My Dress-Up Darling Reuses a Hilarious Trope – and It Still Works

Romantic comedy is a genre loved by all. Nothing is more wholesome than being able to laugh at the awkward relatability of budding romances. The rom-com currently sweeping the anime world is the Winter 2022 breakout anime My Dress-Up Darling, a romance centered around the art of cosplay. Besides its pretty meta premise, many fans are smitten by the bubbly and nerdy Marin, who is equal parts adorable and sexy and is already a top contender for 2022's Best Girl. Her bold and unapologetic personality is well contrasted by Gojo, a shy and timid loner with a lifelong love for traditional Japanese dolls.

A common trope in the romantic comedy genre plays on the importance of communication. Many gags and comedic moments are derived from misunderstandings and being too embarrassed to confess any feelings to each other. This is otherwise known as the Not What It Looks Like trope. A great example of this is within Kaguya-Sama: Love is War, where the two love interests have unknowingly set up a game to see who will confess their love to the other first. This ridiculous premise ensures shenanigans and misunderstandings that set up viewers to root for the frustrating romance to be realized. There's a reason why these plot devices are well used to the point of being cliché: they just work.

My Dress-Up Darling: How Marin Undressing for Gojo Reveals Her Feelings for Him

My Dress-Up Darling is no exception. As Marin and Gojo navigate their nerdy and awkwardly wholesome relationship, these misunderstandings set up the viewers to want to root for the future couple. Since Marin's dream cosplay character Shizuku-tan comes from the adult video game Slippery Girls 2, she encourages the clueless Gojo to do some research on the costume by lending him copies of the game to play.

As he plays the game for purely research purposes, his grandfather walks in on him intensely focused and taking notes on a notepad. The pure ridiculousness of this situation and his grandfather's reaction really sells this comedic moment. A similar situation can be seen when Gojo's grandfather ends up in the hospital after finding lacy stockings in his shopping bag. He is quick to notice a change in his grandson as soon as Marin shows up in his life, and hilariously it is often through situational circumstances. Gojo's grandfather isn't the only one who notices, though.

Even complete strangers recognize the couple's chemistry. As they enter a ramen shop together, an older woman laments about wanting to be back in high school- then later regrets that sentiment as she spots Marin and Gojo discussing the graphically sexual plot of Slippery Girls 2 in public. Other onlookers are also disgusted by their casualness with such a taboo topic. Their classmates at school are quick to pick up on their increased time spent together, and almost immediately speculate that they are an item. Funnily enough, these misunderstandings isolate the couple into their own world, unaware of their strong chemistry for each other despite everyone else seeing it.

My Dress-Up Darling Marin Rose

My Dress-Up Darling's intended isolation of the two leading characters sets viewers up to support their budding relationship and root for their slow -- almost painful -- realization of their feelings for each other. This element of unawareness retains an innocence that the anime uses in both adorable and hilarious ways. Its unique opposites-attract pairing stands out by being equal parts wholesome and steamy.

Although Marin and Gojo are superficially complete opposites, they experience the same misunderstandings and can relate to each other on a much deeper level. As their relationship blossoms and the veil of unawareness is lifted, viewers will look forward to the satisfaction of seeing them finally come to terms with their feelings for each other and making it official.

Boruto, Sarada and kaito in the Boruto anime
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