By Leroy Douresseaux
September 18, 2012 - 14:09
|Hayate the Combat Butler Volume 20 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Since the age of nine, Hayate Ayasaki has worked various part-time jobs to pay off his parents’ gambling debts. These degenerate parents even sold Hayate’s organs to the yakuza to cover their debts before they disappeared. Fate brings Hayate to teenaged heiress, Nagi Sanzenin AKA “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.
As Hayate the Combat Butler, Vol. 20 opens, Wataru, Saki, Sakuya, and Ichijo are taking their Golden Week vacation in Las Vegas. Saki finds herself playing the Vegas Strip’s most ruthless card shark, Wataru’s mother, Mikoto. If Mikoto wins, she wants Wataru to move to Vegas so they can be together again.
Then, Hayate and Nagi head off for a vacation in the Greek Isles. Hina, Izumi, Ayumu, Segawa, and Nishizawa join them, much to Nagi’s chagrin. She wanted to be alone with Hayate… Then, part of the group ends up lost in a labyrinth beneath the Sanzenin’s palatial estate on Mykonos. Will Hayate rescue them? What secrets does the labyrinth hold? Does the Minotaur stalk its dark passageways?
THE LOWDOWN: In my previous review of the Hayate the Combat Butler manga (Volume 19), I wrote that I finally really liked the series. Some of the volumes of the series are composed of chapters that act as individual, self-contained episodes. Sometimes, those chapters are comedies built around situations, often poking fun at fans of anime and manga.
I prefer the series when its creator Kenjiro Hata writes sustained narratives that show off the characters’ personalities, even if the story lasts as little as two chapters. This “Golden Week” period of Hayate the Combat Butler offers stories in which the readers can see the characters as more than just players in genre parodies. Now, the characters are worth revisiting, and I await the next volume.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for ensemble comedy can actually find a good one in the Shonen Sunday manga, Hayate the Combat Butler.
Rating: A- /10