|Good, but at risk of becoming cluttered|
The last volume of Hayate the Combat Butler set out to setting up a new status quo for the series – by moving much of the action to Hakuou Academy. This installment sets this up a little further, by changing our big three locations from the Sanzenin Estate, the Saginomiya Estate and the City to the Sanzenin Estate, the City, and Hakuou Academy.
This volume's plot focuses on Hayate's pursuit of a “Supreme Technique”, to match those of the other battle butlers in last volume, and the attempts by Nagi and Maria and Hinagiku to help him. Also, now that the Isumi and Nagi triangle from the last few volumes has been resolved, this volume starts building up two new ones – one for Nagi and Hinagiku over Hayate, and the other between Isumi and Saki over Wataru.
Finally, this installment does a very good job setting up personalities for some more of Nagi's classmates, outsides of the ones with butlers that rival Hayate. It's all very nicely done character development, which is really vital when doing any kind of sitcom anime or manga. Ultimately, the personalities of the characters drive the humor, and if the characters aren't entertaining, then the work falls apart.
That said, the cast could become very cluttered, if they continue to add characters at this pace. So, while this is a very good volume in the series, things could very easily fall apart, depending on how things turn out in later volumes.