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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Ceres: Celestial Legend

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Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 189
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Great article. This is a spectacular series. It is definitely my favorite Watase work.
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 223
Location: Madison, WI
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:11 pm Reply with quote
Yuu Watase has been my favorite mangaka since I was second manga series was Fushigi Yugi and that was what really spiraled me into the world of manga, which was tough to do back then because there wasn't much around for girls when FY was first being published.

I usually tell people my favorite manga is Fushigi Yugi because I have that childhood nostalgia attached to it and because as a 12 year-old girl Miaka and Tamahome represented the ultimate love story that still touches the more cynical, 24 year-old me today.

But Ayashi no Ceres will always the series I recommend to friends for reading material, whether they are into manga or not. To me it is the pinnacle of Watase's work, and I still watch the anime and read the manga at least once a year. I still have my precious first volume from the first day of release, but I've had to buy another copy that doesn't fall apart when I read. I can't say that about FY. It's the first manga that really made me "think" about what it means to be a man or a woman in love, and the consequences of the many different kinds of love there are in the world.
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Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:33 pm Reply with quote
I read this series last summer via my local library (go libraries!) and really enjoyed it. Aya was a much more interesting character than the, let's face it, useless Miaka, and her relationship with Touya was one of the better ones I've seen in shoujo manga.

I liked Yuu Watase's comments too... well, most of them. Not the one where she tries to say near-rape is okay because all teenage boys think about is sex. That's right, girls, guys can't help themselves, it's up to you to be the guardian of your chastity or else they will ravish you and it won't be their fault! Otherwise, though, hers were the few author side-bars I actually ever enjoyed reading.

But on Hana to Yume... didn't Angel Sanctuary run in that? I mean, yeesh, talk about sex in shoujo manga. Shocked
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Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:52 pm Reply with quote
Some of my friends can't stand Watase's Fushigi Yûgi because the main character is such a ditz, but to me, it's a great mix of monsters, magic, fighting and the more typical Shōjo Comic material, romance.

I agree, though that second half of the original series was a bit weak. I'm just surprised at the vitriol for Absolute Boyfriend.

Ceres: Celestial Legend,Watase's best work,

I heard other things from other fans, but maybe it was meant to deflate FY. Tried to read more, but I was worried about spoilers. Crying or Very sad
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Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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Location: Who-me? Am I supposed to be somewhere?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:20 pm Reply with quote
Fushigi Yûgi and Ceres anime adaptations follow the manga pretty closely-the art looks better animated, but then I never thought her art style was crude-just unique.
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Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 224
Location: The Sunshine State
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:23 pm Reply with quote
Ah, Ceres.
Brings back memories.

It's one of my few personal favorites.
While I've enjoyed the majority of her manga, I just couldn't get into FY for some reason. That and I thought the artwork was bad. I like her more recent up-to-date style, even though everyone starts looking the same after a while...
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Joined: 29 Jul 2010
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:28 pm Reply with quote
I adore Ayashi no Ceres; it really makes you think. I agree it was a little too long and the ending was a little strange (Toya being a piece of hagoromo? what the-?)

Yuu Watase has always been one of my favorite manga artists, and the story of Ceres has always stood out in my mind as her most powerful. When she talks about the story, she seems really passionate about it, like it is something she truly believes in. It really shows.

I have to disagree, though, with your opinion on the artwork. It was pretty good (though I have to agree that lately, many of her characters look too similar) The style was more realistic than you usually find in shojo manga, and fit in well with her dark themes (except in the case of Mrs. Q, but that was done on purpose).

Your article was excellent, and captured many of the themes of Ayashi no Ceres profoundly. Great writing!!
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Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 402
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:11 pm Reply with quote
This article pretty much sums up why this is my favorite Yuu Watase manga. Although, Sakura Gari is tied with Ceres now!

