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Manga / Oumagadoki Doubutsuen

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Oumagadoki Doubutsuen (lit: Oumagadoki Zoo) was a manga serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. Klutzy high school student Hana Aoi wants to prove that she is more than a good-for-nothing and decides to find a part-time job. Her dream is to interact and take care of animals, so finding a job at the zoo seems like the perfect place. She happens to find work at an isolated and run-down zoo that never gets any customers. The place is run by a man named Shiina, who was turned into a rabbit by a spirit and will only turn back if his zoo becomes the most popular one in the world. Because of this curse, he has also gained magical powers, which he uses to turn all of the zoo animals into a Little Bit Beastly humans during closing time. Now they have various adventures as they go around attempting to make the zoo popular.


The first published work of Kohei Horikoshi though the series sadly only lasted through July 2010 to April 2011 before it was cancelled, but did reach a conclusion and at least gained five volumes. Characters from the book would later be transplanted into My Hero Academia as minor supporting characters, albeit with different roles (i.e being animal themed heroes rather than be animals that can turn into humans). The gesture would later be seen as a return favor interestingly enough, as the last volume of Oumagadoki published a reprint of the latter manga's inspiration, My Hero.


Oumagadoki Doubutsuen provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Chita.
  • Adult Fear: Not even small children are safe from being cursed by vengeful ghosts. The curse in question also causes the recipient to have to go into total isolation from other people for their own safety, cutting off ties with any family they might have, again regardless of age.
  • Affectionate Nickname: After she saves him, Igarashi starts calling Hana "my lady". It's meant both as this and a show of respect.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Kasai loves Uwabami, who likes Shiina, who doesn't seem to notice anything he doesn't deem "interesting".
  • All Your Powers Combined: Shiina's ability in the one-shot. Unfortunately this did not carry over into the serialization, but that's probably for the best. In chapter 36, he gets this power back. Shikuma also demonstrates this power.
  • Asshole Victim: While the curse definitely sucks, it is only inflicted upon people who abuse animals.
  • Bad Boss: Both Isana and Shikuma, though Isana was much worse.
  • Badass Longcoat: Isana has one that sort of doubles as a Shapeshifter Weapon: It turns into his whale tail which seems to be able to change size and the fin apparently can be used as a blade.
  • Battle Couple: Uwabami and Kasai in chapter 16 against Ikkaku and Devilfish. Possibly Dholaki and Tekka Maki against Chita and Oogami, too.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Shikuma showing up and being revealed as the real director of Yatsudoki Circus. That's when the arc really hit the fan.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Shiina was the first person to ever refrain from berating Hana for her klutziness, then follows it up by saying, "We need you here". Previously she'd been considering leaving, but upon hearing those words she immediately decided to stay.
    • Even when he's yelling at her for her so-called "assassination attempt" (actually just tripping and crashing into him), he never calls her a failure. And when he rescues her from the men who are kidnapping Igarashi, he congratulates her for completing her in-service training.
    • The whole zoo could almost be counted as this as well. They're willing to point out her mistakes, but are much kinder about it than any humans have ever been.
  • Berserk Button: Don't EVER try and hurt one of Shiina's buddies. You'll regret it.
    • Attempting to skewer, inappropriately touch, or otherwise harm Uwabami will earn you the wrath of Kasai. Not even the ocean is safe.
    • Mentioning Isana's failure to become completely human again is also likely to get you ground into dust.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Everyone in the zoo is quite kind, but they will not hesitate to strike back when properly provoked.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Kasai, when he's angry.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Shiina may be a complete goofball with no social skills, but he knows how to bring the pain.
  • Body Horror: The process of changing back to human from one's cursed animal form is completely randomized, leaving, for example, Shikuma with a bear's snout on an otherwise human face, and Isana with the right side of his head completely distorted by his remaining whale genes.
    • Unless Shiina manages to turn back all at once as may be implied, he will also suffer this as his transformation progresses.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Sakamata, apparently. It fits since he's an orca, the "gangster of the sea".
    • In Japanese, he has a Nagoya accent.
  • Butt-Monkey: Hana gets this quite hard.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Shiina's "Rabbit Peace" move.
  • Curse Escape Clause: All three of the cursed humans (Shiina, Isana, and Shikuma) will be freed if they each create a place for animals to be loved by humans. However, there appears to be a hidden requirement further complicating the deal, in that if the cursed human in question lacks love in their own heart, the curse will not be fully lifted. This is prominently showcased in Isana, who has fulfilled his terms to the letter but remains part whale thanks to how cruel he is to his animals, while Shiina, who hasn't even come close to fulfilling his, is slowly starting to change back into a human because of how much he cares for others.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Uwabami shows very light shades of this towards Shiina after she develops a crush on him.
  • Combat Tentacles: Devilfish's fighting style. It's utilized in one of the creepiest ways possible.
