Yuri Manga: Hayate x Blade, Volume 4 (English)

October 22nd, 2009

If you follow *one* series it should be this one. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Hayate x Blade, Volume 4 is a non-stop, fast-paced, slam-dunk, action-filled crazy-fest from the very first page to the very last. And it’s funny as hell. As I’ve come to say on Twitter, it’s a 4 SLOL (Snort Laugh Out Loud) book.

The book begins with the end of Ayana and Jun’s match and OMG, I cannot believe you can read this in ENGLISH. I remember reviewing it in Japanese and wishing I could share it with you all, because it’s so excellent.

Because *so* much happens in this volume, I want to talk about the translation. Yes, Jun does curse. It seems uncharacteristic in this series, but that’s only ’cause you haven’t met Sid yet. :-D (Sid! How I want you to meet Sid and Nancy! OMG, they are so awesomely hysterical. /Fangirly squeal/) And no, Hayate’s comments about her and Ayana being Jon and Ponch and Cagney and Lacey are *not* weird attempts are localization – they are actually what she says.

Once again, I want to thank, worship, akogare the team of translator and adapter on this book for making it feel so right. I feel as if every voice has been kept intact. Adrienne, Ed, you make this series a real pleasure to work on as a professional, and to read as a fan.

Also, I really, really, want to thank Tor and Seven Seas for 1) giving me the opportunity to work on this series and; 2) fixing that one mistake I kept pointing out. You know the one. Thank you. :-)

Jun fights Ayana, Yuho fights Hayate, Jun and Yuho have a tender moment, Hitsugi and Shizuku prepare for their first fight in a while, Hayate gets close to Akira despite dire warnings, and Momoka and Isuzu (Isuzu! OMG, I just love her. I hope you do too.) have a *major* crisis that introduces Michi and Otoha, who are a pair of utter freaks. ^_^ There is action, comedy, blood, guts, affection, desire and banana peels.

Isuzu=Yuri, and if you are like me and most of the Japanese doujinshi artists, you see Michi and Otoha as a couple, too. Because…duh.

If you are not buying this manga, you are utterly fail. Don’t bother trying to explain yourself.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 3
Service – 2

Overall – 9

I want you to know that a contact (not my editor, but another editor) at Tor offered to send me copies, but I refused. I like it better that my Heroes get the credit. Today I thank once again, ever more fervently, Okazu Superhero Eric P. for sponsoring today’s review and giving me the chance to sings paeans of joy about the BEST MANGA EVER. IN ENGLISH!

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13 Responses

  1. socchan says:

    Not only do I follow this series’ English releases near religiously, I’ve bought an extra copy of each volume released so far. Now I have one to keep to myself, and one to lend to friends, so they become addicted and are forced to buy their own copies as well (mwahahahahaha!).

  2. @socchan – Well done! /pat on the head

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, Erica, your rave reviews have finally made me curious enough to give this series a try in spite of the fact that I’m not generally a comic reader. I guess that makes one more sale that editor should be thanking you for.

    -Jst

  4. triskele says:

    @socchan – Now that is dedication!

    I’ve been meaning to sink my teeth into this series, for all intents and purposes it seems to have every element I like.

    This is totally off-topic to H x B, but I just watched the first two episodes of Sasamekikoto on Crunchy Roll and I am so very impressed! Much like Aoi Hana I am super pleased with it and I’m so glad we have had two great Yuri releases this year.

    Erica, do you have any insight since your ear is usually to the ground – how is Sasameki faring in the popularity department so far? I know Aoi Hana ended up quite popular, and I am hoping for Yuri’s sake Sasameki has that kind of following too.

  5. @Anonymous (Jst) I really hope you enjoy it. Just kick back and let the silly happen.

    @triskele – I’ll be talking about Sasamekikoto tomorrow.

    Let’s just say that it got off to a slow start popularity-wise, but I expect to see it pick up soon.

  6. I just wanted to give a belated thank you for all the work you put into this blog. I’ve been introduced to so many wonderful series through Okazu – and Hayate X Blade is one of them! I’d read your reviews of the Japanese versions and back when the English version was announced, I thought I’d give it a try since you so highly recommended it.

    And you are totally right. Best. Manga. EVER. I’d never pre-ordered anything before but I’m currently pre-ordered on this series as far as Amazon will let me!

    Since you’ve worked on this title, do you know how Hayate X Blade is faring in the market? I really hope it does well and that we see the entire series released in English. ^_^;

  7. Adam Arnold says:

    Can’t say I recall what that thing was that we fixed. >_>

    – Adam

  8. @Adam Arnold – That’s because I’m wrong and it doesn’t actually get fixed until Vol. 6. I mized up the Volumes I’m talking about. Makise Ren’s name.

    BTW – how’s sales for HxB? Inquiring minds want to know!

  9. @Kara Sternberg – I’m thrilled to hear you’re enjoying it. I don’t know how it’s doing, but I did just ask Adam Arnold from Seven Seas and we’ll see what he says.

  10. ajshepherd says:

    Thanks for explaining the Jon and Ponch reference, that just boggled me as the last thing I’d expect in anything remotely contemporary was a CHiPs reference!
    The idea that the reference was in the original Japanese boggles me even more!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ohhh yes, I do hope HxB is performing well in the sales department! I am a horribly busy professional attempting to learn her 3rd language and it sadly is not Japanese; I don’t see me having the time to learn it soon either. :( However, HxB is definitively what got me into manga. I’m thankful for your reviews on here and for Seven Seas’ wonderful work. I can only hope that the series will be finished out and not dropped because of financial constraints. I’ve pre-ordered my vol 5 English copy and am awaiting all other planned copies with bated breath!

  12. ZeroSD says:

    Count me as another rave fan of this series, I absolutely love it, pretty much every named duel pair is awesome :D

  13. Anonymous says:

    I really dig this series too, but I nearly dropped it after that storyline about the one girl being abused by her partner. The conclusion of that is still a black mark on the series for me, but I’ve enjoyed the rest of it and stuck with it thanks to Erica pushing it so hard.

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