As promised, I'll treat Hayate no Gotoku separately from the rest of the anime that finished this winter. Apart from a synopsis and some facts, you can read my review as well as extensive character/episode information, with all the eye catches and some extra images not only from the anime ... enjoy!
Hayate the Combat Butler is based on a manga series, written by manga author Hata Kenjiro, about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The manga is still ongoing and licensed by Viz Media for distribution in North America. The anime adaptation of the manga started airing on April 1, 2007, and ended on March 30, 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second anime season was announced immediately after the ending credits of the final episode.
Anime Official Site, Manga Official Site,
AniDB, ANN, wiki
Kurogane's Blog, Xebek's Blog, Moe Moe Rabu,
TV Tropes & Idioms
and my main sources,
aside watching the show ;-)
The most amazing thing about the production is the consistent and certainly above average animation quality. Despite employing a multitude of different episode directors and experimenting (actually ... parodying) with several animation styles, the studio (Synergy SP) has done an amazing job at keeping the quality very high. Character designs (by Horiuchi Osamu) are equally worthy of praise, since despite their seer number each and every one is very distinct visually and their personalities are reflected on their sketches.
VA, Music & Sound
Voice acting is very fitting, from a femine Hayate, to a spoiled Nagi, a mature Maria, a timid Isumi, an outgoing Sakuya, a kind Ayumu and last but not least the popular Hinagiku. All actresses have done their best to provide to their roles distinct characteristics. Music on the other hand is the trivial happy-go-lucky j-pop (not my thing), but it is quite fitting with the mood of the show and the lyrics are at least relevant (though as with pop, quite idiotic). Finally the overall sound adds to the light atmosphere.
Plot & Character Development
Now here comes the difficult part. Hayate no Gotoku! is a cross between parody and harem and with this in mind I expected the plot to be non-existant and character development absent. To my surprise, both are present, though not to my satisfaction. Though the major characters are given quite a lot of background rarely they are affected by the events taking place within the contemporary timeframe of the series. But at least, they are funny, lovable and most importantly consistent, which for its gerne is much more important in order to make the show enjoyable. As for a plot there are some multi-episode arcs, but for the most part the show retains its episodic nature, which is not necessarily negative, since it makes it easier to watch.
Well, in conclusion, it was a really fun ride for a whole year, no episode was boring, some episodes I have watched several times, animation, art and sound are very good and consistant ... so where is the problem? Actually there isn't any ... granted this is neither Laine nor EVA, but if you want something relaxing and funny without downgrading your intelligence, Hayate no Gotoku! should be one of your top picks ;-)
Katsura Hinagiku (a.k.a. Hina)
VA: Shizuka Itou
episodes: 4, 9, 10, 14-16, 18, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34, 39, 41, 45, 48, 52
She is the current student council and kendo club president at Hakuou Academy. She is fifteen, beautiful, but stubborn, yet lovingand as her sisters said (in ep.9): "It's a waste to be born a girl". She was introduced in ep.4, along with her acrophobia, when Hayate rescues her ... hm ... that depends on the point of view ... when she got stuck like cat climbing up a tree, but scared to jump down. Her personality is further explored in ep.9 when she is saved Hayate from the ghosts of the Hakuou (again this is an objectional perspective). She also leads her friends (Izumi, Miki & Risa) to free Maou in ep.10. She is also a supporting character in Hayate's quest to become a Hakuou students and her duties and demeanor are further explored in Hayate's first days in school (ep.14-16). In ep.18, despite not participating in the field trip, she is seen several times, for fun-service purposes. She also played a significant role in the Buttler Tournament, foiling partially Kuzuha's plans (ep.27-28) and she supported Hayate in saving Nagi during the school festival (ep.33-34). She also helped Himegami and Nagi to save Hayate at the shown-down of the third season (ep.39). Her relationship with her sister was highlightened in ep.41. Which brings us to the episode focusing on her (ep.48), where her relationship with Hayate is put into focus and the events taking place are actually some of the few instances of character development. At the last episode, she meets Ayumu, which according to the manga will lead to some very interesting situation in the future.
