Review: Please Tell Me, Galko-Chan!

Y-B-M-A, JOSHI JOSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

This opening song will be stuck in my head for a while. As I will certainly get around to discussing at some point soon, I’m a huge fan of shorter-episode-length anime shows (I generally just call them short-episode anime). This is one that piqued my interest in the Winter 2016 season, and so upon completing it, as I’ll usually do with all shows I watch, I wrote a review for it. This show isn’t special enough for me to really stand out as being the first one for me to review, but it was a recent show that I felt like not too many would be talking about.

An Introduction

The show centers around a small group of characters in a high school class. Most of the time, three girls receive the attention – these girls being Galko, Otako, and Ojou. Based upon appearances alone, I believe you can tell what’s so special about Galko: those assets of hers on her chest. Stepping beside that point though, the anime likes to ask some pretty important questions about life.

Some of the questions asked include “Is it true that girls with big boobs have big areolas too?” and “Is it true that virgins use pads, and non-virgins use tampons?” As you can tell, it’s mainly rumors and urban legends related to sex and other more taboo topics. This quintessential knowledge is wrapped up in a slice-of-life-esque show, showing these characters have fun with each other and have their friendships blossom.

As a result, this show a good go-to guide for dispelling a variety of misconceptions, or at least giving another interesting trivia fact for you to talk about at parties.

The Plot and Characters

Those that like to talk about these topics will probably get more of a kick out of this show, but that doesn’t mean that those who shy away from it won’t get anything out of this series.

The three main girls of this show each bring something rather different to the table, personality-wise. While the anime takes about a minute to name and describe each of these girls in every episode, I feel its descriptions aren’t really spot-on with what I got out of these characters.

Galko seems to be more of the airhead, talking about whatever comes to mind always two levels of volume louder than appropriate; Otako is smart – at least street smart – and kind of a bit more bratty; she usually picks on Galko in that lovable way friends do, but it seems more a shell to hide her own insecurities. Ojou is… just kind of there? Confused, maybe? Confusing, I guess. If it weren’t for the fact that the anime tends to use her in jokes where she is mishears stuff, I’d almost classify her as the smartest of the bunch. Honestly, the final episode of the show nails down pretty well who these girls are and what they mean to one another (along with giving that always welcome backstory as to how they all met). That episode shows their relationship to a T.

Part of me feels bad in saying that the show “uses” Ojou to make jokes, but unfortunately, that’s kind of all she’s there for. If she’s not in a scene to be the punchline or otherwise involved in a joke, she’s usually just not there at all. It honestly just seems like Ojou was there to round up the “me and my two best friends” cliché that we see in media. In general, it almost feels like the characters are all just used so the writers can make jokes; while all of the characters do have at least some semblance of a coherent personality, I kind of feel it wouldn’t be wrong to say it seems the punchlines were written before the rest of the scene.

Beyond just Galko, Otako, and Ojou, sometimes we get to see three other characters (or Galko and two other characters) receive a lot of the focus for an episode. There’s the boys Charao, Otao, and Supoo, who are honestly just stereotypical anime boys (always talking about girls, their breasts, and oogling over them), although Supoo is interesting at times. There’s also the girls Okako and Nikuko, who seem a bit cardboard-cutout-like at first, but the show has them subvert tropes where it feels like it to make a joke; for example, Nikuko, despite being one of the most overweight girls in the classroom, is super-fast and thus dubbed “Sonic Meat” by the boys. It’s interesting to see more of the members of Galko’s class get attention, but I wish these characters were slightly more interesting.

This show isn’t not entertaining, but it’s not… not not? entertaining either. It honestly is a bit more of a mixed bag, depending upon the episode, but it honestly only made me actually laugh maybe once or twice throughout all 12 episodes. Perhaps it’s my sense of humor not really gelling with this show’s too well; it did take me a few episodes to “warm up” to this show, if you will, before I even really saw any entertainment out of it at all. I wouldn’t say I regret this experience, – it really is not all that bad – but I do feel like I could’ve found a funnier short-length anime to watch this season.

The Atmosphere

Throughout the entire series, there was one thing that always… bugged me about how the characters looked. About how everything looked, really. It took me some time to figure it out: all the line art is done in blue. I don’t really get why they decided to make it this way; I don’t really see any reason why so… I tend to enjoy line art being in different colors, but even so… it didn’t always strike me as good. However, it really isn’t bad-looking either; honestly, it does make this show stand out. Generally, all the colors in this, while feeling a bit weird and jarring, don’t feel out of place.

Overall, moving away from the line art and color work, this show honestly is pretty alright in terms of quality of art and animation. I won’t say I’m the biggest fan of the character designs, blue color notwithstanding, and the animation quality isn’t going to blow anyone away either, but it is pretty serviceable to what this show is: a comedy focused upon its words more than its actions. While we could’ve gotten something that looked a few notches better than this, we definitely could’ve also seen something a heck of a lot worse.

The show’s background music tends to rely upon the comedy/slice-of-life staple of inoffensive piano music interspersed throughout the episode, and, well, it honestly is inoffensive. It doesn’t particularly stand out in any way, good or bad. It kind of just feels like it’s there to put music there. It’s serviceable, I guess. The show’s opening theme, “YBMA Girls”, is super energetic and cheerful though, and it’s bound to get stuck in your head by the time you finish the series. The opening animation usually feature snippets from the previous episode, while a narrator gives us brief details about the main characters; the animation/song will last anywhere between 20 seconds to a minute.

When it comes to the voice work, I feel that Otako’s voice is done perfectly, so here’s a special shoutout to Miyu Tomita. The other voices used here feel alright, as none of them don’t feel out of place, but they don’t feel like they’ve really improved the character by themselves either; they fit the show fine.

Final Remarks / TL;DR

Please Tell Me! Galko-chan is hard to put down in a single sentence. It’s a comedy anime about high schoolers sharing “rumors” and tales that they’ve picked up, or otherwise just fitting the mold for what they need to be. This show had some amusing and nice moments, although it’s likely its humor was just wasted on me, as it tended to talk about more mature topics than I usually care to think heavily about. I can’t say I regretted my time watching it, but I probably won’t return to it again for a long while, if ever at all.

For recommending this show, it’s something that you’d have to try for an episode or two to see what you think. It’s humor may work a bit better with other people, and so some may really get some enjoyment out of this, while it may also cause some other comedy anime fans to turn away from this show. I’d say to give it a try if it sounds interesting to you, but if you decide to skip it, I won’t blame you.

Rating: Average
Recommendation: Give it a Shot
+++ Otako is entertaining, opening song is energetic and addictive, Galko also has her fun moments
— everything Ojou, humor just didn’t gel with me too much, supporting characters could’ve been more interesting

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