Hajimete no Gal
(My First Girlfriend Is a Gal)
I can’t really remembered what prompted me to watch this show. I am, in general, not a big consumer of the “ecchi” humor styles of shows (despite the Monotogari series being on of my favorites), but I watched nonetheless. Usually a friend of mine watches these more often and I think I figured: “What the hell, I’ll see if I like it and tell him if I think it’s any good. And I came away liking it more than I thought I would, which surprised me.
“Gal” (Gyaru)seems to be a Japanese pop culture term that reflecting a certain fashion aesthetic. Dark tans, bleached or dyed hair, lots of make up, fancy nails, and non-traditional fashion. The (Gyraru) term seems to have originated out of a 1970s brand of jeans. However, while being a term for a fashion subculture, meanings have a way of changing and being warped depending on the observer. “Gal”, while referring to a general way of dress, has also taken on (at least in this show) to imply that the wearer has looser morals than other girls.
And we come to the show’s premise: A “loser” type of guy ( Junichi) ends up dating a “Gal” (Yukana). Junichi actually asks Yukana out after his friends set him up by putting a note in Yukana’s locker to meet him after school on his behalf. In the thought that Junichi might not remain a virgin if he dates a girl like Yukana, he asks her out. She accepts.
And that’s where the show starts out. It is ecchi…there are boobs…lots of un-naturally chesty high schoolers.
These are definitely on the ridiculous side.
The overall story follows the development of Junichi and Yukana’s relationship. It is going from the surface to something deeper. What Junichi finds, and I am happy that he does, is that Yukana is a person. Someone with greater depth and kindness who is actually a bit conservative with her affections (despite teasing him every so often). Yukana is very self possessed and isn’t going to even kiss someone who isn’t serious about her.
So what we get with this show is somewhat less ecchi comedy, but more of a high school rom-com. There are the ecchi elements that are to be exploited to be sure, but I felt the point of the anime ended up the development of a more mature relationship between the two protagonists.
This does lead to some confusion I guess…What did this show want to be? An ecchi comedy, fan-service-a-thon, a harem, a rom-com? It kind of attempted to be all things and so never became as good as it could have been I suppose.
The big issue I have with this show was oddly not the ecchi fan service….
It was with this fucker.
While Junichi’s friends were kind of annoying, this character was repulsive. He likes little girls…he is very vocal about how he likes little girls…the joke is that he’s a future sex offender. That shit isn’t funny. Normalizing pedophiles is not funny or good. Sure, everyone around him in the show comments that he’s not right, but he’s there to be some bit of comedy. It’s not funny.
Attention Parents: This show is ecchi. Heavy fan service. Lots of skin (although no nudity). There are many sexual jokes. There is also a sex predator. You have been warned: do as you will.
This show wasn’t spectacular, and not my usual style of show to watch, but despite this I still enjoyed it. I liked seeing the development of a real relationship between Junichi and Yukana and seeing Junichi’s vision of Yukana evolve over time. The fan service is just kind of there…the supporting characters are just kind of there…the art is decent. It was the relationship for me. Give it a look.
Until next time: Happy viewing!
I think the creepy friends were basically the “devils on his shoulder” bad-friends, which comes off as humor but are often the people whose advice must be ignored or avoided. What I liked about that show is that it kept violating the expectations of the typical rom-com, and jumped up and down on the tropes to crush them. The lesbian friend, the surprisingly chaste Yukana who I found remarkably consistent with her affections for the guy, despite belonging to a known-slut subculture. The show was about violating tropes, about breaking expectations. And that’s where the comedy came from, and its better moments. It probably would have been better with less ecchi-boobs, and fewer upskirt crotch-shots, but this is what they chose to do, and Japan is a weird country.
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I would agree about what you said about the friends. I found them to be largely un-memorable characters, but you are right: they were there to tell him the wrong thing to do. I still have a problem with the sex predator: that’s just not good comedy.
I also agree that they kind of challenged a few tropes by humanizing the characters (mostly the female ones) in ways that I didn’t expect initially and was pleasantly surprised by.
The pedo friend was also my largest problem with the show. Especially when the one friend got him a job at a daycare (!) when they needed money for the beach trip. Gross.
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Yes. I agree.
I know it was an attempt at humor on the author’s part (I guess), but it was really not funny. Child sex abuse is really not good comedy fodder. However, this seems to be a problem in some anime/ manga, where underage children are overtly sexualized. I find it disturbing.