Rent-A-Girlfriend (Japanese: 彼女、お借りします, Hepburn: Kanojo, Okarishimasu), abbreviated as Kanokari (かのかり), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Reiji Miyajima. It has been serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine since July 2017, and has been compiled into thirty-five volumes as of February 2024. The series is licensed in North America by Kodansha USA, which released the first volume in English in June 2020. The series is licensed outside of Asia by Crunchyroll in the English speaking territories.

Rent-A-Girlfriend
First tankōbon volume cover of Rent-A-Girlfriend, featuring Chizuru Mizuhara
彼女、お借りします
(Kanojo, Okarishimasu)
Genre
Manga
Written byReiji Miyajima
Published byKodansha
English publisher
ImprintShōnen Magazine Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runJuly 12, 2017 – present
Volumes35 (List of volumes)
Manga
Rent-A-(Really Shy!)-Girlfriend
Written byReiji Miyajima
Published byKodansha
English publisher
  • NA: Kodansha USA
MagazineMagazine Pocket
DemographicShōnen
Original runJune 21, 2020 – present
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
  • Kazuomi Koga (S1–2)
  • Shinya Une (S3)
Written byMitsutaka Hirota
Music byHyadain
StudioTMS Entertainment
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Original networkJNN (MBS, TBS)
English network
Original run July 11, 2020 September 30, 2023
Episodes36 (List of episodes)
Television drama
Rental A Girlfriend
Directed byDaisuke Yamamoto
Written byKumiko Asō
Music byYuki Munakata
Original networkANN (ABC, TV Asahi)
Original run July 3, 2022 September 25, 2022
Episodes10
icon Anime and manga portal

An anime television series adaptation produced by TMS Entertainment, aired from July to September 2020 on MBS's Super Animeism block. A second season aired from July to September 2022. A third season aired from July to September 2023. A live-action television drama adaptation also aired from July to September 2022.

By July 2023, the manga had over 11 million copies in circulation.

Plot edit

Kazuya Kinoshita is dumped by his girlfriend Mami Nanami after dating for a month. He decides to try compensated dating and pays to rent a girlfriend named Chizuru Mizuhara, a beautiful girl. However, because he thinks she was inauthentic, he gives her a low rating. When Chizuru berates him for that during their next outing, he realizes she is meaner than he expected. Just then, Kazuya learns that his grandmother has been hospitalized following a collapse. Chizuru comes along and his grandmother is smitten by how great she is. Kazuya continues renting Chizuru in order to keep up appearances with his family and friends, but things get complicated when they discover they are next-door apartment neighbors and attend the same college. Later, other girls from the rental girlfriend business also join in, along with Kazuya's ex-girlfriend, who seems intent on ending this fake relationship. However, as Kazuya falls in love with Chizuru, he becomes determined to do whatever he can to make their rental relationship into a real one.

Characters edit

Main edit

Kazuya Kinoshita (木ノ下 和也, Kinoshita Kazuya)
Voiced by: Shun Horie[2][a] (Japanese); Aleks Le[5] (English)
Portrayed by: Ryūsei Ōnishi[6]
A 20-year-old college student who lives in Tokyo. Following a painful breakup with his girlfriend, Mami Nanami, he decides to rent a girlfriend named Chizuru Mizuhara.Ch. 1 He soon finds himself in situations where he has to continue renting Chizuru to keep up appearances with his family and friends, and he eventually falls in love with her.Ch. 2–3, 16 Later on, he begins working part-time at a karaoke bar to pay for his dates and other expenses.Ch. 32
Chizuru Mizuhara (水原 千鶴, Mizuhara Chizuru) / Chizuru Ichinose (一ノ瀬 ちづる, Ichinose Chizuru)
Voiced by: Sora Amamiya[2][b] (Japanese); Lizzie Freeman[5] (English)
Portrayed by: Hiyori Sakurada[6]
A college student who moonlights as a rental girlfriend for the Diamond company.Ch. 1–3 On campus, she goes under her real name Chizuru Ichinose, and utilizes a nerdy appearance with large dark-framed glasses and braided pigtails.Ch. 1–2 It is later revealed that Chizuru and Kazuya are next-door neighbors in their apartment complex.Ch. 2 She continues to let Kazuya rent her services in order to help his grandmother Nagomi, and to help him get over his breakup with Mami.Ch. 3, 6
Mami Nanami (七海 麻美, Nanami Mami)
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki[2][c] (Japanese); Laura Stahl[5] (English)
Portrayed by: Shiori Akita[7]
Kazuya's former girlfriend. She has short blonde hair.Ch. 1 She appears to be friendly on the outside but harbors jealous and possessive feelings that scare her friends sometimes.Ch. 4, 7 She is shocked and suspicious that Kazuya has found another girlfriend immediately after she dumped him.Ch. 4–6
Ruka Sarashina (更科 瑠夏, Sarashina Ruka)
Voiced by: Nao Tōyama[2] (Japanese); Sarah Anne Williams[8] (English)
Portrayed by: Mio Kudo[9]
A girl who is introduced as Shun Kuribayashi's girlfriend. In actuality, she is also working as a rental girlfriend for another company.Ch. 20–25 She wants to date Kazuya for real after seeing how kindly and passionately he treats Chizuru and her.Ch. 20–25 She has a health condition where she has a low heart rate that she monitors, and Kazuya is the first guy who elevated it.Ch. 28 Later on in the series, she quits her rental girlfriend job and starts working at the same karaoke bar as Kazuya.Ch. 37
Sumi Sakurasawa (桜沢 墨, Sakurasawa Sumi)
Voiced by: Rie Takahashi[2] (Japanese); Suzie Yeung[10] (English)
Portrayed by: Aika Sawaguchi[11]
A girl with pink hair who also works as a rental girlfriend with Chizuru's company.Ch. 41–44 She is in her first year at college and is a newcomer to the industry.Ch. 41, 54 She has a shy personality and through Chizuru's urging, goes on dates with Kazuya in order to improve her skills as a rental girlfriend, later developing feelings for him.Ch. 41–44, 54 In her spin-off manga, Rent-A-(Really Shy!)-Girlfriend, it is revealed she decided to become a rental girlfriend due to a desire to pursue a career as an idol.Ch. 3

