Manga / Yuureitou

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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:

  • 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.
  • Accidental Murder: Shino murdering the man at the island.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Amano is turned into one when Marube asks him to investigate the tower and the murder.
  • 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: After Satoko starts screaming that she doesn't want to be with "weird" people like Taichi and Yamashina, Yamashina's had enough of her attitude and slaps her across the face.
  • Arranged Marriage: Reiko was 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.
  • Attempted Rape: Happens twice.
    • 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.
    • The second time, MARUBE tries to rape Taichi in order to make him leave Tetsuo.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Everyone seems to be attracted to Tetsuo, whether they perceive him as a beautiful maiden, as an attractive Bishounen man, or as something in between. Most of the girls are attracted to him as a man, Shiro is attracted to him as a woman, Taichi is initially attracted to him as a woman but later as a man, 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.
    • Played with in Taichi's case. When he first starts disguising as a woman, other women point out that he looks rather ugly. However, Marube takes an interest in him and likes him in those clothes (though he's Marube, after all), the village men are very much attracted to Taichi in his female disguise, but it's repeatedly pointed out that they haven't seen young women in years, and some criminals find him cute enough though they know he's male.
  • Bad Santa: After the deal with Amano, Yamashita, and Tetsuo went through, Tesla reappears in another place wearing a Santa costume and asked some children to pick out a person for his surgeries.
  • 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. Minus the marriage part, and only in the beginning for the crossdressing part, they become lovers at the very end.
  • Bi the Way: Tetsuo says he's straight, but has hints of having more feelings towards Amano than just wanting an "eternal friendship". Eventually, Tetsuo's feelings for Amano win out. Something of a deconstruction, as there are also hints that Amano is genderfluid.
  • 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. They also do this with Satoko and threaten her with her accidentally running Taichi over in order to get a job at the Tower.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: Amano believes that Tetsuo is Shibanmushi, 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.
  • Boom, Headshot: Just as Taichi tells Satoko and Yamashina that he solved a puzzle, Yamashina gets shot in the head by Shibanmushi. He doesn't die from it right away, and passes in Taichi's arms.
  • Brain Transplant: Marube attempts to switch his brain with Tetsuo so that he can preserve his love with the owner of the ghost tower.
  • 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 a butler who killed Tatsu Fujimiya. Subverted, since there was a butler, but he didn't kill Tatsu, and he wasn't Tetsuo.
  • Cassandra Truth: Tetsuo once tells Taichi that he was Reiko, a woman who murdered her mother in a gruesome way two years ago and supposedly died. Taichi doesn't believe him.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Yamashina is gay, Marube is attracted to both men and women, Amano becomes attracted to Tetsuo as a man as the series progresses, and Tetsuo is attracted to Amano. Yup, that's pretty much all the main male characters.
  • The Chanteuse: 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'.
  • Chained Heat: After getting their hands stuck in one of the mansion's death traps, Marube and Tetsuo were handcuffed together for a time.
  • Children Are Innocent: A dark take on the trope. After Tesla fails to force Taicho, Tetsuo and Yamashina to choose a human sacrifice for his organ transplant surgery, Tesla decides to leave the job to a group of children as they haven't developed the principles that would keep them from choosing someone that deserves to die and they will do whatever he says in exchange for toys.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: By the time Shibanmushi had been found and the treasure discovered, Taichi pointed out that Marube could have simply investigated the police department first before anything happened, which might have prevented all the victims of the story from getting killed.
  • Crotch-Grab Sex Check: Marube does this to Tetsuo when he asks why he didn't bathe in the nude.
  • 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, 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 While he says he planned on taking Satoko's virginity once she was of age, it turns out the main reason he acts the way he does is because he's the opposite of Tetsuo: a man who wants to be a woman.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Shiro's and Shino's mother took the identity of her husband's lover after she killed her.
  • Death from Above: Due to the explosion collapsing the mansion, Shiro is crushed under rubble. Shiro at least gets to make a Dying Declaration of Love in the end.
