Sometimes the most straightforward answer is indeed the best answer. While we, for whatever reason, tried our best to suggest that the clock Hayate found in the last chapter was not Kurotsubaki, it is now confirmed that this is Kurotsubaki. More importantly, this time it is specified on the margin that Kurotsubaki is something that rivals Shirosakura. So, while the “Shirosakura vs Kurotsubaki” showdown was denied in CTMEOY and Cuties, it seems likely that we would be – finally – seeing some epic battles between the two swords.
Of course, this is to assume that the clock would transform into a sword in a manner not unlike that we have seen in CTMEOY.
In a sense it is still far too early to comment on what has become of CTMEOY and Cuties, because other than the whereabouts of Kurotsubaki, there is currently nothing in the manga that contradicts with the anime. It is still possible that Kurotsubaki could do crazy things like it did in the anime. Shin’s soul could well be inside Kurotsubaki, the myth of the clock/sword could still well be true, and everything that happened in the anime could still happen in the manga – although I think they would happen in Japan instead of Las Vegas.
What I am trying to say is that we really have to wait and see how the manga develops before we throw CTMEOY and Cuties into the trash can. I am still very much in the opinion that the anime simply gave us a “teaser cameo” of the capabilities of Kurotsubaki, and the manga would have a very different story. But then, it is just me.
Things get interesting as Hayate chooses to take the clock for – fair enough – time-keeping, and asks Nagi to return the clock. As we do not know how it is possible – would Nagi survive the first trap on her way? – the conclusion seems to be that Nagi would not be returning the clock. This would lead to troubles in one way or another, so let’s wait and see what is going to happen to Hayate’s “life in itself (sparkling!)”.
The more pressing issue for Nagi, though, is to confront Mikado with the stone she just “found”. While Mikado is too smart to be fooled by Nagi’s tricks, he really doesn’t have any more excuse to deny Nagi’s right to her inheritance. I don’t know what kind of procedures it would take for Nagi to restore her wealth (the Mansion, the transports, the cash, the bank… etc.), but in principle she is now once again crazily wealthy. So… congratulations!
As with many other things, the good comes with the bad. While Nagi lost her wealth and lived in “poverty”, she was safe from kidnappers and rivals who were after her money. Now that she has her right to inheritance back, the kidnappers and rivals will also be back – most specifically, Mikado mentions Hisui, whose name sounds more and more dangerous as it is mentioned.
We may ask why Nagi could get her right to inheritance back so easily by pulling a very simple trick, but this seems exactly Mikado’s plan. We have learned from Nagi that Mikado was not very fond of Hisui, so he might have decided that Nagi was a better pick of the two evils. After all, here is a granddaughter who paid him a visit when he was sick. Nagi might be nasty to him, but they are still family.
If we are to think that the entire “King’s Jewel seeking” mission is planned by Mikado, I would say it is only a partial success. From what we have learned so far, Mikado seems to have two goals with this mission: to restore Nagi as his successor, and to get another King’s Jewel. The former went as planned with a deliberate “loophole” in his rules and some acting, while the latter appears to have failed because of a miscalculation for real on Mikado’s part. The conclusion is that Mikado is very smart, but it doesn’t mean he cannot be outsmarted.
What happens next is likely to be the one instance Mikado is completely outsmarted. As he plays with his King’s Jewel (absent-mindedly), Isumi does a sniper from far, far away and precisely cuts the King’s Jewel into halves. Is it just me, or is Isumi’s power becoming more and more incredible? Anyway, instead of getting one more King’s Jewel, Mikado now has one less King’s Jewel. So much for progress(TM) in his plot(TM)…
It obviously is an ongoing “collaboration” between Athena and Isumi, but now it seems the two girls have different goals in mind: Isumi is simply on a mission to search and destroy King’s Jewels, while Athena wants other King’s Jewels destroyed so that she can achieve her true goal. So what “true goal” does she have in mind? On the evidence so far, her goal is to return to her normal form – permanently.
I think we know where this is going. Right before she was cursed into Athena (small) by Aika’s King’s Jewel, Athena (big) gave the stone to Machina. Assuming that Athena (small) has lost the memory of the whereabouts of the stone – or even the existence of Machina – Mikado would have no choice but to lift the curse, so that Athena (big) can tell him that the stone is with Machina.
It appears to me that we are seeing two chess masters trying to outplay each other. Mikado had a strong head start with his attempt to destroy Athena at the hands of King Midas, and later cursing her into child form when she was off her guard. However, Athena has been slowly regaining her ground for the past three months, and now she has forced Mikado into a corner. Surely Mikado knows that Athena (big) is a much bigger threat to him than Athena (small), but not getting a King’s Jewel at all remains his biggest nightmare. As the “chess game” goes on, I think it could go either way.
The main disadvantage for Mikado, though, is that he is running out of time. For some reason Athena knows that the Royal Garden would be din 4 months, so if Mikado still wants the Power of Royalty, he only has four months left. In a certain country in this world, the consensus is that the end of the Royal Garden would mean the end of Hayate no Gotoku!, although I do not see the direct causal link.
Then again, it is (supposedly) an atheist country which worships “A-Goddess”, so…
No matter what, this is the latest evidence of the famous fan theory that the series would end in December story time. Don’t you look at me – I never rejected this theory. One more thing… I will go on trip next week so there would be no Ch. 467 review by Doughnut Gunso.