Ayashi no Ceres

Title:Ayashi no Ceres
Ceres, Celestial Legend
Ominous Ceres
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: ASANO Mayumi
Animation - Studio Pierrot
CHIBA Susumu
IWAO Junko
KONISHI Katsuyuki
Kujira (MATSUMOTO Wakako)
MIKI Shinichirou
Original Concept - YUU Watase
R1 License - Viz Media (Shopro)
SEKI Tomokazu
SUGITA Tomokazu
Twin brother and sister Aki and Aya Mikage are about to celebrate their 16th birthdays. Earlier on, Aya had visited a psychic and was told the fated day when the moon and stars of 16 would meet is coming, and that all hell and doom would break loose. Mysteriously their grandfather invites them over for a "birthday party" and gives them a gift which brings out new powers. Now suddenly the entire Mikage family wants Aya killed since "she will bring them nothing but harm." Aki is no longer allowed to see Aya. Along with that, an ancient legend of a Tennyo (girl from the heavens) is said to have come down to Earth and bathed in a river. A nearby fisherman spotted her and stole her hagoromo (feathered robe) that was hanging on a tree nearby. Without it she could not return to her home in the heavens, and was forced to marry the man and have his children.

(TV Show, 2000, 24 episodes)

Based on the manga series written by Yu Watase.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 7 7 7 8 7 Dreamer [series:270#2279]
The synopsis seemed pretty good and it got overall good reviews, so I picked it up. Somehow, I just couldn't keep up with it though.....

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork wasn't that impressive. Well, considering this was a 2000 production, I suppose I can't complain too much. Even then, it seemed a bit bland in color but at least was ok in details. Background did shine in a few spots and looked pretty good. Character designs weren't impressive either and it suffered from the look-alike syndrome. The male characters all practically looked the same.

The OP was a mellow piece with female vocals. It wasn't the norm high-pitched pop, which was refreshing. The soundtrack had some decent pieces, which sounded like some late 80's to 90's stuff.

Series and Episode Story
I have mixed feelings on this series. I'm not sure If I like it, or dislike it. On one hand, I feel it was a pretty ok series with decent characters and plot. On the other hand, I feel I was slightly ripped off. For the most part, this was a sad series with plenty of tragic moments. But even then, I just couldn't get into it much.

Character development for the most part was good. We get to see the motives behind most the characters and as well as see a fair amount of interaction between our various characters. What I ddin't like was the ugly and annoying maid "Q". She was completely out of place.

Overall, it just didn't do it for me even though the plot was pretty good. I just can't quite put my finger on it. I'll have to re-watch it later to figure it out.

Last updated Monday, December 06 2010. Created Monday, December 06 2010.
Buy 9 8 8 8 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:270#1552]
A sad, depressing title, Ayashi no Ceres is an anime that dabbles into subjects such as love, fate, hate, and tragedy. There is a great amount of focus on the relationships between characters and man's attempt to defy God through the Mikage family's bloodline. The series draws upon elements of Japanese folklore by introducing different celestial maidens who each have their own distinct personality and powers. Throughout the series, Aya meets new friends and potential love interests who assist her in uncovering details on the Mikage bloodline. More shocking details about the family or the pasts of different characters are introduced in each episode which tests Aya's resolve to stop the Mikages and control Ceres. For the most part, there is plenty of development with the characters who each have their own motivations and desires concerning those they care for or how to use the power of the celestial maidens.

There are a couple blemishes with the plot however. The series often slips in comedy scenes at the most inopportune times during dramatic moments, especially in the case of the Aogiri family maid, Q. The fate of one of the characters is also left uncertain with what is hinted towards the end of the series.

In terms of the artwork, Ayashi no Ceres has beautiful scenery and attractive character designs. I've heard Yu Matase has notoriety for creating some of anime's most attractive characters through her earlier work, Fushigi Yuugi TV, which I have yet to see. There are some attractive males in this title that female viewers will be able to swoon over like Touya and Yuhi. The soundtrack features some powerful musical pieces that flow well with the mood of the series, especially the series opening song Scarlet. However, the J-pop song used in the ending sequence of the series felt out of place with the mood of the anime.

