This is my first review, so I'll try to be as clear as possible. I apologize for my weird English, and I hope that it will be helpful for some of you.
Yuureitou is probably one of the rare manga I instantly fell in love with. Litterally. So my review might be biased, but I hope it'll make you want to read this manga.
Story - 10
The plot of Yuureitou is really outstanding. I cannot say much because that would be spoiling it,but there is everything,and the story isn't only focused on one place,which is a great thing,because you never get tired of it.
There is no
repetition, every event is unique. Also,the chapters aren't on the same scheme all the way. That's the strong point of the manga.Althrought there are lots of element it the story, there isn't any inconsistancy that could ruin the whole thing. I really enjoyed the 53 chapters I read so far. There wasn’t any time when the story felt like going slower, which is the case in a lot of manga of mystery genre. There were also some fun parts, even when the situation was terrible. The action scenes are really intense and the inquiries are full of rebound.
Art - 9
The art in Yuureitou is outstanding and unique. I've never seen something like this in other manga of that type. It's a realistic type of art, and not only the characters, but the backgrounds are also truly amazing.
Character – 9
Yuureitou story is essentially centered on Tetsuo, which is the most important character in the story. There is a lot of mystery around him mostly because of his past, and his personality is quite weird. He can be really nice, and then become really selfish and cruel. Also, he is really smart, and resolves most of the situation on his own.
But, the other main character, Taichi is probably as interesting as Tetsuo. Why? Because if at first he seems to be a good for nothing and to be used to emphasize Tetsuo’s charisma, he evolves during the story. At first, he is a real coward, and only let Tetsuo solve the problems, but then step by step he starts to think on his own, and to try to help Tetsuo, the other characters or even himself.
Supporting characters have also quite a good developpement. Maybe we know more about their past that about Tetsuo’s or Taichi’s. That’s why I didn’t rated it 10 here, because I want to know more about them. (even if Tetsuo’s past is actually what guides the story…)
Enjoyment – 10
As I said already, once I started to read it, I fell in love with this manga. It had been a long time since I saw something as good as this thing. I mean, everything is really catchy, and I don’t have any problem re-reading it several times, which isn’t the case with all mangas. I really want to see it’s end but, on the other hand, I don’t want it to end. I think that my first reaction was something like “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE BEST THING I EVER READ” (actually that’s not the best thing I ever read, but nevermind, I was in my fangirling mode so I can say whatever I was), and I think that it will be the reaction of most of you who are going to read it.
That’s why the last thing I want to say is: Go for it! You’ll regret it if you don’t,and have a great time if you do !
The story itself was fun to read along. The pacing is great, and the mysterious are enjoyable.
I love the art style, it's unique! Not only with character art, but the art of buildings and whatnot is very well done.
A cast FULL of LGBT characters, that are well written, enjoyable, and interesting. Transgender characters represented well (despite a few overly-sexual-nude images but that didn't bother me much, and I'm transgender).
If you're looking for a manga with great LGBT representation, then this is the one you'd like to read. Not only does it represent the characters well, but makes it CLEAR that LGBT individuals are just like
The villain is absolutely disgusting, but absolutely encapsulating. The main cast has a wonderful dynamic with eachother and other characters.
Even though I enjoyed the beginning of the series quite a lot, I'd have to say that the end was very disappointing. Yuureitou starts as a good drama, with lots of mistery. It is written so well that at some point in the chapter you jump of your seat. However, there are little hints of what the story becomes: a fairy tale for trans with MANY MANY abuses of hentai. I'll be blunt: if someone wants to jack off during an exciting reading, I doubt they want to suddenly jump off because there was some freaking scary part in the manga. I didn't like the
way the author combined certain topics. It would have been reading Tetsuo's development without seeing her in such sexy poses. I even think that it's offensive for women who want to become guys. But I'll just say there's a great drama in the story.
Yuureitou is a manga that’s hard to find fault with.
The moment you start reading, you’d notice the art is off the charts. Unbelievably good looking. Furthermore, the author uses it very well to create atmospheric scenes.
