So I was just finish reading Gakuen Alice 176, after neglecting it for so long (will explain the reason later in this post) and feel sooo down after a show of plot-twists, a series of sorrow and pain. I even cried more than 3 times when read the part where Mikan was about to go and her memories of Alice Academy got erased.
Then my eyes catch a thread on Mangafox's Gakuen Alice forum, stated that she was not expecting GA to be so dark and sad in the mid-to-end chapters. That what she expected was a series full of joy and happiness as how Tachibana-sensei first started GA.
And she also compared GA to Vampire Knight for having romance scenes at the beginning yet started to get down on the mid. It's not that I hate angst. Nor that I love it as well. Me myself also stopped reading GA for 2 years, maybe, although for the different reason. That time, I started to think Tachibana-sensei was extending the plot forcefully, like Bleach and Naruto did (fyi I stopped reading around the part before Yuka died). However, today I pick it again out of boredom, can't stop reading 20++ chapters straight and as you know, resulting me in a litre of tears. It's rare for me to get myself cried because of manga, but GA did well in stirring my emotion, thank you.
I want to congratulate Tachibana-sensei for successfully making the story flow go on smoothly in Elementary School Principal arc and afterwards. It's not too fast, yet not too slow. As I stated before, my feelings towards angst is normal. What I love is the way Tachibana-sensei used so much plot twists in her story, though most of them consists of angst. I remember I cried so much when I knew what happened to Hotaru. And Bear's will to go to the outside world with Mikan wasn't helping in clearing out the tears. I should give Tachibana-sensei a round of applause for being able to throw so many plot-twist-bombs near the end of this series, though many people may assume this plot from her is simply a way to let things end dramatically, I couldn't help to think that she's a brilliant mangaka who put a realistic end to all this. From the mid, I know she didn't aim for a perfect ending, like you found in most shoujo manga. Thus, I think sensei shall rise the rating/target audience for this manga, I feel this series is too hevy for someone expected a whole happily-live-ever-after ending.
Rather than Vampire Knight, GA reminds me more of Fruits Basket. Me myself feel that perhaps the ending would be similar to each other as well. While Hino-sensei of VK unable to impress me with her skill in developing long-run manga (I dropped VK after Yuuki awoke
as a vampire) Tachibana-sensei is able to lit my fire for this series, even I have lost it before. It was pretty hard for a girl series to be able to hold a very long serialization, yet I think Tachibana-sensei made the reasonable decision to end GA now. Though I'll be sad for sure, this is the perfect time to end; Long before, I've thought sensei shall end this series after Yuka died, but now, after she revealed all the characters backgrounds, I have nothing to whine of, since even I forgot about some minor characters and details yet Tachibana-sensei able to put a beautiful, awesome interlacing bond between them.
I shall say that I wouldn't vote Tachibana-sensei for her drawing, yet I highly recommend for her skills in character developing and story building. Just like KareKano and Fruits Basket, sometimes a beautiful shoujo manga isn't all about pretty drawings and handsome boys, but rather a story that can touch someone's heart.P.S: omgasfhhjfgsdf I really want to know what will happened to the Imai Siblings hjasjhgfshd seriously sensei you just throw away my number one megane chara in the series and number two OTP in the series (clings to HotaRuka)