September 11, 2022
Reiji Miyajima's manga series Rent-a-Girlfriend received an anime adaptation in summer 2020, which was also simulcast in Germany by the provider Crunchyroll. In line with the recent start of the second season in Japan, the Berlin-based anime label (formerly KAZÉ Anime) is now also releasing the twelve-part first season on disc. But how promising is the romantic comedy really? Arlene Schaefer
ATTENTION: Any statements in this review only reflect the personal opinion of the author and not (!) those of ITweakIT and its partners.
A romantic offer
The young student Kazuya Kinoshita was left by his girlfriend Mami Nanami just a few days ago and has no better choice than to rent a new girlfriend via an online platform. Yes, you heard that right: for rent!
Though the first meeting goes well and his rental girlfriend Chizuru Mizuhara is a dream come true, Kazuya can't handle the moral quirks of a fake and paid relationship. It's clear from the reviews on the platform that the oh-so-wonderful date and Chizuru's adorable demeanor is part of their standard routine.
job is job
Feeling betrayed, the discouraged boy gives Kazuya a bad rating and actually doesn't want to hire her again. Without further ado, he changes his mind, hires Chizuru again as a girlfriend and condemns her and her job face to face. Of course, Chizuru is indignant about this, because she works hard to achieve a very good reputation. In addition, Kazuya has agreed to the terms and conditions and must know for sure that this is not a real relationship.
In the midst of the argument between the two, Kazuya suddenly receives a call that his grandmother is in the hospital. With his booked time still pending, Chizuru accompanies him to the hospital despite his objection, where he simply introduces Chizuru as his new girlfriend. Events unfold and the false relationship is followed by a mock breakup. And as if that wasn't enough, the two learn that they go to the same university. In the process, Kazuya gets to know Chizuru's true personality.
image and animation
Rent-a-Girlfriend (Jap. Kanojo, Okarishimasu ) is based on the manga of the same name by Reiji Miyajima, which has been published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since July 2017. In this country, the series is known under the title Rental Girlfriend . The first season of the anime series was produced by Kazuomi Koga at the TMS Entertainment studio (including Dr. Stone and Fruits Basket ) and ran on Japanese TV between July and September 2020 with a total of twelve episodes. A second season began this summer. Crunchyroll showed Rent-a-Girlfriend in simulcast at the time and has been releasing the anime in three volumes on DVD and Blu-ray since July 21, 2022.
Already in the first episodes, the excellent and detailed animation and image design of Rent-a-Girlfriend catches the eye, for which the TMS Entertainment studio has already distinguished itself in past adaptations. The characters are visually elegant and the comedic effects of the animation also fit in very well. In addition, the animation is pleasantly fluid and, together with the cognitive color scheme, is pleasing. In particular, the appropriate lighting effects give the anime series a pleasant look.
First and foremost, Chizuru's implementation is positive and underlines her characteristics as a rental girlfriend as well as her attributes in everyday life. Kazuya's ex-girlfriend, Mami Nanami, is also staged with a very well-developed visual representation and animation, which underlines her character particularly well. That's why only positive things can be said about the creative implementation of the anime so far.
German translation and music
Due to the home video release, special attention is paid to the German language version of Rent-a-Girlfriend . TNT Media GmbH in Berlin is responsible for this, while Martin Irnich is in charge of directing the dialogue.
Among the voice actors are experienced and well-known voices such as Luisa Wietzorek (Gabi Braun in Attack on Titan ) as Chizuru and Lasse Dreyer (Takemichi Hanagaki in Tokyo Revengers ) as Kazuya. In the original version, the roles were taken over by the relatively young but no less experienced voice actors Sora Amamiya (Akame in Akame ga Kill! ) and Shun Horie (Nezumi in Juuni Taisen ).
Overall, the German dubbing is not negative. On the contrary: I actually like it quite a lot. The German language version is solid and lip-synched throughout the first few episodes. In addition, the voices from the German speaker cast fit their respective roles without exception. Only in hectic scenes does the synchronization seem chaotic, although this can also be attributed to the scenes themselves. The music, on the other hand, is well chosen and the opening ( Centimeter by The Peggies) and the ending ( Kokuhaku Bungee Jump by Halca) fit the overall package of the anime series.
Rent-a-Girlfriend leaves me with mixed feelings after its first four episodes. Although there is nothing to complain about in terms of the visual implementation or the German dubbing, I personally wouldn't recommend Rent-a-Girlfriend Stand. The characters don't appear to be well conceived or particularly profound, which makes it very difficult, in my opinion, to identify with the characters or to root for them.
Kazuya is a very stereotypical character, possessing few characteristics aside from his involuntary virginity and interest in young women. He comes across as rather superficial and not very intelligent, which makes him an unpleasant main character for me. Chizuru, on the other hand, has a little more depth, but this is entirely due to her secret job and the rift with her personal life. Again, old clichés can be found in the plot, which are only minimally balanced with their positive character traits.
Another shortcoming is the humor, which I wouldn't really call humorous if it didn't allude to One Punch Man in a scene. Otherwise, the comedic part of Rent-a-Girlfriend seems superimposed and flat, since it's almost entirely based on Kazuya's ineptitude in the dating world, which doesn't offer much material and is again very stereotypical. The secondary characters and the plot itself also seem flat and very entertaining, if not meaningless and predictable. So we'll have to wait and see how Rent-a-Girlfriend develops over the next few episodes.
Rent-a-Girlfriend reminded me why I'm not a fan of romantic comedy . So far, the anime lumps together stereotypes and tries to be compulsively funny. Nonetheless, the excellent visual execution must be highlighted.
Images: ©2020Reiji Miyajima, KODANSHA /“Kanojo, Okarishimasu” Production Committee.