Spring 2009 Anime Impressions – Hayate the Combat Butler Season 2

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While the first season of Hayate wasn’t perfect, it was memorable enough that I’ve missed it since it finished up a year ago. Maybe the saying about absence making the heart fonder has some truth to it because when I heard news of a second season, I did a little jig. Another reason that made me look forward to this is a change in animation studios from Synergy SP to J.C. Staff. I wasn’t dissatisfied with Synergy SP’s efforts, outside of pacing problems in the middle nothing was really done wrong but with J.C. Staff, the show has the chance to be great (or terrible, depending on which part of J.C. Staff does it).

Rating: episode 1 – 6/12B-
Rating: episode 2 – 10/12A
Anticipation Level: medium

The story essentially remains unchanged from the first season, Hayate’s parents ran up a huge debt with the yakuza and sale him into slavery to pay off the debt. Hayate tries to kidnap a super rich girl to get the ransom money to pay off his debt but the super rich girl misunderstands Hayate and thinks he’s asking her out. Nagi, the super rich girl, purchases his debt from the yakuza and Hayate goes to work for Nagi as a butler.

If I had written this impression post after the first episode only, I’d have ranted about how the effort of J.C. Staff was nowhere near as good as Synergy SP. But, I decided that this along with a few other spring shows needed a second episode watched to firm up my opinion of the show. The second episode was a huge improvement over the first episode, on par with the best of the first season, and so my fears where abated. I’d feel much better if both episodes had been great but I’m optimistic that J.C. Staff can continue doing this show at the level of episode 2.

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The big change between the two seasons is apparently J.C. Staff has been given a much smaller budget to work with and as a consequence this season can compete with the first season in terms of animation quality. I’m very tolerant in the animation department so while I’d like to see the same animation quality as the first season, the problems with the first episode not being funny where of more importance to me.

Another change I’ve noticed is the amount of anime references in the show. The first season was positively littered with them and while these references where never a huge component to the overall comedic appeal of the show, they were there. In the first two episodes of the second season, I don’t remember seeing them and if there was a few references that I missed, they weren’t as blatantly obvious as the first season.

Of the seventeen new spring shows I’ve watched this season so far, this has had the most comedy and promises to be the most comedic show of the season. The comedy of this series is a good blend of character-driven comedy and comedy based on the tribulations of the life of a super rich high school girl and her classmates. Another reason why I like this show is the voice actors. Nagi is played by Rie Kugimiya, a personal long time favorite; some don’t like her but she’s probably won some of them over after her portrayal as Taiga in Toradora. The announcer, played by Norio Wakamoto, is another favorite of mind. According to anime news network’s profile, he was a real life cop before becoming a voice actor. I also enjoy Hayate’s voice actor, Ryoko Shiraishi, she doesn’t do a lot of shows but roles like Hayate make me want to see her do more.

I always try to balance what I’m watching and this season is very light on comedy and pretty light on non-serious shows so I’m glad for the few titles that fit this mold. Even with slim pickings, I wouldn’t recommend a title that was sub par but on the strength of the second episode, I’d recommend Hayate the Combat Butler to anyone looking for a comedic or non-serious show.

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Snackers really satisfy.

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Ending is pretty awesome, I wonder if she’s singing Cruel Angel Thesis
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9 thoughts on “Spring 2009 Anime Impressions – Hayate the Combat Butler Season 2”

  1. I personally think you need to take your eyes off of studio names and to focus them a little more on the content of the shows themselves. Also more examples for your impressions as I mentioned please. It really does go a long way in getting things closer to the heart and personalizing your first impressions. Finally, if the season is both light on comedy and on non-serious shows, does that mean it’s fairly even? What is it you are getting at specifically getting at with this train of thought?

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  2. this show is comedic and not serious while most of the other shows in this season’s lineup are serious and lack comedy. I understand what steelbound was trying to say….also i enjoyed the post even though im not a fan of this show…….while i can agree that summaries of the happenings of the first two episodes were absent i can also say that they are not needed to make a good post……….usually when i read blogs i skip summaries anyways and read about why the author liked or disliked the series…..additionally i disagree with you in your statement about the post not being personal…..i think steelbound did a good job in mentioning the good points and the possible bad points of this series based on the first two episodes…

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  3. @JayyG: Thanks for support and I’m glad someone likes my posts. 🙂

    @Kaioshin Sama: Much of what I post is actually post-dated and is written at least one day before. When I get time to write, I normally get a few posts written and then try to spread them out. So I did read your comment and will attempt to provide more examples when needed.

    For Hayate though, I approached this from the standpoint that as a sequel, most people will have probably formed an opinion of the show based on first season, so the info these people would want to know is how it stacks up to the first season.

    I think looking at the animation studio is a good guide in trying to pick what could be good but it does fail sometimes. I’m still trying to forget Brain’s Base did Akikan (shudder). However, I have come across many books, movies, and anime only because of it’s association to other works. For example, I picked up a book by Dan Simmons because it was mentioned in the Melancholy of Haruhi. Once I read it and liked it, I started to look for other things he’s done. A lot of what he writes isn’t SF like the first book I read but since he’s still a great author, these other books are just as good. I probably would never pick these other books because they belong to genres I don’t read much of.

    I do think there is some truth to what Kaioshin Sama says though. One area that I feel needs improvement is making what I write more personal. I don’t know if providing more examples is the why to go about it but I realize all the best anime blogs are so because of the personality of the writers.

    I don’t think Kaioshin Sama is saying I should provide a longer summary but show proof to back up claims. Which from an English writing standpoint is the correct way to go about things but hard for a non-English major to do. 🙂

    What little in the way of a summary I provide (normally in the first paragraph after the rating) is kinda like a formality because I think most people want to see what the writer thinks about the show. And even with the summary, I try to make it something more then just a dry rehash of the episode(s). I always hated to do work that’s already been done so since there’s already enough good episode summary blogs, I don’t see the need to repeat what they’ve already said.

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  4. I think a mistrust of J.C. Staff is warranted, since they have a shocking recent record with sequels. I can’t think of a well done sequel they’ve made since Honey & Clover II.

    I think the proof is in the pudding that, whatever J.C. Staff eventually does with Hayate no Gotoku, it’ll be different to what Synergy did, and that concerns me, since I rather enjoyed the first season. It had a massive variety of different comedic styles, but, more importantly, it was also sharp and witty and self-aware. It was never a top-tier series, but it made the most of its comedic set-up. This season so far, in comparison, has no teeth. I’m finding its sense of humour really bland.

    We’ll see with time. Manga fans seem to be going nuts because so far this season has had a lot of Hinagiku. But that kinda neglects to notice one of the things that the first season did well: it used her sparingly, but whenever she turned up, she made the most of her screentime, which is why we wanted to see her more. Hinagiku for the sake of Hinagiku does not a good series make. She still has to do something when she shows up on screen.

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  5. where can i find season 2 episodes because here in the philippines it is just staring plzzz help me i realy love hayate no gotoku ,…

    only episode 10 of season 2 pls,…

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