  • Comedic Sociopathy
  • Commissar Cap: Byakkov sports one.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Shiina.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Sure they look like freaks, but Shiina, Isana, and Shikuma have freaking super powers, man! Also, there are probably plenty of people who could love them...
  • Cut Short: Stopped at 37 chapters. Going by the spoilers, Shiina is either just suddenly back to normal or it was just a flash of his human form like what keeps happening throughout the series.
  • Death Glare: On several occasions.
    • Shiina to anyone who threatens those he cares about.
    • Isana, once he drops the nice guy act.
    • Kasai to Ikkaku. Especially notable since he had just been blinded, but still managed to pull off a glare that made Ikkaku, who had previously been winning their duel, completely falter and drop his sword.
  • Declaration of Protection: Kasai towards Uwabami in the aquarium arc.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: After Isana is beaten, Ikkaku takes over as the new director of the aquarium and extends an invitation for the zoo animals to come back and visit sometime.
  • Determinator: A good number of characters, notably Shiina, Hana, Kasai, and Shishido.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sure, Shiina had been hurting rabbits, but he was a little boy who probably didn't understand exactly what he was doing. Instead of simply reprimanding him, the rabbit ghost chose to inflict him with a powerful curse. Shiina notes to Hana that he's been in that state for at least ten years. Granted, it had the desired effect of teaching him to love and be kind to animals, but still.
    • Averted with Isana and Shikuma, however, who were both adults and very much knew what they were doing.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: To be free of the curse, one must really work for it, and be a good and caring person to boot.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Not all of the animals become human...namely the giraffe and Kameda. This is also the usual result for Shiina's All Your Powers Combined form.
    • The guys at the aquarium have this even worse.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though he's not truly evil, even Sakamata has contempt for how Isana treats the animals at the aquarium.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everybody at the zoo calls Shiina "Director". Same with Isana and Michinoke.
  • Everything Is Even Worse With Sharks: Or at least it might've been if he didn't get killed off immediately...
  • Faux Affably Evil: Isana is most dangerous when he's pretending to be nice.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Sakamata's fighting style generally involves swallowing his victim whole. He also does this to anyone Isana thinks is no longer needed. This is also part of the explanation he gives to Shishido during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • Isana does this (thankfully offscreen) to a moray eel worker who collapses from exhaustion.
  • Full-Name Basis: Shiina only ever refers to Hana using her full name, Aoi Hana.
  • Genre Shift: Started out as something of a comedy and became an action series. It only took about seven or eight chapters instead of 62.
  • Gentle Giant: Kasai (rhino) and Kisazou (elephant).
  • Giant Flyer: Takahiro, who is capable of carrying several hundred pounds of weight when he flies.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Downplayed with Takahiro, who wears headphones and is one of the more subdued residents of the zoo, but isn't antisocial.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Oogami and Chita are able to use Tekka Maki's amazing speed against her by causing her to ram straight through a reinforced plexiglas wall and into Dholaki, taking them both down.
  • Honor Before Reason: Ikkaku the Narwhal attacks his partner Devilfish after he sees Kasai try so hard to save Uwabami because Kasai's love outweighs his own pride, making Kasai the winner of their duel in his eyes.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kasai and Uwabami. It's made even more clear just how much bigger he is than her when he's holding her after winning his duel with Ikkaku.
    • Shiina and Hana as well, at least in terms of height. She just barely comes up to his shoulders, if that.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Devilfish towards Uwabami. Somehow his stuttering just makes it all the more creepy.
    • Attempted Rape: Surprisingly, the manga doesn't make much of an attempt to sugarcoat what he intends to do to her - he actually uses a special secretion of his to make it so that she can't struggle and get away from him before carrying her off and saying he's going to "do nice things to this snake woman". Fortunately, Kasai literally broke down the wall before he could get very far and Ikkaku finished the job by severing Devilfish's tentacles.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Every cursed character's motivation.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Shishido is so obsessed with being the boss because he feels weak for being unable to become king of his pride.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Ikkaku the narwhal, whose sword is his tusk in his natural form.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Shishido's reason for fighting Isana. "That guy is trampling down if I take him down, then by the transitive property, I'm the boss! Algebra's awesome!"
  • Insistent Appellation: An interesting case where Isana apparently bothered to give his animals names but then insists on referring to them only as their respective species. This is done to dehumanize and subjugate them, but it ends up being his downfall when doing it too many times causes Sakamata to turn on him rather than save him.
  • Interspecies Romance: Many. Some of them canon, horrifyingly enough. Leads to Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: The curse suffered by Shiina, Isana, and Shikuma causes each to turn into a humanoid version of the ghost animal who cursed them. Respectively, they are a rabbit, a whale, and a bear.
  • Karmic Death: After Isana's defeat at Shiina's hands, Sakamata throws him into the ocean to die.
