In dramatic manga, the moments of comedy are brief, breaking up the tension with a soft smile from time to time.
In most action manga, the emotions are brief, building up in a fireworks climax during a battle, driven by the need to win.
In most romantic manga, the action is brief, confined to bursts of energy in order to move the characters from one situation into another.
In Hayate x Blade, Volume 6, none of these are brief. We are sated on action, comedy, emotion and drama and by the end of the volume…we want more. Or, well, I want more!
First, there’s the climax of the A-Team’s nefarious plot to blackmail Hayate into leaving the school, culminating in a 80 vs 8 randori. Maid costumes, ladles, cheesy lines and Michi suddenly being awesome! And finally, the entire A-team slayed where they stand by the appearance of their belove Akira. In a maid costume.
Then, we start to get some insight into the relationship between Ayana and Yukari and even as we are told what we are told…we’re given some hints that nothing in this relationship is what it seems.
And finally, in the middle of a school festival that is full insanity, the Hoshitori bell rings and a very, very serious fight begins.
Speaking as a reader, this is one of my favorite volumes in any language. Artistically, Hayashiya-sensei’s art has really coalesced by now and you can practically feel the impact as sword hits sword. As a copy editor, this volume was *brutal*. The editor and adapter had a lot of work to do – this is a volume full of really obscure references. But damn, what a volume!
Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 4 (Ayana x Yukari and Maki x Yukari for the win here)
Service – 4
Overall – 9
I can’t tell you at this point whether we’ll see a Volume 7, but I know that I, at least, hope and pray that we will. If there was ever a fight that we deserve to see the end of, it’s this one.