I’ll admit, I binged this entire series in one night. And, surprisingly, I’m writing this review shortly after watching it so the show doesn’t all start to blend together in my head. Which is also why I’m going completely out of order and skipping talking about every anime I watched this year to talk about this one.
I first heard about this show after coming across a video that was basically titled “Why Galko is a good character and not just fanservice” (I don’t recall the actual name of the video). After watching a little of the video, I put the show on my “List of Anime to Watch Eventually” and promptly forgot about it. Cut to many months later, I look up this show on Crunchyroll on a whim, watch the first episode, realize each episode is 8 minutes long, and, as I said before, marathon the whole thing.
“Please Tell Me! Galko-chan” is a slice-of-life comedy following three friends in high school: Galko, Otako, and Ojou. Galko has long blonde hair, large breasts, and wears makeup, which often means that she gets called a “gyaru”, which (among many definitions) is a woman who is obsessed with fashion, looks, and being with men. Otako, on the other hand, is a smaller, geeky girl, and Ojou is a girl from a rich family who is both friendly and air-headed. Each episode tends to be based around questions posed to the girls, either by each other or overhearing the boys in class, and then branching off into a related plot. The questions tend to be lewd or perverted such as “Is it true that chaste girls wear white panties, but girls who mess around wear colored panties?” and “Can a girl have pink nipples, even though she’s tanned?”
While your first thought about this may be “Oh this show is just perverted and stupid”, it’s actually not.
While the topics may be pretty raunchy, the characters tend to be pretty straightforward and insightful about them. The comedy of the show comes from characters getting embarrassed when talking about certain subjects, or by character’s misunderstandings, rather than over the top reactions. And the characters avoid too far into the “creepy” category.
The characters in this story are its strongest part, which kind of needs to be the case in a slice-of-life show. All of the characters are multi-dimensional, and come across as feeling very genuine. Galko, despite her looks, is an innocent, kind, and motherly character. She gets upset when it’s joked that her large breasts wouldn’t be able to breastfeed a baby properly, and is immediately ready and able to help her classmates with any problems they have (such as chipped nails, bed head, feminine pads, etc.). Otoko, while nerdy and bookish, is the one who brings up many of the questions in the show. She does it mostly as a way to make Galko feel embarrassed, and because of some of her own insecurities. However, she recognizes when she goes too far and hurts her friend’s feelings. There are even a handful of classmates who get their time to shine, including their own quirks that make them special.
The whole point of the show is to teach a lesson. A lesson that comes across very well in the finale. It teaches that people are deep, multi-dimensional, and more than just their outward appearance. (Spoilers for finale) It’s revealed that Galko, Otako, and Ojou aren’t the girl’s real names. Galko and Otako are names that the girls jokingly gave each other shortly after they met, because they assumed that they were a gyaru and an otaku respectively. After realizing their mistakes, they became friends, and use the names as a joke. Ojou butts into the conversation afterward and asks for a nickname as well, so she is given Ojou (young lady), just… because.
“Please Tell Me! Galko-chan” is a good show. It’s a quick sit with good characters, good lessons, and discussion about sensitive topics without going into cringe territory where other shows usually would. Really, the simplest way to decide if you would like this show is to go and watch the first episode. It’s less than 10 minutes, and if you like it, you’ll probably like the whole thing.