I also don't understand the hate for Absolute Boyfriend. I actually really liked it... Embarassed
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Daimao Raki

Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 593
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:31 pm Reply with quote
Sounds like a good if not great manga. I probably feel like I have to read it for myself now.
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Joined: 13 Oct 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Hawaii
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:42 am Reply with quote
Ceres was the first manga series that I ever finished. I really liked it and thought it was interesting! But honestly, Toya was definitely too "cool" for me... While reading it, I didn't feel any emotions at all from him, which made their relationship seem a bit hollow or one-sided to me.

But other than that, I really enjoyed the rest of the storyline.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:53 am Reply with quote
That was a very interesting take on Ceres and the sexual politics within. It is interesting that the fairytale its based on seems to focus on the marriage-as-imprisonment angle, and Watase explores that as well as the abilities men and women have to hurt each other through sex. It's very dark.

My original personal take on Ceres is mixed: it started out as a fun read for me, but I hated Touya and found Aya and Touya's "love" for one another inexplicable--the guy knows nearly nothing about himself, what kind of relationship can you build on that?!

Then I skipped around, read the ending and realised that "Touya" himself was, as you wrote, a fantastical creation of what Ceres thought the perfect mate would be, which is the reason they fell in love (at least I think that's it...)Um, okay.

I was also quite disturbed by Aya's brother's transformation. In the beginning he fought it and tried to protect Aya, and he had the potential to be her best, most trustworthy ally (or at least an interesting one, should he have burts of his alter ego at inopportune times) but very early on he becomes completely consumed by "Progenitor" and just remains another villain (pretty much) for Aya to avoid. Which was just sad. Sad

A note on Absolute Boyfriend: I don't know why anyone else hates it, I personally hate it because its massage seems to be "if you don't have sex with your boyfriend, he'll leave you and forget all about you." Which is a pretty bad message to send teen girls, IMHO.

I still love Watase. She really is capable of amazing action scenes, and I don't think her art is bad at all. Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden is one of my favorite shojo mangas, and definately a step above the original Fushigi Yugi.
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Battle Cossack

Joined: 14 Oct 2009
Posts: 84
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:02 am Reply with quote
My stint with Ceres began years ago, when my mom bought me a tape of the anime adaptation from a Grocery Outlet to pad out an Easter basket. Lucky for me it was the spoilerific episode that divulged Ceres origin story. Between the rape scene, horrid voice acting, and chicks with blue hair, I figured I hadn't missed too much.

But after passing the comic several times at my local library, I opted to give it a second go, this time from the beginning.

Hot damn! Who'd have thought girls' comics would be such pulpy fun? The violence acted as a surprisingly good backdrop against all of the melodrama. I'd also like to restate the psychological tone with which the series starts: Aya's family attempted to murder her. The shock and horror of her betrayal was pretty well-rendered.
Moreover, the conflict between Ceres and Aya created a unique internal struggle: the heroine struggled against the destructive agenda of her own alter ego. Now that was an identity crisis.
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He started itHe started it

Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 5195
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:02 am Reply with quote
I think I need to reread this now I'm a bit older and have more experience with love. I first read it when I was 14/15 and most of it kinda went over my head cause I was too young and inexperienced to get it. Great article though!
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Joined: 10 Aug 2002
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Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:49 am Reply with quote
As a young girl moving on from stuff like Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, Ceres was an awesome smack in the face and revelation that this is what comics for girls should be like.

Sure, I'm fine with the sappy romance with no magic/sci-fi here and there, but really, action oriented comics for girls, good ones, are hard to come by in the western world, so Ceres was a real treat, even if I didn't much like the ending.
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 114
Location: Chula Vista
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:07 am Reply with quote
Man, I really love articles like this. It's exactly what I love reading when I'm feeling nostalgic for a series!

I remember reading FY back when I was 12 when it came out in Animerica Extra (Gosh, I feel old now, LoL) and then later, I managed to convince my grandma to buy me Ceres (back when it was $15 bucks a volume) for a Christmas present. I expected more of something like FY, but I was pleasantly surprised but very shocked! I never knew "comics" could be so bloody!

It took me a very long time to collect both those series (FY in all it's incarnations and the Ceres manga) but it was well worth it. Smile And as an adult, I now have most, if not all, of Watase's work!
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