Taking place one month after the events that occurred in the movie Heaven is a Place on Earth. Living at the Sanzenin Mansion once again, Nagi returns to her old ways of life, until she receives word from American authorities informing her that she has a week to pick up her late father's belongings that was indefinitely delayed due to various circumstances. After receiving news of her father whom she doesn't remember, Nagi then meets a mysterious girl (with a hidden agenda) claiming to be Nagi's little sister.
The series tells a new story that is original to the anime and not directly based on the manga. The main author of the original series Kenjiro Hata personally created the original concept for the story of this anime.
#1: "Koi no Wana (恋の罠)" by Haruka Yamazaki (ep 1-2, 4-11) #2: "Yoki Shoujo no Tame no Pavane (善き少女のためのパヴァーヌ)" by Yamazaki Haruka (ep 3) #3: "Here I am, Here we are" by Ryoko Shiraishi, Rie Kugimiya, and Haruka Yamazaki (Hayate Ayasaki, Nagi Sanzenin, and Ruka Suirenji) (ep 12)
You know what I want for Christmas this year? A butler. A personal butler to serve me and obey my every single command however, whenever, and whatever I want. Well, that's the feeling I got initially before I began watching the series. I was a fan of the original Hayate the Combat Butler franchise. Kenjiro Kata's writing and his works aren't the best in terms of story telling but can be a fun watch especially when you're having a bad day. Then, the news came when Kenjiro Hata decided to write a separate series of the original Hayate. Now, here we are...
Hayate no Gotoku!
Can't Take My Eyes Off You (also known as Hayate the Combat Butler! Can't Take My Eyes Off You) is a separate series of the Hayate franchaise that stands independently written by the author of the manga, Kenjiro Kata himself. Now, this can be both a good or bad thing. Likely, if you're a manga reader, then you'll be very familiar with his works. However, if you're more into the animation product, then brace yourselves. This might be something you might want to keep your eyes on for mixed reasons.
The series retains its lighthearted tone of a comedy. Nagi and Hayate stars together as the main protagonists along side their friends. Yup, the gang is back together for some maid and butler fun. The series starts quite slow and Nagi is lazy as ever. She's always been lazy anyways but still retains that fondness for video games and doing whatever she wants. Damn, talk about being a lazy spoiled brat. In fact, a new semester is about to begin and she's still laying down on her sofa. Things does somewhat pick up its pace though as her knight in shining armor (Hayate) comes to her recuse like anyways.
The initial episodes of this series seems to be independent despite the title of the series. It's sort of misleading as “first night, second night, third night” as one might expect some sort of chronically linear story. However, most of the first half doesn't seem to connect much. Furthermore, it introduces a new character who comes under the claim to be Nagi's little sister. It's hard to take her seriously with her personality. In fact, it's hard to take this series seriously at all with the themes, cliches, and gags. Although it does brings back some nostologia from the original series, it's starting to lose its touch especially for die hard fans from season 1. It doesn't help by the fact that there are even a few minor fillers in between. As painfully it may seem, it's there.
However, there is some good news. A certain strawberry colored hair council president makes her return in this series along side some other promising characters including one with an idol status and those dreamlike song entrances to boot. Other characters makes their appearances as well but all seems to be in the background. Even Maria from the original series seems to have a lesser role. I scratch my head several times whenever I think of this as a thought pops into my head: There's a butler with a star role, what about the maid?
The artwork from this series is a joke. No, it's not even a parody because it's portrayed as a joke, in the wrong way.
“Can't take my eyes off of you?” I can barely look at some of the characters' design from this series. Hayate looks like a bishounen more than he should be. Hell, he's like a trap now. The rest of the characters' designs aren't too different either. They all have identical heads with different colored hair attached to their bodies. In other words, it doesn't work out right. Most of the background colors are also quite generic and weak. A bit of an improvement to the artwork would have been much better to be honest.
Luckily, the soundtrack of the series works well from my perspective. Although nothing special, "CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU" by eyelis actually fits and presents some of that Hayate-like feeling of pleasant nostologia. The OST of the series so is just average but the insert songs from a certain idol shake things up. The ED song,"Koi no Wana by Haruka Yamazaki, performed from that same girl is presented quite well in the form of metamorphic art and style. Not too shabby.
Ultimately, watching Hayate no Gotoku! Can't Take My Eyes Off You is like trying out for a sports team at a new school. You think everything might go your way but it might turn out otherwise. Whether the result pleases you will be different for everyone. Some of you might not take your eyes off of the series while others hit that drop button without a moment of hesitation. I'm sort of in the middle. At times, I snooze and lose the thought of enjoying the series. At other times, I get a pleasant feeling of watching it through. But overall, the decision is up to you to decide if you will enjoy this new and latest installation of the Hayate franchise. I mean, it-it's not like I want you to watch this series or anything!