  • Large Ham: Shiina, good Lord. Ikkaku gets this during the aquarium arc, and Shishido has a couple moments as well.
  • Made of Iron: Shiina, who can survive being smashed into the ground repeatedly with the tail of a sperm whale, and be thrown through several buildings repeatedly.
  • The Mafia: While similar syndicates do appear now and then, Ushimitsudoki Aquarium looks a whole lot like this. It doesn't help that Sakamata apparently has a Brooklyn accent.
  • Manchild: Shiina, due to being cursed at a young age. This somehow stunted his mental growth.
  • Mighty Glacier: Kasai, Kaizou, and Isana.
  • Mysterious Animal Senses: Aversion. Several of the animals are shown as having strange abilities (such as Uwabami being able to sense heat), but each of these are things that actual animals do.
  • Nice Hat: Shiina has one that he's only worn twice so far (once in a flashback when he found Shishido in Africa, the other to hide his features when going into town with Hana to promote the zoo).
  • No Social Skills: Shiina, by virtue of the fact that he's been cursed since he was a child. Most of the animals seem to not quite understand human interaction values, either.
  • Oh, Crap!: On several instances, usually right before someone's ass is kicked.
  • One-Winged Angel: Isana's full cursed form.
  • The Power of Love: The reason Isana can't get back the last remaining bit of his human appearance is because he lacks this. Hana soon comes to believe that this the reason that the ever-unpopular Shiina is able to get back any of his human appearance.
    • This is also what causes Ikkaku to forfeit his duel with Kasai. He's so impressed by the depth of Kasai's love for Uwabami that he immediately declares that his own convictions stand no chance against it.
  • Psycho Rangers: Ushimitsudoki Aquarium. Possibly Yatsudoki Circus.
  • Punny Name: Oumagadoki, when spelled with the character for "demon" is an alternate spelling of Oumagatoki, "the time when demons meet".
    • Also, every one of the animals' names are either pretty poor puns or outright mean whatever animal they are. Averted with Takahiro, whose name means "hawk" when he is an eagle.
  • The Quiet One: Kasai. His thoughts are quite articulate, but a combination of shyness and simply not wanting to speak keeps him silent most of the time. In fact, the first time any of the characters hear him speak is when he screams Uwabami's name while going to save her from drowning in the ocean.
    • No Indoor Voice: Interestingly, despite the above, he tends to yell more than actually speak on the rare occasions when he decides to say something. Though to be fair, all of these have been in very desperate situations where the yelling was justified.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Isana was willing to put up with a lot, but Hana's "The Reason You Suck" Speech on the heels of a long line of failures by his minions pushed him to begin truly trying to kill her and her friends, especially after his disfigured face was revealed to them.
    • It takes a while to build up, but being called "Orca" in lieu of his actual name one too many times causes the ordinarily composed Sakamata to snap and scream, "MY NAME IS SAKAMATA!" at Isana while literally stomping on him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sakamata gives one to Shishido, which is soon tossed back at him.
    • Hana delivers an awesome one to Isana in chapter 21.
  • Rhino Rampage: Kasai averts it by being a rhinoceros that is rather quiet and shy. It's still not a good idea to piss him off, though.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Sakamata, once Isana is beaten.
  • Secret-Keeper: Ikkaku for Kasai, concerning the latter's feelings for Uwabami. Ikkaku very graciously does not reveal just how Kasai managed to defeat him, though Uwabami is suspicious nonetheless.
    • Hana does this, too.
  • Serious Business: Games and contests, even ones that technically don't exist, are very serious issues in Shiina's book.
  • Shown Their Work: The author obviously went through alot of trouble putting in facts about wild animal physiology while incorporating their behaviors with each character's personality (Kasai's trigger-happiness and tendency to charge due to his poor eyesight, Shishido's aggressiveness towards the director resulting from male lions' natural desire to find a pride and kick out the dominating male, Gorikon's tendency to act on his anxiety by pounding his chest, etc.)
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Kasai for Uwabami, to the point that he apparently has a subconscious sense for where she is at all times. Uwabami seems to have the hots for Shiina, though. And let's not forget Suzuki and Toytoy...
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Dholaki/Dholak and a couple others.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: At the end of the Aquarium arc, Sakamata gets revenge for what Isana has done to many of their fellow aquarium residents and leaves him to die, helpless and begging for mercy.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: RABBIT BITCH-SLAP!
  • Weak, but Skilled: Oogami.
  • Wham Episode: Shishido's introduction.
  • Who Will Bell the Cat?: Even though Shiina's been living at the zoo for years, he refuses to clean up after the animals and usually just has them do it themselves. Once Hana comes along, however, cleaning duties (including picking up poop) are immediately delegated to her.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Isana does this to Fuka before the guy even fails him in some way.

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