Ayashi no Ceres does a good job of standing out for its powerful use of drama and romance in the series. It has a few ripples in its presentation, but it is nothing that will seriously hinder your enjoyment of watching this title.

Last updated Saturday, September 20 2008. Created Saturday, September 20 2008.
Rent 8 7 7 8 8 8 Ambriel [series:270#1357]
Not a fun a anime. Not at all. Talk about sad.... Not as funny as Fushigi Yuugi but sadder than Fushigi Yuugi. None the less if you're a Fushigi Yuugi fan, you'll probably like this.
Of course everyone who's seen Fushigi Yuugi will compare Ayashi no ceres with it. But these two animes are totally different. In storyline and in each of the characters. Ok, maybe Aya and Miaka are a little alike but that's it. Tooya is a bit weird though... found his relationship with Aya a like weird. It's like *POOF* their in love...
The art's a little different but not different enough. It's obvious who did the illustrations once you lay eyes on the characters. The music's really good. Especailly Scarlet and Mugen no Kaze, those two songs will just melt your heart. The story line is really interesting and unique. Taken from a legend in japan, plus with the hundreds of versions of the story, Watase Yuu has done yet again a pretty good job.
If you're the kind who cried your heart out in Fushigi Yuugi, get ready to have twice as many tissues next to you coz it's sad. I had a friend who cried her eyes out everytime she saw Nuriko die, that she didn't want to watch AnC.
But depsite how depressing this show is, you should at least watch it to have your own views and it really is pretty good.

Last updated Saturday, April 24 2004. Created Saturday, April 24 2004.
Watch bekku [series:270#816]
a much darker story fan fushigi yuugi with a lesser amount of comedy (if it wasn't for mrs. q, there would be no laughter...AT ALL). the characters seemed to resemble crazy scientists that really freaked me out...especially kagami...**shudder** too much undecided incest (aki and aya/ceres) and characters that really need to be shot (tooya....:P). i definately did not enjoy this as much as fushigi yuugi (by a loooong shot), but there are some points to this story that were pretty interesting. the story's outcome seems to revolve around tooya's lost memory. there is a yuuhi vs. tooya relationship going on for whoever gets aya, then you throw in a little bit of aki who's wavering on the sidelines posessed by the "enemy" of ceres (there's the unintentional incest).
yuu watase has definately gone in a different direction with this, so even if you enjoyed fushigi yuugi doesn't mean you'll actually like this.
i seem to enjoy this story, somewhat, but it's not something i'd like to remember yuu watase for. you should just try it out anyway, download it off kazaa or something and see what you think yourself.

Last updated Monday, June 30 2003. Created Monday, June 30 2003.
Watch 9 9 8 8 2 3 Anshii [series:270#810]
Whereas Fushigi Yuugi had a heart, likeable characters, and a sense of direction, Ayashi no Ceres has none of that. The story, which sounded promising in theory, was executed poorly. I also did not feel attached to any of the characters, which is a shame because when the bodies started dropping, emotion was again lacking. And believe me, there are more than a few deaths in this series.
And the ending? I found it nothing short of offensive. "Oh, we're in love even though our legacy of fear and hatred has left countless deaths in its wake"? Spare me.
The only thing that saved this series from an outright "Avoid" rating was that I'm aware that others may want to check this out. See it and make up your own opinion. As for me, I'm getting rid of my Ayashi no Ceres DVDs right away ... *gag*

Last updated Friday, June 27 2003. Created Friday, June 27 2003.
Watch 8 8 6 7 7 7 Sesen Kelader [series:270#471]
Comparing to Fushigi Yugi, I don't like this series. As a matter of fact, I stop after watching couples of the episodes.
Although using the idea of Japanese tale to develop a story is nice, the story itself is not so gorgeous. First of all I dislike the main character's personality, then I dislike her love's personality as well. The searching for the answer solving her family's long-time troubled problem is complexed and complicated, and sometime things go ugly because of human selfishness, greed, and desire. To some extend this is a pretty thoughtful anime, just like Fushigi Yugi, but on the other hand, I don't find it very entertaining in neither bright or dark way except its random jokes.

