Hayate the Combat Butler has certainly been a struggle to get through in the episodes I've seen so far, though there have been bright spots here and there. It wasn't until this volume though that nearly every episode on the disc proved to be fun and enjoyable, actually making me look forward to the next episode. The only place where the show takes a detour to less than thrilling is in the final episodes which was a New Year's special and it's quite rare that those are good in general. Even the visual gags felt like they worked better this time as they poked fun at numerous things, including a giant Dragon ball appearing at one point or numerous NERV style trucks racing by during a lengthy bike ride that Hayate and Nagi are on.
The opening episode is quite a good bit of fun as Nagi is working on her latest manga, this time dealing with a teenage romance story. The problem is that pen is not going to paper in a way that's actually producing a good story because she doesn't have anything that works when it comes to settings where teenagers would go and do things. In order to get it right, she sends Hayate off to investigate all the places so she has reference material. Unfortunately for he, Maria goes along as well and the two play at a date a little bit and that eventually sets Nagi off since she's still getting jealous easily. It's cute to see Hayate being so puppy-like at times with Maria and the way she's playing at being oblivious to his interest in order to keep him at bay a little bit.
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