Oshiete! Galko-chan – Series Review

Galko - Galko talks to Okako and Ojou

Galko, Ojou, and Otako in one of their many discussions

winter15-highw Most short series don’t get a review around here, usually because there just isn’t that much to talk about. But sometimes I just want to say something about a show, and I’m a blogger here, so I’m gonna say it. And Oshiete!, Galko-chan is one of those shows.

Busting Stereotypes

Galko - The three boys

The boys always have the wrong impression of the girls

That’s pretty much what the whole point of Galko-chan is. The characters are formed up in fairly broad stereotypes, but the show then proceeds to break down what you usually think of them. The main characters are Galko, the shiny blonde, big-breasted, tanned Gal; Otako, the small, nerdy, somewhat judgmental girl who likes reading and anime; and Ojou, the slightly ditzy, well-meaning rich girl. While the show gets around to the beginnings of their friendship in the last episode, the main theme of the show, at least through the first half of the series, is the solid friendship between these three, especially Galko and Otako. The main dynamic between the two of them is Otako expounding on some topic and Galko reacting to it, sometimes changing her behavior in reaction, sometimes showing that she already knows.

Galko - Galko's social justice

Despite getting close to this kid (done to make the mean girls teasing him jealous),
Galko’s not one to be overly touchy

But the main thing that the show does is make everyone a darn good person. Galko has a reputation behind her back from the people who don’t know her as this ‘typical Gal’: sexually active, stupid, mean to other people, overly obsessed with looks and herself. The truth is almost anything but. Galko is the one who always helps out other people, who is always concerned with fairness and being a good person. She’s also got the same concerns as other people, and accepts a lot of ribbing from Otako, especially about her boobs. And whenever someone interacts with her, they end up learning about her great nature.

Positive Body Image

Galko - Nikuko and friends

Nikuko is just another girl in class, nothing noted about her except being good at sports

A great thing that the show does, from beginning to end, is promote positivity about body image. There are characters of all shapes and sizes, both boys and girls, and almost no body shaming. Even Nikuko, a girl who has a pretty stocky figure, is only referred to positively, about attributes like being fast. And they say that she’s an indoor soccer (futsal) player, with nothing but admiration for that as an activity. That’s the way the whole show is. Any time someone tries to give anyone else a hard time, it’s contradicted immediately. Just a good lesson of positivism throughout.

Galko - Ojou is the advanced one

Ojou is apparently in the advanced class of no applicator tampons

The other really notable thing about the show is that it doesn’t shy away from some very personal subjects, especially ones that women talk about. From Galko’s misconceptions about constipation to discussions of pads and tampons and period pain to waxing of armpit and pubic hair to troubles trying to buy bras, the show really doesn’t shy away from any topic. It really lends an air of authenticity to the show and gives a nice little window into what at least some women might talk about without men around.


At 7 and a half minutes per episode, Oshiete, Galko-chan! isn’t the biggest time investment, but it’s also not a super short show. That gives it enough time to let us get used to the characters and really appreciate the things they’re talking about. It might be the kind of show I’d like to see more of, but from what I can tell, it’s used up all of the material they have from the source manga, which it follows almost exactly, so it would probably be a while before there’s more material for the series. But I’ve really enjoyed the series, enough to vote it #1 a couple weeks in the Anime Power rankings. Some might think that’s an indication of weakness among the other shows, but it’s really just how highly I think of the show and how much I enjoyed it. Plus, a show can’t go wrong with Mamiko Noto doing the voiceovers in her singsong voice.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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9 Responses to “Oshiete! Galko-chan – Series Review”

  1. skylion says:

    Short productions are hell in the making sometimes. There is only so much time to get things done, and that could be seen as a detriment.

    Only not here…not even close.

    • Highway says:

      The source is a really short manga (just a few pages each chapter), so it’s used to getting things done in a short amount of narrative spaces. It really works for the things it attempts, getting quick hitting topics with a humorous telling, and importantly to me showing the underlying personalities of the characters.

