Chatty AF 75: Please Tell Me! Galko-chan Retrospective (WITH TRANSCRIPT)

By: Anime Feminist November 4, 20180 Comments

Caitlin, Vrai, and special guest Alexis look back at the 2016 bawdy comedy anime short Please Tell Me! Galko-chan.


Episode Information

Recorded: 17th October 2018
Hosts: Caitlin, Vrai
Guest: Alexis

Episode Breakdown

0:00:00 Intros
0:00:59 About
0:02:22 Style vs content vs demographic
0:05:41 Appeal to women
0:07:56 Galko and Otako
0:08:56 Rumors/misinformation about the female body
0:12:06 Callouts and boys
0:14:21 Female relationships and Kenya Suzuki
0:15:53 Boob nonsense
0:20:00 Is it sex ed?
0:25:03 Season 2 when?
0:28:07 Challenging assumptions
0:33:15 Boy’s curiosity
0:37:23 Cisnormative
0:41:00 Body diversity
0:48:24 Thesis statement
0:53:34 Headcanons
0:56:19 Outro

CAITLIN: Hello, and welcome to “Please Tell Me, Chatty AF!” the Anime Feminist podcast! Today, we’re talking about the short series, Please Tell Me, Galko-chan! My name is Caitlin and I’m a writer and editor for Anime Feminist, as well as writing for the Daily Dot and on my own blog, I Have a Heroine Problem. Today, I’m joined by Vrai and—returning from our Ouran High School Host Club watchalong—Alexis.

VRAI: Hey! I’m Vrai. I’m an editor and contributor for Anime Feminist. You can find me on Twitter @writervrai where, if you check my pinned tweet, it has all the nifty places I freelance around the internet. Or you can find the other podcast I cohost, @trashpod.

ALEXIS: Hey! I’m Alexis. I’m an independent writer and you can find me on Twitter @alexilulu.

CAITLIN: Alright! So, let’s talk a little bit about Galko. It’s a short series from 2016 about a high school girl named Galko and the conversations she has with her two friends Otoko and Oujo. It is—technically touches on a lot of bodily functions and discussions. It is based on a seinen web manga. 

When the new season was starting up in 2016, I don’t know if anyone really expected Galko to be what it was. I just sort of looked at the promotional art and I saw Galko and her boobs are just like… vacuum packed into her sweater, and I was like, “Oh, it’s just gonna be another fanservice series, and I can skip it.” 

But then everyone was talking about it, and like—talking about how fun it was, and so I decided to just check it out and, lo and behold, it was actually this very clever series talking about bodies and bodily functions in a way that is not, like… It’s gross, but it’s not gross-out comedy. The characters were super likable, and I just fell in love in a way that I never would have expected for a series that was promoted like this. 

VRAI: Yeah, it’s always interesting to me when you get those series that try to do the—I wouldn’t even call it like… mass market appeal. Like, it’s clearly a show aimed at women, but they cram in some tits. [pause] 

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Oh— 

VRAI: [crosstalk] —Just kind of over top to kind of draw in a straight male audience. “This’ll do it!”

ALEXIS: The interesting thing is, um… this is later on, but the artist who originally did the Galko series on web manga and now, just like, does other stuff, he really loves titties, but also, he’s just having a good time with Galko, it seemed like. So .it’s very interesting.

CAITLIN: I think his name is Kenya Suzuki? 

ALEXIS: Yes, yeah. I couldn’t think of his name. Sorry. 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: Yeah… well, it looks also from some of the covers—I haven’t read the manga myself, but definitely some of the covers are like, “Ah! There’s Galko’s foot, right in my face!” 

ALEXIS: Yeah, so, if you go on Twitter and search for Kenya Suzuki, you will find some of the most—so, here’s the thing. He draws breasts really well, including when they are unreasonably proportioned, let’s say. [laughs] Let’s go with that.

So, he draws them very large, but they’re completely like… you would believably believe that they are being affected by gravity. So it’s just like… it’s not the same thing as a lot of the other horny Twitter artists, necessarily.

VRAI: Right, it’s not balloons on a tent pole.

ALEXIS: Yeah, exactly. 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: Just water balloon physics, jiggling. Oh man!

VRAI: I will say like… I think the—I didn’t watch the… I didn’t start the show ‘til early this year, but I heard about it back in 2016. The first—‘cause on Tumblr there was a post going around that was just the still shot from the swimsuit changing room with all the different body types in it.

ALEXIS: Oh! Yeah… I think that was—I don’t know if I saw that right before Caitlin came to me to show me this series, or right after, but that made a huge difference in getting me to actually go for it. Honestly, it does really well at that.

VRAI: Yeah, yeah, it’s… it’s nice. It is a nice series. I feel like putting together that the mangaka is a man explains my one or two quibbles with this series. But for the most part, it’s nice and pleasant. I like the characters. You know, it’s broad, but not in a mean-spirited way.

ALEXIS: Yeah. The fact that there is a scene in the show where a girl comes over to… So, a lingerie store manager comes over to a girl and shows her her bra and it’s not like ridiculously skeevy, but is just really sweet. That says a whole lot about the intention behind it, I feel like.

CAITLIN: Mm-hm. It’s just so wholesome for a series that is ostensibly a fanservice series; ostensibly written for a male audience. And I don’t wanna just—I don’t wanna say, “Well, obviously aimed at women” because demographic targets can be strange; mysterious and strange, right?

VRAI: Especially seinen which is, more and more, becoming the catch-all. 

CAITLIN: Yeah! But like, the vast, vast majority of people I know who love Galko are women because so many felt like their personal experiences were reflected in it. Their own, like—you know, there are so many moments of just like, these teenage anxieties about their body, experiences that they had dealing with boys, dealing with their bodies [crosstalk] were so accu—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Even just dealing with each other.

CAITLIN: —and dealing with each other were accurately reflected in this series! 

VRAI: Mm-hm. Yeah, that episode in the bra store, you know: back when I wore bras, it was totally that thing of like, “Oh, you found a cute bra! I see! Well, go and search for it in the drawer. It’s available in a B-cup; a C-cup if you’re lucky. I see that you’re a D-cup. Enjoy wearing beige!”

ALEXIS: [dryly] Yeah, good luck.

CAITLIN: [emphatically] Mm-hm!