    • The mansion has a couple of death traps that utilize this by having the ceiling come down on its victims. In-story we see many variations, mostly varying by time and circumstance.
  • 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?
  • Environmental Symbolism: During the village arc, Manji points out that the village statue seems to be getting more and more worn with time, making strange faces due to the corruption the village is faced with. After his murder, the statue appears to be monstrous, and it only got worse. After the arc was resolved, it mysteriously went back to near perfect condition.
  • Fake Pregnancy: In the opium village arc, Taichi has to pretend to be Tetsuo's pregnant wife since the villagers have them trapped and they want to get new blood from them.
  • Faking the Dead: Although in the beginning of the story we are told that Reiko drowned in the river, Reiko did not die and took on the guise of Tetsuo Sawamura.
  • Fan Disservice: The scene of Hanazono's naked corpse being found tied to the clock tower's hands.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Ultimately, Shibanmushi survived his long fall to the bottom of the clock tower, and became a quadruple amputee. He's in so much pain that not even drugs can dull it, and is now in the care of Tesla, who wants to run all sorts of experiments on him... at least until Marube shot him.
  • The '50s: The manga takes place in the early 50s.
  • Film Noir
  • Fingore: At one point, Shinbanmushi cuts off the fingers of a woman.
  • First-Name Basis: Taichi calls Tetsuo by his first name. Tetsuo at first only calls Taichi by his last name Amano, but he starts calling by name in chapter 44. Towards the end, Taichi starts calling Tetsuo by his true name: Akira.
  • 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.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Tetsuo steals a bike so he and Taichi can transport more easily while they're on the run from the law.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Tetsuo and Taichi for the most part. They are each other's best and only friend. Taichi has some amount of sexual attraction to him though. At the end of the series, the platonic part turns to romantic, and they become a couple.
    • 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.
  • His Name Is...: Just as Shirou is about to reveal Shibanmushi's name, his throat gets slit.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Two kids have died thus far and one was almost murdered.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Deconstructed. Hanazono wants to stand out in her job as a newspaper reporter to break through in a male-oriented society. Her fearlessness makes her go to investigate the ghost tower on her own, which results in her getting killed by Shinbanmushi.
  • Karma Houdini: Tetsuo and Marube.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Yamashina, when asked what he wants to do with the treasure, responds that he'd like to open a publishing company with stories that focus on societal "deviants". He mentions that by writing about those kinds of people in fiction, they'll start to get normalized in the public's eye and see those same "deviants" as people like them. He even says as much while he's looking straight at the audience.
    • At the end of the story, one police officer was looking into some mystery books and discovered that there were multiple "Ghost Tower" stories done by different mystery novelists, and also different versions of Marube and Onatsu in them. After learning this, Taichi and Tetsuo conclude that their Ghost Tower case is just one of many, and that maybe another time another Ghost Tower story will happen again, whether fictional or real.
  • Let Them Die Happy:
    • Tetsuo does this to Shirou by telling him that he loved him all along.
    • Taichi gives Yamashina the satisfaction of thinking that Tetsuo was male all along by pretending to be him as Yamashina dies.
  • Killer Cop: Jinbabue turns out to be Shibanmushi. He is able to manipulate the evidence in the case to point to Tetsuo.
  • Liar Revealed: After manipulating and blackmailing Taichi, Marube reveals to Tetsuo that Taichi has being cooperating with him behind his back and basically sold them off to him. This results in a serious fallout for Taichi and Tetsuo.
  • Like a Son to Me: The village elder's not actually Manji's grandmother, just someone who took care of him after his parents had died. She mentions that she took care of him as if he were her own kin. It gets weird when she reveals that her own child was sacrificed in exchange for thinning out the numbers in the village, after Manji's parents gave birth to him.
  • Locked Room Mystery: In the opium village arc, Manji's corpse is found in a locked room. Everyone assumes it was a suicide, but Taichi's knowledge of mystery novels makes him conclude it was a murder.
  • 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.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: In the opium village arc, since Taichi and Tetsuo are disguised as a married couple with Taichi as the wife, the villagers try to force them to conceive a child so they can get new blood in their village.
