Hayate x Blade Manga, Volume 13

January 30th, 2011

For six years, I have been telling you that Hayate x Blade (はやて×ブレード) is a most amazing manga. For six years I have been crowing about the fantastic characterization, the awesome action, the hilarious comedy of the women of Tenchi Gakuen.  And in all that time, I never once have said that “this volume wasn’t as good as the last one.” You have to figure that at some point, statistics will catch up with this series and there will be a volume that is not as good as the last one.

Volume 13 of Hayate x Blade is not that volume.

Volume 13 is absolutely one of the funniest things I have ever read, and has the beginning of an arc SO full of awesome that I find I am unable to talk about it without using far too many superlatives to be taken seriously.

The volume starts as graduation comes to Tenchi Gakuen, and spring break comes soon after. Graduation at Tenchi is a moving ceremony, as you can imagine – or would be if Hayate knew how to behave in public. Spring break is a chance to see all our regulars kick back a little and have some fun.

It also gives us a chance to see some of the characters involved in a Buffalo hunt in Arizona. (Bet you never expected that, huh!)

And it gives us a chance to meet a few new characters who will be attending Tenchi when the next term starts. Sae’s little sister Saki, who dislikes Akira, but hits it off well with Hayate, is one. And will Nagi become shinyuu with the tall, strong and not-too-bright newbie that is blundering around the campus? These and more new faces will enter Tenchi…soon.

But not until the fight of the century is over.

Since the first chapter there has been a fight that has been discussed, but never fought. A fight that will decide the very future of the school. A fight that will make the word awesome mean something again. A fight that has me freaking right the fuck out as it plays out in current chapters in Ultra Jump. As this volume comes to a close, we are witness to a fight that has everyone in the school on the edge of their seats.

Amachi Hitsugi and Miyamoto Shizuku vs Mikado Akira and Inori Sae.

This fight is everything you could hope it to be.

So, while statistically speaking, there will probably have to be a volume of Hayate x Blade that isn’t *quite* as good as the one before it – that hasn’t happened yet and I don’t expect it to happen at least for another volume.

Hayashiya Shizuru continues to be one of the best story-tellers in manga, IMHO and this series is an absolute must-read for anyone who cares about the craft of manga. Smart-dumb, funny, action-filled and emotional all at once. As surprisingly good at Volume 13 as it ever has been.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 10
Yuri – 3
Service – 1

Overall – 9 and creeping ever higher….

This volume came bundled with a mini-Drama CD that will receive a review of it’s very own. Even if you can’t understand a word, you should listen to it for the chance to hear Asano Mayumi (Tatewaki Hikaru) rule the world of voice acting. Also for Sid and Nancy.

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11 Responses

  1. Mandy says:

    *whimpers* Hitsugi+Shizuku v. Akira+Sae… *drools* I’ve been dying to see that fight forever! I had been holding back buying the recent volumes because I had kind of hoped that Seven Seas would keep producing the English volumes… but oh god, I can’t resist anymore! The mention of that fight alone is enough to convince me to stalk the Kinokuniya people! I must have the awesomeness now!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love so much this manga
    is funny and everybody are strong caracters (except for the cousin of akira)
    I want more and more chapters of this manga…

  3. Ayra says:

    Well, I admit that the first paragraph did get me…

    I really liked the volume 1-3 Omnibus and I’m definitively getting the volume 4-6 Omnibus when it comes out in March.

    I really hope that they’ll translate further volumes: The writting is too “witty” for me to be able to properly appreciate it with my poor Japanese skills, and my current japanese manga that I still have to read is way too large for my amount of free time, what with the newest Uso Kurata book, Renai Joshika that I still haven’t completed yet and the two new Yurihime magazines that are definitively quite a bit larger than I expected them to be…

    If they never translate volume 7+ of Hayate x Blade and that I do get sufficient japanese reading skills eventually, I will get all those volume in Japanese, but… it’ll be quite a while unfortunately!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What? You got a drama CD? I was just in Japan and bought this, and I didn’t get a drama CD! Arrgh!!!

    As far as reading goes, I’ve only skimmed this volume, as me and my kanji dictionary are still finishing up vol. 11, but I got some stuff by skimming, and Akira’s three-step “wake-up call” had me in tears, it was so funny.

    Also, Hayate gets her hands on a Vuvuzela. :) It’s like they were made for each other.

  5. Anonymous says:

    …Looking at my version of the book, I realize my cover is different. Mine has a picture Nagi and Hayate with a gold foil logo, while yours has Nagare and Nagi with a blue logo.

    Those of you looking for the CD version take heed.

  6. Ayra says:

    I have finished reading the second Omnibus and I have a question: How “complex” are the Japanese volumes? I enjoyed the first 6 volumes very much, and I’m definitively tempted to buy all the other volumes in Japanese… The problem is that based on the content of the English books, there’s probably a whole lot of references, weird phrase structures (like Hitsugi), puns and others similar issues. Is that correct?

    While I definitively can’t understand every single phrase yet, I can currently understand enough from books like Rakka Ryusuui or Renai Joshika so that it’s still enjoyable. I at least can understand the story correctly and get a good amount of the jokes, but those aren’t exactly the most complex books in the world and anything more complicated than that is out limit for the time being.

    Is Hayate x Blade ‘harder’ to properly read than those books? I expect the answer to unfortunately be yes, but if the answer is ‘no’, I’ll be ordering volumes 7-13 tomorrow :)

  7. @Ayra – I can’t say that HxB is easy. It’s actually one of the most complex series I read. Hayashiya-sensei has a habit of writing dialogue for adults who are both well-read and well-versed in popular culture. And she also uses alternate kanji for common words (some of which are in vogue with mangaka, so it’s not completely off the rails.) Once you get use to it isn’t so bad, but can throw you for a loop at the beginning.

    However, if you can make enough sense out of Rakka Ryusuui or Renai Joshika, I think you could make your way through this. Keep a kanji dictionary close, though!

  8. Anonymous says:

    HxB is the most amazing manga i ever read, hoping that they could make it in anime :)

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