Gojou has a passion for Hina dolls while Marin has a love of cosplay. Both are highly creative art forms so why is it that Marin is popular while Gojou has barely spoken to anyone in years?
My Dress-Up Darling (Episodes 1-4) – Self-Confidence is Infectious!
Episode 1 – Someone Who Lives in the Exact Opposite World as Me
Gojou Wakana was minding his own business when a girl literally fell across the classroom and landed in his life. He was surprised to find out that she knew who he was. Little did he know, she was about to find out a lot more about him. When Gojou’s grandfather’s sewing machine finally broke, he was forced to use the school resources to complete his latest Hina doll outfit after school. That was when Marin walked in and discovered he could sew. She revealed that she was creating a cosplay of her favourite character and showed him what she had made so far. It was not good, and she knew it. She managed to convince Gojou to help her make one that would be fitting of the star of Saint Slippery’s Academy for Girls – The Young Ladies of the Humiliation Club: Debauched Miracle Life 2! What???
Episode 2 – Wanna Hurry Up, and Do It?
Having convinced Gojou to help her, the first task is to get Marin’s measurements. Luckily, she had a guide to cosplaying that explained everything that Gojou needed to do. However, it was something that pushed Gojou well beyond his comfort zone. He had planned on putting it off until the following week, but Marin showed up at his house ready to be measured. Could Gojou keep his nerve or would the sight of Marin in a bikini be too much for him?
Episode 3 – Then Why Don’t We?
Gojou is starting to get noticed at school and mostly because of Marin talking to him. It’s making him incredibly uncomfortable, but not as much as some of the gossip he’s hearing. He decides that he needs to avoid Marin or destroy her credibility along with his. Marin, however, couldn’t care less and is determined to talk Gojou shopping for supplies. She takes him to some craft shops that blow his mind, but the real test will be the lingerie store… Can Gojou handle it?
Episode 4 – Are These Your Girlfriend’s?
Marin told Gojou that the next cosplay event is in two weeks. Two. Weeks! He’s never made clothes for a real person before and has no idea if it’s even possible, but he can’t let Marin down. Unfortunately, his grandpa falls and hurts himself, he had mid-terms to study for, and a visitor that’s keen to see the Hina doll store. Time just keeps slipping away from him. Will he complete the costume or is it all too much?
Self-Confidence is Infectious!
I’ve been watching My Dress-Up Darling recently and I can honestly say that I love it so far. Marin Kitagawa is the undoubted star of the show, however, it’s not just because she’s pretty. Her true superpower is self-confidence. She has it in spades and the best thing about it is that self-confidence can rub off on people as we’re seeing with Gojou… well, kind of.
Firstly, let’s just talk about what self-confidence is and isn’t. You might associate self-confidence with bluster and bravado, but that’s not true. As with Marin, it’s more about acceptance of yourself which in turn creates acceptance of others. Yes, Marin is popular, but it’s not important to her. Equally, you can have popular people who have no self-confidence. These are the sort that will put down others to ensure that they stay at the top.
We’ve witnessed how Marin’s self-confidence influences her several times. The first was in class after she bumped into Gojou. He heard her talking about a guy that hit on her but didn’t understand that the anime figure attached to her bag was important to her. She then went on to talk about her interests and how she was frustrated that people couldn’t just accept that other people enjoy other things. Of course, Gojou took this to show how different they were. She could openly talk about her interests whereas he couldn’t.
Then, Marin found Gojou sewing an outfit for his Hina doll. He freaked, assuming it was the end of his existence. However, she could see that it was important to him and was impressed with his craftsmanship. Her confidence in herself allows her to treat others with compassion. That also allowed her to show him what she was working on. She knew it was bad and wanted to make it better, and now she had a chance.
The best thing was that doing this gave Gojou the chance to open up about himself. No one other than his grandpa had seen his work. He was too embarrassed to show anyone, but Marin gave him that chance and was accepting of it. She was actually impressed and that lifted Gojou. Soon after Gojou met her friends and it was all a little too much for him, but I can understand that. He went from talking to no one to being surrounded by people all curious about him.
However, when he was with Marin he was able to come out of his shell. We saw that when they went shopping and had dinner together. Marin also showed that she was comfortable around him when she ordered the meat-wrapped onigiri after just eating dinner. Of course, their shared goal of creating a cosplay was a driving factor, but it would never have gotten this far without Marin’s attitude.
Then, we got to see Gojou put through the wringer. The looming deadline, his hurt grandpa, and the exams were taking their toll on him. They started to knock his confidence which had only recently started to grow. One of the overriding factors in his continued efforts was his desire to not disappoint Marin. We saw him breakdown as he questioned whether he could do it. After all, just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean you’ll be any good at it.
I loved that it approached this subject as it is a hard truth to swallow, but I loved the memory of his grandpa even more. His message was that it’s the passion that allows you to keep going when times get tough. You may struggle, but you’ll keep trying. If you keep trying, you will get somewhere. Maybe not where you thought you would, but perseverance pays off. You just need to recognise where it’s taking you. Without Marin’s confidence in herself and in Gojou, he may never have come to this realisation. In short, we should all try to be like Marin – accepting of ourselves and others. This is her true beauty.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Someone Who Lives in the Exact Opposite World as Me
- Episode 2 – Wanna Hurry Up, and Do It?
- Episode 3 – Then Why Don’t We?
- Episode 4 – Are These Your Girlfriend’s?
- Episode 5 – It’s Probably Because This Is the Best Boob Bag Here
- Episode 6 – For Real?!
- Episode 7 – A Home Date with the Guy I Wuv Is the Best
- Episode 8 – Backlighting Is the Best
- Episode 9 – A Lot Happened After I Saw That Photo
- Episode 10 – We’ve All Got Struggles
- Episode 11 – I Am Currently at a Love Hotel
- Episode 12 – My Dress-Up Darling
- Bonus Posts
- Season One
- Volume 1 – I Don’t Suppose You’d Make My Cosplay?!
- Volume 2 – Do I Make a Proper Sex Slave?
- Volume 3 – Would You Do a Group Cosplay With Me?
- Volume 4 – A “B-holder”…
- Volume 5 – Turns Out… It’s a Love Hotel!
- Volume 6 – Once You Form Assumptions…
- Volume 7 – Is This Your First Time at a Host Club, Princess?
- Volume 8 – Won’t You Make Me Number One?
- Volume 9 – I’ll Eat It When I Get Home!
- Volume 10 – Because I Don’t Intend to Sleep Tonight