Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 446

Athena: "Someone said I would return in a swimsuit, and everybody lost their minds."

Athena: “Everybody lost their minds just because I am wearing a swimsuit.”

If we read the chapter from a point of view of “plot advancement”, there is very little to say. Hayate and Hinagiku survive their fall into the pit with nothing more than a scratch (as expected from Gundam and stronger-than-Gundam), yet they have not yet managed to escape from the presumed trap. Apparently so many more than 20 people were dead, so the island is far more dangerous than Hayate and Hinagiku could possibly imagine. Nothing else has really been revealed, the killer ghost has not yet arrived, and above all, Athena has still not returned to her full form.

Most if not all the rest of the chapter is about Hinagiku, which admittedly is not a concern for many readers, hence the chapter is regarded as “filler” for them. For those who care enough about Hinagiku, however, this chapter is so full of fresh materials for analysis, to the point that if any new essays on Hinagiku and her relationship with Hayate is to be written, they would not have the full picture if Ch. 446 is not referenced to. Indeed, this is how I see this chapter.

Really, surprisingly.

Really, surprisingly.

Given the “flashforwards” in HIAPOE, CTMEOY and Cuties, it is safe to say that Hayate and Hinagiku would retain a high level of friendship without too many romantic elements by Setpember and beyond. As such, I am not bold enough to suggest a “leapfrog” development for Hayate and Hinagiku based on this chapter. Yet, even if they do not end up confessing to each other or even sharing a kiss, Ch. 446 is still a turning point for both Hayate and Hinagiku which could lead them to much more positive progress in the future.

Of course, Doughnut Gunso is more than happy to dig deep into this topic, because honestly how on earth can we talk about “progress” when we don’t even know what “progress” we are talking about?

Emperor Palpatine: "Young fool..."

Emperor Palpatine: “Young fool…”

As suggested, most of the chapter is about Hinagiku, and the main theme of her “progress” in this chapter is conveniently suggested by the narrator: the dense girl Hinagiku has finally caught on. Forget about “afraid of being abandoned after falling in love”, Hinagiku is so incapable with love issues for only one reason: she is as thick as all the Tankobons combined. Being the only one in the world who does not know Kaoru has a crush on her own sister doesn’t help her defence.

This is why, when being prompted by Chiharu to take the chance to “go on the offensive”, Hinagiku can only think of being physically offensive to Hayate, and for the reason of getting back at his earlier insult. With a mind like this, Hinagiku never knows what is the “right” thing to do when she is alone with Hayate, and as Chiharu has predicted (to Ayumu), nothing is going to happen.

Ch. 320 appeared twice.

Ch. 302 appeared twice.

When we look at the flashbacks Hinagiku picks to show that her love matters always turn into a joke at the most crucial moments (Chapters 164, 285 and 302), there is one thing in common: Hinagiku is totally passive, surrendering all chances to spin the scenes into something more romantic, while allowing Hayate to do and say whatever he wants, which in every case has nothing to do with romance. So here comes the misunderstanding: Hinagiku expects Hayate to address romantic issues, while he doesn’t even know that the topic is on the agenda; Hinagiku gets angry because she is let down, while Hayate struggles to understand what he has done wrong.

What Hinagiku must learn about being “assertive” or “offensive” is that, she has to raise the topic if she wants it to be addressed. Fortunately she manages to catch on what Chiharu meant by “going on the offensive”, and hopefully beating up Hayate won’t be the first thing she tries in the next chapter. But it also begs a question: what is Hinagiku going to do? As she has been so dense all along, who can say with confidence that she could do any of the “right” things to grab Hayate’s heart?

You are behind all this, aren't you A-tan?

You are behind all this, aren’t you A-tan?

One must also wonder how much time she would have to make her attempts, because the killer ghost appears to be coming. If Hayate and Hinagiku become too busy fighting the ghost, then we can rest assure that anything about “going on the offensive” will be forgotten. Then again, Hayate and Hinagiku communicate better with actions than words, so a successful partnership in fighting the ghost could bring more advancement than Hinagiku clumsily spitting out “I love you”.

The bottom line for me is: anything that happens naturally is good, while anything that is calculated, planned or manipulated is bad.

Is there anything about her that does not surprise you?

Is there anything about her that does not surprise you?

Hayate is not given any monologue (unless you count the question mark over his head on the last page) to elaborate what he thinks about Hinagiku, but he has spoken quite enough for us to notice one thing: he is twice surprised by something about Hinagiku. He finds Hinagiku’s physique surprisingly small (“Are you referring to the size of my breasts?!”), and he is also surprised that Hinagiku can be scared so much that she couldn’t walk.

