Rent-A-Girlfriend

Alt title: Kanojo, Okarishimasu

TV (12 eps)
3.94 out of 5 from 4,449 votes
Rank #1,732

In Japan, the lonely have a new way out — online services that rent out dads, children, even girlfriends! When Kazuya's true love dumps him, he's just desperate enough to try it, and he's shocked at how cute and sweet his rental girlfriend turns out to be. But she wants to keep their "relationship" a secret, and there's a complication... she goes to his university... and their grandmothers are in the same home... and they live next door to each other?! And Kazuya finds out she's not nearly as nice in "real life"... 

Source: Kodansha

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Rent-a-Girlfriend

Episode 1

Rent-a-Girlfriend

Ex-Girlfriend and Girlfriend

Episode 2

Ex-Girlfriend and Girlfriend

Beach and Girlfriend

Episode 3

Beach and Girlfriend

Friend and Girlfriend

Episode 4

Friend and Girlfriend

Hot Springs and Girlfriend

Episode 5

Hot Springs and Girlfriend

Girlfriend and Girlfriend

Episode 6

Girlfriend and Girlfriend

Provisional Girlfriend and Girlfriend

Episode 7

Provisional Girlfriend and Girlfriend

Christmas and Girlfriend

Episode 8

Christmas and Girlfriend

Lies and Girlfriend

Episode 9

Lies and Girlfriend

Friend's Girlfriend

Episode 10

Friend's Girlfriend

Truth and Girlfriend

Episode 11

Truth and Girlfriend

Confession and Girlfriend

Episode 12

Confession and Girlfriend

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Reviews

apoc9
2

How spineless guy got lucky … or not. This series has issues on so many levels. The first question is what genre the series is supposed to be. It’s mildly romantic, funny not really, dramatic questionably. It’s more like a weird harem series with royal flush in terms of unlikable characters. This review is going to talk about events in the series. I’m going to go full spoilers ahead. Dude grow a spine I’ve seen my fair share of spineless protagonists (mostly in harem), but Kazuya is whole different level. Not only he doesn’t defend himself against abuse, but has some … ehm … inclinations. In the very first episode, there is scene where Kazuya masturbates, after having in his mind image of his ex-girlfriend having intercourse with another man. He then proceeds to buy a prostitute. Special kind of prostitute, which prostitutes emotionally by playing dream girlfriend for hard cash. In the whole series there is so far only one small redeeming moment for the Kazuya. It’s when he jumps from a ship to save Chizuru. All men’s wiafu for hard cash Main female protagonist, Chizuru, is probably the character I hate the most among the female characters. At best she has pity for Kazuya, but then how pathetic you have to be, that female, who sells her affection for money takes pity on you. It’s like if beggar would throw you some money. Once she reveals her reasons, why she prostitutes herself my disrespect even grown more. If you thought it would be to pay medical care for her dying parent or sibling or any pretence of some desperation to pursue something important, you were wrong. It was for noble goal of paying tuition for acting school and as a form of training. It makes as much sense as becoming hitman to qualify for Olympics in biathlon. I’ve seen people hating Kazuya for complaining about the fact of her job, because he himself did pay for the services at the time, but then who else than drug addict would have more rights to complain about immoralities of drug dealers. From my stand point it was one of the few moments, where Kazuya shown at least small glimpse of standing up for some solid values and calling her out. Interestingly enough the series never shows Chizuru going with bunch of other “clients”. Only