My Dress Up Darling Anime Series Limited Edition BD+DVD Set Review

My Get dressed-Up Darling Anime Sequence Restricted Version BD+DVD Set Evaluation

My Dress Up-Darling seemed quite distinct from other romantic anime when I initially saw it, and now that I’ve rewatched it via My Dress Up Darling: The Complete Season Limited Edition, I can say with certainty that it has a unique quality. The show’s emphasis on emotions and how the things we love can bind us together is mostly responsible for its appeal, but its grounded, realistic take on rom-coms also plays a big part.

My Dress-Up Sweetheart: The Entire Season The first season’s 12 episodes of the anime version of Shinichi Fukuda’s manga are available in a limited edition on Blu-ray and DVD, including extra features on the latter. A 104-page art book, a sticker sheet, a cosplay planner/calendar, and a deck of art cards are also included in the Limited Edition package. Let’s examine the series and all of the features included in the limited edition package.

A successful romantic comedy relies on having multifaceted characters who go beyond just being infatuated with one another. This is expertly accomplished by My Dress-Up Darling, who also breaks down barriers between genders. The show centers on Wakana Gojo and Marin Kitagawa, two first-year high school students who, in Gojo’s words, “seem to exist in different worlds.” Like his grandpa, Gojo is deeply devoted to creating Hina dolls, a hobby he keeps hidden for fear of rejection (being a boy who “plays with dolls”). On the other hand, Marin is a vocal otaku who loves ero games (we like our bi queen), which contrasts greatly with her gyaru/girly look and manner. They both live in worlds of passion that are similar in that they are enthusiastic about specialized subjects, but they show their enthusiasm in different ways—one loudly, one quietly.

Herein is the series’ true brilliance. When Marin begs Gojo to create cosplay clothing for her after she sees him at school producing Hina doll outfits, their two worlds intersect. These awkward exchanges—Gojo disclosing his secret and Marin seeking assistance because she’s ashamed of her shoddy cosplay creations—mark the beginning of their relationship. They’re both strange jigsaw pieces that fit together, which is a big part of what makes their growing relationship so adorable and wonderful.

Gojo and Marin get closer as they work on Marin’s costume; Marin shares with Gojo her favorite anime, manga, and video games that she wants to cosplay, while Gojo learns about the pleasures, pitfalls, and complexities of cosplay making. Marin, on the other hand, sees Gojo’s skill, his perseverance in perfecting a craft, and his kind, straightforward nature. Gojo also sees Marin’s passion for geeky things and how freely she loves things that aren’t “typically for girls” without hesitation. When people talk down to her about it, she gives them the third degree. They get closer as they both become more skilled at what they do, which results in a pretty adorable setting that works out well.

It’s good to see the characters as cosplay partners before they get romantically involved, as friends first. Naturally, this doesn’t stop her from occasionally making fun of him in sexual contexts, but even that develops into a sweet aspect of their developing relationship; as she grows to like him, she finds it increasingly embarrassing to make fun of him, making it a stronger willpower challenge.

As Marin grows to love Gojo, there are many adorable moments like this one. My personal favorite is when Marin goes clothing shopping with Gojo and he looks silly in almost everything. Though we can’t help but feel that Marin would find humor in his appearance, she’s obsessive with how well he appears in everything. It’s good to experience Gojo via Marin’s feminine perspective rather than only a male one for the whole of the series, even if the ratio is wildly out of balance.

It’s all so sweet—I know I say it a lot—and its cuteness and sweetness serve to balance out some of the series’ less admirable aspects with a realistic element. My Dress-Up Darling has some skeezy, juvenile leeriness, much like a lot of rom-com anime. I won’t argue against it: there are too dramatic scenes that will undoubtedly unnerve some viewers. Nonetheless, there are some charmingly authentic adolescent romance scenes. Teens are sometimes lustful, overflowing with hormones they don’t necessarily desire, and there are endearing moments mixed in with the ecchi sequences that seem to perfectly capture the essence of what two teenagers falling in love may go through.

