Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 503


Here we go again...

Here we go again…

Maybe it’s just me, but my impression is that whenever two or more adults in Hayate no Gotoku! have a private talk together, they are up to no good. Either they conspire to win money together, or they discuss plans to re-enter the Royal Garden. Money and/or power seems to be top priorities of adult minds, which unfortunately is an inconvenient truth.

This time we do have a rather refreshing combo in Kananiwa and Mikoto. As they have embarrassing nicknames for each other, it is clear that they have a very long and deep friendship. However, Kananiwa seems more interested in talking about things that are up to no good, so let’s head straight into that.

As we don't have many pictures to show...

As we don’t have many pictures to show…

We might have expected this chapter to give more information on the King’s Jewels, but surprisingly very little has been revealed about the stones. One reason is that Mikoto is incredibly tight-lipped until the very end, so that a lot of pages have been wasted on the verbal battle between them. When Mikoto finally gives valuable information, there is very little that we didn’t know before.

Put it this way: we all know that opening the path to the Royal Garden requires an explosion of negative emotions. In this chapter, Mikoto only gives us the technical detail that such an explosion only comes with the failure of a great desire. We could have come to this conclusion by studying the curious case of Ruka, who has been considered a “candidate” by Housen “Who?” Yozora. The moment Ruka decides to give up her mangaka dream is a pretty close call to “an explosion of negative emotion”.

As we don't have many photos to show... (2)

As we don’t have many pictures to show… (2)

Thus, as far as the readers are concerned, Mikoto is just being Captain Obvious by stating clearly what is required to return to the Royal Garden. Perhaps the more interesting outcome of this conversation is that Kananiwa gets to know about this. Most likely, Kananiwa would then look for the one who could meet the criteria.

The question, then, is which one of our major survivors in the School Trip has a great desire. Obviously the greatest desire of the School Trip is winning the competition and get the prize money, so let’s examine some of the possible candidates based on this.

Hayate has shown great determination to win the School Trip by trying to finish all other competitors back in the hotel. However, his motivation is not entirely clear. It is never revealed what he wants from winning this competition, other than simply winning a competition that he is capable of winning. There is no way to tell if he has great desire for winning this competition when we do not know why he has such great desire.

As we don't have many pictures to show... (3)

As we don’t have many pictures to show… (3)

Nagi has clearer motive for winning the competition, although fan theories of her motive could be polar opposites: some think that she wants to set Hayate free by repaying his debt with the prize money, while some think that she wants to keep Hayate with her by denying his chance to win the prize money. Either way, her desire is rather questionable, as she has been more an observer than a participant in both orientations. As any employer would tell you, the desire to work isn’t proven without true hard work.

Hinagiku is a curious case. Her desire to win this competition is well documented. In fact, the School Trip Level 5 saga began almost right after Hinagiku figured out the only way for Hayate to date her is to get rid of his debt. She has also been a very active player so far, featuring prominently in orientations and the night chase in the hotel. The problem, as discussed in the previous Chapter Review, is that Hinagiku seems to have her mind split as the competition goes on. The safety of her friends is a higher priority than winning the School Trip. It is almost safe to say that Hinagiku’s true desire is not winning the prize money.

Yukiji is all in for the money, so her desire is “great” enough. Her new-found debt and her “hostage” situation at the hands of Aika also gives her vulnerable for failure. The problem is that Yukiji is a big enough butt monkey recently, and any more bad things happening to her is not only predictable, but also extremely boring. Moreover, Yukiji is not the cutest of characters, so it is rather hard t sympathise her, and that spells trouble for tension of the story.

This sums it up.

This sums it up.

Aika, Izumi, Kayura and Isumi are all still in the School Trip, but it is questionable whether any one of them would think that losing the competition is a huge enough deal to have their negative emotions explode. The bottom line is, I doubt if anyone of them thinks that the money is such a big deal.

Of course, the great desire may not be about winning the competition, and there may be ways for Tsugumi, Sonia or even Kananiwa herself to experience that explosion of negative emotions. Unfortunately, too little is known about their minds, so there is no way to tell what is going to cause them such despair – although, in Kananiwa’s case, her failure to look for a candidate to do things for her might actually cause her to open that damn path herself.

After all, you can’t always expect people to do your deeds for you.

6 comments on “Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 503

  1. The main characters are mostly teenagers who don’t rely on adults at all with some having had a bad experience caused by adults. I guess you could say that HnG has a slight anti-adult theme.

    Hayate, Nagi, Hinagiku and Aika may be serious about the competition but its not like they have anything significant to lose to begin with so I doubt they’d feel enough despair to open the path.

    My guess is that Tsugumi could become the candidate based on her ambiguous line in Ch. 492 “You… take care of your family, right?”. This suggests that, like CTMEOY Tsugumi, manga Tsugumi might desire familial love and so, great despair would follow if she’s denied of it. Looking back at how Hayate first opened the path, his despair was the result of false familial love.

  2. I believe it’s been established that Nagi’s current motive (ever since her talk with Tsugumi) is definitely to keep Hayate from winning. There’s no point discussing that any further when it’s been made clear in the manga. Her initial motive before her talk with Tsugumi could have been anything — but it’s moot now unless it’s brought up again in the future, but we’ll only know that when it actually comes up.

  3. It’s kind of funny, but for some reason this whole King Jewels business got less and less interesting for me over time. At this point I can barely feel excited about it anymore. I wonder if it’s just me?

    I also wonder if the manga would benefit from Hata-sensei being a bit more straight forward with the storyline. Maybe tone down the fanservice and fourth wall stuff and be more detailed; be funny when appropriate and serious when needed, and so on. Maybe it’s getting too sketchy as of late? I honestly don’t know.

    All I know is that I found this chapter particularly annoying.

    • Probably because every time the King’s Jewels are brought up, we only get questions rather than any answers. As of recently, its just the same question with the same frustratingly vague answers. I personally have found the King Jewels plot as having become rather pretentious since all they do is tell us how important and mysterious it is but not actually show it.

    • You’re not the only one. I’ve come to accept that for better or worse, this is just how Hata-sensei prefers to tell this particular story. He drops ambiguous hints and foreshadowing events here and there that may or may not be used later on — and because he persists in this style, it sometimes leads to some errors and plotholes.

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