage is out of her head. Anyway, she’s got that stern glasses girl on her side.

  3. Indeed to quick for a speedy recovery from Hata’s “princess” then again we’ve been sidetracked long enough and btw this bet still has a bad after taste even after all these chapters. Which reminds me. Maria also attmpted to draw a manga (wouldn’t it be quite a twist if she actually won)

    So we skip a few days but still… chances of altering time continuity: very high

  4. I got the impression that Chiharu forgot that Maria was in the room XD. CTMEOY Ep 4 showed that when Chiharu (and Kayura) starts getting riled up about anything otaku-related, she goes into a somewhat passionate argument about it to the point that she forgets about others who aren’t involved in her argument. Basically, Nagi giving up after coming so far caused Chiharu to “snap” and she immediately channelled her otaku nature to re-motivate Nagi. Chiharu is the audience to Nagi’s adventure and she will not accept such a half-assed ending.

    Maria’s somewhat-selfish revelation at the end kinda surprised me. I thought she’d be proud of Nagi. I was all “That’s what you were concerned about!!??” at the end XD. I guess Maria really does feel strongly about whether she is important to Nagi or not, just like in that chapter where Maria tried to draw her own manga.

    It seems that Nagi’s so called “inevitable day where Maria will leave” may not be caused by a selfish reason such as falling in love. Rather, it might end up being caused by Maria’s feelings of self-doubt about her role in Nagi’s life. I honestly hope that Maria does not think with this “Nanny McPhee” philosophy.

    Oh, and I don’t think Athena meant anything hurtful by what she said at the end. She may be a sadist but she’s also a child and the blissful ignorance that is “innocence” tends to cause unintentional harm.

    I guess that between the events after this chapter and before the day of the final battle, the flashback scene of Nagi working on her manga in the movie will happen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s