Ayasaki Hayate is a boy, 16 years of age, who always seems to run out of luck. To keep the household running, he has to take spare-time jobs because his parents are gamblers beyond salvation and are always in debt. One day, to pay off their own debts, Hayate’s parents give their debt to the Yakuza to him as a Christmas gift. The Yakuza show up at Hayate’s house and plan to sell his internal organs for money. In order to survive, he flies and tries to find a way to pay 156,804,000 yen to the Yakuza in exchange for his life. This is when he meets Sanzenin Nagi, a filthy rich 13-year-old orphan, whose only living relative is her grandfather. She lives in her own mansion in the middle of Tokyo, destined to inherit the multi-trillion dollar Sanzenin estate. Hayate did not know this, but somehow he figures that if he kidnaps her and demands ransom, he might get out of this situation alive. He has his manners though and, in trying to explain that he has to kidnap Nagi, she mistakes his choice of words for a confession of love. Two brothers, who also owe money to the Yakuza then kidnap Nagi while Hayate calls Nagi’s guardian.
Out searching for Nagi is her maid Maria and sees Hayate, who has given up all hope (after giving away his name during the phone call to Nagi’s guardian that cost his last coins) lying down to die in the snow. She helps him and Hayate decides to repay Maria’s kindness by saving Nagi. After chasing and stopping the kidnapper’s car on his bicycle, Hayate asks Nagi to find him a job just before he collapses of his injuries. That is when Nagi declares that Hayate has to become her butler. Later, when she finds out Hayate owe money to the Yakuza, she pays them off, demanding that Hayate has to work off his debt to her as her butler.
Hayate no Gotoku! (Hayate the Combat Butler) is an “anything goes” anime (originally a manga) in which anything can happen. Being a butler to Lady Nagi is probably more demanding than anything Hayate has done before (which is a lot). Not only that Nagi is a Hikikomori, a person who rather not go outside to do stuff (like go to school) and thereby shutting herself out from society, she is also often targeted by varying kinds of enemies (not always because of her money though). Hayate must cure Nagi of her indoor-lifestyle, fight off robots, Yakuza, – even other butlers! All the while Hayate’s only wish is to finish Highschool.
This anime is bound to make you laugh, as Hayate often have to face hilarious situations. Somehow he is invincible as a combat butler but he gets in some tight spots throughout the anime. Hayate no Gotoku! has a broad character gallery and it is in the misunderstandings between the unique characters where most of the comical parts lie. Character personality is this series strength; who doesn’t fall for Nagi’s cuteness or Katsura-sensei’s drinking habits?
For anime fans, this series is a must because of all the references to other anime series (which often is partly censored). Other popular culture icons are being referred to as well.
Also worth noticing is the deconstruction of the fourth wall; the characters all know too well that they are in an anime and often complain about getting too little screen time. Even the narrator discusses things in the story with the characters; the anime’s target audience for instance…
Hayate no Gotoku! season one has run for a total of 52 episodes during about a year know (2007-04-01 to 2008-03-30 according to ANN) and the always so fantastic Eclipse Productions in collaboration with Static-Subs have fansubbed every single episode. Thank you for bringing anime fans this fun, entertaining and amazing anime series before anyone else!
On behalf of all anime fans, including myself, I thank you on beforehand if you are thinking of fansubbing season two…
Update! Which indeed they are! Hayate the Combat Butler: Season 2 is being subbed by the awesome Eclipse and Static! Thanks guys! This is much appreciated!
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