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Hayate no Gotoku!! 2nd Season – Series Review

September 27, 2009

Maaaaaaany things have happened… Many jokes were cracked… many references were made… but like all good things, a season has to end.

But the end of a season never signifies the end of the world.

Welcome to Whatever Animeblog’s Deredere Hina’s Very Short Summary of the Hayate no Gotoku!! 2nd Season anime!

Sequel to: Hayate no Gotoku! or Hayate the Combat Butler! (With a single exclamation point!)
Based on: Kenjiro Hata’s manga, Hayate The Combat Butler!
Episodes: 25
Air time: 24 minutes per episode
Producers: J.C. Staff & Shogakukan Productions
Rated PG-13
Opening themes: Wonder Wind by ELISA (Used from episode 1 to 17, re-used as Ending theme in episode 25), daily-daily Dream!! by KOTOKO (episode 18 onwards)
Ending themes: Honjitsu, Mankai Watashi-Iro! by Itou Shizuka [Katsura Hinagiku] with Yahagi Sayuri [Segawa Izumi] & Nakao Eri [Hanabishi Miki] & Asano Masumi [Asakaze Risa] (used in episode 1 to 17), Karakoi ~Dakara Shoujo wa Koi wo Suru~ by Kugimiya Rie [Sanzenin Nagi] and Shiraishi Ryouko [Ayasaki Hayate] (used in episode 18 to 24)

Story:

For those of you who do not know, Hayate no Gotoku! is about a boy named Ayasaki Hayate, who seems to be Lady Luck’s most hated customer. On Christmas Eve, he was fired by his boss and all his pay were taken by his parents, which they usually do. He works very hard because he cannot depend on his parents as they always either gamble it or invest on some sketchy thing. But on that day, his life was changed… his organs were sold to the yakuza.

Fleeing for his life, Hayate decides to become an evil person. Despair allowed him to meet Sanzenin Nagi, a very rich girl. No, actually, very rich isn’t the right word for her. She’s INCREDIBLY wealthy. No, I don’t think even that sums it up. Anyway, Hayate plotted to kidnap Nagi but ends up saving Nagi from (other) kidnappers. Nagi was eternally grateful and due to misunderstanding that Hayate wanted to ask her out instead of kidnap her, she hires him as her personal butler.

And that’s where it all started… If you haven’t watched this, I suggest you avert your eyes as there are major spoilers coming up and watch the series! I assure you, 52+25 episodes + 1 OVA are not enough to satisfy your needs for this series.

So, let’s get started with the review.

Comparison with the first series:

The second season is obviously produced by a different production staff. The first one was did by SynergySP and this one is by J.C. Staff, which likes monopolizing Rie Kugimiya’s loli-tsundere roles (Shana, Aisaka Taiga, Louise and now Nagi). Quite a lot of differences from both “versions”, if you may.

The first one was more of a full-fledged comedy series. Sure, it started off with how the manga introduced the characters, but after introducing the majority of them, they simply appear for comedic purposes with no actual background story whatsoever despite having 52 episodes to spare.

The first one almost even told us that there is no competition to Hayate x Nagi. It’s the expected ending, but at least provide some conflict. Ayumu would come up every episode, only to be ignored (and always with food). Of course, there are times where she would compete with Nagi but Nagi would always prevail. Hinagiku would not openly “compete” but there are almost no hints of Hayate being the least concerned of their relationship.

Now, the second one is pretty different from the first one. Second season not only had shorter episodes, they also had background stories to spare. Most notably, Katsura Hinagiku’s story arc. The second season treated characters as… well, characters. They received a lot of new background information and tackled with their past. Even Tama gets one! Something that only Nagi and Hayate received in the last incarnation though they also get deeper ones here.

The second season also provided a different kind of art style. The characters look much younger (especially Maria! *dodges incoming frying pan*), even though the majority of them should be about 16-17 years old (they look 14-15-ish to me). I have to admit, after watching the first season and then started the second season right off the bat, I didn’t like it. But as I watched more, the art became preferrable and even better than the first one. Hakuou Gakuin even gets a new paintjob.

