In the land of Greece it’s time for the titular Butler to Combat some legends
Story/Art: Kenjiro Hata
Translation/Adaptation: John Werry
What They Say
As Hayate’s friends celebrate the last night of their big fat Greek vacation, our favorite butler finds himself caught between Scylla and Charybdis. Will he sacrifice Athena’s soul… or Nagi’s future? Leave it to Nagi to cut the Gordian knot. But the gang has opened a Pandora’s box of trouble, which leaves only one way out: an epic monster battle, natch. In this manga, beware of anyone bearing gifts…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The trip to Greece is finally on its last day and while many of the participants are feeling a bit melancholy that it is going to end another tries to cope with a broken heart while one particular participant has other heavy emotions playing in his mind. In order to make sure the trip ends in the most spectacular way possible Nagi has reserved an entire hotel for one last hurrah that will serve as a send off to Greece that none will forget as they spend time lounging around the hotel’s roof top pool and plan to feast under the stars unaware that they will get a more spectacular sendoff than they bargained for as other events unfold.
As most of the cast is wrapped up in plans for a night of wild frivolity Hayate finds himself trapped in his own thoughts as he is stuck with an impossible decision- caught between the two most important people in his life and seeing no way out that won’t deeply wound one of the two if not both if he makes even the slightest misstep. While the party going spirit has engulfed most of the cast though one of those people important to Hayate notices his strife and she approaches him to see what she can do to alleviate her butler’s struggle as her concern for him runs possibly than his reciprocal feelings.
As Hayate attempts to put his dilemma into word’s Nagi instead frees him from his musing with an act of absolute decision that will forever change her life- but her trust in Hayate and compassion for him leave him both with an ability to act as well as an even deeper feeling of indebtedness to the young master who has saved him on so many occasions. In order to save the other person in the equation he asks for one night off and he launches to the castle where Athena dwells, determined save his cherished A-tan but he also determined to come back and protect Nagi as she will need him now more than ever.
Hayate soon discovers though that a few of the ancient Greek myths have no interest in staying in the past as they attack him under the direction of a strong demon that has possessed Athena and demands from Hayate something he could never provide now, even if he was willing to. As the demon’s wrath grows the party goers will find that they are also pawns in the demon’s plan to bend Hayate to his will but that the Combat Butler is not able to lose this time no matter what. Fortunately for him some of his allies will have the strength to come to his aid as others are oblivious to the danger they are in while being protected by some more observant party goers. With a major turning point in the story reached, will Hayate be able to rise to an impossible challenge and be able to help save all the people he cares about or is Hayate the Combat Butler about to become a dark drama?
While I have enjoyed the trip to Greece over the past few volumes of the manga I have been kind of wondering just how and when it would end, as well as have been kind of puzzled as to why it seemed to have gone on for so long as it felt at times like it kept getting some kind of story reprieve from reaching the climax of this vacation. The answer to the length seems like it may have been answered here as an event occurs that guarantees that things must change and in retrospect the time spent on the trip makes the event feel even more bitter sweet as it gave the cast one last chance to play around with the conditions that were and which won’t be again anytime soon- if ever (barring some major new introduction of events anyway).
It seems fitting that the series uses myths to run wild and to allow each of the cast members to react in their own way with those who are more clued into the world in which they inhabit stepping up to show off their fighting abilities while other members get to marvel at the fantastic events and remark how spectacular this send off show is which reinforces the comedy aspect that the series is known for.
It is also nice to see that Hayate isn’t going to be able to do everything himself while also taking the time for Hinagiku to have space to deal with her broken heart with the help of a romantic rival which demonstrates that the author knows that it isn’t just comedy and action that bring fans back to his work with each new chapter but it is the characters themselves and their emotions that have helped Hayate run for so long. I absolutely love how despite the chaos breaking out it never feels like the characters have been forced to fit into the pace of the story but that they help control the events and cause things to play out in an odd way, making the characters seem far more real than just like plot devices. Altogether this creates a situation that helps emphasize that Hayate is a fantastic series with elements that should draw a large and diverse audience to its wild world and the eclectic cast that call it home.
All good things must end and it isn’t just the time in Greece that this adage applies to as Hayate’s dilemma is going to cause a major change to title in the future as one character chooses to make an enormous sacrifice to help the unlucky youth out. Of course when some of Greece’s ancient myths start to stir it may be that the danger that wakes may make it that few will survive unless the Butler and his strong friends can rise up to the challenge before them and protect those they care about regardless of what it may cost them personally. But of course with this cast nothing is ever easy and it may turn out that their opponents will find themselves dragged along as the eclectic cast’s pace forces even myth to bend to their pace.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: September 9th, 2014