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Ayashi no Ceres, also known as "Ceres: Celestial Legend" is the name of a shoujo manga and anime series by Watase Yuu, also known for her authorship of Fushigi Yuugi.

Mikage Ayashi1 was a normal high school girl living happily with her parents and twin brother Aki until her 16th birthday arrived. On that day, the dormant entity within her awakened: Ceres, a tennyo (or Celestial Maiden). Ceres is hunted by Ayashi's cousin, who wants the superior genetic code of the celestial maidens, while Ceres forces Ayashi to look for her hagaromo (or Robe of Feathers) that she lost while on a visit to earth in a past life. Against all odds, Ayashi struggles against herself and society to become an ordinary Japanese girl again.

This is a dark and dramatic series, with many twists to the plot. It exposes the depth of human (and celestial) desires and shows how people find the drive to move on despite obstacles and disappointment. Romance, sex and violence are integral to the storyline. The storyline was written based on an old Japanese legend, the Robe of Feathers.

The manga series was originally published in Japan's Shogakukan's Shoujo Komikku Magazine. It is now republished in 14 compilation volumes by Viz Communications and is available under the name "Ceres: Celestial Legend" in the United States. For Japanese or Chinese versions, Kinokuniya or your local manga store is a good place to browse.

The anime series spans 24 episodes. It has a great opening song2 and its visual effects are superb. However, it leaves out a lot of detail that the manga covers.

Information for purchasing the anime or manga series in the US:
"Ceres, Celestial Legend"
Anime: http://www.viz.com/
Manga: http://www.amazon.com/



1 In Japan, the family name comes before the given name. In this case, Mikage is the family name, not the given name.

2 The name of the song is Scarlet. The lyrics, translation and the midi file can be found at http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/ayashinc/ancscar.htm

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