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My Dress-Up Darling Episode 1 Review – Best In Show

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My Dress-Up Darling Episode 1 Review – Quick Summary

In My Dress-Up Darling Episode 1, “Someone Who Lives in the Exact Opposite World as Me”, Wakana Gojou dearly loved his grandpa’s profession, which was creating hina dolls. Wakana, blown away by the beauty and grace of the creations, wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. However, when one of his young friends discovered he liked dolls, she exploded in indignation. How dare he do something clearly meant for little girls? She screamed that she hated him and stormed off. He made no new friends after that. Years later, now in high school, he kept his passion secret. That is, until Marin Kitagawa, one of the popular girls in high school, walked in on him borrowing the home-ec classroom’s sewing machine because his sewing machine at home had broken. How will she react? Will she blow his cover? Will he need to find another school?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from My Dress-Up Darling Episode 1

Dang. What did Wakana do, plunge the scissors through his finger? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Wakana might be really good at making dresses for the hina dolls, but he’s apparently a bit of a klutz. Or maybe he was a bit distracted because Marin, one of the most popular girls at school, had not only spoken to him. She had said something that resonated deeply with him.

First, in an off-hand comment about an idiot guy who tried to hit on her, she said it was stupid to ridicule what someone else clearly loved. That certainly got Wakana’s attention. Later, when they were the only two to stay to clean the classroom, she seemed genuinely outraged that the other boys had taken advantage of him.

That, and she was, in Wakana’s estimation, a freaking goddess. As a high school male, such considerations had a major impact on him. 

So it’s not surprising that at home, he cut himself with fabric scissors, which are profoundly sharp. Though it does seem he does it a lot. Because when his grandfather heard Wakana’s exclamation and came in to investigate, Wakana said that he had cut himself again.

Clearly used to this, Kaoru Gojou, his grandfather, said (12:52), “I wonder if we have any bandages left.”

Clearly, Wakana needs to pay more attention or he’s going to lose a finger. Or worse!

Best in Show Moment for My Dress-Up Darling Episode 1

Dude, dude, dude. You’re lucky she’s intelligent and forgiving! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Of Sewing Machines, Wakana and Marin

Well, that was unexpected. I went into this episode thinking it might be a little funny and maybe a little sexy. I didn’t expect to meet two characters who I now care about and hope they succeed. Pretty good work for a first episode!

The story’s mechanics really helped. In fact, the only thing that felt out of place was Marin’s trajectory that made her skull collided with her desk. Seriously, unless a trampoline was involved, there’s no way she could have launched herself. What, did her friends hurl her through the air?

Was there a catapult involved? She got some impressive ground clearance with that launch! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That minor complaint aside, I loved how seemingly innocuous and reasonable moments setup their meeting at the end. The two other boys leaving Wakana to clean on his own felt like something that just happened on a regular basis. But that set up the opportunity for Marin to express her outrage that he had let himself be used. Or even the moment that followed my favorite quote, where the ancient Kaoru family sewing machine died. That forced Wakana to use one of the school’s machines, which set up the scene where Marin discovered him sewing. 

Those are little details, aren’t they? But they were so smooth, and felt so natural, that it signaled to me that the writers here know what they’re doing. That pacified the part of my brain Kate Pickford called the Logic Monster. That meant the lizard brain was free to react emotionally. 

Which brings me to my favorite moment.

I could go on for paragraphs about how Marin’s social position, seemingly at the pinnacle of popularity, represented just as much as a prison as Wakana’s social isolation. In fact, the authenticity with which this episode portrayed their plights almost convinced me to review this series, all by itself. But this moment clinched it.

Delivery: Wakana Reacted as Wakana Would React – Badly

Marin saw Wakana’s passion for the craft of making hina dolls. Far from condemning him. She expressed interest and respect. That amazed him. But when she learned he could sew, she completely blew him away by starting to undress.

I remember being in high school. I distinctly remember the ratio of blood cells to hormones in my bloodstream. In point of fact, I strongly suspect it should have been called a hormone-stream. This young woman who had just praised his passion, this young woman who had previously encouraged him to stand up for himself, was now undressing right in front of him. Just imagine how he saw her in that moment. Let’s just say he likely saw her in a favorable light.

A very, very favorable light.

That’s what makes my favorite moment so interesting.

When she showed him the cosplay outfit she’d been trying to make, how do you think he responded? I expected him to gush about how great a job she’d done. I expected him to do that out of an overflowing spirit of gratitude and as a response to her beauty. 

I mean, look at that expression! I was absolutely convinced that Wakana would fall all over himself to praise the work she’d done! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But Wakana is as socially awkward as I am and he’s every bit as dedicated to his craft. He tore into her. Saying that her version didn’t look like the original at all, he went on to say (17:39), “Nobody could suck this bad even if they tried!” He then proceeded to severely critique practically every stitch. He left Marin in tears.

That’s the action of a young man who had not interacted with people for too long. A man who had devoted himself so totally to his craft that in that moment, he couldn’t see how hurtful his words were, even to someone who he had just come to respect and even like. That moment was so raw and authentic that I couldn’t help but respond.

For the record, I was relieved he apologized all over himself. I was likewise glad she accepted his apology. She seems exceptionally bright. I wonder if she recognized some of what I just described?

What did you like about this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “My Dress-Up Darling Episode 1 Review – Best In Show

  1. Oh hey! That scene with Marin flying across the room reminds me of a song! When this girl hits her head on your desk she might be dead… Is that amore??… WHATTYA MEAN I’m a horrible human being… I am but that’s not the point.

    So if the seller from E-Bay ever sends Volumev1 & 2 will know just how ecchi it is compared to my coming Anime Review… Great. Another title for me to fake complain about. Yay…

    1. I still have no idea how she survived that. She was a good meter or meter and a half off the ground!

      And I’m still wondering who launched her.

    1. Cool! I’m glad they were available. The few times I’ve tried to buy manga for a series I’ve enjoyed, it hadn’t been translated yet.

  2. Probably the sweetest and strongest premiere this season… Crossing fingers it can keep up with the high bar it’s set itself! Unless Akebi or Slow Loop straighten themselves up, I can easily see it being AOTS-except-for-Titan.

    1. “AOTS-except-for-Titan.”

      LOL!

      This show had such a great energy. I hope it can maintain the standard it has set for itself, too!

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