Hayate no Gotoku 2: Is it Good?
So the second season of Hayate no Gotoku just finished this past weekend, and my opinion of it hasn’t really changed much. In response to Hinagiku’s question above, “Is it good?” The simple answer is no. Frankly the second season of HnG was crap compared to the original. However, there were still moments, especially in the final episode, that I really enjoyed.
Part A of episode 25 is an adaptation of chapter 147 where Nagi catches a cold and Hayate reads Alice in Wonderland to her. For the most part it’s exactly the same as the manga (as usual) except the one gag above. In the manga, this was a reference to the original Mobile Suit Gundam. However, adapting it to the more current reference helps make the joke more relevant to younger viewers. At the same this shows an interesting change in the target audience. While the original HnG was known as the adult’s show in a kid’s time block for its obscure reference humor, this is flipping things to a kid’s show in and adult’s time block.
This trend is actually seen several times throughout the series. While there is a lot of fanservice, especially in the second OP, it is much less explicit than a lot of other shows. There isn’t a single panty shot, no cleavage shots except for the 2nd OP. Despite being broadcast late at night, this season is designed to be one of those shows a lot of teenagers wouldn’t feel awkward about their parents walking in on them watching. This lack of explicit service can probably be attributed to the source material though, since it’s pretty tame.
On the subject of the source material, part of the problem with the secons season is that it followed it to a fault. After watching the anime and reading more of the manga, I realize why this bothered me so much. The Hayate no Gotoku manga is first and foremost a comedy manga. Most of the chapters are stand alone and just tell a joke. Much of the humor is derived by chaos and absurdity giving it a somewhat unique charm. It’s like the Japanese equivalent of an Adult Swim cartoon, only with more pubescent girls and less violence. SynergySP captured this chaotic spirit very well, which was part of the reason why the first season was fucking awesome. The second season chose to adapt the more serious plot arcs which focus more on the character relationships, especially between Hayate, Hinagiku, and Nishizawa. This caused the series to lose a lot of its characteristic charm, reducing a somewhat unique series to typical harem bullshit.
The series comes to a close with a shot of Athena, which leaves the series open ended for another season. This has me worried for several reasons. The first is that JC Staff will probably get the rights to the third season depending on how the DVD sales go. While I got used to JC Staffs art direction by the end of the series, whenever I rewatch an episode of the first season, I realize how much nicer it looked. The second problem is that the third season will most likely focus on the story between Athena and Hayate, which based on the little bit I read is kind of slow and generic feeling. Finally, the present Athena story has just gotten started in the manga, so it will either be a while before it gets adapted, or they will make shit up. I think that an OVA about Athena and Hayate as kids is possible to help buy time for the manga, but in the end we will still have to deal with more boring drama and less rambunctious comedy.
Overall, despite how much I complained about the second season of Hayate no Gotoku, I still enjoyed it. While the series lacked the originality and humor of the first season, it looked nice and the original story for the B part of the last episode was funny, so it at least ended on a high note. The increased focus on Hinagiku may have been a little excessive, but they’re simply giving the fans what they want to see. As much as I like Hinagiku, JC Staff shouldn’t have focused so much on her love polygon with Hayate since it isn’t the main point of the series. My greatest wish for the next season is to see it adapted by a different studio. I would be really curious to see how SHAFT adapts this series, but that seems unlikely. In the end, it’s sad to see a series with so much potential get screwed up this badly, but at least it looked good while doing it.
Sorry for the infrequency of posting. I am done with the GRE so I have one less thing to worry about now. I hope to post more about new shows once the next season starts. Until next time!