Monday, February 4, 2013

Hayate no Gotoku Series (Seasons 1 and 2) Review

Hayate no Gotoku!

This is a relatively popular series, and I had seen a sequel (Can't Take My Eyes Off You) to this series before I had watched seasons before it. After hearing how bad the sequel was compared to the original series, I decided to pick the original series back up, and boy, I was not disappointed.


Season 1:

16-year-old Hayate is really down on his luck. Because his unemployed parents are good-for-nothings who waste what money they have on gambling, Hayate had to start working at a young age to help out his family. Although such experience has made him inhumanly fast and tough and skilled at things boys aren't normally skilled at, it has also left him in an awkward position, as his parents have racked up such a huge gambling debt that they have sold Hayate to the yakuza for the value of his organs. In a desperate attempt to avoid that fate, Hayate decides to become a "bad guy" and kidnap someone to be held for ransom, but his efforts to do so are mistaken as a confession of love by the girl he targets. When he helps save the (as it turns out) ultra-wealthy 13-year-old Nagi from real kidnappers, she takes him in and gives him a job as her new personal butler (and love interest) until he can pay off his debt. But Hayate is more attracted to Nagi's beautiful teenage maid Maria, and head butler Klaus is initially disapproving of a boy with such a poor look. And then there's Nagi's pet Tama, who is also a force to be reckoned with.

Season 2:

Picks up after episode 19 of Hayate no Gotoku! season 1. Season 2 is supposed to follow the manga more closely.

Hayate is still working as the Sanzenin Butler, and season 2 features a lot more Hinagiku, as scenarios that include herself and Hayate allude to potentially mutual feelings between them. Nagi is also interested in escalating her relationship with Hayate, since Nagi's perception of her relationship with Hayate remains based on the miscommunication that occurred on their first meeting.

The Visuals

Season 1:

During season 1, which was done by SynergySP, the animation was extremely similar to the manga art, incredibly simple, but still cute. I liked this animation because it resembled the manga art so much. Though, that was about the only appeal the art had.

Season 2:

Season 2, which was done by J.C. Staff, had far more appealing animation than season 1. The animation in season two was pretty much  Zero no Tsukaima's animation with just the slightest hint of season 1's animation. It was shiny, colorful, and I loved it!

The Soundtrack

The same soundtrack was used in both seasons (as far as I know), and I must say, I have never heard a soundtrack with so many tracks with brass instruments in them. It's a nice, fun soundtrack, definitely worth a listen. Also, the second openings of both seasons were really good, but I didn't like the first openings of either.

The Characters

This show has more characters than it knows what to do with. So many good characters ended up not appearing after showing up in 2-5 episodes. Some of the more annoying ones seemed to appear all the time. Still, the main cast was likable, and we were left with a huge amount of shipping possibilities with all these characters. Many of the supporting characters were also likable, but there were still quite a few annoying ones in the mix.

Favorite Characters

Wataru Tachibana

Adorable, self-sufficient otaku. His bad luck with his crush, his lack of a sense of humor, and his gentlemanly side all make his character lovable. I also like all of his pairings, all of them.

Sonia Shaflnarz

Badass, gold-digging, cougar nun. She's hilarious. I really wish I could have seen more of her in the series, her character made me laugh so much.

Least Favorite Characters

Ginka Saginomiya

Tries to kill main character on numerous occasions to help someone. Person tells her not to, doesn't get the message. Continues trying to kill main character. Also has migraine-inducing voice.

Yukiji Katsura

I don't dislike her, but she ruins just about every serious moment in this series. Or, anytime something looks hopeful she screws everything up. The entire purpose of her character was to cause trouble, and well, I just don't like characters that do nothing but cause trouble.

The Story

The story of a very unfortunate boy who is left with an around 150,000,000 yen debt by his horrible parents. He then attempts to kidnap a rich girl, who misunderstands him and thinks he is confessing his love for her. It's a hilarious series of misunderstandings. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the characters, but I did have some issues with the incredible harem this guy had going for him. Still, the series was very funny.


Season 1:

Though the first season contained my favorite episode in the series, it still got really off track with the source material half-way through, and the visuals were generally less appealing compared to season 2's.

Story - 7/10
Characters - 7/10
Music - 9/10
Voice Acting - 9/10
Visuals -  7.5/10

Season 1 Overall - 8/10

Season 2:

This season had much better visuals, however, many characters weren't getting as many appearances as I had hoped they would, and even more characters joined the cast, but most only appeared in 2-5 episodes. By the time I was finished, I felt somewhat dissatisfied. Though, the comedy was still good,

Story - 7/10
Characters - 7/10
Music - 9/10
Voice Acting - 9/10
Visuals -  9/10

Season 2 Overall - 8/10

Series Overall - 8/10

Other things I'm Marathoning at the Moment

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

A story of four bishounen making an uber scary girl into a lady. Completely fails when it tries to be serious, but it's pretty funny (even when it's not trying to be).

Sora no Otoshimono

Fanservice and angel slaves. If it weren't for the comedy, I'd question why anyone would like this series. Also, flying panties are awesome.

So, my next review will most likely be for Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge which I only need to watch six more episodes of, and after that...I'm not sure which shoujo series I'll watch, but, I'll decide before the weekend starts. As for Sora no Otoshimono, I'll probably finish it by the day after Valentines Day. Stay tuned!

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