It’s no surprise that My Dress-Up Darling is one of the most anticipated anime for Winter 2022.
My Dress-Up Darling is the most anticipated anime of the Winter 2022 anime seasons, just behind continuations of popular series like Attack on Titan or Demon Slayer. According to the website, it could even be the first new series. It’s easy to see why, given its subject matter is cosplay. Kitagawa Marin, a popular girl, discovers that Gojo Wakana, a class loner, can sew and convinces him to help fulfill her cosplay dreams. Wakana has never made clothes for dolls.
Cosplay is a common part of convention culture all over the world. Some even make it their profession. Even if an anime lover doesn’t cosplay, they likely know someone who does. Despite its widespread popularity, however, there has not yet been an anime dedicated to cosplay. There are series that feature a character who cosplays, like Wotakoi’s Koyanagi. Others may cosplay but don’t really focus on it like Ouran High School host club. It is impossible to call a series a cosplay-centered anime. My Dress-Up Darling just may be the one that can, while also bending the norm for fanservice.
Many anime fans have at least attempted cosplay before, with some finding a strong passion for it, but even those who have only tried it once can relate to My Dress-Up Darling. Marin and Wakana are complete beginners in cosplay, with Marin not being able to sew and Wakana never having made clothes for anyone before. From drawing up patterns to picking out materials, the two take it step by step. They are exposed to heat exhaustion, con crunch, heat fatigue, group cosplay, and other events that every cosplayer has experienced.
It feels like a love note to cosplay in these moments and all thanks to the creators hard work. Mangaka Shinichi fukuda put a lot into cosplaying My Dress-Up Darling to make sure it was as real as possible. They talk about their research trips and the experiences they had while creating the series. They have visited cosplay events and wig shops, interviewed cosplayers, and even attempted cosplaying themselves to gain a better understanding of this subject.
While My Dress-Up Darling takes its cosplay elements very seriously, it still has plenty of fun along the way. It’s also romantic comedy that shows that not all Wakana’s thoughts are innocent. Marin is Wakana’s obvious crush. The manga uses the manga as the. “camera”To show the many sides of his attraction.
Wakana thinks very fondly of Marin once they get to know each other and does his best to respect her personal space, but his lust is clear whenever a panel is shown through his point of view. He tends to concentrate on one area of her body, and the reader gets the same view. What makes My Dress-Up Darling’s scenes different from standard fanservice, though, is Marin herself.
Marin is not like most fanservice characters. She’s not embarrassed or offended by being looked at in a lot of scenes. Marin is very confident in herself and doesn’t care what other people think. This philosophy is reflected in everything she does, including her unapologetic obsession with otaku and her body. While she is very clear about her privacy and boundaries, she is not afraid to be naked in front a boy while he measures her for cosplay purposes.
Marin even initiates some of the fanservice herself, flirtatiously teasing Wakana when he’s flustered or showing a bit of immodesty when she needs his opinion on tiny cosplay details. In the manga’s first few chapters, she does this several times and in doing so, she takes responsibility for the fanservice rather than having it done to herself. It’s refreshing to see the norm being twisted in a medium that is so often the opposite.
2022 is already hinting at being a great year for anime by kicking off with plenty to watch in the Winter season. CloverWorks, an animation studio, captures Fukuda’s manga magic and makes My Dress-Up Darling a must-see for fanservice and cosplay fans.
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Gina is an Anime features writer for CBR. Gina is an anime fan for over a decade and has many opinions about the subject. She started writing anime content for her WordPress blog a year back and hopes to improve with CBR. You can follow her Twitter account to see how it functions like a Tumblr site. @ProseAnime.
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