Belldandy: Her Changing Appearance Over Time

Belldandy: Her Changing Appearance Over Time

All comic, comic strip, and manga artists evolve their character designs for a series they created over time. I am reminded of this whenever I reread my various comic strip collections like Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, Foxtrot, etc. as the early strips look different from the later strips, sometimes quite a bit different. For Negima!, the character designs in volume one are somewhat different than what they are today, though I wouldn’t call it radically so since the current character designs would reflect the passage of time better (in my opinion).

For Ah! My Goddess, Fujishima-sensei is constantly tweaking his character designs, far more so than what would normally happen through the course of a comic’s/comic strip’s/manga’s lifespan. Take a look at this collage of Belldandy as she has changed over the course of 41 volumes of manga (nearly 22-years).

Belldandy: Her Changing Appearance Over Time (Ah! My Goddess)
The character designs never stay the same but are constantly shifting (discounting that one image of “Belldandy” above for obvious reasons *lol*). I thought that around volume 8 is when the character designs were looking quite good but they became less appealing many volumes later (which is not to say that Fujishima-sensei can’t draw, but the changes in eyes and other tweaks made Belldandy not as appealing to me visually as she had been). Today, I still think Keiichi’s ears are wrong but I no longer find the look of Belldandy and the others to be disappointing due to the continued tweaking by Fujishima-sensei.

Anyway, I thought this was a pretty interesting look at how Belldandy’s look has changed over time. Thanks to Ah! My Goddess fan ‘CuSO4’ Yung for the image share. ^_^

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4 Responses to “Belldandy: Her Changing Appearance Over Time”

  1. ivanov_2020 says:

    belldandy <3<3
    sadly the change of marking cuz of the change of emotion are no longer exist….

  2. Sidney says:

    Oh…. *realization*

    Ya know, when I was in high school, I bought this set of Ah! My Goddess playing cards. Belldandy and the rest looked different in some of the cards (it’s the same with some of those images in your post). I just thought maybe they’re from fanarts or something? wahaha! Thanks for sharing. I didn’t know this. ^^

  3. Tim says:

    Yeah. It’s something I’ve been aware of when reading volumes of Ah! My Goddess as they come up from Dark Horse.

    Sadly, I thought her best designs came around the 90’s, just about the time when the OVAs came out. By the mid-2000’s, she started to look a big vacant and glassy eyed for my comfort.

    Of course, Urd and Skuld look fine regardless. ^_^

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @ivanov — I think the characters still emote, but I think I know what you mean here.

    @Sidney — You’re welcome. ^_^

    @Tim — Skuld looked her best about the time that Sentarou was introduced, which I believe was in the mid-90’s.

    It is funny that while I may think that the current character designs aren’t as good as they once were, I have no problems with the character designs of Paradise Residence. I think that’s because the characters in PR are new whereas AMG has around 22-years.

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