Secondly, the writing is excellent. The premise is interesting and the plot around the premise works well. There are many interesting characters that are likely to invoke a strong emotional response on your part and they do grow causing you to change your opinions. Almost all of them have personalities and personality quirks which are almost impossible to find in mainstream manga like this and I was very impressed to
find them here.
So we have a manga with strong art, story, and characters…isn’t that basically everything that makes a manga? Well, there are much more nuances than that, but it doesn’t make a difference because Yuureitou often gets those too.
Long manga (of which Yuureitou can be counted among) often have a problem of ‘wandering plots’ in which the main plot lose focus in favor of numerous subplots that merely moves the story along in no particular direct. Yuureitou suffers from this slightly, but manages to overcome it for the most part by keeping a fluidly changing story. That is instead of keep a single goal/point that remains the same the entirety of the story, the author changes the goal/point repeatedly.
That’s uncommon, but a big positive. Manga has a habit of keep a single narrow focus through the entire story, but by sidestepping this, Yuureitou adds realism and works to keep the story interesting without making it seem like it’s losing focus.
Even when the manga goes far out of its comfort zone, it does so extraordinarily well. Yuureitou is a very drama heavy manga veering into horror at times. At one point, the manga tries its hand at comedy for several chapters and you’d think it would be bad at it considering everything else…except it was hilarious. I found myself laughing repeatedly. That blew me away.
If there is any negative in this manga, it’s that the author sometimes likes to jump ahead in story a bit too much without smoothly transitioning making things seem a bit abrupt. One quickly catches on or is able to form an educated guess, but that shouldn’t be necessary.
Still, in the face of such overwhelming positives, a small thing like that can easily be ignored. Yuureitou is, for the most part, one of the most perfect manga I can think of. Complex story, excellent art, amazing characters, and everything is tied together well.
Overall, I highly recommend this manga and it would be an enormous shame for anyone to miss it.
"This tower is full of criminals, murderers, and sexual deviants. As an ordinary person, you're the weirdest among us all."
I’ve just finished re-reading Yuureitou, and its entertainment value for me still remains at a 10. Everything, from the art and insane characters to the way the story is told amazes me. Yuureitou is not just a mystery revolving a clock tower; it’s also a story on gender identity and how sexual deviants (transgender, homo) belonged in ‘50s Japan.
There’s the main overarching story: the clocktower mystery. Then, there are multiple arcs that consist of intriguing adventures
the main characters go through. These mini adventures are quite unique in the sense that they’re not something you’d expect from a manga. They fit so well with the setting that you can tell the author has done his research thoroughly. There’s always an awareness of time and history with each adventure.
While Yuureitou showcases many dark issues that characterize this society, it strays away from the typical overuse of violence. We get to see the mindset of the criminals, and their background + motives don't fail to entertain.
After the main mystery is resolved, the rest of the manga dedicates itself to flesh out its main characters and resolve their loose ends. It’s a sharp 90 degree turn in the mood, as the topic of sexual deviation overtakes the story. It gets a little whacky and wild, but these last chapters don’t disappoint, since they accomplish the job of closing in what has been built up throughout the manga.
Before I re-read Yuureitou (after one year), I was able to vividly remember two characters because of their uniqueness: Tetsuo and Marube. Here’s what I think of them + others:
-Our MC, Tetsuo, is the star of the show. He’s the guy that’s interesting right from the get go. Tetsuo’s cunning, intelligent, and charming. Just like the overarching plot, many mysteries surround him. He appears flawless at first glance, but as the story transpires, you see his weaknesses and insecurities clearly.
-Marube is one of the baddie characters. He’s perverted and downright mad, but the way the author presents him and his story makes it hard to hate him. While difficult to empathize with the crazy side of him, Dokurou is still an intelligent character whose reasonings behind his actions make sense.
-The other MC Amano is the typical wussy that ultimately changes for the good. The readers see how he, a “normal” person, perceives social deviants and his acceptance of them. Most of the story is seen through Amano.
-Mystery killer ‘Shibanmushi’ is the main antagonist of the clocktower mystery. Nothing about him intrigued me much, but we do get to see his character developed with his frequent encounters with Tetsuo. Even though Shibanmushi is the antagonist of the overarching story, imo Marube’s perverse character overwhelms his presence.
