An unfortunate high school student, Ayasaki Hayate spends his days working at part-time jobs to support his extravagant parents. After incurring a debt of 150 million yen, they disappear, and Hayate was left holding the bag. Whilst running away from the debt collectors, he tries to kidnap a girl for ransom (however, the girl misunderstands his intentions and thinks he is confessing his love to her). Almost immediately, he botches the kidnap attempt but then manages to save her from other kidnappers, causing her to fall in love with him. The girl, Sanzenin Nagi, is actually the daughter of a millionaire family. In recognition of his services, she hires Hayate as a resident butler and even pays off the debt collectors.
This is how Hayate becomes a combat butler. In order to serve and protect his mistress, Hayate's life-or-death butler life begins.
In a timeless romance one of the most somber things you’ll realize is that one of you will live to see the death of the other. I was 16 years old when I picked up Hayate and realized, hey, this character is the same age as me. As I grew older I came to my own realization that Hayate will continue to be 16 forever. I will be going through life while Hayate, poor Hayate, will still be attempting to pay off his debt and power through the silliest adventures you can think of. In a world where the parody genre is dominated by Gintama,
Hayate keeps breathing through the will of its ever aging fanbase.
Unlike recent titles, this manga does not change to bring more fans. It does not take a stab into the food of conformism but ignores and stays pure to its fanbase. Every arc will be a rush of euphoria as you start remembering how you spend your childhood. Maybe you spent your childhood playing B-Daman or watching Pokemon. Hayate reminds you of those precious moments with its own brand of slapstick comedy.
If you want a comedy which has quick paced plot progression this is not for you. This piece is not for those who want to look at something nice, this is for those who want to remember. With constant reminders and fourth-wall busting you’ll find something you can relate to.
Lets start off with the main protagonist: Hayate. Hayate is a happy go-lucky kid who fell in some bad times. This does not deter our protagonist. He will do anything, and I mean anything, to pay off his debt and finally live a normal teenage life. He is not spiteful of the people who have brought him into these bad times either. “Good things come to people who work hard” someone told him.
Nagi is our second main protagonist: a tsundere (yes a tsundere) girl who is the sole heiress to a massive fortune. Hayate recognized her immediately as “having money.” It would be a mistake to say that she's not the median that keeps the waving plot going. After falling in love with a Hayate in his attempt to trick her, he then signs on as her butler.
Can I describe the other characters? Probably not. Not without any bias. Everyone has their own taste in the characters but I found the characters to be the best part of the entire series. You will learn to love, hate, and admire characters as you dive in and become consumed by them. You wish you could meet them in real life and maybe you even go as far as imagining them as your friend. This comes as no surprise as I often wished that I could share a beer Hayate. This does not mean I don't want to strangle him and to knock him out. Those condescending feelings are thoughts you get after experiencing someone for years.
Most people struggle to relate to most shounen characters. The amount of plot armor and asspulls found in shounens are some of its flaws found in the genre. Yes, this is a problem of this manga too as it grows apparent that the author needs popular character relevant. Out of all the crazy and maniacal things that happen, your forehead will scrunch as you realize "Hmm. This isn't right." The manga holds for dear life as you hope that a chapter has relevant plot material.
It becomes increasingly relevant halfway through the manga that the story's worst enemy is not one of the crazy antagonists but the author himself. Every attempt to bring suspense into the story comes to a screeching halt as the suspense is overwritten and the last arc was completely irrelevant to the story itself. You'll also find that the author will begin to force things down your throat and tell you "You better like it. I just cooked it up." The author forcing things became very apparent as Hayate started become aware of the romantic feelings around you. This often happens with the harem genre as the fanbase conducts waifu wars.
As I held for dear life every week I often wondered if this manga will ever end.
Now that I'm here at the end I can't find the courage to close my laptop and say goodbye.
I can't recommend this anime to a 16 year old. I just can't. You'll find that you'll even have to Google some of the references that come up. Even I had to Google a good amount. But to a fellow 26 year old I'll definitely bring up the title with a smile to my face. Remember, art wasn't meant to look nice. Its purpose to make you feel something. I have to say that it definitely made me feel something as I went through schooling, finding a job, and other adult things with Hayate awaiting me every week for another grand story.
Overall, I got what I came for. I wanted to read a relatively light-hearted comedy/romance series that had a little bit of everything from jokes to action, and that's exactly what I got.
Why Do I Like This Manga : The first chapter really drew me in with the premise and since them I've kept reading because I wanted to see more of these characters. I loved how the jokes and references are done in a Gintama-esque way. And, this is a rather long running manga so there are more than enough chapters to keep you entertained for a while.
What I Didn't Like : At
times I felt like there was some sense of discontinuity and the ending felt like Hata-sensei was giving us the middle finger through the page, it was way too abrupt and left too many loose ends for my liking. I'm hoping that this is because there is a continuation or some sort or short series for closure in the works.
TLDR; I think there are some minor flaws with the story, but if you can look past that its a great read for those who enjoy a harem/gag manga that can get serious at times.
Hayate the Combat Butler targets a specific audience, and hits it dead-on. Hayate is for people who love rapid-fire gags and Japanese cultural references. Those looking for serious plots or extremely well-developed characters should look elsewhere.
That being said, Hayate the Combat Butler accomplishes what it sets out to do: Make you laugh. Sure, there's a little bit of a plot thrown in every now and then, and maybe a character or two makes a realization after 10 or so chapters, but the main focus is on the gags, and each characters' role in them. Character deliveries range from deadpan-humor to Manzai stand-up, and each one's
little quirks only make them that much more of a riot.
The art is simple, and if I had to count each time the artist used a black-background double-take face I'd have to get a new notebook to tally it up. However, each character has their own defining looks, and the simple art style lends itself well to the lighthearted nature of the series.
If you need a break from heavy plot and just want to chuckle (or roll on the floor), you could do a whole lot worse than Hayate the Combat Butler.
Story: It's very creative and original, albeit unrealistic, but not in a way that detracts from the series. It's a fairly simple slice-of-life type of story, but it's a very unusual life that the characters lead. This allows for plenty of interesting, crazy things to happen that flow well because the whole thing is interesting and crazy. The story is exciting and new, giving infinite possibility for the author to let loose with his creativity.
Art: The very pretty and distinct characters are fun to look at; again, the variety and uniqueness make it a great manga. There aren't many gorgeous glory
scenes that stick out in one's mind, but there are also no weird, out of place scenes. The backgrounds look pretty good too, and although the blank background is used quite often, it's used for comedic timing to set the mood, and it all works well.
Character: The charactes are just awesome. They are many and varied, and all of them have their unique charms so you really love all of them. Their personalities really bring out the best in each other, and it's just great to watch.
Enjoyment: Certainly one of my all-time favorites. First and foremost, Hayate no Gotoku is a comedy, and comedy it does very, very well. And then, there are bits of romance, and a pinch of angst, and some cool action, and then that deep-down-emotional-inspirational-goodness that we all love. Used in moderation and with humor being omnipresent, all of these other genres come together really well in Hayate no Gotoku. It's all done well - Hayate is the perfect protagonist for showing these elements - and so there's something for everyone.
Overall: I highly recommend this series for anyone, old and young (but not too young - there is sexual humor, but it's not anything really bad. Compared to some other series, the sexual humor is quite mild, despite being used quite often.) I truly believe there's a lot to appreciate in this manga, not just the humor and the parodies, so check it out if you want to pick up a new series.
We love cute couples and following the development of their relative relationships in our favorite manga series. But let's turn up the heat, and see what happens when characters have more than a singular love interest. Let's enter the wild world of the harem manga!