What does it mean? It means that Hayate has a stereotyped image of Hinagiku in his mind that is quite wrong: Hinagiku has great strength, so she must have a macho physique; Hinagiku is a brave girl, so she is not afraid of anything. The problem with the stereotyped image is that, Hayate doesn’t think of Hinagiku as someone he needs to worry about. We have always been glad that Hinagiku has his trust, but he sometimes trusts her too much: she is not a superheroine, she is just an ordinary girl with a bit more strength and toughness. She has her own weaknesses and insecurities that she wants someone to take care of, and it is of utmost importance that Hayate understands this.

There's no need to act like it's World War.

There’s no need to act like it’s World War.

Hinagiku has been a little too tough: as she decides to “go on the offensive”, her facial expression is as stern as a judge. She is also a little too confrontational: Hayate has good intention when praising her bravery and her cuteness, but Hinagiku chooses to confront him for suspicion of any “bad” intention. Such traits are her moment-killers, and honestly she should soften a bit.

Fortunately, the experience in the pit is too scary that even Hinagiku cannot act tough any more. She throws herself into Hayate’s chest (for the third time, if I remember correctly), showing her reliance on him. She is too scared that she loses the strength to walk, which oddly is quite expected of “frail girls”. She expresses her shyness by squeezing his neck from behind, and surely that is more girly than giving a punch on his head…

Very positive results indeed.

Very positive results indeed.

Yes, Hinagiku is scared to death, but so far she is getting positive results because she is scared to death. Hayate is carrying her on his back, and he praises her for her smaller-than-expected physique (no girl likes the idea of being considered heavy) and cuteness. A such I am not quite sure whether Hinagiku is lucky or unlucky that she has to face her fears – I only hoped that the interaction between Hayate and Hinagiku can be this lovely without the girl being ill or scared. Can’t they have it in a more… “normal” context?

Maybe they can, after all, because Hayate is showing yet another positive sign: he is not afraid of Hinagiku’s confrontation any more. Instead, he laughs her off gently and explains calmly that what she says is not true. To be honest, I am sick of Hayate telling the world that “Hinagiku-san is always mad at me!”, so it is quite refreshing that Hayate doesn’t jump to that conclusion in this chapter. A relationship is not healthy if most of the time has to be spent on making apologies.

Give me more scenes like this and I give you 10 years, Hata.

Give me more scenes like this and I give you 10 years, Hata.

Again, I would not expect a shockingly gigantic development of the Hayate-Hinagiku relationship in the next (few) chapter(s), but I do see many, many positive signs of development, such that should their relationship bloom in November or December (that would mean 3 to 4 years in real life), I won’t be among those who would say “We didn’t see this coming!” Instead, I would be pointing my finger at Ch. 446 and say “I bloody told you so.” There are hints that you cannot pick up if you simply put a “filler” label on and throw them away.

Unless this manga is ending soon, or that a girl is going to claim Hayate forever in the very near future, I simply do not see the problem with “one little step a time”. I don’t see the adventure on the deserted island as a “now or never” chance, but I would rather expect it to be a solid turning point in the right direction. Hinagiku realized that she was in love with Hayate in March; if we assume that this manga is to end in December, then August would be the midway point of their story. Isn’t it interesting that we have a turning point of the Hayate-Hinagiku relationship at the midway point of their story?

If there truly is still half a journey to go, I can wait. Hopefully, you can as well.

14 comments on “Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 446

  1. I could be wrong, but it looks like Hayate is carrying Hinagiku on the third image. My guess is that she may have injured herself from the fall.

    I’m really enjoying this arc so far and this break and now this leak is just getting me more excited for next week!

  2. Sometimes in the manga, panties are shown and sometimes their not. Is it due to Hata feeling that it should be based on good timing, good taste and most importantly, relevant to the story?… cause if so, that’s a pretty good way of thinking. That’s one of the reasons I like this manga; the fanservice is in good taste.

    The amount of f***s given by Athena seems to be non-existent based on the spoilers… is she that confident that her powers will return conveniently at the right moment to defend herself from whatever the island has to throw at her?

  3. I wouldn’t be against Hayate ending up with some other girl other than my personal choice if it’s written well and is wrapped up in a satisfying manner. With that said, I don’t see myself jumping ship anytime soon.

    As for the “hints” you mentioned in this particular chapter, I see them as foreshadowing events for whatever is going to happen next more than anything else. I personally just can’t see any long-term implications for this chapter, but I suppose this manga still has some ways to go before we reach the expected end sometime in December, so we’ll see.

