I know, it’s been absolutely AGES since I reviewed Hayate x Blade, Volume 3. (If you haven’t read that review you should, because the contest I held for the volume was very funny.) Now, at last, I have the leisure to review Hayate x Blade, Volume 4. I hope it was worth the wait.
We left off in Volume 3 with a one-on-one battle between Ayana and Jun. On the final page of the last volume we were left with that moment just after the fateful blow, but before we learn who lost and who won. This volume opens up with that same same moment. And the winner is…!
Ayana, who takes Jun’s star with her mad Hoshitori Skillz.
Without missing a beat, Jun springs up to interfere in Hayate and Yuho’s battle. Ayana calls after her to stop, but Jun uses language quite unbecoming a young lady and runs off. Yuho, after a life of weakness and dependence, digs way deep and defeats Hayate, taking the “Heaven” star decisively – only to learn that because Jun, as the “Earth” part of the pair lost first, it renders her victory null. Mudou-Kurogane team gets the win.
Jun and Yuho have a wonderful moment, as Yuho awaits an ambulance to the hospital, which renders nearly every character in the book teary (and in some case nose-drippy and drooly as well.)
The next few chapters is taken up by us meeting and becoming familar with a whole host of new characters, mostly high school students, members of the student council, as they sharpen their skills for their own upcoming hoshitori fights. Only there’s clearly something else going on her…we’re not stupid. Not only are Kureha and Minori and the others practicing, they are working on special weapons. Why? You’ll have to wait until volume 5 to find out! (But trust me, it’s way cool…)
Isuzu and Momoko are still getting used to one another. Momoko is freaked by Isuzu’s reliance on a crystal ball, and the way she pronounces curses on their opponents during hoshitori. This awkwardness is exacerbated by the appearance of Otoha, a woman with that look that says “I have a clever plan”. And she does – she’s got a plan to separate Momoko and Isuzu and steal Isuzu for herself.
The rest of the volume follows Otoha as she widens the distance between Isuzu and Momoko, eventually challenging Momoko to a duel for Isuzu! (da-da-da-daahhh)
Momoko accepts the challenge – but not the terms. She has NO intention of giving Isuzu up and says so plainly. Isuzu is, in the meantime, overwhelmed that two women are dueling over her – and who wouldn’t be? – and deeply touched that Momoko cares about her that much.
In the end, Momoko (remember when she fought for her Rio-‘neeesan?) remains uber-cool, and wins. And Otoha is forced to deal with her own shinyuu, Michi. It turns out that they were, yes, lovers, and there was a horrible misunderstanding between them and gee, they like each other after all and it was all a mistake, heh heh. LOL
It was actually quite amusing, my snarky synopsis notwithstanding. The picture of Otoha and Michi running off hand in hand, looking slightly embarrassed and very relieved at the end of the chapter was priceless.
So let’s sum up:
Shizuku and Hitsugi + Momoko and Isuzu + Otoha and Michi = Good Yuri.
Art – 9 I’ve really come to love Hayashiya-sensei’s art
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 7
Service – 2
Overall – 9
This is a GREAT series. Another must-have, IMHO. As far from Moonlight Flowers as you can get, but just as good (if not better) in its own, unique way.