The Hayate series has been going now for a relatively long time, the manga started running back in 2004, and had already added two anime series` to its name (one of which was 52 episodes long), but since 2009 we’ve had nothing really new from the Hayate franchise, except a pretty sub par movie in which nothing happened but whatever. The point is that it had been a while since anything substantially new came out, that was until we heard about this new series, cant keep my eyes off you, which was going to be entirely original, some of us got our hopes up, others
stayed cautiously optimistic but in the end all of us where to be disappointed by this cynical cash grab.
And that’s exactly what this series was, a rushed, poorly thought out attempt to keep the Hayate series alive and in peoples memory until the next real season comes out, which, COMPLETELY BY COINCIDENCE, was announced just after this series was finished, yeah nothing fishy there, uh hum, nice try.
So Hayate No gotoku Cant keep my eyes open continues the story of Hayate an extremely unlucky teenager who through a series of unlikely events ended up working as a butler to a rich spoilt tsundere girl named Nagi to pay of the massive dept his rotten parents saddled him with. The series essentially follows his misadventures as he tries to avoid death or getting into more debt on a daily bias. This season however deals more with Nagi`s past and when a mysterious girl shows up claiming to be Nagi`s sister, looking for something called the Black Camellia then the gang must journey to Las Vegas to uncover the truth.
I really don’t like writing one sided reviews but honestly I cant think of anything really good to say about this series at all, the only interesting bits in the whole show where stuff they took straight from the manga (such as the diner scene), and as this is supposed to be an entirely original series I cant count that, everything that is original is awful, as are its interpretation of the characters and its design of them, but more on that later, for now lets talk about the major mistakes in this series.
The first huge mistake was actually in even making this series, you see “Cant keep my eyes anywhere near you” is set some time in future of the last season, and is even ahead of the manga, yeah no problems there. You see season 2 ended just before going into what many people including myself believed to be the pinnacle of awesomeness that the manga ever reached, the Athena arc, but they decided to save that for the real third season and instead they gave us this half baked plot about a watch, and some crazy sailor moon villain who wants it and a whole bunch of other boring crap that no-one cares about.
The result is a hackney, Frankenstein like monster of a story that’s trying to do a whole bunch of things but isn’t doing any of them right, its trying to be a comedy but its not funny, its trying to be serious, but its ridiculously over the top (and not in a good way), its trying to be a love story, but with flat characters and no resolution, its trying to be father-daughter story, but they don’t flesh it out enough and waste too much time on pointless stuff.
So in the end by trying to juggle too many things at once, combined with a rushed script they ended up dropping them all, and the result is something messier than a lit paper bag on a door step...
which is ironic because both things are full of sh##
Then there’s the new character, Nagi`s supposed sister, this character was pretty forgettable, another loli tsundre, geeze there must be more of these than there are actual animes. But in all seriousness this was a pretty bad character, most of the time she is just annoying, with the attempts to make her cute and moe so obvious and cheap that I want to punch the screen every-time see appears. There where some attempts to give her a character of her own but for me she never broke free from being a character who has been created simply for this series alone, and then strictly never mentioned again.
The other characters where pretty awful too, Maria was static and boring (and stupid, yes I said stupid, because there’s a scene where she’s standing on one of those air vent things on the floor that blows your skirt up Marilyn Monroe style, and it happens to her three times in succession and she gets angry, but she never once thinks to take three steps to her left and walk off it... you dumb bimbo!) Nagi was bland, disinterested and slow to pick up on incredibly obvious things and so was everyone else, we’ll get to Hayate in a minute but all the side characters felt like puppets with their strings cut.
After that is the art, and if you wanted proof that this series was a rushed mess, then all you have to do it look at it, I mean wow, there were actually some scenes that were comically bad, some characters actually looked like their faces and been created by a blacksmith... who was blind.
I mean Manglobe aren’t exactly top of the line animators but ive never seen anyone turn out a disaster like this in years, geeze!
If you’ve seen this series then I think your familiar with the infamous terrible reveal shot of a certain character, yeah you know what im talking about, its actually so bad its funny, seriously go watch it, its in episode 3, just watch from around 3 minutes in you’ll know it when you see it, trust me...
Lastly we have the main character, why am I doing him last? Well because hes probably the least important thing in the whole show, he doesn’t do anything! No im not kidding he does nothing in the entire show, he`s always there don t get me wrong, but he’s usually just standing in the background, smiling awkwardly. He`s like everything else in this series, horribly forgettable, we learn nothing new about him or his character, he doesn’t grow, regress or change at all, now I know this is essentially a comedy and so character arcs are not as important as in other types of stories, but you still need some level of character or it’ll become a series of “things that happen” rather that a story.
He might as well be part of the scenery for the majority of the show, he mostly just nods and says “yes m`lady” or “eehhh!” you could remove him from the show and just put in Parker from Thunderbirds and it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference.
Its painfully obvious that this entire series is filler and so they couldn’t do anything drastic with the characters or the story as this series is meant to be seen and then forgotten.
