It seems that Hayate is quite eager to end the School Trip as soon as he can.
In fact, after overhearing Kananiwa’s secret plans, it seems that Hayate has taken over the role of the mastermind. After all, it is him who decides the content of the final orientation, and it is also him who persuades all the “survivors” – including Kananiwa but excluding Nagi – into the game of “Reverse Old Maid”. While there are a few days left before the time limit, we now have a game to decide the winner of School Trip Level 5.
What is unsettling here is that Hayate seems to consider opening the path to the Royal Garden. Nobody knows why he wants to do this, but it is established that he would want someone to have an explosion of negative emotions while playing “Reverse Old Maid”. We should note that with the exception of Kananiwa (and perhaps Yukiji as well), all the possible “someones” are his friends. In other words, Hayate wants one of his friends to experience very, very negative emotions. What kind of person do you call this?
Yet as I have suggested before, Hayate doesn’t seem to be the kind of person who thinks his plans through. More specifically, Hayate tends to have either a very narrow mind or a very sharp focus. All he could see is a goal he wants to achieve, and he is willing to achieve that goal with zero consideration on the consequences or collateral damages. The most hilarious part is that Hayate tends to regret those bad things later, hence a part of me is certain that he would have a “My God, what have I done to her?” moment after she opens the path to the Royal Garden. Then again, if Hayate allows that kind of scene to happen, Doughnut Gunso is going to nuke him.
And seriously, Hayate needs to cut his frequent references to sexual violation.
Anyway, “Reverse Old Maid”. In traditional “Old Maid” the one who gets the Joker at the end of the game is the loser, but in “Reverse Old Maid” he or she would be the winner. Funny enough, while people usually avoid drawing the Joker, in this game they have to welcome and protect it. What is usually perceived as “unlucky” now becomes essential to win this orientation.
It seems that with a heavy prize money on the table, both Izumi and Kayura cannot play the game properly. Izumi has the exact opposite of a “Poker Face”, while Kayura is torn between using secret techniques and leaving everything to luck. Their performances lose them their Joker card.
Meanwhile, Hinagiku seems on top of the game by correctly analysing which card in Kayura’s hand is the Joker. For those of you who are surprised by her skills, you may be reminded that we have already learned Hinagiku is a skilled poker player in Ch. 434, undisputedly a filler chapter. Yet just as Ch. 267 established that Hinagiku got to keep Shirosakura, once again a filler chapter ends up establishing something about Hinagiku that is related to the plot.
Yet Hinagiku is arguably quite wrong to assume that this game is based on “luck”. As suggested above, drawing the Joker is usually perceived as unlucky, and a lucky person is not going to draw the Joker. In a sense one has to become “unlucky” in order to draw the Joker, and nobody is more “unlucky” than Hayate in the entire series. If Hinagiku thinks that she could win an “unlucky” game with “luck”, chances are that she could be quite wrong.
This is why there is an internet theory that Hayate would simply treat the “Reverse Old Maid” game as an ordinary “Old Maid” game. In that case his invincible bad luck would make sure that he would draw the Joker from Hinagiku and gets to keep it. Come to think of it, this might be the best example of turning your disadvantage into your advantage, but… what is Hayate going to achieve with this?