The art: There’s no cringey over exaggeration of facial expressions that plague a lot of anime and manga, so that’s an A+ from me. Putting that aside, the first thing you’ll notice when you begin Yuureitou is that the backgrounds and semi-realistic art style are fantastic. The author really knows his anatomy; this fact is particularly important as the story often showcases some grotesque display of corpses, humans in the wake of death, and after failed plastic surgery
I suggest you to give this a try if you’re looking for a more serious mystery to dwell upon, or if you’re curious to see how a manga approaches the transgender topic.
A rating of "9" might seem like a generous score for a story that left me with a mounting confusion right up until the very end, but that only goes to show how immensely meaningful the experience of Yuureitou was for me. I'd like to preface this by noting that I, myself, am FtM, and that I dived head first into this manga the second I heard that there was an explicitly transgender lead, but although I was enthusiastic to see a trans man as a protagonist I'm not a believer that "any representation" equates to "good representation." If I find fault with something, I
won't go easy on it just because it's inclusive. Hopefully that indicates that the opinions I formed aren't too biased.
The biggest thing you HAVE to know about this manga is that Tetsuo is respected for who he is. It is absolutely imperative that you know this before you start, because at the beginning, it's not completely obvious that this will be the case. In fact, if you're familiar with just about any form of media involving FtMs out there, you might think that he won't turn out to be trans at all. You might think that, just like almost all potential FtM characters out there, his feelings will not turn out to be valid. You might worry that, yet again, a trans character's gender dysphoria will be magically cured by a makeover or a bland compliment about their "true" feminine energy. That is not Yuureitou.
Yuureitou is a manga that pretends to be that trope. It pretends to have a straight male protagonist, it pretends that Tetsuo is just fanservice to a niche, it pretends that the MC is only attracted to Tetsuo's body. And then, after pretending it's not a love story, it becomes one of the most stirring gay romances I've ever read.
The manga makes a serious effort to be grotesque. I'm a fan of the grotesque, so naturally I was pleased. Its visuals were a perfect fit for what it was trying to be. Somewhere in between Tokyo Ghoul and I Am A Hero, it had a card for every shade on the spectrum between sexual, psychological and pure horror. Its characters always seemed to have an expression hidden behind an expression. One of the characters is just... Every kind of creepy. Which is less my thing, but bearable, since all the other characters hate him too. Its environments were well-presented and oppressive, although I had no idea that the story took place in the 50's until a few volumes in.
Initially I thought the story was going to be a series of monster-of-the-week type adventures with only the two main characters, Tetsuo and Taichi, as the unifying variable between them, but gradually it revealed itself as one long, sprawling plot, centering around Tetsuo. Knowing that it was all ultimately connected made me much more amicable towards the left field developments each new chapter invented for me. I think if I were to go back and reread them with the knowledge I have now, I would enjoy them a lot more than I did.
Even still, Tetsuo, Taichi, and their relationship remain my favorite aspect and my greatest motivator for another read. Taichi in particular is an interesting character for me because I wasn't entirely convinced I was going to like him by the start. He was marketed as your milquetoast "NEET" protagonist, but that is hardly how his character is presented. The only relevance his "NEET" status plays is in a practical decision mentioned much, much later in the series, and a pretty cute initial bonding moment between him and Tetsuo. He's dorky and nerdy, but not in a chintzy way. He never goes on long, annoying rants about his hyperfixations. He is self-aware and open-minded and good just for the sake of being good. I'm still surprised and delighted by how genuine he felt, actually. Tetsuo, in contrast to Taichi's more optimistic disposition, has a cold, secretive, and inscrutable side. He has irons in the fire. There are things that need to be done and he's got the balls (ha) to try to do them, or die trying. There are times when he's around Taichi where he cuts loose, and underneath his exterior he is actually a loving person, but he has spent his life crafting a persona to manipulate a society which denies him and it shows.
