After a rather abrupt and heart-breaking split from his girlfriend, first year college student Kazuya Kinoshita, in a fit of frustration and desperation, installs an app on his phone that allows him to…wait for it…rent a girlfriend…for a specific amount of money per hour to do normal date-type things. See, I’m from Louisiana, and we call that something a little different down here that I probably can’t say in polite company, but I digress. He ends up renting a girl named Chizuru for 5000 yen (this just feels SO WRONG to type), who treats Kazuya to a special time…just like she did for all her other “boyfriends” who sing her praises on the web. On their second “date”, Kazuya reams her out for being fake, and she, in turn, reams HIM out for leaving a negative review and expecting something more from what is clearly a business transaction. After an interaction with Kazuya’s grandmother, the truth is revealed as to why finding a girlfriend is so important to him; it is the wish of his ailing grandmother that he finds someone nice to settle down with before she goes to the Upper Room. The two relate to each other as Chizuru also wants to keep her family happy and thus works this questionable job. The story kicks off from there with the “big” reveal that she goes to the same college that Kazuya does. OH THE SHENANIGANS THAT ARE IN STORE!
So…let’s get this out the way first and foremost. The whole idea of a girlfriend-for-hire REALLY gives me pause. I mean BIG pause. I mean, this guy pays the equivalent of almost 50 bucks per hour to get a girl to go out with him. Do you KNOW what I can do with that kind of money!? I sure as heck wouldn’t go around spending it on a very superficial date with someone that has ZERO interest in me, that’s for dawg gone sure. That’s the price of at LEAST a good anime Complete Collection set…maybe two if you catch ’em on sale. The explanation Kazuya gives for why he is so determined to have a girlfriend is somewhat admirable; after all, we all want to make the people in our lives happy, especially those that are about to punch their ticket on the Midnight Train to Georgia, but honestly, it came off as being one big exposition dump, and the big reveal of Chizuru at the end was really not that amusing or original. Also, speaking of the ending, can we please…PLEASE…for the love of all that is good and holy, stop it with the virgin jokes and/or virgin shaming? It’s not cool, it’s rather pathetic, and it doesn’t make sense if you really think about it.
So, where does that leave “Rent-A-Girlfriend”? Honestly, I tend to give shows about 5 episodes or so before deciding if it is worth my time or not, but in this case, I don’t think I’ll need that many. I don’t think there’s enough meat on this show’s bone for me to keep chewing at it. It’s a shame too, as it’s been a minute since I saw a really good harem series, and I had hoped that this one would give me something to sink my teeth into.
Oh, before I forget–My name is Josh, and I guess I’ll be writing over here from now on! I hope we all get along well together!
Rent-a-Girlfriend can be streamed on Crunchyroll.