VRAI: So like, them commiserating over that was like, “Oh, yes, good! This is a universal feel!”

ALEXIS: Oh yeah.

CAITLIN: So, I’m kind of figuring out in this episode exactly how concrete I wanted to get about talking about how I—parts of it, I related to parts of this show. [laughs] Because like, man! This is a very, very personal subject that, suffice it to say, if you’re uncomfortable talking about bodies, listening to people talk about bodies, this is probably an episode you wanna skip.

VRAI: Mmm.

CAITLIN: But if you’re listening to this, you’re probably—you also probably have already seen Galko, so that’s probably also not an issue. So…

ALEXIS: Yeah.

VRAI: Mmm.

CAITLIN: Listen at your own risk. And we’re kind of talking about, you know, what makes Galko so different from series that we would consider to be similar. Like, it’s not about—it’s about boobs, but it’s not about looking at boobs.

VRAI: Mmm.

CAITLIN: It’s about the reality of boobs.

ALEXIS: Yeah. It’s about the material reality of having boobs, and like—

CAITLIN: Mm-hm! 

ALEXIS: —“Gee, my nipples are very large and I’m kind of sensitive about it, and then my friend’s gonna kind of drag me about it, and I’m gonna be mad that it’s not a big deal.”

CAITLIN: Yeah, um—and I think the relationship between Galko and Otoko is kind of the heart of the show.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: Absolutely.

CAITLIN: Because they’re such an unlikely pair, and Otoko’s very, very curious about bodies in general, but also about Galko’s body.

ALEXIS: Or she uses Galko’s body as a medium in which to try and talk about these things.

CAITLIN: So through Galko and Otoko having these very frank conversations, we get to know the characters and we also learn some stuff about bodies. You know? [chuckles] 

And seeing their relationship, it’s really—it’s just really fantastic. The sort of “odd couple friendship” is not always something that I care about, but they’re sort of the odd couple in the not standard way. Does that make senses?

VRAI: Yeah!

ALEXIS: Definitely!

VRAI: I think the strongest episode, or at least my favorite of the series episode, uh… sketch, of the series, is the inverted nipple one because so much of this series is structured around rumors and urban legends, and that’s one that: (A) is connected to the emotions of the characters, and (B) takes time to go around—you know, these… this misinformation is dangerous, not in like a, “You will get chlamydia and die sort of way”—

[Laughter]

VRAI: —But like, just in terms of interpersonal. It can freak people out and cause them a lot of misery. So, I—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Definitely.

VRAI: —I felt like that was the strongest episode within the setup of the shows. They’re good kids.

CAITLIN: Right.

ALEXIS: I have a lot of feelings about Otoko and Galko, and… we’ll probably get into that later. Especially her realizing, “Oh, God! I fucked up!” and going and finding as much as she can to make this not a big deal because she’s terrified that she’s just alienated her, like… pretty much her only friend.

Like, she’s the only person in the class that she talks to regularly besides Oujo who’s kind of like… there, but not there because she’s kind of an airhead.

VRAI: Just laughably rich! 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: Yeah, just insanely rich!

CAITLIN: What was I saying—and that whole part was just interesting because it starts off with Otoko coming to Galko with this one thing she just learned about, and Galko’s not giving her the response she’s looking for. 

So, Otoko just sort of starts pushing her buttons, and talking about shit she doesn’t actually know, and she’s like, “You can’t be a mother if you have inverted nipples!” Like that’s… obviously incorrect for a variety of reasons.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: But could have been the conclusion she drew from ten seconds of hearing this thing, so…

CAITLIN: And she said it, like, to specifically try to get that reaction out of Galko. She pushed it—she was getting frustrated and she pushed it too far. 

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: Because that’s sort of been their dynamic is: Otoko says something embarrassing, and Galko gets flustered, you know. Part of the scene that got me is that when Otoko… Otoko’s not good at people.

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: No.

CAITLIN: And when she, when Galko is out, Otoko is like, “Oh, well, you know, she was probably out fucking around with some guys, and is too tired to come in.” And because that’s the assumptions people always make about Galko because of her body. 

Oujo just looks at her, gets real close, and is like, “We both know that that is not what is going on.” You know, and Oujo, for all that she is not—you know, she is not as close as those two even though she wants to be. She fuckin’ called Otoko out on her shit.

ALEXIS: Yeah, absolutely.

CAITLIN: I think that’s something wonderful about this show, is that it does call people out on their shit. [crosstalk] Kinda.

ALEXIS: Usually within the same scene.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Well… often.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Mostly.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Often. Usually.

VRAI: I feel like as much as this show is refreshingly frank, it’s not always interested in pushing too hard at stuff, like the fact that all of the teenage boys in this show are garbage. They are garbage-trash.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: I’d… [extended “mm” noise]

ALEXIS: I would say that they do get a little bit into that, because Galko does push back at anything they say to her that is ridiculous, like, instantly. She’s like, “Go die. Get out of here.”

CAITLIN: Yeah, like the first episode where uh… Charao comes over, and is like, “Hey, is it true that boobs get bigger if you massage them?” And she’s just like, “Fuck off!”

You know, and it was really interesting because I feel like the way I felt about boys as a teenage girl were there—I didn’t really have a boy-crazy phase as a teenager. Rather, boys—I had male friends, but boys when they were among other boys, were these bizarre creatures that I just did not understand. Like, watching them play bloody knuckles was like, “What are you doing?! Like why?!” 

Watching them like—or the sort of, like, horse play they would do, just like… “What?!”

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah… it’s very mystifying.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] “Are you humans?!” 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] There is—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] “Like, what are you doing?!” Um—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] They actually have a scene like that in there with the—they do a kancho prank, and it turns into a thing about… butts and whatever. 

[Laughter] 

ALEXIS: But it starts out as them being like, “What the hell are you people doing up there?!”

CAITLIN: You know, so that sort of mystified feeling. It’s really amazing. And I had talked to someone who was working on translating the manga one time because I wrote a couple of articles. I had people start approaching me about Galko for a little while because those Galko articles got—were some of the best performers I ever had on Heroine Problem. 

But those—but someone who worked on the localization of the manga was like, “I kind of almost wonder if Kenya Suzuki is actually a woman writing under a pen name.”

