Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 510

Christmas is in about a month's time!

Christmas is in about a month’s time!

Before we begin, let us have a moment of condolence: Saginomiya Isumi would never have the same voice again…

So, School Trip Level 5 has reached its conclusion. To be honest, I didn’t really expect that it would conclude with Hayate as the final winner. Judging by the shocked reaction of everyone in-story when Hayate retires Nagi, perhaps I am not the only one who is surprised.

I don’t know what everyone else was thinking, but what surprises me is that Hayate can achieve a victory at something after all. First Season of the anime (which I always consider as an official doujin anyway) aside, I cannot really recall Hayate winning anything before. In most cases he either loses them, or serves as Nagi’s dragon for the sake of her victory. I think Hinagiku and I have a similar thought on this: Hayate has been playing the role of Nagi’s dragon again, with him trying to take out everyone but Nagi, and then surrenders to her so that Nagi can take the glory as the final winner.

This is not the face of a bad loser.

This is not the face of a bad loser.

Assuming that we do have the same thought, let me also make a guess at Hinagiku’s somewhat annoyed expression as she thinks that Nagi could become the final winner. More than anything else, I think Hinagiku is unhappy that Nagi, who has done next to nothing over the entire school trip, could win the competition simply because Hayate is this devoted to her. It is more or less fine for Hayate to win because he has put in a lot of efforts; Nagi? No way.

Still, Hayate defies everyone’s expectations and claims the victory for himself. He then repays most of his debt with the 150 million yen prize money. Now, Hayate has a 156.8 million yen of debt to Nagi while he has been at his job for almost a year. We have been told that it would take almost 40 years for Hayate to repay all his debt, so logically he should already have repaid 1/40 of his debt, which amounts to 3.75 million yen. Take that amount and another 150 million yen off the original debt, Hayate has now about 3.05 million yen debt left. That, in Hayate’s words, is “a little”. Give that amount to me, would you?

The Proposal (?)

The Proposal (?)

Then again, the debt appears to be of no relevance anymore, because Hayate promises Nagi that he would be by her side. On the facts alone, it seems to be a very happy ending for both of them: Hayate is concerned that he might no longer be employed if he doesn’t have the debt, but it seems fine now because he has made his promise to stay by Nagi; Nagi was also worried that she might lose Hayate if he ever wants to clear his debt with the prize money, but now he has cleared his debt and he is still staying with him. There should be no more problems between them.

But then the story refers to the “bomb between them”. How we decide to interpret this statement, for now, seems to be the most interesting thing.

If we take everything in the face value and interpret everything in the most “unsubtle” way (this is an approach I have to throw both my arms at, but I reckon there is a very loud voice out there), we can say that the bomb has now officially been disarmed. The “bomb”, as we know, refers to the possibility that there is no romantic love between Hayate and Nagi. Surely we know that Nagi loves Hayate, and now Nagi finds her evidence that Hayate loves her, there is no bomb anymore. So, yeah!

Want an

Want an “unsubtle hint” for what is going wrong?

The thing is, this is not my approach, and I am going to look at it in another way: this chapter has only made the “bomb” grown bigger than before, although – let me state this first and foremost – I don’t see a sensible way for this bomb to go off imminently.

No matter how “unsubtle” Hayate’s love for Nagi is, all I saw from this School Trip saga is that Hayate considers his life as Nagi’s butler wonderful. Indeed, before he met Nagi, his life can only be described as “miserable” as he has spent most of his life working for his awful parents who don’t care for him. Nagi, first and foremost, has been a much more decent employer, so Hayate is now working for someone who cares about him. This is a strong foundation on which he has established a new life: he got a new school, he found new friends, and he had wonderful life experiences. This has nothing to do with his romantic feelings for Nagi, and in my point of view, Hayate’s major objective in this saga is to keep his job and thus his new life.

We can’t really blame Nagi for this, but the fact is that she has interpreted Hayate’s devotion to his life as his determination to prove that he loves her. In her eyes, Hayate wants to keep his job because he is so in love with her that he cannot leave her. Indeed, Hayate has said similar things along the line: “You (the source of my new, wonderful life) are more important than anything else, so even without the debt, I will be by your side (as your employee so that I can still have my wonderful life).” This sounds exactly like a confession, and Nagi takes it this way. This has only created an even bigger misunderstanding between Hayate and Nagi, hence the bomb.

Hata is not using brackets, but I am.

Hata is not using brackets, but I am.

These two interpretations, perhaps surprisingly, gives us two entirely different views on Hayate as a person. The “face value” approach shows that Hayate is among the most loyal people the world ever conceives, and it is a wonderful moment as he finally finds the most important thing in his life and chooses to stay by her side. My interpretation, on the other hand, pictures Hayate as an extremely selfish person as he has been thinking only about his wonderful life, without considering what his words or devotions would mean to Nagi; in other words, he has been the half a piece of ass that I have frequently referred to.

As for the plot, the “face value” approach would hint that there is no bomb to blow off, and we can say goodbye to that lovely Royal Garden; my approach would mean that the bomb not only is still there, but it has grown even bigger and we can look forward to the day to say hello again to that lovely Royal Garden. We do have a follow-up question for the latter case: is the bomb going to blow off now?

Or, it does take a genius to turn this face into an explosion of negative emotions.

Or, it does take a genius to turn this face into an explosion of negative emotions.

Seriously, I don’t see how this bomb can explode soon. To do so, Hayate has to “prove” to Nagi that he in fact doesn’t love her, and I can only think of three extremely idiotic ways for him to “achieve” this: 1) Nagi asks Hayate if he indeed loves her, and he says no; 2) Hayate starts pursuing another girl right in front of Nagi’s eyes; and 3) Hayate lets his tongue slip along the lines of “I am so worried about losing my job because, you know, I might have to live my horrible life again!” Really, if Hayate manages to do any of the above soon, he would need a surgery to find his brain because I fear that it doesn’t exist anymore.

Or, things could go out of Hayate and Nagi’s hands. Remember that Hayate had a small talk with Hinagiku that he could not date anyone when he still has his debt? This, as you may recall, is Hinagiku’s motivation to join School Trip Level 5 in the first place. Now that Hayate has cleared his debt, logically it means that he is ready for a new love life, and Hinagiku might try to seize her chance…

Then again, if we assume that Hinagiku witnesses Hayate making his “confession” to Nagi, it would be her who needs that brain surgery if she finds it a good moment to make her confession to Hayate.