At the start of 2022, few people saw My Dress-Up Darling as more than a lighthearted romance anime. By the end of the year, it was one of the most-popular anime! But is My Dress-Up Darling actually good, or just the lucky recipient of internet virality?
What is My Dress-Up Darling About?
Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru follows Wakana Gojou, a high school student with dreams of being a hina doll craftsman. However, due to an incident with a friend in his childhood, it’s an ambition he very much keeps to himself.
A loner at school, Wakana decides one day to use the school’s textiles equipment after hours to work on his doll’s outfits. That’s when he crosses paths with one of the most popular girls in his class, Marin Kitagawa.
Marin, on the outside, is the complete opposite of Wakana. Constantly surrounded by people, she is loud, outgoing and passionate. However, she too has a secret passion: cosplay!
When Marin discovers Wakana’s hobby and his skills for textiles, she convinces him to help her design cosplay outfits – and thus starts an unlikely and awkward friendship!
Is My Dress-Up Darling a Romance Anime?
First of all, we have to be clear that My Dress-Up Darling is a romance anime. The show doesn’t shy away from this being the main focus of the story.
However, My Dress-Up Darling is not the one-sided or one-dimensional romance story that it might appear like from the outside.
The story looks closely at Wakana’s insecurities, some around his hobby but more about himself and his reluctance to be seen with the hugely popular Marin.
My Dress-Up Darling is laced with coming-of-age elements like this, which while not the main focus, do help to add more dimensions to the show.
There is also more than meets the eye when it comes to Marin, the poster girl for the show. While her looks and style grab the eye, her infectious personality is what makes the show so watchable.
Not only is Marin a lot of fun, but there are many nuances in her personality, which sets her apart from other trope-laden gyaru characters.
Discover: Do Gojo and Marin End Up Together in My Dress-Up Darling?
Why is My Dress-Up Darling So Popular?
The series has amassed a huge fanbase since it first aired, and a lot of it is down to its star character Marin Kitagawa.
However, there has also been praise for the high quality of animation, which is not always great for lighthearted shows.
Marin Kitagawa has been praised by some as a bright and refreshing change from the traditional 'attractive girl and shy boy' narrative. Instead of being a cold tsundere character, she is bright and passionate while also being very welcoming of Wakana (some might say a little too welcoming).
While the ecchi moments in My Dress-Up Darling definitely have helped its popularity, both Marin and Wakana have also been praised for breaking gender stereotypes.
Many fans have discovered that there's much more to this series than first expected.
Is My Dress-Up Darling Any Good?
It’s easy to draw conclusions for My Dress Up Darling with just a glance at Marin’s mischievous grin and glittering pink eyes. However, it’s hard to deny that there are things this show is doing really well.
Despite the slightly cliche setup for both main characters - quiet, depressed boy ends up with a charming, energetic girl - their actual relationship has a wonderfully organic and human quality.
Slowly but surely, you can feel Wakana becoming more comfortable and enjoying himself, while we’re learning more about Marin’s personality with each episode also.
Ultimately, for all its potential, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is still a light-hearted rom-com anime. My Dress-Up Darling isn't much more than some bright and bold entertainment, with a bit of coming-of-age on the side.
However, if you’re looking for fun anime to watch, this is definitely a show worth checking out!
Is My Dress-Up Darling Worth Watching?
Whether you’re going to enjoy my Dress Up Darling is down to your tastes, but we’re here to help!
The first question is, what are your thoughts on fan service? My Dress up Darling has plenty of fan service, which might put people off.
However, if you don’t mind a bit of anime cliche, there are plenty of other elements to enjoy. Marin helps create a show that’s relentlessly positive, and their shared passion for craft is fun to watch. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy watching a school romance anime?
Ultimately, if you enjoy light-hearted shows that are easy viewing, with a fun balance between comedy and growth, we would definitely recommend trying a few episodes of 2022's unexpected hit!
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