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Old 2010-07-28, 16:44   Link #7028
Not Enough Sleep
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: R'lyeh
Age: 43
Originally Posted by madmac View Post
See, I've been re-reading the early volumes of the manga recently, on account of being stuck at home with nothing better to do.

When he first starts working for Nagi, Hayate is primarily concerned with keeping his new job and trying to impress Maria with looking cool for Nagi rating a distant third. A couple chapters in, he outright monologues that he's mostly doing it for the money, but part of him doesn't want to betray her expectations.

There's a gradual shift over time with various signposts causing him to introspect a bit along the way. Mikado telling him his life is worthless is one of them. His declaration that he'll always care for Nagi even if she dislikes him (After she sells him to Isumi) is another. His reaction to Ayumu's confession even takes himself by surprise. His utter freakout during the Shimoda arc followed by his swearing on Yukariko's grave to protect her for the rest of his life is another one.

Aside from that, he gets notably more clingy and fussy over her with time, to the point that he's moping because "school is boring when Ojo-sama isn't around" and even seeing her face in the friggen moon after being away for a whole day during the Butler Quest Arc.

Simply put, he goes from being a man grateful to her for saving his life to one that hates to be separated from her for any length of time. There's other little touches like him trying to start up a conversation about anime when he's at Hina's house because "Golly, Ojo-sama and I could have discussed this for hours!"

Another good example would be the time at the summer fair where Nagi buys the complicated russian camera and Hayate tells her "You know, that attitude is exactly what I like about you." He simply doesn't say things like this early on.

And of course there's Nagi breaking the stone, which not only prompted his "At that moment, I saw the future" line, but he's been staring at Nagi from time to time ever since, almost like he's trying to figure something out.

When Athena asks about Nagi, Hayate talks about his gratitude towards her, but it's the way he smiles while talking about how difficult she is that brings Athena up short and causes her to shift gears.

He's always interested in protecting Nagi, yes, but his feelings pretty clearly shift more and more from pure gratitude to personal affection and attachment over time.

The Nagi question is more complicated and I'll get to it later, maybe.

Endless pages? Seriously? I like Hina and all, but she isn't that deep.

There's no question that Hayate is attracted to Hina, (As he is Maria) but he hasn't displayed any strong signs so far of having deeper feelings for her.
i think you are grasping at straws here, none of the examples you listed show hayate sees Nagi as a object of romance.
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