Why Gojo is the ideal man for Marin

As My Dress-Up Darling’s Gojo Wakana begins to come out of his shell, Marin begins to fall in love with him – for reasons you wouldn’t expect.

There is no doubt that Marin Kitagawa of My darling dressing is one of the best girls in the winter 2022 anime season. Despite this, her counterpart Gojo Wakana is often criticized for being too lackluster in comparison. Yet, as fans see Marin help him open up and become more confident in himself, his shy, self-deprecating outer shell is slowly chipped away to reveal a deeply caring and intellectual young man.

Many romantic anime archetypes feature male protagonists as handsome and/or charming. Gojo Wakana is visually quite the opposite of this, often only seen wearing his school uniform or work clothes. Nevertheless, as he comes out of his shell, Marin falls in love with him. Why does this happen? It’s not because of his looks, his clever lines or because he plays hard to get.

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Marin Photo Kitagawa My Dress-Up Darling Beach

But first, what is the female gaze? In this patriarchal society, the media often focus on superficial and aesthetic details. On the other hand, the female gaze explores intellectually stimulating aspects and is based on feelings and intuition. In My darling dressing, viewers get a unique perspective seeing Marin fall in love with Gojo first instead of the other way around. Through his perspective, Gojo is an intellectual man with a heart of gold, learning to be unafraid and to be authentically himself.

Although the series has many enjoyable moments, a major moment comes when Gojo first introduces Marin to his Shizuku-tan cosplay. After clearing up the misunderstanding about the short deadline, Gojo reveals that he’s just relieved that Marin still has time to cosplay. Upon realizing the amount of stress and sacrifice he went through to do this for her, she bursts into tears.

After seeing the time and stress Gojo endured, one can absolutely conclude that part of Gojo’s love language (based on Gary Chapman’s very popular “five love languages” theory) is made up of acts of service. In other words, Gojo shows his love for Marin by doing things for her, no matter what sacrifices that may entail. This can also be seen when playing through the entirety of Slippery Girls 2, despite being interrupted by his grandfather. There’s no doubt that Gojo loves Marin but still struggles to say it out loud. Yet he manages to say it in his own way.

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Gojo is working on cosplaying Marin in My Dress Up Darling

Another aspect of My darling dressing that caters to the female gaze is the fact that Gojo is a bit more submissive than Marin – a trait that tends to be frowned upon in patriarchy-dominated media. By having a socially feminine passion, he is comfortable in his sexuality and inherently more intellectually mature, unaffected by the toxic male lens that often obscures popular media.

One of the first instances of Marin struggling with her admiration for Gojo is when she sees him talking with her grandfather about the details of his work while observing Shizuku-tan’s cosplay. Viewers watch as Marin realizes she’s head over heels for Gojo as she witnesses his attention to detail and passion, taking note of his intellectualism and sensitivity to detail. Not only does she admire him for his knowledge and work ethic, but also for the purity of his heart.

Gojo’s uniqueness comes from its wholesomeness and innocence. Unlike the other male leads, he doesn’t seem to have an ulterior motive despite the fact that he obviously likes Marin. He only works with her to make her happy, and the inherent wholesomeness does not go unnoticed. This is especially seen when the two binge watch Flower Princess Blaze!! together. Gojo introduces another love language, Quality Time, as he rightfully invests himself in the series as Marin eagerly shows.

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Marin and Gojo on a shopping spree in the anime My Dress Up Darling

It’s a trait Marin isn’t completely used to, someone who pays attention to something she likes. When she decides – and ultimately fails – to cook omurice for their dinner, Gojo turns a negative into a positive and praises it for its flavor and inventiveness. He not only demonstrates emotional intelligence, but he also displays another love language: words of affirmation.

My darling dressing is unique in that viewers can see Gojo through the female gaze and Marin through the male gaze. Of course, through the moments of fan service and her being the reigning Best Girl, there’s no doubt that Marin was written for the male gaze. Interestingly, she offers a unique take on the female gaze as viewers see her fall in love with Gojo. Why she falls in love with him, and the fact that the author Shinichi Fukuda is a woman, confirms that Gojo Wakana was indeed written for women.

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