VRAI: Hmm.

ALEXIS: That would be interesting, because that’s thing is, like, I’ve—assuming that he’s a man who’s doing it, it seems very strange because there’s… the way that the women are written in Galko. I’ve read the manga. A lot of the older female relationships in there, besides the main characters, are shockingly well written for—I’m not gonna be like…look, there’s a lot of essentialist bullshit about “men can’t write women,” but… but also, men are really bad at writing women sometimes, especially—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Right, and I mean, there are reasons for that. I don’t think it’s essentialist so much as like, you know: it’s a fact that men are generally not taught to sympathize with women.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah!

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Or to see women as fully human. [sighs] Yeah, and I mean, there is this sort of intimacy to it, this feeling of like… these are relatable conversations and these are relatable concerns that teenage girls have.

ALEXIS: Yeah, absolutely. And… again, in the manga, there’s some older relationships and they still do a lot of the same things where they’re like, joking about sex rumors or whatever, or old wives’ tales, that kind of thing. So it seems like there’s kind of a cross-generational thing, and I really appreciate it.

CAITLIN: There’s a couple of phrases that I have not heard outside of Anime Feminist that I like surrounding Galko. One was like—and this came up when we were talking about Yamada’s First Time a few episodes ago, was the way Dee described it as “body  comedy.” 

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: I think that is the best way to describe Galko, because like… I wouldn’t call it gross-out comedy. They talk about gross subjects sometimes; like, they talk about poop. But it’s not gross-out comedy because there’s nothing shown on screen. I don’t like gross-out comedy and I didn’t feel grossed out by this. 

You know, it’s a comedy about bodies, and bodies can be gross sometimes, and bodies can do weird stuff. The other one was—actually, I think the origin of this phrase was talking about Galko’s boob nonsense.

VRAI: [crosstalk; deadpan] There’s always boob nonsense.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Okay, that’s good.

CAITLIN: [laughter] So, ’cause, um… it came up again… I think it first came up—Vrai, I don’t remember if you were there, but it was the night after Otocon, some of us were hanging out at Lauren’s house. Were you there for that, for this Vrai?

VRAI: No, no, no: I’d already left and gone back home.

CAITLIN: Yeah, you’d left a little early. But we were hanging out at Lauren’s house and we were trying to convince Amelia that Galko was good. Like trying to—and we were drinking [laughing] and we were watching Galko

VRAI: She did not care for it, as I recall.

CAITLIN: No, she did not care for it, because you know Amelia is very—everyone has their own things that [are] their immediate turn-offs. Amelia’s is boobs not really acting the way they’re supposed to, and… [laughs] So I was talking to Amelia, and I’m like, “It’s not fanservice! It’s not focusing on her boobs!” And Amelia’s like, “Yeah, but what sweater fits that way?! That’s not how sweaters work!” And I’m just like, “It’s not fanservice, it’s just… it’s just boob nonsense!” 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: That sort of became a common—I think a common phrase used around Anime Feminist chats for a little while. 

VRAI: Just that low-level background stuff that is just a lot of times a barrier to entry on not even a conscious level just because, well, the industry does that, and it’s annoying, but it’s also like, “all right, how many things do I wanna be able to watch that I otherwise like?”

CAITLIN: Well, or it’s stuff that’s like: you don’t even think about it until you’re trying to introduce something to a friend who doesn’t normally watch anime.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: And it’s like “Ooooh, right! This is something that most people would find off-putting.” But boob nonsense is stuff that—I talked about it a lot in my Hanebado season premiere review. Just… boobs not acting like boobs. Boobs—in Hanebado, it was the boobs wildly flying around.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeeeaaaah…

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Or just, sort of an unnecessary boobage, but that doesn’t quite come across—doesn’t draw attention to itself as fanservice.

VRAI: Just somebody decided to draw shirts that act like socks, as though there are boob socks in your shirt.

CAITLIN: [emphatically] Mm-hm. Yeah, vacuum-sealed boobs!

ALEXIS: Yeah. They added extra fabric just for the boobs, and they’re actually custom fitted, so… this is actually a detail of their universe, you know. 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: God, what was I watching? I was watching like, Dragon Pilot or something, and they actually drew a flight suit—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah!

CAITLIN: —that had the boob socks [laughing] hanging down!

ALEXIS: I’ve seen that as a joke in a couple places. I know I saw it from a screencap of that, and I think just, like, a random artist on Twitter had drawn a clothing background, and just had stuff hanging there, and there was just a boob sock shirt.

VRAI: I think Galkochan’s greatest gift as a show is it sometimes gets misattributed as a Sex Ed show. It’s not; it’s not! 

ALEXIS: Nuh-uh.

VRAI: I didn’t save this specific example, but there were a couple moments in the early episodes where it’s like, “Uuuuuuuuuuh, that’s just—that’s not correct! That is not correct advice they’re giving each other!” 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: What was it? [crosstalk] Like, uh… specifics.

VRAI: [crosstalk] I didn’t write it down. It was something to do with, uh, vaginal stuff, I think. Um… [pause] and I have to go back—I told myself I was going to go back and look for the podcast, and then I did not. 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: Well… I’m trying to think… Like…

ALEXIS: Yeah…

CAITLIN: There was the tampons versus pads chat—

VRAI: [crosstalk] No, it was in, like—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Talking about how mucus membranes don’t have pigments, so everyone has the same—like, everyone’s vagina looks the same on the inside. 

VRAI: No, that was later on. I do remember that one. But, no—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah.

VRAI: —it was something early and small, and just like vaginal- or hygiene-related. But in general, to me… [pause] this show is less “this is very effective Sex Ed that you should use” because it’s—some of it is correct, some it is not

I think it sometimes has a hard time distinguishing between the moments when it’s, “All right kids, now we’re going to learn a thing because you didn’t get very good Sex Ed in schools!” [laughs] As I understand, Japanese Sex Ed is about as good as American Sex Ed, which is to say bad.

CAITLIN: Yeah well, I don’t know if it’s any better talking about the health side of it, you know. They’re probably not good at talking about like… doing the deed.

VRAI: Right. No, that’s what I’m saying.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah.

