One of the many good things about BL manga is that the stories usually start and finish within a few chapters. In just one volume, the main characters will start having feelings for each other, confess, start dating, and live a happy life together.
But there are some authors who can’t develop their stories in just six chapters and a couple of extras, so they keep writing, adding characters, making the story more complex, and keeping us wondering what’s going to happen next. Chise Ogawa is one of those authors, accumulating seven volumes of Caste Heaven… And it’s still ongoing! Volume 6 has finally been released in English and we couldn’t be any happier.
Survival of the Fittest
It is a cruel world out there, only the toughest will manage to climb to the top of the pyramid. And that is particularly true for this strange school. Whether they like it or not, all of the students in this school have to participate in the caste game, designed to determine their position in the school. Scattered throughout the school are trump cards that the students have to pick up. According to the number they pick, they get assigned a role, with the King and Queen being the highest positions.
Yuya Azusa is used to standing at the top of the pyramid, a merciless king with a nasty personality. He believes he’s going to maintain this privileged position until it’s time for him to graduate… But something doesn’t go as planned. When Kohei Karino, a friend who’s supposed to help him get the king card again, betrays him, Azusa becomes the target and moves all the way down in the caste system. Azusa is not used to being the target, so he will try his best to go back to the top. Will he be able to do it?
Not Everything Is As It Seems
Even though Karino took the king card from Azusa and made him the target, it seems like he had a reason to do that. Because Azusa is the target, everyone is out there trying to get him: whether it’s just to enjoy his body or to get revenge, almost every student in this strange school is looking for a chance to catch Azusa off guard. But Azusa knows how to play this game, and he’s very skilled at avoiding those who target him.
And if his skills weren’t enough, he has someone protecting him behind the scenes… Karino is always paying attention to Azusa and he knows there are people out there trying to get him. Karino uses his position as king to protect Azusa from the people who target him. Of course, Azusa doesn’t see this, as he can only see how Karino is determined to make him his personal plaything. Azusa also knows that if he ever gets caught, his classmates are not going to go easy on him. After all, he was a ruthless and demonic king!
Don’t Ignore the Tags
When you decide to start reading a BL manga, you have to be very careful of what you choose, even more so if you’re taking your first steps into this world. Caste Heaven’s tags should not be ignored, as they tell you what you’re going to find once you start reading the first few chapters. As soon as the story starts, we’re introduced to the caste system and how it works. Just with that, we can already tell this manga is anything but ordinary.
Yes, the Yaoi tag is indeed very tempting, letting us know there’s going to be plenty of steamy situations, but just next to it we can see the Drama tag. What is a BL story without a bit of drama here and there? Well, the thing with Caste Heaven is that every two steps there seem to be a huge amount of drama. Not that we’re complaining: it helps the plot move along. But if you’re wondering why you should be careful with this manga’s tags is because it is also tagged as Psychological. The characters in this story are twisted and have nasty personalities, they only look after themselves, seeking pleasure without caring who they have to step on to achieve their goals. If you’re looking for a lighthearted story, you better keep on looking.
With the English release of volume 6, we finally get to continue this weird yet interesting story. The relationship between Azusa and Karino is changing little by little, with other characters showing up along the way.
But don’t be fooled! Caste Heaven is still a warped story. When will the author decide it’s time for it to come to an end?