Pretty sure it was Irina who mentioned in their first post of My Dress up Darling that there would be ecchi content ahead. While the first episode had some leering camera angles and a few other moments, largely the tone was sweet with two main characters who seem to be genuinely decent and nice people.
Well, episode two made it clear that fanservice was definitely going to be an ongoing feature of My Dress Up Darling, though anyone who watched the OP should have kind of figured that out on their own. But episode three does lean much harder into the ecchi elements and yet still manages to hold on to that overall feeling that these two characters are adorable. It’s a weird mix and yet I have to say at the moment this anime is definitely the one I am enjoying the most this Winter season.
My Dress Up Darling benefits from two great central characters.
Having spent the weekend measuring the adorable Marin Kitagawa for her cosplay and then playing the game ‘Slippery Girls’ in order to study the outfit, Gojo is having some fairly expected dreams that leave him in a state of confusion. His lack of social interaction and relationship awareness becomes all too clear as he arrives at school and awkwardly returns Marin and her friends’ greetings before promptly spending the rest of the day avoiding her.
In a less interesting story this could drag on for more than a couple of episodes as the person being avoided began to blame themselves or something equally silly. Not so My Dress Up Darling. Instead Marin very quickly determines she’s not having any of it and literally drags Gojo back into the plot.
What follows is what could be seen as a fairly typical shopping sequence as Gojo gets dragged about but instead of just montaging them going from store to store and having ever more bags to carry we actually see the two characters interacting as Gojo reveals the drawings he’s done of the outfit and the two discuss the materials with Gojo directing Marin to ones that will help her to achieve her goal.
Its actually relatively satisfying because you see how Marin is bringing the passion for the project and Gojo brings the expertise to see it realised and Marin is genuinely thankful. Though she potentially should have mentioned the timeline prior to now.
The whole sequence is perhaps only marred by the fact that while they are looking at material the background ends up looking like it isn’t attached to the same anime as it seems more like a real scene that has been slightly painted over. It isn’t great visually and fortunately it only occurs in that one section but I hope they don’t use that technique again as it doesn’t fit with the rest of the appearance in My Dress Up Darling.
They do however also visit a shop for Marin to buy the underwear and stockings she’ll need which of course is just another opportunity really for Marin to tease Gojo a bit as he awkwardly stands outside of the dressing room and then reacts in a fairly predictable way when she shows him what she’s wearing. For some this scene will push their boundaries as the character is a high school girl, for others they’ll wonder why My Dress Up Darling missed a golden opportunity.
It would have been far more in character for Gojo to have suddenly gone into full inspection mode and to point out a problem with the chosen underwear or a reason why it was perfect before having his embarrassed freak out. We know when it is to do with his work Gojo becomes super focused and it is usually only later he realises the situation he’s in.
All and all though, My Dress Up Darling has remained fun and upbeat through three episodes and I absolutely love Marin’s character and just how positive she is and how grateful she is to have found someone who is taking her hobby as seriously as she is. Gojo is also doing some solid character work though his more serious nature means he doesn’t have quite the presence as Marin. The two together are adorable and I’m very happy to keep watching this series to see how it all unfolds.
Images from: My Dress Up Darling. Dir. K Shinohara. CloverWorks. 2022
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