10 Books/Manga Like My Dress-Up Darling
My Dress-Up Darling is a romantic comedy manga with a decent following. It’s written and drawn by Shinichi Fukuda and follows the daily lives of the cosplay-obsessed girl Marin Kitagawa and her cosplay craftsman Wakana Gojou. This series is known for having fun comedy, slight fan service, and decent romance elements. It started its serialization in Square Enix’s Young Gangan and has compiled ten volumes as of September 2022. This was one of those series that benefitted from having an enticing anime adaptation.
If you’re in the mood for more romantic comedy books/manga that offers a similar vibe, fear not! We’ve gathered together 10 books/manga to check out when you’ve caught up with My Dress-Up Darling. Of course, if you feel we’ve missed any of your favorites, do comment below and let us know!
Smile Down The Runway – Kotoba Inoya
Similarities – Characters & Comedy
Smile Down The Runway is a fashion-themed manga with great comedic beats. It follows Fujito, a girl who dreams of becoming a fabulous runway model. She meets Tsumura, an aspiring fashion designer who requires resources to complete his goal. Fujito offers Tsumura aid in exchange for him helping her out with her runway model dream.
Therefore, we examine Fujito and Tsumura’s daily lives as they strive to accomplish their goals. Like My Dress-Up Darling, Smile Down The Runway features a male protagonist whose life gets impacted by a determined female. Readers will adore seeing Tsumura and Fujito’s bond strengthen over time. The manga’s artwork is visually stunning and well-detailed.
Unfortunately, many readers will feel mixed about the series’s conclusion. However, if you’re okay with an open-ended conclusion, then Smile Down The Runway is a great manga to read after My Dress-Up Darling.
Komi Can’t Communicate – Tomohito Oda
Similarities – Romance
Komi Can’t Communicate is a wholesome romantic comedy manga. It’s currently ongoing unlike Smile Down The Runway and contains less explicit content than My Dress-Up Darling. It follows Tadano, a first-year high schooler who wants his first day of high school to be good. However, his day changes when he sits next to Komi.
Despite being popular, Komi suffers from a communication disorder. She can’t speak with people without freezing up. However, she’s the only one who knows about her illness. Komi reveals this information and her personal goal to Tadano by writing on a blackboard. Therefore, the story is about Tadano helping Komi achieve her goal of obtaining one-hundred friends.
For those who didn’t enjoy Wakana and Marin’s sexual tension, fear not. Tadano and Komi’s relationship feels more healthy and cheerful. Furthermore, Komi’s not as energetic as Marin. This manga also tackles serious topics to give it more depth than My Dress-Up Darling. However, Komi Can’t Communicate still presents solid tension between our protagonists that’ll keep readers interested.
The Coppersmith’s Bride – Namo
Similarities – Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy
Another romantic comedy centered around an artsy couple is what you’ll find in The Coppersmith’s Bride. It features our cast getting into adorable situations that will play a detrimental role in helping their romance grow. In it, we follow the daily adventures between a college freshman and a copperware artisan. The former wants to prove himself worthy of his grandfather’s recognition.
The story follows your typical slice-of-life formula. Our characters will end up participating in amusing activities that will help to strengthen their bonds. The story has room to develop into something greater since it’s still ongoing, though. It’s important to keep that in mind when you’re catching up. For the most part, the artwork is The Coppersmith’s Bride’s saving grace.
Its minimalistic art pieces will grip viewers the most. It’s cute and fits the cheery tone Namo’s aiming for. For those looking for a wholesome manga series to read that offers a relationship akin to Wakana and Marin’s, check out The Coppersmith’s Bride.
Medaka Kuroiwa is Impervious to My Charms – Ran Kuze
Similarities – Comedy
Medaka Kuroiwa is Impervious to My Charms is a new comedy manga following a popular girl named Mona. Despite wooing boys and girls alike in her school, she can’t impress Kuroiwa. As she desperately tries to win him over, Mona will acquire unexpected feelings for Medaka. If there was one word to describe this manga it’d be misunderstandings.
Ran Kuze utilizes his characters’ lackluster brain power to forge some funny scenarios in his work. This tale has incredible potential due to the multiple plot points Kuze’s sprinkled into his story thus far. From Medaka and Mona not knowing about their countryside origins to Mona being insecure about her Osaka dialect, there’s a lot of room for Kuzu to explore in the story.
Furthermore, Kuze’s art style is remarkable. From the clothing our characters wear to the heavy detail put into the manga’s backdrops, Kuze has a lot going for him here. If you adore romantic comedies that cut to the chase and feature strong couples, this one’s worth checking out.
Connect – Manatsu Suzuki
Similarities – Slice of Life & Romance
Connect is a short manga with an excellent take on school life, music, and romance. In it, we follow Wakana, a boy who grew up not cherishing the music his parents enjoy. The music he resonates with air from games and anime. One day, he meets a comic writer that will show him the joys of composing music for everyone to enjoy.
Like My Dress-Up Darling’s protagonists, Wakana and his female companion utilize their common passions to reignite each other’s flames. What starts off as a rocky partnership develops into something beautiful. Folks who aspire to become anime creators, musicians, or writers, will adore Connect’s way of showing the pros and cons of the industry.