The Hayate franchise has always worked on a basic formula of a zany sort of Gintama like comedy, and a basic harlem series with a clueless main character. And while the franchise had its problems, it still produced some funny and memorable moments despite the constraints of the genre, however none of those moments exist here, this series feel like a cheap imitation of a Hayate series with a hackney story attached that would make even a college student throw up in disgust.
It adds nothing to the franchise and is completely forgettable, well except for that reveal shot (whoah that was hilariously bad), and is clearly just a very long trailer for the real third season. The whole thing just feels like it was rushed out to tide people over until then and really should have just been shortened to an 3 episode OVA and released as a special edition with the next volume of the manga.
Its really quite sad to see how badly this series messed up because it really feels that with just a good bit more work and time spent on it then this could have been a good series in its own way, but as it is im afraid it really is a stinker.
When people heard that the new season of Hayate no Gotoku would be an independent series instead of animating the Athena arc, many fans were disappointed (including me). This disappointment may have led to some fans having a bias against this season. However, even though this season wasn't nearly as good as the other seasons, it's also not as bad as some people may say.
The series starts off with a bunch of fillers, which the series really could have done without. The comedy in these episodes are very forced and although some of the jokes are funny, most of them fall flat on their face
which makes these episodes weak in general and very forgettable. However as the series goes on the story starts to pick up and everything gets better from there. The story itself is pretty good because it contains numerous twists in it (predictable or not) and it also unveils a lot of things that happened in the past which made the plot very interesting and entertaining. The series also benefited from the story because it gave the viewer something to look forward to every week, and although this story was decent the series does lack the charm that the previous seasons delivered.
The art in this series is just bad. The poor artwork is most noticed with the character designs, where the character's faces and heads looked out of proportion. Also the colours they chose aren't the best either. Usually artwork isn't something I pay attention to but for this series, the art was so bad that it had a negative impact on the series.
The sound on the other hand is pretty decent. The opening really fit the more serious series this time around and it actually sounds pretty good. The ending sounds alright too and both were pretty catchy. Through-out the series there were also number of insert songs which are also pretty nice.
The characters are always a strong point for Hayate no Gotoku, even for this not so strong season. The characters are still great (even the new ones), each of them stand out individually because of their unique personality. However, this time around, the series really focuses (as in only focuses) on Nagi and Hayate and all the other characters this time around play a very small role, so some of the viewers may be disappointed that they won't get to see their favourite character have much of a role. Overall the characters manage to retain their greatness from previous seasons.
Hayate no Gotoku: Can't Take My Eyes Off You could have been done much better as the comedy just wasn't there and the art was just plain horrible. However when the plot started moving, the series never looked back and overall it was entertaining and isn't a bad way to pass the time
Hayate no Gotoku! Can't Take My Eyes Off You Review
Yet another studio is producing the newest season of Hayate no Gotoku! The amount of detail of the background is amazing. Like the buildings actually look like that in person. It does lack extras on the sad note. The Strip is a crowded place. I have no idea why it was so deserted on this anime. Laziness perhaps? I still dislike the character design. Something about the hair strand in the middle of their faces bugs me. It is probably because it steals attention from the character's faces. The main theme songs sounded nice. You can
feel the effort put in them because it is disappointingly the best part of this series.
The new characters were uninteresting except for Tsugumi. Tsugumi x Nagi is a nice Manzai. Old returning characters aren't fully utilized. The best part of Hayate no Gotoku is their diverse characters and yet they limit their screen times. Some of them even acts out of their characters like Sakuya calling Isumi, "Isumi-san" on the last episode. When the hell they became such strangers? I do like how they changes clothes every now and then. The worst criminals in the world have an Engrish accent. Seriously, how hard is it to find a English speaking seiyuu with native accent? I would do it for free FFS. (Just provide me a flight and hotel to Japan!)
I see no purpose on having Las Vegas as the main setting. To be honest, it could have taken place back in Japan and I wouldn't see any difference. Just have the casino win as a lotto win. Where the hell were the omakes? It stopped half way the series and never came back. I wanna know what happens next to Urashima Taro, damn it! The story is too plot driven. I enjoyed the slapstick version of Hayate no Gotoku! with minimal and random plot better. They are overextending their genre and should just go back on the basics. This kind of twisty story would be better fit on a movie. The comedy scenes are forcefully wedged inside the plot heavy storyline. I don't know if I should either take this series seriously or not. One the early stages of the story, some scenes were hilarious like the restaurant scene on episode 5. You see, next producer of Hayate no Gotoku!'s name here, just stick to comedy! And fuck storyline. Finally, the ending was satisfying. She finally confessed and Manglobe is playing safe with his response. Doesn't really set on "what's next on the series" but at least they didn't fucked up the ending.
Verdict: 6.4/10 (Slightly Above Average)
+ Great theme songs.
+ Detailed background.
- Not as funny as S2.
- Bad character usage.