Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You Review

hayate no gotoku cant take my eyes off you

Click here to read the updated version of this review.

It goes without saying; I have a huge hard-on for Hayate. Not Hayate himself (I wish) but the anime and manga series. I fell in love with the series after reading the first volume of the manga many years ago, and to this day Season 1 is still my favourite anime of all time. The pretty animation, the funny gags, Norio Fucking Wakamoto. Based SynergySP. Season 2 was, well, ‘good’. Not as ‘good’ as Season 1 in my opinion but stayed true the manga, which is great but in a way that they literally copied the scenes panel to panel, and use the exact same line of dialogue. Godammit, JC Staff. I was then happy to see Hayate come onto the big screen…for a disappointing 60 minutes. The movie felt lackluster, a little too short for a theatrical feature and had no signs of Wakamoto. Why Manglobe, why.

Alas come forth season three. Earlier this year Hata took a well lengthy hiatus from Hayate’s serialization in order to ‘work’ on the new season, which turned out to be him drawing storyboards for the anime. Did his work payed all payed off in the end? That, my friends, is what I’ll be reviewing today.

Note: I’ll be referring to Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You as Season 3 in this review, despite Hata claiming this isn’t Season 3 for convenience.

Note 2: Review contains spoilers near the end of the review.

thats lewd, hinaIt’s a bit difficult to explain the plot’s background of the third season, titled “Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, without giving an insight of the overall timeline of the Hayate Universe. It goes without saying that Hata (the creator) had dun goof’d with the timeline. I’ll do my best to explain below;

Despite all the appearances of new technology and stuff taken from real life in the anime and manga, the plot regardless is still in 2005 (Yes, iPhones in 2005, fucking science), the year when the manga began (well, the first chapter was released near the end of 2004 and the plot begins on Christmas 2004, but you get the drift). Seven years on in the real world of 2012, the Hayate Universe, so far as in chapter 388 is currently in the middle of July 2005. Yes. The pacing is that slow. Season 1 adapted the first good batch of chapters from volume one to five, then went off in a tangent in its own filler (which was actually good!). Season 2 followed and continued where Season 1 left off from volume six to fifteen. Season 3 however takes place in September 2005, which is nine months after Season 1, six months after Season 2 and a month after the movie. Based from no current source material but all from Hata’s brain. Confusing, I know.

The main plot of the series takes place in Las Vegas in the United States, and is based around a pocket watch dubbed ‘The Black Camellia’, which belonged to Nagi’s late father; Shin Hayek. In the first episode Nagi gets a call from the Las Vegas police to retrieve her father’s belongings.

ruri2A new original character called Ruri Tsugumi is introduced in the first episode. Voiced by everyone’s favourite Yuka Iguchi, she claims to be Nagi’s sister but moreover seems to have a ulterior motive. Since Nagi was born as an only child, her having a younger sibling was simply impossible (unless they had different mothers?). It’s this known fact that made the interaction between the characters and Ruri, somewhat wooden and awkward since Ruri isn’t Nagi’s little sister at all, even Ruri knows this herself and it shows through her actions.
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gunman please

The plot would’ve been great to watch unfold if not for the horrendously slow start and pointless filler, where the main plot actually kicks off is from the sixth episode. For some strange reason; the third episode sees a surprise adaptation of chapters 162-164 based around the amusement park date between Hinagiku and Hayate. This episode could be considered a stand-alone episode, as a way to satisfy the Hina fans in adapting the date story from the manga. The fifth episode sees another surprising adaptation of chapter 105, in which another dispute between the Katsuras unfolds around money while a gunman raids a restaurant. Now for one reason or another, JC Staff decided to skip this chapter in Season 2, probably due to the use guns. What baffles me is why Manglobe decided to adapt this anyway in Season 3. It was also a nice (and annoying) touch to see Ruri appearing in both episodes, crashing into Hinagiku and Hayate’s date and replacing Himuro’s spot in the restaurant in episode five.

Tis’ a shame we’ll probably never see Himuro nor Taiga again. If you don’t know who those two are don’t worry. Also I’m not referring to Taiga from Toradora.

