Yuri Manga: Hayate Cross Blade, Volume 3

November 28th, 2005

Swords, girls, Yuri and baka galore! What more can you ask from a manga series, really? Not much.

Unless you’re me and then you want Drama CDs! Luckily, that’s exactly what we’re getting. But more on that tommorrow. Today, we do the manga – and a contest. But you’ll have to read to the end to learn what the contest is. :-)

First, let’s talk Volume three of Hayashiya Shizuru’s action comedy Hayate Cross Blade (or Hayate x Blade if you prefer.)

At the end of Volume 2, Hayate had befriended Sou, a girl older than herself, but who looked the same age. Sou’s shinyuu is manipulative Mizuchi, who has some issue with Ayana. To make things worse, Mizuchi’s mother is the one behind the destruction of Tanpopo Koen, the orphanage Hayate is trying to rebuild. (It’s the usual story, Mom wants the land…)

Sou is very distressed when Mizuchi challenges Ayana, but despite her partner’s proclamations, Ayana beats her down practically with one hand, which *infuriates* Mizuchi. To add salt to the wound, Ayana doesn’t remember the insult (baka) that she handed Mizuchi last year…in fact, Ayana has no clue who Mizuchi is. This all rankles, but Mizuchi with Sou following behind her, backs off.

At this juncture we meet yet another new character. Pale, sickly Yuho, who turns out to be Jun’s shinyuu. Yuho is in and out of the hospital, therefore Hayate hasn’t yet met her. Yuho and Hayate get into a friendly argument about who would win, Jun or Ayana…which naturally becomes a challenge for a battle in the next Hoshidori. Whee! Jun vs Ayana – they should have sold tickets.

Ayana finds out that Mizuchi’s mother is behind the desctruction of Tanpopo Koen, and, with a paper bag over her head as a disguise goes off to disuade Mom from encroaching – ever again. I can never begin to express to you how hysterical this scene is…it’s something you have to see for yourself. The whole thing with the paper bag is insane and I love and adore Hayashiya-sensei for being the kind of person who can come up with this kind of madness. (In an earlier scene Hayate and Ayana – with paper bags in place – had protected the orphanage from Mizuchi’s mom’s henchdude. Hayate gave herself and Ayana nicknames based on the grocery stores names on the bags. When she goes to Mom’s office, Ayana, killing herself for being a total baka, uses the name “Lawson Kamen” once again…then goes and bangs her head against a wall for a while afterwards.)

Meanwhile Shizuku, who is my third favorite character (right behind Jun and Ayana) is down with a cold. She can’t ring the Hoshidori bell, so no fights can happen. The bell, apparently, is insanely heavy and she’s the only one who can ring it. In order to feel better, she inexplicably takes Hayate’s baka advice and makes herself *really* sick. The chapter ends with an incredibly touching and emotional scene between Shizuku and her shinyuu, the Head of the School, Hitsugi, right after which Hitsugi gets ill from taking care of Shizuku.

While the challenge between Jun and Ayana brews, we learn some back story stuff about Jun’s relationship with Yuho. It turns out that *waaaaaaaaay* back, Yuho’s family and Jun’s were the same blood. But Yuho’s side was royalty and Jun’s side served them. And to this day, she serves Yuho as a retainer. In fact, she calls Yuho “Hime.” We also learn that Yuho isn’t just anemic sick, she’s like terminal sick. And her mother objects, strongly, to her being at this school – blaming Jun, of course, because Yuho wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for her. Yuho’s mother shows up, slaps Jun, is beaten about by an angry Yuho, hops on her broom and leaves. Now Yuho really wants to fight with Jun. And she wants to fight Hayate and Ayana.

Hayate and Yuho discuss their relationships with their partners and Hayate likens them to shampoo and conditioner. Each is fine, but limited, but togther – they work perfectly. Yuho feels less of a burden after this baka therapy. Meanwhile we’re getting backstory about Jun and her early training in swordwork by her father, who instills in her a strong sense of duty to protect and serve.

Hand in hand, Yuho and Jun face off with Ayana and Hayate. Yuho and Hayate, as “Ten” (heaven) fight each other, and Jun and Ayana, as “Chi” (earth) square off. Hayate’s complete lack of style is immediately no match for Yuho, but Jun and Ayana appear evenly matched.

