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MANGA REVIEW | "Hayate the Combat Butler" - Volume Forty-Three

MANGA REVIEW | "Hayate the Combat Butler" - Volume Forty-Three

Although the forty-third volume of Hayate the Combat Butler says it’s been three months since Nagi lost her mansion, it’s felt like a lot longer has passed. (The truth of the matter is, it has, what with VIZ Media’s painfully slow releases of Kenjiro Hata’s first hit series.) But finally, a level of closure occurs in this recent (to the English-reading audience) volume, and it’s not just between Nagi and her grandfather.

Katsura-sensei is still possessed by a strange being, only for the one true thing to come around to help break the curse: cold, hard cash! It’s a scenario that sets up not just the end of a unique fight, but also restrengthens the bonds between Hayate and his brother Ikusa. A plan to nab a King’s Jewel goes up in smoke, no thanks to a certain powerful girl who couldn’t find her way through the Ikebukuro train station. However, Nagi thinks of an idea to nab another King’s Jewel, one already belonging to her grandfather. But first, Godzilla!

The wacky side of Hayate the Combat Butler makes its return in the climax to this arc. Using his skills and the light of a priestly ghost, Hayate sets out to nab Nagi’s grandpa’s King’s Jewel in a fight that’ll end Nagi’s life in the poor house. That’s when the ultimate battle is set up, as Hayate fights the mighty Klaus-san. Alas, Klaus learns a valuable lesson the hard way: never bring a sword to a taser fight!

After years of waiting, Nagi finally gets her mansion back. At first, she appears to be joyful, only to find that living in a huge mansion with just her, Hayate, and Maria can be very lonely. Fortunately, a bunch of annoying and loud pals find their way into the mansion to remind the rich girl the joys of living under the same roof as her friends. Yes, they’ll all still see each other at school and the like, but moving from somewhere filled with life to a big load of empty can be jarring!

However, there’s another mystery that needs to be solved, and Maria may be in the center of it all. Since its beginning, Hayate the Combat Butler has given Maria the spotlight here and there, but only as a second banana in the narrative. But now, with a tale revolved around recoding an old language, the maid finally has a chance to show why she a far bigger key player in Nagi and Hayate’s lives than we initially thought. And a big part of it all might actually involve Nagi’s long-deceased mother.

The comedy, action, and bountiful of booby traps hit hard in Volume 43 of Hayate the Combat Butler. Filled with its trademark jokes and oft-color jabs at other properties, Hata’s first big hit continues to show why it was such a Shonen Sunday heavyweight. With that being said, even with one big arc finally finished, there’s still more story to be told, considering there’s nine more volumes of this manga left to be released in the US. Which means…God, I have to wait five more years till I see how Hayate the Combat Butler ends?!



Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)