Those Years I Opened a Zoo

Alt title: Wo Kai Dongwuyuan Naxie Nian

Web (13 eps x 14 min)
3.679 out of 5 from 141 votes
Rank #3,379
Those Years I Opened a Zoo

After graduating, the poor Duan Jiaze inherited a private zoo. He signed a contract and welcomed Luya, Daji, Bai Suzhen, black bear, and other “animals”. Since then, he was so worried that he has been dreaming about customer traffic. Since then, the first zoo to implement a classification system has appeared, anyone under 21 years old cannot visit Luya. Since then, demons, ghosts, and monks from the previous era are seething. Many years later, Duan Jiaze and Luya initiated a dialogue at the annual meeting. Duan Jiaze: Luya didn’t even attend elementary school, he has been a jobless citizen wandering for thousands of years. Afterward, he found a job, that is, to be an animal at the zoo.

Source: NU

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I watched the donghua, then read the manhua, so I'll try separating my review between a donghua only and a comparation later. I have to say, I'm a hardcore person and I love criticizing stories that make me feel did not justice to the other versions, but please I heavily still recomend watching this donghua if you're into slow-burn bl romance and a silly easy to watch TL;DR (donghua review): Overall good animation and designs, and a easy to follow storyline. TL;DR (comparation review): I'm a whiney bitch and I feel like the donghua did absolutely no justice to the manhua story line and other characteristics; Recommend both regardless. (Kind of a TL;DR at the bottom too but ;P) The Donghua It has a pretty straight foward start, a guy whose random familiar passed away and left him his zoo, later a strange app auto-installs in his phone and he is now stuck maintaining and making the best out of this zoo. The Story: It's pretty slow burn, there isn't much development on it, it focuses heavily on the character and the app, though there's some break through with the side characters but not much. It's a slow-paced, simple to watch donghua/anime with a linear storyline, there isn't much side-stories that will not be mentioned in the future, but it's still really good. There's quite a lot of scenes where it alludes to a possible romantic relationship between protagonist and Luya, which I don't mind, I came here because it looked like it was possibly a BL and as expectec from stories from chinese origin what I got is exactly what I expected, a vaguely hinted at relationship that might be developed in the future. The Animation and Sound: I can't say much about it more than it was good, Not exaclty mind blowing but still good. Characters: Look I love ur average joe protagonist with no other remarkable characteristic as the next person, but here's where my manhua vs donghua conflict comes in; They absolutely threw all original designs that the manhua presented you with and simplyfied the characters to where it was just boiled down to basics and designed based on "How marketable and basic can we make this characters?". I will just say, they are good designs, really basic but nothing that absolutely burns my eyes. P.S: (in my opinion) the pervy brother obsessed with his lil bro absolutely did not pass the vibe check. Now, let's get to what matters here; Donghua VS Manhua "How ba-a-a-a-ad can I be?!" Absolutely awful fella. The Story: I have to say, there's no justice in comparing a ~150 chapters manhua with a 13 chapters donghua, but there's still a lot of side-stories and main-story plot points that where either completely deleted and not mentioned on the story or changed for absolutely no reason apparently. There's also added stories that weren't there in the manhua, which required for new explanations to be added in on the story, which would difficult the adding on of original stories on the manhua. I've seen a lot less development of the secondary characters, but that could be added on future seasons. There isn't really much I can whine about. Secondary point, The Love Story: They've also added a lot of what I'd call "fanservice" (don't think it's exactly that) where they added a lot of more hints toward the gay relationship between protagonist and the love interest, I can understand the reason as to why, I was also drawn in with the idea of "oh, there's gonna be a BL relationship here"" and I was fed with the faint BL, characteristic of chinese origin stories. I can understand why it's a faster developing relationship, as I'm not entirely sure if there'll be a second season and even in the manhua which will have a separately story for the relationship ended in a reeeeaaaaalllyyyyyy slow-burn between the supposed characters of the relationship, which started very half-through the story opposed to the donghua where it started since the very beggining. But it still, it feels heavily as a service to the fujoshi and fundashi part of the audience, hungry for some yaoi. I wouldn't be mad about it if it was given with the same stories the manhua had, but I can understand why they looked for a different approach on the donghua. The Characters: As I said before, they've taken all the originals designs, boiled them down back to the basics and re-designed them for what I think could be marketability or easier to be animated (maybe??). They took characters characteristic that would influate in the story-line, such as the protagonist pretty factor which is mentioned often on the story and took it entirely away (it's still a good design to look at but not for the characters in the story.) They've also changed some of the personalities, ever so slightly, like as mentioned the pervy brother obsessed with his lil bro is nothing but a normal brother on them manhua, could've been added for shock value and the look for more engagement from the audience, idk man at this point. Aaaaand, end of review!! If you got to here, I have to say, recommend doing any you'd like, I would prefer to watch the donghua if you're unsure of reading the entire manhua first or do whatever you'd like, we don't care [AS] . (jk) Still, I would say it's a good donghua in and on itself but not when compared to the story-line in the donghua.

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