Storytelling: Ogawa Chise Pt. 2

{Ogawa Chise} Caste Heaven-01

Ogawa Chise is dangerous and I love it. How can she write things that I am against and intrigue me with them? Usually, with BL, you can be certain that whatever horrors fall upon the uke at the hands of the seme, they will be washed away with an unearned and unbelievable happy ending. However, with Ogawa, you’d be surprised if things turned out well. Her relationships are twisted, but the thing about them is that there is this sickness in desire from both sides that reads so well. It helps that the characters are not flat and you can always expect more than meets the eye. And not that you don’t cringe or fear too much of her work will make you complaisant, but you do these things still hoping for more. You see these two characters and everything in you screams at them to run away from each other but something quieter, from deeper within, whispers for them to never part. It’s like a roadside accident, you can hardly look away. I don’t feel guilt about much, but I can’t help but feel a bit when I read and thoroughly enjoy her stories, feeling unsettled all the while. It’s terrible and I wonder why I don’t feel compelled to make this exception for other authors, well not many. For example, I couldn’t stomach the relationship in Double Mints (though I have plans to give it one more try). Yet, with only a hint of shame, I sit here wanting to fall deeper into this void of hers.

{Ogawa Chise} Caste Heaven-02

I feel like Ogawa’s trying to say something with the chasm between the boundaries she pushes in her shoujo titles and the boundaries she tramples in her BL. I’ve read the majority of her shoujo and this level of debauchery is conspicuously absent.

I had planned to write about that last bit to a fuller extent, but I think it will probably come out in little bursts like this.

  • klkAlexar

    Yep, but I guess that’s why I don’t quite like Caste Heaven; I just don’t get the kind of reciprocity (?) between the couples that I get from her other ones.

    Wow, you still haven’t given DM another try? I thought you did ages ago. I guess you really didn’t like it.

    • I get what you mean. It seems extremely unbalanced, particularly for the main pair. However, I feel that, the main couple’s connection doesn’t require the kind of give and take that she usually writes. You have Azusa who has been a tyrant throughout out his reign and with his arrogance, he feels that it is his right to be that way (card or not)–he’s no tsundere. Then you have Karino, who has pretty much played the jester/sycophant until now, return the favor to the former king. I don’t think this is supposed to be a story where they end up falling in love. They desperately hate each other right now, plus, Karino is insane and he’s not actually doing it so much to get revenge; he has a very sick interest in Azusa. If they end up together it’s probably going to be something like Ouji no Hakoniwa, only much darker and needier–like they can’t control it–at least I hope so. It would take about 3 more volumes for her to turn the story around so that either of these couples could believably fall in love. I’m not so sure about Kuze and Atsumu. Kuze is not insane like Karino, he’s more like a disillusioned stalker who doesn’t need to be a stalker because his prey was totally into him until his switch really flipped. I’m holding off on them until the end of volume 2. Well, I’m just holding off in general. If either pair does “fall in love” by the end of the 2nd volume, I will be so disappointed. On the other hand, I think this is something she’s been working towards for a while, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she does something completely unexpected. We’ll just have to see.

      As for DM. I did buy it, but I still haven’t read it. If I’m short on licensed titles this month, then I’ll probably have a crack at it.

      • klkAlexar

        I liked Karino and Azusa in the first volume. Azusa doesn’t seem like a person who would break completely, and I was looking forward to Karino becoming frantic and obsessive. But the last chapter took me out of the mood since I hate when characters involve other characters in their messy relationship, and now I’m just questioning where this is all going. Plus, I don’t really like Atsumu and Kuze since I think Atsumu is way too weak, although he seems to becoming more aware.

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