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Dec 192011

Hayate no Gotoku – Heaven is a Place on Earth (劇場版 ハヤテのごとく! )

Well, this movie is definitely more for Hayate fans in general. While the gags aren’t necessarily dependent on having experience with the original series, there are a good amount of gags that rely upon the quirky nature to members of the cast. For those that are unfamiliar with the cast, the jokes will be far less entertaining. The same applies to the story, where prior experience isn’t necessary, but would add to the overall viewing experience. In other words, this movie is practically fanservice for veteran fans.

All that being said, I have to say that this was rather disappointing as a movie. The production values weren’t anything worth noting, the setting was nothing special, and the story was utterly predictable and generic. The only redeeming factor to this movie would be the character’s jokes and gags themselves, and even then, the jokes lost a lot of their impact due to the serious overarching plot.

But hey, I guess this movie does serve as good “fanservice” for those that are itching to see the main cast of Hayate no Gotoku back in animated form. There are a few newly introduced characters too, mainly Kayura, Athena, and Ruka (though for Ruka and Athena, they were brief cameos). But yea, in terms of fanservice, there were plenty of moments for fans to get amusement out of. There was an unusually large amount of Hina scenes, where she was caught off guard and blushing on more than one occasion. Then there were the silly jokes about Nagi, and the surprise twist where Maria temporarily became the ojou-sama to Hayate (with fun results). There were cameos for virtually every member of the cast in some way or form, so veterans of this series will be happy to at least see everybody again.

Aside from the cameos, though, impressions for the rest of the movie are rather bleak. Bleak in the sense that there is absolutely nothing worth noting. The movie itself pretty much counts as filler, where the story has no relevance to the overarching main plot. On top of that, the episode proved to be extremely predictable with Hayate (once again) saving the day and rescuing Nagi in an orderly. One thing that really bugged me is how the conflict was far too serious, which clashed with the overall comedic nature to the series at hand. The story was definitely a negative, even if it did try to explore some random deceased-ghost-relative-of-Hayate that will probably never end up being important again.

I was also stunned at the lack of strong production values. Anime movies usually have higher budgets (and often result in gorgeous animation). While the animation was generally smooth, and no major errors that I could see, there was honestly nothing worth noting at all. Manglobe certainly didn’t try too hard here (and with this being an anime original practically-filler movie, I’m not too surprised). Some might complain about the strange alterations to the art design compared to the TV series, but I don’t think there was anything wrong with the different art direction. Anyways, music was also uninspired, and the random countryside setting wasn’t exactly very creative either. In other words, the only thing that kept this movie even relatively interesting were the characters themselves, and their goofy interactions. And even that failed to a large degree, all thanks to the super-serious plot about Nagi being spirited away by Hayate’s grandma’s ghost.

In the end, this movie ended up being mediocre in every possible sense of the word. Story, setting, music, and art were all mediocre to the extreme. Ah yea, I almost forgot to mention, there was absolutely no good character development either. Quite honestly, this would have served much better as a single OVA, rather than a full blown theatrical release. However, for fans, this movie might be a welcomed chance to see everybody in action again. As for everybody else, just save yourself some time and don’t watch this.

Animation/Art: 7.0/10

Music: 7.0/10

Setting: 6.5/10

Characters: 7.5/10

Story: 6.5/10

Overall Enjoyment: 6.9/10

Screenshots are later in the post.

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