Well, what do I say?
I actually expected this chapter to be filled with action or adventure. After all, Hayate was still stuck in the (ruined) Royal Garden, so a rescue attempt would be required, right? It would be a great opportunity for everyone to shine for a final time, right? It would be reasonable to bring the series to a final climax before the final chapter, right?
As such, I must admit that I was stunned speechless when Hayate reappeared the moment Nagi called his name. A potentially serious crisis for Hayate was solved with… a literal drop. This doesn’t really make sense for a Shonen action series, but it actually makes sense for a comedy series. Since Hayate no Gotoku! is an action-comedy-romance hybrid series of sort, I guess I cannot fault Hata for offering a comedic resolve to Hayate’s “crisis”.
Hata suggested on his BS that he actually had thought of three ways (in his words, “patterns”) to save Hayate: the “Mikado saves Hayate pattern”, the “using the last Stone pattern”, and the “Yukariko pattern”. Given the nature of the manga series and the messages it has been delivering, it certain makes sense that the “Yukariko pattern” was the one adopted in the end. It reaffirmed Yukariko’s wish that someone (Hayate all along, really) would come to Nagi’s aid whenever and wherever she needed him. By “summoning” Hayate with Nagi’s need for him, Hata successfully completes the circle.
When we come to think of it, there is further brilliance in this “Yukariko pattern”. Hayate intended to make amends for his lie (or his piss poor choice of words, if we were to believe that the “I want you” line was not a lie in the first place) by sacrificing his own life to save Nagi. By saving Hayate with her need for him, Nagi made it perfectly clear that the apology was accepted. Instead of waiting for someone else to save Hayate and then reconciling with him later on, Nagi saved a lot of time for everyone by taking the action herself.
Of course, no matter the nature of the series, the only ones who escape death easier than the heroes would always be the villains. As such, there should be little surprise that Hisui also managed to escape from the crumbling building (and cliff) and her fight with Isumi. Given the fact that Hisui was ready to attack again while Isumi said that she had run out of strength to fight, Hisui might well be the more powerful fighter.
Yet Nagi decided that there was no need to fight anymore. She offered Hisui the key to the Sanzen’in inheritance in exchange for a brief moment with Hayate alone. She admitted that Hisui was the winner of the “competition”, and that she did not hate Hisui at all – heck, Nagi even offered that the two of them could have cakes together again. I don’t know about you, but this scene had me thinking: who are you and what have you done to Nagi?
You see, for most of the Finale, Nagi was an emotional wreck who did not want to talk to anyone but Kanzaki. I don’t really remember if she had expressed any sympathy for Hisui either. The only thing we know about Nagi that is consistent with this scene is that the Sanzen’in inheritance was not the thing she cared about – all she wanted was to put a stop to her life of poverty. Yet all of a sudden she was demonstrating a great deal of maturity, she knew all the right things to say, and she alone was able to put a stop to the family feud.
This isn’t the first time Nagi’s wisdom went into sudden overdrive. Back in the Athena saga she was able to figure out Hayate’s predicament and solve it by sacrificing her own right to inheritance, despite the fact that they had very little conversation about Athena or the Stones. Of course it is possible that Nagi was this wise and mature all along, but her tendency to switch to Saint Mode in a second – in order to resolve a plot point, no less – makes it more than a little difficult for me to be convinced.
Just like in the Athena saga, Nagi’s wisdom led her to give up her right to inheritance. The difference is that Nagi did not request Hayate’s protection this time; in fact, she finally dismissed his service. Interestingly, Nagi came to a similar conclusion to Ayumu about her year with Hayate: something might have gone very wrong at the beginning, but the memories along the way were real. All things considered, Nagi was grateful about it.
To his credits, Hayate took his dismissal well enough – in fact, it is more a resolve of Nagi to live on her own than a dismissal of Hayate, so it is likely that Hayate just decided to honour her resolve. In any case, instead of crying (again) and begging to remain at Nagi’s service, Hayate simply bowed to her. The legendary master-butler relationship that has been the central theme of the series was officially ended – exactly one year after it had started.
Believe it or not, without the master-butler relationship, I am actually more okay with the (honestly) inevitable romantic relationship between Hayate and Nagi. I never liked the idea of a butler marrying his master because it is setting a very bad example for all kinds of service providers. It is essential for practitioners of many industries to form a close relationship with their clients. If a close professional relationship means that a practitioner should just marry his client, does it mean that a doctor should marry his patient? Heck, Doughnut Gunso has a very cute insurance agent (seriously), so should we just get married because of our professional relationship?
With the professional relationship between Hayate and Nagi terminated, people would stop making stupid arguments that Hayate should marry Nagi “because Hayate has formed a powerful bond with Nagi through his work as her butler”. Hayate’s dismissal means that he no longer had to look after Nagi because of his job, and he could decide for himself whether he still wanted to look after Nagi just because he wanted to.
Heck, I should seriously consider dismissing my insurance agent…
So, with Hayate finally becoming a free man, we are ready for the final chapter of the entire series. We already knew that there would be 29 pages in the final chapter, with three of them being coloured. Still, there is the feeling that it would not be enough to tie up all the loose ends in the series. Well, let’s see what Hata could do with just one extremely lengthy chapter!