VRAI: I don’t think it is a replacement for Sex Ed. I don’t think that… And I think my moments where I got a little bit frustrated with the show were when it was not clear between “Here is a useful factoid” and “Here is these characters comedically misunderstanding a point,” and like—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah…

VRAI: —sometimes it nailed the difference between those and sometimes it got a little bit murky. I feel like we had that conversation with Asobi Asobase, where it was always really clear that these dumb idiots just didn’t get a thing.

CAITLIN: Right. And I think that the couple things that stood out for me is, like: “Are tampons for virgins or not?”

VRAI: Right, yeah, yeah! That whole conversation, I was like, “Uh, this is is all… Look, you’re trying, but this is all very dated. Please— Nope! Stop. Don’t!” 

But yeah, I think it is very good for the fact that it’s sort of demystifying talking about sex and, you know, bodily functions. That’s really good and helpful in its own right.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Absolutely!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah!

VRAI: “We can talk about this!”

ALEXIS: Yeah. There’s a lot to be said for repression on a lot of fronts like that.

CAITLIN: Right, and I think—‘cause I think a lot of people are reluctant to talk about their bodies. Understandably.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: But since they don’t talk about their bodies, there’s a lot of questions like, “Is this normal, or is my body doing something weird here that I should be concerned about?” 

What is—you know, the conversation they were having about tampons is something that I think had pluses and minuses, because it’s like… I definitely remember being very intimidated by tampons for a long time. Like, the idea of putting something in my vagina was like, [groans], kind of terrifying. So I stuck with pads for quite a while even though pads are really uncomfortable.

VRAI: Oh, the chafing! 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: But at the same time, when they see Oujo with a box of tampons, they’re like, “Oh! She’s experienced!” and it never really clarifies that: No, anyone can wear tampons. It doesn’t depend on your experience level. It’s just kind of scary if you’ve never had something up there. It’s a little bit—it’s kinda intimidating trying to do that for the first time.

VRAI: Right, especially because diagrams are often so unhelpful if you’re not sexually active and no one is around to help you because nobody talks about those things and etcetera.

CAITLIN: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah.

VRAI: [crosstalk] But—and I think it might also be a factor of early episodes taking from early strips, because it does feel like there’s a point where it hits its stride and gets a lot better at that balance too.

ALEXIS: Yeah. Based on— So, from my reading of the manga, they actually jump around quite a bit after the first couple of strips. So in the first two volumes, there’s some stuff that didn’t end up in the show at all, and some stuff that was skipped—probably, assumably for time. So they kind of just jumped around to the greatest hits of what had been published.

VRAI: Gotcha. Man, this would be great for a second season, huh? [crosstalk] So many shows I’m like—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Ah, oh man!!

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Oh my God! So many shows I wanna see get a second season! And what’s getting second seasons? Forest of Piano

VRAI: [laughs loudly]

CAITLIN: Lost Song is gonna get another season. Fuck Lost Song!! 

ALEXIS: Oh, man… 

CAITLIN: No one watched Lost Song!!

VRAI: [crosstalk] Except for you!

CAITLIN: Meanwhile, Galko… Yonalike, those are just fucking languishing. UGH!

VRAI: Where is Lustrous season two?! Where is it?!

CAITLIN: Man, I love Lustrous. They’re planning one though, aren’t they?

VRAI: There’s nothing confirmed. This is a total tangent, Peter will probably cut, but no! Nothing has been confirmed. They cut out a major—the fact that they cut Ghost Quartz has made me really jumpy about it.

ALEXIS: Ugh…

CAITLIN: I don’t know; we’ll see. But, um… No, a second season of Galko would be great. 

VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah, ‘cause it’s—this season wraps up nicely, but there’s so much more unmined ground here. 

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Definitely.

VRAI: [crosstalk] It could be fun!

ALEXIS: The one thing I would worry about with a season two is, so… Again, from having gone through at least what has been released in English of the manga, so three volumes. A lot of the second and third volumes are focused on side characters, so… Otoko’s brother, who has a huge crush on Galko’s brother—Galko’s sister, rather, who is a gal model.

There’s a—like, I would be super interested in it, but I worry that there might be not enough content of, like, Galko, Oujo, and Otoko for them to justify doing it. And also, I talked about it earlier, but the manga is a lot hornier and I’m curious both if they would do it because of that, and also just because… yeah.

It feels weird—like, I would worry that they wouldn’t do it because some of the conversations are very… not quite X-rated, but they’re definitely a higher age rating than, say, Galko got.

VRAI: Right. 

CAITLIN: Mm-hm.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Right, because ideally, the target audience for this show is high school students.

ALEXIS: Yeah, and because some of the—like, one of the main other trios is Galko’s sister, the Bra Lady from the lingerie store, and a third character I can’t think of, and also a Japanese A/V model who did a bunch of porn. [crosstalk] So, it’s like—

VRAI: [crosstalk] Hmm…. Take my money?

ALEXIS: —Yeah, I don’t know. It would be weird, I think.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah, it would certainly—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] I would love to see it.

VRAI: [crosstalk] It would certainly—it would definitely be very different, but also those sound like conversations that I would listen to. 

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah!

VRAI: [crosstalk] I would love to see those characters hang out!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Oh, absolutely! Like, that’s the thing is that I enjoyed it a lot and they get very frank about sex things, both just, like, with their boyfriends and like… positions, etcetera, etcetera. It’s very frank about it in a way that I appreciate, but I don’t think they would actually animate it.

VRAI: Mmm.

CAITLIN: Right. Actually that honestly makes me more interested to read it because I do think there’s a lack of manga that has a healthy attitude towards sex and relationships.

ALEXIS: Absolutely.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] And so—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] I’ll loan it to you, like… [laughs] I have three volumes, so…

CAITLIN: Going back to the idea that it’s educational, I think it’s kind of like… it’s educational about the body, but it’s kinda not educational. It sort of works on challenging assumptions about people, and… sort of like, people assume Galko, because she wears heavy make-up and has big boobs, they assume that she goes out and parties with men all night.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Well, yeah, yeah like—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] When really, she’s watching an entire season of anime.

CAITLIN: Yeah! She stayed up watching an entire season of anime. Or because she’s so friendly and talkative, all the guys assume she is in love with them. It’s this feeling of: check yourself. Don’t make assumptions about people based on, you know, what little you know about them. Because the people—all the characters in it are multifaceted.

