In summer 2020’s Rent-A-Girlfriend, college student Kazuya Kinoshita avails himself of a service that lets him… well, rent a girlfriend. The service is meant to assist struggling, lonely guys; but it seems like Kazuya’s struggles are only increasing. And that’s with multiple girls in his life, some of whom do actually seem to want to date him!
So where’s the struggle? We’re rating these Rent-A-Girlfriend characters based on how likely they are to make things difficult for Kazuya. For those who don’t make the list, assume a sliding scale. His life is all over the map as it is.
Chizuru Mizuhara: 1/10
In fairness, the rent-a-girlfriend queen’s low score would be even lower if it weren’t for things outside her control. Living next door to Kazuya, going to the same school, and somehow fatefully managing to cross paths with him mean a lot of cover-ups and lies. Chizuru is doing her best to clear up any misconceptions about her relationship with Kazuya, but she has her own difficulties in play. If nothing else, she’s working in both their best interests — and being amazing while she does.
Ruka Sarashina: 3/10
Ruka’s is… an interesting case. The Rent-A-Girlfriend co-heroine has very specific reasons for needing Kazuya in her life — matters of the heart, quite literally. She finds that he gets her heart pumping in a way nothing or no one else ever has. So it’s kind of understandable that she wouldn’t want to let him go once she’s found him. At the same time… her conditions are a lot. With daily communication requirements that are much more in-depth than just checking in on occasion. It’s no wonder dating her feels like a full-time job for Kazuya. The mitigating factor? She seems to mean well.
Mami Nanami: 7/10
The lady who inadvertently kicked off the whole rent-a-girlfriend situation, Kazuya’s ex Mami seems to have him on her mind as much as he has her on his. But in a very different way. Sure, she dropped him sight unseen, blocked him on social, and offered no explanation. But the mere idea that he found someone else in the wake of her rejection has her firing on all cylinders. Her machinations to break up Kazuya and Chizuru (never mind that they’re not really dating and trying to get that point out there) have escalated situations into literal fist fights… whether she intended it to go that far or not.
Kazuya Kinoshita: 10/10
Okay, we’ll grant Kazuya a few points. The Rent-A-Girlfriend protagonist can’t be held responsible for every bad thing that happens to him. It’s not his fault Mami tries to manipulate him, nor is it his fault he make’s Ruka’s kokoro go dokidoki in a medically significant way. But when it comes to lies, cover-ups, self-effacing behavior that turns sour on him, literal stalker behavior, and the like… Kazuya is pretty much the prime mover in his own misfortune. Whether Chizuru can give him an assist, or whether he’ll have to lift himself out of his problems, we’ll just have to wait and see.