Hayate the Combat Butler Graphic Novel Volume 31 cover image
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
As a nine-year-old, Hayate Ayasaki begins working to pay off his degenerate parents' gambling debts. Before they disappear, his parents sell their son’s organs to the yakuza to cover their debts. Hayate is working various part-time jobs to pay off the debts when fate brings Hayate to teenage heiress, Nagi Sanzenin a/k/a “Ojô-sama.” She is the frequent target of kidnapping plots and of 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. 31 opens with pop idol, Ruka Suirenji, joining Ojô-sama to produce a manga. After all, both share the improbable dream of becoming hit manga artists. However, Ruka has actual drawing skills, while Ojô-sama is blessed with geekiness, tech skills, and money. Thus, the two end up at odds. Ojô-sama decides that viral marketing and a maid-fetish photo-book will help her sell 1000(!) copies of her manga at the upcoming “Comic Sunday Con.” Ruka engages in the radical alternative plan of actually drawing a comic book. Which one will succeed? Will either of them succeed?
Also, Wataru Tachibana is quitting school, but feels he must tell his crush, Isumi Segawa, why he went to the current school in the first place. But Isumi is dense, and Wataru can't gets the words out? Plus, Hayate gets tricked into tutoring Isumi, Miki Hanabishi, and Risa Asakaze – three girls with poor studying habits and the propensity to run out on study sessions.
[This volume includes a fourteen-page bonus manga story.]
THE LOWDOWN: It has been some time since I last read the Hayate the Combat Butler manga. There are usually several months or even a year-long gap in my readings of the series. As always, I am happy to report that it continues to be as charming and as entertaining as ever.
Hayate the Combat Butler Graphic Novel Volume 31 focuses on a story line that has run through the series in recent volumes – Ojô-sama's desire to become not only a manga artist, but also a creator of smash hit manga. She lacks the art skills, work ethic, or the ability to fashion a coherent plot, but she won't let that stop her. There is comedy gold in them-their-hills of this spoiled, privilege princess and her career turns made on a whim.
Perhaps, it is my love of manga about manga, but I find myself once again entertained by Hayate the Combat Butler creator Kenjiro Hata's comic sensibilities, which sparkle via John Werry's droll translation. Yeah, I'm ready for the next volume, and I am still recommending the series to you, dear readers who share my love of manga.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Readers looking for comedy can find laughs in the Shonen Sunday manga, Hayate the Combat Butler.