The final member of the harem (maybe?) gets their own feature episode. This week it is Nene, Junichi’s disproportionate childhood friend. At the end of the previous episode, they showed someone getting a complete gyaru makeover, and as it turns out it was Nene!
Nene gets the gal makeover to try to win Junichi over, since it seems everyone is under the impression that he has a gal fetish. To be honest, she is my least favorite character so far. So I really didn’t care much for her backstory or honestly anything that had to do with her in this episode.
This episode was pretty average for me, as nothing particularly stood out. So I don’t have any insightful things to say about. Though I was a fan of Junichi’s monologue about war, which was accompanied by various artworks depicting war, except the characters from the artworks were replaced with Hajimete no Gal characters. It was a nice added touch, I felt.
I’m hoping the next episode will be more about Yame and Junichi’s relationship, and less about these otherwise irrelevant background characters.
In every harem it seems, each character involved in the harem gets an episode of exposition to flesh out their character. This time it is the seemingly quiet and soft-spoken class representative, Yui Kashii.
But of course, her personality on the outside differs greatly from what she truly is. Coined a “serious gal” by Junichi’s four-eyed friend, Kashii is actually an online gal cam girl-esque streamer by night who makes sure to not let anyone know of her gal personality. She also believes the world revolves around her, and becomes quite the pain in the neck if things don’t go her way.
Kashii also views Junichi as her dog who should only be loyal to her, and views his relationship with Yame as something interfering with his loyalty.
This episode toned down the lewd and raunchiness a bit (though it wasn’t completely absent), which was rather refreshing. The comedy was on point in this episode as well. But man, with each episode that passes, Junichi’s friends get crazier and crazier.
The lolicon friend in particular made a joke that may or may not have suggested luring children with a “free candy” van.
They also seem to be testing Junichi’s loyalty and love for Yame, which I suppose can count as progress in their relationship.
One of the better episodes so far, but still no Yame and Junichi centered episodes since the karaoke episode. And based on the next episode’s preview, it looks like we might have to wait a bit longer for one. So until then, I’ll be eagerly awaiting some Yame x Junichi progress.
Now that they’ve established the main character’s relationship, we are starting to delve into the side characters’ purpose. This episode we learn more about the oddly shaped and overly spray-tanned gyaru Ranko.
Ranko is Yame’s childhood friend from elementary school. Junichi gets well acquainted with Ranko right off the bat. If you catch my drift. Fortunately, she seems to just be teasing Junichi and “testing” him and his loyalty to Yame. After this, Yame suggests that the three of them all hang out together on their next day off. And so begins a montage of typical date activities!
Also I’d like to point out that Junichi was wearing a shirt with cherries on it during the date.”Cherry boy” is a euphemism for virgin in a lot of anime (Kosuda from Yamada’s First Time comes to mind as someone always called a “cherry boy”). So I think Hajimete no Gal is trying to tell us something about Junichi.
This episode seems to have brought out some actual plot into the mix. There was a scene where some hoodlums were incessantly hitting on Yame, and Junichi tries to stand up to them. While failing, it seems to show that he actually has some non-lusty feelings for her. So maybe this is actually the 2017 version of Yamada’s First Time after all? The rom-com shenanigans and lack of actual sexual activity seems to suggest that. Which is honestly fine by me.
While a little raunchy, I am enjoying Hajimete no Gal so far. It seems to be different take on your average rom-com, which is always nice to see. Though I still can’t get over the ginormous breasts on almost all of the girl characters. It is a little (very) over the top, to say the least. But if you don’t let that bother you, I think this can be a good show for those of you craving an ecchi romantic comedy this season.
Junichi finally has a girlfriend. One who is the cutest gal in school. But where do they go from here? Karaoke of course! And speaking from experience, this is a pretty popular choice for dates among Japan’s youth.
Before I talk too much about the episode, I’d like to correct a statement I had made in my review of the first episode. I had said that the censorship was clever, and actually added to the show. This is only the case if you are actually watching the censored version. This is the version that they are simulcasting on Crunchyroll. Though it has come to my attention (not surprisingly) that there is an uncensored version elsewhere on the internet. As I can’t speak for the versions I haven’t seen, my reviews will only reflect my opinions on the censored (Crunchyroll’s) version of Hajimete no Gal.
Moving on, I’ve got to admit I’m starting to like this show more and more. I think it is mostly, as I said before, because it is a raunchier version of Yamada’s First Time, which is probably in my top 10 personal favorite anime.
I’m also really digging the simple, yet very new looking animation style. It is nothing flashy, but you can tell by the colors and just the crispness of the art that it is a new anime, and not one from five or more years ago.
I’m also really digging Yane’s character design the more I see it. I think it is because she reminds me a lot of a gyaru (gal) version of Leafa from Sword Art Online. I’m not crazy, right?
My favorite scene of the episode was, of course, the karaoke scene. While Junichi was figuring out what song to sing, we got a glimpse of parody versions of some of Japan’s top pop songs at the moment. My favorites were “来来来世” by “Redwimps” instead of 前前前世 by Radwimps (a super famous song in Kimi no na wa or Your name.) and a Nogizaka 46 idol group spin-off.
As I said before, I am a sucker for romance comedies where the romance starts earlier rather than later. And that is just what Hajimete no Gal is. I’m happy with it so far, and hope it stays this way.
Plot: The start of Junichi Hashiba’s second year of high school isn’t a great one. He is still single, and to make things worse, surrounded by couples. He is also caught reading a dirty magazine by the Yukana Yame, the class gyaru (gal). To make matters worse, he is elected by his friends to ask her to be his girlfriend.
As a quick warning, Hajimete no Gal is a bit ecchi, so keep that in mind if you are considering watching it. Though it is worth mentioning there isn’t any nudity. Which I think is actually for the best, since things are censored very cleverly, and at times in various comedic ways. So I think the censorship actually adds to the comedic value of the show.
My take on this show is that it is like a 2017 gyaru version of B Gata H Kei (Yamada’s First Time). The overtly sexual themes and humor of Hajimete no Gal, as well as the whole “desire to lose my virginity” aspects of it instantly reminded me of B Gata H Kei, but that is not a bad thing. I really enjoyed the latter, so I’m just hoping this newer iteration will make me laugh just as much as the older one did.
The whacky male character design in shows like these always throws me off. I’m not really a fan of the larger guy with the weird cowlick/widow’s peak thing. But that’s just a small point I suppose. The female characters are a bit overdone as well, I think. The loli with over-sized breasts comes to mind first. I’m not really a fan of characters like that. But again, I really shouldn’t be too upset since overly sexualized characters are sort of the shtick of the show.
At the end of the episode, it seems Junichi’s forced confession actually managed to work up some emotion from Yukana, and she accepts! I’m always a fan of shows where the romance and dating starts early. So I’m pretty curious to see how things turn out in future episodes.
All raunchiness and virgin jokes aside, I actually enjoyed the first episode and am looking forward to more!