Let’s take a moment to talk about the device named in the chapter title: the Apple Watch. The newest product category of Apple will be available for preorder on 10 April, and then on sale on 24 April. For people who are eagerly expecting the watch, it is a hell of a long wait.
A lot of brainwork is still required before we buy the device though, as we have 2 watch sizes, 3 collections and 6 types of bands to choose from. Doughnut Gunso has narrowed down the choices to 2, and a final decision will (hopefully) be made once I try them out on 10 April.
Of course, we all know that Hata is an Apple fan, and Apple’s products feature prominently in the story. In fact, with Hayate’s recent switch to the Apple camp (he used to own Android devices), the only major character who is not using any Apple device is Hinagiku – she isn’t even using Android.
Wait, Hinagiku has an iPod on the cover art of HiNA…
Hata usually does his product placement in-story, and curiously he is doing it in the chapter title this time. There is still good reason for that, as it is somewhat related to School Trip Level 5. We will come to that later.
As Student Council President, Hinagiku has early access to the number of participants for each level. She finds it surprising that of the 207 Year 2 students, 54 of them (26%) have chosen Level 5. The prize money turns out to be more attractive than expected. Naturally, the more students joining, the tougher the competition would become, so Hinagiku is not really happy about it.
Take out Level 5, though, the application list looks more Hakuou-like: the higher the level, the lower the number of participants. Perhaps the one big surprise is that there are still two people joining Level 4. I read that someone guessed it was Fumi and Sharna and… I actually concur.
Miki asks Hinagiku if she is choosing Level 5, which surprises me. The SC Rangers seem to have agreed that they would follow Hinagiku’s choice of level, so surely Miki would have asked Hinagiku this question before the application deadline? Of course, the SC Rangers might think they know Hinagiku enough to guess her choice, but… this does not really make sense.
Funny enough, when Hinagiku answers that she would donate the prize money to needy children, she is in fact telling the truth.
Meanwhile, it is now proven that Hayate has not thought of winning the prize money at all. In fact, it takes Maria to remind him and Nagi that with 150 million yen, Hayate’s debt could be repaid. She further suggests that Hayate might quit his job as butler, which might not necessarily be correct: even if he has no debt, he still has to make a living, and why on earth couldn’t he keep his job as butler to Nagi?
The possibility of Hayate leaving his job unsettles Nagi. As much as we would like to praise the bond between Hayate and Nagi, the said bond seems to be rather fragile here: Hayate is unable to commit his future to Nagi, while Nagi herself doesn’t seem have enough confidence in Hayate. You might expect Hayate and Nagi to develop a stronger bond over HIAPOE but… well, I guess there isn’t just one ship that is sailing like a snail.
Elsewhere, those who care only about the King’s Jewels have some good news as the detective game is getting some progress. Unfortunately, in typical Hata fashion, we have one question solved but one raised at the same time. At least we now have the reason for Kananiwa to possess a King’s Jewel. The reason is simple enough: Mikado gave her one. The question then follows: which one?
Before I go any further, I must declare that I have never invested much time into the King’s Jewels, so it might simply be that I am totally wrong with the following “analysis”. Yet, we must start somewhere if we are to solve this mystery, so no matter how uninterested I am about the King’s Jewels, I can no longer dodge the discussion if I am to remain relevant in the Hayate no Gotoku! universe.
You know, sometimes we need to put forth all of the evidence in hand for a fruitful conversation. Of all materials I have, the most efficient (you cannot expect me to go through all of the chapters, can you?) and most reliable (with all due respect, the HTCB Wiki doesn’t always list out the sources for us to verify) is the “Official Doujinshi” that went on sale on 18 March.
According to the picture above, there are 6 King’s Jewels with definitive ownership:
- Mikado had one, which was later, eh, “taken out” by Hayate, and later destroyed by Isumi
- Hayate had one, his second one, which was destroyed by Nagi
- Wataru has one from his mother Mikoto
- Ikusa had one, which was once Hayate’s first one, and was destroyed by Isumi
- Yukariko had one, which she entered the Royal Garden with, and according to HTCB Wiki it is now with Nagi (no source is given)
- Aika had one, which turned Athena into a small child, and it is now with Machina
Cross-examine this with Athena’s account in Ch. 482 and I can highlight the conclusions and problems that I have:
- The one stone “we” have is assumed to be no. 6 above
- The one used by Athena to enter the Royal Garden is… which one?
- The four broken ones are no. 1, 2, 4 and… which one?
