Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017. Shogakukan released 52 volumes in Japan from February 2005 to June 2017. Viz Media publishes an English edition in North America. The manga is about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The style of the manga has a comedic gag with a slight harem feel and constantly breaks the fourth wall. The series includes numerous references to other anime, manga, video games, and popular culture.
A 52-episode anime adaptation of the manga by SynergySP aired between April 2007 and March 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second, 25-episode anime season by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the first anime series in 2008, but the series went out of print in 2012. An anime film adaption produced by Manglobe was released in August 2011. A third, 12-episode anime television series by Manglobe, based mostly on an original story not seen in the manga aired between October and December 2012. A fourth anime season aired between April and July 2013. Sentai Filmworks has licensed all four seasons of the anime.
The Hayate the Combat Butler 52-episode anime aired on TV Tokyo in Japan between April 1, 2007 and March 30, 2008, produced by animation studio SynergySP and with music by Kōtarō Nakagawa. The series also aired on the CS television network Animax starting on October 25, 2007, where it received its satellite television premiere, and was shown uncensored. The series was licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment in 2008, but in February 2012, the company stopped releasing titles beyond February 7, and in April of the same year, the rights to the series were dropped, making the releases out of print. Sentai Filmworks has since re-licensed the series for a digital and home video re-release.
An original video animation episode was released on March 6, 2009 in DVD and Blu-ray formats. A second anime season of Hayate the Combat Butler, titled Hayate the Combat Butler!! (an additional exclamation mark) aired 25 episodes between April 4 and September 18, 2009, produced by animation studio J.C.Staff. Unlike the first season, the second season retcons the events of the first season by claiming at the onset that a month has passed since Hayate became Nagi’s butler. Furthermore, the second season is more faithful to the manga than the first season. On July 21, 2010, Animax Asia began airing the second season, including the OVA, with English dubbing done again by Red Angel Media along with Cantonese and Mandarin dub. The second season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
An anime film adaptation, produced by Manglobe and directed by Hideto Komori titled Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth, was released in Japanese theaters on August 27, 2011. The film was licensed for streaming and home video release by Sentai Filmworks in August 2015. A third anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and produced by Manglobe, aired 12 episodes between October 4 and December 20, 2012. Instead of being a sequel to the 2009 anime series, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You features a new story written in part by the original creator Kenjiro Hata and is mostly based on his original ideas that never made it to the manga. Despite that, the third season takes place chronologically nine months after the beginning of the first, and six months after the second, eventually becoming part of the main series canon. The third season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 28, 2015. A fourth anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties, aired between April 8 and July 1, 2013, and is basically composed of short stories, each one focused on one of the main characters from the manga. The fourth season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks. A three-part OVA series produced by Manglobe was released as part of the series’ tenth anniversary between June 18, 2014 and December 16, 2014.
- Hayate Ayasaki
- Hayate is the title protagonist 16-year-old butler of the Sanzenin family. Hayate Ayasaki has had to work to support his parents’ bad habits since the age of nine, always moving from job to job, before he was found out to be underaged. The experience gained in those days does mean, however, that of all the characters, he possesses the most extensive practical knowledge of how the world operates. Hayate’s dad refused to get employed, while his mother is a compulsive gambler, and the whereabouts of his older brother, Ikusa, were unknown. These events led to their bankruptcy—they abandoned Hayate and made an attempt to sell him to the Yakuza to ease their financial burdens on Christmas Eve, a debt of 156,804,000 yen. With not many choices left to him, Hayate conspired to kidnap someone to get ransom money. He found a girl, Nagi Sanzenin, and told her that he would kidnap her. However, Nagi mistook his words for confession of love, so he was later employed as Nagi’s new butler. As a butler, Hayate is capable of all aspects of housework, but it is his ability in repelling attacks from almost anything (despite his bad luck) that makes him a “combat butler”. He once demonstrated a skilled use of firearms (being able to wield an MG3 single-handedly) and is practically invincible with physical powers far surpassing that of any normal human being. In the beginning of the story, Hayate often mentioned Nello and Patrasche from the novel A Dog of Flanders, and compared his miserable situation to the characters’ life.
- In addition to looking poor and needy, Hayate can also appear to be extremely feminine. This has led to him being forced to wear girls’ clothing or cosplay in feminine outfits such as nekomimi, a maid and so on. Later on, this female alter-ego is given a name: Hermione Ayasaki. He has been forced to cross-dress at other times.