VA: Ryoko Shiraishi
He looks poor and seedy and he has terrible luck (partially due to the amulet Mikado gave him). He has experienced so much hardship through the terrible life with his parents that he tends to think that he is disliked by everyone around him. Hayate doesn't notice Nagi's feelings about him, but he often say things which please her without intention, Nagi thinks that Hayate loves her, so the misunderstanding has been on-going. As a butler, Hayate is capable of all aspects of housework, but it is his ability in repelling attacks from almost anything, including very surreal entities (e.g. Koi Herpes Virus).
Hayate can also appear to be extremely feminine. He has a girlish face and is good at housework such as cooking and cleaning. He is also very modest and sensitive. These factors make him look more feminine than manly. This has led to him being forced to wear girl's clothing or cosplay in very girly roles such as catgirl and subsequently be harassed by Klaus (ep.8), maid dress and so on, in fact in ep.36, he cosplayed as Belldandy from Ah My Goddess mostly at Nagi or Maria's behest (Maria once said that he might be swayed by a young man because he has the face of a young girl, and Klaus and Tama have done so).
VA: Rie Kugimiya
She is the only heir to the Sanzenin fortune. She has an otaku-level hobby with manga, anime and video games, and draws her own manga, which is called Millennium Legend - Magical Destroy. She has a crush on Hayate, originating in a misunderstanding from when they first met. But because this is only a misunderstanding, she often feels that Hayate isn't interested in her. She sometimes tries to make him have interest in her in many ways, usually quite unorthodox. Nagi is afraid of dark places and can not yet sleep alone. Her only surviving family is her grandfather, whom she dislikes. She regards Maria as an older sister figure, and warns Hayate not to touch Maria in any indecent way or she will never forgive him. Nagi spent most of her younger years living outside Japan. Because of her family's wealth, she became the prime target of the Sicilian Mafia and other criminal organizations, thus she grew up spending most of her days inside playing video games and watching TV slowly becoming a hikikomori. Hayate, Maria, and Klaus worry about her well-being, so they encourage her to leave the house or invite guests for a party. She begins to go to school more often after Hayate transfers to her school. Nagi skipped grades and is currently in the first year of high school and in the same class as Hayate.
Nishizawa Ayumu (a.k.a. Dorobo (Thieving) Hamster)
VA: Mikako Takahashi
episodes: all, but only in 12, 20, 26, 37, 50, 52 ... she is more then an eye catch
She always had feelings for Hayate and is happy when he pays his old school a visit. She confesses her feelings to Hayate, but Hayate rejects them after thinking about Nagi (ep.12). Undeterred, she tries to talk to Hayate when she sees him a week later, but she runs into Nagi. She is shocked that, in terms of metaphoric strength, Nagi is a dragon while she is a hamster. Nishizawa retreats, vowing next time to bring a stronger hamster (ep.20). ? (ep.26). She later challenges Nagi to karaoke, only to lose (ep.37). ? (ep.50).
Maria, "17-years old"
VA: Rie Tanaka
episodes: a lot, I don't keep track, despite her being a maid
She is Nagi's maid and surrogate older sister and is the only one who understands the problem between Hayate and Nagi. She is the character with the most common sense in the series, and appears to be the one in charge of everything in Nagi's manor, since everyone from the head butler to the SP either obeys or fears her (or both in some cases). She's good at general housework and likes games of all kinds, though she is deathly afraid of cockroaches, which she refers to as "the dark life-form that exists in the kitchen and other places" (ep.19). She is the unfortunate one who always has to clean up everyone's messes. She has seen Hayate naked several times and she sees the effect he has on other girls, many of whom are attracted to him for his kind nature. Maria is also legendary throughout Hakuou Academy for having graduated high school at the age of thirteen in just three years while maintaining the position of Student Council President for all three years. Due to such unusual experiences, she both appears and acts in a manner more mature than people typical of her age. Because of this, even people near to her speak of her as if she is older than she really is, a pet peeve for her. She commonly responds back that she is still a 17-year-old girl (ep.45).
VA: Kenta Miyake
episodes: a lot, I don't keep track, but at spotlight in 36
He is the head butler of the Sanzenin family, who is usually away on business. He fell in love with Hayate but not knowing that it was Hayate due to the fact that Hayate is cross-dressing (ep.8). At some point he thought about retiring (due to Tama's machinations) and Hayate feminine charms were employed once more by Nagi and Maria to change his mind (ep.36). His abilities and weaknesses are portrayed also in ep.43, which also has a hilarious scene near the end after he saves Hayate.
