What They Say:
Nagi refuses to go to school and runs away from home. While searching for her, Hayate is stopped by a little girl who knows too much about his and Nagi’s life.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a pair of sizable seasons behind it already, Hayate the Combat Butler returns to TV with a new season entitled Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. While I’d seen a fair bit of the series as previously released by Bandai Entertainment on home video, most of which I believe was shown on Crunchyroll as well, it’s never been a series that’s really won me over. I liked the silliness and the fun of it, but it’s not a show that completely wowed me and drew me in hard with the humor. Part of that I think may have come from just having several episodes at a time to watch rather than spacing it out, so I’m curious to see how this new interpretation of the show works for me.
The show gives us a taste of things at first in September as we see Nagi dying in the Nevada desert, or at least not in her usual pleasant accommodations, where she bemoans her fate. This is just an amusing opening bit though as she rails against everything before it shifts back earlier in the month at a time where Hayate has been her butler for some nine months. Nagi’s become increasingly bored with her summer vacation and now that it’s over it’s just painful for her as nothing is fun. Even things that should be fun, as we get the litany of her pleasures, proves that she’s just gone around the bend on this trip. All that keeps her attention now are reality shows and silly shows, including one talk interview that goes on about Area 51, something that really piques her interest and gets her to connive a way to go there.
Getting Nagi out of Japan just before school starts and off to America is an amusing choice and the show certainly brings in some fun English dialogue early on. Most of the episode is focused on getting from point A to point B so that we can get Nagi in America. Her trials at home are comical enough since Nagi and Maria are against the trip and she never likes being told no. She has some fun moments as she goes about her day out in the world while coping with it and I do have to admit that I appreciate that they did a kidnapping piece in the first episode to cement that aspect, as well as a brief little montage of flashback images that show some of the other incidents involving Hayate and Nagi. It keeps things relatively intact in a way, though I’ll leave that for the hardcore fans to really go at.
Hayate the Combat Butler does some stuff fairly right here and I laughed and chuckled a few times along the way, but part of that just comes from familiarity and not seeing these characters for a couple of years. While the previous series were never big favorites, I did enjoy them overall and I’m not sure what there is in this series that seems to be turning away at least some of the fans of what came before or the manga. For those going into it completely new, there are things in this episode that may not make sense as it plays it as though you already know the characters well. But there is a rather simple dynamic here when you get down to it and not a lot you need to know. When a show that’s been out of the limelight for a few years comes back, there’s always a bit too much hope placed on it by the ardent fans. I had some fun with this and will likely continue on with it since it plays the wacky comedy well while also trying to slide some serious and straight material in as well.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.