Hayate The Combat Butler – Vol. 29: Manga Review

When last we left the worlds most unlucky butler, he had unintentionally deceived idol singer Ruka into thinking that he was a girl, due to having been roped into crossplay. Meanwhile, Nagi has decided to get back into manga – but she needs her muse…

Well, if you remember what lead to Hayate initially being forced to cross-dress in the first place, you can reasonably suspect what is going to happen here, as this series of misunderstandings escalates, to enough of an extent that, once again, I find myself wishing this arc had been properly adapted in the anime.

Now, a few of the stand-alone chapters from this volume did get adapted in Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties – the bit with “Alice” first meeting the giant dog Armageddon, and Izumi finding a camera lying around at school and filming herself fantasizing about Hayate on it. However, considering Hayate is voiced by an actress, it would seem like a Shakespeare-level metatextual joke to have a woman playing a man playing a woman (who, to be clear, isn’t trans).

Aside from these one-off jokes, ultimately Ruka Sairenji’s meetings with Hayate in drag (who is not at this time using the Hermionie persona) take up the main thrust of the issue, along with Hayate trying to paper things over with his friends who end up seeing him cross-dressing and end up drawing the wrong conclusions. All of this, of course, made worse by Hayate’s poor communication.

It’s a good volume, but it’s definitely a middle chapter, and it knows it. It also knows that there are more middle chapters to go, as the conclusion of the chapter has nothing to do with Hayate’s drag dilemma or Nagi’s manga misfortunes, and more related to Wataru taking out a loan from Sakyua to help keep the store afloat, receiving the money in cash, and having to get Hayate’s help transporting it, which as the volume ends is going exactly as well as you think.

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