[Review] Please Tell Me! Galko-chan

“Galko: A bit sharp tongued, but a good natured, popular girl in the class. Her hobbies are watching movies and cooking.

Otako: Likes to be in the corner of the class, bus she’s somehow friends with Galko. Her hobby is messing with Galko.

Ojou: An airhead who hangs out with Galko and Otako. She has multiple hobbies.”

(“Is It True You’re a Gyaru?”)

I know I’m late to the game, but my recent viewing of the 2016 show Oshiete! Galko-chan made me realize that I still have a long way to go in trying things outside of my comfort zone. Initially, there were several factors that convinced me that this was not a show that would interest me. It’s a short with only seven minutes per episode. The titles and subjects are questions frequently sexual in nature. On the surface, Galko-chan herself looks like some creator’s masturbatory fantasy of the unattainable. On the surface, that is.

In reality, that image is exactly what this show is all about. We’re supposed to relate with the characters’ misconceptions about each other, starting with Galko-chan. The stereotypes that exist for understandable reasons are displayed then picked apart. Once we take the time to really get to know them individually, our assumptions start to feel hasty and at times completely backwards. Just look at her: that hair, that tan, that makeup–she’s obviously a shallow bimbo who cares only about herself. Except that’s wrong on all fronts.

As mentioned earlier, the show formats itself around a series of questions like “Is it true that people with big boob have big areolas?”, “Is It True that You Can’t Help Moaning?”, and “Is It True You’re Scared of Holes?” The questions sometimes sound too ridiculous to take seriously, but many of them come from honest curiosity and coincidences. For most of them, Galko steps in as our answer. Every single person who makes a groundless assumption about her is surprised at how kind, caring, and open she is. While others are busy making up facts about her, she goes about her life trying to make every moment a happy one for herself and those around her. As more of her peers are confronted with their biases and mistakes, the more they learn to get along and focus on the things that truly matter to them.

That such powerful lessons can be imparted in this limited space full of misconceptions speaks volumes of the care put into crafting the characters. Since I was able to watch the series all in one go, the shortness of the episodes never seemed a weakness. Perhaps I would have felt differently had I watched this week to week, but I think the strength of the writing would have carried through regardless and my opinion remained the same. If, like me, you were deterred by the synopsis and visuals, then I strongly encourage you to try the first couple of episodes before making up your mind.

Rating: 1 dango


*Rating system:

  • 0 dango – average and forgettable.
  • 1 dango – very good in its category.
  • 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
  • 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.

“Is It True You’re a Gyaru?” Please Tell Me! Galko-chan, written by Suzuki Kenya, directed by Kawaguchi Keiichirou, Crunchyroll, 8 Jan 2016.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “[Review] Please Tell Me! Galko-chan

  1. It’s a great show, no doubt. It even offers a bit of dramatic side, as Charao hopelessly falls for Galko, but does not want to betray his girlfriend. Most of the charm points are transferred directly from the manga, of which I have several volumes (a mixed bag of originals and localizations).

    Like

    • I did find it interesting that Charao showed so much interest in Galko despite having his girlfriend. I do happen to know some couples who are open with their significant others about the occasional crushes they’ll have on others and never pursue, and I feel a similar vibe from Charao.

      Like

  2. I hope I had an influence in this one, because Galko-chan is one of those shows that everyone should take a look at. I like the message of busting up people’s prejudicial impressions, and liked the way they did it for everyone, not just Galko. Characters like Nikuko and Okako break their stereotypes as well, and everyone learns more about everyone else when Galko is around. I also like that it’s not just the issues with misconceptions of other people based on image, but also deals with people’s own anxieties, like Otako’s worries that she ruined her friendship with Galko through a joke that hit too hard.

    And I think that the TMI nature of the questions and discussions is also a really good thing, even if it’s superficial and maybe a little bit inauthentic. This is one where I can’t really say what kind of discussions teen girls have, but it seems like there’s probably not enough discussion of constipation or pads vs tampons, or body differences in the world, mainly because those are embarrassing subjects and nobody wants to appear like they don’t know things. So having a show actually talk about those things is likely to help people both with information and with opening up about it.

    So thanks for reviewing and recommending such a good show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You most certainly did! You had recommended it to me a couple of times in the past, and I felt it was high time I follow through on it. I also looked up some other reviews of the show, and really liked the YT video by BestGuyEver (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91GukQP7kG4). All of the characters are represented in nickname by their stereotypes, and it is indeed fun to see how they fit and then break those roles.

      The TMI aspect you point out is an interesting one. I do remember the middle school years where I was painfully embarrassed by every little thing and too shy to ask my peers, much less any adults, about sex education or other touchy topics. It would have been great to have a laid back mentor who could explain things in a natural way that didn’t feel like “education” or “lecturing.”

      Like

  3. […] También es sexualmente inexperta y no está realmente interesada durante toda la duración de la serie, de perseguir las actividades sexuales. Cualquier insinuación sexual o situación abiertamente sexual en la que se pone es generalmente inocente o no intencional. En Anime B & B, Marina lo describe así: […]

    Like

Let's talk:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s