A collage style image featuring Marin and the main characters from 2.5 Dimensional Seduction

‘2.5 Dimensional Seduction’ could be 2024’s ‘My Dress Up Darling’

Marin Kitagawa might have an unexpected rival this summer.

Cosplay is one of the biggest hobbies on the planet, with fans of every type of media – whether that be comic books, film, television, or anime – taking part in dressing as their favorite characters. As with many other hobbies, it was only a matter of time before a number of anime and manga series would adapt this hobby into their own unique stories.

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One of the biggest series using cosplay as its core theme is My Dress Up Darling, originally created by Shinichi Fukuda and adapted into a televised anime by CloverWorks in 2022. The series followed a young man named Gojo Wakana, who grew up with his grandfather, a professional Japanese doll maker. Gojo took a shine to the meticulous craftsmanship needed to make these dolls, but feels ashamed that his hobby isn’t traditionally masculine. His perspective begins to shift when he becomes friends with the bubly Marin, a popular girl in school who loves anime and gaming. She discovers his secret, and eventually requests his help sewing her cosplay outfits, leading the two into an unlikely friendship.

How Does 2.5 Dimensional Seduction compare to My Dress Up Darling?

Image From J.C. Staff

2.5 Dimensional Seduction follows a high school student named Masamune Okumura, a second-year student who runs the (and is the only member of) their school’s manga club. Claiming he has no interest in “real girls” and has an undying obsession toward a fictional character named Liliel. Out of nowhere, a passionate underclassman who loves cosplay, Lilysa Amano, joins the manga club alongside him and convinces Okumura to be her photographer. Through this, he learns that she, too, is a huge fan of Liliel, and romantic undertones begin to develop between the two.

From the synopsis alone, there’s quite a few key differences between the two series. While My Dress Up Darling definitely has elements of a slice-of-life romance and even that of an ecchi series, the series also contains a lot of information regarding the popularity of cosplay as a hobby, the importance many cosplayers place on accuracy when cosplaying certain characters, and the importance of bonding with other cosplayers in the community and working together to share in the love that one has for their favorite characters.

While 2.5 Dimensional Seduction has some of these themes as well, the series leans much more into its rom-com and ecchi influences, going out of its way to put its female characters in scandalous positions, and even veering into harem territory. Despite My Dress Up Darling having other female characters in its cast, they never serve as rivals to Marin, but in 2.5 Dimensional Seduction, the other girls in the manga club do seem to serve as some kind of competition to the female lead.

Does 2.5 Dimensional Seduction have what it takes to be as popular as My Dress Up Darling?

Image From CloverWorks

While 2.5 Dimensional Seduction and My Dress Up Darling are both classified as being targeted at a male demographic – shonen and seinen, respectively, 2.5 Dimensional Seduction will likely struggle to garner the same level of mainstream attention and adoration as My Dress Up Darling. While My Dress Up Darling does possess scandalous content, the series’ unique approach to showcasing the love and dedication fans feel toward their hobbies, as well as the hard work and craftsmanship that cosplayers put in to bring their favorite characters to life.

Comparatively, 2.5 Dimensional Seduction focuses much more on ecchi humor and the dynamic between its male lead and his harem of nerdy girls. While cosplay and hobby culture are still a core theme, its less about the love of the hobby and far more about using cosplay as a narrative device to put its female characters in cute outfits. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but in the current animanga landscape, this could lead to 2.5 Dimensional Seduction not having the same mainstream appeal as My Dress Up Darling, making it difficult for the new series to leave its target audience.

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Anna Williams
Anna Williams -- not to be confused with the Tekken character -- is an editor and writer that has been working closely with the anime and manga industry for over four years for a variety of publications including Comic Book Resources, Screen Rant, and We Got This Covered. She has had the opportunity to sit down and talk with key figures in the industry, and continue to grow a vast knowledge of the art and culture that goes into each new seasonal and ongoing franchise. She's also had the opportunity to work alongside indie game developers like Baroque Decay to edit and localize early devlog materials for their upcoming game Catechesis.