My Dress-Up Darling has quickly become the hot anime of the season. It’s managed to outdo both Demon Slayer and Attack on Titan, which has resulted in many a hilarious meme. And it deserves its praise! The show is a perfect blend between wholesome and horny and I’m greatly looking forward to reviewing it come the end of the season.
At the heart of the series is our main couple-to-be, as with all romcoms: Wakana Gojo and Marin Kitagawa. Of the two, Kitagawa has definitely had the bigger impact. For… obvious reasons. But I’m gonna give my boy Gojo some love, too.
These two characters are well and truly opposites in every single way. From their personalities to their designs and even to their capabilities, you could not find two people more different. But you know what they say about opposites.
Gojo is a quiet but earnest boy. After a traumatic event with a childhood friend, he more or less closed himself off from others. Rather than spending time with friends, he spent all of his time perfecting his craft. As such, he’s incredibly capable at his skills of choice, those being painting and sewing and makeup work, but he is socially awkward and has low self-esteem. He’s aware that his passion is unconventional, so he’s highly open-minded to other people’s passions and is more willing than others to give them a chance.
Kitagawa, on the other hand, is outspoken, energetic, and free as the wind. She very loudly proclaims her love for her hobbies, completely uncaring if anyone judges her. Her friends might not understand her obsessions, but they accept her nevertheless, as she accepts everyone around her. Despite her passions, she isn’t particularly skilled. In fact, you could even say she’s incompetent.
But she’s trying her best and she loves what she’s doing, okay? Don’t make fun of her.
Hell, even their designs are at total odds. Gojo is tall and neat, with short black hair. He wears his uniform neatly, without ornamentation. Kitagawa, on the other hand, is relatively short, has long blonde hair tipped with pink, and wears her uniform loosely and comfortably. Not only that, but she has several piercings and carries around a bag adorned by pins of her favorite characters.
In every way, they are opposites. Yet these two are like two pieces of a puzzle. They fit together perfectly, each one providing the other with what they need. Gojo is willing to share in Kitagawa’s unorthodox hobbies and lend her his sewing skills while she helps him broaden his horizons and break out of his shell.
This lends itself perfectly towards setting up romance between the two, be it dramatic or comedic. Kitagawa’s care-free approach to life often drags Gojo into uncomfortable situations (though she’s considerate enough not to be sadistic about it, like what you’d see in ‘Don’t Toy With Me, Nagatoro-san’) while Gojo’s quiet earnestness often embarrasses Kitagawa to extreme and adorable degrees. Their simple but effective dynamic serves as a stable platform from which ‘My Dress-Up Darling’ can construct all kinds of fun story arcs.
Plus, it’s far more organic than what you see in most anime. The two characters don’t just fall for each other for no reason beyond the fact that they’re hormonal teenagers or because of lazy writing. They have a far more convincing relationship than many another storyline.
Not to mention how damn cute and wholesome it is. These two dorks are so sweet that they’re giving me cavaties.
There are many reasons why ‘My Dress-Up Darling’ has taken the anime scene by storm. It has stellar animation, a wonderful soundtrack, and it has some incredibly effective humor. Not to mention how it balances horny and wholesome remarkably well. But out of all of the reasons, the one that strongest lends to its success is the main two characters.
The two main lovers are the most important part of a rom-com. Plot twist, I know.