What was also confusing is how, where and why Nagi returned into a somewhat difference mansion. It’s a different mansion as the Sanzenin mansion is now in Mikado’s possession. Though it isn’t really a spoiler now, Nagi lost her inheritance straight after the Golden Week arc and then moved into a smaller house which was previously owned by her mother. Though the house is featured in the anime where all the side characters are still living in, they never explained how Nagi moved back into another mansion, which seemed odd and always baffled my train of thought.

Now onto the animation. Oh boy. I don’t even know where to begin.

Let’s rewind back to after the announcement of the movie and when promotional advertising with the character designs were released. Disappointed that SynergySP were still playing dead in their sandbox I was hoping Manglobe would do it better job than SynergySP and JC Staff, my expectations were soon shattered as soon as I saw the character designs for the movie. Absolutely disgusting. Their hair looked as if it would eat the character’s head at any given time.

Season 3, to be frank, was a treasure trove of anime QUALITY

Season 3, to be frank, was a treasure trove of anime QUALITY. This proved apparent in episode three during the date between Hinagiku and Hayate, I don’t even need to explain. Just look and try not to vomit…

Whether or not it was due to the lack of budget in the production cost or the limited time they had, the animation quality felt really, reallyreally rushed and half-arsed. It was as well without doubt the prologues and epilogues that aired during the first five episodes where Hayate broke the fourth wall to greet the viewers – were done on the fly.

the true representation of his characters is now lost in a deep and dark monochromatic limbo

The atrocious quality of the art in this series made me question about Hata’s overall art style in the Hayate manga over the years. Typically, a manga artist’s style would change over time, hence, the art in a manga they’re serializing would see a shift over the years. This is true in Hayate no Gotoku. Case in point when he finished the End of the World arc, drawing shota Hayate and loli A-tan for a good two or three months proved obvious it would affect Hata’s drawing style to make all of his characters look young, chibi and somewhat moe. As Hata kept changing his art style and applied it in his manga, the true representation of his characters is now lost in a deep and dark monochromatic limbo. Personally, it was around volume 10-17 that I think Hata had the best art.

The only time when Manglobe’s animation did shine was, well, Nagi’s delicious tears. ;_;

nagi's delicious tears

Hayate just isn’t the same without Kotoko doing the opening sequence

Hayate just isn’t the same without Kotoko doing the opening sequence. Kotoko performing the opening sequences to Season 1 and Season 2 was part of the formula that made those seasons great. The opening sequence performed by eyelis was fine in my opinion, focusing on the shipping of Nagi x Hayate, while the ED being performed by Ruka (or Haruka Yamazaki, her VA) as part of her idol work.
nagi x hayate ftw <3
For those who don’t know Ruka she is a character introduced in the manga as a high profile idol, who was on hiatus so that she can focus on becoming an manga artist, thus being Nagi’s rival. I don’t like how they made Ruka as some sort of a  decoration to this series. Sure’ including her into the anime was better than not including her at all, but I think they did it in the wrong way. It’s almost as if Ruka is getting the same treatment as Kanon from TWGOK, another anime by Manglobe, where Kanon is an idol too in TWGOK and Manglobe just milked her to death after she appeared with unnecessary idol anime shorts, CDs and merchandise. Will we ever Ruka and A-tan properly appear in a future Hayate anime? Probably not.

hayateface1Even though the anime suffered from a slow start with superfluous filler, the climax is one of the times when the plot shines. In a twisted turn of event, Ruri was actually impersonating as Nagi’s little sister so that she could get her hands on the Black Camellia. Ruri is then ‘kidnapped’ to Vegas which forced Nagi, Hayate and Maria fly to Vegas in-order to ‘save’ her. And, so that the other characters are featured as well, they too fly to Vegas because Ruka is holding a concert there coincidentally around the same time.