such instance would be, when Kazuya pays her to cheer up his friend. Mami doesn’t count, because she did it to trample on her. I think it’s done on purpose otherwise nobody would like her. Her character would be exposed more and people would notice more easily what she is doing is wrong. This makes an illusion of purity. It allows her to be perceived as waifu material by viewers. However I can see her character is pretty rotten and her sole appeal is her looks. She is not adhesive plaster for men’s emotional wounds. She is leech. The only possible redemption for her would be to recognize the whole rental thing as a mistake. Psychotic ex Mami is hated character for good reasons. But then I can help to put her in second place on hate list, because while she is self-absorbed psycho. She might be just not right in her head unlike Chizuru, which should know better. She is made so everybody would hate her. The only pity is Kazuya didn’t stand up to her, when she was trash talking him. There is not so much to talk about this character until she suddenly comes back at the end. This time to torment Chizuru. Girl with childish crush on Kazuya While annoying for Kazuya Ruka is so far least bad of the three, but still problematic. She is very childish to have any serious relationship. Heck, she likes Kazuya just because he makes her heartbeat over 90. Maybe she should stick to exercise. Her pursuit of Kazuya is fulfilment of some teenage girl’s dream of how romance and relationships should be. It’s obvious from list of absurd requirements she sends to Kazuya. Instead setting clear boundaries as man should do, Kazuya is all stressed out and even begs her into things going even for dogeza. Her immaturity is something that makes me more lenient towards her in regards to her participation in the whole rent a girlfriend scheme. Family expecting failure Nothing brings family closer, than parents and grandparents, which consider you incapable of achieving relationship with opposite sex. Especially, when it’s thrown in your face. No wonder Kazuya is afraid to tell the truth. Bad friends worse than enemy When your friends put you down, instead pushing you in good direction, you should start looking for new friends. Only one guy is supportive of Kazuya, when he talks him in a good faith to stay with Chizuru, when they try to pretend break up. Random shy rental-girl kouhaiWhy are you Sumi even here? The fourth girl shoehorned into the mix. She is utterly pointless character. This series was unique experience for me. It took a great deal of willpower to finish. It isn’t just that I hate almost every single character in the show. It’s borderline propagation of prostitution or something else distinct in form, but not in the substance. If there was need to establish reason, why the two characters are forced together one could find better excuse than something akin to prostitution. I can already remember Korean drama “Lie to me”, which had similar lie of being in relationship to save face plot, but it was better. It was actually funny and characters were mostly likeable. In the last episode there was a short moment, a glimpse of hope, when I thought “No, could it move in interesting direction? Could it be good at least in the end?!” Nope, as most of anime series it returned back to its original equilibrium. Do not be deceived by the scene at the end. It means nothing. It’s just a bait for next season. If there was any redeeming quality of the series It would be portrayal of Kazuya’s inability to decide, what he actually wants. However, when he realizes it, he doesn’t act upon it in the end. Animation and art are fine for what is the series aiming for. Soundtrack I don’t even remember and don’t care about OP nor ED.

