My Dress-Up Darling is a popular anime series that helped define the Winter 2022 anime season, and with the show winding down, fans can look back on the two main characters and see how they enriched one another's lives and pooled their talents to make wonderful cosplay. They learned a lot from one another.
The outgoing Kitagawa Marin got the ball rolling when she asked the shy but talented Gojo Wakana to help her make some excellent cosplay, and Gojo, as a shonen-style protagonist, was up to the challenge. He had to work hard to get the job done and satisfy Marin's demands, and now it's time for Marin to take her turn in future seasons. She has all she needs to get started.
How Gojo Wakana & Marin Can Blend Their Hobbies
Halfway through My Dress-Up Darling, Gojo put his hina doll hobby on hold so he could concentrate entirely on cosplay with Marin, and for a time, it seemed that Gojo would actually be better served by permanently switching from hina dolls to cosplay. After all, Gojo had hit a wall making those dolls, and cosplay was a bit easier for him -- and potentially, far more lucrative and mainstream as a new hobby or formal career. However, Gojo simply couldn't abandon the cherished hobby that he and his grandfather Kaoru shared, so a few episodes later, he found the perfect compromise -- one that Marin could emulate herself in a potential Season 2.
Gojo's solution was to use his new experience with cosplay makeup to enhance his artistic skills, which could easily translate into painting hina doll faces with ever-greater accuracy and care. Painting doll faces had been Gojo's single biggest problem up to that point, but expanding his skills into cosplay makeup gave him much-needed practice in a separate but related field.
This way, Gojo can compromise by working hard at cosplay for now, then use his new skills later to create hina dolls better than ever. In a similar vein, Gojo had used his experience with hina doll clothes to make costumes for Marin, proving that each of his two hobbies can benefit the other and become more than the sum of their parts. Now Marin can do the same with modeling and cosplay photoshoots if she puts her mind to it.
How Marin Can Grow As A Cosplayer & Person
Marin dominates the narrative of My Dress-Up Darling since the show is all about cosplay, not hina dolls, and Gojo is the one making an adjustment for his co-star's sake. All this means that Marin can remain inside her comfort zone and make use of her expertise in cosplay during the show. However, while it seems that Marin has it easy, there's still room to grow.
Marin has solid experience with cosplaying, makeup and accessories, but her skill set is not yet comprehensive, and she is humble enough to acknowledge that, especially when the Inui sisters arrived with their fancy cameras and advanced editing techniques. Marin may be taking the lead in her and Gojo's partnership, but she needs to borrow his hobby-blending technique if she wants to remain competitive.
Fortunately, the final episode of My Dress-Up Darling has the answer. Marin admits that her experience with cameras is limited, and she isn't quite an expert on cosmetics, lighting or related skills just yet either. However, she does have experience with amateur modeling, and Gojo learned that for himself when he saw Marin's modeling work in a magazine at her apartment. Gojo was impressed by what he saw, and even if Marin dismissed it as a forgettable side gig, is exactly what she needs.
Just as Gojo blended hina doll creation with cosplay, Marin can and should continue her amateur modeling work and use what she learns from it in her cosplay hobby. By working in a modeling studio, surrounded by professionals, Marin can learn much more about lighting, camera, composition, posing and far more.
After all, cosplay is really just modeling with a pop culture twist, and if Marin seizes this advantage, she can quickly push her cosplay to the next level and easily compete with the more experienced Inui Shinju and impress her. If My Dress-Up Darling returns for a second season, Marin should do exactly that and wow everyone with her newfound skills. Marin's hobbies, just like Gojo's can be more than the sum of their parts.