A small town with a big difference

Leaving home to go to university can be a weird experience. You arrive in an unfamiliar place to find yourself surrounded by new people; even the most confident of us can feel like we don’t fit in. For Mei Lau, the experience is like that but stranger: when she arrives at Eureka University in the small New England town of Chastity, she discovers that her roommates — and seemingly all the women in town — are sporting supernaturally huge busts. But fitting in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either; when Mei starts to develop her own swelling chest, she resolves to get to the bottom of what’s going on in Chastity.

Chastity is the setting for a group of stories on Breast Expansion Story Club which share a setting and group of characters. Welcome to Chastity is the story at the heart of the Chastity universe, with two expansions: Tales from Chastity: Tara’s Story and Farewell to Chastity. The core tale is a supernatural mystery: what’s causing the massive expansion in the chests of Chastity? Together with her busty roommates, sardonic goth Gwen Beaumont and wise local girl Rayya Rahman, Mei must find out what — or who — is causing the mysterious effect.

I think my favorite thing about Welcome to Chastity is its mixture of mystery, horror and humor. Early on in the story, we see Mei at a physics class. Her instructor is explaining the concept of conservation of mass, which states that it is impossible for mass to be created or destroyed. It’s not an important plot point, just a funny little detail that draws attention to the fact that what’s happening to Mei’s breasts is completely impossible.

Peter Logan and Chris Flash’s art is what really makes Welcome to Chastity (and its shorter followup Farewell to Chastity) work; quite apart from the breasts, the facial expressions tell the story as much as, if not more than, the dialogue. I’m particularly fond of the panel in which Mei tries to explain why she thinks Gwen is a witch to Rayya; Mei’s expression is absolutely priceless. The art is also really inventive in how it incorporates pinup and alternate-costume shots into the narrative rather than having them intrude into it. When we see the villain’s history, for instance, it’s done in the form of a series of shots of her throughout time, showcasing the different costumes of each period and how they show off her figure.

Tales from Chastity: Tara’s Story and Farewell to Chastity expand on the universe established in the original story. In Tara’s Story we learn something about the background and perspective of Rayya’s sister Tara, who developed an absolutely massive chest that puts Rayya’s — and all of Tara’s lower body — in the shade. It’s exactly the kind of development of a minor character that would have totally derailed the main story if it were included in Welcome to Chastity; here, however, it works really well. Farewell to Chastity is more like a coda to the main story, although it deliberately leaves the door open for a sequel.

The Chastity universe is an ambitious idea within the world of breast expansion storytelling; the idea of a town where expanding chests are part of the setting gets rid of some of the usual world-building problems, and the end of the story expands the concept to stop it from getting too repetitive. Will we get to see more? I’m curious to see what direction the story goes in.

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