「第一夜」 (Daiichi Yoru)
“The First Night”

It’s another new season with the titular unlucky butler and his self-confessed hikikomori mistress. Yes folks, Hayate no Gotoku! is back once again, assembling its adorable 4th wall-poking cast to bring back the cheeky, reference-spewing screwball comedy we all know and love!

But wait, something feels different here. Change is rife with the new Hayate no Gotoku!. This is no longer just a simple adaptation of manga chapters, and like the latter parts of the first series, the new season instead strike its own path with anime-original material. I know, I feel your pain too, manga aficionados! Once again, we’re denied the prospects of seeing the fan-favorite Athena arc and Inheritance arc in full animated glory! One can only wonder why the production committee chose to go with the alternative when there’s been a persistent teasing since the 2nd season of Hayate no Gotoku!. But what’s happened, happened, and it’s a moot point now. Instead, let’s focus on the positives of it, the fact that like the movie which was produced earlier, the new anime-original storyline is being supervised by Hata Kenjiro, the original creator of the series. His presence here is a relief for those who are worried the season might veer off the vision of the series, and should ensure that whatever’s coming here is a comedy that remains faithful to the spirit of the series.

So with the story and comedy secured, the other big change comes with the production staff. Hayate no Gotoku! has traditionally been produced at JC Staff’s house, but (Bit of error here, sorry folks! JC Staff only ever produced the 2nd season and an OVA.) The reins of the series have now been handed over to new stewards Manglobe, who’ve just come off the production of the movie. Now, I’ve plenty of respect of the studio and its staff, who’ve had some truly noteworthy shows to their name, the most recent one in memory being Deadman Wonderland. But comedy didn’t particularly seem to be their niche, seeing as how I felt they’d completely botched the adaptation of The World God Only Knows, a manga which I am incredibly enamored with. It most definitely isn’t entirely their fault, but even the animation and art of that anime was average at best. If however you’ve seen the Hayate no Gotoku! movie they’ve recently produced (I haven’t, just saying.) then you should probably know there has at least been a generally positive feedback to it, a good sign that they’ve at least got this one down pat.

And boy do they prove their chops here. If there’s any lingering regret about JC Staff putting the series behind them, or that this isn’t the continuation you wanted, well, you know what? You can take those regrets and shove them into the dark recesses of your mind. The premiere of Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (Boy is that a long title) shows that even with all the changes, this new season that has every bit the charm its predecessors and source material has, as it opens the episode up with a hilarious slapstick skit of Sanzenin Nagi (Kugimiya Rie) stranded in the Nevada Desert while being subject to the whims of nature. The cast of characters are unchanged in their charm and dysfunctional chemistry, as we’re reintroduced to the unlucky butler Ayasaki Hayate (Ryoko Shiraishi), his otaku mistress Nagi, and the genius super-maid Maria (Tanaka Rie). And in a clever, nostalgic bit of self-referencing, Manglobe and Hata Kenjiro are here to make a statement that this Hayate no Gotoku! won’t be any lesser than its predecessors, by making the climax of this premiere a scene-for-scene, tongue-in-cheek reproduction of the original kidnapping that started this entire story.

It’s amazing how well they’ve lived up to that statement here, and I honestly enjoyed every moment of this latest iteration. The icing on the cake is the fresh approach the show has taken, striking out from its typical episodic nature to set up an overarching plot for the season, one that shows as much foreboding intrigue and potential as the Athena and Inheritance arcs did. For the first time in the franchise, we’re learning about Nagi’s late father, who supposedly died in a car crash at Las Vegas, and Nagi has been summoned by the police to verify his recovered belonging. The episode also brings a new character into the dynamic, Tsugumi Ruri (Iguchi Yuka), who proclaims herself Nagi’s little sister and is trying to secure a Sazenin treasure. We might be calling this anime-original material, but it seems that Hata Kenjiro intends for the story here to be an integral part of the franchise’s lore, by the way he’s addressing a significant story element in Nagi’s father and her supposed little sister in Ruri. Furthermore, the story seems to be taking place in the future of the manga’s current timeline, what with the presence of manga character Suirenji Ruka (Yamazaki Haruka) here, and Harukaze Chiharu’s (Fujimaru Ayumi) reference to Nagi’s inherited Japanese mansion, the core setting of the manga’s current arc. With the way he is working around his currently running story, it seems as though Hata Kenjiro plans to integrate this into the overall continuity of the series. It does make it a great point for new viewers to jump in, seeing as how the new storyline seems to require little background knowledge in the series.

While the production quality is nothing to really bring home about, especially when every other anime is looking downright cinematic these days, Manglobe has done an admirable job here in following up with the manga’s characteristically whimsical designs. Both art and animation are noticeably improved from the past seasons, (Something would’ve been seriously wrong otherwise.) giving me little to complain about the presentation, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great the episode looked overall.

It might not have been the continuation I’ve been pining for (and oh how I’ve been pining for it) but Hayate no Gotoku!: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You surpassed the expectations I’ve had for the show’s latest season. Don’t let the changes deter you; the spirit of the series is still most definitely intact, and what’s new serves to make the latest offering in the franchise surprisingly fresh.