VA: Juurouta Kosugi
episodes: a lot, I don't keep track, but at spotlight in 3, 22, 36
He is a white tiger from Africa, who was rescued by Nagi as a cub. He can speak the human language, though he does not reveal this to girls because he doesn't want to shatter the young dreams. To him, Maria is the highest power there is, followed by an impassable wall, Nagi, then himself, and everyone else is below him. Usually when Tama is speaking or involved in a comical situation, he looks rather cartoony and, when standing on his hind legs, is about human size. He appears this way in most of his appearances, although he will occasionally be drawn in his actual size and appearance (ep.12). He has been known to imitate other people's voices, and has done a perfect imitation of Nagi once. Tama is often seen relaxing or doing human like activities. However, he seems to enjoy reading male model magazines in his free time, which only goes to show Tama's odd behavior. He once fell in love with a tiger on a picture of a magazine add for Brazil, and tried to machinate a plan just to get to go see her, before being reminded by Hayate that there are no Tigers in Brazil.
VA: Miyu Matsuki
episodes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 19, 24, 25, 32, 37 (end), 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 51
Character Profile @ Xebec's blog
My all time favourite from the show. Introduced in a series of episodes (5-10) that persuaded me to follow the show. She is Nagi's best friend who they met at a party a long time ago. When all the other children, Sakuya included, laughed at Nagi's first attempt at writing her own manga, Isumi took interest in it and asked Nagi how it ends; Nagi then asked Isumi to marry her. Like Nagi, Isumi is very rich. Unlike Nagi, Isumi is soft-spoken, kind, and can cook well. She constantly gets lost due to the fact that she is apt to forget her destination, and the fact that she can disappear from people's eyes instantaneously only complicates the matter. She also has a habit of saying, when she doesn't understand how to use a machine such as a cellular phone or a vending machine, that the machine is broken. She displays a high level of empathy for Nagi's feelings; however, she does not recognize Wataru's love for her, a fact that Sakuya, Nagi, Maria and Hayate comment on. Isumi is a powerful exorcist and three episodes (9, 32 & 46) revolve around her adventures.
VA: Kana Ueda
episodes: 5, 6, 10, 11, 25, 29, 31, 32, 38, 40, 42, !!! 43 !!!, 44, 47, 51
She is a cousin of Nagi and from Kansai. Like Nagi, Sakuya is very rich and has a similar personality — loud, arrogant, abusive of servants, and unwilling to accept defeat in anything. Nagi is one of the only people who can stand up to her, once again showing their similar personalities. Her illegitimate half brother Gilbert is one of the people who is constantly harassing Nagi for her fortune. Sakuya is obsessed with stand-up comedy especially Manzai style. She encourages Hayate to become a comedian because she believes Hayate's life up to now is nothing more than a comedy. She is also very close with Isumi (ep.32) and has feelings for Wataru, though none has noticed it. She is also interested in Hayate, but in a more superficial way. To be honest I never noticed her much, before ep.43, but after it, I find it hard to forget about her.
VA: Marina Inoue
He is Nagi's fiance, but they have no feelings for each other; Wataru claims his parents arranged their future marriage entirely for the money. He lives and runs a video-rental store in the city, the last store owned by the Tachibana group which lost all their assets and is on the verge of bankruptcy due to the recession. His dreams is to make his store great and acquire a fortune greater than Nagi's. Wataru is in love with Isumi. He first hates Hayate for accidentally stealing Isumi's affection (ep.6-7), but later he looks up to him and strives to be as good as he is. Regardless of that, he still calls Hayate by his own personal nickname for him, "debt-ridden butler", and doesn't hide his usual irritation. It also shown that he has some compassion for Saki, though it shouldn't be confused with the same sort of affection he holds for Isumi. This is implied through the great means he often goes through to make her happy, or to otherwise make up for wronging her. This includes a time where he believes she is downtrodden because he had forgotten her 20th birthday, where he had also promised to buy her a furisode. So, in order to right this, he goes as far as to buy a 200,000 yen (roughly $1650) furisode for her, and even rejects a chance (as he sees it) to win Isumi's heart (ep.19). Another wonderful short story was when he found Taru-Taru along with Nagi's mother (ep.??). The way he thinks of Saki is further explored when Saki goes to marriage meeting (ep.29) and his feelings for Isumi resurface again on two more occasions (ep.42 & 46).
