Hayate the Combat Butler – Who the Hell is Suirenji Ruka?
Anyone who watched the recent Hayate anime for more than a few seconds would likely have noticed the presence of an idol singer who wasn’t in the series before. That girl’s name is Ruka. She’s like Hayate in a suspiciously large number of ways, up to and including the need to work off a 150 million yen debt her parents dumped on her. Her method for dealing with this debt, however, was to take on the role of an idol. While she has been trained in how to become a successful idol from a young age and seems to enjoy her work, the busy schedule has both given her serious health problems and gotten in the way of her secret goal of publishing manga. So she’s also like Nagi in a suspiciously large number of ways.
For some reason Ruka never really clicked with me. Hayate in general has a habit of making the characters very Sue-ish, but there are enough comedic and tragic aspects to them that it just becomes part of the fun. With Ruka, I don’t think the proper balance was achieved. She’s clearly had more success than anyone else in the cast, but her story makes it seem like we’re supposed to feel sorry for her because of what she hadn’t gotten to do yet. When everyone else deals with their problems, it’s usually clear that they can’t face everything without someone else there to help now and then. Contrast that with Ruka, who can accomplish a lot on her own and whose biggest concern seems to be not taking regular time off work.
This doesn’t mean I absolutely hate her or anything. Up to this point she’s been fairly inoffensive, since most of her interaction has been as a milestone for Nagi to reach and a typical haremette. I mean aside from hogging space and chewing scenery in the anime, can you think of anything she’s done that could get people angry?
Ruka must die. Those lips were meant for Maria and Hinagiku.
In all seriousness, Ruka’s boldness in this chapter may be the only time I thought she stood out as a proper competitor in the race to win Hayate. None of the other girls have ever been good at sorting out their feelings or getting things done, so this kind of move makes Ruka appear a lot more unique. It also fits well with her character, because we know she has quite a bit of experience working to get what she wants. Of course the main reason I’m not bothered by this moment is because I don’t think for a second that Ruka has a shot at hooking up with Hayate. She might help him with his own development, but between his history with girls and her being introduced 300 chapters into the story, it’s just not happening.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Hayate’s reaction to all this will be. Most likely I see him panicking and running off to get into misunderstandings for a while, but after that he’s going to have to let her down as easily as he can. I could see this little arc being timed specifically to coincide with the ongoing anime, which would mean we only have to wait until the end of the year to clear things up. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s fairly quick for a series like this. I hope he deals with things fairly soon, though, or else I see a lot of violent assaults in the near future.
Posted on October 24, 2012, in Chapter Discussions, Hayate The Combat Butler, Shonen Comedy and tagged comedy, Hayate, Hayate the Combat Butler, manga, Ruka, shipping. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.