Full-length images: 24, 35, 36.

*Currently, there are no plans to blog this show in RandomC.

*Please also be mindful of manga spoilers in the comments, since this latest season seems to be taking place after the current manga arc which the anime never covered.


ED Sequence

ED: 「恋の罠」 (Koi no Wana) by 山崎はるか (Yamazaki Haruka)


  1. “Hayate no Gotoku! has traditionally been produced at JC Staff’s house”

    …By traditionally, you mean for one season?

    The first season was done by [SynergySP], whose previous works are more towards the family friendly and long running series like MAR and Beyblade.

  2. I decided to give this a try after being told that watching the other seasons wasn’t necessary.

    Found it pretty boring, to be honest. Now, this could be because my friend was wrong and that I should watch the rest of the seasons. But regardless, I just couldn’t really get into this episode.

    The woman providing impromptu narration wasn’t that bad, but it felt like little more than a gimmick to me.

    Animation was nice at times, though.

  3. I’ve not read the manga since the Athena arc, last I read, without spoiling too much, Nagi and co. has basically since moved into a smaller house with Chiharu and Hinagiku, which is around May-June in the storyline.

    So seeing the sudden skip into September already with Nagi back inside her Sanzenin mansion has gotten me all confused with the timeline now. Is the manga still at June-July?

    I know Hata Kenjirou said this would be an original story, but does he intend for this to be a reboot or by setting it in the future of the current manga arc, does he intend to eventually incorporate this into the manga canon?

    Kinny Riddle
    1. You’re not mistaken, the manga is still in the summer period, which is why I’m inclined to believe that he intends to incorporate this into the overall continuity, while the time jump forward allows him to work around the constraints of the manga’s story to come up with an original new storyline.

    1. Your not the only one. I for one loved the 1st season. It was able to make me laugh so hard that i cried most episodes and the parodies it used to do were amazing. But since they’ve killed off the parodying back in season 2 this show just seems like a shell of its old self. Not to mention that this season just seems to be missing any sort of substance the previous 2 had.

      Allen Walker
  4. Nagi and her excuse to not go to school still doesn’t get me bored. The occasional 4wall joke and the invicible Hayate is still funny as usual. What lack of first episode is Hina and other major character like Sakuya or Wataru and Saki.

  5. As far as I much like this series, I’m not liking Manglobe’s choice on the character designs. (Honestly, bring back Synergy please!) but it looks like there’s a solid and decent plot.

    Ruri Tsumugi reminds of Miniwa Tsumugi from Acchi Kocchi with that character design.

  6. just my opinion, I find that it might be a little hard for people who only watches the anime to understand it. But I read the manga so I guess it’s fine for me.

    I looked forward to the A-tan arc. But having this is not bad too. So now I can look forward to new manga chapters AND new anime episodes. Omg, this just made my week double the fun 😀

  7. This was… quite boring and lack luster. Story wise it’s more or less “good” but it lost it’s comedic appeal.. which is one of the highlights in Hayate.

    Yeah, comedy and slice of life isn’t really Manglobe’s forte. I see the exact same reason here as to why TWGOK anime botch.

  8. the animation is better? I guess my eyes are very weird.
    Just by looking at the pictures this reminds me to the new Saint Seiya anime (omega). The graphics are so different that it feels that they are other people (alternative UNIVERSE).
    The colors are too bright that my eyes hurt a little.
    The shapes are somewhat weird for instance Hayate’s head is too big comparing to the previous series just look at this picture:
    I will watch this series without a doubt even if it messes my eyes (this reminds me of akane from ranma saying: “he has to eat it even if it kills him”).

    1. Does it? Personally, I thought the art was much more faithful to the manga design than it ever was. Plus, I confess to being a bit of a Sakuga fag, and this premiere surprisingly served up quite a few moments of that, something which isn’t typically associated with the Hayate animes.

      But well, to each his own!

    2. just finished watching ep1. It is much worse than I thought it would be. The music is terrible, someone should be fired. lifeless/inappropriate music. It feels like watching a crazy party with funeral music or watching a funeral with teletubbies music.
      then there is a lot of silence (no background music) in various places for instance in action parts.
      It is not a comedy show. It is not a serious show. It kind of wants to be everything like in “comic party” when that dude writes a doujinshi that combines everything and that tanks (does not sell).

      1. I agree to the whole huge head thing and I noticed it back in the movie. So I was kinda prepared for this. While I do agree it’s closer to the manga too, that’s why I liked the art styles of the first 2 seasons better than this.

  9. I don’t know… I was literally yawning for most of the time while watching this 1st episode.

    Of course, I love Hayate series as I’m a fan of the original manga, however the anime seems very dull and tasteless if you ask me.

    I think 1st season by Synergy did a great job in animating this series compared to others.

  10. I’m disappointed the series won’t be blogged here, but that seems to be the way it goes for Hayate stuff. Not enough people buy the manga, not enough people spread the word. Bummer, really. 🙁

    Still, I do get the feeling that this series will be made canon to the manga.

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