Modern Visual Culture

Recommended Works

Ceres, Celestial Legend


Mangaka: Yuu Watase 渡瀬 悠宇
Born: 5th of Mar, 1970
Original Publisher: Shogakukan
English Language Publisher:
Published: May 1996 to March 2000
Status: Finished
Number of Volumes: 14
Serialized: Shojo Comic 少女コミック
Genre: Romance, Horror
Demographic: shojo

On her sixteenth birthday, Aya Mikage and her twin brother Aki go to their grandfather’s home to celebrate. Their birthday present, however, is a bit odd - it’s the mummified hand of their clan's founder! As soon as she sees it, Aya starts to project a strange aura, while her hapless twin is covered in lacerations. As the coup de grâce to the worst Sweet 16 party ever, their grandfather immediately orders her death.

Aya, as it turns out, is the reincarnation of a celestial maiden from Japanese folklore, who manifests herself in Aya as Ceres, a blue-haired and vengeful goddess who has a diehard grudge against Aya’s family for keeping her trapped on Earth and enriching themselves at her expense. Ceres promptly eliminates Aya’s would-be assassins, allowing her to escape.

Aya is aided by the attractive, crimson-haired amnesiac Touya, who helps her to seek refuge with another wealthy clan. Aya comes to terms with Ceres, promising to free if her if she doesn’t hurt more people than absolutely necessary. Meanwhile Aki, Aya’s twin brother, absolutely loses his mind as the reincarnation of Ceres’ husband takes over his personality.

Things get dark as Aya and her allies travel across Japan, trying to free Ceres and not get killed by her own family. Along the way, a love triangle develops between Aya, the mysterious Touya, and an athletic martial artist named Yuhi.
Background & Impact
Yuu Watase based her story on a Japanese folktale that also inspired one of the most renowned Noh plays, Hagoromo.

A 24 episode anime adaptation was developed and released by Studio Pierrot in 2000.

A series of light novels were also released.