#26 : Ceres – Celestial Legend (Ayashi no Ceres)

(24 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of an urban fantasy manga series, by the creator of Fushigi Yuugi.

Characters

Do you know of the tale of Ceres, the angel who got captured by some guy and was forced to marry him ? How romantic ! And totally the kind of story you tell a girl when she’s just a toddler.

Aya, our protagonist, still starts off as a perfectly normal high school girl. She’s got generic friends, goes to karaoke, and so on. Sure, a kooky old fortune teller predicts her doom and she’s been having creepy dreams, but that’s teenage life, right ?

Aki, her twin brother. They bicker quite a bit, but it’s clear they do care for each other.

There’s a mysterious dude who miraculously saves her from being run down by a car after falling from an overpass. And of course by the time she finds her wits to thank him, he’s already disappeared.

Then, on their 16th birthday, Aya & Aki are suddenly brought to a huge family gathering. Every single distant uncle and aunt is there, looking grim and saying nothing. It’s more than a bit spooky, and looks more like a cult than a birthday celebration. A box is given to them… and suddenly Aya gets shivers and just can’t open it. Aki opens it in her stead… it’s some mummified hand that explodes and shlashes him, drawing blood.

Gramps announces that AKI is thus the True Chosen Heir of Ceres, and the now useless Aya must die.

… Okay, I did not see this twist coming.

Production Values

Oh, hello again, studio Pierrot ! I see you’re still having trouble putting any actual animation in your shows.

… Which is a shame, since there’s some actual directing skill at work here, trying its best to extract tense and moody atmosphere out of a lacking budget.

(Also, no fanservice worth mentioning.)

Overall Impression

Hmm. The crappy animation is very distracting indeed. On the other hand, I’m quite intrigued by the premise, and the seemingly effortless way the show quickly builds up an oppressive and eery mood. As such, I’m curious on where this is going.

I’m a bit on the fence here ; I guess a lot depends on whether the anime got a proper ending resolving the plot. There’s a decent chance of that (it started to air just after the manga concluded), but I wouldn’t be averse to some confirmation.

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 6

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Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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