Ceres, Celestial Legend (妖しのセレス Ayashi no Seresu ) is a fantasy shōjo manga series written by Yuu Watase. It was originally serialized in Shōjo Comic from May 1996 through March 2000. The chapters were also published by Shogakukan in fourteen collected volumes. The series focuses on Aya Mikage, who learns on her sixteenth birthday that she is the reincarnation of a celestial maiden (天女 tennyo) named Ceres, and her twin brother Aki the reincarnation of Ceres' former husband, Mikage. Ceres begins manifesting in Aya. To try to save her brother, Aya must find Ceres' lost celestial robe (羽衣 hagoromo ), while trying to avoid being killed or captured by her own family, who wants to use Ceres's incredible powers and abilities for their own gain.
The manga series is licensed for English language release in North America by Viz Media. In 1998, it won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo. Studio Pierrot adapted the series into a twenty-four episode animeseries that premiered in Japan on WOWOW on April 20, 2000 and ran until September 28, 2000. The anime series is also licensed for Region 1 release by Viz Media.
PLOTAya Mikage and her twin brother Aki go to their grandfather's home for their sixteenth birthday unaware that it's actually a test to see if they have enough angel or celestial maiden blood in them. Aya is the reincarnation of a powerful celestial maiden called Ceres. When she transforms into Ceres, Aya obtains supernatural powers and abilities such as flight, teleportation, telepathy, incredibly strong and powerful telekinesis, premonition, projecting powerful and destructive deep pink glowing energy blasts from her hands, creating incredibly strong and powerful impenetrable shields and barriers of pure deep pink glowing energy, and superhuman speed. According to the legend, Ceres will kill the Mikage family for revenge upon stealing her celestial robe, thus preventing her returning home to Heaven, so Aya's family attempts to kill her. However, she is saved by Suzumi Aogiri, another angel descendant with supernatural powers, (since not all Mikages have angel blood) and Suzumi's brother-in-law, Yūhi. Aya tries to control Ceres's power over her and Aki is taken over by the vengeful hateful spirit and soul of "Mikagi", the ancestor of the Mikage family who first stole Ceres' celestial robe, forcing her to stay on Earth. Aya also wrestles with her growing love for Toya, a servant of the Mikage who is trying to kill her, but lost his memory of his past. He also starts to love Aya in return. Aya promises Ceres to help her find her celestial robe in exchange for not killing her family (especially Aki) who hunts her down, since Aya still loves them. Toya tries to regain his memory. He learns that he was the organism that Ceres's celestial robe (otherwise known as "the mana") created to help it reunite with Ceres.
Written by Yuu Watase, Ceres, The Celestial Legend premiered in Shogakukan's Shōjo Comic May 1996 issue and ran through the March 2000 issue. The chapters were collected and published in fourteen collected volumes, with the first volume released on December 11, 1996. Starting October 15, 2005, Shogakukan began re-releasing the series in six special edition volumes, with the final one released December 15, 2005.
In 2001, Viz Media licensed the manga for an English language release in North America. The series was originally released in a flipped trade paperback format, however Viz stopped publication after four volumes. In 2003, Viz re-released the first four volumes in unflipped standard manga size volumes, along with the remaining ten volumes. In the table below, the dates and ISBN numbers given for the first four volumes are for their second edition re-releases.
Directed by Hajime Kamegaki and produced by Studio Pierrot, the Ceres, Celestial Legend anime adaptation premiered in Japan on WOWOW on April 20, 2000. It ran for twenty-four episodes until its conclusion on September 28, 2000. It was released to VHS videotape and DVD by Bandai Visual in twelve volumes, with each volume containing two episodes.
Ceres, Celestial Legend is licensed for Region 1 release by Viz Media, which also owns the North American license for the source manga. Viz released the series to VHS and DVD in eight three-episode volumes, with the first volume released on July 24, 2001. The VHS editions were dubbed in English, while the DVD volumes offered a choice between the dubbed English audio track and the original Japanese audio, with optional English subtitles. The DVD versions also offers extra features, including art galleries, character profiles, and interviews with Yu Watase. In 2003, Viz re-released the series in two volume collector's edition sets that contained twelve episodes on two disc, and all of the on-disc extras from the earlier releases. The English dubbed version of the series were broadcast in Southeast Asia by AXN-Asia.