The second season also respected Nishizawa Ayumu as an existing character and not some Torch regularly dying out. She appears to have more speaking roles and does not appear for 5 seconds only. We even get to see her brother, Nishizawa Kazuki… although he never did any more major appearances after his episode… In the end, Nagi hasn’t returned his handkerchief.

I prefer the second season better. Not just because they emphasized my favorite character as a true main character, but because every change was for the better.

New characters:

First of all is Shaflnarz Sonia, the sister Hayate met in the train heading towards Tiger’s Den. Sonia is one of my favorite new characters in the show. Her sister-like appearance hides a powerful warrior capable of running faster than Hayate on a bike and disposing of kidnappers in a flash. Her affection for Wataru is kinda out of place but then again, her reason for revenge is just as weird.

Linn Regiostar, the priest spirit who hangs around either the Sanzenin estate or the Saginomiya clan’s. From earlier episodes, he seemed fun, informing Hayate of some dangers ahead of him and even appeared to Hina once to solve her problems. But in episode 20, his true brilliance is shown with his April Fool’s joke about maids.

Saginomiya Hatsuho and Saginomiya Ginka, Isumi’s mother and great-grandmother respectively. Hatsuho gives us information about Nagi’s mother whilst Ginka is hell-bent on taking Hayate’s blood for Isumi to restore her powers.

Let’s not forget Shiranui, the new pet of the Sanzenin family. Very crafty and cunning. As a cat, Shiranui uses its cute looks to take advantage of people. Tama may hate Shiranui for stealing some of his light but he also loves Shiranui.

Kaga Hokuto is the master of Cafe Donguri, the cafe where Hayate, Nagi and Ayumu work. He was introduced by Hina and he claims that he and Hina go a long way back.

Probably the best new entry for me is… Segawa Kotetsu!

His appearances and attitude towards Hayate is what makes him win for me. Not only did he renounce all earthly and socially-acceptable factors regarding love, his obssession to spent time with him is purely comedic. Hayate’s reactions are also gold as you don’t see him act that cruel in front of other people most of the time.

Character developments:

Nagi has been shown to have a leap in character development during her work in Cafe Donguri. Maria confirms it as well. She can actually serve customers well and talks with them like socializing normally, unlike what you would expect from a rich snob who spends her time inside the comfort of her mansion, playing games. She interacts well with other kids too (episode 19) though she’s too (cutely) embarrassed to admit.

Concerning Hayate… she’s still the same, though some light was shed as to why Nagi trusts Hayate so much. He looks like Yukariko Sanzenin, Nagi’s mother. I dunno… but that concept kinda removed me of any romantic feelings about Hayate and Nagi. I felt like Nagi was just missing her mother, which explains her affection with Hayate. Though episode 17 does show Hayate being all emotional after seeing Nagi get taken away by a spaceship.

Like I said earlier, Nishizawa Ayumu has gained a lot from this season. She not only became Hina’s friend, she was also involved in some very romantic scenes with Hayate like in the Valentine’s and White Day episodes, two very important shipping dates!

With the introduction of their families, Aizawa Sakuya and Saginomiya Isumi seem to be more understandable than incomprehensible. Kasumi Aika and Harukaze Chiharu also got some screentime, more with meaning rather than trivial appearances, this time.

Wataru… this guy never fails to amuse me. Not only is he giving Saki something to blush about, he also gave sister Sonia Shaflnarz some sin. He is still lovey-dovey when it comes to Isumi though.

But I have to give the Most Improved award to Hina.

Season 1 (left) and Season 2 (right)

Nope, no biased reasoning affected this… okay, so maybe a bit, but still. Hina did not only get a truckload of screentime to suffice for the winter, she also developed her character pretty well. Starting from episode 13, she became aware of her feelings for Hayate (thanks to bokutou Masamune) and by episode 24, she was able to confront Ayumu about those said feelings. She fought real hard against her own happiness in episode 18. Her strong, cool personality accompanies a fine mixture of vulnerability and childishness, which makes up extreme cuteness. Most people even say she’s practically a boy inside…

Err… anyway, let’s move on.

Third season?

