Evil Possession: A glimpse into Mikage of Ceres: Celestial Legend, Volume 9

Right now I’m in the process of collecting and reading the last few volumes of Ayashi no Ceres or Ceres: Celestial Legend. I finished reading Volume 9 of the manga entitled Progenitor. If you aren’t familiar with Ceres, read the Wikipedia page here to find out more. As you get further into the series, it gets difficult to stomach a lot of the stuff that goes on in this manga series. Fushigi Yugi also had its own uncomfortable scenes to read too, but I feel that FY hasn’t made me squirm half as much as Ceres has.

Like Sailor Moon, I watched the anime of Ceres first before getting my hands on the manga volumes. It has been too long since I’ve seen the anime and I’m dying to rewatch it again once I finish reading the series. Volume 9 is a disturbing novel to get through and Volume 10 is already promising more unpleasantness to put it mildly.

Aya & Aki – A twin bond

Since Aki’s body has been taken over fully by his ancestor Mikage, Aki as Mikage proves just how despicable, violent, and creepy he can get. Mikage is obsessed with getting “his woman back” since the spirit of Ceres also resides in Aya. The difference between the twin siblings in this case is Ceres allows Aya control over her body and lets out Ceres when she sees fit. Mikage, on the other hand, manages to keep Aki from ever taking back control over his own body which makes Mikage free to do whatever he likes in his new form. To have the spirits of their ancestors who were also once lovers possessing twins who are brother and sister is hard to get past. The teetering over the edge incestuous relationship in this story is always in your face and even more so in Volume 9.

Aya steps up her search for the hagoromo, or celestial robes that Ceres is looking for. Her search brings them to a place called Tango in Japan. Aya and Yuhi have to transfer to yet another school to allow them to stick around town until they can find more leads about the hagoromo. Of course the search isn’t simple. The search for Ceres’s celestial robes is put on hold when a threat in the form of Aki also becomes a transfer student at the same school Aya and Yuhi are attending in Tango.

Aya has every reason to not trust Aki while Mikage is in control. Ceres is also concerned about Aki being in the same room as Aya, but Aya says she will stay on her guard. This obviously doesn’t last too long. Aki appeals to Aya about meeting him in the library and acts as Aki usually used to act when things were normal between the two of them. Back when there was no progenitor or hagoromo to be concerned about.

Mikage in Aki’s body

Aya, still hoping for the real Aki to still be in there somewhere, falls for the act and Mikage lands Aya right where he wants her. Aya realizes the deception too late and makes an attempt to get away from Aki in a secluded part of the school library. His grip on Aya proves to be too strong for her and he goes as far as to grope Aya shamelessly in the library. Ceres pleads with Aya to let her out, but Aya doesn’t want to risk Ceres turning the entire high school into a battleground. There is also an agreement Ceres made to Aya about not hurting her brother at all costs no matter how evil of a monster residing in Aki’s body is.

The panels in these scenes where Mikage in Aki’s body is touching Aya’s breasts and inching closer to her private area is squirm inducing. Yes, it may be Mikage doing these terrible things to Aya, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that at surface value Aya’s own brother is lusting after his own sister. It’s images like these in the volume that makes the incestuous nature of Ceres force the reader to confront the troubling nature Aya’s and Aki’s relationship has become. Gone are those days when they are able to just look at each other as simple brother and sister. Mikage changes the dynamic between them and their relationship isn’t the same again. Mikage doesn’t care about Aya’s and Aki’s relationship as brother and sister. In fact, he completely destroys that boundary by going after Aya and making it clear that he will get what he wants, and it’s to dominate her body and soul. He knows Ceres is inside Aya’s body and he wants to repossess her again. To show her who is the man in this relationship again.

Watase does a good job of evoking these feelings of disgust, horror, and shame in this part of Volume 9 with the incident at the library. She doesn’t hold back when it comes to putting her characters through hell and back. It goes to show that Watase wants to create characters like Aya who despite all the crap that is thrown at her, she will rise better and stronger than who she was before.

I love the cover art for Volume 10 of Ceres. You have a picture of Aya with her eyes blindfolded and red strings bound her arms. Aki is standing behind Aya with this psychotic looking smile on his face, his head resting on top of Aya’s. The cover art is significant. Mikage is the puppeteer pulling the strings that bind Aya to him. She is forced to do what he says in order to protect the people she loves and cares about from getting hurt by him. In Volume 9, Aya is forced to make Yuhi believe that he is annoying and a burden to her. She tells him to beat it, but not without making him feel small and inadequate as she is doing it. It pains Aya to tell him all these hurtful things, but she already knows what Mikage is capable of if his patience is tested.

