As part of the “10th Anniversary Project”, three OVAs of Hayate no Gotoku! are created, bundled with Vols. 41, 42 and 43. The first OVA, titled “Volume A”, features Nagi and Hinagiku in their own standout chapters which have not been animated yet. As we already know from the trailer, it is Ch. 161 for Nagi and Ch. 267 for Hinagiku.
Sure enough, the OVA is a fair animation of the manga chapters themselves, especially for Nagi’s chapter. Nothing really goes missing, while the anime “Beast Magnum” – wait, is it really called that? – has been given a very nice extra touch, which clarifies that the RC cars do not battle by crashing into each other, but by firing in-car weapons. Okay…
Hinagiku’s chapter has put Izumi (back) in the cast, a decision that nobody would complain, although Izumi’s presence takes away some lines from Miki, which in turn makes Miki’s appearance unnecessary. Perhaps the crew should have created more new lines for Izumi.
There is one small surprise that Hinagiku’s donkey ears are “explained” as a result of King Midas’ curse, while there is one big surprise that the Athena saga has not only been touched on, but given quite some show time. Granted, it mainly focuses on Hinagiku’s action as Silver Red (and somehow I find the whole action sequence very funny), but I guess you can’t say I am wrong for the following statement:
The one biggest surprise, however, is the return of Wakamoto Norio, and he is everywhere. In Nagi’s chapter, he is the narrator of the TV commercial (“Beast Magnum X~”) and also Grasshopper itself. In Hinagiku’s chapter he returns to his old role of “Voice of Heavens”, although disappointingly there is no interaction with the characters. In any case, Wakamoto is crazily funny, and to a certain extent I think it is him who defines this OVA as a Hayate no Gotoku! OVA.
The level of artwork is somewhere between CTMEOY and Cuties, which is not a very good thing. Most annoyingly, they have Hinagiku making unnatural poses, which I reacted with a frown and the sound of “awww…” The ending sequence, on the other hand, is exceptionally well done, which makes me think that maybe it is better if Hayate no Gotoku! anime comes with chibi-characters only. The return of the first ever Hayate no Gotoku! opening song is also very welcomed.
At the end there is a little tease on the “alternate universe” of Hayate staying at Izumi’s home. Will it really be animated in future OVAs? It is hard to tell. We only know that the next OVA will feature Maria and Ayumu.