Last updated Saturday, January 04 2003. Created Saturday, January 04 2003.
Watch 8 8 7 7 8 Almost Eilonwy [series:270#428]
After having read the first volume of the manga, I was intriqued enough to start buying the anime. Ceres has a very interesting plot, but I'm not too happy with how it was executed.
Ceres was my first venture into Yuu Watase's work, so maybe I just haven't acquired the taste for her stuff, yet. I found the love triangles distracting from the main plot(Does everybody HAVE to love Aya?), and many promising secondary characters seemed to get forgotten. The two main characters are relatively uninteresting and, in the case of Aya, rather annoying. She seems to have a habit of crying 3 times per episode.
The series spends entirely too much time on the angst and not enough on the story. Perhaps if the characters who were angsting were more interesting, it wouldn't be a problem.
On the whole, it's a promising, yet disappointing anime, to me.

Last updated Thursday, November 21 2002. Created Thursday, November 21 2002.
Watch Celyia [series:270#255]
This is certainly different.
Yuu Watase, who admittedly loves to make her characters suffer, has created an epic tale of love, hate, and revenge and the havoc it wreaks in the life of the main characters. Walk into Ayashi no Ceres expecting dark material, violence, sex, and whatnot. This is not a series for anyone looking for a sweet, upbeat time.
The tone is a strange mixture of the mature and the inane, the art is prettily done, and the music? gosh, I can't recall a single note.
I've watched the entire series, but this wouldn't be one I'd really watch again unless I wanted to wallow in a fit of depression. Some episodes are more intriguing than others, and some made me extremely tempted to fast-forward. Unfortunately, you can't really do that when watching a series the first time around and I don't see myself watching this one again for quite a while, if ever.
Most of the characters are interesting enough, although the strength seems to be in side characters and not the main ones. The main characters seem to lose every ounce of a sense of humour early on and the series seems to lose it pretty much entirely later on. This is unfortunate because its the sense of humour that really makes a character seem real. (I mean, there is only so much "Oh, Touya! Oh, Aya!" a person can handle without having *anything* to lighten the mood)
The best thing about Ayashi no Ceres is the plot, which can be described as a hybrid sci-fi/ancient myth. It has so many twists and turns that you'll need to take notes to keep up. :-)
Don't get me wrong. This is an intriguing little soap opera that may haunt you even after you turn the TV off, but it's not one that really captures the imagination or touches the heart.

Last updated Saturday, December 22 2001. Created Saturday, December 22 2001.
Buy 8 7 7 7 8 Anonymous #130 [series:270#130]
Watase Yu's most recent anime to be released is definitely more mature. If you're looking for a new Fushigi Yuugi, then you should think again. While FY had drama and sad scenes, it had its comedic ones as well. Ayashi no Ceres has it's comedic scenes, just a lot less. Ceres is a series that only spans 24 episodes out of a 14 volume manga so things are bound to be rushed or cut out.
Ceres has a lot more drama in it and has aspects of fantasy and of the supernatural. However, this does not take away from the relation to the characters viewers have had before with Fushigi Yuugi. You can relate to the characters in Ayashi no Ceres in the hard ordeals that they have to face.
The story definitely does not let you have time to breathe at all as the first episodes already incorporate death (and a shocking one I might add).
I don't think you'll be dissapointed with this series. I have yet to see it all as I have been holding off on this for now.