As they fight, the tension rises, and we learn in an amazing display of power that Jun isn’t just a servant to Yuho – she’s a ninja. We’re all impressed, but Ayana just smiles. As Hayate falls to Yuho’s superior skill, the manga ends with Ayana and Jun passing each other in the usual samurai sword battle thing – gasp!

Here’s the question I have for you…who do you think wins? Leave your comment here – who wins and why do you think that person wins. I will choose one person’s comment and that person gets a Hayate Cross Blade figurine as a prize!

Ratings

Art – 7
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Service – 2
Yuri – 6

Overall – 8

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8 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    A casual observer may be tempted to believe that Jun would emerge victorious, based on the Law of Inverse Ninja Numerical Superiority: “Ninjas become increasingly ‘awesome’ with greater ‘mad skillz’ as the size of their group becomes smaller.” In practical effect, one hundred ninjas together are so weak as to be nothing but cannon fodder; however, a single ninja becomes so powerful that they can only be defeated by another single ninja. Since Jun is a single ninja, and Ayana is not a ninja at all, logic dictates that Ayana would be incapable of stopping Jun.

    However, only a CASUAL observer would be satisfied with this train of logic, and I trust no one here is merely CASUAL (otherwise I shall have to shower most thoroughly- well, okay, maybe just wash my hands, but with soap this time). The Law of Inverse Ninja Numerical Superiority is OBVIOUSLY merely a guidline, and not a pure absolute. In addition, Vash777’s seminal forum post, “Pirate vs. Ninja: An Examination of Inter-Genre Conflicts” (which is SO not a ‘waste of electrons,’ as some, dare I say it, CASUAL critics claim), clearly shows that, in multi-genre works, strict single-genre rules no longer apply; a law that governs ninja vs. ninja fights cannot apply to ninja vs. pirate fights, or in this case, ninja vs. lesbian swordswoman (although the ninja would still totally kick the a$$ of the pirate; I mean, come on, what’s he got, a peg leg and a parrot? I’m sure that’ll do him a lot of good against the HAIL OF SHURIKENS!)(EDIT: I MEANT SHURIKEN! I KNOW THE PLURAL DOESN’T HAVE AN ‘S’! IT WAS JUST A TYPO, I SWEAR! please believe me?).

    Instead, this is clearly a case where we must apply the Absolute Law of Victory: “He who laughs last laughs best.” Obviously, this is a battle between women, but hey, blame that Confuscious guy who said it (EDIT: ha ha, how silly, another typo! Of course I know his name is really spelled Confucius. Just testing you guys, right? Right?). It’s application should also be obvious: as Ayana was the last person to laugh/smile/smirk knowingly/generally be pleased with herself before the attacks hit, she will no doubt be the winner. Really, it’s hard to see how anyone could think otherwise without being a complete moron. Or, even worse, CASUAL.

    dhs27@cornell.edu

    (OOC: For those not in the know, ‘OOC’ is an acronym for Out Of Character. I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that doesn’t come as a shock for anyone, but just to be perfectly clear: I didn’t mean any of it. The preceeding post was SATIRE (the e-mail was real though). Not parody, which is nice and happy, but satire, which can have an edge (both can be funny though). Of course, this clarification means I’ll still have people mad at me, but at least they’ll be the people I was trying to piss off.
    Also, I dare anyone to beat this. It’s win-win for me: either I get a cute little figurine or I get to read something even better than this!)

  2. /breaking out in spontaneous applause/

    Bravo! A stellar opening comment. It may be hard to beat, but I hope a few of my readers are up to the challenge!

  3. Mags says:

    *looks above* Ohm, sheeze… I had an answer..and then I read that other one and..well…I got confused. I..uhm…well.

    Ok..I think…Hayate must win!! If only coz..well…they name the Manga after her. Clearly, she’s going to win it by mistake :) Like…ya know…the old “As she’s running away, she trips and falls in the spot that just happens to be in the way of a running Jun who is mid-executing SUPER NINJITSU PTERADACTYL ATTACK”. It’s a classic set up, really!

    That or…the paper bag blows on to the scene and wins the day!!!

