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Manga / My Dress-Up Darling

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"Can you make cosplay clothing for me?"

Wakana Gojo has an embarrassing passion. He loves traditional hina dolls, admiring the craftsmanship and care that goes into each and every one of them. As the heir to his grandfather's doll business, it's only natural for him to spend hours staring at and stitching clothes for countless dolls.

But an incident in his childhood has left him terrified of revealing his calling to anyone. He has no friends, no other hobbies, and drifts through life when he isn't making dolls.

Everything changes when Marin Kitagawa, his Gyaru Girl classmate who works as a model, stumbles across him using the Handicraft Club's sewing machine after school. Rather than show disgust or disdain, she's amazed by his handiwork and asks him to help her make clothes for her cosplay hobby. Although unsure of his ability to make life-sized clothes, Gojo agrees. He soon finds himself whisked into the world of cosplay and media, all while his feelings toward Kitagawa continue to change.

My Dress-Up Darling (その着せ替え人形ビスク・ドールは恋をする; Sono Bisuku Dōru wa Koi o Suru, "The Bisque Doll That Fell in Love") is a Romantic Comedy Manga written and illustrated by Shinichi Fukuda, which began serialization in Square Enix's Young Gangan magazine in 2018. An Animated Adaptation by CloverWorks aired during winter 2022 anime season. The opening song is 'Sansan Days' (Sun-drenched days) by Spira Spica, while the ending theme is 'Koi no Yukue' (Where Love is) by Akari Akase. A second season has been green-lit for production in mid-September of 2022.

My Dress-Up Darling contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Suzuka recalls a prior encounter with a cosplayer who was dressed as a character from an idol anime. The cosplayer was half her height and the art made her look like a child. But Suzuka then reveals this cosplayer was actually a mother in her 40s.
  • A-Cup Angst: Downplayed. Chapter 79 reveals that rather than her height, Sajuna's reservations about trying to cosplay Black Lobelia are about her chest. Due to her petite frame, she doesn't have the kind of "assets" that would let her pull off the cosplay.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime elaborates on a handful of short scenes from the manga.
    • Episode 3: Kitagawa's search for Gojo, culminating in her yelling his name at the top of her voice in the school gym.
    • Episode 8: The Anime adds a sequence to their beach visit where a bird swoops in and steals Kitagawa's burger, prompting her to yell skyward for the stolen food.
    • Episode 11: After Gojo grabs Kitagawa's waist at the Love Hotel, the Manga holds on to their tension for a total of four panels before the phone rings. In the anime, those four panels are stretched out to thirty seconds, with additional scenes added showing Kitagawa and Gojo slowly starting to give into their urges to the point of sharing an Almost Kiss.
  • An Aesop: In the first chapter, Gojo is plagued by a childhood memory where a girl close to him calls him weird and gross for liking hina dolls as a boy. This memory scarred him so badly that he's largely become a social recluse not interacting with anyone but his grandpa. In the second chapter, Kitagawa tells him that gender doesn't/shouldn't matter when it comes to the things you like (since she herself is a fan of H-games, which are typically aimed at straight men), which moves Gojo enough for him to excitedly agree to help her.
  • Almost Kiss: In the anime, the climax of the love hotel scene has Gojo and Kitagawa leaning forward to kiss each other (and with the lights turned off, on top of it) before the phone rings and interrupts them.
  • Animation Bump: Played wth in the anime. It uses many of the typical money saving choices like holding on still frames while dialogue plays, Faceless Masses shots or blocking scenes so faces aren't visible and using much less detailed cartoonish versions of the characters for comedic effect. It also increases the quality in certain key shots.
    • Episode 2 where it's obvious a significant budget went into animating Kitagawa's breast movements.
    • Episode 12 when Kitagawa shows up to the Festival Episode wearing a yukata, and later during the Fireworks of Love as the pair look in awe at the explosions in the sky.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: All throughout chapter 75, Kitagawa (due to a misunderstanding) prepares herself for a night with Gojou. Including putting on a set of nice underwear. Though she psychs herself out and ends up falling asleep after eating with him instead. And is then put to bed. But when she then wakes up the next day, she realizes that nothing happened and bursts out of her room in shock. Only to see him having played the video game she had shown him all night, and realizing her own misunderstanding.
  • Art Shift: Episode 6 of the anime shows a scene from Flower Princess Blaze!!, which mimics an art style closer to what was used in the mid 2000s and even changes the aspect ratio to sell the look. A flashback showing it being broadcast on TV even has the time in the top-left corner.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In the first episode, Gojo is suddenly playfully arm-whipped by a student who is implied at first to be his friend, only to be revealed that he mistook Gojo for someone else.
    • In Chapter 73, Akira tells Chitose and Gojo that she wants to stay away from Kitagawa, implying she doesn't like her. Come Chapter 85, turns out Akira is actually a huge fan of hers, even calling her "My Princess", and she's too embarrassed to approach her.
  • Bifauxnen:
    • Gojo and Kitagawa's high school hosts a beauty pageant every year where the boys dress as girls and the girls dress as boys. Kitagawa is psyched to cosplay as "Council Host Rei-sama", a popular student council president who moonlights as a male host at a club. But the story goes into detail about how difficult it is for a girl (especially one with Kitagawa's figure) to feasibly pass for a boy. But once she and Gojo manage it, she floors the entire student body and makes both genders swoon.
    • Before that, he lends his male school uniform to Shinju and, with some adjustments, she pulls off a very convincing cosplay of "Souma-Oniichan".
  • Big Brother Worship: Or sister, rather. Shinju, having always admired her sister's cosplays, wanted others to see how good she was, too. Hence why she asked permission to start up a social media page for "Juju". It's easy to tell when she takes photos just how enthusiastic she is about her sister's cosplays.
