Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hayate no Gotoku!! Season 2 Overall Review

Well well another season of Hayate has finished and it did not disappoint. First of all, it is important to point out that this second season was created by a new Sstudio, so a whole new set of priorities took place. As well this was simulcasted by Crunchyroll with a one week delay for free members. But enough background, lets get down to the review

Only picture that can represent this season

Start of Season:

For the start of the season, we went all the way back to only a month after Hayate was hired my Nagi. We move through the festival arc where Hayate actually gets fired by Klaus and has to prove himself through a series of challenges to return to work. Right off the bat something is evident, this is a whole new Hayate and a whole new studio. They second season goes all the way back to where the first season deviated from the manga and even went so far as to basically call the last half of the first season non-existent. We're in for a real ride if the story turns out to be as good as everyone brags it was.

Series Plotline:

The story definitely didn't disappoint. First point, loads and loads of Hina. We have Hina helping Ayumu gain the strength to ask out Hayate on Valentines day, slowly shift to her birthday, and then to her admitting she loves him as well. I can see why so many Hina fans were so anxious for her birthday arc (which was replaced by a rather poor substitute in hindsight, but loved when it aired). Hina really shines and is even more moe in this season then i ever dreamed. If you've read any of my other episode posts or my post on Animesuki, you know she's one of my favorite characters ever. But the fans i really feel for is Ayumu. She turned out to be a rather lovable cute character and it was really nice to see her not be shafted. Some of the newer, minor characters didn't impress me much (Samson the ghost, that nun girl) but very entertaining nonetheless.
One thing i do have to mention is how far this deviated from the first season. The first season was loaded with gags and jokes and pop culture otaku references which made it great. A lot of that was missing from the season. Did it make it worse? no, but i think the first season works really well to set up character and build the fanbase for a slower, more written season season. Seeing as how the two cons i went to this summer featured zero HnG cosplays, i'd say it needs all the fans it can get. However i really like the season as a chance to develop all the characters, except Nagi. She still somehow seems to get on my nerves.


The ending was very strong and very well done. We wrap things up with Sakuya's birthday party, in where sakuya starts to warm up to, and dare i say, like Hayate. New competition? Most likely not, but still fun. More importantly we wrap with Hina and Ayumu on the Farris Wheel where Hina admits she betrayed their friendship by falling in love with Hayate after promising to support her, to a very calm and accepting Ayumu. A big point where we see a lot of emotions come out. The problem? It wasn't over! With one episode left were they going to ruin all the hard built mood? Well yes and no. It was kind of a cheesy way to do a last episode by squeezing in all the character to have their last lines, but it worked. It was funny and entertaining. And it was a pretty over the top episode similar to what we would expect from the first season. However, i gotta agree with a certain nostalgia critic when i say these studios should stop ending seasons on cliff hangers to try and force another season. But with its popularity (apparently) and so much good manga story left untold, i think it will get it.


For the art, it goes into... well its a hard to describe style. More kid-ish, rougher around the edges type animation. Frankly i prefer the first season animation style, but with a staff dedicated to being true to the manga, it is very similar to the art style of the manga.

For songs, the frist ending was obviously my favorite (cough HINA cough). Was giving Hina her own ED overkill? Yes and no. While it does seem to state a personal favorite among the producers, and is also partially fanservice, I can accept it when you look at the fact a clearly secondary character beats out both protagonist to be constatly the most popular character in the show. I also like Hina a lot as i have mentioned above. I cant say i liked the first opening, but the second opening was just... bad, just bad. the second ending i have to admit personal bias due to not liking Nagi, but the song itself wasn't horrible


So how did this season do? Very good. A little lighter on the laughs, but much heavier on the plot and characters. 9/10 from me.

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