Manga Monday- Ceres Celestial Legend

Ceres: Celestial Legend, known in Japan as The Mystery of Ceres, is a fantasy shōjo manga series written by Yuu Watase. It was originally serialized in Shōjo Comic from May 1996 through March 2000 and later reprinted 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 (Tennyo) named Ceres, and her twin brother Aki the reincarnation of Ceres’ former husband, Mikagi. Ceres begins manifesting in Aya, and to save her brother she must find Ceres’ lost celestial robe (hagoromo), while avoiding being killed or captured by family members who want to use Ceres’s supreme celestial abilities for their own personal 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.

Plot-

Aya Mikage and her fraternal 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 angel or celestial maiden blood. Aya learns she is the reincarnation of a supremely powerful celestial maiden called Ceres. When she transforms into Ceres, Aya obtains supernatural abilities of flight, long-distance teleportation, telepathy, powerful telekinesis, premonition, and superhuman speed; she can also project destructive pink energy blasts from her hands, and create impenetrable shields and barriers of pure pink energy. According to the legend, Ceres will kill the entire Mikage family in revenge for stealing her hagoromo (celestial robe), thus preventing her returning home to Heaven. Because of this, Aya’s family attempts to kill her, but she is saved by Suzumi Aogiri, another Tennin descendant with supernatural abilities, and Suzumi’s brother-in-law, Yūhi. Aya struggles to control Ceres’ power. Her brother Aki is eventually completely taken over by the vengeful spirit of “Mikage”, the original ancestor of the entire Mikage family who stole Ceres’ celestial robe, forcing her to stay with him on Earth. Aya promises Ceres that she will help find the celestial robe in exchange for not killing those who hunt her, especially Aki, since Aya still loves them as family.

Aya also wrestles with her strong romantic feelings for Toya, a former servant of the Mikage. Toya is trying to kill her as well, and has lost his memory of his past. However, he begins to reciprocate Aya’s feelings, and they conceive a child together. Toya regains his memory and learns that he was the immortal humanoid organism, also known as “the manna,” that the celestial robe created to help it reunite with Ceres.

In the end, Aki, having resisted Mikage’s spirit, sacrifices himself to save Aya, and Toya sacrifices his own manna and immortality to save Aya and their unborn child. Months later, Aya and Toya await the birth of their child, knowing that Toya may or may not have limited time left to live, however Toya did claim that he will live longer, for his new family’s sake.

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