- Hayate had a girlfriend named Athena, who was responsible for teaching him cleaning and swordsmanship, as well as for building his strong body. Athena taught him that he must be economically strong if he wants to date with a girl. They had a falling out after his parents pawned an “engagement” ring she gave him. In chapter 239, after being asked by Hinagiku how he feels about Athena, Hayate describes Athena as “Not like the others,” and ultimately tells Hinagiku that he is in love with Athena. Athena would soon be possessed by King Midas and attack Hayate. Isumi and Sakuya explained to Hayate about Athena’s possession and the importance of the King’s Jewel. However, Hayate was unable to choose whether to keep the stone for Nagi’s inheritance or to destroy it to save Athena. In the end, it was Nagi who made the choice, noticing Hayate’s troubles. She destroyed the King’s Jewel and Hayate was able to beat King Midas and rescue Athena. Both of them quickly embraced each other, after a long time since 10 years ago. Athena told Hayate of what happened after he left, about how a man came to save and free her from The Royal Garden. Hayate immediately recognized the man as his brother Ikusa. After these events, he tells him that she is the one he loved (in past tense), and he comes to deciding he wants to protect Nagi. Hayate would go back to Mykonos for one more day of vacation before returning to Japan.
- Back in Japan, Hayate had to deal with the problem of Nagi losing the inheritance of the mansion. In the end, Hayate met Klaus who showed him an old house, “Violet Mansion” where they will settle in. After that, Athena appeared again in chapter 300, to ask Hayate where his brother was. She told him that she would appear again, and that he should act like they had never met before. She also stated that Hayate was the one she trusted most. When Hayate saves Ruka from a moving truck and apologizes to her for lying to her thinking that he was a girl from their first meeting, and soon Ruka falls in love with him. Recently Hayate, Linn, Tama discovered a mystery room (in chapter 368) partitioned in the storage room. After Isumi disables the barrier, Hayate discovers that the room holds the same coffin he saw in the Royal Garden 10 years ago. Shortly after that, Yozora shows up and burns the coffin whilst battling Isumi briefly. He later hosts a welcome party for the Violet Mansion tenants. Ruka offers to help pay off his debt along with hers before proclaiming her love for him, though Hayate declares he will continue to be Nagi’s butler until she is a happy grown mistress. After the school excursion competition in America, Hayate wins the prize to pay off his debt though choose otherwise to remain as Nagi’s butler. When the anniversary of their first meeting comes, the truth of the relationship is exposed due to Hayate’s parents intervention, leading Hayate to painfully regret and wishes they never met and arrives in a world where Ayumu rescued him instead of Nagi while caught in the King’s Jewel’s dream world. Ayumu gives Hayate a newfound resolve then went to Nagi and reassures her that the fun things and his desire to protect her were real. After the battle for the Sanzenin inheritance ends, Nagi bravely fires him, which prompts Hayate to find what he wants to do with his new life, after two years he encounters a self-sufficient Nagi in the same place he met her, and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore the desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed.
- Currently there are a total of 12 people in love with Hayate, many of which he has no clue to their true feelings due to his dense nature. They are: Hinagiku, Ayumu, Ruka, Izumi, Isumi, Maria, Nagi, Sakuya, Athena, Konoha, Yomi, and Kotetsu (Homosexual). However, Hayate has only shown interest in Hinagiku, Ayumu, Maria, Athena, Ruka and Nagi in the very end of the manga.
- Nagi Sanzenin
- The main female protagonist Nagi Sanzenin, 13-year-old, biracial, is the only heir to the Sanzenin fortune. She is short-tempered, spoiled, immature, but kind and cute. She has an otaku-level hobby with manga, anime and video games, and draws her own manga. Nagi has a large crush on Hayate, and she thinks that Hayate loves her since they first met. She sometimes tries to make him take an interest in her in many ways. She gets really jealous when Hayate makes some good statements on other girls. However, Hayate never understands why Nagi is mad at him, until finally Chiharu spoke about Nagi’s feelings (in chapter 553) to him.
- Nagi’s only surviving family is her grandfather, whom she greatly dislikes. She regards Maria as an older sister figure. Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, is shown in volume 12 of the manga. She cares for her family and friends, but she doesn’t want to show her concern directly, she usually shows her concern with “formal words”. Because of her pampered existence, she lacks any worldly knowledge and is even incapable of looking after herself. Nagi is mortally afraid of the dark (due to an incident with Isumi), and so shares her bed with Maria at night. Since going outside is very dangerous because of her status, Nagi favors staying at home, not liking company in general. Hayate managed to convince Nagi that sports is good for her body, and she is able to get into 2nd place on the Hakuō freestyle marathon thanks to Hayate’s absorbing training and her huge amount of love for him.
