My First Girlfriend is a Gal
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 3 of
My First Girlfriend is a Gal ?
I had expected this series to surprise me at least a little at some point, and at first this episode didn't look promising on that front. However, I didn't expect it to go quite so far take things quite so seriously.
With this episode, we get the formal introduction of Yukana's gal friend Ranko, the deeply-tanned girl we saw briefly in the first two episodes. She's referred to as a “spray-on gal,” which might be a technically accurate translation but that's an awkward way to put it. Besides, it doesn't even seem accurate for the character, since a flashback implies that Ranko has always been that tan. (She either started her ganguro look very young or the series is assuming that the gals just look that way naturally.) While Yukana was just playing at being the stereotypical promiscuous and aggressive girl, Ranko goes after Junichi full-bore, overwhelming him with the struggle between his ardent desire to lose his virginity and a commitment to his new girlfriend that's already strong enough surprise even him. While he engages in some fantasies about the situation first – and who could blame him – his conscience eventually wins out over his libido, and he insists that he's not so desperate for sex that he would betray Yukana to screw someone he doesn't even like.
That part was fairly expected, since Junichi has already shown that he doesn't have the same one-track-mind as his friends. What I wasn't quite expecting was Ranko's reasons for seducing him; she's very possessive of Yukana, and she isn't about to let any guy lay a finger on her, even if that means having sex with him herself. She's probably in love with Yukana herself, which isn't something she can be open about since Yukana has clearly demonstrated that she isn't interested. The long-term upshot of this is that she's not liable to be one of Junichi's harem babes, but she'll hang around because she wants to be with his girlfriend instead. This kind of device has definitely been used in harem anime before (see Steel Angel Kurumi and Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos, among others), but I don't think I've seen it done in a while, and it's handled far more aggressively here than elsewhere. This raises the possibility of more interesting potential dynamics down the road and allows the obligatory “girl feeling up girl” fanservice to take on a new meaning.
The end result, especially the episode's final shot that makes the class rep's interest in Junichi explict, doesn't change the series' firmly trend toward standard harem antics. However, thanks to the way this episode was handled, the series is at least showing a little more promise.
My First Girlfriend is a Gal is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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