    Love,
    guitar_grrl@yahoo.com

  4. Ashara says:

    I think that Ayana will win. It’s simple really. First of all, she’s the protagonist and Jun is just a stepping stone before her ultimate showdown with her former girlfriend, er I mean, shinyuu. Of course, in classic fighting manga fashion, there should be one embarassing loss to spur them on with a great vow of “I shall never lose again~” and it might be ideal for this one to be it. However, Hayate Cross Blade does not seem like the typical fighting manga.

    And when all other logic fails and since it’s 1:30am and I really don’t feel like bsing anything else, I shall end with the following conclusion. Ayana is hot. So I say she wins because she’s a hot swordfighting chick with glasses and that obviously wins over a ninja-girl.

  5. Syk says:

    It’s hard to draw conclusions without having actually read the manga, but… I’ll try. WARNING: Pure speculation below.

    I have to admit, the first thing that came to my mind was the ‘laughs last, laughs best’ theory; but thinking of it that way kinda ruins the fun of it all. Hey, one smile shouldn’t give away the result of the battle. And even if it did, coming up with possible scenarios is more fun. :-)

    Well, since no one did yet, I wanted to analyze a possible scenario where Jun comes out victorious (and not because of the fact that she is a ninja). Let’s see. Even if Ayana isn’t surprised at all about Jun being a ninja, we should take into account a lot of other factors that could influence the outcome. For example, Yuho’s medical condition: if she’s really terminally sick, there’s no way Jun would let the battle end like that. I think for them it’s a pride thing too, especially after the incident with Yuho’s mother– yes, sounds cheesy and cliché, but they have to show her that ‘they can do it’.
    In addition, there is also Jun’s past, the whole family/servant thing, and the ‘strong sense of duty to protect and serve’ instilled by her father. All this can (and should) play an important role in the outcome of the battle.
    Last but not least, I think if Ayana lost it would be the perfect opportunity for her and Hayate to rethink their shinyuu relationship, goals, and the like. Hey, the protagonist must lose at least once too.
    This kinda reminds me of Shoujo Kakumei Utena, when Utena loses against Touga– that’s when she really starts to think about Anthy and her role as a duelist. One loss is all it took for her to realize.

    It’s hard, because all these are just what-if’s and speculations; we can’t really know what what will happen or what ‘rule’ will Hayashiya-sensei follow. The ‘laughs last, laughs best’ rule, or the ‘lose, feel bad for a while, then never lose again’ one. Or, better yet, neither (there’s the possibility of a tie too, but… let’s not get into that, too much speculation for today. Maybe one of the posters above me is right and a big paper bag comes and kills everyone. LOL).

    All in all, I believe it’s still possible for Jun to win. One thing is clear, though: it won’t be easy. I’m looking forward to volume 4 to see what happens.

    Cheers,
    Syk (sykrad@gmail.com)

  6. And the winner is…anonymous for a brilliantly funny post!

    I’ll email you shortly to get your address. Congratulations on making me laugh hard and winning a Hayate figure!

    /applause/

  7. Koyote says:

    (Lol. Im fully aware that the competition is over, not to look bad. But I just wanna have fun since the annoymous’ post was very amusing )

    I’d like to strengthen the Absolute Law of VIctory by adding the other elements that play in the “he who laughs last laughs best”.
    But that would be too easy so I’m gonna argue for the other side, defendant Jun!

    Of course we see Ayana show self pleasure as she smirks at the sight of Juns attack, but what came before the Ninja’s initial Ninjutsu dissapear/reappear attack? She remembers an incident right in the middle of it. We must consider then, the Invincible Sad Memory Test!: The rememberence of a loved one, in this case Jun who loves Yuho! throughout anime history we see that Sad memories of a loved one brings a sudden boost of power and preserverance (spelling x_x, haha..) to the individual. What we see is an “I’ll do it for my love” attitude that is so touching, that the individual cannot lose! sadly we see that Ayana is seen with “The Last Laugh”, in this case the last smile of self pleasure and the last attack!. But that rule cannot stand for itself to be the ultimate case, since we always see someone laugh last whether it’s the Villan or the Hero! It just makes the drama apparent for either the “good side” or the “bad side” to seeminly have an edge on the other. What occurs is the “Pitty – for- the -one -that- has -had -the- sad -memory- of -their -loved -one” Test !! Cause really, Poor JUN! Poor Ayana !!
    Ok, hah, I’ll stop now : P.

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