* Did my best to avoid spoilers here, but per usual I may have missed some.*
When I saw Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru (or My Dress-up Darling) announced, I had a feeling it would be good. Let me just say, it did NOT disappoint. This series was truly incredible and I eagerly waited for each and every episode, a highlight of my week.
In my Winter 2022 list, I figured this would be a cute romantic comedy, akin to Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san. Admittedly, it was cute and romantic, but a different approach than Nagatoro-san. Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru was pure sweetness, and had a theme that I really appreciated. I had planned another post for today, but I KNEW I had to put that on hold for this one. Let’s just jump into it.
A bit of background first, I think. The story follows Wakana Gojou, who loves to make hina dolls (like his grandfather), and Marin Kitagawa, a popular girl in his class who loves to cosplay. When Kitagawa-san catches Gojou-kun (just doesn’t feel right without the honorifics) using a sewing machine, she asks him to help make her costume.
The story follows their relationship as she introduces him to the world of cosplay. Day by day, they begin to spend time with each other, doing activities from watching anime to grasp the next cosplay idea to spending time on the beach just because. We get even more into the world of cosplay as well when they meet the Inui sisters, with things like lighting for photos and renting spaces to take the photos.
It’s fairly slice of life, really. What I really appreciated, however, was the theme. Kitagawa-san is unabashed in her enjoyment of this otaku culture, and of her (often times risqué) cosplaying. She’s also completely accepting of Gojou-kun’s love of hina dolls. And that’s probably what sets this apart so much for me.
I’ve been a big proponent of doing what you love and not being embarrassed by it. Kitagawa-san exemplifies and encourages this throughout the series, as does Gojou-kun (though not as vocally as Kitagawa-san). It speaks to you on a different level from most anime, and just added to the enjoyment.
Kitagawa-san is one of the best characters I’ve seen. She’s incredibly cute and sexy, and seeing her go from one to the other was a treat, but she was more than just a face. When I started the series, I expected it to be revealed how superficial she was. But no, it never happened. In fact, by the end, we were left with an even more genuine and wholesome person. She had her ideals, and she stuck by them. I’d argue that she’s the dream girl for a lot of otaku like myself.
Usually the male lead in these series comes off as a bit lackluster, always overshadowed by the female lead, but Gojou-kun held his own here. I actually really liked his character. It felt largely believable and relatable. Really, the two of them together made a phenomenal pair, and watching their relationship grow throughout was adorable.
The side characters were also wonderful to watch. I enjoyed Gojou-kun’s grandfather a lot, very kind and funny with all the misunderstandings about Gojou-kun’s activities. Inui-san and her sister were also very cute. They even had their own side story told, furthering the theme of acceptance of one’s interests. All in all, the whole cast of characters was awesome.
The artwork and animation for this series was fantastic. I loved the character designs for the cast. They technically designed even more characters, with each one’s cosplay being perfect as the character they chose. A lot of kudos for showing the inner workings of each costume on multiple occasions.
The way they composed each scene, as well as the scene direction was stellar too. Certain scenes only work a certain way. I couldn’t imagine the scene where Kitagawa-san had her inseam measured any other way. And, if it was done differently, I don’t think we’d have the same effect.
Not much to say about the music, really. Slice of life tends to use music in a more subdued way than a fantasy or action series. The ending song did feel perfect for the very cute story, however, and the ending animation was super cute.
I really liked the voice acting. With the performance the actors and actresses did, the cast felt real and expressive. The selection for each character worked well too. Just great work all around.
I just want to take a moment to thank Fukuda-sensei for her amazing work on this series. It’s an incredible story with incredible romance and a theme I appreciate and love. I didn’t realize how much I needed this series in my life.
Now. Was it good? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I was truly blown away by this series. 10/10. The romance was so wholesome, heartfelt, and cute as fuck. The comedy was hilarious and perfectly timed. I really can’t put into words how good this series was.
I highly recommend this series. If you like rom-coms, it’s a must watch. If you are meh on them, it’s still probably worth a watch. I am, without question, adding this series to my collection, and will likely pick up the manga now too.
So yes, check it out. And when you do, let me know down in the comments what you thought. Okay, catch you in the next one.