Gojou loves Hina dolls and dreams of becoming a kashirashi. He has no friends or interests outside of his art, but that all changes when he meets Marin. Upon seeing his skills, she enlists him to help her cosplay!
My Dress-Up Darling (Season One)
What did you watch?
Unless you were living in a cave during the Winter 2022 anime season, you’ll be aware at least of Marin. For a period there, she was the only thing on social media. There were pictures of her everywhere. So, even though I didn’t watch it until much later, I knew what I was getting into, well, I knew of Marin, but I didn’t really know Marin. A picture can only tell you so much it would seem. It took me ten days to watch this series which is a far more enjoyable experience than having to wait a week between episodes. Anyhow, this is an account of my baptism into the cult of Marin! Join us…
Ever since his parents died and he went to live with his Grandpa, Gojou has been obsessed with Hina dolls. His Grandpa is a kashirashi, a master craftsman in the art of Hina dolls and it is Gojou’s dream to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, that hasn’t made it easy for Gojou to make friends. That’s fine with him, as he can spend more time perfecting his craft. However, his Grandpa’s sewing machine breaks when Gojou was in the middle of putting together an outfit.
In order to finish his work, he decides to use the school home economics room. The machines are infinitely superior to the old one his Grandpa had. He has his head down and barely notices someone else enter the room until it’s too late. Marin, a popular girl from his class is standing in the doorway, her mouth gaping at the sight of Gojou sewing. He panics and drops the head of his Hina doll. His life is now officially over… or so he thought. Seeing his passion for Hina dolls, Marin confides in him and asks for some advice. She’s making a cosplay of her favourite character and it’s not going as she planned.
What did you think?
I absolutely fell in love with this series. Gojou is a strange protagonist, but I think his experience is something that many can relate to. Everyone has an interest that others might not understand. I grew up watching anime when almost no one else was. People would have thought I was crazy for watching cartoons with violence, nudity, and swearing in them… they probably still do… Anyhow, I loved that Gojou thought he was so different to everyone else, especially Marin, but the reality was that she too had a passion that drove her. The more the series goes on, the more you can see their worlds entwining. This is a great story that kept me captivated. Had I not been reviewing it, I would have probably watched it in a day.
What was your favourite moment?
Every time Marin smiled! But seriously, I have to go with the love hotel episode. As much as I loved every episode and every moment of every episode, this was the standout moment for me. There were so many great jokes and awkward moments. There was almost a kiss, but that was not to be. The thing with Gojou is he is sheltered and has almost no life experience so things fluster him, and finding himself in a love hotel with Marin alone almost broke him. Regardless, they managed to complete the photoshoot and the pictures were amazing. The images of Marin checking out the room were hilarious, especially when she was bouncing on the bed. I can’t stop smiling just thinking about this episode.
What was your least favourite moment?
I have got nothing. Even the fact that there was no kiss or even a clear indication that they were becoming a couple was not a problem. I would have loved there to have been something, but the way it ended made sense. Gojou is still coming out of his shell and is quite oblivious to a lot of things. Marin, however, is aware of how she feels. That scene where they were talking on the phone in bed at the end of the season was pure gold. So, yeah. It was all good!
Who was your favourite character?
I bet you’re expecting me to say Marin. Well, you’d be damn right! Marin lit up the screen whenever she was on it. I loved the way she teased Gojou or how she reacted to him. She was the popular girl in his class but she had so much self-confidence that she was able to accept everyone for who they were. I literally cannot get enough of Marin. Another of my favourite moments featuring Marin was when she was on the train home after her first cosplay experience and Gojou, who was falling asleep told her she was beautiful. That had extra meaning given what Gojou had told her several episodes earlier and Marin’s face when she realised was priceless. The fact that he had fallen asleep left her floundering.
Who was your least favourite character?
Admittedly, there weren’t a ton of characters in the series as it focused mostly on Marin and Gojou. Of course, the only character to really butt heads with anyone was Juju or Sajuna Inui. The way she tracked down Gojou was funny but also pretty stalker-ish. I didn’t like how she was dismissive of Marin at first too. However, she had her good moments too, especially when she thanked Gojou for looking after her sister, Shinju.
Would you like some more?
I wouldn’t like some more, I need some more. Hopefully, this series will get a second season and considering how well it did, I can’t see it not happening. This is also a series that I will be investing in the manga. I don’t care how I get my Marin fix as long as I get it. I literally can’t say enough positive things about this show and I’ve written twelve episode reviews and three analysis posts, and now a season review. There must be more.
What have you learnt?
If you look through enough of my posts, you’ll start to notice a pattern. I talk a lot about the importance of character. If you get the characters right, the audience will eat it up. You can make them do anything and they will sit through it and demand some more. The question is how to get them to buy into these characters.
One of the most common ways is to give them enough traits that people will see similarities and form a bond with them. Shared experiences work incredibly well for this too. However, there is one that will stand above all else. Can you make the audience fall in love with your character? That is the holy grail. You don’t just want them to like your characters, you want them to obsess about them. Give them someone that they can love. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but that is the ultimate goal!
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
My Dress-Up Darling Manga Volume 1 – $10.39
from: Right Stuf, Inc.
My Dress-Up Darling Manga Volume 2 – $10.39
from: Right Stuf, Inc.
My Dress-Up Darling Manga Volume 3 – $10.39
from: Right Stuf, Inc.