REVIEW: ‘My Dress-Up Darling,’ Season 1 – A Story Of Love And Cosplay

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My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 - But Why Tho

My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 is a romantic comedy anime produced by CloverWorks. Gojo spends all of his free time practicing the art of making Hina dolls for his grandfather’s shop. He loves what he does and finds joy and contentment in the pursuit of his craft. One day, however, he has a chance encounter with Marin. She’s a girl at his school and the two discover that his work with costumes and make-up for Hina dolls intersects wonderfully with her desire to be a cosplayer.

The primary focus of the series tracks the duo as their shared exploration of cosplay, from both a social angle as well as a crafting one, brings the two together in an ever-tightening bond. While they are initially two people you would never expect to work well together, they are soon thriving and it becomes hard to imagine the one existing without the other.

My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 delivers both of its primary protagonists in a way that gives each an equal amount of importance and validity. This isn’t a story of the isolated Gojo being rescued by the fun-loving, outgoing Marin. Rather, both characters are made better by each other. While Marin helps Gojo discover elements of the world around him he never would’ve experienced holed up in his room, Gojo also introduces Marin to new things as well. She learns from his earnestness and focus.

But while the show treats both as true equals, its greatest achievement is how it develops Gojo. Never once does the show have Gojo look back at how he spent his days before Marin and regret them. There is no bemoaning days wasted toiling at his craft when he could’ve been having adventures. He still loves the dolls he puts so much effort into and there is no regret. It was a chapter of Gojo’s life that continues. It just shares time now with Marin and constructing cosplays.

As My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 brings the duo closer together, they go on a series of grounded, slice-of-life-style adventures. As the duo learns the ins and outs of cosplaying together, the pair manage to deliver an unending stream of playful moments that warm the heart and tickle the funny bone. The duo grows together in a way that is nothing short of beautiful. As their feelings start to surface, the show manages to handle the budding romance with a wonderful pace that allows the viewer to relish the growth of the couple, while not leaving them feeling frustrated with how far the story takes the pair through this season.

The visuals throughout this series deliver the fun energy of the story amazingly well. All the fun and enthusiasm of the characters is leaned into so the viewer cannot help but be excited when a cosplay comes together or another step is taken in Marin and Gojo’s budding relationship. This is especially true for Marin. As the show’s core comedic element, Marin’s over-the-top love of cosplay and the anime/video games she gets her inspirations from are brought to life in a way that is nothing short of infectious. I can’t imagine getting through all twelve episodes without even a thought of trying a casual cosplay at least.

The one element of My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 that may put some viewers off is the fan service. The camera is not shy about highlighting Marin’s more noticeable physical assets. While these moments are largely inconsequential, there is one or two where I felt the show goes a bit too far. Especially given the fact that Marin is a minor. Happily, however, it never does anything bad enough to elicit more than a momentary eye roll from me before I’m able to move on. However, if you are a viewer whose enjoyment is hampered by the very presence of such elements, this show may prove problematic for you.

When all is said and done, My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 delivered an amazing rom-com experience that left me smiling after every episode. Marin and Gojo are two of the most lovable characters I’ve discovered in a long time and hope they get only the best in the seasons to come.

My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


My Dress-Up Darling Season 1
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 delivered an amazing rom-com experience that left me smiling after every episode. Marin and Gojo are two of the most lovable characters I’ve discovered in a long time and hope they get only the best in the seasons to come.