- While Hayate always reminded her to gather experiences on the outside world, she always thought that will be boring or she will always get lost and risk being kidnapped. Because of her family’s wealth, she became the prime target of criminal organizations. Maria always states to her that without Hayate she will always get lost or in danger. Nagi disliked being a target and spent most of her days indoors playing video games and watching TV and hence slowly becoming a hikikomori. She begins to go to school more often after Hayate transfers to her school. Despite her laziness, Nagi is a highly intelligent student. She skipped grades and is currently in the first year of high school and in the same class as Hayate.
- In Shimoda, Nagi decided to take Hayate and Maria on a trip to visit a mysterious meteorite that seems to enhance growth, along with other special powers. Nagi decided to help the alien, Maya, to find its misplaced spaceship. Nagi and Maya find the spaceship at the Saginomiya’s place. Nagi accidentally boards on the spaceship, luckily Hayate saves her. When Maya sends Hayate and Nagi home, Hayate encounters Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, in a dream and finds out the reason why Nagi comes to Shimoda every year is to remember the anniversary of her mother’s death.
- On the other hand, in Episode 52, during Golden Week, Nagi, Hayate, and Maria travel to Mykonos Island. Hayate got summoned back to the past when he jumped into the sky to get Nagi’s hat back. At that time, Nagi feels uncomfortable going outside, because the Sicilian Mafia is after her. However, Hayate manages to defeat the Mafia but he made a few holes on Nagi’s hat. Nagi doesn’t mind and said that the holes are proof that Hayate saved her life. After this incident, Nagi falls for Hayate even more because he has vowed to protect her in the past, present and future. Both Nagis (The one in the present and the one from the past) fall for Hayate deeply. During Hayate’s struggle to make a choice whether to destroy the King’s Jewel to save Athena, Nagi sensed Hayate’s dilemma and decided to destroy the king’s jewel out of her own accord so that Hayate could now protect her truly, and not her fortune. She came across Athena on the last day of Golden Week. After coming back from Golden Week trip, Nagi was forced to leave her mansion due to her forfeiting her inheritance after she destroyed the King’s Jewel. Later Nagi, Hayate, and Maria stayed at Yukariko’s Violet Mansion and started new life.
- Trying to sell her doujinshi to the public, Nagi went to show her hard work to Ashibashi-sensei but was shocked to realize her hard work was not good enough. Making a bet to sell out her doujinshi at the last Doujinshi convention, Nagi gets help from both Chiharu, Hayate, and Kayura in coming out with ideas to create her own doujinshi compare to Ruka her rival. After the Comisun event, Nagi decide to make a comeback at the Tokyo Big Sight to where the biggest doujinshi competition will be held there. Believing that having supernatural experiences will help create a concept manuscript for a new manga, Nagi takes an itinerary to Kyoto, but later got lost on the empty streets of Hokkaido until she’s found late at night by Dr. Kurosu. Nagi determined to win the competition for Hayate’s sake when Ruka confronts her feelings for him. As Nagi’s manga, “30 Days of Soul Burning“, is being sold and read, she soon realize what she had sincerely desire in her life.
- Back home, Nagi is informed by her grandfather, that she can be reinstated as the heir should she brings him a King’s Jewel. After a failed attempt to obtain it from Hayate’s brother, Nagi orders Hayate to steal the Jewel in possession of Mikado instead. Despite knowing that he was robbed, Mikado accepts it back and agrees to have her become the Sanzenin heir once again. On the next Christmas Eve, Nagi finds out Hayate’s true feelings and falls into great depression, and without Maria, her broken spirit unlocks the King’s Jewel power awakening in a dreamworld where Hayate loves her for real. After reconciling with Nagi, Hayate made it so she won’t suffer the same fate as her mother, rescuing her but staying in the dreamworld as he couldn’t leave, back in the real world a tearful Nagi shouts Hayate’s name, and he appears by her side thanks to their strong bond. Nagi gives Hisui the “Loto’s Key” and the inheritance, saying she doesn’t need it anymore as she is gonna earn her own money, but wishes to eat cake with Hisui sometime, after that she fires Hayate freeing him of his duty to protect her, telling him to live as he wants and love whoever he wants, Hayate accepts and leaves a tearful Nagi. After a timeskip of two years a now self-sufficient Nagi attends a normal middle school, living with Chiharu and Kayura who have failed to pay next year’s tuition for Hakuou Academy. On another Christmas night, Nagi’s about to get kidnapped in the same place she was rescued by Hayate, but this time she takes care of the situation herself, an observing Hayate surprised at her growth and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore, his desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed, and that there is “something he needs to tell her,” in which a smiling Nagi happily replies that “the night is young”, locking hands after that and walking together, implying that this time their feelings are mutual and not a misunderstanding.