Surprisingly, in the first series OP2 (Shichitenhakki Shijou Shugi by KOTOKO), we could see Segawa Kotetsu running after Hayate/Hermione yet Kotetsu did not make any major appearances in the first one.

Shame on me... its low quality...

Shame on me... it's low quality...

Izumi only mentions him every now and then. He is given a role in the second season, appearing in Hina’s birthday arc as a person who fell in love with Hermione, even after knowing Hayate is a male.

This may also happen to the second season. In the OP2 (daily-daily Dream!!), we can see a giant crocodile and running away from it are Hayate and… Risa? That hasn’t happened in the anime yet.

There’s also the fact that A-tan (real name, Tennousu Athena) kept appearing on Hayate’s flashbacks with no additional information except Hayate’s ex-girlfriend. Her face isn’t even shown and as a teaser in the last episode’s shot, she turns around, only for us to be blinded and not see it (though manga-readers should know what she looks like by now but still, animated is better).

Two new characters were also introduced in the last episode, during the opening ceremony for the next semester: Hibino Fumi and Alamgir Sharna.

There’s also Ayumu’s last-minute background addition with the sensei and the guitar.

Comments:

Where do I start? It’s so magnificent, I can’t find the right words, but that’s only me. Hina’s bright light shone throughout the series. Hayate’s moe-moe Hermione counterpart is so cute it’s criminal. Nagi’s antics are very fun even more so when they don’t make any sense, since they don’t really have to.

My favorite episode… it’s definitely episode 13: FEELING OF FREEDOM.

Though I also have to mention episode 7…

If you have to ask me who I think is the best character from the second season is…

I’d say it’s…

Jenny the ninja!

The odd and generic look, the weird way of speaking, the rifle and explanations. I don’t think I need to say why.

So there you have it, a very short rant summary of the second season. I’d like to see more. I’d probably read more of the manga now that the second season has already ended. If you scroll down more, I have a very trivial extra for everyone. Episode titles (Japanese and English) and their eyecatches in the middle of the episodes! Starting from episode 10 onwards, click the episode title for an episodal review!

Episode 1: The Forbidden Freestyle Marathon (Kindan no marason jiyuugata)

Episode 2: Tiger of Money (Manee no tora)

Episode 3: And The Legend Doesn’t Start (Soshite densetsu ni naranai)

Episode 4: You Are Like Me (Kimi wa boku ni nite iru)

Episode 5: Heart to Heart

Episode 6: Your Home (Omae no chi)

Episode 7: The Jealousy Yakaretate Japan (Yakimochi toka yakaretate Ja-pan)

Episode 8: Shiranui Has Come (Shiranui gayattekita)

Episode 9: What a Girl’s Heart Wants… (Otome kokoro ga motomerumono wa…)

Episode 10: Whereabouts of the Present (Purezento no namegata)

Episode 11: When the Hina festival happens (Hina Matsuri no koro ni)

Episode 12: A Cruel Great Idiot’s Thesis (Zankoku na O-bakayarou no teze)

Episode 13: FEELING OF FREEDOM

Episode 14: The Saginomiya Clan (Saginomiya ie no ichizoku)

Episode 15: What Happens at Shimoda Onsen (Shimoda onsenyu kemuri ryojou)

Episode 16: Stardust Memory (Sutaadasuto Memorii)

Episode 17: Under the Sakura (Sakura no shita de)

Episode 18: People Who Don’t Learn from White Day (Howaito Dee no korinai hitobito)

Episode 19: Aim for the King (Ouja wo nerae)

Episode 20: Just Can’t Do the Maid Spin (Meido taan ga dekinakute)

Episode 21: Whatever You Say, The Cat You Own is the Cutest of All (Nandakanda de jibunchi no neko ga ichiban kawaii)

Episode 22: Keep On Dreaming

Episode 23: Where We End Up (Boku-tachi no yukue)

Episode 24: Distance

Episode 25 (END): Because It’s a Story About a Rich Girl and Her Butler (Shitsuji to ojousama no hanashi desu kara)

This is the Bunny Chief, over and out!

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2 comments

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