Like all good things that turn sour, I used to love this series. It had so much promise. Alas with each passing volume things never really kicked up a gear. The characters never grew and just stayed being the same. things became stagnant and pretty much stayed that way. The timeline is messed up. One could argue that the series took place over about 6 years, and yet everyone was still doing pretty much the same things they were doing originally, apart from Chihiro and Keiichi who ended up working together in their own garage. Even then K1 was officially still at Uni. What about Tamiya and Otaki? They were far older than Keiichi and were what, still at uni? See this is the problem with this manga. It was like the Simpsons in that there was no real aging or character development.
during my transition from loving the series to loathing it, I once came to a compromise and thought the series was split into 3 different universes. Fujishima was constantly evolving the series and altering its mood and changing previous events to fit the more recent stories. These 3 versions, or universes, were an 80's version; the first 3 volumes, a 90's version; ending before the introduction of the angels, and the cannon story; as the lack of angels in early volumes was a bit of a head scratcher.
Fujishima had a chance to shake things up around its peek at volume 20, but in my opinion it failed. From here on the story becomes dull, stale, boring and somewhat pointless.
Volumes 1-3 feel completely off compared with the rest. Technology is another issue. The series is always somehow set in the year the chapter was released, making it seem as if technology moves on extremely quickly in the space of what must be no more than 6 years. I'm talking about everything from CRT's, LD's and Betamax to more modern appliances.
I got confused with Keiichi's school terms at Nekomi tech. I mean how long can one be at uni for anyway?
By far the worst thing about this series is the reason why everyone was sucked into this series in the first place; the relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi.
As a reader you would always be wanting to see their relationship flourish but we never saw that.
We thought we were seeing Belldandy falling more and more in love with Keiichi as the series progressed, until the end when apparently she loved him before she even MET him. This was stupid.
Also, it was confirmed towards the end of the series that a spell was put in place over K1 and Bell's love for each other. Fate was literally repelling their love for each other, despite the fact it was apparently super strong.
On hindsight what was the point in this series? You cant say it was about Bells and K1's relationship as it was hardly EVER mentioned or touched upon. The relationship may have been the drive to continue on with reading the series, but now its over and nothing was accomplished from that, why was it the drive to read on? What is the hook? The comedy? The story? What story? All the story did was have good characters that never really grew to be stronger. Theres nothing to make me feel like re-reading the series again. And I mean it I probably wont.
I have sold my entire manga collection. I really feel this series was a waste of time and money.
Dark Horse released the series originally in a flopped format. I waited until 2006 when they started re-releasing the series in an unflopped format, which was a lot more uncut from the original. This trend they also aligned with their current releases, which were volumes 21+ from 2006. I bought these but I never read them until I caught up. They literally just sat on my shelf until volume 20 was re-released in 2012.
4-10. Progressively great artwork (that gets worse again from volume 20) but otherwise piss poor.
Anyone who hasnt done so already please read Love Hina instead! Its far shorter, tighter, has characters that grow, a better love relationship between the main characters, a better payoff at the end of the series and works to an accurate timeline.