Hayate x Blade Manga, Volume 10

September 20th, 2009

If you have been following Hayate x Blade (はやて×ブレード) from the beginning, you are vaguely aware that there is an itch in this series that is not being scratched.

But first, as Volume 10 opens,  there’s the persistent and dangerous Ensuu and Mei to deal with. With incredible effort, and the stupidest technique ever (one used in previous volumes but no less silly this time) Ayana and Hayate *finally* bring the bad girls of Tenchi to their knees. Yay Team Us! Woo hoo!

From almost the very first volume, we know that Hayate is one of a pair of twins. In fact, her older sister Nagi was the one originally accepted into Tenchi Gakuen, but wasn’t able to attend because she was in the hospital. Only a few volumes ago, we were given a glimpse of the elusive Nagi, but that wasn’t enough! Nagi needs to be in the story, and soon, I felt.

Well, so did Hayashiya, apparently, because Nagi finally arrives to take her place among the sword-bearing student body at Tenchi Gakuen. And by doing so, she confuses the heck out of the idiots that surround her sister.

The best moment is when Jun comes face to face with Nagi, and looks her over in detail. You look the same, she says, but you’re not Hayate. (Thus proving that Jun is in fact the smartest person at Tenchi, which was a given, since she’s a lesbian.) Nagi does a little moronic song and dance, asking if that makes her look more like Hayate. I laughed because, well…it did. ^_^

Nagi is instantly not really all that likable. In a series chock full of really likable characters (with the exception on Ensuu, who is so completely crazy that you can’t dislike her, and if you do, after Volume 11 you won’t anymore. Because it’s hard to dislike someone that…so *completely* off the rails,) Nagi stands out as someone that it’s quite easy to not like. Watching Hayate frantically trying to please her older sister is a little heart wrenching. When Nagi publicly proclaims that it is her intention to take Ayana as her shinyuu, and Hayate just rolls over, it’s massively heart wrenching. Not just for us, either, as Ayana makes the point that she, and no one else has the right to choose her own shinyuu, dammit, and she’s chosen Hayate. That she makes the point with a reverse suplex does not diminish the message.

But…Hayate knows that she’s not as strong as her sister, and so she slips out of the school into the woods, where she meets, Yanagi, aka Yagyuu, a crazy-eyed, Edo-period slang speaking, ex-Tenchi swordbearer. And so, we are launched into what may well be the absolutely most strange arc in this series so far.

Will Hayate be able to survive the training at the hands of her new oyabun? Will Yanagi’s reputation come back to haunt them? Will Ayana be able to convince Hayate to return to her? Will Hitsugi take matters into her own hands to bring discipline to one of the very first graduates of the sword-bearing program at Tenchi? Or will the entire school be thrown into a crazy free-for all?

Yes, all of the above, coming in Volume 11. ;-)

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 2
Service – 1
Overall – 9
I didn’t even mention Hayate and Nagi’s Mom. Meeting her explains *a lot*. I never get through a volume of this series without snorting at least twice. ^_^
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7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I know it’s silly, but the “chichi” joke made me laugh every time.

    One thing I love about HxB is how despite its length, it hasn’t yet showed signs of losing steam. And it manages to do that without looking like a tournament shounen manga – which makes me really glad. I have a feeling the climax for this arc will be epic, though I wonder what will come after that.

  2. @Anonymous – I’m with you on the “chichi” gag. I’m always interested to see how Hayashiya balances drama with comedy and action with emotion. I never feel like she’s jerking the reader around, even when an arc goes on for a while.

  3. Anonymous says:

    @Erica : I totally agree! More often than not, drama in a comedy manga feels out of place and awkward, but that’s not the case here. And I don’t remember feeling I wanted “more action and less comedy” at any point; both genres complement each other really well.

  4. bamboocurl says:

    The licensed scanlations for these cannot come quickly enough. Though I should probably be thankful that Seven Seas hasn’t dropped it yet.

    And this has been said a million times, but an anime of this would be awesome.

  5. @Anonymous –

    “Please do not email or comment asking for links to scanlations or fansubs. Okazu readers overwhelmingly support the artists, writers and publishers of Yuri by buying anime and manga series in English and Japanese.”

  6. Flight13 says:

    Woo this is a bit late but do you know if seven seas is ever going to release vols. 7-15. I hate have to go online to read the next chapter, but the publisher hasn’t done anything with the series in over a year.

  7. @Flight13 – You’d be best served by contacting them and asking.

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