Wherever you are in the anime community, it’s been impossible to escape the clutches of Marin Kitagawa. Her bright and bubbly personality has made My Dress-Up Darling one of the hit shows of the year so far. However, is there too much fan service in My Dress-Up Darling for it to ever be considered a genuinely great series?
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Is There Fanservice in My Dress-Up Darling?
Yes, there most certainly is fanservice in My Dress-Up Darling. Some may argue that the fanservice is an important part of the story and isn’t purely for the audience’s pleasure, but it can’t be denied that many shots are designed with a sexual angle in mind.
For those that are unaware, fanservice is anything in a fictional work that is primarily designed to please the audience, regardless of its relevance to the story or narrative. In most cases, fanservice in anime relates to characters or scenes that contain a sexual element, either overtly or in a more understated fashion.
The fact that Marin herself is both attractive and outgoing isn’t necessarily fanservice, as they are both key parts of My Dress-Up Darling’s story. However, many scenes in the anime highlight certain parts of Marin’s body or mannerisms that have sexual undertones, even when a normal scene would be acceptable.
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Is My Dress-Up Darling’s Fanservice Too Much?
It’s impossible to make a definitive judgement on My Dress-Up Darling’s fanservice. While there is probably too much for some fans, it’s hard to see how the series could have had the same success without this element.
The ecchi themes in My Dress-Up Darling are vital to the general atmosphere of the story. Even in the manga, the disconnect between Marin’s comfort within herself and Gojo’s discomfort play a big part in the story’s comedy.
Of course, there is an argument to say that any fanservice is too much. There are very real issues that need to be considered around the over-sexualisation of female anime characters, particularly those in high school, which has been a trope in manga and anime for what feels like forever.
Despite all of the fanservice shots, My Dress-Up Darling never feels like an overtly sexualised or fanservice anime. The reason for this is not just Marin’s personality, but also Gojo's.
Many of the worst offenders when it comes to fanservice anime suffer from a main character that is seemingly oblivious to the overly sexualised women around him, which appears to normalise the scenario.
The fact that Gojo regularly overreacts to what’s happening, but naturally, helps to keep the story grounded. Plus, Gojo and Marin are inherently wholesome people, which again helps it feel like a normal high-school romance.
The cosplay in My Dress-Up Darling Episode 10 was a great example of this. While it is an episode with more sexual elements than most so far, the way they are clumsily handled helps portray what’s happening as a blossoming high-school romance, which is rarely perfect in real life. Without a smart portrayal, the episode could have easily felt like something out of World’s End Harem, but it didn’t.
Ultimately, whether My Dress-Up Darling has too much fanservice is up to each viewer. However, I would recommend watching beyond the first few episodes, as when their relationship develops, the fanservice becomes less apparent.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Anime and My Dress-Up Darling page.