My Dress up Darling did something I didn’t quite expect this week. Actually two somethings but one of them was much better than the other.
After the cosplay event, Marin returns to Gojo’s home and they begin the task of cleaning the wig and the costume before Gojo’s grandfather comes home and throughout this process Marin realises she actually likes Gojo and the reaction is pretty priceless. Anyone who is still in doubt that Marin is one of the most expressive anime characters of the Winter 2022 season needs to take another look. Her expressions are amazing.
My Dress Up Darling takes the plunge.
You have to appreciate an anime that doesn’t go for the heroine wandering about wondering if they have heart arrhythmia rather than a crush and My Dress Up Darling really just has it happen. Now we just need the other half of the equation, Gojo, to wake up to the fact that Marin isn’t just beautiful in cosplay, she’s a great person who is totally there for him and he should absolutely ask her out.
Yeah, that will happen… I guess eventually.
Anyway the other interesting thing that happens at the start of the episode is that Gojo’s grandfather returns home and finally finds out that Gojo has made a cosplay. Much like Gojo, he is strictly business and soon the two are happily discussing the outfit and how it might be improved.
The seriousness of the sequence is cut down though when Marin’s stomach lets out an earth shattering rumble, the likes of which only anime can produce and the three sit down for a meal. And here’s giving props to the grandfather: after learning Marin lives on her own and eats a lot of convenience store food he invites her to eat with them. Best matchmaking move ever though not really his intention I guess.
Though there is a reason I’ve spent so long on the first part of the episode and that’s largely because the second half, while it all works well enough, has a number of things in it that I’m not a fan of in anime. You know, introducing a new character and instantly having the story treating her like crap and thinking it can get away with it because she isn’t the main character.
Sure, Marin has been used for fan-service in My Dress Up Darling but with the exception of the wind blowing up her skirt last week she’s been the one in control of the situation and it has never felt like she’s been cheapened for the sake of hitting a type.
The same cannot be said for newly introduced Juju who looks younger than she is but in her introduction is naked in the shower and slips and falls into a compromising position that we see reflected in the protagonist’s eye.
Its an awful introduction to a new character and it certainly adds to the story that My Dress Up Darling is just about fan-service and undermines how much heart this story has had up until now. And it is also really unnecessary as this character could have been introduced literally any other way without having a noticeable impact on the story.
Throw in that as soon as Marin meets Juju, who it turns out is the cosplayer Marin was a huge fan of, she pretty much has her pinned up against a wall underneath her.
I kind of hope Juju gets a chance to be more than just the fan-service extra or even a rival and rather gets to become a character because otherwise her presence is going to definitely bring down the fun of My Dress Up Darling. I guess we’ll see what her character gets to do next week.
Images from: My Dress Up Darling. Dir. K Shinohara. CloverWorks. 2022
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