Mikage is no Nakago, but he is also a pretty chilling villain in Watase’s library of villains. Nakago uses manipulation to get devastating results while Mikage uses force and violence to get what he wants. I still think Nakago is a much craftier and tactful villain while Mikage is more obvious and flashy about how he obtains what he wants. At the very least, Mikage has managed to leave me shuddering at the end of Volume 9. Volume 10 has more Mikage being a horrendous fiend, and reading the entire Volume 10 will not be a cakewalk to get through after finishing 9.

7 thoughts on “Evil Possession: A glimpse into Mikage of Ceres: Celestial Legend, Volume 9

  1. I’ve never read Ceres, but I’ve always been interested in it because I really liked Fushigi Yugi, and I always wondered if it would measure up to FY. I’ve heard some people complain about Aya’s personality, but others like her better than Miaka, and you describe her as being ‘strong,’ so I’m curious about your thoughts on her character in particular. There were several scenes that made me uncomfortable (and cry) in Fushigi Yugi, so I can only imagine how disturbing the scenes you describe in Ceres were! But I guess that shows how great Yuu Watase is creating characters that you can get so attached to.

    1. I think Ceres is a good read…for a heavily dark and disturbing shojo manga. I’ve read people’s complaints about Aya too, but I really do think it takes a strong person to be able to get up in the morning and want to live life in spite of everything else that has happened to her. I think Aya has it worse than Miaka. Miaka has gone through some bad stuff too, but it’s nothing compared to what Aya has to contend with. At least Miaka didn’t have to fend off a possessed twin brother’s sexual advances. Absolutely shudder worthy when you read it.

  2. Incest in manga is quite disturbing to me, to be honest. I’ve read ar least 4 or more shoujo mangas that tackle incest. Full pledge siblings that have intimate relationships…….. In one, the couple immigrate to Italy ( that;s where they met ) and the other one meet up in France, both couples go there to escape the scandal, but it’s implied these are the places where they will stay permanently . Then another story has the brother committing suicide, and then siblings who go ahead and have an intimate relationship, although it is implied there’s a possibility they’re not blood related…. still…..and then there’s one where they are half siblings…….. It’s really disturbing.

    I think these stories are worse than Ceres because the siblings know exactly what they are doing,,,,, there’s no supernatural possessions at all.

    I’m just wondering….. why are the Japanese tackling incest at all? there are a lot where the romantic couples get together even if they are legally siblings ( not blood related)…… still……

    1. I actually may want to explore the incest fixation in Japanese manga. I wonder what it is about incest that makes it a good story? Maybe it’s the forbidden relationship thing? One of the mangas you describe, the “siblings who go ahead and have an intimate relationship, although it is implied there’s a possibility they’re not blood related,” sounds similar to the manga Marmalade Boy. I own the entire manga and anime series of Marmalade Boy.

      For some reason I know I should be creeped out by the fact that Miki and Yuu become step brother and sister after their parents swap marriage partners (weird scenario) and then end up attracted to each other after they live in the same house and go to the same school only to later find out they may not have a relationship because they may really be related to each other based on some old stuff the main guy Yuu stumbles upon among their parents’ old personal belongings…I strangely wanted them to find happiness with each other. Crazy right? Luckily they turn out not to be related by blood, but by their parents’ marriage that still makes them technically brother and sister but they are able to love each other and be in a relationship. Maybe it’s because the incest stuff or the possibility of incest isn’t as shudder inducing as Ceres? I wonder if it has something to do with the characters and how the mangakas handle the subject matter.

      I know Angel Sanctuary has incest in that manga series too, but I never read it. I think the story didn’t appeal to me too much, but the artwork is beautiful.

    1. Honestly, I think it’s a crazy idea for Aya to take on Mikage alone. Not only is he insane, but he’s dangerous as well. There’s also this other problem of having a cousin who wants to use her powers for his own twisted project. Aya may have Ceres, who is a powerful being, but without the hagoromo, Ceres can only do so much to fight against everyone who would do them harm.

      Mikage has proven what lengths he’ll go to just to get Aya/Ceres back, even if he has to kill people to get to her. It’s a scary obsession he has, but I suppose there wouldn’t be a story if Aya didn’t think reasoning with Mikage, who is possessing Aki’s body, would somehow get her beloved brother back. It’s also typical shojo fashion to have the main heroine do stupid things on her own without having someone to come with her or back her up.

      1. I guess it also has something to do with developing a phobia of seeing people getting killed after what happened with Miori and the fact that she is a wreck without Toya? I mean no powers, no backup, obeying his orders? Just the dagger wasn’t going to figuratively cut it. It saved her from his second rape attempt, but that could only hold for so long.

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