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Under Grand Hotel is the inmate's name for a prison in the US. Sen is a Japanese guy who has been imprisoned after killing his lover's husband. Sword Fish is the leader of the prison. Sen needs Sword's protection, but can a love story work in a prison?
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Rapey but Touching
Can't say I'm one for the yaoi mangas that include rape despite me always somehow finding them, but this one was just so touching! I'm a sucker for a manly gay couple with Sen and Swordfish just both being too dreamy and tough not to make me swoon. Even though they're prisoners and so terrible things both to others and each other, I totally believe their romance. Real love it's beautiful or perfect or clean, it's dirty and fucked-up. I just loved it and intend to buy a copy if I ever find it in physical form.
The first time I tried reading, I was just to disgusted by the rape and violence to keep reading. I tried it again, a year later, and I realized it was actually really special. The portrayal of love in a prison and terrible people falling in love makes you wonder what love really is and makes you rethink your judgements on criminals. Before I read this, I was a huge supporter of the death penalty, but this manga made me start questioning that.
I can see why many people would give this manga a high rating. It's got a unique plot and storyline revolving around prison inmates.UGH truly shows the brutality hidden behind prison walls and may become hard to read. If you cannot deal with heavy topics regarding suicide, rape, drugs, and abuse.. I highly advise you not to read this. It contains a lot of explicit scenes so be prepared.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I swear to god, Sen gets raped FAR too many times in this manga and it disgusts me. Even his so called "lover" fish treats him like trash and repeatedly abuses him. It's not love, it's lust. His obsession with Sen is extremely creepy to the point that i'll just label him a complete yandere, horn dog.
Putting all of the darkness aside, the art is decent. It's not my favourite kind of art style, but it does have some good points. All of the characters are fairly realistic and their expressions are drawn in great detail. So yeah, if you're into reading hardcore stuff go ahead and read this.
This yaoi can't displace my top because it's not good enough to beat my favorites. Despite saying that, I do believe it's much better than the ones you read to kill time. This was a great shot at romance in prison and it definitely grows on you, but it's missing a small something for me.
One thing for sure though, everyone's a bad guy, especially the seme, but I ended up choosing sides and sometimes I even wanted the good people who were stopping the seme/uke to fail.
Somehow not that gritty despite the rape... meh
I've only read to the middle of volume 3 but...
I didn't find it that gritty or dark. Despite the constant violence and rape, I felt that the characters were presented in a rather comical manner. I can't quite point it out, but it was almost light hearted. Maybe's it's because the characters joked around a lot? I didn't really feel any angst. The setting didn't feel real. It seem like the characters were just doing whatever they wanted despite it being a prison.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The constant cellmate shuffling bothered me.
It seemed to be used as a convenience to the characters and as a plot device. It's prison! You can't just move whenever you feel like it. Hell, I had more trouble moving around in the dorms than these guys in prison. Seriously. -_-
I got curious about UGH after some people say how Deadlock's so similar to it. Honestly, I think Deadlock's way better. (Deadlock is a mystery/thriller first and the romance/sex was a side benefit.) After a couple of chapters, Deadlock heads in a completely different direction than UGH.
There's isn't really a plot in UGH as far as I can tell. It's mostly about the drama inside the prison.
... Last updated on October 29th, 2013, 9:12pm
Pretty damn good
I have not read a huge amount of yaoi before, but this one was suggested to me because it is 'different' from a lot of yaoi out there and I wanted to see something that does not always conform to every part of the 'formula'. Where some people say that most yaoi is not even remotely realistic and that rape too often ends up being something the uke wants (but just doesn't know it yet), this manga is "not an unrealistic rape fantasy" in that the situation (prison) is not unrealistic, and the interactions of the characters trading sex for protection, or having it for dominance, isn't that unrealistic. And all the characters are strong, fairly masculine styled characters - which is also different from the "weak" uke cropping up so often. Also there is a type of multiracial romance which from what I see is kind of rare. So these make it totally refreshing as a yaoi just for starters, and then you have all the tension and drama and claustrophobia and danger of the prison environment. While not too realistic in EVERY WAY, it's still somewhat believable, and the characters though we don't know a huge amount about them at the start still manage to draw you in very fast. It's this combination of fresher approach and highly-condensed drama and danger I think that make this what people call an "intense and enjoyable" read. I think it was, and I'm really quite in awe of the mangaka for creating such a powerful story that's still totally aimed at yaoi fans and their tastes.
My only issue with it I think is that in some places it's a little too condensed... but on the whole you don't have time to get bored because you want to know what is going to happen next. It's no holds barred sex as well, which is good to see in a drama of this intensity and setting. It would be unrealistic if everyone was too caring or kind to each other in such a clearly hostile environment. ^^
The most intense yaoi manga I've ever read. The plot is unique, with everything taking place in the prison while the characters are drawn out perfectly. Everything seems so realistic in this manga with the cruelness taking place in the cold dark place and you can't help cheering for Sword even though he can be a villain himself.
Not my favorite...
I just finished reading this series and I must admit, I didn't really like it. Here's my list of pros and cons! PROS> I thought the artwork was really well done. > Character dialog was easy to follow. > The setting was very unique and interesting. CONS> Situations and characters were no where near realistic. > Many of the chapters had very similar themes which left me feeling bored. > Sexual content felt repetitive and over saturated the series. Through out reading Under Grand Hotel, I found myself very tempted to drop it... But once I had finished it, I was glad I stuck with it. I enjoyed the last couple of chapters (not the bonus ones) and was glad the series had an interesting ending, that also provided good closure. I did however think the bonus chapters were stupid. Everything I have stated is simply my personal opinion on this manga, and this is not a critique!
hot hot sex scenes + action
Well, this manga is not very intellectual - i don't mean bad, but it's just sex and fighting (mostly the first one), and talks about it. Sometimes it gets boring, especially if you read it in a row. On the other hand, sex scenes were really hot and angsty and uncensored. I kept wondering if mangaka was a very hard perverted BL fan, seemed like she savored each scene she drew *^^*
... Last updated on August 18th, 2013, 2:43pm
This is definitely one of my favourite yaoi! But I noticed something. There's a slight difference in the third volume of the chinese and english version. They actually contained different drawings there, which is really weird. If I am not wrong, the english version has a few more pages.