My Dress-Up Darling is about Kitagawa a cosplay-obsessed girl and Gojo, an hina doll artist with a gift for creating cosplay costumes. Together they make the best cosplay team someone could ask for. Here is our full My Dress-Up Darling Review.
The season was aired in the Winter 2022 anime season. My Dress-Up Darling was animated by CloverWorks and based on the manga of the same name. CloverWorks is also known for anime like Bocchi the Rock!, Spy x Family, and Darling in the FranXX.
Going into My Dress-up Darling I expected a cutesy wholesome show about a girl learning how to cosplay and a guy that helps her out by making the cosplays. I got that, kinda… just not with the cutesy wholesome bit, that got replaced by lewdness. Every episode kinda revolves around every girl loving Gojo because he is kinda dreamy, and that is basically the whole season.
In every episode, the 2 main characters go out and do some fun things together, but pretty quickly Kitagawa finds out she is in love with Gojo, while Gojo is just a nervous wreck about anything she does. I wish they explored their romantic relationship a bit more, but the way the anime ended and with season 2 being announced already, I expect that they will put their focus on that then.
I wish I could say a bit more about the story, but it’s pretty basic. Somewhere mid-season 2 new characters get introduced and help Gojo and Kitagawa set some cosplay goals while doing a group cosplay. The 2 new characters kinda took a lot of time up but also kinda disappeared after their bit was over, I had hoped they would come back for a bit in the final episode, but there was none of that. One of those characters, cosplayer Juju, also has a crush on Gojo, so I hope she will return in season 2 as a bit of a rival to Kitagawa.
The anime is waaaaay lewder than I expected, the whole 2nd episode felt like it was made to make the main character feel like a pervert, something that gets repeated over and over again, kinda a bit too much if you ask me. In every episode, there is something that sexualizes either Kitagawa or Juju, with Juju looking like a small child it was a bit strange to watch. But at the same time, the things Kitagawa gets put through are a lot worse.
Something I also miss was the focus on the hina doll part of Gojo, early on it’s a big focus, and while it does get mention every other episode, it does seem to be more of a side thing he does instead of the thing he wants to do most. This did get replaced by cosplay making, something that was actually more interesting than I expected and had a lot more focus than I thought in the beginning.
Visually the anime is just stunning, beside the lewd moments that were way too detailed with its close-ups, a lot of the episodes had a big ending moment where the scenery is just to die for, like a nice beach, a clear pool, or a dark night sky filled with the most beautiful animated firework effects I’ve ever seen. While there were not a lot of characters, the main and side characters looked amazing in every shot which perfectly encapsulated the way they are from the inside as well.
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