WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Dress-Up Darling Season 1 Episode 1, "Someone Who Lives in the Exact Opposite World as Me," now streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.
Cosplay fans rejoice -- My Dress-Up Darling has finally premiered its highly anticipated first episode, and it's as adorable as expected. Already an 8.39 on MyAnimeList, My Dress-Up Darling is a slice of life romance centered around cosplay and is adapted from the hit manga Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru. The protagonist, Gojo Wakana, is the grandchild of a traditional Japanese doll maker and a complete loner. After a rather traumatizing incident where his only friend rejected his love for dolls, poor Gojo has had trouble making friends ever since.
Instead, he spends his days honing his craft, sewing clothes for the dolls that his grandfather makes. That is, until one day the popular Marin Kitagawa accidentally flies into his desk. She seems to know his name although they've never spoken, and after another encounter after school where she catches Gojo with a sewing machine, she excitedly shows Gojo the costume she's made. After he critiques her sewing skills a little too harshly, she begs him to help her make her dream cosplay. He bashfully accepts, and thus starts this collaborative nerdy love story.
From the get-go, Gojo laments his lack of social life and sees Marin as being from a completely different world. He believes that she would never interact with him, and when she does, he thinks it must be some kind of fluke. From a superficial point of view, their personalities are polar opposites when one compares Gojo's loner personality to Marin's unapologetically loud manner. However, it's their commonalities that draw them to one another.
Their mutual interest in clothing is what initially brings them together. Marin reveals that she attempted to sew her costume in the same room that Goju uses at school after his antique sewing machine breaks. Not only this, but their quirky, almost taboo hobbies that society pressures them to hide is something they have in common too. Marin is seen being teased about liking anime by a flirting boy, but she does not hesitate to scold and berate him for doing so. In contrast, Gojo's unfortunate falling out with his only past friend completely affected his social life when she was disgusted to find out that he liked dolls, since "dolls are for girls."
Marin would eventually prove to be the first person who's ever complimented something that Gojo loved. Not only that, but she also seems to empathize with him a lot. When Gojo is seen cleaning the classroom by himself after school, Marin encourages him to stick up to himself more and not let others push him around. This most likely comes from a place of experience, as Marin may have also been bullied and pushed around for liking anime and cosplay. Although on a surface level they are different, fundamentally, they are the same in many respects, and fans will be excited to watch their relationship blossom.
From its adorably awkward situations to its unbearably sweet moments, this show has tremendous potential. Notably, Marin, who is beautifully animated and definitely break-out Best Girl material, will have all eyes on her over the next few weeks as the story unfolds.
My Dress-Up Darling airs every Saturday on Funimation and Crunchyroll.