Story: Shizuru Hayashiya
Art: Shizuru Hayashiya
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Volume Count: 9+ (still in production)
Version reviewed: English Translated
Date of Review: 12 Mar 2009
Grade revised 17 May 2009 (was B)
As of January 2010, five of the volumes have been released so far in North America. At the writing of this review, only two volumes had been released.
Hayate Kurogane has just started middle school at Tenchi Academy, an all-girls private school which specializes in training them to be great sword fighters. Actually, her twin sister Nagi has. Nagi is recovering from injury, so Hayate decides to go and take her place until Nagi recovers. At Tenchi, students battle for cash and glory in duels called “Star Stealing”, but only if they are part of a pair of “Sword Sisters”. Hayate sets out to find someone to team up with, but the one she finds, third year (9th grader) Ayana Mudou, wants nothing to do with her.
Hayate Cross Blade (or Hayate x Blade) is a series which I knew virtually nothing about up until recently. Having now read the first two volumes, it is to me one of manga’s best kept secrets. It’s got a good story, but it’s also just plain hilarious. Much of this is due to the main character Hayate. She may be tiny (not even five feet tall), but she is overflowing with energy and enthusiasm. Her way with words also causes embarrassment for those around her more often than not. Hayate is also adorable, as characters go. I get a Misaki (Angelic Layer) or Sakura (Cardcaptor Sakura) type of vibe from her, though Hayate’s personality is much more of a pure ball of energy than those two.
So far, the story is fairly simple. The backdrop for the plot is that the orphanage where Hayate is from is in financial trouble, so she goes to Tenchi Academy to try and earn money to help the orphanage pay off its debt. While that is the main story, most of the action is centered on Hayate and her activities, which more often than not result in hilarity. The jokes come fast and furious in Hayate Cross Blade, and the best part is that they are all very well executed. And good. This is laugh out loud funny stuff.
I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of Hayate Cross Blade as it is released. It’s definitely one of the funniest titles in my collection, and it’s full of characters who are fun to watch, not to mention the aforementioned adorable factor with Hayate herself. I am also curious to see how the more dramatic side of the story plays out. As of volume two, there are some very interesting plot developments.
If it’s comedy you seek, Hayate Cross Blade is a hidden treasure.