My Dress-Up Darling Episode 4 Review
About My Dress-Up Darling Episode 4:
If any of you reading this review have any desire to commission someone to make a cosplay for you, I guarantee you that they will need more than two weeks! Following up on last week’s bombshell regarding the supposed deadline of when the key cosplay needed to be put together, this week’s episode puts Gojo front and center, exploring a lot of his deep-seated insecurities that were hinted at in the very beginning. Gojo is a very passive individual who keeps to himself, so what happens when you take a people pleaser like him who often doesn’t think that he’s good enough and put him through probably one of the most stressful two weeks of his teenage life? The end result is a very important lesson that is laid out in a very raw way; one that definitely doesn’t just speak to the cosplay crafting experience but also life in general.
Unlike Kitagawa, who always says what’s on her mind and seems to have a good degree of confidence regarding how she presents herself, Gojo is someone who literally cannot say no to anybody, because to him, the fear of letting them down is more damaging than anything he could potentially do to himself. Kitagawa is one of the few people putting a lot of faith in his abilities and he doesn’t want to let that smile disappear. It’s the same motivation that drives his passion for making dolls: He wants to be able to bring smiles to others and take pride in that work. And while it’s noble and respectable, sometimes even the best of intentions can be damaging when taken too far.
This is a teenager who has clearly spent a good portion of his life with a self-defeating attitude, and it’s really depressing watching him sacrifice his mental health and sleep for the sake of making everybody else happy all while agonizing over whether or not he really has what it takes to make his own dreams a reality. A lot of people seem to have this mentality that if you can’t juggle 12 different things at once, then there’s no way you’ll be able to accomplish your dreams, and that’s not always true; some people just aren’t meant to handle that much at once, at least by themselves. Gojo could’ve reached out to Kitagawa for help, but he just couldn’t stand to even insinuate that he might not make the deadline. The conclusion he arrives at is very heartwarming and born out of that history he has with his grandfather who was one of the first people to inspire him in the first place. I initially thought the first part of this episode with Gojo’s grandfather’s injury was a bit slow and contrived, conjured up purely for the sake of leaving Gojo without anyone to confide in about the difficulties he will later face. While that is still arguably the purpose of that scene, seeing it also be used as a setup for emotional payoffs later was very well warranted, and this is only 2/3 of the entire episode.
Kitagawa doesn’t even come in until the end where it’s revealed that all of this hardship was born from a misunderstanding and while it is a little bit cheap, I’d give it a pass since it also served to highlight how these two still need to find a way to better communicate things to each other. It’s not that Kitagawa didn’t want to help, but she reasonably assumed that she would just be getting in the way. Both were wrapped up in their concern for the other and genuine apologies were made. Seeing the finished cosplay at the end of this episode felt like a great dramatic payoff to these two finally coming together on some kind of common ground.
The final third of the episode where they go over the specifics of makeup and how to bring out the best of the cosplays’ beauty was also perfect. Not only do we get to learn more about the technical side of makeup and facial stylings, but Gojo relating their discussions to his profession was genuinely interesting as well. It really does contextualize that while the show will have some technical cosplay components to it, the actual crafting itself seems to act more as a throughline for these two to communicate and understand each other better. Not only did I relate to a lot of the personal insecurities that Gojo went through, but as a cosplayer, seeing that finished product come together nearly brought me to tears. All in all, it’s a fantastic episode, and the only way that I think it could be ruined is if these two don’t continue to naturally develop past this point.
Rating: 5/5 Stars.
My Dress-Up Darling is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.
Source: MrAJCosplay/Cartoon Cipher from Animenewsnetwork.