Zoo Academy is a high school webcomic that focus heavily on themes of gender, race, sexuality, and coming of age. It's about inhuman and criminal kids trying to fit into society, despite that society looking down on them.
In this world humans live along side Utrumque (people who aren't human), with the biggest group of Utrumque being Bifera (humans with animal traits). While some Utrumque are accepted, Bifera are all hated. They're segregated as much as possible, can't go into certain stores and restaurants, and can only attend one school: Animali Academy. Somewhere in rural Australia the only school for Bifera is located, it's oversized and underfunded but it's the only school that will accept Biferas. However, even in a school made for inhumans, humans still rule. Kids with criminal records end up at this school as well, alongside all the Utrumque. The staff doesn't care and the students are delinquents, but it's the only hope for education some people have.
The story follows young Bifera, Charlie Hokkaido, through his life at Animali Academy, along with the lives of his fellow students and some staff members. Even though he lives in a cruel world, Charlie is kind and tries to see the best in things, while his older brother Acid sees the worst and just wants to protect his little brother from harm. Zoo Academy is a coming of age story not only for Charlie but for many other students like human criminals Hitoshi and Gabe, Coco the cat Bifera, and Charlie's best friend Dhoe, a reindeer Bifera. Each character has their own story to tell, human or inhuman.
You can read the comic here. Please we warned that Zoo Academy contains strong language, violence, mentioned past abuse, drug use, nudity, and mentions of incest, rape, suicide, and murder.
This comic provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: Characters sexualities, genders, disorders, and more can be found on the Zoo Academy tumblr page.
- Beast Man: Many of the characters are this.
- Call a Human a "Meatbag": Some Biferas call humans 'pure breeds' and 'no furs'.
- Cast Full of Gay: Most of the cast isn't straight.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Hitoshi and his brothers Hiroyuki and Hikaru (red, green, and blue in that order).
- Color-Coded Characters: Each character has a certain color they're most associated with. Most notably are Hitoshi (red) and Acid (neon green).
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Hitoshi and his brothers are color coded. With Hitoshi being red, Hiroyuki being green, and Hikaru being blue.
- Coming-of-Age Story: The story is this for many characters, though mostly main character Charlie.
- Crapsack World: The world of Zoo Academy is horrible, if you're a Bifera that is. It seems like everyone has it out for Biferas and there is only one school they can attend.
- Dude, She's a Lesbian: Aracia's sexuality was reveled after fans started shipping her with Charlie (a boy).
- Fantastic Racism: Utrumque (inhuman people) are treated very poorly by humans, but the inhumans who get the worst of it are Bifera (part human part animal).
- Fantastic Slurs: 'Feral' is considered this by many Biferas.
- Furry Webcomics: Technically it's a furry comic, as many characters could be considered furries (though not all of them).
- Girl Posse: Gabe, Emily, and Kiki, or as they're called by the author, the Flavor Trio.
- Guy Liner: Many male characters wear eyeliner, most notably Hitoshi.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Many of the characters are examples of this trope.
- Incompatible Orientation: Charlie and Aracia started being shipped together, but then it turned out that they were both gay.
- Little Bit Beastly: Many of the characters have animal ears and tails. Sometimes they have other animal features.
- Same-Sex Triplets: Hitoshi and his brothers, Hikaru and Hiroyuki.
- Ship Tease: Fire and Hitoshi wear each others shirts and act somewhat like a couple.
- Smoking Is Cool: A couple characters are seen smoking.
- Sucky School: Animali Academy might just be the worst school on the planet. The staff are either cruel or uncaring, the students are mostly delinquents, it's severely underfunded, and is practically falling apart. Not to mention you have to pay a fee so they'll make sure no one kills you while attending.