    • Shipping, in the end, is a matter of personal taste. I don’t intend to convert anyone – don’t expect me to be converted either – but I admit I was trying to invalidate a wrong reason to attack the ship I am on. People may stop saying that Hina’s development is stalled, because what they are asking for has been drawn black and white for everyone to see.

      Ultimately what I have put down in this review are points which could be referenced to much later on. Let’s not forget that the “Hina is dense” point was suggested 20 months ago, and few people gave a damn back then. Of course Hata is at his perfect liberty to make short-term use of these points only, and I know I may be humiliated for making wrong predictions (again), but I’ll just hope for the best.

  4. Well…I was taking this chapter to be slight more interaction between them..but my thinking was not as far as the TURNING POINT for hayatexhina ship…Yes it is true it is been while since those two caught up in a situation like this but so far nothing serious trouble came upon them…..as said that fighting the spirit or ghost together, helping each other can make really make this ship advance further…..In fact I would enjoy this moments if it happens like this……………..
    Even as a hina fan I will not support the confession for now …everything has it’s timing…..(well that is if Hata is planing to do it later)
    This chapter could reach its conclusion normally (99% possible BUT YET 1% goes to hina) though it is for hata to decide since he gave a chance to hina to do something about this…..while ‘athena’ part draws the attention of the fans as interesting unknown mysteries circles around her….
    Those two are greatest fighters in the manga other than Isumi and Athena…A battle inside the cave or whatever it is.. will be interesting……

    • This may or may not be the turning point. I only meant to state that “Do not be suprised if it is a turning point, as all the evidence are here.”

  5. And here I thought Hinagiku would be more concerned about exterminating the ghost so that she wouldn’t “lose” and maintain her pride. A very refreshing chapter indeed. To think that Hayate managed to avoid saying any insulting words XD.

    Not really gonna say much about what Athena’s up to other than that her imminent “revival” is coming soon.

    • Let’s say that for once Hinagiku is totally defeated. Hey, it’s not unlike the Old Campus arc, so maybe it simply shows that even Hinagiku has her threshold – once the fear passes that threshold, she collapses.

      Somehow “small breasts” was not mentioned by Hayate. Maybe he knew too well that Hinagiku would strangle him to death if he dared mentioning her chest.

  6. To be honest I thought it was all over the moment Hayate said Hina was quite small haha. Guess its a good thing she didn’t interpret that the way I did.

  7. The chemistry between these two is as great as ever. Actually, it makes me very nostalgic.

    What I’m seeing here is that they CAN be very understanding about each other if they don’t try too hard. Somehow I feel that after Hina realized she likes Hayate, she’s been overthinking things way too much, which I believe it’s natural, but it was more like a step-back for them. Hayate being so dense doesn’t help either…

    I still remember times when Hina would sneak from behind with a cold can and put it on Hayate’s face. Strangely I can’t see her trying to do this nowadays. Maybe if she gets a bit of her old self back their intaractions wouldn’t be as disastrous as they have been for the past 100 chapters or so (for the most part, that is). Before, they would interact simply as friends, but now that Hina is always over the edge when dealing with Hayate, she can barely keep the “friendship” status in good shape.

    People can’t be “lovers” without fundamentally being “friends”. One doesn’t have to come before the other, but both have to exist (the way I see it at least). What makes the HayaHina ship so beautiful to me are those (now rare) moments when they put all the crap aside and go along like old childhood friends (such as this chapter). There’s that old saying… “only true friends help when you really need them”. This chapter was great because it’s exactly what happened. They need to support each other to get out of this, so everything else that usually get in the way of their interactions is now gone. If they can stretch that to normal situations somehow, then we will have one of the biggest developments yet.

    Unfortunately I have a feeling that if Hina takes Chiharu’s advice too seriously now she’s going to self-destruct again.

    On a side note, is it just me or the art this week was surprisingly good?

    • For one thing the current Hina worries too much about what Hayate thinks of her. She isn’t being herself around him – just compare Hina in this chapter with that in Ch. 434, where she toyed Miki in and out. I guess that’s the Hina you miss.

      Anyway, I guess it would be best for Hina to “be herself”. If assertiveness isn’t in her DNA then so be it; if she can’t stop her blushing then so be it. Putting on a mask or trying to act “what a girl should be” won’t work because a) she is bad at acting and b) it makes life difficult for her. Love shouldn’t make your life more difficult.

      I guess that would be a lesson for her to learn – perhaps with one more stumble or two – but I think it wouldn’t be bad for her to take the time if there is still time.

      If her maturation can’t make it in time, then she simply has to miss Hayate. That’s life.

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