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Hayate The Combat Butler Vol. #19 Manga Review

4 min read

With Golden Week upon them, the cast’s thoughts start to turn (more) toward love. With this crew, that just means the trouble is going to increase.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Kenjiro Hata
Translation/Adaptation: Yuki Yoshika and Cindy H. Yamauchi

What They Say
It’s the moment Hayate fans have been waiting for: Hayate and Maria, alone in the mansion! Will the world’s most spectacular butler and maid, respectively, doff their prim-and-proper manners and get busy at last? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean Hayate’s other love interests can rest easy. When Nagi fears that her “romance” with Hayate is growing stale, she vows to kick the relationship into high gear. Either her secret love techniques will work wonders, or Hayate will wind up cross-dressing again, so it’s a win-win situation for the readers…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It is vacation time and so the usual routine will catch a break…or at least it will after all the students who failed their tests take their remedial classes and those who skipped too much class attend a lecture. With time on his hands since Nagi is the definition of “student[s] who skipped too much class” Hayate will find himself following an amateur videographer as she claims to look for heart rending love around her, though perhaps she could star in her own presentation on the matter. Then in a sign it is going to rain when Nagi wakes up at the break of dawn-will she learn to love the morning or was this a one-time. Pure random chance deal?

Later Nagi spends the night at Isumi’s house, leaving the perplexed butler and Marie home all alone (Didn’t Klaus used to live here?) which of course could be a normal situation except the individuals involved certainly are not and some imaginations may run wild. Later Nagi will put her foot down when her imagination gets the best of her as she sees Hayate talking with the daughter of a local businessman which may force her to take action and cause her to take her (totally in her mind) relationship with Hayate to the physical level, but is she prepared for that?

Finally different cast members will leave on vacation but trauma may be what some of them return with rather than souvenirs. While it initially seems Hina might have the worst time as she is now committed to take a flight with Ayumu, the real person in danger may be Wataru. While a trip to Las Vegas seems like it may be only perilous to his meager savings an encounter with a very familiar face may have him not leaving Las Vegas again. And just for good measure the encounter might leave Las Vegas seeing a lot more of Sakuya (who traveled along with Wataru and Saki) then she is comfortable with. One thing is for sure, with this group of characters the stories of these vacations won’t soon be used by travel agents when they make tour recommendations.

The latest volume of Hayate the Combat Butler does what the series does best- it pokes its cast with) sticks(metaphorically…usually) and sees what happens. Whether it is a girl in love looking to find others with heartbreak, a dire manga crisis which will push the authors to their very brink (and incidentally leave two rather clueless and prone to wild imaginative young members of the opposite sex at home alone), or a playful attempt at seduction pretty much doomed from the time the thought occurs all that is certain is that things won’t work out as planned, to the benefit and entertainment of the reader.

While some of the cast gets rather shorted for my taste (Hina) the tracks are laid for the adventures to continue and a small nugget of possible future storylines is also introduced. And hey, just for fun lets introduce a new character with a butler as that hasn’t been done in awhile and have the readers hoping that Saki losses big in Vegas which will lead to Sakuya losing but the audience winning a major fanservice payoff.

Watching the cast for this volume is a bit bitter sweet as the jokes are plentiful and much of what I pick up the series for is here but the fun of the Nagi-Hayate trip is placed on hold. Hopefully this is just a means of raising tension for the payoff but I could have used a bit more of some characters and a little less of others. On the other hand, part of the charm of Hayate is its vast cast and the fun the author has of putting them in various places and then running wild so it isn’t really a negative as such.

In Summary
When it comes to the Hayate cast even the most normal events of a normal day can suddenly swing into outrageous and wild flights of fancy-and sometimes actions that match. What will happen when it is time for the unusual to take place in the form of vacations that will take them out of their usual comfort zones? The answer is a lot of fun for a good deal of the established cast and a brand new spot of trouble for one of them as a surprise return may mean the end of his time in Japan and also the end of another members ability to ever get married.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B

Readers Rating: [ratings]

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: February 7th, 2012
MSRP: $9.99