By Leroy Douresseaux
Sep 28, 2011 - 12:06
|Hayate the Combat Butler cover image|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Why has Hayate Ayasaki worked various part-time jobs since the age of nine? He has to pay off the gambling debts of his degenerate parents, who even sold Hayate’s organs to pay their debts before they disappeared. Fate brings Hayate to teenaged heiress, Nagi Sanzenin, whom everyone calls “Ojô-sama.” She is the frequent target of kidnapping plots and various schemes by people trying to get her money. Hayate becomes Ojô-sama’s butler, zealously protecting her, while she falls in love with him.
Hayate the Combat Butler, Vol. 18 opens with the closing chapters of “The End of the World” in which Hayate and his Ah-tan (Athena) part ways. Later, Hayate discovers that he has a stalker, so Ojô-sama creates an elaborate and, of course, ridiculous scheme to catch the troublesome female. Golden Week is coming up, and most of the students at Hakuou Gakuin are going overseas for their vacations. Ayumu Nishizawa also wants to leave the country with Hayate in tow… where to get the money?
THE LOWDOWN: After reading the 17th volume of Hayate the Combat Butler, I chose it as my favorite of the series. At the time, I wanted to read Vol. 18 because it had the closing chapters of the Hayate back story, entitled “The End of the World.” Now that I’ve read Vol. 18, I am finally starting to enjoy this series, one which has been mostly hit or miss with me.
Hayate the Combat Butler is an ensemble comedy that also references Japanese pop culture, but it is also a teen romantic comedy. There are fantastic and surreal elements, but the core is the cast. When you focus on discovering the characters, Hayate the Combat Butler starts to seem like a really cool manga and not just a parody of something.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for comedy and Japanese pop culture references will like Hayate the Combat Butler.