MY DRESS-UP DARLING REVIEW: A PREMIUM ANIME ROMCOM
An anime series that is quite strong emerged 12 weeks ago. It competed with the likes of Attack on Titan’s climactic Season 4 part 2 and Demon Slayer’s Entertainment District Arc. Instead of the dark and wartorn setting that Attack on Titan featured or the mature, demon-infested themes of Demon Slayer, this 12-episode series offered viewers traditional Japanese Hina dolls and cosplay, as well as a romantic comedy (RomCom). My Dress-up Darling or Sono bisque Doll was Kona Wo Suru was better than its.
Based on the manga of the same title, My Dress-Up Darling has enjoyed massive popularity in Japan and abroad since its 12-episode run. It has helped to boost manga sales by approximately two million copies. In addition, viewers have consistently voted it THE Winter season fan-favorite for six of the last ten weeks — beating Attack on Titan (and Demon Slayer)).
CloverWorks, who previously worked in part or complete with series such as Darling, Fairy Tail, and Horimiya, brought the anime to life. My Dress-Up Darling can be found in Japan via Netflix and most of the world via Funimation or Crunchyroll. There are also official dubs available in English and Spanish.
My Dress-Up Darling – Official Trailer
STORY: A STANDARD POINT EXECUTED VERY CAREFULLY
The anime is about Wakana Gojo (15 years old), a high school student passionate about traditional Hina dolls. His goal is to be a skilled enough artist to make them. Although he is still not able to paint the dolls’ faces with precision, he can sew and craft their clothes quite well. In his childhood, his friend called him disgusting because he liked dolls. Unfortunately, the memories he retained were carried over into his teens, making him more socially inept and introverted than he was before.
Wakana Gojo was captivated by the Hina dolls.
Enter Kitagawa Marin. She is one of the most popular students at school. Kitagawa Marin is an extroverted, outspoken “gyaru” who has many friends and is addicted to geeking culture and cosplay. She metaphorically drags Gojo in her chaotic hodgepodge full of hobbies, hyperactive days, and cosplay activities. Gojo has the skills to be a cosplay partner, so they become friends and then develop a romantic relationship.
The setup is pretty standard for an anime RomCom. The anime RomCom’s slice-of-life elements are handled by high school students. The details of cosplay and creating Hina dolls give it a unique angle. One could even accuse it of starting with archetypal or cliched main characters: the shut-in male lead and the ray of the sunshine female lead. The execution matters and My Dress-Up Darling does a great job.
CHARACTERS & PERFORMANCES: INITIALLY CLICHED, BUT ULTIMATELY GENUINE CHARACTERIZATION
Although the character introductions are a bit too wish-fulfilling for some, the show quickly clarifies that it will explore the genre and set some expectations. Then it will either subvert them or exceed them. Both Gojo and Kitagawa are genuine people. However, the shyness of the former and the boisterousness of the latter can sometimes feel bigger than life.