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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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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.
Rocked my world
This is one of the best mangas I've ever read. Where have you been all my life? From beginning to end, there's not one thing I could seriously hate about it, even with all the violence, the constant death threat, the rape, the cheating -- no, please don't be put off by this if you haven't read it yet. The whole thing is so well constructed, you can really feel Sen and Sword's love behind the jealousy and the possessive tricks, but they're just trying to survive while protecting one another. The love scenes are indeed frequent, and quite explicit at that, but they are all awesome (especially after they start confessing to each other).
And don't even get me started on the art style; I would almost squeal like a crazy fangirl every time Sword appeared, with his sexy eyes, his sexy hair, his sexy smile. I loved everything about him really. I got a little hurt, though when:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
he used Norman just to get Sen jealous
Oh Norman, why did you make me wanna cry all the time? I really loved him, despite everything he's done. I went completely historically when I saw the sequel was about him. Can't wait for more <3
What I liked the most about this manga was that it had so many twists and turns I could hardly think of any possible ending. I even came to check the tags more than once, only to make sure it wasn't a tragedy~~~ I wouldn't be able to handle it, ahah. Man, I just loved it so much! Go read it, read it :3
... Last updated on September 25th, 2013, 11:11am
Shutcall and Bitch
If you want something for a change, read this. Yaoi mangas about prisoners are rare and I'd say this is one of the few good reads of those genre. If you are used to a bit hardcore yaoi, you can take the amount of sex in this manga. Sen is a good "bitch"! and Sword is a really good seme and lover (a bit too unfaithful though..meh). Nevertheless, it was entertaining and contrary to others, I found the ending satisfying.
Inmate romance full of sexy goodness!
It's raw, it's brutal and definitely full of smut! The sex is incredibly frequent and is constantly very good, with several seriously exciting moments full of meaning and emotion. I generally really liked the characters, both Sen who is a true survivalist - knowing to make use of Sword for his own safety - and Swordfish who is a closet bisexual pretending to hate gays... I dig the harsh setting, with just so much violence, abuse and rape going on, and underneath it still being more. Yes, it is BRUTAL, but the way you can see the characters interact with one another, the main characters falling for each other, caring for each other.... it's awesome! One thing I didn't like much was Sword's looks, nothing against African Americans but what bothered me more were his dreadlocks lol! I'd find him more appealing with short hair but that's just me. There's so much raw lust and passion, and while it's not tame or cute romantic and there's cheating and all that, these things are easily overlooked because it comes across so well that Sen and Sword are so into each other! I could go on talking forever about this but really, just give in and read it!
It's captivating from the start and honestly, I wasn't able to stop reading and spent 6 hours on it in one piece, sacrificing my good night's sleep for this series! This has to be one of the rare manga that combine a satisfying story line with so much sex I don't think I've ever seen in a single series!
I'll recommend it to anyone who can handle harder stuff, rape and cheating, and people who appreciate feelings developing underneath a lot of violence and abuse. And if you're in it for the sex - hell yeah, read this one!