The students in this manga must leap over countless hurdles to achieve their goals. The way they accomplish these tasks feels genuine and not contrived. Manatsu Suzuki implements some humor that will resonate with retro or newcomer anime and manga fanatics. The character isn’t too deep, but the qualities they share in the narrative should please you.
Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me To You – Karuho Shiina
Similarities – Romance
Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me To You is a romance manga with a well-crafted plot and a likable cast. It offers a tale about self-discovery, friendship, and love. Our cast gets roped into realistic scenarios and walks away from most situations having learned something valuable. It’s a tale that will move you and isn’t afraid to tamper with your emotions.
The plot’s structured similarly to My Dress-Up Darling’s. It features unlikely people meeting each other and falling in love. The relationship between its cast steadily develops over time, but Kimi Ni Todoke’s narrative falls short on pacing. It moves at a slower pace to allow its tension to feel authentic and impactful. If you enjoy wholesome tales that involve characters lifting up each other’s spirits by indulging themselves in common human activities, give this a shot.
Horimiya – Hero
Similarities – Romantic Comedy
Horimiya is another work that follows two unlikely love birds getting together. Horimiya’s storytelling is intruiging and its character dynamics are just as captivating and strong as My Dress-Up Darling’s. This manga feels more wholesome and less raunchy, though. It builds upon its protagonist’s relationship well and nothing feels forced or contrived.
This manga opts for strong character development, which shines through in Hero’s writing. For those looking for a cheery, impressive, and easy-going romantic comedy, this one’s worth your time. For those curious, it follows two unlikely friends named Hori and Miyamura. They reveal hidden aspects of their lives to each other.
Despite being popular, Hori’s a workaholic. Although Miyamura looks like a wake, he bares multiple tattoos and loves getting into mischief. It’s their strange differences that will aid them in forming a strong connection throughout the story.
My Androgynous Boyfriend – Tamekou
Similarities – Romance & Slice of Life
My Androgynous Boyfriend is another manga that explores fashion and character relationships. This manga feels more sincere than My Dress-Up Darling and examines issues surrounding expression with greater depth and nuance. In it, we follow Wako, who wants to show off her boyfriend’s cute attributes.
Her boyfriend’s named Meguru. He loves the “genderless” fashion subculture and can make himself stand out. This subculture involves Japanese men dressing up in ways that make them look feminine and cute. Although their relationship feels strange, their obsessions with makeup and trends will strengthen their bond.
Meguru and Wako’s relationship feels supportive, wholesome, and extravagant. Readers will adore seeing the characters go the extra mile for each other. This will remind folks of the tight bonds they have with their spouses. Despite their desires, both characters feel mature and feel well-rounded. The manga’s still ongoing, so there’s still room to flesh out our cast. However, with what Tamnkou’s written so far, fans have a lot to look forward to with this one.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Nagaru Tanigawa
Similarities – Slice of Life & Comedy
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a well-crafted light novel series. With a stunning anime adaptation by Kyoto Animation, the series managed to capture the hearts of a wider audience. It offers incredible comedy, wonderful storytelling, and charming characters. While it has its sensual humor, it’s not as abrupt as My Dress-Up Darling’s handling of fan service.
One day at school, our protagonist Kyon meets a bizarre girl named Haruhi. She’s a believer in espers, aliens, and the supernatural. Although no one pays her any mind, Kyon fancies her thinking. After catching her attention, Haruhi ropes Kyon into helping her start the S.O.S. Brigade, a school club that’ll tackle cases involving the supernatural.
One member named Koizumi pulls Kyon aside and reveals to him that Haruhi’s a god. With the task of keeping Haruhi in check, Kyon must do whatever it takes to keep her happy, otherwise, it can spell doom for the world he lives in. With its colorful cast, well-executed humor, and a boatload of fun antics, My Dress-Up Darling fans will adore The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Skip Beat! – Yoshiki Nakamura
Similarities – Romance & Fashion
Sometimes it’s best to choose your best friends carefully. Otherwise, you’d end up in a situation like Kyouko. After supporting her friend Shoutarou from the very beginning, he betrays her by speaking poorly about her to certain people. Enraged, Kyouko vows to surpass Shoutarou in the showbiz industry. My Dress-Up Darling and Skip Beat slightly center their narratives around fashion and aesthetics.
They explore how fashion can help someone explore their identity and achieve specific goals. Both mangas offer stellar takes on human relationships. While Kyouko’s desire to one-up Shoutarou brings her closer to him, Marin’s passion for cosplay brings her closer to Wakana. These series do an excellent job of exploring dynamic relationships centered around fashion and self-expression.
Skip Beat offers better drama and things can feel more intense compared to the events that transpire in My Dress-Up Darling. Themes like revenge and betrayal are mixed in with the manga’s romantic and comedic elements to offer something fresh for readers to enjoy. If you’re looking for another fashionable manga with intense storytelling, check this out.
So there we have it, our 10 books/manga to read after you’re caught up with My Dress-Up Darling.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!