March’s Manga of the Month: Hayate the Combat Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler (ハヤテのごとく!) by Kenjiro Hata

Hayate the Combat Butler is hardly an obscure series but I wanted to bring it up for two reasons. The first is that as far as a I can tell Hayate, much like many other Shonen Sunday titles is hardly doing gangbusters in the English-speaking world. Viz has already slowed down the release schedule on the series. While I don’t think it will be canceled anytime soon I would like to see its schedule speed up rather than slowed down further.  The other reason is the is the lull between the end of the second season and the movie. Manga seems to generate less conversation when there is no anime running at the same time. So I have decided to hopefully get some conversation going before the movie comes out.

Hayate Ayasaki has the worst parents in the world. One day he comes home to discover they have saddled him with a 156,804,000 yen debt. Through odd circumstances he winds up in the employ of the insanely rich Nagi Sanzenin as her butler. Nagi has  fallen in love with him but sadly Hayate is blissfully unaware of this fact. At first Hayate had to protect Nagi from people who would try to steal her fortune. Recently Nagi renounced her inheritance and is running an apartment complex with the little money she has left. So Hayate tries must keep the apartment complex afloat while dealing with the strange residents within and their equally troublesome friends.

People often ask me why I like Hayate the Combat Butler so much. My answer is that it is refreshing. Whenever I read the newest chapter of the manga I just feel my worries fade away. Kenjiro Hata has a gentle writing style that is both soothing and invigorating. The series is consistently funny and mixes high level otaku humor with your more standard comedy elements. There is also a mixture of romance, action, and drama in the story but every chapter is sure to have some laughs to balance it all out. The other major appeal is that the characters are very endearing to me. While I wrote a whole article on why Nagi is such a great character I could write similar articles on the rest of the cast.  I think since our review of the anime I have realized that the otaku level for the series might be a little too high for some but I think any decently experienced anime fan will find something to enjoy in Hayate.

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3 thoughts on “March’s Manga of the Month: Hayate the Combat Butler

  1. AstroNerdBoy says:

    The manga is freaking funny as all get out. I am frustrated that Viz did a massive delay maneuver though. I’ve only been reading what Viz released but it looks as if the character designs have changed somewhat if that’s official artwork in your post.

    • reversethieves says:

      That is official art from the splash page of chapter 268 from volume 25.

      Well any manga-ka with their salt should have an evolving art style. When you get up to the character of Yozora Housen in Hayate the change will be very clear. In fact I wrote a whole article about how Hata is slowly moving away from Koji Kumeta style to something more his own for years now. It is actually quiet amazing to look at the difference between the art in book one and the the art every 5 to 10 books later in any series.

      – Hisui

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