If heaven is a place on earth, then this movie is a place in hell. I can hardly imagine how you could screw up a Hayate movie more.
It isn’t funny. At all. In fact, it doesn’t even try to be funny. What were the creators thinking? The entire appeal of Hayate no Gotoku is its over the top humor. But this movie was actually subdued and laid back. Half the movie is literally a trip to the countryside with the intention of doing nothing. The characters are all relaxed and speaking calmly and quietly. It felt like I was watching Aria or something.
Then the other half is some faux drama where Nagi is kidnapped once again. Guys, no one watches Hayate for the story. The only reason anyone watches this is for the jokes and to ship Hinagiku. The story is just an excuse in service of these two goals.
And the story (which is actually supposed to matter in this movie!) is still dumb and pointless compared to the usual manga material. To summarize, Nagi is kidnapped by amusement park mascots and trapped in a magic spell. She calls for Hayate, breaks the spell, and Hayate saves her. Boring.
This movie was a disaster, but I love the rest of the Hayate franchise. I do have one major complaint regarding the series though: it suffers from character overload. The mangaka adds too many new characters! I can hardly remember them all, and three quarters of them barely show up. I couldn’t for the life of me recall who Nagi’s green haired friend cosplaying as a swordsman was. And fully half the characters in the movie showed up for ten seconds and proceeded to become irrelevant. Sometimes it’s better to work with what you have instead of creating more and more useless baggage.
I should point out that if you decide to watch this movie, it picks up at the manga’s current place in the story. The animated version is way behind, and if you aren’t reading the manga you’ll be completely lost. This shouldn’t be a problem, though, since you shouldn’t bother watching the movie either way.
- Plot / Script – D – Not even an attempt to be funny.
- Characters – D – Good characters, but not because of this movie.
- Production – D – I didn’t like the new style for this movie at all. It was calm and soothing. Which is the exact opposite of everything Hayate should be.
- Overall – D
Recommendations – the Hayate no Gotoku TV series (either season) or the manga