Even though I’m behind on reviewing the latest episodes of the Rent-A-Girlfriend Anime, but today I’ll be reviewing the first volume of Kodansha Comics’ Rent A Girlfriend. The story is about a College student named Kazuya Kinoshita, who had a terrible and painful breakup, so he tries a new “Rent-a-Girlfriend” App and meets Chizuru Mizuhara, who works for the Diamond Company, which sponsors the app, after a few dates and introducing her to his family, he begins to develop romantic feelings for Chizuru.
Written and illustrated by mangaka Reiji Miyajima, this story begins with a very brief introduction of the protagonist and another character that we’ll be seeing more of down the line, Mami Nanami. Things looked innocent at first when at the beginning but then a sudden sharp turn into tragedy, it was clear to see that Mami was leading him on at first, she has a petty personality and is a character that is made to dislike immediately (a similar trend in most stories recently,) but breakups are pretty rough, can get downright ugly depending on a situation; so after two days of having no sleep, moping about the breakup (and being blocked on Twitter immediately after the breakup which shows she was trying to see how far she could push him emotionally,) he decides to try a dating app, and tries to get back on his feet when walks in Chizuru Mizuhara, a beautiful lady whom he wanted to spend time with. There was a brief moment of sympathy for Kazuya, but that took a massive turn for the worst as we see how much of a jerk he could be after the date was over, as he glanced over the fact that she spent time with other guys, immediately implying that she was a prostitute and had a meltdown over it but that was her job, to make her clients happy, seeing it as a job. Unfortunately, throughout the volume we see him try to put his needs before anything else.
This isn’t going to be a review where I’m going to bash the lead character because of his flaws, honestly, it makes the story worth it, even more, to see him become a better person. With that said one of the best things about this story has to be the comedic moments, such as Kazuya and Chizuru having to hide from their Grandmothers at the Hospital, or suddenly meeting at the same College he goes to, even to the extent of them surprising each other to find out they live right beside each other! I have mentioned this before in the first episode review, but you can tell how much effort and research that Reiji Miyajima put into this manga, whether it be the fashion or possibly using past life experiences as a reference to give the story more depth, this includes the artwork; the story pacing is a tad fast which can be a double-edged sword in terms of how the pacing of the writing and the brand of comedy used.
I do enjoy watching Chizuru stand up to Kazuya and his narcissistic tendencies, also for what she feels is right, but overall, this is a fun story, with memorable characters and a villain you love to hate. It is a fun Shōnen story and can plainly see how this Manga series is insanely popular right now. If you would like to read it, it’s available at Barnes & Noble, Comixology, also if you would like to read the first chapter it is available to read at Kodansha Comics.
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