My Dress-Up Darling

Genre(s): Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Ecchi

Age-Appropriateness: 15+ (Sexual humor, suggestive themes, Fan service)

Platforms: Crunchyroll, Funimation

Episodes: 12

TheAwersome Rating: 8.8 / 10 (Absolute joy with excellent execution)

Premise: High school student Wakana Gojo spends his days perfecting the art of making hina dolls, hoping to eventually reach his grandfather’s level of expertise. While his fellow teenagers busy themselves with pop culture, Gojo finds bliss in sewing clothes for his dolls. Nonetheless, he goes to great lengths to keep his unique hobby a secret, as he believes that he would be ridiculed were it revealed.

Enter Marin Kitagawa, an extraordinarily pretty girl whose confidence and poise are in stark contrast to Gojo’s meekness. It would defy common sense for the friendless Gojo to mix with the likes of Kitagawa, who is always surrounded by her peers. However, the unimaginable happens when Kitagawa discovers Gojo’s prowess with a sewing machine and brightly confesses to him about her own hobby: cosplay. Because her sewing skills are pitiable, she decides to enlist his help.

As Gojo and Kitagawa work together on one cosplay outfit after another, they cannot help but grow close—even though their lives are worlds apart.

TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This was an absolute delight. Characters are very well written, and very well-acted. The detail it goes into about cosplay hits that perfect spot of in-depth enough to be very interesting and you’ll learn something new but without being so detailed that it distracts from the main story of our characters. Having cosplay be a major theme, there’s a delightful attention to detail in the artwork and animation for all fabrics, so keep an eye out for that. The ecchi aspect is surprisingly wholesome? And innocent but honest? More later.

TLDR: An excellently executed delight with fantastic characters and warm fuzzies.

Like My Next Life As a Villainess, this is a show with a delightfully loveable female protagonist who also happens to be a huge dork and exhibits a surprising number of attitudes/qualities of my wife, so naturally I’m going to love it even more. But then again, so does our male protagonist Gojo, so basically if you want to meet an anime version of my wife just watch this show and combine the main characters.

So, the ecchi aspect was actually really fascinating to me (ha ha ha) in how it was handled. Most commonly in anime, when any type of ecchi scene happens the female characters are either oblivious or super upset with the male character, who turns into a flustered, innocent, obnoxious, and loud child, and it’s done for laughs. Kind of an “oh my gosh, could you imagine if ___ happened?” scenario being imagined by 13-year-old boys during school lunchtime. At which the viewer, or at least I, roll my eyes and feel a bit insulted.

But this was different. Our male character is a well-meaning good boy who while definitely having some of the “flustered virgin” qualities previously mentioned, isn’t obnoxious or childish. The female characters don’t take the overused “you pervert!” route, but rather simply are confident in themselves and don’t make a fuss about the scenarios in which Gojo is flustered. The scenarios themselves aren’t gratuitous or heavily exaggerated either, so it doesn’t feel forced. That being said, there is one scene in particular that is masterfully done, very plot relevant, and gets the heart racing all doki doki. You’ll know the one.

Fun fact about the English Dub: Marin is voiced by English anime cover singer and VTuber AmaLee, and she does a very good job, so that’s worth checking out!

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