Inej (Amita Suman) in 'Shadow and Bone'

What Is the Menagerie in ‘Shadow and Bone’?

It’s basically an evil furry’s paradise.

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If you happen to be morally bankrupt and you’ve ever wanted to get down with an anime fox girl but can’t because, well, they aren’t real, then the Menagerie from Shadow and Bone is the perfect fictional vacation spot for you. It’s what people in the old days used to call a bordello. A House of the Rising Sun, if you know what I mean. You know, a wink-wink nudge-nudge what happens in Ketterdam stays in Ketterdam kinda place?

You still don’t know what I mean?

It’s a BROTHEL. I was trying to be DISCREET but you have FORCED MY HAND. How is anyone supposed to do anything MORALLY QUESTIONABLE in this world if YOU keep forcing people to say what they really MEAN instead of using clever EUPHEMISMS. I bet you don’t even buy WEED unless someone specifically calls it “marijuana,” do you?

So yes, the Menagerie of Shadow and Bone is a brothel. One of the finest in the city of Ketterdam. It’s owned by Heleen Van Houden, and it is simultaneously a very nice place and a very NOT nice place. It’s nice because it’s luxurious. It looks like a two-story cage and each of the windows has bars that are gold. It has fine silks and satins and animals skins, and everything else a little nerd like you would need to actually cut loose for once and indulge in sensual pleasures. However, it is not a nice place because many of the girls working there are being trafficked.

Heleen Van Houden bought many of her girls from slavers, and often strips them naked in front of God and everyone in order to “examine” them before she makes a purchase. Other girls come to her willingly, yet she functionally makes slaves out of them, too. Helen makes them sign a contract of indentured servitude, and also makes it nearly impossible for any of her girls to ever make enough money to actually buy themselves out of that contract.

So really, it is only a good time for furries who have no moral compass whatsoever. But why furries? Well, that’s because Helen makes the girls dress up like animals in order to keep with the “theme” of the place (i.e., animals in cages). The girls are not known by name, but rather by the name of the animal they are dressed as. The girl from Fjerda is known as “The Wolf” and wears silvery wolf-like furs. The Shu girl is known as “The Serpent” and wears scales. The Zemini girl is known as “The Faun” for her large, dark eyes and the cloak with little ears and white spots that she wears. It’s all seriously creepy. There’s a whole—for lack of a better term—menagerie of “animals” that work there, and each one has a tattoo of a peacock on her forearm to identify her as an “employee.”

So, moral of the story: don’t go to the Menagerie. It’s like a zoo, but somehow WAY worse.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Image of Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.