  • The Maze: There's an underground maze filled with booby traps beneath the clock tower's mansion and it's said there's one under the clock tower too.
  • Meaningful Name: Tetsuo means "Iron Hero", Satoko means "Sand Child", and Marube literally means "Round Pill Department". Reiko, Tetsuo's bith 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.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: Tetsuo tells Taichi about how one of his former partners ended up dead after falling into one of the dead traps of the clock tower in search for the treasure. Tetsuo asks Taichi if he still wants to be his partner despite this and Taichi readily answers he still wants to follow him. After this, Tetsuo starts calling Taichi by his first name.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: There are honest people who want to do the right thing placed alongside people who try but think selfishly, and people ho try to excuse their deplorable actions with For The Greater Good. A person with a clear and noble conscience isn't rare, but among the other shades of morality in the comic they stand out very much.
  • The Mourning After: Shiro's mother refused to remarry as she believed her husband was the only one for her. The same is true of Marube and his wife Onatsu, but that particular person takes it to disturbing levels.
  • Murderers Are Rapists: The murderer of Hanazono is suspected to be this. This is later proven wrong as she was still a virgin when she died.
  • The Namesake: The title appears to be a Title Drop for the ghost tower, but is also a Stealth Pun for Tetsuo. note 
  • Never Suicide: After the floodgate of the village was unlocked, the villagers found Manji's body in a storehouse with a nail driven through his chest. Initially they all thought that he had expected to be punished for it and due to village tradition the population had to be balanced, he took his own life in exchange for that of his grandmother's.
  • Nipple and Dimed
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Hanazo bears more than a passing resemblance to Audrey Hepburn, even as a Japanese woman.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Tetsuo uses the blood from his menstrual cycle to make Taichi think that he'd had his virginity taken.
  • Official Couple: Taichi and Tetsuo/Akira.
  • 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 and wants to have sex with his son, Tetsuo.
  • 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.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Taichi and Tetsuo have a fallout after Tetsuo finds out Taichi let himself get blackmailed by Marube and basically sold them off to him. This leads to Taichi finally growing some backbone and stop relying on others. This also results in Tetsuo admitting he had been manipulating Taichi from the start and their friendship was fake to begin with. However, the fallout of all these events culminates in the two of them becoming a couple at the end.
  • 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. It's played with in his case however, since he's a very valuable ally to Tetsuo and Taichi in other situations and often gives them information and advice that helps them keep their profiles low.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Taichi had told Tetsuo about his agreement with Marube earlier, he could have avoided their breakup.
  • Queer Romance: The budding romance between Taichi (a cis man with hints of genderfluidity) and Tetsuo (a trans man).
  • Sealed with a Kiss: The Official Couple Taichi and Akira/Tetsuo kiss near the end of the final chapter.
  • 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.
  • This Is Reality: "People's feelings are nothing like the feelings of the people you read about in your magazines, Amano-kun."
  • 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!)
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The village that Tetsuo and Taichi ended up in was small and decent, but it ran on the principle that the numbers needed to be thinned out (even if children were involved) in order to keep resources at an equal level, and that the village is going barren because of all of the opium consumed over the years.
  • Transsexual: Tetsuo, who 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.
  • Unreliable Voiceover: Tetsuo's narration of his friendship with Hideo had one clue left out; he says that he never told Tetsuo his secret, and he never knew about it. Hideo knew. He figured out accidentally when Tetsuo was unconscious. He just never said anything about it.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Incest: Marube is way too touchy-feely with his daughter. Later we find out he's not her real father, but that doesn't make it any less creepy. He also tries to convince his biological son to have sex with him later.
  • 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.
    • Lampshaded in the last volume where Amano finds various books the manga referred its plot to.
  • Welcome to My World: Proceeds right after the Armor-Piercing Slap Yamashina gives to Satoko. He tells her that she feels afraid and isolated in the mansion, filled with criminals and what society puts beneath them, and then points out (without having to point at himself) that people like him have to go through that uneasy feeling all the time.
  • 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 B.S.O.D. 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.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/Yuureitou