Review: Dino Girl Gauko Is A Light-Hearted Anime For Kids With Great Themes

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BY November 29, 2019

Netflix’s latest original Anime series is here in Dino Girl Gauko. The simple and kid-friendly Anime is chock full of light-hearted moments for kids, as well as great lessons for the young. 

While most of Netflix’s original Anime are more young adult, or completely adult-themed, Dino Girl Gauko provides a nice alternative. The series is bright, colorful and simple, clearly aimed at very young audiences. 

Dino Girl Gauko’s Lead Character Is Self Aware And Mature

Despite the show targeted at young audiences, the lead is actually pretty mature. Dino Girl Gauko is all about a little girl, Nauko, who turns into an actual fire-breathing dinosaur when she loses control of her emotions and gets angry. 

Nauko as Gauko passing her mom. Dino Girl Gauko Image via Netflix.

The whole thing is a metaphor for how girls are dismissed in modern society as being too emotional. It’s sort of become a slur for women, and hyperboles of which exist everywhere in modern pop culture. Like popular reality shows like Bridezilla. Dino Girl Gauko takes that idea and makes it completely literal, while showing how the character endears despite it. The show even tackles how it’s completely okay to be out of control sometimes. And how doing so doesn’t make anyone a monster. 

Nauko is a completely self-realized character who knows who she is, what she wants and never apologizes for it. It’s a strong depiction of a lead character, especially given that the show is for young kids. Kids often look up to and relate to the heroes of their shows, so to have a mature and young girl and self-realized, only makes sense. 

The World Of Dino Girl Gauko Is Completely Bonkers

The balance between the maturity and seriousness of certain topics and subject matter occurs wonderfully with the setting. Nauko is from a small town where aliens, robots, animals and humans and all treated the same. There’s no sense of sci-fi or fantasy. There’s no exposition about why the world is this way, or even any plot points around it.  It’s just the norm. Nauko’s own dad is a small frog. 

Poster from Dino Girl Gauko on Netflix Image via Netflix.

In the beginning, it can take a while getting used to a robot teacher, or animals talking, or even aliens casually trying to invade Earth, then just being there always. But after an episode or two, it becomes completely normal. And this can easily be dismissed as just an outrageous kids’ show that doesn’t need to make sense. And sure, it could be. 

But to me, it seems like another metaphor that teaches kids about people’s differences, without preaching or making a big deal. It’s what I call the Star Trek effect. 

How Dino Girl Gauko Uses The Star Trek Effect Wisely

Star Trek is a show where the heroes are from a future where different races, people and even species all coexist in harmony. Young kids get to know the plethora of alien characters featured, with amazing prosthetics and makeup, seeing them as beings with feelings and thoughts. This removes much of the biases that some kids end up learning in the real world. The differences of race, gender, sexuality, etc… all seem minor when compared to the vast differences of the characters alway featured in Star Trek. Which is sort of what creator Gene Roddenberry intended in the first place.

Gauko grabbing the alien who has a crush on Nauko Dino Girl Gauko Image via Netflix.

Similarly in Dino Girl Gauko, the existence of a small talking giraffe, along with a squid-like Alien who is in love with Nauko, all seem pretty normal. There’s no discussion. There’s no singling out certain characters for who they are and how they behave. There’s even a snide, cranky and snarky baby with a pacifier. And yet they all occupy the same space and the same stories. It teaches young kids inclusivity and acceptance, without ever actually saying anything about it out loud.

It’s Kiddy Cartoons In Easy To Accept Doses

The best thing about Dino Girl Gauko, especially for adults, is its run time. The short 9-minute episodes really deliver the silliness, punchlines, and messages quickly. It keeps the energy level high for the kids, while never feeling dragged out for the adults. 

Dino Girl Gauko is now streaming on Netflix. 

What did you think about Dino Girl Gauko? Let us know on all our social media feeds. 

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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