Last updated Monday, December 03 2001. Created Monday, December 03 2001.
Buy 8 8 9 9 10 Courtney [series:270#80]
Yuu Watase can never be accused of having a lack of imagination and the brooding Ominous Ceres is everything it's namesake suggests! CERES is yet another angst filled tale centering around the unanticipated and dire circumstances in a young girl's life.
The plot itself is gripping as you want to see what will become of Aya, her brother Aki, her family, and those who would protect Aya (and you have to admit the cliffhangers at the end of each episode, not unlike FUSHIGI YUUGI, almost command you to keep watching episode after episode).
While there are elements that'll remind you of FUSHIGI YUUGI, the whole series seems to be riding on a darker, more somber, and urgent tone than its predecessor. I found CERES to be nowhere near as light hearted as FUSHIGI YUUGI and I felt that sometimes it couldn't have hurt to have a little more humor to break the tension. Ive seen 18 of the series episodes twice through and I can assure people that A LOT more is revealed so dont be discouraged by a some-what sluggish development. The most recent releases in the series ACTUALLY start to explain somethings about Touya, offer a little bit more information on the other Mikage women with the C-gnome, make Aki creepy as all hell, and really start testing Aya's resolve and inner strength.
A very mature series since the topics of rape, incest, and violence creep their way into every episode as few of the characters are untouched by some horrible past or trying circumstance in their lives. Even Ceres, despite her destructive and downright malicious methods to avenge herself, is almost a sympathetic character, as, if placed in her shoes, you cant entirely fault her for her anger and vendetta against the Mikage. I cant help but wonder what the ending will hold. Will everyone be happy or will a lot of sacrifice on the parts of Aya, Aki, Touya, Yuhi, and the rest be needed to stop the Mikage and their sinister plans? Considering Yuu Watases style of writing, I'm expecting a bittersweet sayonara similar to Fushigi Yuugi, leaving me not necessarily disappointed but just sad to hear that everyone isn't alive and well as you'd have wanted for them but somewhere, in your heart, know this is how it needs to be. Of course I'm getting a little too sentimental in my years of anime viewing.
A good title to own if you like those paranoid-type series where you're not sure who you can trust even if it's yourself, but the slow-pace will force you to keep the faith that the development will be gradual but worth it.
For more tumultuous lives with interesting circumstances watch:

Last updated Friday, January 25 2002. Created Wednesday, October 10 2001.
Rent 8 8 8 8 8 8 Leilani [series:270#159]
I've only seen a little more than a third of this series. There originally were about 14 manga, similar to Fushigi Yuugi's 18 manga, yet there are less than half as many episodes total for the anime, which could be the cause of sort of cramming everything into each episode. This is by the same creator as Fushigi Yuugi, Yuu Watase, so it's going to be an interesting storyline.
This is a very dark story, unlike Fushigi Yuugi. I would not recommend this for younger teenagers because there is definate violence, nudity, and so far some sort of incest. The animation style is that of Fushigi Yuugi's OVA series. The character's look similar. Yuuhi is similar to Tamahome and Amiboshi/Suboshi. Tooya is similar to Hotohori.
This is sort of a toss up because in some aspects the story moves too fast, and in others it doesn't move fast enough. The characters still seem pretty vague and already the show is 1/3 of the way through. As far as the story goes, it just seems as if Ceres pops up every episode and that is the main plot. Slowly we discover there are other schemes and things going on, and more is revealed, but it takes awhile. Yet again, at the same time, it just all seems a little rushed. Still, I am eager to view the rest of the series and find out more about the storyline.
Definately one to watch. Fushigi Yuugi and Ayashi no Ceres aren't alike though. Their similarities begin and end with their animation and creator.
I didn't select "buy" because that would depend on the viewer's taste and deep pockets (as this show is only available in Japan for a whopping $350 total).

Last updated Wednesday, March 21 2001. Created Wednesday, March 21 2001.

Other Sites
Japanese Series Web Site http://pierrot.jp/title/ceres/

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