My First Girlfriend is a Gal
Episode 9

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 9 of
My First Girlfriend is a Gal ?

Through its first eight episodes, My First Girlfriend is a Gal has occasionally shown an inclination to get serious, though never before has it lasted more than a scene or so before returning to its usual antics. This episode, which is now into anime-original territory, changes that pattern by playing almost entirely seriously, with only an occasional segue into humor. It even almost entirely chucks its normally-playful musical score, instead running silent on background music for lengthy stretches of the episode, and it doesn't even bother to use creative censoring on the one panty shot; it's not that lewd a shot, but stuff like that has gotten the censoring treatment in previous episodes. It's almost like the production team decided such elements would be too much of a distraction for their attempt at legitimate drama.

The gist of the story is hardly fresh, as one of those misunderstanding-leads-to-trouble cases. The guy who popped up at the end of last episode, Dai, is Yukana's classmate from her middle school days, and she jumps at a chance for a reunion with her former classmate, much to Junichi's chagrin. Junichi's inferiority complex about the situation (for Dai is a classic “cool guy”) leads to terse behavior between the two, Junichi interprets seeing them together the next day in the most negative possible way, and friends try to help them sort out their first fight. Even Yui tries to support them rather than take advantage of the situation, revealing that she might be developing genuine feelings for Junichi and no longer just looking to make him a servant. In other words, the good thing Junichi had going gets busted pretty badly.

So if we're going to play the Blame Game, who is the real culprit? Both of them, I'd say. Junichi absolutely deserves the lion's share of the blame, as his insecurities let his old suspicions about how Yukana's just playing him resurface. The importance of Yukana hanging on his arm rather than Dai seems lost on him, and he gets snippy rather than trying to talk about it. His friends trying to convince him that this is a potential netorare situation also deserve a little blame here, as they're well-meaning but counter-productive, but Junichi doesn't have the confidence in himself to ignore that. Yukana isn't entirely blameless either, though. Blowing him off to go see her former friends (which include Dai, the clear cause of the conflict) when Junichi approached her in a conciliatory fashion was also a big mistake, even if it wasn't out of character for her. With only one more episode to go, this conflict will presumably be resolved with Junichi apologizing after doing something to defend Yukana's good name, since Dai is an expected jerkwad. I'll be quite disappointed if he's the only one apologizing, though.

Startlingly, this whole scenario actually packs a fair amount of punch. Despite the snippets of above-average content in a couple earlier episodes, I didn't think the series could pull something like this off so well. It may be anime-original, but this is also easily the best content of the series to date.

Rating: B+

My First Girlfriend is a Gal is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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