- The one used by someone at the Violet Mansion remains unknown
What I do see here is that there are two accounts, which cannot be constructed into a single coherent conclusion. What’s worse, the Official Doujinshi insists that there are only 9 King’s Jewels, never 10. Now, to further complicate the matter, there is one King’s Jewel with Kananiwa, and this fact completely contradict with both the Official Doujinshi account and the Ch. 482 account.
What am I trying to say? I would like to point out that the plot(TM) is in a state of serious confusion. If we are to say that the Official Doujinshi is the latest definitive account of the King’s Jewels, then we must conclude that Athena is making some mistakes with her account. If so, then her account in Ch. 482 should be disregarded.
Focusing on the Official Doujinshi account, we might notice that we have not yet been told where Mikoto has received her King’s Jewel. Could it be the one that was used at the Violet Mansion? This is of course a bit of stretch as I have no evidence to prove any correlation, but without complicating the whole thing I think it is the most straightforward conclusion – for now.
And then we can tackle the issue of Kananiwa’s Jewel, which remains an existence contradictory to the Official Doujinshi account. One obvious way out is that it is the 7th confirmed Jewel, meaning that only two remain unknown. So how do we explain the fact that Mikado has been looking for three Jewels? My guess is that either Mikado has been hiding the fact that he knew about Kananiwa’s Jewel, or that he has simply forgotten about it. Let us not forget that Mikado wasn’t expecting too much when he gave her a Jewel.
I think this is the best I could do at the moment. To put it another way, with the evidence currently in hand, this is my most logical theory without stretching the said logic too thin. We surely need frequent revision to our understanding of the situation, and an ever-updating Featured Article might be warranted. After all, we are at a state that even the most knowledgable characters are making mistakes.
Now, let’s go back to School Trip Level 5, which starts on 18 September. From our discussion in the last chapter, we recalled that the story of CTMEOY started on 18 September. With that in mind, it can be now logically concluded that CTMEOY is not part of the manga canon.
You’re next, Cuties.
Now, finally, we understand why the Apple Watch is mentioned in the chapter title. School Trip Level 5 requires every participant to wear a Completer that looks like a watch. The Apple Watch cannot feature in this chapter because it is not yet on sale, so… that’s why Hata is asking for an Apple Watch!
It seems that the only girl who wears the Completer on her left wrist is Kayura.
Put it simply, School Trip Level 5 would be some kind of Battle Royale or Hunger Games. As with the survival games I mentioned, this could be an ultimate test of one’s abilities as well as characters, and this might not look good. You see, in order to win the game, our main characters could employ a lot of dirty tricks: deception, betrayal, violence, you name it. Here comes the question: is this exactly what we what to see from our beloved characters, who are supposed to be friends?
You might say that I am thinking too much about a “competition” which is ultimately a game, just like the Freedom Marathon race. However, Hayate and Hinagiku had entered “Ice Age” simply because Hayate exploited Hinagiku’s weakness during the race. if we are to believe that Kananiwa is a terrible person, then things could go even nastier than the Freedom Marathon, and friendships could be damaged even further.
Here’s the thing. When I first read the last page of this chapter, in which Nagi declares she would win this competition in order to keep Hayate, my first thought was: “Great. Nagi is now trying to monopolise Hayate.” Then I reflect on my own thought and realise that I was making a mistake: why am I demonising Nagi just because she wants to win the competition?
You see, if there is a voice from the Nagi camp (I am sure there is…) claiming that she is doing the right thing, we could enter a debate on who is more righteous, who is more likely to win and who deserves more to win. Yet there is a very big bling spot: this whole damn thing is Kananiwa’s game, and why do we want our girls to play her (possibly) evil game? Why are we trying to fight over something that simply does not worth it?
The biggest irony is that, anyone who wins the competition might end up losing things more precious. Hinagiku would have to hurt Nagi and Hayate in one way or another, and if they end up being angry at her, how would Hinagiku be able to win Hayate’s heart and Nagi’s approval? Nagi herself might also go out to deceive and betray Chiharu, Kayura and others. The few friendships Nagi has been building up over summer could be blown away, while there is no guarantee that Hayate would be okay with his lady’s behaviour. Quite simply and honestly: what for?
Damn, I actually would be happier if they all turn their back on Kananiwa and ruin her plans (if any), even if it means that Hayate’s debt cannot be repaid just yet. He isn’t too actively working on it himself, so why do anybody else bother?