My Dress-Up Darling Volume 3 Review

6 days ago 15
My Dress-Up Darling Volume Three cover

Marin and Gojo’s Shizuka-tan cosplay was a hit at the recent cosplay event and it caught the attention of the cosfamous Juju, and not for the provocative source material but for the quality of the outfit! Juju is determined to commission Gojo for an outfit of her own, one that’s a bit too tricky to be mass produced and easily modified, although of course she had no idea that Gojo is just a beginner when it comes to translating crazy anime and video game designs into workable outfits. Nevertheless, he agrees to take on the project and, while Juju normally cosplays alone, the idea of splitting the location cost for her eventual photoshoot is tempting and so Marin will be coming along too, cosplaying another character from the same series!

First things first, after (jokingly) feeling insulted by the extra at the back of My Dress-Up Darling volume 2, where a cosplay event staff member said that they didn’t think there were any girls out there who couldn’t put on fake eyelashes, I had a good laugh when Shinichi Fukuda tries out cosplay make-up at the end of this volume and finds out first hand just how tricky falsies are. Putting them on correctly requires actual skill and practice and, as someone who can’t do it that well, I feel vindicated! Speaking of make-up techniques, my cosplay PSA for this volume involves the special, skin-safe tape Juju uses for “reshaping” her face for cosplay, such as using it to make jawline more defined. This is a real world technique but I would like to caution cosplayers out there to make sure you aren’t engaging in, uh, racist stereotyping if you do use this technique to say, change the shape of your eyes (as Juju also demonstrates).

Meta-thoughts on this volume aside, I will admit that I was a bit concerned when Juju, a high schooler who looks like an elementary student, is introduced, and then even more concerned when her younger sister was introduced, an actual middle student who looks closer to 18. While Juju does end up flashing Gojo by accident in their introduction, thankfully the story doesn’t do anything icky with “looks like a loli but is legal” concept, something I was expecting after having seen too many “1,000 year old vampire who looks like a 7 year old” characters over the years. I was even more nervous about the manga’s “camera” ogling her younger sister but thankfully I don’t believe there was a single lewd shot of Shinju, aside from a panel establishing just how large her chest is.

While this volume was slightly lighter on the cosplay aspect, I read this series for two things and the other big aspect of this series, Marin and Gojo being a cute “couple,” continued to deliver for me. They aren’t dating but it’s close enough, with Marin even thinking that hanging out together watching anime is a bit like a stay-at-home date. In this volume, I found myself thinking about how much I like how Marin’s dialogue in particular is translated; her speech is clearly full of slang but the nonchalance that comes through (“wohoops, I’m free-boobin'” in particular made me crack up) feels rather charming, especially when coupled with her absolute earnestness in talking about games and anime she loves. With that infectious cheerfulness, it’s easy to see how she ends up sweeping up Gojo into all of her favorite series.

So, with new cosplans being made, it looks like Gojo is back off to the fabric store next volume and I can’t wait to see how Marin and Juju’s shoot turn out! It’ll be Marin’s first shoot and in a new outfit to boot, so there’s plenty of potential for funny mishaps there!

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