ALEXIS: Yeah, absolutely.

CAITLIN: You know, we don’t—we don’t dig deep into them. We don’t get a sense of all their hopes and dreams and childhood traumas or whatever, but like… you know, they feel like more-or-less real people. They have different interests; they have different sides to their personality. 

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: You know, Oujo is an airhead, but she also gets very good grades. Galko’s just like… Galko’s, you know, actually pretty intelligent in some ways, although her grades are apparently pretty uneven.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: Probably has something to do with the fact that she can’t wake up in the morning. 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: She’s just a late sleeper.

CAITLIN: Extremely, extremely relatable!

ALEXIS: Oh there’s… 

[Laughter]

VRAI: The whole assumption around, as far as I understand it, around the gal sub-culture is that the stereotype is that they’re dumb and they’re easy and they party a lot. 

And so it’s kind of nice to see this work around that in ways that it’s like, “No, Galko does like cute girly underwear, and she likes make-up, but also she stayed home and was up all night watching anime and she’s not sleeping around.”

As opposed to something like Peach Girl where the main character gets mistaken for a gal, but she’s not like one of those girls. She’s just a good wholesome swimmer. Like… okay. 

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Right.

ALEXIS: All right.

VRAI:[crosstalk] Fine.

CAITLIN: Right, it’s like, “Yeah, she’s a gal, but what’s wrong with that?”

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: I do wish this series had been a little bit more thrust on like… you know, even if she were interested in sex, like…

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: It wouldn’t be—‘cause she’s obviously very intimidated by sex. Although I think one of the sweetest moments—there was a very sweet moment where she was talking. They had watched a movie with a sex scene in it, and she’s like, “Someday we’ll have sex like that with someone that we love and that we care about and we’ll be making each other feel good.” And I thought that’s a really sweet—that’s a really nice way to think of it.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Mm-hm. Yeah.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] But she’s so—

ALEXIS: Yeah. [crosstalk] She has a lot of romantic sentiment.

CAITLIN: I do wish it had leaned a little bit harder. Even if she had been out having sex, there’s nothing wrong with that.

VRAI: Yeah, yeah, that would have been nice. In her favor, I will say that I too would be intimidated by sex if I found out that my sister was stealing my uniform and using it for roleplay… in the bedroom.

CAITLIN: OOOHHH!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah, just for foreplay. She takes it off.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] There’s a pubic hair on your shoulder! [laughs] OOHHH!

ALEXIS: Oh God!

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] You’re sister’s boyfriend’s pubic hair on your shoulder!

VRAI: Oh God! And also, like, Otoko at the porny foreign movie was so me in high school, where like, “We’re going to the serious artistic movie that we’re definitely not watching because it has sex in it.” [laughs] “It’s serious!!”

ALEXIS: Down the line going in to see Handmaiden with multiple friends of mine, I definitely felt that feeling deeply. Because…

CAITLIN: Yeahhh!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Maaaan

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I was in that group!

VRAI: [crosstalk] Oh man, yup!

ALEXIS: Caitlin was there; we were all sitting next to each other, and… Yeah. [laughs] That was a mood.

CAITLIN: Yeah. Yeah.

VRAI: Yup!

CAITLIN: That was a good movie though.

VRAI: [crosstalk] It’s a great movie. 

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] That was a very good movie.

VRAI: Very explicit sex.

ALEXIS: Yes.

CAITLIN: Oh yeah. Yes. [laughing] I just remember coming out of it awkwardly, like, “Sooooo…” 

[laughter]

CAITLIN: Well there’s a great segue here, talking about the boy’s curiousity—the boy’s own curiosity about sex.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah, that was—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] And about girls.

VRAI: God. I really… the hair gel sketch was nice, but a lot of the earlier ones.

CAITLIN: Oh, I love the hair gel sketch! That’s one of the highlights of the series for me.

VRAI: That’s just nice! I do appreciate that Galko had firm boundaries whenever they came up to her, but also the many, many scenes of them being creeps in the corner, talking about girl’s boobs. I’m like, “I know this is real, but also it’s exhausting, and it’s just here in a rather uncritical way.” All right. Fine.

ALEXIS: Yeah. 

CAITLIN: Yeah.

ALEXIS: At the very least, I know there’s a couple different sequences of them looking over at them, seeing them talking and being like, “What the hell are they doing? They’re being gross or whatever.”

CAITLIN: Or they’re like, trying to find each other’s nipples!

ALEXIS: Yeah!

CAITLIN: Alright, okay, alright. [pause for dramatic effect] Admit it if, when they said that…

VRAI: Uh… [laughs]

CAITLIN: …when they said find your earlobes and just go straight down, did you test it?

VRAI: No comment. 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: Yeah, I plead the fifth actually. 

CAITLIN: Well, you are both cowards! I will fully admit that I did it! 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: You did it in the room with me when we watched it for this podcast!

CAITLIN: Yes, this is true. I did it just two days ago sitting next to Alexis! 

[Laughter]

VRAI: Stuff like that is a dare! It’s just a dare waiting to happen on the television!

ALEXIS: It’s pretty much, yeah. [laughs] I saw her doing it and I was like well, now I can’t because we’ll be copying each other. 

[Laughter]

VRAI: If we both do it, that’s kind of weird! 

CAITLIN: Yeah—but yeah, so like… [pause] I think the boys… it’s a little bit of a “boys will be boys” attitude. There were some that were sweet. I though the Otaku Boy wasn’t too bad.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: He had some very good scenes.

CAITLIN: Like, when Galko—when the girls were talking about how bread dough is about the same softness as breasts. He goes out and he gets the ingredients and makes bread dough. 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: He’s making bread dough! And then the time when he goes and buys 500-gram bottles of water so that he can feel what it’s like to have Galko’s boobs! 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: Yeah!

ALEXIS: To feel what it’s like to have boobs himself is like, so purely sweet but also mildly horny at the same time. It’s so good. [crosstalk] I kind of enjoy it.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I mean he’s just curious about—you know, he’s curious about boobs.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Which like, fair enough, they’re mysterious.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I remember girls asking guys about their dicks, which was mortifying to me. 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: Oh yeah.

CAITLIN: Which was like, I did not wanna be party to this conversation. Um…

VRAI: [tight voiced] Yep!

