Saturday, December 17, 2011
Hayate Movie: Heaven is a Place on Earth
I loved both Hayate no Gotoku anime series - although like a lot of long-running series, some episodes I'd say were worth a re-watch and some were better off forgotten. When I heard there was a Hayate movie coming out, I was really looking forward to it since there's certainly potential for it to be epic - the relationship chart is like an explosion in a spaghetti factory, which means lots of potential for drama, and while the story can be mediocre at times, when it's funny Hayate can be really funny. Unfortunately...the movie, for me at least, wasn't all that great.
The good parts first - I'm a Nagi fan and Nagi definitely hogs the spotlight in this one. If you're rooting for any of the other girls, this might be a good reason not to like it, but for me it's not a minus.
It was also genuinely good to see the cast in action again, although in hindsight I'd have been more entertained re-watching some of the other Hayate anime instead. Hinagiku getting to kick ass with a sword, even if just for a few seconds, was pretty badass also. If you're keeping up with the manga, Kayura shows up throughout (I'm not, so I had no clue who she was - although it's not hard to figure out she's a friend of Nagi and a fellow otaku).
Now for the bad...the animation just seems a notch down from JC Staff's rendition, which is disappointing. A little too much SD, which makes me think they're saving budget more than trying to be cute. I should have known this wasn't going to be Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi-level, but it's still disappointing.
That and the story...kind of sucks. Nagi, while the heroine, is basically useless throughout, first whining and then becoming the damsel in distress. There's no development here, no character growth at all. There's also really nothing that made me laugh the whole 58 minutes - I had just watched Working and that was about 9,000 times more entertaining. For a little while, I was getting a Beautiful Dreamer vibe, which is a good thing in my book, but...not nearly as well done. The whole world of illusion cracks way too easily, and the climax gets resolved so fast I don't know why they even bothered trying to play it up as a situation of mortal peril.
In the end I'm more disappointed than anything else - Hayate no Gotoku has its weaknesses overall, but it also can be hilarious and moving at times, and I couldn't help feeling the cast was really under-utilized here. Kayura busting out the SOS-dan uniform in "closed space" was funny, I'll give them that, but otherwise this just didn't put a smile on my face the way most of the Hayate anime did. Your mileage my vary, of course, and there's far worse anime out there to spend 58 minutes on, but for me at least I think this ends up in the discard pile. It's entirely possible I just had my hopes too high for this one.