Ceres, Celestial Legend Vol. #6 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ceres, Celestial Legend

Ceres, Celestial Legend Vol. #6

By Chris Beveridge     March 28, 2002
Release Date: January 22, 2002


Ceres, Celestial Legend Vol. #6
© Viz Media


What They Say
Toya receives a jolt to the head and suddenly remembers everything about his past - a simple life with a girlfriend who is a dead ringer for Aya! Regaining his memory has somehow caused Toya to forget everything that's happened in the past year, including his memory of Aya. If Aya has double, does that mean that there's also another Ceres?

The Review!
This shows twists and turns continue here with a lot of action and some surprising moments of revelation about the past. Some of the twists are straining my memory though and I'm forgetting the original twists!

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show continues to have a good audio track with some nice bits of music and sound effects going to the rear speakers. The forward soundstage doesn't have much depth to it, but other than the couple of fairly brief action sequences scattered throughout, it's mostly either a dialogue driven show or one that has the music filling it nicely.

Video:
The transfer here looks like some of the better episodes of the series with the lack of cross coloration and grain that we saw on the final episode of the previous volume. Colors look good with their real-life palette and a few areas of really vibrant colors. The blacks looked nicely solid and the backgrounds didn't show any signs of macroblocking.

Packaging:
The front cover provides another striking looking manga with Toya and Aya embraced. I really wasn't sure about the manga covers from the start, but I've very much warmed up to them as the series has progressed. The back cover uses a soft image of Ceres as the overall background and provides some small animation shots as photos (and a small version of Mrs. Q showing up). Episode numbers and titles are provided here as well as a brief summary for them. Production credits and basic disc information is listed along the bottom as well. The insert provides another great looking lush fold-out mini poster while the back side of it lists the chapters for each episode.

Menus:
The menu layout manages to pull off the right balance of music, animation and design so that it accentuates the material and isn't overbearing or out of place for the show. Menu selections are quick to access and the language selection area shows easily what languages are set for default. Very nicely done.

Extras:
The extras section again gives us something old and something new. The character gallery makes another appearance here, which is useful since it helps having it available on each volume. We also get a brief TV promotional spot for the show (sadly unsubtitled) as well as the textless ending that takes over on this disc.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The show picks right up from the last volume with Miori in Ceres form chasing after Aya in Ceres form across the city. The battle between the two gets fairly intense as Miori is playing for keeps with her powers, though she's definitely overstepped her bounds in regards to what Kagami had wanted from her. Her changing to Ceres has effectively sent Toya back to Aya which doesn't serve Kagami's purposes at all. And to make matters worse, the Progenitor shows up to talk to Toya and begins spouting off all kinds of things, giving Kagami even more displeasure.

The first episode here ends in one of the most visually tragic ways. I was truly surprised to see it displayed as much as it did.

But with it behind them, Aya ends up in a serious depression and withdraws into herself. Toya realizes that he has to find out about himself as he gained a new flicker of insight previously about his past and he heads off to scour all the beaches of Japan. This doesn't actually last all that long, as once Aya reawakens to life, she ends up joining him after his small adventures. The two decide to take up residence in Niigata and to try and avoid any further Mikage influence or trouble, which they surprisingly manage to pull off.

This month or so we see of them in a normal setting, living as a couple in their own apartment and interacting with their newfound friend doctor, is probably one of the nicest moments of the series so far. The two look and feel genuinely happy about themselves, though Toya still gets his bouts where he can feel something from his past just beyond his reach, especially with the ocean so close and being along the beaches. The slower pace is definitely welcomed here after all the recent excitement and it gives some nice quality time to see why these two actually do work as a couple.

A near death experience for both of them though do give some excitement to their time, but it also leads into a rather interesting look at Toya's past as it all comes rushing back to him. And in classic tradition, it's an origin story that only asks more questions than it really answers, but it does at least bring closure to why Toya's been so attracted to Aya since they first met.

There's lots of good stuff on this disc and it still manages to confound me into liking it so much. There's just something about it that continues to draw me in and make me want more the minute the last episode is over, despite its plot twists and awkward pacing.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Gallery,TV Show Promotional Spot,Textless Ending Version 2

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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