HKBattosai
6.3

Intro I was not intending on writing a review for Rent-A-Girlfriend, but many of the other reviews up to the time in which I published this review make it out to be one of the worst anime imaginable. That is simply not the case. However, please note that this review is currently through episode seven only. I will have to see how the remainder of the series turns out and update my review accordingly. Story The anime is primarily about the near spineless, no guts, lying and self-loathing male main character, Kazuya Kinoshita. He is a college student who recently experienced his first girlfriend by way of the pretty-faced, nasty attituded, depraved, self-centered b**ch, Mami, who happened to be the one who dumped him only a month or so after they started dating. Kazuya’s first dance of dating ecstasy also became his first dance being cast aside like a pair of dirty, worn out underwear that no longer serves a purpose to its wearer. That is pretty much how Mami treated him. In his time of self-pity, he catches an advertisement for a rental agency that happens to include the renting out of girlfriends (in a non-sexual demeanor). This is when the other main character joins the fray. Her name, Chizuru Mizuhara (aka Chizuru Ichinose). She is a dynamite looker (not hooker) who has the looks, brains, and personality to be included on anyone’s anime waifu list. To be fair, she does have her head strong, b**chy, arrogant moments as well, but there is more meaning behind them then what we witness at face value. Overall, she is good person with mostly good intentions. Upon the amicable and pleasant first date, Kazuya goes totally bonkers and unfairly snaps and insults Chizuru at their second rendezvous. Fortunately, she has the fortitude of a professional who truly looks forward to being the “best” girlfriend she can be, even amid a selfish person like Kazuya. Through this, some way somehow, he takes her to visit his recovering grandmother at the hospital where she is recovering. In doing so, he introduces her as his actual girlfriend, which not only puts her in a bind, but her grandmother is also recovering at the same facility. From there the main story arc revolves around their “fake” relationship that they both keep alive for separate reasons. Animation Both art style and animation are somewhat reminiscent of TMS Entertainment’s Kamisama Kiss, which is more of a compliment than it is an insult. It is not mind blowing, but it is pleasant enough to the eyes and kept consistent throughout the series. The backgrounds are relatively simply, but they are colorful. The characters are well drawn, but not overly detailed. The quality and detail fit this type of series. Sound Meh. The opening (OP) and closing (ED) songs are adequate, but nothing spectacular for my taste of music. The same goes for the audio throughout each episode. However, watching a series of this genre(s) is not typically viewed for the music, although the previously mentioned Kamisama Kiss has both an excellent OP and ED. Characters While the plot is OK, this anime clearly attempts to drive its success based on its characters as its primary focal point. They make it enjoyable and despicable at the same time. Let me break down the three biggest “it” characters of this series. First, I will start with Kazuya. In diving a little deeper than what I have already stated, he has both a serious lying problem and serious lack of courage. It is quite aggravating! That does not make him a bad person necessarily. He has never had anyone in his life like Mami-chan or Chizuru, nor has he had a very good family support system, at least based on what we see in the first two episodes. There are some signs of hope, promise, and growth from him as a character. Episode four is a prime example. Like another person stated on his comments page, “To put it plainly, if he pisses you off, it's because you're closer to him than you want to admit.” I think there is a fair amount of merit to that statement. He is someone who can make you angry, but someone many can relate to. He is a very “human” character on some levels, fictional or not. Next up is Mami Nanami. I am going to get a little personal with her; she can go f**k off! She is an excellent character because she is so disgustingly self-absorbed, self-depraved, self-righteous, and a pretentious b**ch that you can easily despise, or even possibly hate a bit. When Chizuru and her meet at a social gathering, it is fantastic how Chizuru calls her out and puts her in her right place…the gutter (metaphorically speaking). What makes it worse is that the idiot that Kazuya is does not even see this in her. He is so worried about having a girlfriend, being dumped, and “getting busy” with a woman that he does not see her for the trashy person she truly is. She is a great character for all the wrong reasons! Lastly, we get to Chizuru. For all the good things that I have mentioned about her, the two main things she has going wrong for her are that she allows herself to get caught up in Kazuya’s lie, playing along with him, which makes her an unfortunate liar as well. Secondly, she cannot make up her own damn mind on how she feels or views Kazuya. However, she does give him some hints to her personal feelings regarding him and their shared situation, but she could go a little further since Kazuya can be dense at times. She is a solid character who has many more positives going for her than the majority of the cast. Plus, she looks cute (and even charming) when she has her glasses on and her hair is in pigtail braids. Overall Too many reviews have been scathing. I have read a portion of them most of them, and while some points are legitimate, others are just unfair and/or inaccurate, mostly based on the inadequacies of Kazuya. If anyone read only those reviews, then I would not want to watch this anime at all. Bottom line, all reviews are just someone's opinion and point of view on a particular media (anime, manga, music, books, etc.). The best way to completely discover if you may enjoy something or not is to simply experience it for yourself. Rent-A-Girlfriend is a far cry from being the best anime in its genre(s), but it is a far cry from has horrible as most of the reviews have labeled it to be as well. Hopefully, this review has brought a different perspective from all the other negative, low-scoring ones. If not, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Entertainment Score:  8/10

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