MANGA REVIEW | "Hayate the Combat Butler" - Volume Forty-Two
Writer’s Note: I’ve been reading Hayate the Combat Butler since 2007. With me covering Kenjiro Hata’s other work Fly Me to the Moon, I feel like I should be doing the same with the series that put him on the map. So starting from its latest release — Volume 42 — we will begin reviewing Hayate the Combat Butler!
There’s a lot riding on both Hayate and Nagi. From troubled family reunions to lost fortunes, what should be a nice vacation is turning into another stress-filled adventure. But all is not lost for either butler or master, as their trusty maid Maria and their group of friends are around to lend them a hand. Well…okay, knowing Hayate the Combat Butler, most of the friends would rather laze about than offer assistance.
Thankfully, they’ve got someone like Hinagiku in their corner, who assists Hayate on the quest for a curry recipe. With said recipe, Hayate and Nagi can make the ¥8 million needed to achieve their goal. However, the place with the curry recipe is filled with ghouls and ghosts. Fortunately, Hayate’s never met a ghost he couldn’t beach-slap the afterlife out of them! But when they come across the curry recipe, it’s…not exactly encouraging, that’s for certain.
Those unfamiliar with Hayate the Combat Butler should realize that many of the girls here have the hots for the blue-haired servant. Out of all of them, it’s Hinagiku that feels the most for the boy, probably more than Nagi too! So her trying to say those three magic words to Hayate winds up being not just difficult, but also unintentionally funny, as every confession equates to a “You hungry?” out of him. It’s enough to make you both laugh and feel frustrated over how dumb these two are, a trait that many of the other women in love with Hayate unfortunately share.
As the curry search goes on, Athena is attempting to reach out to Hayate’s older brother in a ten-year old memory. Burning questions about the jewel swirl in her head, but the brother — who had his fair share of amnesia — is just running circles around the problem. Although he’s got the skills of his younger brother, he doesn’t exactly have the comedic spark of him. Even as Athena uses a City Hunter-styled spell, getting those memories and answers winds up being a whole lot of nothing.
It wouldn’t be Hayate the Combat Butler without a good dose of goofing off. A game of shiritori goes into overdrive, with Maria finding new ways to insult the girl she works for. (All because someone’s too lazy to buy expensive ice cream.) Then there are the antics of Fumi, who becomes smitten by Hayate’s older brother, much to the disgust of Isumi. But her loge somehow leads her towards doing a good deed for Hayate, even if he didn’t ask for it. After all, when has the idea of “watering down the batter” ever worked without repercussions?
The evil spirits protecting the curry return, taking control of someone that Hayate has no problems decking over the head. But more trouble arises when the spirit decides to go all out in battle between Hayate and his brother. Alas, the fight winds up being a ruse, with the spirit aiming for something else entirely different from a curry recipe. And it could spell trouble in the long run for everyone!
Volume Forty-Two finally gives some closure between Hayate and his big brother, but it also brings a heaping more of trouble in. Can Hayate bring in ¥8 million? Will Hinagiku confess her love? When will Nagi stop lazing about? There’s a lot that goes on in Hayate the Combat Butler, and it’s easy to get lost in all of the plots and side-stories. Thankfully, you can always count on it to be both funny and entertaining.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.