Supporting edit

Nagomi Kinoshita (木ノ下 和, Kinoshita Nagomi)
Voiced by: Yukari Nozawa[12] (Japanese); Alex Cazares[13] (English)
Portrayed by: Hana Kino[11]
Kazuya's paternal grandmother. She is thrilled to find out that Kazuya and Chizuru are a couple.Ch. 1 She operates a family-owned liquor store with Kazuya's parents and is friends with Chizuru's grandmother.Ch. 1–2
Kazuo Kinoshita (木ノ下 和男, Kinoshita Kazuo)
Voiced by: Yūki Sanpei[14] (Japanese); Chris Hackney[13] (English)
Portrayed by: Oideyasu Oda[15]
Kazuya's father. He operates a family-owned liquor store with his mother and wife.Ch. 1
Harumi Kinoshita (木ノ下 晴美, Kinoshita Harumi)
Voiced by: Miki Natsutani[14] (Japanese); Colleen O'Shaughnessey[13] (English)
Portrayed by: Kaoru Noguchi[11]
Kazuya's mother. She operates a family-owned liquor store with her husband and mother-in-law.Ch. 1
Yoshiaki Kibe (木部 芳秋, Kibe Yoshiaki)
Voiced by: Masayuki Akasaka[12] (Japanese); Nicolas Roye[13] (English)
Portrayed by: Shunya Kaneko[11]
Kazuya's childhood friend and college schoolmate.Ch. 1, 4 He occasionally gives Kazuya advice about how to deal with his relationships.Ch. 4, 7, 10, 12, 16 He also personally knows Kazuya's grandmother Nagomi, working part-time to help with her business.Ch. 4, 44
Shun Kuribayashi (栗林 駿, Kuribayashi Shun)
Voiced by: Gakuto Kajiwara[12] (Japanese); Landon McDonald[16] (English)
Portrayed by: Kōsuke Suzuki[11]
Kazuya's friend and college schoolmate. He has short light hair and wears glasses.Ch. 1 He often goes by "Kuri" (くり).Ch. 20
Sayuri Ichinose (一ノ瀬 小百合, Ichinose Sayuri)
Voiced by: Sayuri Sadaoka[14] (Japanese); Colleen O'Shaughnessey[13] (English)
Portrayed by: Mayumi Asaka[11]
Chizuru's maternal grandmother.Ch. 2 In her heyday, Sayuri was an actress, inspiring Chizuru to become one herself.Ch. 100 Sayuri and her late husband Katsuhito raised their granddaughter together after Chizuru's single mother died.Ch. 61
Umi Nakano (中野 海, Nakano Umi)
Voiced by: Kaito Ishikawa[14] (Japanese); Edward Bosco[13] (English)
Portrayed by: Ryōsuke Sato[17]
Chizuru's friend and classmate in acting school. Kazuya mistakenly believes Umi is Chizuru's real boyfriend at first.Ch. 29–31
Mini Yaemori (八重森 みに, Yaemori Mini)
Voiced by: Yu Serizawa[18] (Japanese); Lisette Monique Diaz[19] (English)
A girl who is a neighbor to both Kazuya and Chizuru.Ch. 105 She is a social media influencer and into cosplay,Ch. 115 and provides insight on crowdfunding to Kazuya when he and Chizuru decide to make an independent film together.Ch. 118–119 She also encourages him to truly pursue Chizuru.Ch. 114–115, 133