VA: Saki Nakajima
She is Wataru's maid. She is significantly older than Wataru and lives with him in his video-rental store. Her biggest fear is that Wataru will start watching porn when he reaches puberty, which he denies. She takes a mixture of a servant and elder sister role to Wataru, often changing from being subservient to scolding him depending on the situation. She also reacts strongly whenever Hayate touches her anywhere, such as tapping her on the shoulder or carrying her away from danger, worrying about whether or not their physical contact will affect her chances of getting a husband later in life. This is not only limited to Hayate, but other men as well. Saki came in contact with the Tachibana family when Wataru's grandfather, Enkyō Tachibana, saved her and her grandmother, the legendary maid Rei Kijima while they were traveling around the world.
episodes: 6, 7, 19, 24, 25, 29, 37 (end), 42, 46, 51
Segawa Izumi (purple-haired)
VA: Sayuri Yahagi
Asakaze Risa (black-haired, tall)
VA: Masumi Asano
Hanabishi Miki (blue-haired, with the large forehead)
VA: Eri Nakao
episodes: 4, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 18, 23 (Izumi), 27, 28, 30, 33, 34, 35, 41, 44, 45, 48?, 49, 52
Yukiji's roommates, Hinagiku's sidekicks, most stupid students of Hakuou ... As a team they appear in a lot of episodes, but rarely their personalities and backgrounds are explored, they usually serve just as a plot device or a comic relief. The only exception is when Izumi reveals some juicy details about her preferences (ep.23).
VA: Rina Satou
He is a member of the kendo club. He is considered the weakest member of the club because his strikes are random and dangerous. He has a vulgar mouth, but it is his butler's, Kaede's, duty to refine him into a gentleman. When he is in trouble, he calls for Kaede to fight for him. Out of jealousy, he challenges Hayate to a duel when he sees him being friendly with Hinagiku. He is often beaten up by Kaede for his weakness.
VA: Katsuyuki Konishi
He encourages his master, Koutarou, to be a gentleman and to be manly enough to fight his own battles even if he were to lose. In contrast with his gentle and polite exterior, Nonohara is very brutal, senselessly beating his master when he acts like a weakling. Kaede's only weakness is seeing his master getting hit by his own ultimate attack. Kaede Nonohara's mannerisms, speech and appearance mimic those of Ichimaru from Bleach.
episodes: 15, 16, 18, 28, 48
VA: Kousuke Toriumi
He is seen smelling a single rose or reading a book with his master throwing rose petals behind him. Like Klaus, he throws roses like daggers. He can also create a rose whip and can use a powerful move that involves striking the opponent with rose petals.
VA: Saki Nakajima
Taiga is Himuro's master, but it is difficult to tell which one is the master and which one is the butler. Taiga follows Himuro around throwing rose petals creating a rose storm. Taiga's hairstyle changed in the anime.
episodes: 15, 16, 18, 28, 48
episodes: 27, 33, 34
They are Hakuou's student council members and actually the only ones aside Hinagiku who can do something. In the anime nothing is revealed about them and I can hardly remember them even speaking.
VA: Hitomi Nabatame
She is the twenty-eight year old sister of Hinagiku. She is a history teacher at Hakuou Academy and doubles as a twenty-four-hour gate guard. She refuses to let Hayate enter the school when they first meet because she is afraid that letting unauthorized personnel on campus will result in a salary deduction for her. Her attitude softens after Hayate first saves her from falling off the clock tower, but she still almost causes Hayate to be rejected from Hakuou by unnecessarily making him anxious during his entrance exam. She repays Hayate by telling everyone in her class on Hayate's first day that he is a super cool person. She has a group of underachieving students who hang out with her a lot. She lives on the Hakuou campus; she tells Hayate that she does this so that she can save rent money and use that money to buy alcohol instead. When Shiori Makimura is sent to teach at Hakuō, Yukiji is demoted to sub-homeroom teacher.
