Before the Winter 2022 season began, my thoughts on My Dress up Darling were pretty meh. It looked like it could be fun enough but I wasn’t exactly counting the minutes until it began airing. Now it is the highlight of my watch week and honestly I think I’d happily just watch a looped reel of Marin emoting.
That said, this week we got to watch part of the anime that Marin and Juju are going to do a combined cosplay of and I absolutely loved how My Dress Up Darling presented it in the older style format. Honestly, anyone who grew up on Sailor Moon and other magical girl stories would have fallen in love with what we saw of it and can I just ask if they’ll actually make it a real anime because I think it would be awesome.
My Dress Up Darling brings all the characters to the party.
One of the things that I had been a little concerned about so far was that Gojo seemed to be being dragged along by Marin. This week, we clearly see that Gojo is actually really enjoying the process of making cosplay and learning new things and his new connections and experiences are actually improving his core dream of making a better Hina doll.
While Juju was reluctant to cosplay with Marin at the end of last week’s episode, this week Marin found the winning phrase that would get her exactly what she wanted, she offered to share the cost of the photo studio. However, unprompted, Gojo (the guy who has been doing all this work for no pay) also offers to put some money towards it. It kind of shows he’s motivated even without Marin pulling him along and it was what My Dress Up Darling needed to address if we were ever going to get to a romance that made sense. Gojo needed to be involved by his own choice.
Of course though, the highlight of the episode comes when Gojo visits Marin at home. Sure we get some fan-service along the way but mostly what we get is a wholesome ‘home date’ with Gojo largely oblivious to Marin’s growing crush and the two just hanging out, watching anime, and eating food that… well Marin tried and at least My Dress Up Darling didn’t go the full cliché and make some sort of potion looking purple swill.
It’s just such a sweet moment between the two and most anime fans should be able to relate to the first time they’ve watched anime with a crush and where you end up spending more time watching them and their reaction than you do the anime. Also definitely understand the feeling of only eating pudding and then realising that real food is probably a good idea.
Basically, the whole sequence was sweet and relatable.
About my only real criticism of the sequence was that somehow they managed to watch an anime that apparently has 126 episodes through to some fairly climatic moments in a single sitting. While an 11 episode show I could understand binge watching in a single sitting. A 24 episode one I’d accept if they pulled an overnight. 126? Nope. Unless it is a short form anime with 4 minute episodes I’m not buying it.
However when I have to pull real world timing in order to find something to criticise its probably good evidence that My Dress Up Darling pretty much nailed its tone this week. While last week the fan-service plunged into the slightly uncomfortable, here the episode was fun and light and largely adorable and it was exactly what I needed this Sunday.
Images from: My Dress Up Darling. Dir. K Shinohara. CloverWorks. 2022
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