Despite Kitagawa’s multiple attempts to explain the eroge in which her beloved Shizuku-tan is featured, Gojou simply can’t wrap his head around what she’s talking about. That is, until she brings up the fact that it shouldn’t matter whether someone is a boy or a girl when it comes to something they love. Gojou remembers that girl rejecting that notion along with his existence, and suddenly everything snaps into place. He’ll help Kitagawa become the one she loves most…starting Monday!
However, Kitagawa is way to excited about someone who knows what they’re doing making her a Shizuku-tan cosplay, so she shows up at his family’s shop the next morning, stylish as all get-out with her distressed cutoffs and oversized epaulette bag. Gramps is out buying Gojou a new sewing machine, or he’d be there to witness his grandson not only bring his first friend home…and a beauty to boot!
Gojou is embarrassed that Kitagawa is suddenly in his home space, but she makes strides to overwhelm that anxiety by pressing on with the mission at hand: making her Shizuku-tan cosplay. First step: taking all of her measurements, something Gojou can only see as a deeply intimate task, especially considering the guide said the subject had to be in their underwear, and Kitagawa’s compromise of a bikini doesn’t make him any more comfortable.
But here’s the thing, and Kitagawa has made it plain to him from the start: she loves Shizuku-tan, and anything that needs to be done to make that happen, she will do without hesitation. It’s only Gojou’s own hangups and baggage that are making this more than it is. That said, he is a high school lad, and Kitagawa is extremely pretty, so I’m not saying it’s easy for him to put those weird feelings aside.
To his credit, at points, he does, simply doing the job he promised to do. But he can’t keep his composure when having to measure things like her feet. Kitagawa determines his futon is the perfect place to sit for him to measure, and places her feet on his legs in order to snap him out of his fugue state. Measuring her bust isn’t any easier, and as for bust point, well…even she admits she has to handle that herself.
By the time he’s preparing for the final measurement—the inseam—Gojou hates himself for being so flustered and panicky, and wishes he was more like Kitagawa, cool as a cucumber even in such a ridiculous situation. But when his finger accidentally brushes against…a spot he had no intention of brushing against, suddenly Kitagawa is the flustered one.
Even so, she doesn’t punch Gojou into the stratosphere and run off. Instead, she lends him the two eroge Shizuku-tan appears in, so he can get a better look at what he’s making.
This results in one of the funnier scenes I’ve seen in an anime in some time: Gramps coming home to find Gojou watching what amounts to porn, and Gojiu greeting him and saying “dinner’s ready” like nothing’s up. Gramps slowly slides the door closed, conceding that Gojou is “at that age”…but is still astounded how seriously Gojou was watching…and taking notes to boot! Just a fantastic misunderstanding gag.
Most of this episode was basically fanservice: Kitagawa showing off her Cindy Crawford body in a skimpy bikini while Gojou sweated and struggled to obtain every last measurement…and I loved every freaking minute of it.
Gojou’s stress set against Kitagawa’s serenity; the absurdly sexual nature of the measurement-taking intertwined with its innocuously practical underlying purpose; and all of the love and artistry that went into Kitagawa’s character design and expressions (and Suguta Hina’s excellent voice work)—it all adds up to two straight home runs for Dress Up Darling.