When it comes to Tetsuo's transness, there are a few glaring flaws that mar an otherwise perfect depiction. It's mentioned in the manga that he takes HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy, testosterone in Tetsuo's case), but it's pretty obvious that the mangaka didn't know how testosterone affects the body. Tetsuo remains voluptuously curvy (and is thereby exploited for fanservice, which I firmly believe lies at the fault of the publisher and not the author), doesn't grow any obvious hair, and after being off them for a period of time, he even redevelops a "feminine" pitch to his voice, which... just... Does not happen. But the personal, psychological aspect of his story, his journey through transition, his depression, his oppression, it is all... Amazing. Realistic. Relatable. There's a point where he objectifies his own body to separate himself from it mentally, which is absolutely something I did before I had the means to transition. It is worth it for little details like that.
At the end, Tetsuo still a man. He doesn't give up, because Taichi doesn't give up on him. Taichi respects him and his identity, and sometimes that's all it takes to save a life. That is the moral Yuureitou will leave you with.
Both daring in how it pushes for social issues and clumsy in how it marries them with the thrills of horror and mystery, Yuureitou is pulp through and through. If one has even the slightest place for spooky mysteries, then this series is an essential, and wildly enjoyable trip.
A brash explosion created and populated by self-proclaimed pulp obsessives, the manga takes place in the golden age of Japanese mystery literature and positions this mass creation of the unknown as simply a reflection of an unknowable world. There are ghosts and ghouls (or are there?) and murderers abound, and everyone has a secret, a trick
which allows the reader to be in a constant state of unease. Nobody is free from suspicion. But the secrets they all hold are also what connects everyone, what traps them all in this world of unending horror.
And those secrets are that the characters of Yuureitou aren't who they say they are. They are not a man, or a woman, or straight, or sexually active, or a horrible ghost monster. The manga explicitly tackles gender politics with a zeal, the cast populated by confused LGBTQ+ individuals. Throughout the main mystery of the series, characters try to 'solve' their gender identities and their perception of other non-binary people. But, as with their attempts to discover the secrets of the mysterious clock tower, they only ever seem to find more layers, more confusion. They traverse literal mazes while hunted by deranged killers, paralleling their scared wandering through gender and the threat that what they were is dead, and what they are can not survive.
The blending of mystery and horror with gender dysphoria is interesting and gutsy. Unfortunately, while Yuureitou tries and succeeds in many aspects to discuss gender politics and promote a more open and progressive society, it falls face first just as much. The characters are deplorable in their society; they are degenerates. And while on one hand the attempt to mirror this with a world full of crime makes sense--society accepts neither and views both as beyond saving which in turn makes the characters question their own goodness--by positioning almost the entire cast as both non-binary or queer AND criminal, the manga trips over its own message, equating LGBTQ+ people to killers and monsters. This is clearly unintentional, as Yuureitou desperately pushes for acceptance and understanding in the confusing struggles of its characters, but is an awkward reality of the manga all the same.
Furthermore, through much of the manga when the transgender male character is sexualized as female, it is specifically through the prism of other characters who often are struggling with their own identity. This is great and creates nicely complex moments. The characters can't simply turn off their own sexual desires or the mores forced onto them since birth like a switch. However, the title pages almost always ignore the character's identity and insist on falling back on tired, sexy poses. This is bad. When outside of the narrative, the manga leers and creeps and ignores its own message, becoming another piece of the oppressive society weighing down on the cast.
As a final note, the manga for whatever reason steps back from some amazing paneling as it progresses. The first volume in particular is filled with astounding sequences which quickly focus in on the smallest of character reactions or brief flashes of memories which create some of the honest to god best horror scenes in any manga ever. There are pages in Yuureitou that should be used in schools to teach visual storytelling. By the end, Yuureitou largely neglects this style and whether this is a thematic choice (their secrets aren't hidden anymore) or a practical one, it is a bit of a shame.
Yuureitou is like a storm. Loud and violent and inevitably messy, striking down trees and turning the ground to mud. Storms have potential to be good or bad--they can destroy and hurt, but they can also provide water that is desperately needed. Of course like most everything, they're never really just one or the other, and neither is Yuureitou; a good-hearted, hurtful, hopeful, gross, storm of a manga.