Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth is a film adaption of the manga and anime series Hayate the Combat Butler. The film was released in theaters on August 27, 2011 as a double-bill with Mahou Sensei Negima! Anime Final. The plot revoles around Hayate, Nagi and the gang spending the last days of summer break at Nishizawa’s countryside vacation home. But a mysterious spirit has concocted a scheme to separate the butler from his young mistress. For those keeping track at home, this film takes place after the events in Hayate no Gotoku!! Season 2. 16-year-old Hayate is really down on his luck. His unemployed parents are good-for-nothings who waste the money they have on gambling. One day, his parents have racked up a huge gambling debt that they had to sell Hayate to the yakuza for the value of his organs. In a desperate attempt to avoid that fate, Hayate decides to become a “bad guy” and kidnap someone to be held for ransom, but his efforts to do so are mistaken as a confession of love by the girl he targets.
The movie is, as you may expect from Hayate no Gotoku, pretty formulaic. Having had to provide myself with a refresher course of the series, I had to digest a lot of the series in a short amount of time. In doing so, I definitely feel that it was worth watching as a viewer of the series, for some teasers into Hayate’s past and some awesome and well made scenes towards the end. It is a series that demands you laugh and the film is no different. Sure the AMV I provided with this review makes is SEEM like it is action-oriented, but in reality it is a comedy. Heaven Is a Place on Earth proves why nobody watches Hayate no Gotoku! for the story. Also, I noticed a lot of the plot points were mostly stuff irrelevant to the plot, the appearance of not so relevant character and the copious amounts of fanservice, which falls in line with the stuff you see in filler chapters of Hayate no Gotoku! The movie opens with none other than the idol singer (and doujinshi artist) Suirenji Ruka. It will still be some time before we can see her in the anime, so Hata-sensei found a way to slip her in here.
Excuse my mini rant, because I realize only fans would bother to buy a DVD/Blu-Ray anyway, so these additional parts need only the appreciation of fans. However, unlike the OVA, the fanservice was not at all distracting. This time around studio manglobe is in charge of production where JC Staff had handled season two, and Synergy SP handled season one. How will manglobe’s shot at this franchise fare in comparison with its previous entries? Does it lose its own identity? I’d say no and thought it was a nice change in pace. Wouldn’t really call it a movie sequel as it has no relation to the main story other than a opportunity for Hayate to gain enough money to pay off his debt and balk his career as a combat butler. Actually there is no relation to enjoyment what so ever.
The movie ends on a uplifting note, but the only thing that kept me watching was being able to actually hear Rie Kugimiya and see Hina talking again. Trust me, your better off watching “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” if you want to see an anime film of a similar genre. Visually, the movie is a joy to look at. The character designs in Hayate are so simple it’s difficult to screw them up. On par with the second season, no better nor worse, it can just be thought of as a quick mid-season two-parter episode. The attention to character nuances and details made everything more positive and fans of the show will welcome this film and start getting prepared for the awesome season premiere of season three! Heaven Is a Place on Earth isn’t terrible for non-fans of the series but it would help if you were familiar with the series beforehand.