Manga: Yuureitou

Yuureitou, or The Ghost Tower, is a seinen mystery-horror manga.

In 1952 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:

  • Accidental Murder: Shino murdering the man at the island.
  • 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 masculine
  • Amateur Sleuth: Amano is turned into one when Marube asks him to investigate the tower and the murder.
  • Arranged Marriage: Rika 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 Rika 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 Rika 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.
  • Attempted Rape: While lost in the tower without Amano or Yamashina in the clocktower treasure hunt arc, Satoko is ambushed by two men and is almost raped. She is saved by Yamashina and Amano.
  • 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.
  • Bi the Way: Tetsuo is attracted to Satoko, admits that he was attracted to Marube and slept with him when they were trying to survive, and has hints of having more feelings towards Amano than just wanting an "eternal friendship".
  • Big Damn Heroes: Satoko and the police department when they save Tetsuo and Amano from Tesla and Marube at the end of the manga.
  • 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 Rika's family early on, and suspects that Tetsuo was a butler who killed Tatsu Fujimiya. Subverted, since there was a butler, but he didn't kill Tatsu, and he wasn't Tetsuo.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Yamashina is gay, Marube is attracted to both men and women, Amano is implied to be attracted to Tetsuo as a man at the end of the manga, and Tetsuo is attracted to Marube and Amano. Yup, that's pretty much all the main male characters.
  • The Chanteuse: Rika Fujimiya prior to coming out as a transgender man was known as an eccentric yet beautiful woman who murdered her mother. According to rumors, Rika 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 'Rika'.
  • Crotch Grab Sex Check: Marube does this to Tetsuo.
  • Defiled Forever: The men in this manga seem to have this attitude towards women. Shiro despises the women who became the sexual servants of American men post World-War II, Tetsuo makes a big deal about protecting his chastity to Shiro later feeling that he needs to be with Marube once he gives up his chastity to Marube, and Marube is said to be more sympathetic to women who protect their chastity than women who give it up when he is acting as a prosecutor for a sex-related case. Marube's attitude extends to Satoko he planned on taking Satoko's virginity once she was of age.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Marube is mainly attracted to women, but he admits that sometimes muscularity of men turns him on.
  • 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.
  • Faking the Dead: Although in the beginning of the story we are told that Rika drowned in the river, Rika did not die and took on the guise of Tetsuo Sawamura.
  • The Fifties: The manga takes place in the early 50s.
  • Film Noir
  • 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.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Yamashina does this all the time when he remarks on how he prefers the physique of men to women.
  • 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.
  • Killer Cop: Jinbabue turns out to be Shibanmushi. He is able to manipulate the evidence in the case to point to Tetsuo.
  • 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.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Manji is killed by a shed that he built, but it was the head of the village that killed him off.
  • Meaningful Name: Tetsuo means "Iron Hero", Satoko means "Sand Child", and Marube literally means "Round Pill Department". Reiko, Tetsuo's birth name, means "Pretty Girl", but can also mean "Ghost Girl" or "Zero Girl" if you change the kanji. On the other hand, Tetsuo's chosen name post-chapter 75, Akira, uses another kanji that also can sound like "Rei", the first part of "Reiko", which means strong and commanding.
  • Murderers Are Rapists: The murderer of Hanazono is suspected to be this.
  • Offing the Offspring: The head of the opium village kills her adopted son, Manji, because she wanted to save the child she was pregnant with from being killed.
  • Parental Incest: Marube is sexually abusing his daughter, Satoko.
  • 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.
  • Period Piece: Set in the early 1950s.
  • Police Are Useless: Tetsuo managed to evade capture by the police after killing his mother by using another woman's body in place of Rika'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.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Taichi had told Tetsuo about his agreement with Marube earlier, he could have avoided their breakup.
  • Serial Killer: Shibanmushi who turns out to be Jinbabue.
  • Straight Gay: Yamashina often drops hints of what parts of a guy he finds attractive that he often denies. It's later revealed that he was in love with and attracted to Takashi, a boy who was killed by the guy he tried to hand over to Tesla to save his life during the organ transplant search. He still claims that its because he's attracted to the androgynous bodies of young boys (which makes him a bit of a hebephile), but he is later revealed to be unattracted to Satoko and attracted to Tetsuo as a guy.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory: After learning about his backstory, Tetsuo turns out to be this.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Shino ends up being this. Also, Amano in the late chapters.
  • 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, who was Rika 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.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Marube blackmails Taichi in order to get closer to Tetsuo.
  • 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: Taro 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.
  • You Are Not Alone: Taichi and Tetsuo so many times throughout the manga. When Tetsuo has his Heroic BSOD after admitting that he killed his mother to Taichi in Chapter 63, Taichi tells Tetsuo that he understands how Tetsuo feels after killing Jinbabue. When Tetsuo decides to give up his self-ownership and current life to become Marube's wife and Tesla's experiment, Taichi begs him to stay and tells Tetsuo that he doesn't have to punish himself like this.