VA: Satoshi Hino
He is seen building Gundam models in the staff room or during lunch. He spends all his money buying Gundam models and even borrows money from Yukiji to buy more. He is 28 years old but he is still single and without a girlfriend. Later, it is revealed that he has feelings for Yukiji, whom he's known from childhood.
episodes: 4, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 23, 29, 30, 33, 34, 35, 39, 41, 45
VA: Megumi Toyoguchi
VA: Marina Inoue
episodes: 27, 28 ... 33, 34 ... 38, 39, 45, 49
Kirika Kuzuha is the Superintendent of Hakuou Academy who first appears asking Yukiji to tell Hayate that he had failed the entrance exam, but it is only in the anime that her character was developed acting as the villain of the 3rd season. She possesses a power level three times that of an ordinary person, but the moment she uses all her energy, she drops to the floor. She tends to do extreme things to kill her boredom, going as far as to put sharks in the school pool and changing the school trip to the Amazon. Thus, she is an enemy to the students and the student council. She also has a fierce and romantic relationship with her female butler, Shion. She started the Butler Battle Tournament to raise the Butler Field Rating of their school. She is also revealed to be head of a secret society of butlers.
VA: Rina Satou
episodes: 23, 30?, 41, 45
She is a genius scientist with the Mikado Hyper Energy (M.H.E) Electronics Corporation as the Chief of Development, Humanoid Nursing and Battlefield Weapons Department, and Advanced Technology Development Division. Her specialties is computers and mechas. Her development team created Nursing Robot Eito and other mechas seen in the series. She is in fact so talented, that she had even built a mecha when she was half asleep. In volume 3 (or episode 21), robot Eight asks her to be his girlfriend and she accepts. In ep.23, Shiori is sent to teach at Hakuou Academy because her superiors believe she does not have enough heart. Even though she is a genius scientist, her robot designs (especially Eito) tend to have serious flaws, which is why she is transferred to Hakuou. Another weakness Makimura has is that she is often quite forgetful, completely forgetting about building Eito and overlooking the installation of a critical control chip in one of her mechas.
VA: Rina Satou
episodes: 3, 21, 23, 25
Eito is a robot in love with his creator. He was created to be the ultimate nursing robot by the Sanzenin Technology Division. He is waterproof and equipped with "nursing missiles" and rocket boosters. Eight's downfall is his quick temper. He snaps after being called "ugly" and seeks revenge after he is defeated. Through his dialogue, he reveals that he only desires revenge in order to prove himself to one he loves: his creator. Sadly, Shiori has a habit of being totally dismissive of him, going as far as telling him she made a "mistake" in putting him in line for incineration when he actually needed to be trashed in a more appropriate category. Nonetheless, he eventually gets a reprieve after his latest upgrade, when he becomes Shiori's boyfriend after finally confessing to her. Eight receives an upgrade before each appearance. He is upgraded to v8.1 after his first defeat, upgraded to v8.2 before meeting Hayate in the amusement park, v8.3 after he becomes a couple with Shiori, and upgrades his form after Shiori is transferred to Hakou Academy. In the anime, Eight upgrades himself to v8.1 after he steals the control chip from Nursing Robot Nine and upgrades to 8.2 as his second form, but he is reverted back to v8.1 after he is beaten by Yukiji and Hayate (ep.23).
Meka Situzi Zyuusango
VA: Rina Satou
Antagonist of ep.47, where he serves Negi while Hayate studies to take the school's term-examination. At first, Hayate thinks him as the same as the other of Shiori's mechas who "problematic". But then, Thirteen proves to be actually talented mecha-butler. He makes Nagi and Maria happier than Hayate does, which makes Hayate jealous, but in the end 13 proves not only manipulative but also noble.
VA: Tomoyuki Shimura
First appeared to Hayate in a dream when he was 8 years old telling him he had to work in order to live. He was Hayate's prime source of motivation, and the sole reason he worked so hard at such a young age and onward. But on the other hand he seems kind of sadistic, enjoying mocking Hayate for his bad luck.
episodes: 1, 2, 6
Ah ... the "nice people" that want to exploit Hayate for the depth of his parents.
Isumi no Shitsuji
episodes: 5, 6, ..., 43
There is not really anything to say about Isumi's buttlers.
