Sometimes I think Hata could do a better job with his plot arrangements. You see, as Ch. 449 more or less concludes Hinagiku’s attempts to “go on the offensive”, there is no reason that it has to be Ch. 449. Rather, as the business between Athena and Ikusa remain unfinished, now everyone is expect the “next big thing” to be revealed in Ch. 450, with coloured crosspage and everything.
So, instead of the sequence we have now, which many say it is extremely fragmented, how about a sequence like this:
|Hata’s sequence||Proposed sequence|
|Ch. 446||Ch. 446|
|Ch. 446.5||Ch. 449|
|Ch. 447||Ch. 446.5|
|Ch. 448||Ch. 447|
|Ch. 449||Ch. 448|
Yes, this still won’t be the most cohesive of plots, but in this proposed sequence Athena’s discussion with Ikusa won’t have to wait 3 weeks, and Hinagiku’s attempted confessions won’t have to wait… over a month. Of course, Hata might have reasons to justify Ch. 449 being Ch. 449, so for now the jury is still out. Yet I guess even Hata himself knows the problem with the plot jumping so he ends up spending an entire page reminding everyone where we had left at Ch. 446. In short, Hinagiku understood what Chiharu meant by “going on the offensive”, and now she just has to do it.
Somehow, I find it not surprising that Hinagiku doesn’t know what she has to do to go on the offensive. True, she confessed in Ch. 164 and attempted to confess in Ch. 238 and 239, but somehow the idea of repeating those confessions never came across her mind. To be fair, Hinagiku considered the attempts in Ch. 238 and 239 a failure, so understandably she is not going to repeat it; as for the confession in Ch. 164… it is more or less a “girl’s secret” game that she played on Hayate, so she might not have thought that such a confession could actually work.
Ironically, I think the Ch. 164 confession would work – perfectly.
With the perfect way to confess out of the equation, Hinagiku considers ways that are a lot more subtle, complicated, and head-scratching. The thing is that all of Hinagiku’s “proposals” need a context in order to be understandable, but unfortunately Hinagiku is not providing them. Without the context, we can’t blame Hayate for taking Hinagiku’s words at face value. So, this time it is not that Hayate is being dense, but it is that Hinagiku is more or less speaking nonsense.
Put it this way: if you want to mention miso soup or breakfast, make sure you are also complimenting his cooking skills at the God-damned dining table, Hina.
Funny enough, with Hinagiku mentioning food-related proposals twice, and her stomach growling as loudly as ever, I think it is more or less confirmed that Hinagiku is in fact the big eater of this series. Let’s not forget that she ordered a ramen for two at the ramen shop, and she keeps eating, eating and eating during her visits to Kyoto and Ise…
So, I think it is not really necessary for girls to go on diet in order to become lightweight – just sleep early and run for one hour every day, and you are not far from Hinagiku’s build, with or without breasts. That being said, Doughnut Gunso’s two silver rules of getting thin remain: 1) no sweets, and 2) no snacks. You know the golden rule, so just do it.
After 3 straight attempts i
n embarrassing herself, Hinagiku finds two diaries in the abandoned village. Presumably it belonged to a villager before his or her demise, although we can’t tell whether it was a man or a woman. While the first diary suggested that the owner was on his or her way to confess in order to have a life that he or she would not regret, the second diary suggested that the owner had been rejected, and he or she found life totally regrettable.
You know, I am imagining that the owner of the diary could actually be the murderer, as he or she had gone mad enough to murder everyone including the one he or she loved.
Yes, this is something that the “Hinagiku should confess already!” camp seems happy to ignore: while Hinagiku might regret not confessing to Hayate, actually confessing to Hayate could be as regrettable, if not more: instead of “Why have I not confessed?”, Hinagiku would be asking herself “Why have I confessed?”.
There is one more little thing that everybody seems happy to ignore: sometimes a rejection would lead to the breakdown of a friendship! I have heard numerous cases of two people cold-shouldering each other following a rejection, most of them feeling awkward or embarrassed seeing each other again. Is Hinagiku prepared to lose Hayate as a friend? Probably not.
You see, Hinagiku confessing to Hayate at this point is like Miki playing see-through poker game with Hinagiku. Sure, you won’t
see Hinagiku stripping win anything if you don’t call, but it could make Izumi stripping cost you dearly if you call. Some adventurers like Ayumu might tell you to call, call and call, but more reserved people like Doughnut Gunso would ask what do we make of Miki’s calls in the end: courageous or reckless?
I bet everyone would say Miki was being reckless. So, why have we been asking Hinagiku to do something just as reckless?
Fortunately, Hinagiku tries the
Ayumu reckless way and comes out without being hurt. Yes, Hayate would find her acting funny but he would’t dare to think of her negatively thanks to her wrath and her track record of helping him, so that’s pretty much nothing. On the other hand, Hayate has not thought of saying the deathly line to Hinagiku: “I don’t have any feelings for you. Why would you think that?” Hinagiku is thus spared from hating everything about her life, and even losing Hayate as a friend. So, in the end Hinagiku is right: “I am glad that Hayate-kun is so dense.”
No, she is not exactly right. Once again, it is not that Hayate has been dense, but it is that Hinagiku has been speaking nonsense. Her thought should therefore become: “I am glad that I speak nonsense instead of properly confessing.”
Unless there is going to be yet another twist in the next chapter (jury is still out), this chapter should conclude Hinagiku’s “offensive moves”. In the end I am surprisingly relieved with the outcome: I have been worried that Hinagiku could be making stupid plans to manipulate the situation, but in the end she simply opted for the “try and error” approach. You know, I prefer a clueless but innocent person to a manipulative mastermind on any day.
No, I am not talking about another girl, so save your finger.
So what about the obligatory assessment key word of “progress”? I tell you what, there is progress: previously Hinagiku has not been able to even expressing her love for Hayate at all, but now she has expressed it (very clumsily) three straight times. In other words, she has moved from “cannot spit it out at all” to “cannot spit it out effectively”. True, nothing has changed in the relationship between Hayate and Hinagiku, but one cannot ignore the fact that Hinagiku is maturing as a girl, bit by bit. This is character development, and who said that character development doesn’t count as “progress”?
If we mark Hinagiku’s three stages of character development as “cannot spit it out at all”, “cannot spit it out effectively” and “can spit it out effectively”, then Hinagiku is halfway through complete character maturation. Remember the “turning point and halfway point” theory we raised some time ago? Hey, it fits!
Again, I am in no position to claim that this is Hata’s plan for Hinagiku, but as a Hinagiku shipper I am more than happy to assume that it is. In this regard, Hinagiku’s character development is perfectly on schedule, so what else could I say except “good”?
We will have coloured magazine cover and coloured page(s) next week, so stay tuned for Hata to wow us. By the way, lordcloudx proposed a question that comes with his or her artwork. So far we know that Ikusa is much more powerful than Hayate in terms of battling, but in a scene like this: