Hayate the Combat Butler

Type: Poor kid gets hired by a young girl to be her butler/bodyguard.

Synopsis: Hayate is just a normal poor kid until one day he finds himself homeless for maybe reasons involving the mafia (or Yakuza in Japan). He saves this blonde girl who turns out to be a rich heiress. Hayate is hired, and needs to spend the rest of the show proving himself by fighting robots, mercenaries, and other butlers. Then he goes to school, and meets a pink haired girl that apparently everyone in the Hayate audienceverse loves, so I loved her too. But no homo. (Maybe a little homo).

Pros: This show is huge, with multiple seasons (like 2), so its strengths are inconsistent throughout the entire series. The first season is very much a parody anime, with references to shows like One Piece and Yugioh. This part of the anime was very funny. The second part of the anime is more tied to the show’s particular style of humor, which luckily is strong in itself (but not as strong as its parody elements). The show has a sort of self-referencing and running gags style that really works. Hayate is also a very strong protagonist, especially given the fact that the anime has some harem-esque traits that become more pronounced later in the series. Hayate is your regular humble and supernice guy, but this is used to amplify his backstory. His unending positivity in the face of his harsh life is so damn funny (He calls his parent’s loan sharks “the really generous people”). But his demeanor also helps make him a very sympathetic character, especially when you learn that he had to drop out of school due to his poverty. He’s strangely one of the more well-rounded anime character’s I’ve come across.

Cons: Like I said, the move away from parody made the show slightly weaker. The show’s also very long (first season is 52 episodes), so it may not be for everyone. There’s also a blandness issue in episode plots due the show’s length and somewhat cutesy style. One nit-picky issue is the character Klaus, the elder butler. In a world where butlers are supposed to be super strong, I wish Klaus was more than a comic relief character. Another weird thing is that the pink hair girl mentioned above,  named Hinagiku is more likable than the main heroine, and quickly gains equal if not more air time. That’s not necessarily “bad,” but still kinda off. Just saying.

Watch it?: Yes, but maybe in chunks. (4/5)

MVP: Hayate Ayasaki

Our century’s Japanese Tiny Tim, only funnier and more mobile.

Best Episode: Ep1. “In English, ‘Unmei’ Means ‘Destiny” (best origin ever)

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