VA: Yuuko Gotou
episodes: 10, 50
Demon Queen and last boss of the game that Nagi plays with Sakuya (ep.10). She tries to capture a hero from the outside world using her guillotine fishing rod to play the game and send her to the underworld. She succeeds in capturing Hinagiku's friends, who summon her to their aid and she finally frees her from the cursed game. She also appeared on ep.50 as a host of the quiz game along with the narrator (天の声).
episodes: 11, 25, 26
Sakuya's illegitimate half brother. After Mikado announced a condition in order to inherit the Nagi's fortune, he quickly begins to pursue the fortune, even begging for it only to be stopped by Hayate (ep.11). He later receives mecha from Shiori whom he refers to as a mad scientist to help on his pursuit. When Hayate is sold to Isumi, he devises a plan to abduct Nagi (with her consent) in order to defeat Hayate, but Shiori's mecha he uses (as always) runs out of control and his plans are foiled by Hayate (25-26).
VA: Tomomichi Nishimura
episodes: 11, 38
Nagi's grandfather (only direct relative) and the head of the Sanzenin family. He has the ability to judge a person's character just by looking at them and from what he saw in Hayate, he gives Hayate a pendant that is supposed to be his compass for life, though the only thing it does is bring him bad luck. Nagi dreads on going to the main house to visit him.
Shumitto Hen Bahha
VA: Daisuke Namikawa
The lunatic host of Nagi's class, summer expedition. He stages all kind of surreal happening to entertain his guests. His episode is one of my favourite, not only because of eye-catches, but also because along with 10(featuring Maou) and 38 (starring Nabeshin) is one of the most surreal.
Gokuu, Mugg & ...
VA: Gou Shinomiya
VA: Satoshi Hino
"Anagonist" of the amusement park episode.
ｲﾂｷ と ｼｭﾝｼﾞ
Itsuki & Shunji
VA: Akeno Watanabe & ???
The "antagonists" of ep.32, that attempt to steal from Sanzenin estate, pretending to be Nagi's foster siblings.
VA: Shinichi Watanabe (a.k.a. Nabeshin)
One of my favourite cult figures of Japan makes another appearance, along with his family.
VA: Jun Fukuyama
episodes: 33, 34
He bribes Kirika Kuzuha with sweets to let him attack Hayate. He looks like Watanuki from xxxHolic and has hypnotism powers resembling that of Lelouch from Code Geass. He controls Nagi to bring Hayate to him, but is subsequently defeated by him and Hinagiku.
VA: Nobuyuki Hiyama
He defeats Hayate easily due to Kuzuha draining Hayate's "Butler Power" away, but when he attempts to retreat afterwards, he is destroyed by Himegami.
VA: Mitsuo Iwata
episodes: 38, 39
The former butler of Nagi and friend/foe of the show-down of the third season (ep.38-39). The reasons he left or got fired from Nagi's service are not cleared during this season (and he has yet to make an appearance in the manga), but what is revealed is his quest to "uncover the ultimate butler tools of the ancient butler civilization" ... I know how it sounds, actually when he stated it I almost fell of my chair laughing. His relationship with Nagi is very intense to say the least ... though I sense some romance brewing, that is if the mangaka decides to expand upon his story.
VA: Rie Kugimiya (Nagi no ...)
VA: Ryoko Shiraishi (Hayate no ...)
There are actually two Britneys, one is the protagonist of Nagi's ongoing manga (left image), which got animated at ep.44 and the other was the magic girl from Hayate's award winning doujin (on the right).
Throughout the anime, the audience can see some of the characters breaking the fourth wall. Other oddities include the narrator talking with Hayate, as well as, sometimes characters may introduce themselves to no one but the audience. Most of the cast have references to their voice actor's previous roles. Before and after the commercial break, there is a unique eyecatch each time. The characters who appear state a phrase which is an on-going game of shiritori.
Starting with episode six, a small segment began playing after the ending credits called the "Butler Network" featuring various characters. It is meant to cover the animation production, broadcast dates, advertise character song albums and DVDs, and follow Hayate's endeavors in fighting against evil as he becomes a great butler.
PS: For the adults out there, try to find the doujinshi, some have excellent artwork! I strongly recommend Nekomimi Batoraa.