Around a month or so ago, I was just delving through YouTube, watching the video produced by the many creators out there when something popped up on the side of my screen. It was YouTube giving me a preview of a then upcoming anime called My Dress Up Darling. I didn’t know anything about the show nor was I familiar with the manga it was based upon. Still, there was something about that blonde girl with reddish pink eyes that seem to make me want to check it out. So, I clicked on it and watched the trailer for My Dress Up Darling.
My first impression of the show was, well, it was just going to be your typical romantic comedy anime with the introverted guy gets with the extroverted and pretty gal. I thought it was going to be pretty standard. However, there was something about the animation that looked special. The way the animated the girl looked like they put a lot of time and effort to make her movements look, well, animated. Well, after watching the entire season of My Dress Up Darling, I guess I do have to thank YouTube for knowing more about my tastes than I realize.
My Dress Up Darling (or Sono Bisuku Doru wa Koi o Suru in its native Japanese) has Wakana Gojo, an introverted apprentice hina doll maker, roped in by Kitagawa Marin, a very popular and outgoing gyaru, to make her cosplay outfits as he’s incredibly gifted when it comes to sewing and dress making. My Dress Up Darling is basically hyper focused on their two main protagonists and, thankfully, the main characters are incredibly engaging. I will have to say I didn’t like Gojo at the start as he did start off as rather creepy as he has a habit of talking to his favorite hina doll head as if he was in love with the thing. That sort of died out in later episodes but that first impression wasn’t good.
I guess you can say that Marin is actually the main attraction. I’ve seen a lot of comments in social media how she’s now the best waifu of the year and it’s hard not to see why. She definitely has a lot of the traits that would make one. Marin is pretty, outgoing, energetic and not really aware of how hot and sexy she is. I wouldn’t call her a ditz as there are moments when she seems oblivious to Gojo’s reactions when she does something overly sexy unconsciously. However, there are times when Marin knows exactly what she’s doing and can’t help but tease Gojo.
While it’s great that both Gojo and Marin feel like they develop and mature as characters over My Dress Up Darling’s 12 episodes, I can’t really say that for the supporting characters. That’s because they’re hardly featured all throughout the season, which is a shame because they do look like cool characters. There’s Gojo’s grandfather who figures out in a few episodes but is mainly there to be the warm parental figure for both Gojo and Marin. There are also Marin’s friends from school who have all sorts of fancy designs to them but never really figure out in the story at all!
The only two characters who do have a smattering of a story arc are the Inui sisters, Sajuna and Shinju, and, unfortunately, even they aren’t really given much. They’re just there because they’re also both into cosplay and how they’re basically there to *ahem* cater to some specific tastes. You have Sajuna, the teenager with a both of a middle schooler and Shinju, who is an actual middle schooler but definitely has the more mature body. They’re fun characters and the show does hint they’ll factor more into future episodes if there’s a second season as they might be vying for Gojo’s affections later. However, after their stint on the show, they’re pretty much forgotten.
There aren’t also many story arcs to talk about in the first season of My Dress Up Darling as well. You would think they would be a little more grand by telling different stories based on the cosplay outfit Marin chooses and how Gojo puts them together. It is very elaborate at the start as a lot of detail and cosplaying tips are mentioned when Gojo puts together Shizuku’s outfit, which is based on a fictional eroge game. They still do sprinkle a few cosplay tidbits here and there afterwards, such as using tape to alter eye shape and all that. However, the last two outfits, the ones featuring the wild beast Veronica and the chibi succubus Liz, they hardly discuss all the hardships and problems encountered by making them.
However, the cosplay does seem to take a backseat when it comes to what makes My Dress Up Darling a joy to watch: the interactions between Gojo and Marin. Thanks to their inner monologues, you know they both like each other but they don’t really do anything about it for the most part as they already have a good thing going as cosplay partners. You also have Marin’s cute way of teasing Gojo, which always a hoot to watch. It’s basically these two characters and their reactions that makes the anime infinitely fun to watch.
I do have to add a caveat to this as, well, My Dress Up Darling isn’t exactly wholesome. There’s a whole lot of sexual innuendo being thrown around and it’s definitely targeted to an older audience. I can see some people getting triggered by the amount of ecchi-ness of the anime, especially when you consider the main characters are just teenagers. I personally am not bothered by it as there is some basis in reality. After all, they’re around that age when they do get a little bit curious about that kind of stuff, right? Oh, and they are fictional characters. But I can definitely see some more conservative types out there who would be more than just a little miffed at this kind of content. You have been warned.
So, overall, what do I think of My Dress Up Darling? I say it’s a cute anime. I really do like Gojo, even though it did take me some time to get over his prevailing creepy notion. The star is definitely Marin as she’s simply a fun character. The situations they get into are cute as well because of how they bounce off each other. I do wish there was a little more involvement from the secondary characters but, for what it is now, My Dress Up Darling gets a thumbs up from me.
Have you seen My Dress Up Darling? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!