So, remember that creepy coffin in the attic? Neither does this volume. It does, however, remember Ruka and Nagi’s challenge.

Hayate The Combat Butler Vol. 36 is, basically, all about a shift in the status quo. Not about actually shifting the status quo, but preparing for a change. Ruka confesses her feelings for Hayate, and ups the stakes of her challenge to Nagi to be about who gets him (without consulting him first, of course). Hayate is recognizing that Nagi still isn’t particularly self-sufficient, and isn’t grounded enough in the real world to get by without her fortune, so she’s going to take steps to find that, that sort of thing.

Consequently, this volume has a lot to sink your teeth into. There’s a lot of big, heavy plot material, combined with some very nice comedic bits – including a few very darkly comic ones like Hayate freaking out imagining Nagi in a disheveled house by herself crunching on dry rice grains weeping about not knowing how to cook rice.

This isn’t to say that this volume is episodic comedy free – we have an extended chapter involving Chiharu’s other part time job (aside from being Sakuya’s maid) – working at Animate, and we have the triumphant (if it can be called that) return of the Idiot Trio.This all combined makes for a much better balance of wacky hijinx and Plot, making this definitely worth picking up.

And if you do want to pick it up, this volume is available from Amazon.com and from RightStuf.com. Buying anything through those links will help support the site.

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