  • Big Little Brother: Before they meet Shinju Gojou and Kitagawa expect that, since Sajuna is so small, her little sister must be even tinier. Lo and behold this is quite incorrect. As it turns out that while Sajuna is a high schooler who can pass as elementary age, Shinju is a middle schooler who could easily be mistaken for being in high school or older.
  • Blackmail: When Gojou informs Sajuna that he doesn't do commission work for cosplays, and that he'd only done one for Kitagawa before, Sajuna declares that she'll tell people he peeped on her naked because he accidentally barged in on her after she got out of the bath unless he makes her one. Note that this is after Sajuna had already stalked Gojou home to learn where he lived so she could ask him in the first place.
  • Bland-Name Product: Real Life social media platforms Twitter and Instagram are represented as Tutukittar and Stastagram in the show respectively. Gojo and Kitagawa also send each other messages on the "LIME" app rather than LINE.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: While they're definitely both nice and kind-hearted individuals, Kitagawa and Gojo have this dynamic, since she's always cheerful, friendly and supportive of him, who is a brooding, melancholic and introverted Shrinking Violet.
  • Casting Gag: The main characters of the Magical Girl Show Within a Show Flower Princess Blaze!! are all voiced by voice actresses who had previous roles as magical girls in the late 90s/early 2000s; Shion is voiced by Rumi Shishido (who voiced Onpu from Ojamajo Doremi), Neon is voiced by Houko Kuwashima (Maron from Phantom Thief Jeanne), and Mirai is voiced by Sakura Tange (Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura).
  • Catch Your Death of Cold:
    • When Gojo's grandfather meets Sajuna who's soaking wet from having been caught in the rain, he orders her to bathe and change clothes so she won't get sick.
    • Kitagawa catches a cold from having worn a very skimpy Bunny Girl costume for Halloween, leading Gojo to visit her to help take care of her. Gojo himself later suffers from this when Kitagawa's friends come over and he hides out in the cold on her apartment's balcony to avoid a Not What It Looks Like situation (given one of them had already assumed Kitagawa and Gojo were dating).
  • Chekhov's Gun: While watching Flower Princess Blaze!!, Gojo notes that the school uniforms worn by the male characters are nearly identical to those of his school. This comes in handy when Shinju Inui wants to cosplay one of the male leads of the show, but this leaves Gojo on a tight budget due to her allowance, so one of the money-saving methods to pull it off is to lend her his school uniform.
  • Commissar Cap: Both the Black Lily and Black Lobelia costumes include these as one of the main pieces.
  • Crack is Cheaper: Gojo is aghast at the obnoxiously high price of photography equipment, never mind how even a lens and camera are sold separately for anywhere from 169,800 yen to 939,600 yen.note  He wonders how cosplay event attendees afford all the camera gear they lug around.
  • Crossdressing: Being a Manga about Cosplay, the topic comes up several times:
    • At Kitagawa's first public cosplay appearance, one of the things that help Gojo feel more at ease, both at the event and with himself, are noticing how many crossplayers are at the event simply enjoying themselves.
    • Gojo's first experience helping with crossplaying ends up being when he helps Sajuna's younger sister Shinju cosplay as a male character from the same series that Kitagawa and Sajuna were cosplaying at the time.
    • Chitose is a crossdressing cosplayer who likes cosplaying as idols characters.
    • Kitagawa herself ends up needing to do a masculine performance for a school pageant, though she does so in a roundabout way by cosplaying as a Bifauxnen from a popular Shoujo Manga.
    • Akira's cosplays tend to feature her in Masculine get up, which combined with her use of the masculine pronoun ore meant that, until he met her in person, Gojo had no idea she was a woman.
  • D-Cup Distress: Shinju unfortunately deals with this. Along with being a very tall girl for her age, she's very embarrassed by her rather large chest. Not the least because it gets in the way of her attempts at cosplaying a male character she really likes.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Although the characters are very dedicated to their cosplay, it's made clear many times that there are realistic limits to their craft. One of which being money as it can be an expensive hobby, and the other being ability because not everyone is dexterous enough to weave a whole costume from scratch. The manga goes out of its way to provide a multitude of cost-effective methods for people to cosplay regardless, and one of its driving themes is to never allow limitations to stop someone from doing what they love.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • When making Kitagawa's first cosplay outfit Gojo considers every small detail about the dress so it's accurate to the setting of the eroge it's from, but fails to consider that she'll be wearing it outside. As a result, she nearly passes out from heatstroke at the event due to how thick the fabric is. It doesn't help that Kitagawa herself from looking at the photos thought the chest area was done too large and that she'd need to wear a padded bra or two to make it work, when in fact Gojo's attention to detail had accounted for this and all she did was make it harder for herself to breathe due to the resulting tightness.
    • Later, when Kitagawa wears the Rizu-kyun costume, Gojo suggests that she sits on top of him in order to get the best angle of her face to take a photo imitating a specific panel... while he's lying on the bed. She does so without issue, and it's only after he takes the photo that both of them realize the implications of the position they are in (and in a love hotel room, no less).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the anime, after the incident in the love hotel, Gojo is shown on his bed with his right hand rested out of frame on his lower body and banging his head in a increasingly vigorous manner as he repeadedly thinks of Kitagawa. This is subverted in the manga where there are motion lines around the right arm more clearly indicating what he's actually doing.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Played with. When Sajuna explains that she found where Gojou lived by following him home from the cosplay meet, in the manga and anime a small exposition box pops up which warns that it is not advisable to actually do something like this.
