Yorozu lives at Castle Mango, a "love hotel" where couples pay for a few hours to themselves. But his quiet life is violated when Togame arrives to shoot an adult film! Soon Yorozu's being "mistaken" for an actor, having his pants suddenly removed and watching his little brother get hit on. Togame eventually agrees to stay away from Yorozu's brother, but there's a catch - and it's not something Yorozu's going to like!
I thought this manga was very well written and had some great characters. I wish it was a bit longer, but I think I am still fairly pleased with how it ended. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for yaoi with more of a story & content (and not just sex scenes). I was also pleased that the characters were more realistic and not easily divided between that "uke & semi" thing that seems to be big in yaoi. Each character had their own personality, which added to the story. I feel that the book also had a lot of powerful themes.
Like heartbreak, loss, and the ability to accept what other people may not approve of. The art is also great!
Living in a love hotel doesn't give other people the best impression of you, especially when your aspirations are to succeed the management of that hotel. But it's not until the gay AV director, Togame, enters the scene that things become especially problematic for Yorozu. Watching Togame hang around his younger brother Satoru, he decides to take advantage of an opportunity and manipulates Togame into keeping his distance from Satoru. But Yorozu may have bit off a little more than he can chew.
Although the premise may seem a little extraordinary, Castle Mango is a delightful because it makes itself so realistic and believable. The romantic
development is subtle and sweet, and along the way it develops the main characters, explores them, and fleshes out their backgrounds. For how short it is, it manages to use each scene effectively. The only disservice it does to itself is its length—the ending felt like it came too soon when everything prior had been properly paced. That said, it's worth every moment spent reading it.
Yorozu is a peculiar person who might be described by relatives as unfriendly, unapproachable, and uncooperative. In comparison his brother is cheerful, easy-going and light-hearted. The appreciation and almost preferential treatment that Satoru receives gives Yorozu a particular complex about himself, as well as the mistaken belief that everyone prefers Satoru over him. This has made him stubbornly independent and unwilling to rely on others.
Togame, in comparison, seems cold and distant at first, yet he has a gentle kindness about him. Contrary to Yorozu's initial impression, he's actually quite discerning about other people and his motives for approaching Satoru are far less conspicuous and shady than it might at first seem.
The development of the two as separate characters, as well as the romantic development between the two is so satisfying. Castle Mango recycles typical tropes and uses them innovatively as motivation for the characters to learn some lessons that they desperately need—communicating effectively with other people, relying upon other people, and cherishing that which is important to you.
Although not the masterpiece it could have perhaps been, had it been lengthened enough to provide a more satisfactory ending between the two after such incredible build-up, Castle Mango stands as something of a diamond in the rough in yaoi genre.
The concept of the story is nice, but seemed a poorly executed. It felt rushed, and there tended to be a lack of suspense during the series. In saying this though, I know that there are people who absolutely adore this manga... so it really comes down to personal preference.
What impressed me was the route that the author took in some of the circumstances. I remember begging Konohara in my mind to not go for the popular route at one point, and she didn't so I was really pleased with her decision. However, in saying that, my celebration was extremely short lived as I
was left with a stark feeling disappointment by the end of series and each plot point. There was just no tension.
Both the manga artist and author are definitely worth keeping an eye out for in the future. I think Castle Mango demonstrates that each of them have the skills to lay the bones for a good piece. But, there is a lot to be improved on before then imo.