My Dress-Up Darling

April 27, 202266/1005514 min
Alt. Name
Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru
Release Date
Winter 2022
No. of Episodes
12
Studio(s)
Cloverworks
Source
Manga
Rating
PG-13
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Story
55%
Art Style
70%
Animation Production
80%
Characters
65%
Entertainment
60%
Rating Summary
For a romance anime series, My Dress-Up Darling somehow forgot about that element. At the same time, the art style and designs will captivate the viewers; the story will be forgettable. Fans of the Manga series must pray that the series is just a lousy adaptation and not the actual series.

My Dress-Up Darling is a 2022 Romantic Slice of Life anime series from Japanese animation studio ColverWorks. Even though the studio has made a couple of fan-favorite anime series like The Promised Neverland, Horimiya, and even Rascal Does Not Dream of a Bunny Girl, that does not mean everything the studio has created will be any good. However, there are countless romantic Slice of Life anime series, and if this series is trying to compete with the best, it must be a heavy hitter. Can this series be a favorite for its viewers? Will this be better than expected or just an average one-time viewing and quickly forget kind of series?

High school student Wakana Gojou spends his days perfecting the art of making Hina dolls, hoping to reach his grandfather’s level of expertise eventually. While his fellow teenagers are busy with pop culture, Gojou 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 if it were to get out.
Enter Marin Kitagawa, a beautiful girl whose confidence and poise stark contrast to Gonjou’s meekness. It would defy common sense for the friendless Gojou to mix with the likes of Kitagawa, who her peers always surround. However, the unimaginable happens when Kitagawa discovers Gojou’s prowess with a sewing machine and brightly confesses to him about her hobby: cosplay. Because her sewing skills are pitiful, she decides to enlist his help.

While the original problem is not so original on paper, a secret gets found out. It’s been done so many times it’s a trope within storytelling. However, what makes My Dress-Up Darling interesting and uses this trope to their advantage is that they don’t dwell on the secret for more than an episode. Having the ability to create a story that goes beyond the problems of the events that happen within the first episode is more than refreshing; it is outright welcomed. Viewers interested in watching something that goes beyond what is in the series synopsis will find this a plus.

Another positive aspect of this story is that the slice of life is realistic and enjoyable for any viewer. Everyone has unique hobbies, and sometimes people can make fun of them for that but considering that it brings people together without going overboard with the attempt to connect its viewers to the story or its characters emotionally. Having that ability to bridge the gap between viewer and story through emotions is not uncommon, but having that connection is more powerful than some may expect.
However, the negative aspects of My Dress-up Darling are unique when it comes to the negative aspects. For instance, the series somehow forgot about romance for a romantic slice of life. While there is somewhat romance between the two main characters, it is very one-sided. Perhaps the series was hoping for another season; there have been no sequel announcements, and viewers are somewhat left with a dud of a romance series.

Another problem with the series that viewers may find a little problematic was that the pacing was uneven. Viewers can quickly identify which three or four episodes arc the story is in mainly because the story can easily be divided into sections. While this may not be a negative for most viewers, some may find it rather timeous and problematic regarding the flow of the story. This also ties in with the ability to continuously captivate its audience semi-poorly, which is not an easy problem to overcome. But a problem this series may give its viewers a hard within specific episodes that lack an accurate premise or reason to be within the story.

When it comes to the artwork of My Dress-Up Darling, one cannot say it does not meet the standard for Cloverworks. The colors are wonderfully warm and tame while also beautiful for cosplay designs. Viewers will be pleasantly eyeing all the gorgeous creations for the details that went into each of the clothing designs. However, when it comes to the appearance of style and art compared to the studios’ previous works, this is within the middle ground of the catalog.

However, the production side of this anime series was the true star of the show. Considering that the opening theme and animation were a perfect mesh of what the show is about without giving the viewer too much information was perfectly done. The opening song is called “San Dan Days” and performed by Spira Spica, who made the animation better. It surpassed the entire expectations of what was to come within the series. The ending credits were a lovely touch, and the animation was very different compared to any other portion of the series. While some may not enjoy the ending and skip it altogether, this style and design are reminiscent of the kind of Bewitched series openers used beyond the sixth season.

Though when it comes to My Dress-Up Darlings’ cast of characters, the amount of them is on the thinner side of the scale. Wakana Gojo is a first-year high school student. Though he is rather tall, coming in at barely five foot nine inches, he has very low self-esteem and is reclusive due to a bitter memory of being criticized by his childhood friend, who thought a boy should not be playing with girl dolls. Being raised by his grandfather, a craftsman of Hina dolls, inspired him to one day be as great as his grandfather in the art of making Hina dolls.

Marin Kitagawa is a beautiful girl with the appearance of a gal who has an extroverted personality and happens to be in the same class as Wakana. She is a big otaku with a wide range of preferences which range from all kinds of different genres. She is pretty energetic and proactive but a little clumsy when it comes to details. She is not particularly skillful in handiwork, especially when it comes to her designs.

Sajuna Inui, also known as “Juju” online, is a sophomore at an all-girls private school. However, despite being a year older than Wakana and Marin, Sajuna’s youthful appetence is often mistaken for a junior high school student and sometimes even an elementary student. Though she is outspoken and a proactive individual, very similar to Marin, she will go to great lengths to achieve her goals. However, she would not have started her cosplay journey if it was not for her younger sister Shinju who does all she can to make her happy.

Shinju Inui is the younger sister of Sajuna. Shinju is a junior high school student, but compared to her sister’s petite figure, she is so big that she could practically fit into Wakana’s uniform. However, despite her imposing physique, she is remarkably timid. Shinju is close to her sister and holds her in high regard. When her sister cosplays, Shinjua assumes the role of a photographer, using a camera they borrowed from their father. With her skills at using a computer, processing, and even uploading her images to social media, she has created a wide fanbase for her sister’s Cosplays.

After watching My Dress-Up Darling, the viewers will most likely fall into two easy categories, dependent on why they chose to watch this series. If viewers decide to watch this based on the Slice of Life aspect, they will be entertained with the cutesy moments, fall head over heels with this franchise, and potentially seek out the manga online or in print. However, if the viewer chose to watch this series due to the romance, they will most likely be disappointed that there was not any.

Of course, if the series gets another season, they will most likely show more, but considering that viewers are met without any romance or hints, this was a terrible romantic anime series. Yet when the final episode ends, the viewer could watch this again, but most likely, they won’t as it was slightly better than the average run-of-the-mill Slice of Life anime. Viewers need to be aware that there are countless other anime series with better romance than this one, as there weren’t any.

Cody Senpai

Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.

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