Manga Review – Hayate The Combat Butler, Volume 7

I have a manga review that’s actually topical for Valentine’s Day next week.

Hayate the Combat Butler, Vol. 7

Hayate the Combat Butler, Vol. 7 by Kenjiro Hata

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whenever I’ve had a rough day, and I feel like I can’t remember the last time I laughed, one of the manga or anime I turn to, in order to lighten my spirits is Hayate the Combat Butler. The blend of oddball comedy and reverentially referential humor, along with a willingness to just chip away at that fourth wall blends together well to make an enjoyable comic, and the fact that the characters are incredibly likable really helps to keep me coming back in a way that TV shows like Family Guy, which also relies on referential humor, fails to do.

This volume in particular, with Nagi’s attempts to help around the house, and your annual Valentine’s Day hijinks are particularly enjoyable. The fact that this volume not only features stories with Isumi, as well as Nagi’s cousin Sakuya, and Wataru also helps. The only real point against it is a small sub-plot featuring the ghost of the “priest” from the “Butler’s Tiger Pit” storyline, with the premise that the ghost is haunting Hayate and only he can hear and see him, which picks up at the start of the volume and is dropped with very little fanfare partway through.

On the one hand, the end of the plot is somewhat abrupt, and I’m kind of confused over why it was included in the first place. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of the character, and he doesn’t particularly work well in the context of his main story, so I’m not particularly upset that he’s gone. I just wish his departure had been handled better (like with an exorcism by Isumi or something).

Other than that, this is a great volume, and a good continuation of the series. I look forward to reading volume 8.

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