Monday, October 15, 2001

Ayashi no Ceres

Genre: Shoujo / Drama
Parental Guidance Recommended
Yuu Watase. Flower Comics.

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Firesenshi's Description:
It is said that one day, the Tennyo came down from the sky and a man stole her hagoromo (feathered robe) so she cannot go back to the her home in the heavens. The legend of the Tennyo (heavenly maiden) is known to be a legacy of the Mikage family. A dark legacy such that divided fraternal twin brother and sister Aki and Aya Mikage.

When the Mikage realize that the Tennyo named Ceres's power manifests within Aya, a member of her family named Kagami quickly leads on to protect Aki, now known as the Mikage's chosen descendant and at the same time, take down Ceres because she seeks revenge on those who have stolen her hagoromo.

In all these struggles, Aya meets Tooya, a emotionless man with no memories, working for Kagami and the Mikage. Tooya has a special power, one such that makes him invulnerable even to Ceres's power. But if he is the enemy, why is his attachment to Aya growing? Is his special power a threat to Aya and Ceres?

This is one thing Yuuhi Aogiri, Aya's appointed protector by his sister Suzumi, also a woman with Tennyo powers, would not risk. The question remains: How far would the Ceres go to retrieve her hagoromo? What happens to the Tennyo legend that exists all over the world? And what mystery is there that binds Kagami, Aki, Yuuhi, Tooya and Aya together?

(14 tankubon)

Suspenseful, fantastical read. >>> by firesenshi
There is a lot of suspense while reading Ayashi no Ceres. The panels were actually edited very well such that when you turn each page, you'll never know what the next panel would contain, it might shock you. And I thought, after reading and seeing manga and anime bloodier than this, I will not be shocked anymore but I actually was. For one, I know this is shoujo manga I'm reading. Yes, it still deals a lot with love (albeit too much of "love" in there) but there is also subject of incest, murder, defamation of dead bodies. And like I said in my Ayashi no Ceres anime review, I think this one has more suspense and action than magic despite some aspects being the subject of legend.

Of course, as this is shoujo manga which deals greatly with relationships, Yuu Watase has covered that part very well. Thoroughly if I may add. There is too much Tooya-Aya here, it gets quite sickening. There are just too many panels of them hugging and kissing, the kanji "Ai" is wearing out. And frankly, I don't think that is love. From the first time they saw each other and gave each other hickies calling it a "mark of promise" is a presumption of love. The sexual tension between them is just too high, they can't keep their hands off each other. Of course, as this manga was made to target teenage girls, the illusion of "love" in this kind of romance would be heightened. Tooya, in his emotionless state where he doesn't have family nor memories and Aya in her innocence (aka naivete) will just well... calling to end up in bed one way or another at least.

But don't worry. This happened in Fushigi Yugi too when people got saturated with too much Miaka and Tamahome. There are other great characters to look forward to such as Yuuhi Aogiri, Chidori and Suzumi. The anti-hero Kagami is one character you better watch out for because he has great sinister tricks up his sleeve.

The art in the manga is very well done, as we can expect from Watase-san. How she merge the fantastical elements of legend along with science, plus the elements of love, sacrifice and revenge in subplots and stories makes this a page turner.

Individual Rating: Art 10; Story 8; Characters 9

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