CAITLIN: But I think that sort of curiosity about bodies that are not like your own is normal, and, you know—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah!

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] —and that’s a lot of what this show is about!

ALEXIS: Normalizing stuff around that would be very helpful, but also, we have other things to fix before we get to that, I think. As a practical concern. Like, it’s still—I think they did alright by it here, but… yeah.

CAITLIN: One time, I was doing something at work, and like, playing a game with kids that involved me lifting my arms a whole bunch, and you know, I don’t shave my armpits. This one kid was like, “Can I see the hair under your arms? Can you show me?” I’m just like, “WHAT?! WHAT?! You’re three!”

ALEXIS: Caitlin… 

CAITLIN: “Why are you asking me this!” 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: He’s just curious. [crosstalk] Hopefully you didn’t just awaken something in this boy.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Well, I was like, “You’ll see it when I lift my arm.”

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] There you go.

VRAI: Fair enough! [chuckles]

CAITLIN: That was strange…

VRAI: It’s one of those things that’s maybe not fair to ask of this show because it’s better to not have it just—it’s arguably better just to have it omitted than to have it done badly, but I, sometimes, I did think of My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness and how straight all the sex advice in this show is. 

ALEXIS: Yeah…

CAITLIN: Yeah, it is a very hetero and cisnormative sort of show.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Would—

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah…

VRAI: And like you feel—I at least felt that absence, but also, I tried to think about this show which… with its very straight lenses talking about queer sexuality and I’m like: maybe it’s better they didn’t.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Oh… yeah.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Yeah…

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Okay, so full disclosure because we might as well get into this now: I have written fanfiction of this show in which Galko is a trans woman.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Would read!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Because… yeah. 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: Well!

ALEXIS: I’m sure Caitlin can hook you up! 

[Chuckles] 

ALEXIS: Anyway, I completely agree with Vrai on that. This show does not do well—and it doesn’t try because, you know, obviously. But—

VRAI: [crosstalk] Because then it might be Asobi Asobase

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: Oh, yeah. Like, I appreciate that it didn’t try because it clearly—like, maybe it doesn’t clearly know, but I think it knows that it doesn’t know nothing about that, so it’s just like,“Okay, we’re not gonna try.”

VRAI: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: And I think it’s really interesting to explore that kind of thing because, you know, transformative work is fun.

CAITLIN: Mm-hm!

VRAI: [crosstalk] Fanfiction is Good, Actually!

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Yeah, absolutely!

ALEXIS: Yeah!

CAITLIN: You know, and… [pause] I don’t, yeah. I’m not gonna say, “Oh they should have tackled it!” I would have been curious to see… in a perfect world, where we could trust a show like this to handle it well.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: How it would have worked in the context of this show.

VRAI: [crosstalk] It would have involved Otoko! [crosstalk] Let me tell you that right now!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah! Yes! So—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Yes, because that is such a different side of the coin, because it’s like: well, you know, we don’t talk enough about cis female bodies within our culture in a non-sexualized way, and this show does it. Whereas people are… cis people are obsessed with talking about trans people’s bodies.

VRAI: [emphatically] Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: And so it would be such a different—sort of a different side of the coin.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah, like, that—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] And let me know if I say anything weird or awkward because I—you know, I try, but sometimes still…

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] You’re fine.

VRAI: [crosstalk] You’re doing fine. 

[Reassuring laughter]

ALEXIS: I understand your anxiety. You are completely fine.

VRAI: I do feel like, now that you say that, it’s… it would be almost impossible for this show as it is to just include that because it’s such a paradigm shift that, for it not to be a majority cis cast, you know, per like, being invasive to a trans person, it would have to—basically a show about trans bodies has to mostly be about trans people.

ALEXIS: Yeah, exactly.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Right.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] They can’t just drop that in and then leave because that’s just tokenism at best, is what I would call it. But… yeah. 

I will say, as an extremely fuckin’ dumb gay shipper, that Otoko’s reactions to a lot of things regarding Galko, and talking to her and knowing her, are extremely gay. [crosstalk] But also definitely not.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Oh, she’s so gay! 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: Yeah. It would be so interesting to see her, like, gay awakening, and I kind of—that’s basically what I went with when I wrote that thing. Anyway, it would be super interesting, but I don’t think this is the show for it.

VRAI: Yeah.

CAITLIN: No.

VRAI: Yeah, fair.

CAITLIN: Which is, you know… ‘Cause it—in terms of cis body types, it is way more diverse than—

VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah, I think—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] —most things animated or live action.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

VRAI: Yeah, this is probably the most positive portrayal of a fat female body that I can think of in anime. Period.

CAITLIN: Mm-hm!

ALEXIS: Oh, absolutely!

CAITLIN: Like, Nikuko: (A) the other characters don’t find her disgusting for being fat. We talked about the boys are kind of gross, [crosstalk] but they also, like…

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Even they’re sort of impressed by her.

CAITLIN: Yeah, and she’s athletic!

ALEXIS: Yeah!

CAITLIN: She’s a big girl, but she is stroooong!

VRAI: Right! And it’s one of those things—I kind of almost braced myself at first because there’s that idea of the “acceptable fat” where it’s okay if you’re working out all the time. That’s the only way. 

But like, at the same time, there’s the other idea that like,“Well, if you were working out, you wouldn’t be fat anymore; there are no fat atheletes!” [crosstalk] And she’s a fat athlete and she’s very strong.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah, no. So, this goes back to that screenshot on Tumblr of all the body types from the episode with the—it was the swim one I think. Where they were all dressed down together. That scene. 

And seeing her just like, out in the other episodes, was deeply satisfying as someone with that same sort of large and fat body type. That was really, really nice. And they never once level any insult at her. Like, just straight up everyone is glowing about Nikuko, and it was unbelievable.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: Yeah, and I mean, even outside of Nikuko. When the girls walk by, and it’s like—you see their lower torsos in their swimsuits? Their lower torsos are all different shapes. Their bellies and their butts…it’s a very matter-of-fact presentation, but they all have, like, fat deposited in different spots—different areas, like… it’s not just a fat versus skinny binary. 

