Rent-A-Girlfriend – Anime Review
I like a good romance anime. And I like a good comedy anime. Rent-A-Girlfriend says that it’s going to be both, and I think it hits on both, sometimes, but not all the time. And I think that is not a great thing about it, but as it pulls back from one of the two it the show becomes even stronger. So what is Rent-A-Girlfriend about?
After Kazuya is dumped by his first girlfriend Mami, he is down in the dumps. So he finds, stumbles across, a service that lets you rent a girlfriend. You pay by the hour and you get a date out of it. He goes on a date with a pretty girl, Ichinose, who is the perfect girlfriend. And it turns out that she is his neighbor and goes to the same school as him. But that’s not her real name.
Now they have a shared secret and Ichinose/Mizuhara is doubling as his girlfriend, for both their grandparents, their friends, and now it’s a mess. How can they keep their relationship just as a rental girlfriend?
Now, let me start out by saying Kazuya is one of the best and worst parts of the show. He is very horny and almost always ready to fantasize about Mami, Mizuhara, or one of a couple other girls at the drop of a hat. However, he knows that is wrong and he generally wants to do the right thing.
But I want to talk about him some because this is what drives most of the fan service. It is also where some of the humor is supposed to come from. But it is very juvenile humor and honestly, the show would be better if it got toned down. It is always balanced out, though, with the fact he has a lot of heart. It’s one of those things where if he just treated it as fine it’d probably ruin the show. But because he knows, it’s easier to overlook.
Comedy vs Romance
I already talked about that the comedy is pretty juvenile. However, I think that is less of a comedy as the show goes on, and the further the show goes on, the more it is a romance and almost a level of drama versus comedy. There are still some funny moments, but they build up a lot of emotion over time.
And when it comes to a romance, that is what I want. I want things to be emotional in it, so I think that Rent-A-Girlfriend does well with that. But this, again, is one of those things that it builds towards. The first season is fine but as I got further and further into season two, I became more and more invested. And at this point in time, I care about the characters and I want to see certain things happen, which if and when they do, we’ll see what happens to the story, but it’s still a bit away I think.
Let’s also talk about Ichinose. Or Mizuhara depending on the moment. She is the catalyst of the show and kind of the unfortunate soul who gets roped into it all. And she puts up with it very well, and I think that they do a good job of justifying how she can be so calm and cool through all of it.
I think that it’s safe to say you can assume some of that happens with her and Kazuya but I won’t spoil all the details. And whether or not what you think happens the way it does, you’ll have to see. But I think that Mizuhara is really the one who makes the show work. She has to play so many roles in it, and is the one who really gets stuck in the most difficult positions. So a lot of it is how she deals with that, because Kazuya doesn’t deal with it well.
I almost didn’t watch this whole anime. By the end of season one of Rent-A-Girlfriend. Not that it was bad, it was just that it wasn’t that great. As season two went along it went from fine to very good and by the end it is some of the more emotional and better done anime that I’ve seen.
And I’ll give out praise like that because I think that it’s better done than most. A lot of anime that I watch I just watch for fun. Others like Jujutsu Kaisen that I’m watching now, they are fun to watch but nothing on it is great thus far. Rent-A-Girlfriend just stands out that way. And I think it’s one that a lot of people will enjoy it, but you do need to get through that first season or really hold onto the pieces of it that have a lot of heart.