Fall Preview Via Manga: Hayate the Combat Butler
It’s time to wrap up this series of fall anime preview posts… This time I read the first volume of Hayate the Combat Butler! I actually have seen a few episodes of the original anime series a long time ago, and found the series rather funny and enjoyable. I think I didn’t stick with it though because there were so many episodes, and I was in the middle of a bunch of other anime at the time. >_>
Well, let’s see how good the manga is, and if it will entice me to give this new anime a try.
Chapter One: Our first chapter is all about the protagonist Hayate, and establishing his basic backstory a little. The story manages to portray him as a pitiable underdog in the most humorous ways possible.
Chapter Two: Some more of the premise is established… I rather like the frantic pace of the chapter, as it meshes well with the general silliness of the series.
Chapter Three: The story continues to play with the theme of ridiculous misunderstandings. Regarding the characters, I do like how they don’t quite match up with the archetypes they first appear to be (eg there’s a maid character, but she’s not dense, as is so often the case [and in fact is the only one really grasping what's going on in this chapter]).
Chapter Four: Most of the manga’s humor stems from its characters and their interactions with one another. Each of them is easy to like despite their shortcomings, and the series remains lighthearted enough that you don’t actually have to worry about them when their many (ridiculous) problems arise.
Final Thoughts: Hayate the Combat Butler is a very silly series that employs a style of humor that clicks with me better than many other comedies. It’s thankfully not particularly parody or reference-driven (at least for this first volume), and it has enough of a continuing story to give it a sense of progression–the characters aren’t there solely to make you laugh, so you can actually care about them a bit. It also helps that they’re all generally nice people (I have trouble getting into comedies full of nasty or constantly-sarcastic characters), and that the protagonist in particular is easy to root for.
Verdict: I have a lot of anime I want to try out this fall and not enough time to actually watch so many… I will still take a look at this one regardless though, to see if it will be as amusing as this manga. I will probably keep the manga on-hold for now though, since it’s just such a long, long series. I wonder if the comedy can actually hold up for nearly 400 chapters??