a.k.a. Ceres: The Celestial Legend
Aya and Aki, twin brother and sister, are about as average as you can get. Average parents, average friends and average upbringing. However, once their sixteenth birthday comes around, the two find out that they really aren’t so average after all. With a family past involving celestial beings and cold betrayal, nothing could prepare Aya and Aki for the events that begin on their birthday.
summary by Kei
Highs: Foundation of a great anime; good OST; powerful emotions
Lows: Too many useless characters; unfocused; overuse of blood and nudity
Ayashi no Ceres is by Watase Yu, the same woman who created Fushigi Yuugi. With me being the huge Fushigi Yuugi fan that I am, I was very excited about this series. I suppose I got a little too worked up over it, because it was very disappointing at times.
The beginning episodes are just great. The way characters were introduced, and just the general feel and atmosphere of the series was done very well. The initial characters developed quite well during these starting episodes. In general, this series has a knack of playing with my emotions, especially with the Romeo and Juliet style of love story.
As the series went on, however, it seemed that more and more unnecessary characters were introduced which slowed everything down quite a bit. From there the series just seemed rather spread out. After major plot events, the following episodes focused on something else, leaving you out in the cold about what the heck just happened. Sometimes those events were never addressed again, but if they were, it was towards the end where they rushed everything out of the way. With that and a combination of low quality filler episodes, the only things that kept me watching the second half of the series were the good music and the emotional love story. Also, I found the odd abundance of blood and nudity to be in bad taste most of the time.
Rather than trying to recreate the epic success of Fushigi Yuugi, I think Ayashi no Ceres would have done better as a thirteen episode series. It would have been more focused and more enjoyable that way. It’s too bad the second half of the series didn’t follow the same pattern as the first half. I hope Watase Yu-sama learns from her mistakes.
Ayashi no Ceres can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.