Gal & Dino – 1st Episode Review
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Synopsis: After a night of drinking, Kaede wakes up realizing that in her drunken daze she had brought an unexpected guest home—a dinosaur! Kaede just goes with the flow and accepts her new living situation. Now she navigates her daily life while eating, watching TV, and shopping with her prehistoric roommate. Together, the duo enjoys each other’s company as they take on whatever the day brings. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Gal & Dino makes it abundantly clear, right from the very start, that you’re in for an unusual and experimental experience. Just from its opening credits alone, which feature photographs of actual people and items such as make up etc to represent our ‘Gal’ and even video of someone in a ‘Dino’ mascot style costume doing jumping jacks, you know you’re in for a wild ride. Gal & Dino is anything but your standard comedy in its visuals or its approach to comedy.
Tom: Gal & Dino desperately wants to be seen in the vein of Pop Team Epic. From deadpan comedy in Gal’s nonchalant reaction to Dino’s mere presence, to Dino’s inexplicable fear of cats, to the shift from traditional 2D animation to claymation and eventually live action, Dino has said ‘fuck it’ to form and is ready to do whatever it wants on the fly. The problem though is that Gal & Dino just doesn’t know how to make these shtick land. Even as someone who dislikes Pop Team Epic I still admit sometimes there was a good joke or two. With Gal & Dino it’s hard to find even remotely hilarious.
Linny: The comedy stylings more often than not land on characters reacting to the absurd in an absolutely relaxed manner, as if absolutely nothing is out of the ordinary. For example, ‘Gal’ is never really bothered about how this absurd looking alleged dinosaur exists. Nor is her landlord. Another repeated gag line is to have a narrator voice out exactly what just happened onscreen, as if the audience couldn’t deduce it on their own. It feels like the equivalent of watching someone’s favourite show with them and having them nudging you every few minutes and going ‘isn’t this so amazing?’ The humour is absurd but dry and the show doesn’t know how to really play that kind of attitude for laughs. It needs you to find its basic concepts hilarious already so they can repeat the same dry gags over and over.
Tom: Ultimately I think Gal & Dino is going to be a tad too weird, and oddly enough at the same time too dry, for either a more typical audience or people seeking a more experimental flavor. Maybe if you really, really loved Pop Team Epic this could do in a pinch? Otherwise I think Gal & Dino is another easy pass for the Spring season.
Linny: Now this is something that comes down to personal taste but Dino’s design makes me feel like he’d be better at home on Sesame Street or some simplistic kid’s mascot character cartoon. It’s clearly a part of the show’s whole ‘lol so random’ brand of comedy so that could actually be a positive to others but it’s just another detracting distraction to me. Ultimately, Gal & Dino seems fated to be reserved for fans of experimental comedies as everything about it demands that you appreciate and hanker for something utterly detached and different from more conventional standards in anime and humour.
Gal & Dino is available for streaming via Funimation.com