So, it turns out that it was Isumi who destroyed the King’s Jewel in mid-air. I really should have put Isumi as my secondary suspect in the previous Chapter Review.
With the benefit of hindsight, it makes perfect sense. Isumi is not as obsessed with the King’s Jewel as some of our fellow readers – because the stones help pushing the plot(TM) forward, obviously – but she actually has a very poor opinion of the stones. She called the stones powerful but dangerous, while she
headbutts purifies every single stone within her reach. What surprises me is that instead of doing a Zidane, this time Isumi opted to do a Barton and destroyed the stone altogether. This, to me, is not the Isumi style.
Yet this seems to be what Athena and Isumi have agreed to do, though. In fact, while they fought each other back in Athens, this time they worked as a team for a common goal: to destroy the King’s Jewel. The reason of such a common goal is still everyone’s guess, and here is my take: Isumi wanted to eliminate a threat to the world, while Athena wanted to screw up Mikado’s plans.
Most likely Isumi has figured out that merely purifying the King’s Jewels is not enough to stop bad guys from using the stones to do bad things. In fact, we came so close to Apocalypse back in the Athena saga, and what we had was the King’s Jewel kept by Hayate, which was already purified. Clearly, Isumi would not want another defeat at the hands of King Midas (literally), and if headbutting the King’s Jewel is not enough, then a higher form of force is obviously needed.
It might be a good thing that Materazzi fell so easily after the Zidane Headbutt…
Athena and Mikado might have been the best partners in crime (not literally), but that seems to be no more; otherwise, Mikado would not have to take the precautionary action to curse Athena into her child form with the King’s Jewel kept by Aika. Yet even in her child form, Athena knew that Mikado
has solemnly sworn that he was up to no good, and concluded that Mikado would not like her to stop him. So, why not stop him in her child form?
What exactly would Athena try to stop Mikado from? My guess at this moment is that it is Hayate acquiring another King’s Jewel, and subsequently opening the path to the Royal Garden again. We have heard that to open the path, someone would need “an explosion of negative emotion while holding a King’s Jewel“. Now, I must confess that I am confused whether I have missed any other requirements or restrictions, but assuming that I have not, what I see now is that the whole set up leading to the Athena saga was Mikado’s master plan in using Hayate to open the path to the Royal Garden – again.
We have always thought that Mikado has been a huge asshole by making up all the rules to the rights to his inheritance, and concluded that Mikado did not like his granddaughter. Maybe Mikado isn’t going after Nagi at all, but rather he has been trying to be as harsh as he could to Hayate. The “ultimate choice” between Athena and Nagi was not the ends of Mikado’s game, but the means to achieve his true goal: to torment Hayate with an impossible choice, so that his negative emotions can explode and boom! – we have the entrance to the Royal Garden!
Nagi – intentionally or unintentionally – screwed that up for Mikado by destroying the King’s Jewel. For Mikado, everything was now back to square one, and the first step he needed to take was to give Hayate a new King’s Jewel. For whatever reason – most likely for cursing Athena – he opted not to give the one with Aika to Hayate, and had him looking for another one. Luckily (?) Hayate still found Ikusa for this purpose.
So, in order to save the world and also to screw up Mikado’s plans, Hayate must not be allowed access to the King’s Jewel. As such, Athena and Isumi have set up the entire adventure on Higan Island – Isumi confirmed that she has prepared all the toys along the way – but honestly it would be too frightening to imagine that the two girls have everything planned and controlled, including the involvement of the Katsura sisters, and the behaviours of Higanman. So, in order to make things sound more reasonable, let me try to figure out what exactly the two girls have planned. My guess is that they had a Plan A, a Plan B and quite some improvisation, and here’s how.
For Plan A, I think the girls intended to get Hayate onto Higan Island and throw him into the cave with the skeletons – all alone. Higanman would then possess Hayate, and Ikusa would come and try to save him. All Higanman had to do was to pretend that he was a particularly desperate Hayate, trying to take the King’s Jewel from Ikusa by force. If Higanman could rob the King’s Jewel right under Ikusa’s nose with Yukiji’s body, Hayate’s body would only make the job easier.
