No Hayate last week because of Ping Pong. Boy, Manglobe sure does hate Ruka.
Much like A-tan in the third episode, Ruka makes her proper debut in the anime this week. The first half of the episode adapts chapters 357 and 358 from the manga, where Coach-Hayate teaches Ruka on how to ride a bicycle so that she can ride one in a commercial for Bocari Sweet (Pocari Sweat parody, and I don’t even like the drink). Like I said in the past weeks, Cuties is exclusively for manga readers. It’s also apparent this week too where a character who seems to linger on as a mascot of the show finally taking center stage.
Oh god, Hayate is such a demon when he’s a coach.
Who’s signing up for Hayate’s Bike Training Summer Camp this year?
Hayate and his flags…
The second half shows Ruka’s live performance. Things don’t go as planned as Hayate cross-dresses once more to fill in for a bed-ridden backup dancer, while Ruka ‘shoulders’ an injury down her left arm, pure willpower and perseverance kept her going throughout the performance. Gilbert and his robot make a surprise appearance who almost ruins Ruka’s event.
I was under the impression when I watched the second half that it was going to be an original story, which was unusual because everything so far has all been adaptations. Turns out a little later Manglobe were up to their usual tomfoolery and butchered chapters 298 and 299, when Hayate first met Ruka, to make it fit into this increasingly complex timeline – more of which I’ll explain when it comes to the review.
Yozora Housen, a character still shrouded in mystery that we all probably forgot about, actually appeared in the original story during Ruka’s performance. Manglobe however replaced her appearance with Gilbert because, well, Gilbert is fucking awesome. Who doesn’t like Gilbert? It’s funny how they made Gilbert wear the Ruka fan attire, even though he didn’t seem to act like one haha.
Ruka’s concert was a beautiful and dazzling spectacle. While there wasn’t as much choreography going on, Manglobe has done an outstanding job in the animation and effects department. It’s obvious from the work done on TWGOK and Kanon’s promotional videos really paid off.
Nice touch as well being faithful towards the costume designs in the manga.
All in all I guess Manglobe didn’t screw Ruka’s episode up as bad as A-tan’s, which is surprising because we all know the two are the most hated characters by Hata and the Manglobe staff.
Listening to Haruka Yamazaki’s acting voice was a pleasure to experience, after performing for the movie’s theme, CTMEOY’s ED theme and a whole other bunch of songs and miscellaneous album work (a Hayate x TWGOK crossover album ircc), it was about time Yamazaki got a proper role in the anime. We also got to see Hayate shamefully cross-dressing again and Gilbert being… Gilbert.
The episode presented an effective contrast of Ruka’s character; a cheerful, charismatic and playful Ruka at heart seen in the first part, and a strong, independent and hardworking Ruka in the second part that needs no man… except for Hayate (no pun intended).
Next week will feature the Hamster, get ready.