The scenario in particular that comes to mind is when Gojō and Marin utilize the love hotel as a studio for cosplay photo shoots; unintentionally, Marin books in a sitcom-esque, but appropriate, moment for her. For the shoot, Gojō invites Marin to go up on top of him on the love hotel bed so they can capture the desired upward-angle photo. The show does an excellent job of establishing beforehand that Gojō is often distracted by the need to do things perfect, so it seems natural that at first he doesn’t understand the intimacy of the moment. But suddenly he understands their arrangement, and both his and Marin’s bodies react like any teenage male would.

These are two youngsters with strong sentiments and a connection they are uncertain how to manage, and they end up communicating extremely intimately and passionately, even though they nearly kiss in what should be an ecchi moment. It’s quite endearing, particularly when Marin, who is often making fun of Gojo for similar closeness, becomes very agitated at a much more genuine kind of intimacy.

Moments such as this one convey the idea that a sexual desire would develop between two teenagers in love by using what is usually considered fanservice. The program accomplishes a noteworthy achievement in using gaze to uncover true comedy, relatability, and nice moments. Nevertheless, the series’ juvenile leeriness is not made up for by these more endearing moments. Instead, I want to draw attention to the true personal moments that may be overlooked amid the spookier sequences.

Regretfully, each and every one of those sequences has underage ecchi, ranging from repulsive—scenes featuring Juju’s middle-school-aged sister—to uncomfortable—Marin in her bikini. You decide whether this is a good or awful movie. I think Gojō and Marin’s connection is very beautifully done, but I can understand if you want to stop after the first creepy moment.

In any case, I enjoyed going back to the series with the Blu-ray and focusing on what makes its best aspects so charming. It’s important to mention that I watched the dub this time, and I thought it was very nicely done. Although the sub is great on its own, AmaLee’s portrayal of Marin and rookie Paul Dateh’s (who crushed it in his first part!) Gojō seem exactly like the characters. Although the dub script’s teen-speak at times seems a little out of date, the outstanding performances are nonetheless enhanced by it.

Regarding the Limited Edition DVD/Blu-ray set’s features, They are not required in order to watch the series; streaming works just fine. The physical extras that are included in the box set are really good, and the Blu-ray quality is excellent, so it’s not all bad. Though the art book, cosplay calendar, and planner are all wonderful, useful extras that take into account how My Dress-Up Darling can draw fans into the cosplay community, the art cards and sticker sheet are little to write home about.

It’s important to highlight the cosplay planner and guidance included in the art book, which is just the appropriate amount of technical. Although the series contains real cosplay advice and recommendations, it is not burdened by details and technical jargon. This level of cosplay includes both beginning and intermediate elements, and it rises steadily as Gojō and Marin become more proficient in their respective areas of the trade. Most importantly, it strikes the ideal balance between pragmatism and enthusiasm, conveying both the pleasure of appreciating something and the abilities, effort, and practice required to create the ideal costume. I believe that the cosplay-related extras included in the box set are a very clever way to capitalize on this.

Of course, you can readily get a lot of the information in these guides—as well as in a comparable planner—online. This leaves a lot to be desired, as do the mediocre supplementary features, which consist of textless opening and ending credits, promotional trailers, and a Q&A with the Dub cast. Furthermore, the set lacks a feature called “Costume Play,” which was promoted on its printed insert but isn’t mentioned in digital marketplaces (maybe because it was deleted). In the end, I don’t believe the series’ Limited Edition is worth the money; streaming or a regular season set would suffice.

In any case, My Dress-Up Darling remains one of my favorite romantic comedies from the last several years; it doesn’t need any additional features to captivate me every time I see it. My Dress-Up Darling, if you can look beyond some standard anime fanservice farewells, will reward you with a really charming romantic comedy centered upon how we pursue our hobbies.

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