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From MangaHelpers: In the 1950s, an old woman was brutally murdered on the face of a clock tower by her adopted daughter. Two years later, the clock tower is known as the 'ghost tower' and it is supposedly haunted. Through an unusual series of events, a young NEET man named Amano Taichi is attacked by someone or something in the same clock tower, and finds himself bound to the clock face to be killed in the same way as the old woman. Luckily for Amano, he doesn't meet the same fate. He's rescued by a mysterious person who claims his name is Tetsuo. He is searching for a treasure that is connected with the ghost tower, and he wants Taichi to be his partner. Taichi, whose life has mostly consisted of poverty, loneliness, and pornography, is enticed by the idea of gaining extreme wealth. He's further convinced when a house fire leaves him without a home and depends on Tetsuo's charity. The adventure is going to be very dangerous, since the same 'enemies' who attacked Taichi before seem certain to try something again! Not to mention, Taichi really knows very little about his new partner.
幽麗塔 La Tour Fantôme The Ghost Tower The Phantom Tower Yureito
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Gripping & thoughtful
Well-written mystery/thriller and treats its LGBT characters with delicateness. A honest thoughtful look on what it means to be transgender. Narratively the pacing was on point. It was neither rushed nor slow. The arcs naturally tied into each other. The art is also pleasant to look at.
... Last updated on February 18th, 2016, 5:19pm
Plot that ends up being goofy and LGBT elemets that do not fit.
I was genuinely interested in the beginning, but as the series progressed and elements were introduced, it started drifting into schlock, especially the last chapters which were something out of Cyborg 009. It doesn't feel serious enough (in fact it's mostly kind of goofy), all of the darker elements are treated rather lightly and there is just an overall feeling of disconnectedness between the plot points, the story just doesn't flow. It tries to fit in as much as possible but the result is that everything just ends up being cheap, rushed and unsatisfying. Tetsuo's gender identity is more of a distraction than anything relevant to the actual plot, it's just not developed enough and feels more like a statement than an exploration.
Highly recommended! Especially for those looking for decent LGBTPQ representation in manga!
This whole review will be chock full of spoilers, otherwise I wouldn't be able to convey how unique and progressive this is for a manga- like wow.
Ignoring the whole "queer" topics I'm about to get into, as a horror/mystery manga, I'd just have to say it's good/decent (hence the 9 instead of 10). You start to think that perhaps this will be a sort of detective story with a bunch of other smaller mysteries thrown in, but in reality they've only truly gone off topic once so far, which served as a huge turning point into Tetsuo and Amano's ideology, as well as being the defining characteristic of what makes this manga so great.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
First of all, Tetsuo is a transgender man. They introduce Tetsuo to you as a man, and once you find out as trans, they don't just write him off as a female, which I really appreciate. They flesh out Tetsuo and his gender identity, and let the reader go on a journey of acceptance with Amano to come to terms with the fact that- yes, while Tetsuo has that banging female body that you'd without a doubt want to touch, he is a man, and you need to respect that above all else.
That's one of the main reasons I'm okay with the ecchi and exposing of Tetsuo's more feminine parts, we're supposed to keep in mind that Tetsuo is /super/ hot whether you view him as a male or female, but that our own lust (mainly Amanos) shouldn't cloud our judgement or disrespect the man that he is.
It also hit on a very important issue that I, as a trans man myself, struggled with, and have never seen a manga take on. While Amano and Tetsuo are on the run, they come across this village, and while I'm writing this off as a spoiler, I don't want to get /too/ spoiler-y... So I'll just say that it gives Amano a larger respect for females and what they have to go through, as well as allows Tetsuo to realize that males can also like/feel things that are generally meant for "females" after Amano expresses his interest in it as well. This is actually a rather huge block that a lot of trans guys face, being afraid of things that are too "girly" since it would denounce their status as a man in their mind, and Amano helps him get over that bump.
Amano himself struggles a bit with being a straight man who is not only attracted to a trans man, but restrains himself to only thinking of him as a friend out of respect for Tetsuo's sexuality, but also his newfound like(?) for crossdressing. Basically, Amano is super open minded and kind, the kind of person everybody wishes they had in their life.