    • Played with further in episode 1 when Gojou asks why Kitagawa plays ero games when those are usually something for men. Kitagawa declares that this isn't really the case and that people of any gender can play them. A small exposition box pops up warning that this is not necessarily true for everyone. Implying that one should perhaps exercise a touch of caution in real life when asking if someone is into that kind of thing.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the anime, most of Kitagawa's merchandise depict characters she plans to cosplay later, such as a poster of Rizu-kyun. Among the other posters can be seen a poster of Arisa from Kitagawa's later bunny girl cosplay in the manga, plus another of her and her other two bunny compatriots from the same show. Along with a poster of the idol girl that Amane cross-dresses as, also later in the manga.
  • Ecchi: While this is mostly a heartwarming story about two teenagers bonding over making cosplay outfits, there's also quite a bit of Fanservice and Male Gaze, with much of it coming from Kitagawa. If the extremely detailed close-ups of Kitagawa's nearly-nude body didn't give it away, then seeing Sajuna naked after a shower, with visible nipples, definitely will.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Kitagawa's first cosplay, Shizuku-tan, is this style, even called such by Gojo while they're shopping for the materials.
  • Embarrassing Hobby: One of the driving points of the story. Due to a childhood incident where a girl calls him gross for liking Hina dolls, Gojo believes his hobby to be a social taboo. Because of this, he's socially awkward and has no friends to speak of at the beginning of the manga. Subverted by his classmates, who not only accept his hobby, but are outright impressed by his abilities.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: A lot of the series' humor comes from people arriving to the wrong conclusions.
    • The salesperson at the handicrafts store because of Gojo's wording at first thinks he's creating the cosplay costumes for himself until the matter is cleared up while Gojo is working on a bunny girl costume, although he's still supportive and helpful regardless of the misunderstanding.
    • Gojo's grandfather and cousin, in regards to him having bought a pair of pantyhose, first assume they're for himself, unaware that they're for Kitagawa.
    • When he visits Kitagawa's (very nice) apartment for the first time, Kitagawa thinks he was shocked to see her without her contacts (it was actually because she was in pajamas and her top was almost falling off exposing her chest), and later while she's cooking for Gojo she realizes she wasn't wearing her bra, but thinks he didn't notice (he definitely did). Shortly after, Gojo is happily eating Kitagawa's failed omurice and complimenting its taste, while he assumes she was doing a completely different dish.
    • In Chapter 74, Gojo is terrified of the idea of staying the night at Kitagawa's apartment (since he'll be completely alone with her). While out shopping he finds a rack full of Energy Drinks like the kind featured in the Sabakoma manga, so he decides to get one to stay awake until the train home is running again. However, Kitagawa sees him and, between the drink names being things like "Sex Extreme," "Super Viper" and "Premium Night Horse Power," and Gojo's declaration that he "[doesn't] plan on sleeping tonight," she gets a very different idea of what he means.
  • Erotic Dream: Gojo has one at the start of Episode 3/Chapter 5, of Kitagawa wearing the finished Shizuku costume and getting a little too much into the character.
  • Establishing Character Moment: While we learn plenty of things about Kitagawa throughout the first chapter, what truly cements her personality in the audience's eyes is seeing her passionately tell Gojo all about her favourite eroge without a hint of shame or embarrassment.
  • Everyone Can See It: Nearly everyone who sees Kitagawa and Gojo interact can tell that there's a clear attraction between them, and multiple characters including Sajuna, Nowa, and Kitagawa's Modeling Agent have assumed that Gojo and Kitagawa are dating. Even when Gojo denies that they're dating, which is technically true, no one is convinced.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The series’ original Japanese title is a full description of Kitagawa and Gojou’s character and relationship, thus the premise of the entire series. The Bisque Doll Who Fell In Love: Gojou became his grandfather’s disciple in making dolls after he grew so enamored with their beauty, Kitagawa is an aspiring cosplayer who loves the aspect of producing clothing and pieces in her cosplay; Gojou found in Kitagawa his perfect doll to produce clothing for, Kitagawa found the perfect tailor to produce her cosplay, and so the bisque doll falls in love.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Inverted. When Sajuna reveals to Kitagawa and Gojo that she has a younger sister, Kitagawa imagines that she must be smaller and cuter than Sajuna. Turns out it's the opposite.
  • Explosive Stupidity: One of the entries of Kitagawa's manga about three hitwomen ends with this after several failed attempts to kill their target, one of them pulls out dynamite, which blows them up sky-high. Gojo's remarks about this being a comedy series indicates that they'll survive for the next issue.
  • Face–Heel Turn: This happens to two characters in Flower Princess Blaze! due to self-doubt and the other finding out her nemesis is her own sister, both events corrupt them into Dark Magical Girls.
  • Fake Boobs: Amane takes Gojo and Kitagawa to "see some boobs" by bringing them to a cosplay specialty store, and revealing that they sell sets of fake breasts for cosplay purposes. Rather than the usual use of them as a joke, the practicalities and usefulness are discussed rather frankly. As they can be both used for a man to crossplay as a woman, but they can also be used for women to achieve the kinds of assets that only 2D characters can possess even if one were to overly pad or stuff out one's bra. Or, for the female cosplayer who wants to cosplay a woman with a revealing outfit without exposing her own chest, they can wear a set and cosplay to their hearts content without feeling embarrassed about their actual breasts being on display.
    • In a later chapter, Amane reveals a second method he occasionally uses for crossplaying less buxom characters. In which he buys tank tops with built-in cups, and then puts pieces of rolled up fabric in them to mimic the appearance of having smaller breasts.
