A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's something to be said for the dinosaur metaphor used here, and the way it illustrates how sometimes our feelings can get the best of us -- but that doesn't make us monsters.
Positive Role Models
Naoko's besties are immediately accepting of her and her differences and stand up for one another. The entire universe of this show is populated with a diverse assortment of characters -- a flying robot teacher, a sentient comet who is a student...even Naoko's father is, inexplicably, a small frog -- and it's all just accepted as par for the course.
Violence & Scariness
When she's in dinosaur form as Gauko, our protagonist is quick to breathe fire and stomp on people. Space aliens accidentally ignite a world-destroying bomb, which is tossed from character to character for the rest of the episode. The show portrays these acts with a highly comical, Looney Tunes-level goofiness that doesn't read as realistic or actually threatening in any way.
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A character in one episode says something "sucks" -- that's about it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dino Girl Gauko is a comedic anime series aimed at kids age seven and up, focused on a schoolgirl character who occasionally "Hulks out" and turns into a fire-breathing dinosaur when she gets angry. The show is filled with moments of slapstick violence, which comes across as amusing and not realistic, thanks in part to the super-flat 2D animation style and silly dialogue. Episodes are short, usually under ten minutes, and although the focus here is on laughs, there's also an underlying message of inclusivity.
Is It Any Good?
The oddball characters and cheeky humor are a perfect counterbalance for the underlying messages of self-acceptance, giving the show a vibe that's fun and silly rather than preachy and corny. The retro-minimalist 2D animation style of Dino Girl Gauko also works well in taking the bite out of the violence -- it's all kept very cartoonish, making it clear that nobody is ever in true danger. Despite the fact that Naoko's small town is comprised of an outrageous assortment of romantic space aliens, frogs as parents, and robot teachers who float, nobody behaves as though this is strange or worth commenting on in any way. Episodes are short, high-energy bursts of outrageous screwball humor and decent messages that should entertain kids and their parents alike.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.