Length: 1 Volume
Allegiance: Comic Cue
Mangaka: Enomoto Shunji & Chikazawa Chuya
Intelligence Agency Report by: Phate
Suzuki Zoo isn’t your everyday zoo. Sure, it has animals and tourists, but the animals that live there are different. In fact, they all have the appearance of humans for faces, except for Grandpa, who has the luck of being a toilet. To add to this, all the animals, whether they are a snake, giraffe or elephant, are part of one big happy family.
|Field Agent Report by: Djudge|
|(not an average)|
|Senseless depravity can invade any sort of title, even one with as unsuspecting a name as The Family Zoo. For under the surface of the light-hearted artwork lies a pool of preternatural filth and debauchery that would horrify even Lovecraft himself. At first glance, this manga seems to sport a clean and wholesome enough premise that would probably be targeted at the youngest of readers. However, as per my earlier warning, this zoo quickly degenerates into shock entertainment that immediately and violently burns out all sense of innocence (and ultimately, purpose) out of this manga.For the first couple of pages, The Family Zoo starts off feeling like some sort of surreal sitcom of sorts in which a family of animals (consisting of different species and even a toilet to boot) runs a small city zoo. Like every normal family, each of the members have their own idiosyncrasies befit their position. For example Dad’s a workaholic, the eldest son’s got a penchant for porn, and the two youngest children squabble over space and possessions. Normal enough for any reader, that is, until the mangaka decide to show the unsightly functions of Grandpa the toilet. Not only do they show Grandpa’s function’s in over-the-top detail, but the sight of human face on a toilet bowl in that certain situation… well, that just equals wincing and probably some involuntary gagging. Certainly a victory for the shock department, but believe me, it isn’t this manga’s last. The next few pages are dedicated to bringing down all sense of sanity and dignity as we have themes of incest, fratricide, and even a shot of poorly executed irony at the title’s conclusion making their way onto Family Zoo’s pages. What could’ve been a mediocre yet directed children’s one-shot turns into an obscene and strangely constructed manga clearly for mature audiences. Suffice it to say that this particular piece should’ve stayed on one path rather than trying to go for the shock value seeing as how the finished product’s two faces conflict so violently.Convoluted story planning aside, I have to say that this one-shot sports some really clean artwork that is very appealing visually to the children’s crowd (which again, only adds to the madness that is The Family Zoo). Character designs are nice, clean, and easy to follow and the backdrops are quite simple in construction with simple detailing that once again make overall panels easy for youngsters’ eyes to wander around the page. That is, if youngsters were ever able to get their hands on this horribly deceiving manga to peruse through at will. Strangely enough, the looks that provide this piece with a childish atmosphere likewise stab the reader in the eyes as soon as the on-page action turns NC-17.
This exercise in perversity had its moments where it was actually funny, but that was mainly due to the absurdity of the characters’ dialogue combined with the shameless acts they were engaging in each of the panels. The humor works, but only slightly and even then, you’d have to be a complete crackpot to call it hilarious. There just isn’t enough depth in this one-shot thanks to the sex-jokes and toilet humor (no pun intended). If you ever come across this manga in any sort of manner or situation, do yourself a favor, run away, and never look back. Yes folks, this manga is worth more physical exertion than turning the pages and taking the brunt of a full-on exercise into the lewd and obscene. The Family Zoo is that damn bad.