  • Festival Episode: Gojo and Kitagawa attend a fireworks festival in Chapter 38, complete with Kitagawa wearing a yukata.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: Subverted in Episode 2 when Gojo takes Kitagawa's measurements. Her backside is out of view and is visibly shocked upon hearing a loud "Slap!" noise, only to reveal Gojo smacked his face while panicking.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While watching Flower Princess Blaze!!, Gojo remarks that the uniforms for the main character's older brother is a dead-ringer to his own. He later uses his own pants and shirt as part of a cosplay for him.
    • When Kitagawa is first trying on the body-shaping underwear in the locker room, her friend Nowa looks at her funny briefly after seeing Kitagawa get undressed and starts to say something, but then she cuts herself off. Later, once Kitagawa has learned she's gained weight, Nowa reveals that what gave her pause was seeing Kitagawa's body and thinking it was different, but not quite being able to place what exactly had changed. Only realizing later that it was probably seeing Kitagawa had visibly gained a few extra pounds.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe:
    • Kitagawa openly gloats at least twice about her cosplay of Shizuku-tan having such a great Boob Bag/Breast Pocket.
    • While Kitagawa's normal clothes are far less prone to this, a lot of her cosplays tend to follow this rule. Being super-fitted to her figure and showing off her looks. Though this is at least partially reasonable due to the fact that Gojou makes all her cosplays to her exact measurements, allowing him to pull off creating this kind of outfit for her. As Kitagawa is attempting to emulate fictional characters who wear such clothes in the first place.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Gojo and the main girls from the anime:
    • Gojo is melancholic (kind, gentle but also friendless, with low self-esteem and isolated due to his hobbies);
    • Kitagawa is sanguine (cheerful, friendly, kind, outgoing and passionate);
    • Shinju is phlegmatic (kind, quiet and a Shrinking Violet Huge Schoolgirl);
    • Sajuna is choleric (being headstrong, confrontational and sometimes brash).
  • Gender-Blender Name: When Gojo first meets Akira in person, both are surprised to discover they're the opposite gender they assumed, based on their given names. Even more to discover that those are their real names.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Double Subverted. Kitagawa invites Gojo round to watch a horror movie with her, and while she seems excited at the prospect, Gojo is visibly nervous. Once they actually start watching, however, Gojo is completely unfazed while Kitagawa, as much as she tries to deny it, is visibly terrified. A few days later she watches the sequel by herself and gets so scared that she can't fall asleep, and has to call Gojo to calm herself down.
    • As it turns out, Gojou isn't immune to this himself. Normally, like in the case of the horror movie, Gojou is so focused in on costumes and makeup when he takes in media that he ignores a lot of the story. As he says he was more focused on the practical effects makeup of the movie than the film itself. But when actually focused on the story and not the costume, such as when he's playing the Coffin visual novel, the story really gets to him.
    • It's later revealed that Sajuna is really bad with scary things, which was one of the reasons she initially didn't want to take part in the Coffin photoshoot. Although her younger sister Shinju seems to actually love scary things, and was thrilled by the idea.
  • Godiva Hair: Occasionally Kitagawa will have this happen in front shots when she's not wearing a shirt, her long hair falling over her chest to conveniently cover up the important bits.
  • Gyaru Girl: Marin Kitagawa dresses and characterizes herself in this archetype as part of her outgoing and vibrant personality. Her dyed blond hair and shockingly red eyes (achieved through contacts) are fashion statements that make her stand out among her peers and contribute to her successful part-time modeling career.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Kitagawa is a popular and successful model who succeeds at all of her gigs seemingly effortlessly. She looks good in every outfit she tries on and can sweep both genders off their feet when crossdressing. That said, the story examines just how much work it takes to look that good, between the clothing, makeup, and camera work.
  • Hidden Buxom: Played with and discussed in-series. There are two instances of girls intentionally doing this for cosplay purposes. Rather realistically for this trope, however, this ends up being rather harder than just wearing different clothes. Shinju struggles with this for her Souma-oniichan cosplay, as she is very well endowed. In order to accomplish a level of flatness that would help her pass as a man, she ends up needing to combine both a sarashi and a b-holder to flatten her down enough, and even then they eventually snap from the pressure of holding in her chest. Kitagawa, though not as bad as Shinju, is fairly busty in her own right, but she manages a similar effect with a set of specialty body-flattening underwear. Gojou even mentions how, contrary to popular portrayals in media of cross-dressing, even something as deceptively simple as hiding a large chest can be much more difficult than changing a set of clothes. Let alone the other efforts that would go into a woman feasibly passing for a man.
  • Holding Hands: Gojo clasps Inui's hand with his own while thanking her for her kind words regarding the clothing he made and how he hopes to apply the same passion to his hina doll making. Unfortunately, Inui went to an all-girls school and is thoroughly unused to any interactions with boys, let alone hand-holding, so she immediately passes out from emotional overload.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager:
    • One of the difficulties Gojo runs into in helping Kitagawa is taking her body measurements. Although he tries his best to focus on the work at hand to keep impure thoughts at bay, being so close to a beautiful girl his age is horribly embarrassing for him. Even though he's able to keep a clear head while watching the eroge she gave him for reference material, Gojo begins having dirty dreams about Kitagawa and wakes up with a Raging Stiffie the following morning.
    • Kitagawa has her moments too, like when she's sitting on top of Gojo and he's holding her by the waist (thankfully the phone rings right then before anything can happen).
  • Hotter and Sexier: More by nature of anime to expand on the source material than any real attempt to make things sexier, but with added emphasis on the pair relaxing from the initial shock and including an Almost Kiss, the anime makes it abundantly clear that had the phone call not interrupted them, Gojo and Kitagawa would have given in to the pressure of the situation in the Love Hotel.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Shinju, a middle school girl, stands at a whopping 178 cm (about 5'10").