Amano believes in Tetsuo so completely, that even when Tetsuo gives up on himself
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
and pretends to just be a female,
Amano still believes in the man that Tetsuo has proved himself to be again and again throughout the manga.
Edit::: P.S. I'm betting Amano and Tetsuo get together by the end- whether it be the two of them living as best friends or like... them dating despite them both being straight. Am I the only one who thinks that?
... Last updated on November 21st, 2015, 2:13pm
i liked it at first
i honestly really liked at first i mean i loved the mystery and horror is great i mean they were sometimes where the killer is hiding in certain chapter that you wont notice untill he does something and then you go back and see him its very awesome and i liked that but then the author gets really obvious i mean now he doesnt even focus on the mystery he focus on some stupid gender shit and gay shit and that he hope a country with no gender or something and he even introduce a pedophile policeman its really fucking disgusting but anyway , its very obvious that hes talking to the readers and doesnt focus on the story soo dropped dont bother with this shit
90% Mystery 10% Surrealism
I kept thinking it'd suddenly veer off into fantasy/supernatural but it's still on the very borderline. I'm happy that the series is picked up again as I hate it when a interesting story is dropped due to lack of TL. I'd recommend it for fans of mystery/mature themed works as the story is very dark even by my standards. Although there is gore/violence it's not gratuitous and closer to psychological horror.
The two MCs work well together as team and I never had a sense that they were shafted even though there's a huge cast of characters introduced as it moves on from place to place. Basically, it's a new case each few chapters with a overarching mystery tied to the clock tower and Tetsuo's past.
Art is very gothic with use of dark screentones/inking to show the grim scenes and improved over time. The first few books everyone looks slightly off (esp. hands) and stiff but the manga-ka manages to convey emotion/faces well.
I like it from a change of pace as I'm a bit tired of all the teenaged protagonist/ kid detectives in my mysteries. I do hope that they tie up all the loose ends in the final volume.
I just completed the series and I have to give props to how the manga-ka handled Tetsuo's gender identity and his relationship with Amano. The mystery ended up taking a backseat to the character interactions and I didn't mind.
... Last updated on July 9th, 2016, 3:44pm
"one of those LGBT people" Ok well first off what the hell. You aren't even trying to pretend you're treating them like some sort of alien species. It seems like you're going for a critique on tone inconsistency but from what it sounds like you just think mystery and identity themes or comedy and horror are mutually exclusive without any real nuance to how they actually interact in your review. It's simple and kneejerk and you sound like a douche because you have very specific, flat expectations for certain genres that the author didn't meet. Review above you is much better by far in it's criticism.
... Last updated on April 9th, 2015, 12:18pm
I tried reading this for the mystery and lgbt, but
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
was far too often sexualized for me to enjoy this series. Those with more tolerance for ecchi will probably be okay though.
... Last updated on March 24th, 2015, 12:25pm
An Unconventional Mystery
Well, it's different. Not what you'd really expect initially, unless you've read the tags and reviews. But yes, this manga involves many different themes within its mystery-horror genre. The way I see it, it's mainly just a convoluted mystery that uses a lot of disturbing things to pave the way to answers.
The most consistent thing throughout the story is its usage of unlikely characters - some more eccentric and troubled than others. Because the characters are so bizarre, they're almost hard to completely like, as they all possess more of an uncomfortable kind of strange than a charming one. At the same time, it also makes it harder to relate with them. But these distorted and "abnormal" characters make it that much more challenging to predict their intentions and the plot, whilst adding to tension and dramatics.
Overall, I consider this story to be pretty original. It handles identity, desire, manipulation and perhaps a sinister persona thats both unnatural and at times very human. Contrary to the review below me however, I don't think it really has that much to do with gender identity. Sure, the main character is subject to these struggles, but it's less personal and emotional than it is depicted as part of the mystery's unraveling. Who is the main character really? What are her motives? What can this lead us to in the end? That's the direction I see the story going in, because after all, it is still a mystery.
Would I consider this a great manga? Eh, it's got my full attention but not my love. But if you're looking for something very unconventional I'd recommend it.
