Newman’s Nook: Galko-Chan is Not Who You Think

Please Tell Me! Galko-chan (Oshiete! Galko-chan) is a short-form anime series based on the manga of the same name that follows a group of three high school friends, Galko, Otako, and Ojou. The focus is primarily on Galko who everyone in school seems to know everything about. Galko is considered beautiful by most of her classmates, wears short skirts, and has large breasts. She also periodically wears low cut shirts when not in uniform. Her classmates including Otako, initially make many assumptions about Galko. They assume she’s sexually active. They assume she’s been with older men. They assume she’s primarily focused on herself and her looks. They assume quite a bit and it’s all entirely wrong.

Galko loves to cook. She’s fiercely defensive of her friends. She loves anime, devouring entire series sometimes in a night – keeping her up into the wee hours of the evening and making her late for school. She’s incredibly kind and open/honest to a fault.

She is also sexually inexperienced and not really interested during the entire run of the series, of pursuing sexual activities. Any sexual innuendo or overtly sexual situation she puts herself into are generally innocent or unintentional. Over at Anime B&B, Marina describes this well:

On the surface, Galko-chan herself looks like some creator’s masturbatory fantasy of the unattainable. On the surface, that is…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…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.

Galko seems blissfully unaware at times of the thoughts of her classmates, but we the viewers are not. We know what they’re thinking. We know they are thinking of her in a very biased fashion based purely on outward appearances. Yet, outward appearances do not define the whole person.

Often we make snap decisions about another person merely based on superficial things. We based it on the way they dress, the way they speak, or the way they look. We base it on one perceived piece of information we have about said person, then sometimes run with it in our minds creating a fictionalized version of the person. This is an inherent bias we all carry and it’s both dangerous and wrong.

I am an Evangelical Christian Dad with four kids. I am also an engineer. Outwardly, there are assumptions people immediately make about me based purely on those pieces of information alone. They assume me to avoid certain forms of media. They assume I would avoid certain types of music. They assume I act a certain way. When I do not adhere to the biases they have in their minds, it shatters their preconceived notions of who I must be, much like what happens throughout this series as the characters become closer to Galko.

While the series pokes fun at those who have these preconceived notions and use them for humor in the series, they can be dangerous in life. Let’s not sugar coat it, this is prejudice plain and simple. Be it based on a person’s race, gender, or outward appearance – there is no place for prejudice or hatred of this kind in the world. As Christians, we are not necessarily called to be color blind and pretend we are not different from each other. However, we are boldly called to reject hatred, bias, and prejudice based on the background, appearance, or nature of other people. Merely because a person is different than us, does not mean we must hate them, create false narratives about them, or gossip.

The gossip is what spreads the most in Please Tell Me! Galko-chan. I could point to various verses in the Bible about gossip (or OpenBible can), but instead I’ll just call us all to do our part. We all come in contact with inherent biases of others. Help break them by reminding people that we are all individual and unique. We are not defined by one, singular thing. This tapestry of humanity is filled with people of various interests, backgrounds, ideas, colors, and genders. Assumptions hurt. Let’s stop assuming. Instead, let’s ask the question of “Who are you” and get to know people better as the individuals they are. You’ll be happier that you did.

Please Tell Me! Galko-chan (Oshiete! Galko-chan) can be streamed legally on Crunchyroll

Warning: Please Tell Me! Galko-chan (Oshiete! Galko-chan) includes explicit and frank content in conversations between characters.


6 thoughts on “Newman’s Nook: Galko-Chan is Not Who You Think

  1. There seem to be a few series this season pointing the same direction (Gamers! and it’s versio of Galko-chan, Tendou Karen, comes to mind) – an important reminder for us all.

  2. Thanks for the shout out! Have you also watched the YouTube review by BestGuyEver? He does a fantastic job discussing the show, and specifically focusing on Otako’s character.

    Despite loving these types of lessons, I still struggle myself with judging others on appearance alone, and as you point out, sometimes even on profession. My husband is an engineer and when spending time with his friends, I catch myself assuming that they won’t be interested in certain topics or hobbies just because of the discussions they hold on their careers and related news.

    1. Very welcome. Thanks for the well thought out review. I have not seen that review, but may have to check it out!

      We all do. We have inherent biases that make us assume things about others. Always. My wife and I are both engineers with advanced degrees. We have both seen our share of people making assumptions about us based on our education. I’ve had friends who assume a person with an advanced degree is “too smart” for religion. I’ve had a coworker say they just did not expect me to act the way I did, as friendly as I did, because I was an engineer and they were expecting something else. I’ve had people confused when they hear about some of the shows I watch after knowing I’m a Christian. Or they assume they need to avoid certain topics. I know, I’ve done it around others too.

      I sat down not that long ago with some of my brothers’ friends. Me, a married, heterosexual Christian who’s generally more conservative on certain political issues. Him, a homosexual atheist who works for a left-leaning political action organization. We talked. We talked about a whole host of things and despite coming from very different viewpoints, when you have a conversation with someone wildly different than you (and even when you talk about those differences), you are reminded that we are all just people. And people are complex creatures never defined by merely one, single aspect of themselves.

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