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Do Whatever Makes You Happy

Your abilities are worth more than you believe they are!

A sequel to the beloved anime My Dress-Up Darling was announced on September 17. Although there isn’t much information about the format or release date yet, I’m already excited about it!

My Dress-Up Darling, Anime: Wakana Gojo and Marin Kitagawa
My Dress-Up Darling, Season 1, Episode 3 || Credits: My Dress-Up Darling IMDb

My Dress-Up Darling (Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo suru) is a series created by Shinichi Fukuda. It tells the story of Wakana Gojo, a lonely male high school student, and Marin Kitagawa, his beautiful and outgoing female classmate. As a child, Gojo was insulted by a friend who didn’t accept his love for traditional Japanese dolls. Since then, he avoids getting too close to anybody besides his grandfather because he feels he won’t be understood or respected.

To Gojo, someone like Marin, who is popular and isn’t afraid of showing what she likes or how she feels, is from a world utterly different from his. But when Marin finds out he knows how to use a sewing machine, she asks him to help her make her first cosplay. As they grow closer, Gojo realizes they have more in common than he initially thought. The anime adaptation began airing in January of 2022.

My Dress-Up Darling, Anime: Wakana Gojo looking at hina dolls made by his grandfather
My Dress-Up Darling, Season 1, Episode 1 || Credits: My Dress-Up Darling IMDb

In the story, Gojo uses his experience of creating hina dolls to help Kitagawa turn into the characters she loves. He makes the outfits and helps her apply makeup to get as similar to the character as possible.

And that makes me wonder: how often do we simply assume we aren’t suited to do certain things that end up being, in a way, not so different from what we already do? Gojo is a lonely guy who doesn’t do virtually anything that isn’t related to traditional Japanese dolls or his family’s store, while Kitagawa is an extroverted girl who enjoys anime and cosplaying. And despite the contrast between them, Kitagawa needed exactly what Gojo had to offer: someone able to use a sewing machine.

My Dress-Up Darling, Season 1, Episode 1 || Credits: My Dress-Up Darling IMDb

And Gojo nailed it! Of course, the first attempt wasn’t perfect. He didn’t know anything about cosplay or even making clothes for humans, so when Kitagawa cosplayed as Shizuku-tan, she had difficulty breathing and moving. However, her outfit was good enough to impress a more experienced and demanding cosplayer like Sajuna Inui, a.k.a Juju.

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Gojo kept his mind open to learn more about each character and improve himself.He was eventually able to create splendid outfits that helped Kitigawa, Juju, and Shinju fulfill their dreams as cosplayers. Similarly, we all have skills we might not see as useful because they are so natural to us, but these hidden skills can change someone else’s life!

Photo of Kitagawa as Shizuku Kuroe
My Dress-Up Darling, Season 1, Episode 5 || Credits: My Dress-Up Darling IMDb

From an Otaku perspective, for instance, some may feel discouraged with working with anime and manga because they can’t draw, but there are plenty of other options of jobs for people who love anime.

Just like not every professional who helps people is a doctor, when we think about anime-related activities, voice actors and anime artists are not the only ones! A talkative person could remotely help artists find customers willing to commission them for exclusive artwork. Organization hacks could display manga and general anime merchandise to stand out in anime stores or conventions. And a nitpicking individual, with their attention to detail, may help a lot in the quality control of somebody's webcomic.

So, what I mean to say is… "Do whatever makes you happy!"

My Dress-Up Darling, Anime: Marin as Rizu-kyun posing for a photo
My Dress-Up Darling, Season 1, Episode 11 || Credits: My Dress-Up Darling IMDb

I know it sounds like a generic motivational sentence, and I know our lives won’t suddenly become perfect because we choose to do what makes us feel good. But if it’s about something you truly love, be it anime or not, you’ll feel motivated to give your best, and knowing that we are doing what makes sense to us can make us stronger than the problems that will come (because they will come, no matter what we do).

The first step may not be easy, like when Shinju was afraid of cosplaying as Soma, and that’s why being surrounded by respectful and supportive people, as well as being respectful and supportive towards yourself and others, is so important.

My Dress-Up Darling, Season 1, Episode 1 || Credits: My Dress-Up Darling IMDb

There’s a lot more that I could say about what I learned from My Dress-Up Darling and its characters, but I think that’s enough for one post! In summary, this is just a reminder that your skills and your innate characteristics are more valuable than you might think and, even if you don’t believe they are that great, there’s someone out there looking for what you have to offer, so just remember to be nice and follow your heart!

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