Caste Heaven

Vol: 6+; Ch: 29+
2014 - ?
3.85 out of 5 from 845 votes
Rank #8,486
Caste Heaven

Today’s top could be tomorrow’s bottom when playing the caste game! School is hard enough as it is, but when students are forced to play a cutthroat game to determine their social ranks—and subsequent treatment—all bets are off. It’s a cruel game where the card you possess determines your class rank. Azusa has the king, the most powerful of the cards, allowing him to rule his class however ruthlessly he chooses. But all bets are off when Azusa is double-crossed, shattering his pride as he drops to target, the lowest of the ranks. Now bullied by the very people he himself mistreated, Azusa is given a choice—become the new king’s plaything…or service the entire class!

Source: SuBLime

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Caste Heaven is a dramatic yaoi manga that contains the elements that make it a brilliant work within its niche. **Just a warning, this is very much a yaoi manga – so expect graphic imagery of intimate relationships between males. Furthermore, many of these intimacies are somewhat violent and are underpinned with potentially distressing themes (to be blatant – rape, blackmail, etc.). So just know this is not another Gosan no Heart or such. ART: 10 As with all of Takagi’s (Ogawa Chise) works, I find this manga to be exceedingly aesthetically pleasing. While character designs are unrealistic and undeniably feminine, the art ultimately works really well to construct atmospheric scenes that range from shocking the audience, to instilling a sense of foreboding and anxiety. STORY: 9 The concept of a corrupt governing party, and an unethical society, it itself is not particularly original, and the initial premise of the schooling system seems slightly illogical. What makes the plot of Caste Heaven so engaging is its brilliant story telling. The progression of the plot is wonderful: scenes cut enticingly from the past to the present in such a way that raises just enough questions to make you want to binge read the entire series, and changes in the perspective of the manga allow the audience to deeply understand the dynamics of the characters and their respective relationships. What more, the romance intertwined within this manga is very dark, and yet very addictive. Ultimately, while not entirely original, the construction of the story and its themes is very well done. CHARACTER: 10 All of the characters within this manga are wonderfully distorted and broken in their own way. Many of the characters undertake in cruel and savage acts, and yet ultimately no (main) character can be considered evil or entirely unpleasant – somehow all the characters are charming. The story is broken into two interlinked stories (as of volume two), with each story varying in the narrating perspective as well as providing scenes of the characters’ pasts. This allows the audience to slowly develop a keen and satisfying understanding of the characters personality and behaviour. ENJOYMENT: 10 Overall, Caste Heaven is everything I look for in a dramatic yaoi manga. The art, the story telling, the characters, it is all wonderfully executed. I honestly enjoy reading not just every chapter, but every page of this manga. The romance within this manga is shocking, the story is cruel and emotionally provoking, and yet somehow you cannot refuse this manga – it’s charming like that. *Note, this review is for Caste Heaven up until chapter 10.

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