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I found Hayate the Combat Butler on this very wiki waaay back when the manga was just getting scanlated long before the anime - and it became the first manga series I regularly follow. I'd seen plenty of anime and hadn't gotten into manga much but with that concept I just had to give it a try. For anyone who likes fun and lovable characters getting into wacky shenanigans with magic and over-the-top weirdos, I simply cannot recommend this series hard enough.
Hayate is a fantastic harem lead who completely breaks the "ordinary guy" archetype into little pieces then lights them on fire. Need a change of clothes but asking him to bring underwear is too embarrassing? He'll run the entire gigantic dresser over. Menaced by oddly well-armed robots? Call his name and he'll appear from off-panel to drop-kick them. He's the kind of guy that can get hit by a truck for a joke and walk it off. His abysmal luck, sarcastic wit, and utter obliviousness make him a blast to read and he has awesome synergy with the girls and supporting characters alike.
The girls are also very awesome and a breath of fresh air for anyone who's seen too many abusive harem casts. Nagi has got to be the sweetest Shana Clone there is and instead of constantly talking down to Hayate she brags about how amazing he is to the villains - the look of heartbreak when she found out he couldn't transform was just adorable. Hinagiku is a personal favorite of mine and has outstanding parallels and synergy with Hayate, easily being my #1 anime/manga couple. The two of them have great moments together and mixed in with the comedy are very well done scenes and chapters that give a lot of emotional depth to Hina's feelings and while it has been slow and subtle their relationship has really changed a lot since they first met.
Character development is the greatest strength of the series. The cast is great and it's a treat to see the characters meet, strike up odd friendships or amusing rivalries, and evolve over time with sweet, funny, and believable interactions. If you're looking for a series with colorful and surprisingly deep characters, where obscene amounts of money can do almost anything and for everything else there's magic, with a recurring serious plot tied heavily with the backstories of the main characters and setting itself then this is a series you absolutely must give a try.
Hayate is one of my most favorite anime of all time. It's not a masterpiece by any means but it's not supposed to be; however, it's not [[So O Kit'saverage]] because not only is it very original in it's concept and story, not only can it be gut bustingly funny but it actually pulls of the dynamic and relationships between the characters very, very well. Unlike other romantic comedies, none of the heroines abuses the male lead. Sure, they may get mad at him once in while for doing something that upsets them but they treat him well most of the time and almost all of them love him alot. The male lead himself, an utter  is very fun and interesting because his status as a Marty Stu is not only parodied but actually deconstructed and played with in a lot of different ways, giving the story not only a funny side but a lot of great drama and sweet moments.
Speaking of sweet moments, as I said, Hayate is very unique amongst many harem anime because it subverts, averts or deconstructs alot of harem tropes: it does not have any ''abusive girls who are always hitting the male lead for the smallest of reasons'' and all the characters, each and everyone of them (well, except Fumi whom I HATE) are all likable and have great chemistry with each other. They're all beleivable, relatable and fun which is so strange given that this is supposed to be a widget series and yet it has sweeter moments than most harem out there.
For it's flaws, Hayate really doesn't have that many. Ok, so I don't beleive that the story with it's almost 400 chapters has taken place in the span of only six months with all that happened and season 1 did have the padding after 20 or so episodes. Thing is, I'm not complaining about the padding, I'm more complaining about the fact that it isn't canon. Hayate is one of those rare anime where the filler isn't bad at all and a few episodes were really heartwarming although season 2 and the rest of the manga more than made up for none of the filler being canon.
All in all, it's highly recommended if you're a harem fan but is sick of the tired old formula and want something new and weet to watch or read. I's really the happiest anime and manga I have ever read and really deserves to be recognized. I give it an 8.5 out of 10 for being very, very good.
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