A review of Rent-a-Girlfriend

Creator: Reiji Miyajima

Publisher: Kodansha

Website: https://kodansha.us/volume/rent-a-girlfriend-1

Given what this creator is capable of I was expecting a lot, however this manga never lived up to expectations. Why?

One word; Kazuya. Literally Kazuya is one of the worst male leads I’ve ever seen in a manga.

Whatever critique you could throw the way of Rental Girlfriend, Kazuya is the single worst character in the story having almost no sense of shame or self respect and many of the other characters of Kanojo Okarishimasu just seem lack self awareness and even intelligence, they're almost one dimensional. The premise of the story isn't even the worst thing about it, especially once you've been reading manga a while there are all manner of controversial topics.

AKB49 Ren'ai Kinshi Jourei, by the same mangaka was much better. The male lead isn’t actually a looser even though he’s basically a liar even in that comic, so the mangaka can make likeable and complex male characters when he wants to, even though that particular protagonist lies to everyone in his life at least he does so with conviction, for honourable reasons and does at least act with some dignity unlike Kazuya.

The rental girlfriend thing isn’t that bad of a concept, indeed Japan is full of such strange concepts, like idols. Kazuya rents a girl to get over being dumped by his ex and because of bullshit circumstances that could easily be explained or got around he ends up renting this girl all the time because his family are convinced she’s his real girlfriend. It’s so implausible I couldn’t even view it in a satirical light, you string this whole rental girl thing out on the premise that you don’t want to let your grandma down?

This story, this scenario makes no sense and it has no percievable benefit as a plot hook, indeed it makes the character of Kazuya look like an absolute cad. The whole premise of the story becomes somewhat pathetic.

What can I say, a new low has been achieved.

The whole point of the rental girlfriend is to give some socially awkward guys, or a shut-in type the chance to interact with a normal woman for a change, but Kazuya isn’t anything like that, he’s a liar, he misleads, he begs people to go along with his scams, and he just strings people along like the con man he is.

The one part of the story I did think worth reading was the crowd funding arc, where he and she and hangers on, crowd fund an indie film together now I quite liked this part, in this arc Kazuya actually behaves like an adult and shows some excellent character growth, but immediately after the crowd funding plot we’re back to the same thing again with him acting like some pathetic child in virtually every chapter and this is where I lost interest and stopped reading.

Of all the manga I’ve ever read, I think we were all happy for Hideki in Chobits, or Godai from Maison Ikkoku, but when it comes To Rent-a-Girlfriend, I don’t ever think I’ve ever rooted for the Girl to just straight up dump this guy on his ass and make him crawl back to love interest number 2 who them rightfully spurns him as well leaving him alone as he rightly deserves to be. We spend multiple chapters just on Kazuya pratting about.

I am sick to death after 20 odd years of reading manga that’s being going on 20 volumes too long, especially when it's with a main character this bad. Miyajima Reiji isn't the only one guilt of that, even the dearly beloved Rumiko Takahashi is guilty of plot inflation at times.

If your story is more than 15 volumes (150 chapters) long and 10 volumes of it is just filler you’re probably taking the piss. There are times when filler can be useful especially if not over done, Kaoru Mori uses these as interludes where she might inject a cultural or historical lesson into her story and always accompanied by magnificent artwork.

Rent-a-Girlfriend isn’t the first manga to annoy me by it’s unnecessary length and bad story telling. There are hundreds of manga like this, and yeah I get it the creator has to make a buck, and there's a studio to run and assitants to pay, etc etc. You’ll notice my site isn’t filled with reviews of such manga, like Naruto, Onepiece, Deathnote etc because generally I can’t be bothered reviewing stuff I don't like,I try to keep things positive because I like comics as a medium and I want people to make them, but for once I thought I’d make an exception because I want to see an end to comics like this. We need more quality, think quality, make quality your raison d'etre, your modus operandii, your creed, your esprit de corps. Quality over quantity had your motto be...

As always this is just my opinion, you might like the story being told in Rent-a-girlfriend and that’s your right. But I don’t like it because Kazuya and a pointless plot.

No likey no readie?

Sounds good to me.

Review by ukmangaxl.com