When he was young, Hayate had a dream of Santa Claus not giving him a present because he was poor. Santa had instead told him that he needed to work hard and said that the last laugh goes to the earnest and serious people. Now that he’s in high school, Hayate works as a delivery boy who gets into a lot of accidents but pulls through them relatively unscathed. On the way back from a delivery, Hayate runs into his friends who are on their way to a Christmas party, and they accuse him of only caring about money since he works all the time. Hayate, however, reveals that his father is unemployed. Upon getting back to the office, Hayate is surprised to find that he’s been fired for lying about his age. The only reason his boss found out was because Hayate’s parents came by and told him. He had given them Hayate’s wages, which causes Hayate to panic because he knows that his parents will lose the money on gambling. Rushing home he finds the envelope that’s supposed to contain his wages, but inside is only a note from his parents saying they lost it all. He then finds another note from them informing him that they’ve run away and left him with their 156,804,000 yen debt. It is at this moment that a bunch of shady people show up looking to collect the money, so Hayate ends up jumping out the window.
Frustrated that his hard work ended up like this, Hayate decides to kidnap a young girl and try to get the money through ransoming her. Before he can go through with this plan though, two guys try to pick her up. Acting quickly, Hayate saves her by punching one of the guys, and gives her his jacket because she’s cold. Still wanting to get ransom for her though, Hayate surprises her by asking her to go out with him. She agrees only after getting him to promise not to be unfaithful and then gives him the phone number that he wants. Hayate leaves her to call her home and demand a ransom, but he accidentally gives his last name when he calls, so he hangs up. Dejected, Hayate trips and loses the last coins that he was carrying on him into the sewers. When a bunch of snow then falls down on his head, Hayate stays on the ground and doesn’t get back up. Shortly thereafter though, a woman on a bicycle approaches his body and tries to help him. She gives him her scarf, and her kindness causes Hayate to cry. This is interrupted when Hayate hears the cries of the girl from before being forced into a car by two men. The woman recognizes that the girl is being kidnapped, so Hayate goes to save her. Inside the car, the girl is about to be touched by one of the kidnappers, so she calls out Hayate’s name (which she had learned from the envelope in his jacket pocket).
As if he’s responding to her call, Hayate appears in the air on top of the bicycle. He manages to land in front of the car, but the kidnappers don’t stop. Getting hit by the car sends Hayate airborne, but he finds a way to land back on the hood of the car. The fearsome look on Hayate’s face scares the kidnappers into giving up the girl, and the police soon arrive to take them away. Hayate claims that he’s okay, so the girl starts talking about being indebted to him, but Hayate then faints. As he’s doing so, he mentions finding a job. Around this time, the woman from before, whose name is Maria, finally catches up with the girl, whose name is Sanzenin Nagi. As a helicopter then arrives to pick them up, Nagi declares that she’s keeping the promise of finding Hayate a job by making him her new butler.
ED: 「Proof」 by MELL
Watch the ED! Mirror 1 Mirror 2
As expected, the opening song is sung by KOTOKO. It’s an okay fast-paced song, but after several listens, I actually ended up liking the ED a little more.
First episode was just about what I expected. Kugimiya Rie was perfect for Nagi, and I quickly got used to how Shiraishi Ryouko sounded as Hayate (it felt slightly odd when I originally saw the promotional commercial and DVD). The best part, however, is definitely Wakamoto Norio doing the narration. Since I’ve read the manga and am familiar with the story, hearing him proved to be quite entertaining. I also found the obligatory keep-the-room-well-lit-and-don’t-watch-too-close-to-the-tv-screen message prior to the start of the episode (it had Hayate carrying Nagi away from the TV) really cute. Of course, the various anime references were great too.
Synergy SP did a pretty good job with the animation, but since this is airing in the morning, there was some censorship. It wasn’t so much bothersome as it just felt awkward. It was a good episode overall, and I’m interested to see what direction they take the series in future episodes.