Two things got into the way and screwed Plan A. The first was Hinagiku’s presence, and her fear of ghosts forced Hayate to step up and protect her, so perhaps Hayate was not as scared as the girls would have expected. The second was the entrance of the strange creature that Izumi created by accident, which scared Athena to her death and Ikusa came to rescue her instead of Hayate.
Athena’s improvisation was to return to her true form and try to restore Ikusa’s memories. My guess is that should her efforts be successful, she would then convince Ikusa to turn in the King’s Jewel with her horrible experience. As we all know, that did not work out.
So we go into Plan B, that is to have Hayate and Hinagiku take away “Higanman’s treasure”, so that Higanman can make an excuse that “I rob your things because you robbed my things” – yes, Higanman’s “rage” could be just a smokescreen to hide his true intention: to take away the King’s Jewel and to destroy it. The many clever girls would have their intention on a mad pirate instead of a well-calculated plan. This is to say, Higanman is in fact not a mad pirate, but an active participant of the well-calculated plan. In other words, he is a recognised partner of Athena and Isumi.
Once again, two things got into the way and almost ruined Plan B. The first was Higanman’s decision to possess Hinagiku instead of Hayate. Well, some guys do have the desire to become girls for a while, and maybe Higanman is one of them, but it turns out that Hinagiku was completely useless to him, as he could not fully control Hinagiku’s mind and body. The second was Nagi’s genius idea to lure Yukiji back from possession with money, so Higanman was barely able to throw the King’s Jewel away before being exorcised.
If we follow this train of logic, Isumi would be the one who informed Yukiji that Hinagiku was not feeling well. She also heavily hinted to Yukiji that she had to be possessed in order to cure her younger sister. The point is to give Higanman a person he could fully control, so that he could do the deeds expected of him. In the end, though, Isumi had to make the finishing move by herself. Now she has to share the guilt of upsetting Hayate, but I think she would understand that she has done the necessary thing. Remember, Isumi is not an avid fan of the plot(TM).
Athena sees the brighter side of the things, that Hayate has restored the bonds of brotherhood with Ikusa. Nagi sees this as well, and she reminds a sorry Hayate that the King’s Jewel hasn’t been an issue for her. In fact, Hayate seems to be the only person (other than Athena and Isumi, of course) who really cares about the stone: Nagi doesn’t care; Hinagiku and Ayumu care about Hayate, not the stone; the other girls don’t even mention the stone at all. So, Hayate could have been battling for a non-issue all along.
The only remaining issue is Hayate’s competition with Ikusa, which remains an issue because Ikusa insists. It seems the debt remains genuine – this guy might simply have been refusing to repay the debt despite owning a hotel. Hayate still needs to make 8.7 million yen, now in one single day, or he would have to carry the debt on. Ikusa isn’t particularly worried, as he is sure that Hayate only needs some help.
Miraculously, Souya and Kotetsu have managed to earn 1 million yen on their own. We already know about Kotetsu’s abilities as a butler, but what’s with Souya…? More helping hands come as the other girls all become available, and they have an effective team with lots of manpower. Still, I must say that it is highly unrealistic that Hayate and co. could earn 7.7 million yen on the next day. Then again, this is a relatively small problem which does not deserve too much of our attention. As somebody once said, great minds are not restricted by small details…
In the end, Ikusa still denies that he is Ikusa, but he has established a rather good relationship with Hayate. Ikusa promises Hayate to save him once when he is in trouble, and Hayate promises to visit Ikusa again the next summer. Wait, is their relationship really any good, based on their respective promises?
This concludes the current arc, no matter how you call it. All in all I am quite satisfied with this arc, as the emotional bond between the Ayasaki brothers has been explored in depth, and we – with a lot of guessing work – get to know more about Athena’s agenda. Of course, let’s not forget that Athena has for a moment returned to her full form, while the Hayate-Hinagiku ship sails on
at the speed of a snail – actually, we should be grateful that it is not sunk. Not yet.
Next week we will have a break and a new arc will start on 20 August (official release date
, but fuck that). Let’s look forward to that!