My Dress-Up Darling
Romantic Comedy, Slice-of-Life
Gojo-kun – High school student who isolates himself due to his passion for becoming a Hina doll craftsman. Distinguished by his height and his blue Samue.
Kitagawa-san – Classmate of Gojo-kun. She has an outgoing personality and is popular with all her peers. She is an otaku passionate about cosplay. She is distinguished by her long ombre blonde to pink hair, trendy outfits, and extensive use of slang.
We are introduced to Gojo-kun as a child. He has two defining moments in his life. The first is the moment he fell in love with his grandfather’s work on Hina dolls. He was enraptured by their beauty and decided that he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. From this moment forward, he was completely dedicated to his craft. The second defining moment is when a childhood friend shames him for wanting to make Hina dolls. This caused Gojo-kun to withdraw from the world and keep to himself while practicing his craft. In high school, he meets a classmate named Kitigawa-san. She is outgoing and popular and he admires her from a distance. By pure chance, he runs into her in the sewing room. Amazed by his sewing skills, she asks Gojo-kun to help her make a cosplay outfit. The rest of the show is centered around their interactions as Gojo-kun and Kitagawa-san bond over cosplay.
I absolutely adored this anime! I looked forward to it every week. It’s a romantic comedy with more than a few moments of hilarity. Kitagawa-san is very gregarious. She thrives in social situations and often speaks in slang and rides the line of propriety. She feels totally at ease around Gojo-kun and often teases him when she undresses to try on the outfits he made. It’s more than that, though. I loved the story of Gojo-kun taking a chance to come out of his shell. At the same time, it highlighted that a man should feel comfortable loving things that are traditionally for females. I love that a lot. I am a big supporter of gender neutrality. I don’t believe in forcing people into boxes. I love that this anime highlights the beautiful art of creating Hina dolls and that craftsmen can be male. The show highlights that Gojo-kun was shamed and had to shut off the world to continue his craft. I think this is sad and that no one should have to hide their preferences. My son, as a toddler and pre-schooler, loved the “home center” and costumes. When I would pick him up from daycare, he would be in the small play kitchen wearing an apron and preparing fake food for the little girls. Sometimes, he would put on the princess dresses. His little female friend loved him to play the wife while she played the husband. It was hilarious, but her mom didn’t think so. I still remember the day she took the costume off of her daughter and said, “Girls don’t do that.” It was a sad sight. They were just playing. And, you know what? My son turned out fine. He still likes to role play as a D&D dungeon master, but his days in the kitchen and wearing dresses ended with pre-school. I say that, but I also know that if for some reason he had to, he would be comfortable putting on a dress because he is confident in who he is, and I think that is an important lesson to learn. I love that this anime addresses this. While dolls are primarily considered a “girl” thing, Gojo-kun is in love with creating that “girl” thing. I dig that. I love that Kitigawa-san is accepting and supportive of his dream while he is accepting and supportive of hers. It’s a wholesome anime with comedy and romance and I highly recommend it for a good chuckle and a dose of doki doki.