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My Dress-Up Darling Episode 8 Review – Best In Show

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My Dress-Up Darling Episode 8 Review – Quick Summary

In My Dress-Up Darling Episode 8, “Backlighting is the Best,” Sajuna Inui and her younger sister Shinju Inui take Marin Kitagawa and Wakana Gojou scouting for locations. They find an abandoned hospital that they think would be perfect. But there’s a catch. Meanwhile, Wakana is forced to remember something about an interaction his younger self had had with his grandfather. His reaction surprised him, but it shocked Sajuna even more. How will she react to the revelation?

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

Favorite Quote from My Dress-Up Darling Episode 8

I say that she trusts him. There’s more to it than that, of course. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Something dawned on me as I watched this episode. Maybe it’s a little thing. Maybe it’s everything. Kinda cliche, I know, but I’m trying to convey this insight that might be completely wrong, though it feels right.

Best just come out and say it, huh?

The trust that these characters are developing for each other gives me hope for the future. They’re sharing things that are precious with each other, and you don’t do that with cruel people, or untrustworthy people. You only do that with people you either trust, or hope you can trust.

Marin’s a model. She is gregarious and socially fearless. At the same time, she’s human. She doesn’t want to get rejected. Toward the end of this episode, sensing that she and Wakana were sharing a moment even if he didn’t know it, she said something that both conveyed her feelings and made a statement of hope and trust in him.

He had said that he didn’t get out much, and that this was his first time visiting the beach. Marin said (20:12), “Then… we should go to all sorts of places together!… J-just the two of us!” 

Yeah, it’s “just” young love. But these two seem so good together, seeing her take that kind of chance on him was just life-affirming.

Best in Show Moment for My Dress-Up Darling Episode 8

How much trust and courage does it take to share such a precious memory? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Sajuna Pauses on the Doorstep

It’s not just the trust. That’s a huge part of it, but there’s another element. Another element is that Sajuna and Wakana, at least, are not sociable people. Neither have the experience that Marin has. Neither have had a chance to really open up and talk about their passions to anyone else. 

Take a look at Sajuna’s sister, Shinju. She adores her big sister, and her passion is taking pictures of her big sister in cosplay. It’s adorable how Sajuna tried to pretend to be distant and cool about it, but you can tell from her expression (01:41) that she’s touched. She just has no idea how to show it.

Do you have any idea how much effort it takes for someone like Sajuna to open up to someone? Maybe you do. Maybe you’ve experienced it before. The way this show portrays people on the edge of social norms is very appealing to me. 

It’s hard to admit you feel something, if you don’t know how to describe it, and you’re not sure the people around you will accept it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In this episode, something Wakana did proved to Sajuna that she could open up to him. I’m not talking about some anime or fiction trope where it’s automatically romantic. I’m talking about two humans, both with feelings of isolation, finding someone they can open up to. That’s amazing. That’s so amazing that it borders on fantasy. 

Sajuna tried to protect an air of confidence, but she just could not bring herself to enter the abandoned hospital. The very thought terrified her. Marin, of course, just thundered in. The woman is fearless! And the normally shy Shinju responded to that courage. She went right along with Marin. 

Wakana walked slowly in, unafraid and unaware of why anyone would be afraid. The thought just didn’t seem to occur to him. But when he looked back at Sajuna standing in the doorway, almost folded in on herself with fear, even he could see something was wrong. He asked her gently if the place made her uncomfortable. No teasing, no ridicule. He seemed honestly concerned.

Delivery: Sajuna Opens Up to Wakana

Look, maybe I’m crazy, but the older I get, the more I treasure moments where people don’t try to rip each other apart. This was one of those moments. I think it showed her what kind of man he was, but she was still too proud to admit her fear, and she charged in.

Only to end up a little later crouching in the corner of hallway, shivering in absolute terror. Seeing her in such a state was heart-rending. Wakana came down the stairs, asked if she was okay, and sat on the bottom step. Again, no teasing and no ridicule. I doubt he thought of it this way, but he set the stage perfectly for her to open up to him, if she wanted to. I said no teasing, but he also applied no pressure. So she told him about her dream to become a magical girl.

Just look at the composition of this shot. Look at how terrified she looks! Sajuna pushed herself hard, but the fear overwhelmed her. At least for a moment. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

She spoke to him about her love of magical girl anime. She told him that in middle school, she learned magical girls were all fictional, so there was no way she could ever become one. And she told him of the first time she learned an important truth.

“I found out you could buy the outfits,” she told him (10:39). She even admitted the outfit was too big for her. Despite that, she said that “My first cosplay was just awful… But still, I was so, so happy.”

Think of the trust that went into that moment. Think about what he did to earn her trust, not only through his actions, but just by being who he was. Also, think of the courage she had to bring to the moment. That’s the appeal of this show: Authentic emotions shared among people who are growing to trust each other. That’s beautiful, and I think I could do with more of that kind of thing in my life.

What did you think of the photography lesson early in the episode? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “My Dress-Up Darling Episode 8 Review – Best In Show

  1. Good people being decent to each other…what a concept!! 😉

    The cynic in me (and having watched so much anime) keeps waiting for the darker shoe to drop, but now eight episodes in and it hasn’t happened.

    The darkest part of the series was simply when Wakana and Marin failed to properly communicate, and that was back when Wakana thought this was a one-off arrangement.

    I just hope for two things: that Marin and Wakana become an official couple in these last four episodes, or that there’s a second season where that happens.

    1. I hope there’s no shoe to drop here.

      You mentioned that miscommunication — wasn’t that a great scene? They both reacted honestly and dealt with it together. I have seen so many scenes like that go badly wrong in fiction and real life. It was nice seeing what could happen when two people were simply decent to each other.

      I really hope they become an official couple, too. So far, they look great together!

      And I’m really enjoying the insights the show’s giving us about photography and cosplay!

Please let me know what you think!

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