I’m a big fan of the Hayate no Gotoku series, as I’ve been following it since it was first animated by SynergySP back in 2007. However, this series hasn’t been given the best treatment throughout its life, as the sequel didn’t appear until 2009, animated by J.C. Staff. In the following years, the movie was released, animated by yet another company, and finally, this series has begun, and breaks the tradition by retaining the same company who animated the movie. When I first heard about this series, I was overjoyed to hear that the Hayate series would return, and I’ve been waiting to watch the first episode of Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
This episode really brought back the great wacky feeling that the Hayate series gives off, and it really doesn’t disappoint in terms of a new Hayate animation. I am a little bummed that the project turned into a stand-alone animation, as opposed to continuing to follow the manga, but I can live with new content, and this episode does bring my hopes up.
In terms of the episode, the beginning left me recalling The Hangover, as the opening brings us to the Nevada desert, hanging on what events left poor little Nagi in this barren wasteland. First Steins;Gate, now Hayate; I don’t know the next series that’s going to wind up in the Nevada desert. Also, as someone who lives in a desert, I know everything that happened to her happens to me, minus the cactus part.
The character designs so far have been decent, but it really is strange going to new designs yet again after changing them a few times. Every studio animates the crew differently, and it always takes some time getting used to their new looks. I don’t know how Hinagiku(Best Girl) or some other side characters are going to look, if they appear at all, but I’m sure it’ll be okay once I’m actually used to the change. The animation isn’t terrible by any means, just different.
We’re later brought back to the mansion, and man, this really brings out the whole change in animation studios. The mansion looks completely different, and while I’ve yet to see if that’s a good or bad thing, I was shocked to see how different it looked. While we pan back to the great mansion, Maria answers the phone and quickly changes to English to speak to the Nevada police. In appears that Nagi’s late father left some belongings behind, and they need Nagi to confirm if the items really belonged to her father. As she thinks about leaving to America, the television soon displays a show that discusses Area 51 and aliens, all of which pique Nagi’s interest and her will to go to America. While Hayate and Maria attempt to persuade Nagi into leaving when school is not in session, she storms off and complains in typical Nagi fashion.
Everything that happens after can be said to pay homage to the first chapter in the manga series. The kidnapping, setting, and rescue all mirror the unforgettable intro to this amazing series. I really enjoyed this touch, and the attention to detail is superb. In fact, Nagi’s stubbornness and the fact the kidnappers are brothers (Though if they owe money to the Yakuza is unexplained) only added to my enjoyment of this dedication to the beginning. However, there are some details added in to create relevance to the current plot, and the plot-twist at the end was shocking, but I’ve yet to believe the validity of her claim. This may be due to the fact I just watched Who is Imouto?, but who knows.
Either way, I am swirling in anticipation for the next episodes, and I really want to know where this series goes. I laughed at quite a bit of this episode, and I only hope the humor stays in future episodes. Time to start the new season with a bang!