Akibanana just brought it to my attention, but apparently news of Hayate no Gotoku’s second season being produced by an entirely different studio has been floating around the tubes for a while now! Usually when production of an established franchise’s sequel gets delegated to a different studio, people become skeptical of the newer show’s quality, and for good reason. However, production of this sequel isn’t in the hands of a spotty studio like Artland, nor is it being handled by the rookies at asread–the vets at J.C. Staff are handling this one, which does put my mind to rest. Somewhat.
Closer observation of the characters involved in this cartoon’s production brings about a myriad of varied emotions and expectations. First off is Iwasaki Yoshiaki on direction–his resumé is larger than that of the previous series’ Kawaguchi Keiichiro, but his quality of work seems to vary more. Second is Kuroda Yousuke on series composition, which I’m going to assume means “head writer” or something like that. Compared to the two guys who worked on season one, he seems to have a lot more experience. Hell, he started a company devoted entierly to writing anime scripts and the like. The duo that ANN lists as handling the first series is comprised of Takegami Junki and Inotsume Shinichi–the former of which worked on a bunch of kids shows along with the masterpiece Crystal Triangle, and the latter worked on just about nothing. J.C. Staff on the whole is a competent studio, so I’m not too worried about production values slipping.
Fujii Masahiro of Zero no Tsukaima and Mahoraba fame is on character design this time around, and going by the few pieces of production art available, it seems he just made the characters even cuter. The difference isn’t as jarring as it is between Minami-ke and Minami-ke ~Okawari~, but his own flavour is quite clearly present, and I really like it. Neither show’s designs seems to really capture the spirit of the comic’s artwork, but the only studio who could really do that justice is SHAFT.
Overall, one could say that the team in charge of this series has more experience under their belt, and should, in theory, put forward a better product. The problem is, Hayate no Gotoku is an A+ show in my eyes, and the kinds of shows this team has put out have been real B-range affairs for me. Zero no Tsukaima is great–you guys all know I love it–but it’s not A+ material. One thing SynergySP really has going for them is insane energy–it’s ever present throughout Hayate’s first outing, and it’s turned up to eleven in Zettai Karen Children. I have never seen any show by J.C. Staff harness that kind of raw energy, and I’m not really sure they’re up for the task. I’m guessing they’ll play up the moé and the romance, while making the jokes less rapidfire. This is fine, but the issue at hand is if it can really hit me as hard as season one did. Also, one other thing to mull over is the length of this second series–as far as I know, J.C. Staff has never worked on a fifty-two episode series, while Synergy SP has almost perfected the art of making a good looking, long-running series. My guess is that the show will run for two cours– a thirteen episode season following a year-long one would lame, but half a year isn’t that bad.
In any case, I’m hoping for the best.