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode's title is an out of context line that a character says in the episode, making them seem racier than they actually are.
  • Indirect Kiss: Gojo thinks about this trope when Kitagawa offers him a bite of her meat-wrapped onigiri, and naturally refuses it.
  • Inelegant Blubbering:
    • After Inui reveals that she specifically sought out Gojo because she fell in love at first sight with the clothes he made, he immediately bursts into tears and says a garbled "Thank you very much" between sobs.
    • When she realizes that she misjudged Kitagawa about the kind of cosplayer she was, she breaks into tears as she apologizes.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Gojo sees Kitagawa's unfinished costume, he immediately breaks out in a rant to point out everything wrong with it. He does properly apologize after he realizes he's almost making her cry, though.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: When watching the in-universe Show Within a Show "Kochi Com", one of the scenes of the anime that Kitagawa shows Gojo is when the main character, Arisa, becomes confused and embarrassed about being given a bunnygirl costume to wear only after she'd already put it on. Kitagawa actually lampshades this, laughing while saying how funny it was that the character wouldn't even realize what she was putting on until she was already wearing it.
  • Interface Screw: While playing the in-universe horror visual novel "Coffin", Gojou, having only so far played a pleasant slice of life game about a group of nuns forging a found family in a convent, gets to a point where he realizes he can no longer go back in conversations that have gone wrong or access previous save files. And it's from this point he realizes why it's a horror game.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Subverted In-Universe with Flower Princess Blaze!! which Gojo learns has long since stopped broadcasting, but Kitagawa has all 127 episodes in a box set.
  • Kensington Gore: The Coffin party group cosplay features copious amounts of this, with everyone (except Sajuna) absolutely relishing in it.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the in-universe manga "Mandate Of Heaven", a noted characteristic of the angel Haniel is that she never looks at the world directly around her within the story. Rather, her eyes are always staring right at the reader in all of her panels as if everything around her is meaningless compared to what lies beyond the page, though its never stated that she ever directly addresses the audience. The effect is noted to be very striking, as all of the eye contact tends to have an effect of making the reader entranced by her.
  • Little Big Brother: People tend to be very surprised to learn that tiny petite Sajuna is the older sister while tall busty Shinju is the younger one.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Gojo, introverted and normally alone, becomes friends with Kitagawa after agreeing to make cosplay clothes for her.
  • Longing Look: Kitagawa gives Gojo one during the beach trip. Gojo also gives one to her whilst she's on stage at the pageant.
  • Long Title:
    • Kitagawa's favorite eroge, where the character Shizuku Kuroe comes from, is titled... Saint ♡ Slippery's Academy for Girls - The Young Ladies of the Humiliation Club: Debauched Miracle Life 2. Appropriately enough, a good chunk of these erotic games have excessively long titles in real life.
    • To get out of the heat on a hot summer day, Kitagawa drags Gojo to a manga café, where she picks up one of her favorite manga for him to read. Its name is I'm a Mega-Best-Selling High-School-Student Light Novel Author That Has a Succubus Thirsting For Me Every Night and I Don't Know What To Do.
    Gojo: Everything you just uttered was the title?!
  • Lost Food Grievance: In the anime, when they go to the beach a bird swoops down and snatches Kitagawa's burger out of her hand. She's naturally very upset at this.
  • Lost in Translation: All known localized international titles for the series aren’t as implicit with the dual meaning its original Japanese title had, this creates a roadblock when much later in the manga the duality between Cosplay Model and Bisque Dolls begin to surface and pondered by Gojo.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In-Universe example; in the Flower Princess Blaze!! anime, there's a specific scene where Shion/Princess Lily realizes that her enemy Black Lobelia is her sister Neon.
  • Made of Iron: Kitagawa in the anime. While in the manga she was merely shoved into Gojo's desk, the anime has her somehow flying across the room and cracking her head on the edge of his desk. Then she walks away completely fine, even joking about having broken something.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Flower Princess Blaze!!, the Show Within a Show, is a magical girl anime but they primarily use their fists when fighting. Gojo wonders if it really is a magical girl show because of that, observing that “This show is about magical girls but all they do is punch each other.”
  • Marilyn Maneuver: At the end of the cosplay event, a gust of wind flips Kitagawa's skirt in front of a female photographer. Thankfully, she's wearing Modesty Shorts underneath as per the event's rules.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Gojo wears a non-combat one when preparing to take his work seriously, such as when taking Kitagawa's measurements and doing her makeup for the school pageant with the support of his classmates, so he improvises one.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: Gojo is in a constant state of sexual frustration due to Kitagawa being a Shameless Fanservice Girl who doesn't mind being seen by him in states of undress. It's often implied he resorts to masturbation to deal with the pent-up frustration of their Unresolved Sexual Tension.
    • In Chapter 5 / Episode 3, after Gojo suddenly wakes up from having an Erotic Dream of Kitagawa in her Shizuku-tan cosplay. When he looks under his sheets, he's clearly aroused and asks his beloved hina doll head if she could "turn around" while he takes care of it. Shortly after when he's at school, he wonders how he can possibly face Kitagawa.
    • In Chapter 24 / Episode 9, Kitagawa sends him a photo of herself in a swimsuit to ask for his opinion on it, which gets left as "read" on the messaging app. The next day, when she asks why he never replied to her, Gojo muses to himself that "A lot happened after seeing that photo." The anime makes this more obvious by having him look toward a box of tissues in the foreground when he states this.
