05 April 2009

Hayate no Gotoku!! Season 2 Episode 1: The Prohibited Free Style Marathon「禁断のマラソン自由形」

The second season starts of with a quick introduction to some of the main characters, along with a very quick summary on how Hayate got into trouble with loan sharks and felt indebted to Nagi for her help.

The episode itself centers on the free style marathon race to be held at the school. Being the lazy girl that she is, Nagi decides to skip school on that day:b Unfortunately Maria heard this, and forces Nagi to compete in one of the races. For some reason or another, Hayate has a bet with Klaus again, this time Hayate will resign as a butler if Nagi do not win the race.

Reluctantly, Nagi agrees to do some training with Hayate. 5 minutes and 50 meters after the start of the training session, Nagi collapses to the ground, saying human is not supposed to do these kind of things:b

In the end though, Hayate manage to give Nagi some motivational speech that makes her trains harder. The only problem now is that Hinagiku, the student council president and the super athlete, will compete in all races. Nagi, quite rightly, believes she has no chance of winning if she is to compete with Hinagiku, and sends Hayate to persuade Hinagiku.

Of course Hinagiku sees through the facade, and still competes:b After going through all obstacles and tricking Hinagiku into the one situation where she loses her composure, everything looks great for the Hayate and Nagi team.

However, at the last pivotal moment of the race, the drunkard that is Hinagiku's sister manage to beat Nagi. Looks like next episode Hayate will go from a debt-ridden butler into a debt-ridden jobless bum:b

While the first season of Hayate started strongly, the longer it goes, it seems to be going nowhere. There are plenty of jokes, but it kind of felt repetitive after a while. Worse, after probably the first 10-20 episodes, the story didn't progress much, if at all. I actually stopped watching the first season half way through. Recently I continued to around episode 40 or so, but there isn't much progress.
In contrast, I have read the manga up to volume 9 or so, and the story is much better. There is still plenty of jokes, but the story also progresses along with it.

With this new season, they seem to backtrack quite a lot. The marathon appears fairly early in the manga, around volume 3 or 4, I think. So the new season probably suits people who wants more storyline and less repetitive jokes. If you like the second half of Hayate first season better, the second season may not be as good, especially if the rumor is true that they will adapt to the manga more faithfully this time.

Opening theme song: Wonder Wind by ELISA
Ending theme song:
Honjitsu,Mankai Watashi Iro by Katsura Hinagiku with the Three Student Council Girls
starring Shizuka Itou with Eri Nakao, Sayuri Yahagi and Masumi Asano
「本日、満開ワタシ色」by 桂ヒナギク with 白皇学院生徒会三人娘 starring 伊藤静 with 矢作紗友里&中尾衣里&浅野真澄

The Hinagiku centric character song for the ending gives a not very subtle hint that there will lots more Hina this season!

Official site: ハヤテのごとく!!

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