Their bodies are shaped differently. Which, you know, is really nice because a lot of times, in any media—live action or animated or anime—unless the characters are like super stylized—

VRAI: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN:—there are two body types. There’s skinny with small boobs and skinny with big boobs.

ALEXIS: And then there’s Boy. 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: And then there’s Boy. So not just seeing the different—Nikuko is fat; they have different heights and boob sizes—but the fact their bodies are fundamentally shaped so very differently really jumped out at me.

ALEXIS: Absolutely. And they make a big point of body size differences even with Galko because she has broad enough shoulders that women’s shirts don’t fit her. [crosstalk] Along with her boobs.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I know that feeling.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Yeah, same. [laughs] So—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Yeah, no. Listen, Alexis, I will not pretend to be at the same level. And I mean—

ALEXIS: No!

CAITLIN: —maybe it says something that even, I’m like 5 foot 4, I have slightly broader… well, I have broader shoulders than average for a woman my height, and I have—if I’m getting non-stretchy button-down shirts, I have to really carefully try them on or else I’m not going to be able to move my arms forward.

ALEXIS: Yeah, definitely, and that’s a very broadly relatable thing because, you know, bodies are weird.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: And I really appreciate that the show does pay attention to the minutiae of it, like the shoulder thing, the different body sizes on that episode where they show it. Just in general in the show, it’s visible. Like, I can’t think of her name right now—the gothy metal rocker who always bends down.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Oh, Okako?

ALEXIS: Yes! She has the biggest boobs in the class and Galko points it out because the boys don’t notice.

CAITLIN: [laughs] She’s just walking by, just like,“Okako has big boobs too!”

ALEXIS: Yeah! [laughs] She’s just got—she’s just doin’ the hunchback thing so you don’t notice because that’s a thing. It’s very easy to do that.

VRAI: Ah, my amazing goth metal daughter! She was so good!

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: She’s so good! There’s only a couple of sketches with her in the show. There’s some more in the manga that I really enjoyed, so…

VRAI: [crosstalk] You’re really selling me on the manga here!

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I like her preppy-looking friend with the very neat bob who describes the difference between different kinds of metal to her!

ALEXIS: Yeah!

VRAI: [crosstalk] Oh, it’s so good!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] They’re talking about metalcore versus doom metal, and it’s like—there’s a couple with scenes of them because they have a band in… oh God, in the second volume, they do a culture festival and it’s an extended bit for like, the back half of the entire volume.

It’s honestly a lot of fun, because it goes into the other classrooms and some of the other characters in their own class. It’s just really sweet. I did not expect— The show as it is is mostly disconnected from itself. They’re all just different sketches. But they had a discreet arc that really hit me actually really hard. 

So if you enjoy the show, absolutely check out the manga. Like I’ve talked about, it’s horny; if you’re okay with that, go for it.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] You should lend it to me, Alexis!

VRAI: [crosstalk] Who’s putting it out, do you know?

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Seven Seas.

ALEXIS: Yeah, Seven Seas. I don’t have it in front of me, but…

VRAI: But that does mean it’s in print and reliably acquirable, which… [wryly] you never know with the manga industry.

ALEXIS: Yeah, as far as I know, it is still available. To my knowledge, I have three of the volumes. There might be a volume 4. [crosstalk] Let me look into that.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I think it’s up to five in Japan.

ALEXIS: There is a volume 4 that is available on Amazon, so yes, volume 4 is out. I need to get that, actually.

CAITLIN: [whispering] Buy from… Not Amazon. 

ALEXIS: Okay, I’ll go to… What’s the other one? What’s this—

VRAI: [crosstalk] RightStuf might have it.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] I’ll save it for later, yeah.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Well, we don’t get paid—we don’t get paid to do sponsorships, so…

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] We don’t get ads! I’ll ask you later.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Right. Give us money and we’ll definitely promote your service. [pause] Wait, no—we don’t do—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Well, no. We won’t.

VRAI: [crosstalk] —we don’t do sponsorships

CAITLIN: We won’t do sponsorships.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Give me money and I’ll promote your service.

CAITLIN: [laughs] Yeah, me too!

ALEXIS: Just slide it under the table. Here. 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: But yeah, no, it’s a sweet series. I thought it was a really interesting choice, in the anime, doing the finale as a flashback.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

VRAI: Yeah, I kind of like that set-up where, you know, it’s in medias res for most of it, and we come back to an origin that’s pretty run-of-the-mill, but informed by everything we’ve had up until then. I thought it was nice.

ALEXIS: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s, like… after everything before it, it really comes out and is like, “Hey, it doesn’t matter if people are different from each other because these two are friends.” It’s very much, like, differences between people don’t matter as much as you might think they do. Just… be cool.

VRAI: It’s a really sweet thesis statement to wrap up all of the sex and body talk up to then.

CAITLIN: Also, the cramps thing was extremely relatable.

VRAI: Mmm…

CAITLIN: Getting knocked down by cramps in the middle of school. [deadpan] Oh no, all of the sudden my uterus was trying to strangle me. 

VRAI: [dryly] Ah, nah, just power through it! Women’s pain isn’t serious!

CAITLIN: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: Yep.

CAITLIN: Not wanting to tell your male teacher because… awkward.

ALEXIS: And not only awkward, but he would—the point was he was going to be a huge pain and I really appreciate that Galko could instantly look at this girl and be like, “You don’t wanna deal with this. Let’s just go.”

CAITLIN: Right, and there are definitely moments that I’ve had in real life that’s like… camaraderie.

VRAI: Mm-hm.

CAITLIN: ‘Cause there’s a sense that like, we know… People who have periods, we know what each is going through. We take care of each other. We know that it sucks, so if you spot someone who’s having—and you can tell that’s what’s going on in some way, you take care of each other.

VRAI: Yeah, it’s—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] It’s nice.

VRAI: [crosstalk] —it’s just one of those little things, like all those nice posts you read about women who spot for each other when a dude is being a creep.

CAITLIN: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: Take care of each other, ladies.

VRAI: Do the thing. Like Caitlin said, this is maybe not a series for you if you’re uncomfortable with very frank sex and—sex and body humor. The boob nonsense is pretty minimal, but—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] It’s really mostly Galko’s sweater.

ALEXIS: You could make a case for her swimsuit being boob nonsense.

CAITLIN: Oh, true, that was a pretty boob nonse-y swimsuit.

