Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 425

Time to set up your computer!

Time to set up your computer!

So Nagi has decided to redraw all her pages, no matter if they have been ruined by the excess amount of ink. Considering that her original work was “nothing but scribbles” anyway, redoing all of them could be a good call. The problem, though, is that she does not have much time left.

Other than the time factor, Nagi is actually doing better. She has recovered from the cold she got from Ayumu, so she is both physically and mentally more ready for the task. Her artwork has improved because of this, and also the fact that she is redrawing her manga for a second time. Most importantly, Nagi now has the fighting spirit. While Chiharu is still worried about how little time they still have, Nagi has her entire mind focused on finishing her work. Instead of the feeble loser we saw from the previous two chapters, now we see a real fighter – she might still be an underdog, but we all know that she will fight her battle.

"Come on, stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

“Come on, stop trying to hit me and hit me!”

Chiharu realises how much has changed in Nagi, and understandably she would want such a change be fruitfully rewarded. While the change itself is much more worthwhile, the victory always tastes better. Who would prefer “I lost but I have changed” to “I won because I have changed”? Sometimes – all the time – victory is our primary target. Anything that comes with victory is only a bonus.

In any case, Nagi needs to speed up, so our question is: on which parts could they pull some little tricks to make them quicker? With the base sketch done, Chiharu makes us a “to-do list”: inking, backgrounds and finishing touches. If Nagi has to do them by hand, it would be quite impossible for her to meet the deadline. What if she doesn’t have to do them by hand?

How much time does it take to set up a computer?

How much time does it take to set up a computer?

To answer our question, an equally recovered Ayumu (funny enough, she is wearing a shirt that reads “energetic”…) has brought Nagi an entire set of computer. This thing is heavy, and Ayumu has supposedly just left hospital, so I have no idea how she manages to bring it from Ashibashi-sensei’s workplace to home. Besides, I find it amusing that a girl like Ayumu could set up a computer by herself – generally we expect girls to be, em, not so capable with electronics.

If you remember, Ayumu received a lecture from Koutarou in Ch. 290 (!) on how the introduction of computers have changed manga-making. It is therefore very reasonable for her to make Koutarou useful again. With the help of a computer and a qualified manga assistant, Nagi now has very powerful weapons. As Chiharu has put it, things would become a lot more efficient.

Meanwhile, a certain professional mangaka is clearly not working for this week.

Koutarou is such a good friend...

Koutarou is such a good friend…

If I must say, one simply has to love the little interaction (offscreen, of course) between Ayumu and Koutarou. The simple fact that Ayumu has thought of “making use of” Koutarou, and that he has agreed (whether he is happy about it or not), makes them look more and more like a couple. If this is true, Ayumu would be spared from the ship wars. She would then be able to stay in her “normal world” with Koutarou while other girls lock horns in the “exceptional world”. Unless you are very certain that a girl can only be happy when she is with Hayate, I would encourage you to accept this as a possible ending for Ayumu.

In fact, Hata could really do us a favour by introducing more good boys to pair with the many girls, so that they wouldn’t all have to chase the back of a miserable and oblivious piece of shit ass, which we have been told is reserved for someone.

Okay, back to the story. So someone must operate the computer to input Nagi’s manuscript and send (some) to Koutarou to draw the background. Despite her intelligence and being an iPad owner (proof that she is not a tech-dumb), Chiharu isn’t sure how well she could use it. To be fair to her, this is a somehow specialised computer, with some parts I have never seen before. Then there is also the software… wait, now I am not confident that I can use it either.

Is that too noble or too stupid?

Is that too noble or too stupid?

And there comes Kayura, who has finished helping Ruka. The idol wants both of them to draw out their full power, so she is allowing Nagi any help she would need. This makes me think of Char, who has leaked the Psycho Frame technology to Amuro so that he could make his best Gundam to take him on. We all know how v-Gundam totally owned Sazabi…

Anyway, in both competitions, there has been someone who helps on both sides. In the Comisun it was Hayate, and in the Comiket we have Kayura. Hayate has managed to leak Nagi’s marketing strategy for Ruka to copy (only shot down by Hinagiku), and I don’t know how well zipped is Kayura’s mouth. Still, as she is not Hayate, it could be that she simply would not speak of how Ruka drew her manga, or how her work would compare to Nagi’s.

Can you give me a million yen?

Can you give me a million yen?

What would be better than a lethal weapon? The answer is “two lethal weapons”. Indeed, if there is one more computer, Chiharu can learn from Kayura and help as well. This would mean there are three people helping Nagi with three computers (Koutarou would have his own). In other words, instead of having only one assistant, or being the only one in the “team” who is actually producing manga, Nagi now has a true team of staff to help with meeting the deadline.. How about that?

Yet the funny thing is that Chiharu actually asks Ayumu if she can get another computer. Do note that Ayumu is not that resourceful, and that she has moved the entire set of equipments of a mangaka to home, I think everyone would agree that she has done more than enough, and it actually is asking too much of her to find another computer. Still, Chiharu manages to ask Ayumu for the extra computer, and it certainly would give her a headache, because quite simply Ayumu does not know another mangaka who is so lazy generous.

Any problem that can be solved by money is not a problem.

Any problem that can be solved by money is not a problem.

Luckily, Ayumu is spared of the headache as a delivery arrives. An entire set of computer, together with a tablet, has been sent by “The Sadistic Princess of Ise”. There is no need to waste any brain cell on the identity of said Princess, as the answer is given in the next page: it is Athena. Somehow she manages to figure out that she is “sadistic”, given that Hinagiku and Kayura only described her as such in their heads. Maybe this is the very conclusion she wanted everyone to draw from her “performance” in Ise?

As Athena has a black card that can buy her a tank or bring a sandwich to the top of the Himalayas for her, it is natural for her to buy Nagi a computer – which is likely to be used for only once. It is questionable if Athena (in this form) has the knowledge to buy the right computer, but one might suggest that she could simply tell the salesman to “bring me a computer that is used to make manga”. Then again, it is not guaranteed if the salesman knows what it takes to make a manga, so it does take some courage for Athena to spend money on Nagi. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to run the risk of being mocked for buying the wrong things, so to say the least.

It is not bad to have someone other than Hayate.

It is not bad to have someone other than Hayate.

Now Nagi finally understands how much help she has received from her friends. She is not alone, and sometimes it really doesn’t matter if Hayate is not with her. Having support from people other than Hayate is clear evidence that Nagi has grown up. The world does not revolve around Hayate, and Nagi can always look for help from other people when Hayate is not around.

A year ago I have written an article on how Nagi’s friends could help with her manga in the Comiket. As it turns out, I was both right and wrong.

So Nagi and her friends put all their efforts into the manga, and they finally get it done in time. By the looks of it Nagi has only produced several dozens of copies, so unless Athena is willing to buy her a printer (“Give me a professional printer which is able to make offset books.”), most likely she has made copy books at a convenient store, and do the folding and stapling by herself – something she arguably should have done for Comisun. In any case the hard work is finally finished, and the books are ready for sale.

Now it is time for the final battle: the actual sales figure at Comiket. Each of them has an advantage over the other: Nagi has a team behind her while Ruka is most likely alone (Hayate and Hinagiku might not make it back in time for Comiket), but Ruka has a small but favourable reputation among event-goers. According to their bet, whoever wins would get Hayate – although I have doubt whether they would uphold the bet when the competition comes to an end.