Lots of *amazing* stuff happens in Volume 8 of Hayate x Blade, so let’s deal with the most important thing first….the “Best Shinyuu Poll” that ran in Dengeki Daioh! ^_^
Number one by a hefty margin: Jun and Yuho. Yes, the lesbian tops the list. But of course.
Number two is: Akira and Sae. So, erm, the butchy boi comes in second…
Number three is, let’s see: Hitsugi and Shizuku…I think I see a pattern here.
Hayate and Ayana come in 4th, Michi and Kiji in 5th. In case you care.
Okay, so on to the story which, despite the fact that this volume mostly takes place over winter holiday, is chock full of action and surprise.
The big exhibition fight between Sid and Nancy and Akira and Sae ends in drama. Akira has won, but she’s taken a beating. When she challenges Hitsugi to a duel, the President declines, but Sae ends the conversation by poking Akira in her broken rib and bringing her to the ground in pain.
A bunch of the first-years are staying at the school over the holidays, so to have a little fun with them, Hitsugi decides that they will clean up in the catacombs below the school. (There are tunnels below the school? Just go with it.) They encounter all sorts of amusing obstacles – ghosts, skeletons, a rampaging bull…and someone who looks awfully like Hayate, only it’s not. Yes, Hayate’s twin sister Nagi has arrived, and she looks like trouble.
Meanwhile, Jun checks in with Yukari, Akira tries to recover from her broken rib and, Ayana learns the truth about what happened that fateful day when she went beserk against Ensuu and injured Yukari. And it’s not at all what she thought.
Both Ayana and Hayate find renewed energy and determination to be the best at Hoshitori and start training like lunatics. When Akira offers to one-on-one with Ayana, Hitsugi smells some fun and makes it a battle for a hot steamy sweet potato. (This is a LOT funnier than I’m making it sound. It was actually freaking hysterical.)
The final chapter is the “behind the scenes” look at the making of the second Hayate x Blade Drama CD, full of the usual chaos.
I think that the best thing about this book is Hitsugi cracking herself up. Every time she’s face down into a pillow trying to not laugh out loud, or seeing the sweet potato fire and telling Shizuku that “it’s a signal fire, calling for me'” it completely slays me. ^_^
With the English release of Hayate x Blade just around the corner this summer, it’s good to know that more silly violence than ever before awaits us.
Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 3
Service – 3
Overall – 9
As I said last volume – the art is really getting better and better, and the story is still going at full steam. Without a doubt, one of my favorite manga of all time.
So – tomorrow will be post 1000. I wonder what I’ll post about? ^_^