Those Years I Opened a Zoo - Reviews

Alt title: Wo Kai Dongwuyuan Naxie Nian

LailanD's avatar
Oct 8, 2020

I really loved this anime a lot. Lu ya and Duan were so adorable together!!! I think this anime should go very famous and reach billions (or at least thousands) of likes and hit popularity in Best Chinese anime. I enjoyed it really too much, and I hope there comes a season 2. Nothing more to say, this anime is best for anyone, just watch it if you haven't

loved you lu ya x duan! btw, does anyone know where can I find the manhua to read? <3

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
10/10 overall
trapanrot's avatar
Aug 27, 2022

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.


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.

7/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
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