    • Chapter 36 / Episode 11 is far more explicit, after a series of awkward moments while doing a cosplay shoot at a Love Hotel while Kitagawa wore a Stripperiffic succubus costume, the final panel of the chapter is a bust shot of Gojo as he's very clearly in the middle of masturbating to thoughts of Kitagawa, indicated by him saying her name while one of his hands being off-panel with motion lines by the associated shoulder. The chapter even ends with the cheeky narration "The lingering memories were amazing". The anime downplays the implications by having Gojo's shoulder remain static during this scene.
  • Meaningful Background Event: After the group cosplay with the Inui sisters, Kitagawa's phone call with Gojo, in which he informs her that Shinju was alone with him in his room several times to work on her secret cosplay, is underscored by Flower Princess Blaze!! playing on Kitagawa's TV, with her jealous pout happening alongside Neon's jealousy corrupting her into the Black Lobelia form Kitagawa had just cosplayed.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Chapter 7/Episode 2, Gojo tells Kitagawa that he's not one to use the word "beautiful" to describe something unless he means it from the bottom of his heart. Come Chapter 14/Episode 5, he uses that word to describe her, and her recalling what he said about it is what triggers her Love Epiphany.
  • Mutual Envy: Sajuna and Shinju, each one wishes she had the other's body type, because there are many cosplay that they could do if they looked like each other, that they can't do easily or convincingly with how they normally look.
  • Naked First Impression: When Gojo first meets Sajuna, it's right when she's leaving the shower with only a towel on her head for cover. Then the ensuing Naked Freak-Out causes her to slip and fall, giving Gojo an unobstructed view.
  • Never Gets Fat: Kitagawa is a noted Big Eater and has a very shapely figure, enough so that she's in high demand as a part-time model. Despite the fact that she's constantly eating and is often seen pigging out on sizeable portions that make other people's eyes pop. Eventually this ends up averted, as Kitagawa's eating habits do eventually catch up to her later in the manga. Though she only really notices once she realizes she can no longer fit into the cosplays that Gojou has made for her so far since he made them all based on the measurements she had when he first started helping her.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Kitagawa is extremely positive, kind, affable and courteous towards pretty much everyone, save for some random guy who tried to hit on her at the salon, as he insults her hobby.
    • Zig-zagged by Inui-san. She's introduced as somewhat haughty, demanding Gojo to make her cosplay clothing. However, the next few chapters establish her to be simply be reserved rather than nasty. She has a genuinely good time with Kitagawa and her sister at the joint cosplay shoot and appears to fall for Gojo.
    • Shinju Inui is incredibly shy, but very kind, sweet, considerate and supportive.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: When Kitagawa first changes into her cosplay outfit in front of Gojo, she asks him to turn around. He does so, but the sound of her undressing right behind still makes him visibly nervous.
  • Nocturnal Emission: Gojo has an Erotic Dream about Kitagawa, which results in this.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: While Gojo gets embarrassed taking Kitagawa's measurements, he's able to keep a clear head while watching the eroge Kitagawa gives to him as reference material as part of making her Shizuku-tan costume, doing nothing but taking notes on everything even as his grandpa walks in and hears the in-game voices screaming.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Lampshaded by Kitagawa when she wears the Black Lobelia costume (which has a corset). She considers them "mysteriously enticing, something between sweet and spicy".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In-universe, as in real life, many cosplayers we meet go by their cosplay names rather than their real ones, and will refer to one another as such. To the point that Kitagawa and Gojou introducing themselves exclusively by their real names is an oddity.
  • Opposites Attract: The cheerful, lively and outgoing Kitagawa quickly falls in love with the introverted, shy and meek Gojo who, while too shy and insecure to openly admit it, is very much attracted to her as well.
  • Otaku: Kitagawa is into all things gaming and anime. Her room is plastered with posters and merchandise, she's able to talk at length about the story and characters of all her favorite series and loves nothing more than to curl up on a couch and watch her favorite series after a long day of school and modeling.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Discussed but ultimately defied. In Chapter 32/Episode 10, when Kitagawa is using Gojo's shower she teases him about the possibility of trying to peep on her right then, and saying that if they were in a manga he'd probably jump at the chance and she would yell at him.
  • Piggyback Cute: After a strap on one of her sandals snaps, Kitagawa is given this by Gojo.
  • Playboy Bunny: Kitagawa's fifth cosplay costume, Arisa, is a quintessential bunny girl outfit, ears and all.
  • Poor Communication Kills: While it doesn't have major consequences, a little misunderstanding causes Gojo to think Kitagawa expects him to have the Shizuku-tan cosplay ready for an event in two weeks, which he spends working overtime to have ready. Kitagawa is driven to tears as she apologizes for this, as she forgot to tell him she was planning to look for other events she could attend once Gojo finished the costume, not intending to rush him for it.
  • Popping Buttons: Poor Shinju has this happen a couple of times while trying to cosplay Souma-oniichan. Gojo tries to lend her his school uniform for a cosplay, but the first time she tries it on without any chest compression, the size of her breasts pops the buttons clear off mere moments after she fastens them. This happens again later during their photoshoot, as once the Sarashi and B-Holder give out, her chest comes loose and the buttons presumably snap off again.
  • Purple Is the New Black: When picking the wig for the Shizuku-tan cosplay, Kitagawa chooses a black one, but Gojo suggests she instead picks a purple one, to visually look much closer to the original game.
  • Raging Stiffie: After realizing the implications of having Kitagawa straddling his hips in a Love Hotel, Gojo is shown visibly pitching a tent; with Kitagawa even reacting to feeling it, though not having a chance to realize what exactly "it" is before Gojo grabs her waist.
  • Really Gets Around: Shizuku, Kitagawa's favourite character from the in-universe eroge, is very promiscuous. Averted with Kitagawa herself, however.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Gojo's social awkwardness and lack of self-esteem began when a girl he was close to in his childhood called him weird and creepy for liking dolls even though he's a boy. This pervading belief that men aren't allowed to like things that women are supposed to do makes him unsure of himself and his ability to connect to others. He's moved to tears when Kitagawa tells him that everyone should be free to pursue their passions regardless of gender.
