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Tamiki Wakaki. The manga has been serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine by Shogakukan ever since April 9, 2008, with individual chapters collected in 25 tankōbon volumes as of March 2014 so far. The prototype, or one-shot, version of the story was first featured as an one-shot on Weekly Shōnen Sunday in its 2007 Issue 32 release, and was titled "Koishite!? Kami-sama!!" (恋して!? 神様!!). The 2010 Issue #19 of Weekly Shonen Sunday announced an anime adaptation was green-lit, which premiered on October 6th, 2010.
As of the Issue #21 of 2014 of Weekly Shonen Sunday, the series has wrapped up and ended with 268 chapters.
Keima Katsuragi, a second-year high school student, is an avid bishōjo game player. He is known on the internet as "The Capturing God/God of Conquest (落とし神, Otoshi-gami)" for his legendary skills to be able to "capture" any 2D girl in games. However, in his actual school life, Keima is known as otamegane (オタメガネ), a derogatory portmanteau of the two words otaku (オタク) and megane (メガネ/"glasses") and is considered as nothing more than a gloomy game geek with thick glasses.
At the start of the series, Keima receives an e-mail offering him a contract to "capture" girls. When he accepts it, thinking it is an invitation to a game, a demon from Hell named Elsie appears! She asks for his cooperation to help her catch runaway spirits. These spirits hide themselves inside the hearts of girls', and Elsie suggests that the only method to force the spirits out is by "capturing" the girls' hearts—making them fall in love with him and filling up the gaps in which the runaway spirits hide in. However, only being interested in 2D girls, Keima is appalled by the idea of conquering "real girls" and refuses the assignment as he has no real life romantic experiences and no such interest in having one whatsoever. Nevertheless, with the contract already "signed", Keima has no choice but to help Elsie no matter what as they will be beheaded if they fail.
While the series focuses mainly on the adventures of Keima and Elsie on capturing spirits, the series also parodies common and popular cliches about dating sims, anime character stereotypes and pop culture.
The World God Only Knows is written and illustrated by Tamiki Wakaki, serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday since April 9, 2008. Wakaki created a prototype version of the story which debuted as an one-shot in Weekly Shōnen Sunday 2007 Issue 32 titled, "Koishite!? Kami-sama!!" (恋して!? 神様!!). Publication is ongoing in Japan by Shogakukan; the first tankōbon was released on July 11, 2008, and as of March 18, 2014, twenty-five volumes have been released.
The series is licensed in South Korea by Haksan Culture Company, and the first two volumes of the series has been simultaneously released on August 2009 with limited edition supplement for each.
The manga has also received a guide book, released September 18th, 2013, which elaborates upon information from its first chapter until the end of the Mai-High festival arc, while including profile information of major and minor characters. Other miscellaneous info is included.
The official manga series has concluded as of April 16, 2014, with 268 chapters.
A light novel entitled The World God Only Knows―God and the Devil and an Angel (神のみぞ知るセカイ―神と悪魔と天使 Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai Kami to Akuma to Tenshi), written by Mamizu Arisawa and illustrated by Tamiki Wakaki, was released on May 19, 2009, published by Shogakukan under their GAGAGA Bunko label. The novel features a completely original story that disparate from the series, with original novel characters. Keima and Elsie continues to be the main protagonists.
A second light novel entitled The World God Only Knows 2 Prayer and Curse and Miracle (神のみぞ知るセカイ 2 祈りと呪いとキセキ Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai Inori to Noroi to Kiseki), with more original characters and Haqua as a guest character from the original series, was released on May 18, 2010.
An anime adaptation of the manga was officially announced in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday 2010 Issue #19. It was also announced that script writer Hideyuki Kurata, character designer Watanabe Akio, and director Shigehito Takayanagi will be working on the project. The studio in charge of the animation is Manglobe. A 2-minute prologue OVA episode was released and bundled together with the tenth manga volume on September 17, 2010. On September 18, 2010, Crunchyroll announced the anime will be streaming online on their site. The anime began airing on October 6, 2010 on TV Tokyo.
A second season soon followed, beginning its airing on April 11, 2011. Following the second season, a second OVA was released and bundled together with the fourteen manga volume on September 16, 2011. Two OADs encompassing the Tenri arc of the manga were released later, the first on October 18th, 2012 with the nineteenth manga volume and the second on December 18th of the same year with the twentieth manga volume. Another OVA that portrays a spin-offl story of Magical Kanon was released and bundled together with the twenty-second manga volume on June 18th, 2013.The third season, titled Megami-hen (Goddesses' arc), soon began airing on the 8th of July 2013. It has ended as of September 23rd of the same year.
At Anime Weekend Atlanta 2011, Sentai Filmworks announced that they have licensed both seasons of the anime in North America and will release the first season on DVD and Blu-ray in January 16, 2012. The second season was released in North America at a later date.
The third volume of The World God Only Knows was the fourth highest-selling tankōbon in Japan on the Oricon Comic Chart for the week of January 13 and January 19, 2009, with over 50,500 copies sold that week. The following week, it was the twenty-first highest-selling manga volume in Japan, having sold 30,600 copies the week of January 20 and January 26, 2009. As of January 2009, the third manga volume has sold about 81,100 copies.