Ayashi No Ceres
Type: TV Series (24 Episodes)
Genre: Love Drama w/some Sci-fi
Version: Region 1 DVD
Reviewed: 3/3/03


“You never know what you really have until it’s gone.” That’s one of the lessons underlying the zig-zaggy plot of Ayashi No Ceres. The story begins with twin brother & sister Aki and Aya Mikage turning 16. Naturally, they expect this day to be the best birthday in their young lives. “Get used to disappointment” is another such lesson.

The two are lured to a “party” for them where all of the Mikage relatives are present. No one seems happy. Hmm, that’s odd, isn’t it? At a very quiet, dark ceremony, the twins are given their “gift.” Then the crap really hits the fan. This particular gift unlocks and displays to everyone just who the twins really are–descendants of a power-hungry rapist and a magical angel. This is the Mikage family’s deep, dark secret. They all, to some degree, are part of this heritage.

Aki (representing the Mikage rapist) is now the key to a prosperous future for the Mikage, and Aya (who takes after his victim, the angel) is their hated enemy. This sets off a chain of unpredictable events that make for a decent anime series.

Some of the above-mentioned events are supernatural fight scenes in which Ceres, the angel within Aya, comes out and kicks trash. Not the most original premise on the anime block, but the scenes with Ceres are very well done. It should also be mentioned that aside from these segments, the series is recommended almost exclusively to drama fans. In particular, it seems this anime is best suited for girls. That’s not a hard line though, it’s just that there’s a lot of soap opera type drama in the middle of the series. It might not sit well with those who don’t venture into romantic drama.

Screen Shot
A scene of Ceres showing up all pissed

Ayashi can get genre fans hooked in almost no time. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The first 6 or 8 episodes are edge-of-your-seat material, however, towards the middle of the series, the love aspects of the story take too much of the stage, and the show doesn’t seem to move as smoothly or quickly. These episodes are still ok, and have some great moments here and there, but the real meat ‘n’ potatos of Ayashi No Ceres lies in the beginning and ending shows.

To the producers’ credit, this is one of the most American-friendly anime out there. The spoken dialogue is quite understandable, and the subtitles have almost no errors in spelling, grammar, or translation–a feature I wish all anime had. The English voice acting is well done except for one character…the main character, Aya. At times, I found myself alternating to Japanese voice when she was talking, then back to English when the scene changed. That’s the only real downfall in that department, though. This series is an example of what translators should shoot for.

All in all, a few small interfere with this otherwise quality series. A story full of chases, twists, murder, jealousy, love, lies, slutty teenagers, and mystery await those who choose to view Ayashi No Ceres. For casual anime viewers, it’s far less annoying than most “girly” anime series out there. Watch it with your girlfriend or something.

-Heath Hindman