As we head into the grand “Nagi vs. Hisui” battle for old Mikado’s inheritance (somehow I find this sounds sad…), it seems obligatory that we get an origin story of Hisui. Now, we believe that there has been some “good” in every villain before they fall into the dark side, right? So, should we expect the same from Hisui?
You might find it odd that I am not defending Hisui. After all, she saved Nagi, right? Why would an ally of our main heroine – who is obviously a good person – not considered a good person herself? My argument here is that: it is not exactly who you side with that defines you. Sometimes, a bad person is considered “good” merely because they happened to side with you for that one time.
As Nagi said it herself, Hisui has always be an absurd person who is ultra-violent on people she considered “enemy”. She hit bullies with a rock repeatedly when she was a kid, and she attempted to kill Mikado with a sword when she grew up. The only difference between now and then appears to be that while she saw the Sanzen’ins as friends in the past, now she sees them as enemies. Everything else has been the same all along.
So, can a person’s morality be defined by their allies and enemies? I would say it depends. In some cases a person realises that their old ways and his old friends have been evil, so they turn against their past; this is called conviction. In other cases a person turns against their old lives and friends simply because the past is longer beneficial to the person, and this is called betrayal.
Let’s put Hayate no Gotoku! aside and start talking about Dragonballs. Ask yourself this question: at which moment do you consider Vegeta a good person? Some might say that it was the moment he turned against Freiza and his army, and fought alongside Goku and his friends. I respectfully disagree. In that case, he only turned against Freiza because he wanted eternal life for himself, and Freiza was an obstacle in his goal. There was no change in his motive, just a change in interest, so I consider it a mere betrayal.
Instead, I would ask you to turn to the moment he sacrificed his life in order to defeat Fat Buu. As Piccolo put it, Vegeta did not fight for his own glory, but for the safety of his family. Only then, I consider him making a change of heart which made him a good person. This is the very moment I consider Vegeta’s conviction. In other words, in order to decide whether a person’s turn falls under conviction or betrayal, we always need to look at what triggers the change.
From what I have seen in this chapter of Hayate no Gotoku!, I would say that Hisui has only undergone a betrayal, not a conviction. She has not turned from good to bad; she has been bad all along, and it is just that she now considers her former “allies” as her “enemies”. The reason for her change is her own interest: she liked Nagi more than the bullies, so she was Nagi’s ally; she likes Mikado’s inheritance more than Nagi, so she is Nagi’s enemy. It is that simple.
So, let us not talk about Hisui’s “redeeming qualities”. There has been none – at least from what we have seen so far. I actually find it a bit worrying that Nagi considers what she felt about Hisui as “admiration”. Is it really an admirable thing to try to kill anybody in your way?
At least Nagi now knows that she cannot consider Hisui her ally anymore, and turns to her other old ally: Sakuya. Nagi has been a lucky girl: of three of her old friends, at least two of them – Sakuya and Isumi – never stopped caring her, and both are genuinely good persons. While Hisui is clearly a bad influence, Nagi at least still has two other best friends to guide her in the right way, at the expense of any proper manga guidance. Well…
So, Machina makes his long-awaited appearance again! With Sakuya’s brain against Hisui and Machina’s power against Yozora, I think we should expect some very evenly-matched battles for… Klaus. God, this sounds even sadder than Nagi and Hisui fighting for money.