    • The further the series goes, the concept of men engaging in jobs or hobbies usually considered the norm for women becomes its running thesis. It's brought up again and again how men who make clothes, practice as makeup artists, and even cross-dress is becoming less of an oddity or something to be ashamed of. It's essentially a celebration of men and women alike doing whatever they like for fun regardless of which gender it's "supposed" to be for.
  • Real-Place Background: A lot of the backgrounds used in the manga are in fact real locations. The wig shop, Swallowtail, for instance is in fact a real cosplay wig shop that Fukuda asked for and received permission to use.
  • Red Right Hand: In the case of Black Lobelia, Red Right Eye, reflecting the character's Face–Heel Turn.
  • Romantic Spoonfeeding: A downplayed example happens in the anime. When they go to the beach, Kitagawa asks Gojo to feed her the fries directly into her mouth as she says "aaaahhhh". Sadly they're interrupted when a bird flies down and steals her burger out of her hand, much to her chagrin.
  • Sailor Fuku: The Inui sisters both wear serafuku as school uniforms, since they go to a different school from Gojo and Kitagawa.
  • Sarashi: Gojou and Shinju make use of one as a way to help flatten her chest for her Souma-oniichan cosplay, after getting some inspiration from Gojou's cousin who used one to help flatten her physique to properly wear a kimono.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Gojo is a meek, easily startled, and socially withdrawn recluse who initially only found solace in doll-making. Kitagawa is a bubbly, outgoing, and popular model who is deeply passionate about her cosplay hobby. Her entering his life is what starts to bring Gojo out of his shell as he learns more and more about cosplay and Kitagawa herself.
  • Serious Business:
    • Kitagawa adores the fictional character Shizuku-tan, to the point of celebrating her birthday in a very cult-like manner.
    • Kitagawa and bunny girls. Everyone loves bunnies.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Both Sajuna and Shinju have a tendency to grab their hair whenever they are nervous or afraid.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Episode 3 of the anime adaptation features a Palette Swap version of Hatsune Miku's original costume, though it's pink with a gold tie instead of grey, black and turquoise.
    • Flower Princess Blaze!! has numerous Shout Outs to Magical Girl anime:
      • The style itself is a pastiche of Magical Girl Warrior with various references to moments of the Pretty Cure franchise, particularly HeartCatch Pretty Cure! and Go! Princess Pretty Cure, with even the naming conventions of such for the two leads (in itself, the fact that there are two is also a convention of the franchise).
      • The Love Dodecahedron discussed at length (and centered around the main character and her rival both having crushes on the main character's older brother's boyfriend) bears a striking resemblance to the one in Cardcaptor Sakura (and as a bonus, main character Mirai is voiced by Sakura Tange, who also voiced Sakura Kinomoto). The characters that represent said pairing are pretty much direct references to the same characters in the manga, Touya and Yukito, sharing their hair color, demeanor, looks, and even one scene where Souma performs a Wall Pin of Love (Touya doing such to Yukito is something of a very famous scene of the anime), as well as the fact that while the fact that they're dating is never spelled out it is a case of subtext that is basically text and everybody watcher realizes it.
      • The show's character designs are also obviously based on those of Ojamajo Doremi, with Shion being a dead ringer for Onpu Segawa (to the point of being voiced again by the same seiyu, Rumi Shishido) and Mirai being significantly similar to Doremi too.
      • The backstory of Black Lily, that Princess Lily's pain was translated into a darkening of the gem in her chest and a transformation into a dark version of her, bears very strong similarities to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, where characters' despair causes the gems in their bodies to become darkened and corrupted, turning them into witches.
      • The show is even produced "Toh-A Animation," an obvious reference to Toei Animation, which produced both Pretty Cure and Ojamajo Doremi.
      • Also in Flower Princess Blaze!!, Shion once screams "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"
    • In Episode 9, Kitagawa teasingly wants to reveal the special bra she's wearing for Gojo, only to realize she's wearing a plain one and instantly cover up in embarrassment. Her wide-eyed, mouthless face heavily resembles the signature expressions of Shouko Komi.
    • Veronica, whom Kitagawa cosplays as in Episode 10, is basically a dead ringer for Guilty Gear Xrd's Ramlethal Valentine, save for Veronica's shorter hair, deeper voice, and clothing (or rather, lack thereof). The splash screen bearing Veronica's name also looks similar to the ones used in Guilty Gear Strive's character reveal trailers.
    • Veronica's eye design and pointed teeth (along with the stripperfiffic aesthetic in general) also evoke the drawing style used by Atsushi Okubo, author of Soul Eater and other manga series.
    • In Episode 12, the horror movie Gojo and Kitagawa watch together appears to be a parody of One Missed Call, but also ends with an exact replica of the final shot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the Final Girl escaping on the back of a flatbed truck, laughing maniacally, as an enraged Leatherface expy watches her go.
  • Showgirl Skirt: Black Lobelia's costume has this, with the skirt being transparent for good measure.
  • Shown Their Work: The manga's afterword at the end of every volume makes it clear that Fukuda Shinichi did her research with painstaking attention to detail on the inner workings of being a cosplayer. From interviewing cosplayers, learning how to cosplay herself, visiting the locations essential to a cosplayer such as studios, shops and others, and asking for permission to use them in her work.
  • Show Within a Show: Naturally, the series has them aplenty in manga, anime and video games that serve as the basis for the cosplay. The anime goes to the extent of animating several scenes from Flower Princess Blaze!!.
