Quite frankly? It sucks. I mean that in the nicest possible way.
Oh, it’s not been all that bad, but when all’s said and done, it sucks. Well, it sucks in comparison to the first season. On its own, it’s simply average–which is a huge issue, especially considering that the first season was way above and beyond average.
I can no longer just force the blame on to J.C. Staff anymore, though. Even if they’re all soulless worker ants who couldn’t even grasp the concept of Art if they tried, it’s not All Their Fault. Only partly. I’m very sorry, Mr. Hata, but I must push most of the blame onto you. Hata Kenjirou is a wonderful idea man. He has great ideas for lots of fun and interesting characters. However, much like someone like–say–Tomino Yoshiyuki, this guy needs to be put a on leash. His lack of focus is quite frankly frightening.
My issues of course are fanboy driven. I really like the character of Sanzenin Nagi–she’s an introverted, socially awkward, lolita otaku. She’s great. She was also presented as something of “main character” as the series opened. But if that’s the case, why is she spending most of her time playing video games and sulking in two-minute scenes across the show while the rest of any given episode is devoted to Nishizawa and Hinagiku being all stupid about their feelings for the slightly-less-than-generic-but-still-generic male lead. I don’t give a shit.
There’s a couple issues here–the main one being that Hata has no focus, as I outlined before. He has a great, burning desire to write more new and interesting characters. His passion for this shines through in the character profile sections at the end of each Hayate manga volume. He often talks about how he wants to write entire stories for each character.
That’s great, dude. But you already have one story you’re working on. Be patient, Jesus Christ.
Losing sight of your main character and constantly introducing more is Bad Writing. That’s all it is. Oh, you can still introduce a bunch of cool characters, but don’t forget about your core cast. Dragon Ball ran for–what, 40 volumes?–but it’s not as if Goku all of a sudden stopped being the main character. Ok, I guess he died during the Cell Games (again) but he’s still the main fixture throughout the series.
Perhaps my understanding is wrong. Perhaps the title character, Hayate, is the main character. Man, I sure didn’t notice! I mean, he has good moments, but he certainly doesn’t stand out. A series like this is clearly all about the girls, and when you clearly label Nagi as MAIN HEROINE, you better damn well make her as MAIN HEROINE as possible. Fuck Hinagiku. She’s boring as shit.
I’m somewhat in the dark, though. I don’t know what’s going on in the depths of the Shounen Sunday editorial office. The other issue could be that the manga editor told Hata that forcing a romance between a 17-year-old and 13-year-old was bad, or something. I don’t know. I kind of want to know. Either way, the true audience of this comic is being neglected, and clearly it should be running in Comic High alongside Kodomo no Jikan. I guess it’s not a “girly comic”, though. Maybe Shounen Magazine alongside Zetsubou Sensei would be better? Who knows.
There are good parts about this show, though. One of them is episode 19, which I think I’ll highlight in another post. I do enjoy the odd serious portrayals they managed to get out of Nagi between fucking boring love triangle shit. They do well to highlight her loneliness, which I think is wonderful. There was also inspired bits of humour sprinkled across the show (with most of it concentrated on episode 19) and on the whole, the animation was nice, even if the character designs looked more like amorphous blobs and less like people.
But sadly, I must mark this series as “not very good” in my book. It’s painful, but Hayate in my heart will probably just be the first series. I want to like the manga, but if it’s just like this cartoon (which seemed to have covered most of the manga out so far) I think I’ll pass.
Yes, I know there’s still one episode left. I doubt it’ll redeem anything.
Thank you, and good night.
Here’s a picture of “Main Heroine” Nagi. Look at it whilst listing to Kaze Ni Hitori De.