Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thoughts on Hayate X Blade

In my opinion, Hayate X Blade is the most under-appreciated manga ever. This doesn't mean a whole lot coming from someone like me who doesn't read that much manga, but I still stand by it.

There is so much to love in HxB that it surprises me how few people know about it. It's filled with superb characters (of which there are well over a dozen), great sword fights, and it's very, very funny. And all of it is supported by mangaka Shizuru Hayashiya's superb writing and art.

While the manga provides some great fights, and some interesting drama and characterization, it's the comedy that really makes it shine. HxB is funny consistently. Every chapter is a riot, even those involving fights, and its always well times, well written, and always within the lines of the characters' personalities.

Actually, I lied, it's not the comedy that makes HxB shine, it's the characters. Every character in HxB is fantastic and bursting with personality and unique characteristics. It would take too long to go through them all, but Hitsugi is one of the greatest characters in manga.

Honestly, I don't know what else I can say about this series. It's absolutely superb, and is my second favorite manga series after One Piece. It's practically perfect in every way. The action is well drawn and greatly executed, and makes fight scenes in other, more popular, Shonen series pale in comparison. The characters are all unique and very likable. It has some great drama and characterization; all of which allows the characters to grow over time, even within the manga's young life it has right now; in fact, HxB manages to develop their characters more in just a few chapters than most other manga do in their whole series. And it's all complemented by superbly written and executed comedy that ranged from witty word-play to pure slapstick (in fact, it's mostly slapstick).

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but it's all just so great. I highly recommend giving it a try if you are interested in a character focused comedy-drama-action manga filled with great characters and comedy.

If I had any problems with HxB, it would be that some characters are introduced and have some great scenes, but we won't see them again for quite some time. They always return later, but sometimes it can get frustrating when your favorite character doesn't show up for a while. Also, HxB is very character-focused with it's story, comedy, and drama; as such, there isn't much world building, and as such, HxB isn't what one would call "epic" in scale, but because these characters are so endearing, there are definitely moments that scratch that "epic" itch.

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