Oh boy. I’m looking forward to reading my blogosphere compatriots’ posts on episode 6 of My Dress-Up Darling. I figure if anyone is likely to get a reaction from the general audience, it’s going to be Juju. 

Of course, I’m going to tell you all what I think but I’ll be honest, most of the scenes I liked this week didn’t have much to do with her. Let’s get into it.

The first act was probably my favourite. Seeing Gojo surrounded by blooming roses and sparkles through Marin’s shoujo vision just filled me with joy. I’m currently watching Sasaki and Miyano that is 90% shoujo sparkles and the rest is just pure sugar. I like them in that show but they hit differently here. Because they are used to specifically get us into Marin’s mindset. And I awwwed, ‘cause of course, I did. It was adorable.

Smitten Marin in general is pretty adorable. You know what I really liked, the fact that she’s freaking out in her mind but aside from a little bit of awkwardness in quiet moments, she’s still acting normal around Gojo. Like they’re friends, and that doesn’t magically change. She’s not becoming ridiculously self-conscious about everything, she’s not flying into fits of jealousy and she can still have a perfectly normal and fun conversation with him. That’s important to me. I think it helps make the romance more relatable.

But my favourite moment was actually seeing Gojo and his grandpa discuss the details of the dress-making. Grandpa was so supportive of the hobby and approached it earnestly. It was just such a warm family moment and I was glad to be there for it. In fact, the entire dinner was delightful. With the two men quietly despairing over Marin’s eating habits. 

The other part of the episode I really liked, was Gojo coming home and his Grandpa saying a friend is waiting in his room. Then Gojo starts absolutely panicking because he knows it can’t be Marin and he has no other friends. I mean, it’s sad but it was also kind of sweet. First, because he’s starting to think of Marin as a friend and having one good friend is leaps and bounds beyond having none. Heck, having one good friend is plenty for some people. Second, it creates a nice piece of continuity in Gojo’s character arc. In these moments, we are seeing his progression. And the fact that the show can do that without exposition is cool. 

So onto to Juju or Inui. Ok, let’s talk about that scene. It’s a bit heavy-handed and forced. And there’s a pubic hair joke which is the most osé the show has gotten. At this time, it’s also heavily implied that Inui is a child, potentially a grade-schooler, so that’s bound to make people uncomfortable. For the record, she’s supposed to be 17. Also, she’s not a real person. I’m going to say it’s a good thing there’s no live-action adaptation of My Dress-Up Darling.  My prediction is that this scene might not sit well with some people. And to be honest, I don’t really like it either. It’s not going to ruin my day, heck it didn’t even ruin the episode. But I would have been fine without it. I like my fanservice when everyone is having fun. 

But why is Inui here? I knew from the first moment that she was the cosplayer Marin liked but I’m not sure if most viewers picked up on it. Was it meant to be a surprise? It did get me thinking about something. Gojo was so thrilled to see someone really into Hina dolls. That was his passion from the start, a lifelong passion at that and something that is very important to him. They didn’t address it this episode, but do you guys think that some part of him resents that his work in cosplay is getting more attention than the dolls. It’s not too bad so far, but if he makes an outfit for such a popular cosplayer, it’s going to get worse very quickly. 

Shocker! The popular cosplayer saw Marin’s cosplay images and found out Gojo had created the outfit. And now she wants one too. Why doesn’t she already have a seamstress? You ask too many questions. It doesn’t matter! Gojo is slowly building his harem of girls he has to work for free for. That’s not the best harem but beggars can’t be choosers.

One of the basic things you have to accept to enjoy My Dress-Up Darling is that Marin is charming AF. It’s not too hard to accept, she’s written specifically to charm people. But I have a feeling that if you don’t like her character, the show must be very grating. 

In any case, because Marin is almost magically magnetic, it was a given that Juju would fall for her charms eventually. But I did enjoy their little back and forth as they each got comfortable with the other. I mean Main just steamrolled her way through sheer enthusiasm but still. Gojo and Marin’s different reactions to Inui assuming that they are dating was pretty funny. And Inui breaking down and apologizing to Marin for assuming some unflattering things, even though she had never voiced them was pretty sweet. And a nice call-back to Gojo doing the same thing to her earlier in the episode. 

But what stuck with me the most was Juju’s (slightly elitist) views on cosplaying. She’s a cosplay gatekeeper. Every community has them! For Juju, cosplaying a character means embodying that character as accurately as you possibly can. Of course, that also means that you need to know the character really well. 

