Oshiete! Galko-chan has come to the close of its first, and probably last season. Upon completion, I logged onto MyAnimeList, and gave it a rating of 6 (fine). A 6 is just that, fine. It’s not great, but it’s definitely not bad.
However, I ask myself, why do I keep on thinking about this show, days after I finished it? A slice of life high school comedy with an 8-minute runtime has no right to keep my mind this active. Before upping its rating to a 7/10 (good), I want to take a look at this show, and get to the bottom of what makes it good.
The obvious factor that comes to mind is the main character. There is no denying that Galko is extremely attractive. No, I am not talking about her “assets”. Her personality is exceptionally intriguing. Despite aesthetically appearing as your typical blonde popular high school girl, Galko does not fit that archetype at all. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and does only what she wants to do. From staying up all night watching anime, to defying the clique system of her school by composing her friend group with a quiet otaku and the class president, Galko is no ordinary girl.
So is the show good just because of Galko’s personality? Well, yes and no. The idea that Galko is more than meets the eye isn’t just my opinion, but is made evident in the show through other characters. I am going to take the time to focus in on the character Charao.
Despite being popular, generically handsome, and having a girlfriend already, Charao does not stop thinking about Galko. Almost every conversation he has with his friends centers around her. He looks at her not just with aesthetic taste in mind, but as an enigmatic person. His extreme attraction to her is a mystery he just can’t seem to comprehend.
This is made extremely evident in in the episode where Galko comes to school wearing a man’s shirt. Charao, despite having a loving girlfriend who he spends a lot of time with, feels immense jealousy towards a man he has not met. He makes the assumption that Galko, being a typical popular girl aesthetically, had spent the night with a man, and didn’t go home before the next school day. He ponders this jealousy the entire episode, unsure why it even exists. Eventually, it is revealed that Galko sometimes wears men’s shirts because they fit her better. This leaves Charao relieved; his friends find him sitting alone with a big smile on his face.
Charao, despite making assumptions about Galko, knew deep down that she was not that kind of girl. Therefore, his jealousy wasn’t a pure mindset. It was a concoction of jealousy and unconscious curiosity.
So, as you can see, what makes this anime good is not just Galko herself. It is the other characters’ ideas and responses about Galko’s behavior. The commentary and reactions we receive from the ensemble of her classmates serve as a lens to reflect the ideas and thoughts of the viewer. The viewer, by no fault of their own, but by the fault of mainstream media, is tricked to think that the blonde, well endowed high schooler is the typical popular girl archetype. However, Galko’s classmates fall prey to this assumption as well. Therefore, it adds a unique element of relatability to the show. This isn’t in the form of a particular character, but of a mass of non-developed characters. Oshiete! Galko-chan is one of the few pieces of media in which the non-development of characters is a strong suit. Through bland background characters that we don’t know much about, we can place ourselves in their position. The viewer essentially becomes a classmate of Galko, and views her from that perspective.
I would not call Oshiete! Galko-chan a genius show. In fact, I believe that all of what I have discussed is just analysis on my part, and has no authorial intent behind it. Oshiete! Galko-chan is a show that was created to be a typical high school slice of life comedy. However, it inadvertently did much more than that; it became good.