      I really hope that the manga continues and that they’ll do another series sometime in the future (the anime is much easier to look at than the manga, which tends to look like someone’s colored pencil drawing in their spiral notebook during class).

  2. Overcooled says:

    I was pretty surprised at the topics this show covered. Usually girls in anime are forbidden from even saying the words “period” or “nipple” let alone discussing it at length. That would ruin the moe vibe. But here, the girls are real people talking about things real girls discuss. (Well, they take it to funny extremes sometimes, but the gist is there). My personal fave: Galko admitting to putting sugar on her butt after eating spicy food 😀

    Now that you mention it, there was a ton of body positivity too. Man, what a nice show.

    • Highway says:

      We’ve seen some other shows try to take a look at some topics like this, some seriously like Chuu-Bra (and let me point out that the iffy optics of a 40+ year old man watching a show talking about teen girls getting their first bra was not lost on me at all), and others as a joke like SYD, but none of them managed to get that feel of authenticity like Galko-chan did.

      I’ll admit that I softpedal my description of “this is what women really talk about” because even for a guy as whipped as I am, there are discussions that women have with men in the room and discussions that they won’t have with men in the room. But I’ll take you as more of an authority on it. 🙂

      I think that the show did a really good job “punching up”. If there was a joke about someone’s character or someone’s looks, it was at the expense of the person who made an assumption about that person. I think one of my favorite parts was Galko wanting to buy that bra that didn’t come in a larger size, and having the saleswoman commiserating with her about it, then later the same salewsoman calling out to her to say that the company made the larger size.

      And they did do stuff to show that Galko wasn’t just unrelentingly nice, like when she used her sister’s expensive wax to do her armpits, in retaliation for her sister borrowing Galko’s school uniform for sexplay with her boyfriend. That part felt super authentic to me, just the kind of thing that sisters who care about each other, but are still their own people, would do.

      • skylion says:

        iffy optics of a 40+ year old man

        Well there is a narrative buffer between you and the television program. Plus I’m not a subscriber to the instant bullshit of “where there is smoke there is fire”; a not-so-truism substitute for genuine thinking if ever there was one. Having said that, I think it’s important that everyone can appreciate the narrative of just about anybody. Teenagers, or in this context teenage characters, have important things to say about themselves, and need to have such things said for them in the case of entertainment. When you you think about it, that’s more than half of what anime is about…Fiction is an awesome vehicle for that. So…no, not iffy optics at all.

        • Highway says:

          The use of “optics” is never about the reality of a situation. It’s always about the impression given to an outside observer, usually someone who is predisposed to give the least benefit of the doubt and most antagonistic reading of a situation. The content of a show like Chuu-bra is something that, honestly, everyone should be interested in. Guys, you should *want* the women in your life to wear a properly-sized bra. Apparently, less than 1 in 4 women actually do, and of that 1/4, it’s probably luck that half of them get the right size. I’m not saying that guys should go out and evangelize to women about it (because nothing says “creep-o” faster than accosting random women about their bra size), but it’s something that would be good to know about.

          So I agree that there’s no reason *not* to watch a show like Chuu-bra or 12-sai (one I’m looking forward to this coming season), just acknowledging the fact that know-nothings would look askance at such a thing.

  3. Wanderer says:

    This series was surprisingly adorable. Despite some of the subject matter that regularly came up, it still managed to fall under “cute girls doing cute things.” This is a cute story of the friendship between three girls who are viewed as stereotypes, yet who all break from their molds in significant ways: including just being friends in the first place.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    I will miss this hidden gem of winter! It never had any dull episodes and I can totally see why they went for a short series versus a longer one or it’s probably a case of not having enough manga material to work with? Either way it was great!

    Season two when? Soon I hope <3

    Random note the original creator retweeted my artwork on Twitter LOL.

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