ALEXIS: And um… So, the episode where they go to the mall with everybody.

CAITLIN: Mm-hm.

ALEXIS: I’m trying to decide if that outfit with the crop top and booty shorts was actually boob nonsense or not.

CAITLIN: I mean, it was just a very gal sort of outfit to wear.

VRAI: It was precious! A good look!

ALEXIS: Oh yeah, no. And—[laughs] I’m just gonna keep advertising the manga. There are multiple times where they go out there and just, like, hang out outside of school. Every outfit is fuckin’ flawless.

VRAI: [sighs] Amazing! [softly] Amazing! Plus, each episode is only seven to ten minutes long, so it’s a really short watch. 

ALEXIS: Yeah, like we did it in… marathoning it in maybe two hours?

CAITLIN: Yeah, like literally, Alexis came over after school— [catches self] After school. 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: “After school”!

CAITLIN: Well no, it is school for me!

ALEXIS: [teasingly] It is school for you!

CAITLIN: Alexis came over after work and we just sat down and watched the whole thing together on Friday.

VRAI: Mm-hm. So, I’d say that is a solid recommendation from us. Are we out of nice, sex-positive anime now? We’ve done Yamada and Galko-chan.

CAITLIN: God, is that it? Is that it?! 

[Laughter]

VRAI: [crosstalk] That might not be quite it—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Is that it?!

VRAI: [crosstalk] —but it’s very… I feel safe in saying that it’s very nearly it.

CAITLIN: I mean, we could talk about manga.

VRAI: [sigh] Yeah…

CAITLIN: Manga gives us greater diversity of options.

VRAI: Let us know in the comments, listeners. 

CAITLIN: Yes! [laughs] Alexis, is there anything else about the manga that you think is really noteworthy or important to talk about?

ALEXIS: I’m trying to think of anything. The cultural festival stands out as an on-going plot thing that ended up being super sweet. It basically dealt with Galko and Otoko and Oujo feeling like they’re not making time for each other during it because they’re all doing different things to get the school ready, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh.

But then they finally get to come together and it’s legitimately… there’s a little bit of grief in the middle where they’re angry at each other, but they won’t say anything and they’re not seeing each other. But then they come together and it’s all very sweet. It’s also very funny the whole way through.

CAITLIN: Aw!

VRAI: Do you wanna talk anymore about—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] So I don’t have any headcanons about this show, but Alexis, I know that you have some very strong ones, including that Otoko’s gay.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Otoko’s very gay!

VRAI: [crosstalk] She’s real gay. Co-signed!

ALEXIS: She’s very gay. I decided after the fourth time—I shouted, “Oh my God!” at the screen the first time I watched it—I had to do something with Galko being trans, which this show doesn’t support obviously because it has tampon stuff and etcetera, etcetera.

VRAI: No, but I support you!

ALEXIS: Thank you!

VRAI: This is a good headcanon, [crosstalk] and I support it!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Much appreciated! I… yeah. So, I kind of ran with it. The shoulder thing, the—oh, God, I can’t even actually think of all the other reasons.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] She has big hands. Big hands!

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] Big hands, yes! She grabs the biggest guy in the room and holds her hands up to his like, “My hands aren’t that big! See? I told you!” and it’s just… It’s very, like, a lot of very relatable feelings. Yeah.

There’s not a lot to go into there, just basically: I’m trans and I want other characters to be trans because, you know, we don’t get role models, so…

CAITLIN: Mm-hm.

VRAI: Mood.

ALEXIS: Yep. We’ll make our own, goddammit!

CAITLIN: There you go! 

[Laughter]

VRAI: Alright, you have your fanfiction assignments, listeners.

ALEXIS: Yeah, get in there.

CAITLIN: Yeah.

ALEXIS: No joke, there are… let me double check.

CAITLIN: Galko has a very small transformative fandom. Well, no that’s not true because I think there’s a lot of porn—straight male porn doujinshi of her. 

VRAI: That makes me sad.

CAITLIN: Yeah…

ALEXIS: Yep… I’m trying to double check. Ah… Works, how many works there are—there are seven works for Please Tell Me, Galko-chan. So please: my crops are dying, y’all. 

[laughter] 

ALEXIS: Only one of them is smut. Everything else is teen or below.

VRAI: [dryly] Hooray.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] So, we’re doing pretty good for ourselves.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] What is the smut one about? Now I’m curious.

ALEXIS: [crosstalk] The smut one is a collection of every—of the one dude’s entire pile of smut for October 2017.

VRAI and CAITLIN: Oh!

VRAI: [crosstalk] It’s one of those…those drabble collections. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

CAITLIN: Okay. That’s less interesting. 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: Unfortunately.

CAITLIN: Alright, anything else to add? Vrai, do you have anything?

VRAI: No, it’s… it’s nice. I’m glad I watched it. Season two, please!

ALEXIS: Please!

CAITLIN: Alexis?

ALEXIS: Uh… they’re gay. Please. Help me! 

[Laughter]

CAITLIN: Alright, I don’t—I think that’s it for me, too.

ALEXIS: Yeah.

CAITLIN: Okay, so thanks for listening, and for joining us talking about Please Tell Me, Galko-chan. If you enjoyed the show, please visit and donate to our Patreon, patreon.com/animefeminist. We’re really starting to look towards the future with developing parts of our site. We really wanna add certain features, like accessibility things like transcribing the podcasts, and that sort of stuff. That is—becomes possible through donations to our Patreon, because that sort of stuff really does add up fast. Transcription is not cheap.

If you wanna find us on social media, you can find us on our Twitter at @animefeminist. On Tumblr at @animefeminist, and on Facebook at facebook.com/animefem. Right?

VRAI: Yep!

CAITLIN: I got it! Thanks for listening and have a great whatever!

ALEXIS: Whenever you listen to this!

CAITLIN: Whenever you listen to this! [crosstalk] Can Caitlin—

VRAI: [crosstalk] And remember: please don’t get your sex advice from internet boards.

CAITLIN: Yes!

ALEXIS: Pleeeaaase…

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Next time on Anime Feminist, we will ask the question, “Can Caitlin ever do a wrap-up without awkwardly stumbling over something?” 

[Laughter]

ALEXIS: Seems like “no” so far. 

[Laughter]

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