I’m not sure if any of you know this but there is in fact a part of the cosplay community that is not interested in anime or games. They’re interested in cosplay, makeup and design. And they will often pick out characters to cosplay as, based entirely on visuals, sometimes on a single image, without knowing anything else about them. For them it’s a form of artistry that is separate from the industries it draws inspiration from. And you could argue that dressing up as a Disney character or American president is cosplay as well. In fact, there are a lot of professional cosplayers that simply don’t have time to watch the anime the characters they cosplay as, are from. Because they have dozens of cosplays each year, sometimes even in the three digits with photoshoots and cosplaying is already a very time-intensive hobby.

I personally have no views on this. I like pretty costumes and I don’t really care about the motivations of the person wearing them. But I find it interesting to learn about the different mentalities of the people in the community. We only had Marin to go by so far, Inui brings some contrast.

Oh and, am I the only one that thought that princess Lily looks like a pretty cool show. I would watch it. I’m not sure if it was meant as a jab but there’s a bit where they said the sisters in that show, that seem to have an implicitly romantic relationship, became super popular with “grade school girls and adult males”. I found that line funny. 

I hope that Juju will change her mind and we’ll see a Marin + Juju cosplay. It would be awesome. Although I’m scared that it might kill Gojo. Making one dress almost did him in. Creating two at once, with Juju being so demanding, is going to be a feat!

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7 thoughts

  1. I don’t think having 2 outfits to create this time is going to be as troublesome for Gojo as it was with Marin’s outfit. Not only was it the 1st time he was doing a cosplay dress, he assumed Marin was actually asking for the cosplay dress to be completed within 2 weeks. Also, he had lots of other stuff to focus on at the same time. This time, it could be easier, especially if he doesn’t have exams until the next event where Juju and/or Marin want to cosplay. The only problem would be as you said is that Juju is demanding. She could put a lot of pressure on him to finish the outfit quickly. But given how Marin charms everyone, she might make Juju “nicer” and more understanding.

  2. I also wasn’t a fan of the way Juju was introduced, and I found her selfish and aggressive attitude towards Gojo to be a bit grating after all the sweet, un-problematic dopamine fixes I’ve been getting with Gojo and Marin’s relationship development so far. The intro makes it pretty clear that Gojo will eventually get a harem, but I kind of wish that wasn’t the case. I’d be happy to just watch many more hours of Marin and Gojo being cute and getting excited over cosplay together. Marin and Gojo are just so good for each other, and I love the way their relationship feels natural and supportive. Which is why adding complicating factors – like a fairly archetypal bratty tsundere – is making me anxious to keep watching, rather than excited. Still, it’s been one of my favourite shows of the season so far, so I’ll just try not to be too judgemental and see how it goes (maybe I’ll end up apologising for judging Juju too soon, like she did to Marin!)

  3. I agree: Marin becoming flustered to herself, but otherwise remaining totally functional is soooo refreshing. Heh.

    I also thought Grandpa was really cute, while apologising to Marin. And the entire scene that followed was great, too, with the following invitation and the pretty prompt acceptance being more of the same refreshingness that I started the post with.

    My biggest problem with the walk-in-on-undressed-girl scene is that it’s just so… common, and for once the show played it like a box-ticking exercise, with the guy standing around for much too long and the extra-embarrassing accident follow-up.

    I know nothing whatsoever about cosplay, so that’s all new to me, but it’s not hard to understand.

    As for Gojo resenting people being more into cosplay than Hina dolls; I can see it becoming a cumulative-effect future drama, but for now I think we’re not quite there yet. I mean, he’s stuck with the business, even though he’s been called creepy for being a boy liking dolls, and that’s still his baseline. Juju actually appreciated the handicraft when he showed them to her; it’s just not what she came for. There’s got to be some sort of disappointment involved, but I think the psychological baseline is more inclined towards “well, what did you think?” than towards resentment just yet, and that particular edge should have been blunted a little, too, buy Juju’s reaction the doll outfits (seemed genuine to me). Not sure I expressed this very well.

    1. I get that. I mean the show doesn’t need to explore Gojo’s potential conflict over abandoning hina dolls to a certain extent to concentrate on cosplay. I think the story is perfectly charming and satisfying without touching on that aspect. But they have set up the possibility of it which I find very interesting. It would be something that fits perfectly with the story, but rarely gets explored in this type of anime. or really any anime. We get the never give up your dreams and be singularly focused message all the time, so this idea of putting an important passion to the side to try something new and how that might make someone feel, is really cool to look at.
      Heck, even if the show doesn’t touch on it, there was enough there to make me think of it so I already consider it a win!

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