Don't read this if you are looking for authentic mystery manga, unless you are one of those LGBT people
I almost lost my testosterone while reading this. First few chapters was good, I thought the story would be revolved around the mystery (horror kind of mystery) when reading this. But no, it wasn't.
As the story goes on, it turned out that the story wasn't as "dark" as it seems. There were many jokes in this supposedly "horror" manga that most of the times came out as unappropriate in a way that doesn't fit with the story overall theme. It's like trying to force comedy in a horror movie.
I had an issue with the character as well. I don't mind when there's a character that cross-dressed or whatever, but when the core issue is not about the murder anymore, and rather about gender identity issues, that is something I can't relate with.
There are one main character, and 2 side kick characters. Turned out cross-dressed character was the one who drives the storyline. The other two were lame, weak, and naive throughout the supposedly horror story, that I was surprised they didn't get killed after all that stupidities they did.
That made me as a reader couldn't even take the storyline seriously anymore because the issues were getting switched from "detective horror" manga, to something like "hey, do not judge LGBT person by its cover" theme. Hey mangaka, if you read my review, next time try to create storyline that is obvious that you promoted this gender equality thing, but do not mask it as a "horror mystery" manga because it wasted my time and I don't like it.
your mileage may vary, with this one
OK, so Yuureitou is actually a fairly difficult series to comment on, especially because it's really great with its characters but your mileage may vary with the plot.
There's quite a bit of trigger-y stuff in here: blood, gore, sexual assault, the works. It's all treated seriously enough in the series, but if you can't handle any of that, this manga is not for you.
Overall, the mystery is... strange, to say the least. There's a very distinct undercurrent of horror and supernatural running throughout, and the mystery almost seems to take a backseat to the horror/supernatural elements. The mystery is intriguing, but it isn't really the main focus here.
What I really, really love about this manga, though, is the fact that there is a canonical LGBTQ+ character who is treated with an amazing amount of delicacy.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Yes, I'm talking about Tetsuo. I was a bit hesitant about him at first, but then Nogizaka actually revealed that he was legitimately trans! And he even spent entire chapters fleshing out his trans identity! While Tetsuo's identity is still a bit too binary and heterosexist (there's this constant insistence that because Tetsuo is a man, he can't fall in love with other men; he can only be friends with them--gay-ness and bi-ness and pan-ness does exist, you know?), it's still miles above trans representation I've read in other manga. Especially because Yuureitou is a horror mystery, not a manga devoted to gender issues. So this was definitely a nice surprise!
The way he's handling Amano's response to this revelation is also done really well, especially because Amano doesn't invalidate Tetsuo's identity at all. Though neither does he easily accept it. There's a lot of renegotiation and such that these two do that's actually really great! And it shows that it's never easy to have other people accept you for who you are, but that as long as you keep at it, there will be someone who's willing to listen.
Amano's recent disguises as a girl has been great too because it really helps bring into focus issues of sexism and misogyny. And the fact that Nogizaka puts the cis guy into the role of experiencing it... while hinting at the hardships that the trans guy had to face while he was still performing as a girl... It's great!
The main thing I'm worried about is where Nogizaka will bring the story to next. So I really can't recommend this work until it finishes, because it's really, really easy to invalidate all the good he has done so far with a bad ending. This is definitely a "wait and see" moment.
Edit: OK, volume 8 now, and Yuureitou still continues to be a "mixed feelings" thing for me. Like, on one hand, it has brought out a whole other set of great progressive characters (the detective Yamashina in particular, and Amano continues to develop as a good/understanding protagonist). But, on the other hand, it also continues to sexualize its female characters and Tetsuo, which is even more awkward when taking into consideration Nogizaka's careful handling of Tetsuo's backstory...
So, yeah, Yuureitou is definitively a mixed bag, and I suspect it will remain so even at its conclusion. Not sure whether or not I would recommend this. Depends on what you're looking for, I guess.
final edit: The ending was good. I enjoyed it a lot, actually. It's probably my favorite part of the entire series. It doesn't completely make up for the strange fanservice of earlier chapters, though, but it definitely makes this a series that I wouldn't mind recommending, with caveats, of course.