  • Sibling Team: Sisters Sajuna and Shinju collectively run a cosplay social media page under the name "Juju". Though Juju is also used as Sajuna's cosplay name. Sajuna assembles her cosplays and models them for pictures, while Shinju acts as her photographer and runs the social media profile.
  • Sick Episode: Chapter 49, in which Kitagawa is laid out feverish from wearing a skimpy bunny girl costume on a cold Halloween night and Gojo visits to take care of her since she lives alone.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: After learning that Gojou, the maker of Kitagawa's Shizuku-tan costume, would be at the first cosplay gathering, Sajuna put on a Paper-Thin Disguise and followed them back to Gojou Dolls so she could figure out where he lived in order to commission a costume from him. A narration blurb stringently says not to do this in real life.
  • Stripperiffic: Several of the costumes are like this. Notable examples include Black Lobelia (a Dark Magical Girl with a Dominatrix-esque motif), Prisoner Veronica (a savage prisoner with a small top and short shorts) which Gojo even lampshades how easy that cosplay was to make and Rizu-kyun (a succubus).
  • Succubi and Incubi: Kitagawa's fourth cosplay, Rizu-kyun, is a scantily-clad succubus.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In Episode 2, Kitagawa arrives well ahead of schedule for her measurement taking, which surprises Gojo since he didn't tell her where he lived. All she did was look up "Gojo dolls" online based on their last encounter, which took her to the Hina dolls showroom he lives at.
  • Title Drop:
    • The last episode of the anime is titled after the show itself (with English subtitles using the localized title).
    • Not the whole title, just the key word; in chapter 87, Wakana looks up "bisque doll" as inspiration for the direction of Marin's costume of Archangel Haniel from Mandate of Heaven.
  • Twice Shy: Downplayed - despite Gojo and Kitagawa each being far too nervous to make a direct move on the other, Gojo has let his true feelings slip (notably calling Kitagawa "beautiful" while drifting off to sleep), while Kitagawa has several times attempted to make a move on Gojo only for it to not pan out (her failed omurice being a standout example). Even when Kitagawa actively flirts with Gojo, they're both all to happy to explain it as Kitagawa being The Tease (Gojo out of disbelief, Kitagawa out of nervousness).
  • Underboobs: Invoked in-universe by Kitagawa. She has a desire to cosplay as the video game character Prisoner Veronica, who wears a very revealing top that's essentially some strips of fabric held together by a couple of belts. Revealing otherwise generous amounts of the underside of her cleavage. Kitagawa declares that this is a "healthy underboob" that makes the viewer healthy by the very virtue of seeing it.
  • Unmanly Secret: Played with. At the start of the series, Gojou considers his passion for crafting Hina Dolls to be this, and keeps it to himself. Though this is less out of a desire to be seen as "manly" and more of a fear of repeating a childhood incident where a female friend of his called him "gross" for "playing with dolls". A lot of his character development is in him learning to open himself up and not be afraid of ridicule for his passions. Because even if one person thought it was weird, there's plenty of others who accept and value his talents.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction:
    • Almost happens to Kitagawa during the first cosplay event, as she decided to try and make her chest look bigger by wearing two nubras, when Gojo had made the dress her exact size. He's forced to adjust the dress to prevent it from ripping out.
    • When Shinju tries to cosplay as Souma, Gojo decides to lend her his school uniform as part of the costume. The first time she puts the shirt on, her large bust ends up sending buttons flying as if they were projectiles. She eventually manages to hide her chest using a combination of a sarashi and a B-holder. Unfortunately, they end up giving out after a while.
    • When Gojo and Kitagawa first meet Amane, it's when he's kneeling on the ground holding up his skirt to avoid it falling, as the hook came off of it and it was starting to slip while he tried to look for it. Thankfully Gojo is able to repair it for him.
    • Actively defied in a later cosplay. At one point Kitagawa wants to cosplay as a bunny girl character from an anime, who has an infamous scene where her bunny girl costume slips off of her top, making her flustered and angry in comedy fashion. However, as they learn how to make one, it's revealed that a well made bunny girl costume is usually held up by boning sewn into the fabric, as well as breast pads to keep them flush against the chest. Preventing any accidental slippages as seen in the anime, which is something done more for comedy, and not something that will usually happen to someone wearing one, much to Kitagawa's apparent disappointment.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Chapter 80.
    Sajuna:I was... planning on quitting cosplay.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • Chitose is a cosplayer who cross-dresses for his costumes. He's depicted largely as positive, and very sympathetically as it's something he's genuinely passionate about. He claims it gives him confidence because in his early life he was always looked down on for being an unmanly person. Though he very openly declares and reminds people he is still very much a man. He also makes sure to tell other cosplayers that he's a man in case it would cause trouble for them. Though the people seen interacting with him don't seem to mind, and are even enthusiastic with how well he pulls it off.
    • The premise behind the popular shoujo drama that Kitagawa eventually cosplays from, "Council Host Rei-Sama" focuses on a female student council president who cross-dresses as a man in order to work at a host club to help support her family. The titular Rei-sama is characterized as being very charming but subdued, and is considered a very popular character in-universe.
  • X-Ray Sparks: In the anime, when Kitagawa introduces Gojo to her friends and she grabs him by the shoulder, the shock of her breast pressing against his elbow is visually represented this way.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sono Bisque Doll Wa Koi Wo Suru


Breaking Gojo's Shirt

Shinju tries on one of Gojo's shirts to cosplay. However, her bosom is so large it breaks the buttons sending it flying into the wall. Gojo now has to find a solution while also avoiding bringing up her... chest.

How well does it match the trope?

4.64 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / DCupDistress

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