Rent a Girlfriend tells a story about a guy who is leading a lonely life in the advanced world. The anime series premiered in July of 2020 which was based on the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Reiji Miyajima. The anime series was released by the TMS Entertainment.
The story basically revolves around a young regular college boy named Kazuya Kinoshita, who is not happy or leas to say, satisfied with the kind of life he has. He comes across a software application which allows you to rent any figure that would as per your commands, act as your family. A Friend, a brother, or any other significant role you wish it to play for you. To fill the empty void of his life, Kazuya makes the use of the app and rents a girlfriend.
Story / Plot
After being dumped by his girlfriend, emotionally shattered Kazuya decides to rent a girlfriend and takes her out on a date to compensate to his loneliness. Upon visiting her for the first time, he immediately draws up an impression that he always wished to be of his girlfriend; sweet, tender, caring and rich in good looks. As the date proceeds, Kazuya has his attention and attraction disturbed as he reads the negative reviews of Chizuru, the rental girlfriend, on the application giving him second thoughts about her. Kazuya finds out the real side of Chizuru in no time as abusive and Hot-headed.
Kazuya receives an unexpected letter informing him about the bad health of his grandmother. To which, he immediately has to visit her in the hospital, while having not-so-beloved Chizuru on his side. Just like Kazuya, his grandmother likes Chizuru the moment she sees her. Kazuya and Chizuru decide to just play along. Now for the sake of family and his grandmother, Kazuya keeps on renting Chizuru as his girlfriend, and sooner than later, terms tangle and things go eerie when they both are struck with a shocking revelation of being each other’s neighbours all along, even attending the same college.
Further in the series, other girls from the same business tend to put their efforts into taking Kazuya for themselves, having affection for his tenderness and easy-going personality. They majorly played as petty additions to the already crumbled narrative.
Primarily, the story and setting of this anime show feel utterly unnecessary to see or have. The series follows the futuristic setup of as 21st century Japan where you can rent a father, mother, sibling or even a girlfriend. The writing is excessively dramatic and tries too hard to make it into the viewer's mind but fails. The writers have attempted to put in so much into this 12-episodes show that it almost feels like uncalled for.
Miyajima has tried to convey the desperation and helplessness, simultaneously in this anime, of the people in their efforts of sustaining in the advanced ages of 21st century. He comprehensibly wishes to catch the viewers’ eyes on this severe sounding matter with the constant humour. Albeit, the humour that show presents is not effective at all and makes it look even duller. Miyajima designed characters in a manner to fulfil their roles and nothing else in this typical sci-fi, Rom-com, making the characters forgettable, serving no purpose, neither a lasting impression. Kazuya and Chizuru share a very similar personality to each other and act as dishonest as they can, living their facades and orchestrating their shenanigans in attempts of keeping their true self hidden.
The story starts off fine, however, goes downhill as the idiotic coincidences start falling into both protagonists’ laps out of nowhere. From having to live in the same apartment, to going to the same college, to having both of their grandmothers resting in the same hospitals, to rolling the same campus, makes the story a bit unbelievable and childish at the same time. Although there isn’t much in the story, it isn’t entirely unworthy to watch. The series has its own elements to make it a tolerable watch and even enjoyable to some sections of the audience. The cuteness of the characters serves as the factor that gets the audience in their seats in the first place. In additions to the character art, the background art stands out in this animated show. Art is very bright and contrasted adding to its easy-going storytelling and works as a part of the narrative itself.
Rent a girlfriend is a show with richly enhanced background art and childish humour which is often liked by some particular class of audience. The show has instantly likeable characters for their adorable looks and almost as perfect as one can imagine, although, as the series progresses, the characters lack any development and therefore, turn mundane.