, or The Ghost Tower
, is a seinen mystery
a woman is killed by her adopted daughter
by being tied onto a clock tower's hands until her back breaks
Two years later, the clock tower is now known as the 'ghost tower' and is supposedly haunted. Amano Taichi, a NEET
, is attacked by someone or something in the same clock tower, and almost dies in the same way as the woman but he is rescued by a mysterious man named Tetsuo.
Tetsuo is searching for a treasure that is connected with the ghost tower and asks Taichi to be his partner. Taichi's enticed by the idea of becoming extreme wealthy and is further convinced when his house mysteriously burns down. As it turns out, there's a Serial Killer
out there that attacks people in the 'ghost tower'.
Way Better Than It Sounds
. It spans to more than just that beginning.Needs Wiki Magic Love
This series provides examples of:
- Anti-Hero: Tetsuo is a Pragmatic type, also qualifying for Byronic Hero due to his charisma and frequent angst. Taichi starts out as a Classical type and slowly gains Pragmatic qualities.
- Abusive Parents: Marube is sexually abusing his daughter, Tetsuo's mother was willing to abandon him in the ghost tower and let him die for being too male.
- Amateur Sleuth: Amano is turned into one when Marube asks him to investigate the tower and the murder.
- Arranged Marriage: Reiko is sold off into an arranged marriage with Shiro by the adoptive mother.
- Artistic License - Biology: When Tetsuo reveals that he has run out of testosterone, his voice becomes more feminine. In reality, going off testosterone won't make your voice feminine even if you've only been on it for a while.
- Asshole Victim: The adoptive mother of Reiko Fujiyama couldn't accept that her child couldn't be a woman and a wife for a potential suitor so she frequently fought with her child. Then, when Reiko left home to live as himself, he killed his mother because she wouldn't accept him as her son. In chapter 59, Tetsuo also confesses to Marube that when he was younger and his mother went with him to explore the tower, he was really happy when she told him that he was brave just like a (Japanese) guy. He told her that he was really happy to hear that, but in reality, his mother sent him down to the tower so that she could indirectly kill him. She only saved him when he acted more 'girly' by screaming for help.
- Becoming the Mask: After Amano disguises himself as Tetsuo's wife to evade the police, he realizes how comforting crossdressing is and since he is in love with Tetsuo, begins to wonder if he actually wanted to be Tetsuo's crossdressing submissive husband.
- Blackmail: Tetsuo uses the truth about his lie about Amano having a wife and money in order to get Amano to investigate the tower for the first time.
- Black and Gray Morality: Testuo lies about planting bombs in order to convince Tesla to let him go.
- Bluffing the Murderer: Amano believes that Tetsuo is Shibanmuchi, a murderous ghost who kills people who enter the ghost tower, and threatens him with a knife early on in his investigation. Ironically, Tetsuo turns out to be the one who killed his mother.
- The Butler Did It: Amano tries to tie Tetsuo into the Fujimiya family after seeing a picture of Reiko's family early on, and suspects that Tetsuo was the butler. Averted, since Tetsuo did murder his mother but he wasn't the butler.
- The Chanteuse: Reiko Fujimiya prior to coming out as a transgender man was known as an eccentric yet beautiful woman who murdered her mother. According to rumors, Reiko also had a beautiful voice. Tetsuo later asks Shino if she wants to sing with him after he tells Amano the rumors about his past life as 'Reiko'.
- Crotch Grab Sex Check: Marube does this to Tetsuo.
- Did Not Die That Way: Although in the beginning of the story we are told that Reiko drowned in the river, Reiko did not die that way and took on the guise of Tetsuo Samesawa.
- Disguised in Drag: Taichi pretended to be Tetsuo's wife while they left the city.
- Driving Question: Who is the Shibanmushi? And in the beginning, who is Tetsuo?
- Everyone Wants the Transgender Man: Everyone seems to be attracted to Tetsuo, whether they perceive him as the beautiful maiden Rika Fujimiya, as an attractive Bishounen man, or as something in between. Most of the girls are attracted to him as a man, Shiro and Taichi are attracted to him as a woman, Marube sees him as someone in between, and Yamashina is secretly attracted to him as a man but tries to point out the androgynous features of Tetsuo's body in order to appear less gay. Chapter 5
- The Fifties: The manga takes place in the early 50s.
- Guilt By Association: Tetsuo offers to save Amano from the clock hands of the ghost tower in the beginning of the novel in exchange for Amano's innocence.
- Heterosexual Life Partner: Tetsuo and Taichi for the most part. Tetsuo even says he's his Only Friend. Taichi has some amount of sexual attraction to him though.
- Subverted with Tetsuo and Shirou Honjou. Tetsuo wanted them to be this, but Honjou was in love with Tetsuo and couldn't help seeing him as a woman.
- Infant Immortality: Averted. Two kids have died thus far and one was almost murdered.
- Karma Houdini: Tetsuo and Marube.
- Loser Protagonist: Taichi is a NEET and a Hikikomori at the start. Even when he gets better he's still socially awkward and always getting into trouble.
- Meaningful Name: Tetsuo means "Iron Hero", Satoko means "Sand Child", and Marube literally means "Round Pill Department".
- Poor Communication Kills: If Taichi had told Tetsuo about his agreement with Marube earlier, he could have avoided their breakup.
- Parental Incest: Marube is sexually abusing his daughter, Satoko.
- Police Are Useless: Tetsuo managed to evade capture by the police after killing his mother by using another woman's body in place of Reiko's. Also, Yamashina, a detective who gets involved in the investigation, is actually a cowardly man that is willing to sacrifice his enemy so that he could keep his life and save the lives of the other children when he was trying to find blood for Tesla.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: When Tetsuo is made to be Marube's butler, Tetsuo does everything he can to resist conforming to Marube's sexual fantasies. Tetsuo decides to wear a uniform when Marube asks him to give him a shower, and then sharpens his nails to ensure that scrubbing Marube will be as painful as possible.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Shino ends up being this.
- Took a Level in Badass: Taichi goes from relying on Tetsuo at the slightest sign of danger to beating criminals in the head with a stick (while in drag, no less!)
- Transsexual: Tetsuo, whose was Reiko Fujimiya prior to transitioning, is a trans man.
- Undercover as Lovers: Tetsuo and Taichi pretend to be a married couple when they're on the run from the law. Taichi is the one playing the wife, by the way.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Tetsuo's ultimate goal is to get the treasure in the ghost tower so that he could build a society in which he could be accepted as a man. He killed his mother and manipulated several romantic male suitors in order to get access to the tower.
- The Vamp: Marube's plan in chapters 50 through 60 is to seduce Tetsuo and break his will. Tetsuo later sleeps with Marube and temporarily decides that the best punishment for killing his mother, who was also Marube's wife, is to live his life as a woman.
- Villainous Incest: Marube is way too touchy-feely with his daughter. Later we find out he's probably not her real father, but that doesn't make it any less creepy.
- Whole Plot Reference: Taru Nogizaka's Yuureitou is an expanded adaptation of Alice Muriel Williamson's "A Woman in Gray" from 1898. However, the lawyer that owned the haunted house is now an abusive father who owns a haunted clock tower, the woman who murdered her mother is now a transgender man who killed his adoptive mother, the attorney who investigates the tower is now a man in his twenties with no job and the villain that wants to seduce the daughter who killed her mother is now the owner of the ghost tower.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Taichi first disguises himself in drag to evade the police, but later finds crossdressing comforting and continues to wear a dress until Yamashina dies.
- Would Hurt a Child: Shibanmushi tries to kill a boy in one chapter. The kid lives but his mother dies.