The Black Camellia is known to be a very unlucky watch, in which if a person were to hold it bad things would happen to them. This proved to be true when Maria held it first and soon after having her maid uniform skirt being blown, as well as Hayate’s series of misfortune on top of his usual misfortune later on. It is also said that when both hands on the clock strike eight the person holding at that point in time would be graced with extreme good luck. Which proved to be true when Yukiji got her hands on it and on exactly 8:40pm, she won jackpot at a Vegas casino.
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the climax is one of the times when the plot shines

hayateface2

This is where the ‘Bird Man’ (his name isn’t revealed I think) and Dolly come into play, both known to be Ruri’s father and mother respectively. The two were using Ruri to retrieve the Black Camellia because as it turns out; Dolly’s lover who lived long ago was trapped inside the watch. It is then revealed that the watch is actually a watch/sword convertible where the watch could shape shift into a sword given the right conditions. If the tip of the sword is stabbed into a human being, the human’s soul will be transferred into the watch, if there’s already a soul trapped within, the souls will switch meaning the trapped soul will gain control of the body of the person who’s soul would then be trapped in the watch. Which was why when Hayate was stabbed with the sword, Nagi’s father’s soul which was actually trapped in the watch swapped with Hayate’s. The reason why Dolly’s lover’s soul isn’t in the watch was because as Nagi’s Father explained; his soul and Dolly’s lover’s soul were switched instantaneously just before Nagi’s Father got caught in a car accident, meaning Dolly’s lover’s soul died within Nagi’s Father’s body. Confusing I know, but it was a very sneaky plot twist if I say so myself. The climax and conclusion was cleverly crafted together, and I praise Hata for his efforts. Although it did come to a rather rushed and quicken end, but that was most probably due to Hata spending so much time on pointless filler earlier on in the series.

Anyhow, if you were to watch this third season then it’s probably for this reason and this reason alone.
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NAGI CONFESSES HER LOVE TO HAYATE!!!!!!!1111!!11!!!!!1111!111!!1!!!!ONESHIFTONEONEONE

nagi won da hayatez

The way everything crumbles. The way everything comes tumbling down, tumbling down and tumbling down. The raining money. Balloons everywhere. The way Hayate and Nagi were holding each other’s hand and falling mid air. It was such a beautiful and heart warming scene, it totally beats the climax of the first Hobbit movie I saw on the same evening.

Hayate x Nagi

It was also from this moment on that I became a pure Hayate x Nagi shipper. This scene alone truly makes up for everything else the season had done horribly wrong. Hata did said there was a surprise at the end, and he rightfully delivered.

Oh, and this pretty much confirms that Nagi won da Hayaten og Otoku.

hayek1

So, what did this third season offered? Other than the addition of Ruri and her parents who’ll probably be never seen again, this season offered a more closer insight upon the the past of Nagi’s parents; most especially her father Shin Hayek. What also irked me is how similar Hayek looks to Hayate, along with the characteristics of Nagi’s blonde hair and green coloured eyes. Could the possibility of the made up theory of Hayate and Nagi being blood related be true after all?  Probably not, but man, Nagi’s Father while cross dressing to meet up with her mother in Black Camellia purgatory was a nice touch nonetheless.
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To wrap it up, Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You turned out to be a good contribution to the Hayate no Gotoku world, though barely lived up to its name. It’s nowhere near the level of Season 2, and certainly not Season 1. While the series did suffer from the horrendous animation quality and plot pacing, Nagi’s confession to Hayate at the end of the series proved to be an attempt to make it up for those major faults, and it was successful, but not successful enough to make me brainwashed for all of Manglobe’s wrongdoings. The continued disappearance of Wakamoto’s narrative voice from the Heavens is still unforgivable. Newcomers to Hayate no Gotoku should steer clear away from this season and watch Season 1 and 2 first. If there’s a reason why you should watch this third season, it should be for the final episode. Sadly, I’ll suck up to anything Hayate related.

Story: 7/10
Animation: 3/10
Character Design: 2/10
Music: 5/10

Overall Rating: 4/10

With the current ranking in this season’s anime DVD/Blu-ray sales chart (just below the middle line, around ~700 copies) chances for another new season is highly unlikely…is what I was meant to say, but it turns out recently that a new season has been confirmed and is due to air next year!

WHICH MEANS THERES STILL A CHANCE TO SAVE HAYATE. JC Staff will come back to save us right?

Right?…

One thought on “Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You Review

  1. glothelegend April 2, 2013 / 03:53

    I thought that Hayate got a bad wrap, though it didn’t FEEL like Hayate. I didn’t get the same feeling as when I watched the first two season (the best ones). However it was a good show. I’ll probably check out the next season. Why? Because I’m dumb and can’t say no to Hayate.

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