So here it comes, the journey to the beach. Maybe it is time to pick a name for this new arc. Should we call it the “Beach arc”, the “Lifesaver arc” or the “Ikusa arc”? Or, maybe we should just decide it later, as we might have a very long story to come, and the word “arc” might have to be replaced by “saga” (e.g. the Athena saga) or even “age” (e.g. the Mangaka age).
Just as many other very, very long arcs, the beginning is merely a warm-up. We are not exactly exposed to a Hell lot of new information, but in some ways this is a good thing. Doughnut Gunso is too stupid to digest an explosion of information and theories which come next, and I am better off being told things one by one.
The first thing that grabs our mind must be the marriage proposal on Page 1. The one who made the proposal was hidden behind the flowers, and we can’t even tell if it was a man or a woman (in order to be “politically correct”, Doughnut Gunso cannot rule out the possibility of a homosexual marriage). The one who conditionally accepted the proposal was most likely a woman (then again, Doughnut Gunso cannot rule out the possibility that it was a man who had long hair). Other than that, we know nothing.
The dark margins are often used by Hata to indicate that this scene is something happened in the past, and given that it is shown at the beginning of this new arc, it is safe to assume that this proposal in the past has something to do with the events in the current arc. Still, the specific details remain everybody’s guess.
Okay, let’s get back to the present, when Nagi has led everyone to the beach – including a certain Hinagiku, who travelled to Australia in the last chapter. Now that she ends up going to the beach (which is of course in Japan), the significance of the last chapter must be questioned. After all, it wasn’t used as a convenient excuse to leave Hinagiku out of the current arc. In other words, it was just a filler.
As always, Nagi’s enthusiasm for new adventures lasts no longer than three minutes. The heat and the “Sea God’s curse” (a.k.a. a ton of wharf roaches) successfully beat Nagi into submission, and she ends up resting in her hotel room – that’s a huge hotel, by the way.
If we really have to, we can say that there are three objectives in Nagi’s decision to go to the beach. The first objective is for her own self: to find a King’s Jewel so that she could be a legitimate candidate to the inheritance again. The second one is for Hayate: to allow him to reunite with his long lost brother. The third one is for everyone: to enjoy the beach together.
Of course, Nagi herself denies the first objective, but let’s be honest here. Nagi already said that she was “sick” of the poor apartments, and that she has “decided” to go back to the Sanzen’in Mansion. If finding a King’s Jewel is necessary for her to return to the big mansion, and if the seaside restaurant is their only clue to a jewel at the moment, then she is bound to come to the beach.
Still, a little bit of selfishness doesn’t negate the fact that there is deep care for Hayate and the others, and Hayate always knows what he must be thankful for Nagi. Then again, he is not at all thankful for the others, who are taking the effort to search for Ikusa at the moment. His selective blindness is always an issue for me, but as this matter persists I choose to save my rantings for another day.
The girls who are ignored by Hayate head to the beach and gossip about Ikusa. I take it as a good sign that they show interest in someone other than Hayate, because he clearly is not the only boy on Earth. Men better than Hayate surely exist, but it is important that the girls do not only set their eyes on Hayate. The world is big, but you must open your eyes to see it.
Ironic enough, it is Athena of all people who starts the personal attack on Ikusa. You might imagine that Athena would say something more positive about the person who saved her from the eternal entrapment in the Royal Garden 10 years ago. Then again, Athena is suffering from a memory loss, so it should not be odd that she uses Hayate (probably the only boy she knows now) as a reference point for Ikusa.
The ignored girls have reached the seaside restaurant, which is now destroyed. A certain someone appeared behind them, telling them that there is no longer anyone there. I guess that’s not surprising to us: since when has any adventure in this manga be easy?
We will have to wait two weeks for the identity of the speaker be revealed. On top of that, we will also have coloured crosspages.