Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 438

Before we begin, there is a small “System Notice”.

You might be aware that the URL to this blog has been “http://doughnutgunso.com” over the last year. It wasn’t a privilege; I paid for that subscription. Although it isn’t a big amount, I have been thinking whether to renew my subscription or not. The thing is, when everything other than the URL remains the same as I pay, I do have the feeling that the money is not well spent.

So, I have decided against renewing my subscription, which happens to have expired today. From now on, the URL to this blog would be “https://hayatereport.wordpress.com”. If you have bookmarked the old URL, please kindly update it. Alternatively, you may access the most updated links via my Facebook or Twitter pages. I will make sure that you are not directed to links that do not exist any more.

I know the change would cause a lot of troubles for me and you: Google won’t search for a few days, links won’t work until I fix them all, pictures might or might not display. Yet this seems to be the inevitable pain in a transition period, and let us hope that it would not be as bad as that at Manchester United with David Moyes. After all, United are replacing possibly the best football manager in history; all that I have been doing is to save 26 US dollars a year.

I'll be flying as well! Just saying...

I’ll be flying as well! Just saying…

So, Chapter 438. Once again we can make fun of the trope (?) “this is the kind of manga you are reading”, which in this case means: sorry folks, no Sanzen’in trio, no Athena, no Lifesavers, no beach, no plot whatsoever; you are getting a random Hinagiku chapter. Even as a Hinagiku fan, I asked myself after reading the chapter: “What the f*ck is going on here?!”

This happens to be the second Hinagiku chapter in about a month’s time with the complete absence of Hayate, Nagi and Maria – the main characters do not even make a cameo. Somehow it proves that Hinagiku is perfectly fine on her own, and this is good for me; I am quite sick of the idea that her existence is dependent on Hayate.

Wherever you go, it won't be the beach.

Wherever you go, it won’t be the beach.

The main reason that I consider this a random chapter is that it doesn’t fit into the current plot, according to which Hinagiku should be going to the beach with the other residents of the Violet Mansion. If Hinagiku has indeed accepted the offer a month ago to make a speech at a school in Australia, she should have thought about her availability when Nagi suggested that they were going to the beach. In fact, we should even see her packing.

So, when a future chapter comes out that shows Hinagiku going to the beach with Hayate and the others, this chapter will be considered an absolute filler and be forgotten. In fact, it would be an even bigger filler than Chapter 434 – at least that one did not contradict the current plot. The only recent chapter that is comparable to this one in terms of randomness is Chapter 400, but of course that chapter was great fun.

Of course, Hata can prove that this is not a filler chapter by taking Hinagiku out of the trip to the beach in future chapters. The catfight would therefore become Nagi vs. Ayumu (vs. Chiharu), and Hinagiku will also be spared of the burden of saving Hayate’s ass when sh*t happens to him. My opinion is that this is without doubt a good thing for Hinagiku.

Flying all the way to Australia just to make a speech.

Flying all the way to Australia just to make a speech.

To be (in Australia), or not to be (in Australia), that is the question. For now, let us assume that Hinagiku is to be (in Australia), and move on. In any case, being in Australia means that Hinagiku will have to speak Engrish. Maria, who is “fluent” in 13 languages, proved herself to be an Engrish disaster in CTMEOY, and I doubt Hinagiku would do any better. One must wonder why an Australian school would invite a torture to the ears…

Of course, nobody could stop her if Hinagiku insists to speak in Japanese. That is a campus of a Japanese school in Australia, after all.

Hata surely loves making fun of Hinagiku’s weaknesses. She is worried about her chest, so her chest is frequently laughed at. She can’t handle her love issues properly, so her “mission” is to confess her love to a boy who “shows all the sensitivity of a blunt axe”. She is afraid of height, so she keeps flying.

Those rich people...!

Those rich people…!

As someone who is deadly afraid of flying, Hinagiku travelled to Greece, is travelling to Australia, and will travel to the United States – all in four months’ time. We may be jealous of her frequent opportunities to go overseas, but this time she is going too far: she is doing the things “those rich people” do by taking the Business Class. The most unforgivable thing is that she is enjoying none of this. Doughnut Gunso never had the chance to take anything better than the Economic Class, so allow me to cry out loud: “Bloody Hell!!!”

Indeed, spending so much money on Hinagiku on a flight is a complete waste. She does not enjoy the food served in the waiting room, she does not enjoy the view on the plane, and she almost skips the flight meal. Lock her in a luggage and her suffering might just be the same, but a lot cheaper. Come to think of it, what on earth was the Australian campus thinking by offering Business Class airticket to a high school student?

I can't decide which one is scarier, her face or her words.

I can’t decide which one is scarier, her face or her words.

Every time Hinagiku flies she believes – that’s an understatement – that the plane would crash. Izumi told her that the chances of a plane crash is 1 out of… whatever, but she thought that her flight to Turkey would just be that one. Now that a little boy tells her the odds of dying in a plane crash is 0.001%, she has to resist the urge to “remind” the boy that the 0.001% could just happen to them. Obviously Hinagiku is a “never tell me the odds” type of person.

Of course, when comparing the numbers of cars and airplanes, and also the numbers of car crashes and airplane crashes, we can see why the probability of death in plane crash is so much lower than that of a car crash (which, according to an old report, was 0.24%). Yet while we can still expect rescue in a car crash, hope is much slimmer when a plane falls from the sky: you crash, you die.

Mark her words.

Mark her words.

In fact, Hinagiku is so sure she would die that she considers the unthinkable: if she returns to Japan in one piece, she would properly confess her feelings to Hayate. Indeed, if she could survive the “horror” of a plane ride, who is to say that she won’t have the courage to tell Hayate that she loves him?

Height and love are the two great fears of Hinagiku. We can say that she has not completely overcome these fears, yet at least in the case of height we can see subtle progress: this is the very first time Hinagiku boards a plane completely on her own, something totally unimaginable just 10 chapters ago. No matter how fiercely she says she can’t do this or that, she can still do it when she absolutely has to.

She isn't even allowed to sleep.

She isn’t even allowed to sleep.

Funny enough, most of the times she does not want to do these things in the first place; she is merely forced to do so because of the circumstances. As suggested above, she can’t fly yet she flies, she can’t handle love matters yet she handles love matters. Almost every time she survives these “impossible” situations, and there is progress behind all the comic relief and fillers.

In fact, the progress is so subtle that most people do not see them at all; they can only recognise the laughing matters and make fun of how “useless” Hinagiku is, and how her character development has “stalled”. I do not blame them; after all, we generally expect “development” to be leapfrog progresses.

Another mission accomplished.

Another mission accomplished.

Hinagiku does not make leapfrog progresses. She only gets to her goal slowly, subtly and reluctantly. She doesn’t have a spotlight with her that shines at an “eureka moment”; she is a candle that gets brighter and brighter as the wind blows. While her character development won’t be as obvious as… whoever, subtle progress is still progress.

You know, one big advantage of subtle progress against leapfrog progress is that, when the candle is finally bright enough to light up the entire world, I won’t be asking myself: “Where the heck does that bright light come from?” This make it more believable and real for me, and in any case it looks less like cheating.