Marin Kitagawa’s Inescapable Cuteness!

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Welcome to the Solaris Blog! ヾ( ʚ̴̶̷ .̫ ʚ̴̶̷ )ノ”

My Dress-Up Darling (Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru) was one of the most popular anime of 2022. It was so popular that shortly after it ended, a sequel was announced, but no other updates so far. What made it click with so many viewers? Aside from great animation, voice acting, and enough fan service to keep things interesting, it had a great story and characters including an extremely lovable gyaru (gal) cosplayer. Gyaru was traditionally a fashion subculture about rebelling against Japanese social standards (they were known for partying, being flirtatious, and “free” rather than submissive housewives) but in anime they are the most wholesome people who you can’t help but fall in love with!

No Friends, Just Dolls

The story begins with high school student Wakana Gojo. He spends his days as a shut-in, working to perfect the art of making hina dolls, ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants etc. in traditional court dress of the Heian period (794-1185). His goal is to one day become as skilled as his grandfather and take over the family store. While his fellow classmates waste their time on frivolous things like video games and having friends, Gojo enjoys sewing clothes for his dolls. It is a little bit creepy so he keeps his hobby a secret to avoid the bullying that would likely happen if anyone found out. With low self confidence and being a recluse, his only friends are the dolls he works so hard on.

Gyarus Love the Shy, Otaku Types

In typical anime fashion, Marin Kitagawa, an extraordinarily pretty, confident girl who is incredibly popular at school discovers Gojo’s secret. While normally the friendless Gojo would have no chance interacting with someone like Kitagawa, she confesses about her own hobby: cosplay. Since her sewing skills are subpar, she convinces him to help her create cosplay outfits. The two main characters are easy for viewers to connect with and have universal appeal, but are also surprisingly complex with distinct strengths and flaws. It is easy to picture the show as just another ecchi, fan service collection of cliches, but it is actually much more than that.

Despite being such polar opposites, as Gojo and Kitagawa continue to work together they grow closer with plenty of racy and heartwarming moments. Kitagawa helps Gojo step out of his shell and gain confidence. In another typical anime trope, Kitagawa falls head-over-heels in love with Gojo but he is completely oblivious to her feelings. It is an enjoyable story with good pacing to keep you hooked! If you haven’t seen it/read it, give it a chance!

Max Factory Brings Marin to Life

Despite the anime only being 2 years old, Marin has a fair number of figures already available. Many of those tend to be on the more risque side, even if not immediately obvious. The figure from aniplex which was released last year may seem harmless, but from the back it does not leave much to your imagination. Having seen this figure in person, she wears the exact kind of underwear you would expect…Aniplex Shop Exclusive Figure

As for Max Factory’s figure scheduled to release at the end of 2024, it captures Marin well and requires a more deliberate gaze to see the goods...Since Marin is a gyaru archetype her character design is heavily based on the stereotypical image. Max Factory did a good job sculpting her flowy hair and coloring her blonde hair transitioning to pinkish-red at the tips.

All of the small details that make her stand out were emphasized in this figure. The paint job of her pink eyes was incredibly well done. Minor elements like her long pink acrylic nails, plethora of silver piercings, black choker, bracelets and rings on both hands had significant attention to detail placed to get it accurate and looking good.

Marin's school uniform was recreated to be equally as faithful as the prior elements. Her white button down shirt tied at the bottom has realistic looking wrinkles and shadowing. Combined with the loose navy-blue tie, it is a bit of a sloppy, care-free look appropriate for a gyaru. Marin’s plaid skirt, black socks and brown shoes were crafted with enough care to be a solid addition to the overall sculpt.

The pose and her cute expression did a splendid job of capturing the warmth, friendliness and outgoing nature that we love about Marin. Max Factory also put a bit of effort into the base, giving it the appearance of a crosswalk. This wraps up the overall visual and gives the feeling of Marin running across the street, yet still looking back at us with a big wave as if to say see you tomorrow! Luckily our favorite adorable gyaru isn’t going anywhere!

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it!

by Timothy

Addicted to Kancolle Arcade. If I'm not raging with my fellow teitoku, you can find me hiking, playing the drums or taking pictures of random park benches to satisfy my love of anime pilgrimage!

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