Media edit

Manga edit

Written and illustrated by Reiji Miyajima, the series began serialization in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine on July 12, 2017.[20] It has been compiled into thirty-five volumes as of February 2024.[21] The series is licensed in North America by Kodansha USA, which released the first volume in English on June 2, 2020.[22] Kodansha published an anthology of the series on August 17, 2020.[23][24]

A spin-off manga series, titled Rent-A-(Really Shy!)-Girlfriend (彼女、人見知ります, Kanojo, Hitomishirimasu), also written and illustrated by Miyajima, has been serialized in Kodansha's Magazine Pocket app since June 21, 2020. The series focuses on the character Sumi Sakurasawa.[25] It has been compiled into three volumes as of May 2022.[26] The series is also published in North America by Kodansha USA.[27]

Anime edit

An anime television series adaptation was announced on December 15, 2019.[2] The series was animated by TMS Entertainment and directed by Kazuomi Koga, with Mitsutaka Hirota handling series composition, Kanna Hirayama designing the characters, and Hyadain composing the music.[2] The Peggies performed the opening theme "Centimeter" (センチメートル, Senchimētoru).[28] Halca performed the first ending theme "Kokuhaku Bungee Jump" (告白バンジージャンプ, "Confession Bungee Jump") starting from Episodes 2–6 and 8–11,[29][d] while Halca also performed the second ending theme "First Drop" for Episode 7,[30][e] and Sora Amamiya performed the third ending theme "Kimi wo Tousite" (君を通して, "Through You") for Episode 12.[31] It aired from July 11 to September 26, 2020, on the Super Animeism programming block on MBS and other networks.[32][33][f] Season 1 ran for 12 episodes.[32]

The series is licensed by Crunchyroll outside of Asia.[34] On August 11, 2020, Crunchyroll announced that the series would receive an English dub,[5] which premiered on August 28.[35] In Southeast Asia and South Asia, the series is licensed by Muse Communication and released on the streaming service iQIYI in Southeast Asia.[36] Animax later began airing the series.[37]

On September 25, 2020, shortly before the first season's finale was streamed internationally, it was announced that a second season had been greenlit for production.[38] The main cast and staff reprised their roles, with Studio Comet cooperating in the production. The second season aired from July 2 to September 17, 2022.[39][40][g] The opening theme is "Himitsu Koi-Gokoro" (ヒミツ恋ゴコロ, "Secret Love Heart") by CHiCO with HoneyWorks, while the ending theme is "Ienai" (言えない, "Can't Say") by MIMiNARI featuring asmi.[42]

On May 18, 2021, it was announced Sentai Filmworks picked up the home video rights.[43]

After the final episode of the second season, a third season was announced, with Shinya Une replacing Kazuomi Koga as director.[44][45] It aired from July 8 to September 30, 2023.[h] The opening theme is "Renai Miri Film" (恋愛ミリフィルム, "Love Millimeter Film") by Halca.[46] Amber's performed the first ending theme "End Roll" (エンドロール) from Episodes 25–31 and 34–36,[47] and the second ending theme "End Roll (Ballad Version)" (エンドロール (Ballad Version)) from Episodes 32–33.[i]

Video game edit

A crossover smartphone game titled Kanojo, Okarishimasu Heroine All-Stars was developed by Enish. It featured Chizuru, Mami, Ruka, and Sumi along with female characters from other Weekly Shōnen Magazine manga series like Fairy Tail, The Seven Deadly Sins, Domestic Girlfriend, Girlfriend, Girlfriend, Fire Force, Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, and Negima! Magister Negi Magi. It was released in September 2021.[48][49] The game's service ended on January 25, 2023.[50][51]

Drama edit

A live-action television drama adaptation aired on ABC and TV Asahi from July 3 to September 25, 2022.[11] It stars Ryūsei Ōnishi and Hiyori Sakurada as Kazuya and Chizuru, respectively.[6] Viki began streaming the series on January 27, 2023, under the title Rental A Girlfriend.[52]

Reception edit

The series received a mixed to positive reception. Joe Ballard of Comic Book Resources (CBR) described the anime adaptation as a "hot mess" with sluggish pacing but also an "intriguing, action-packed rom-com and a semi-developing love story."[53] Meanwhile, Ethan Wescoatt of CBR praised the story, which he called "mature" for a harem anime, in addition to the male and female leads, noting that Chizuru is an intriguing character due to hiding her true, multidimensional personality behind her perfect girlfriend façade and that Kazuya's struggles are relatable to the audience.[1]

By July 2023, the manga had over 11 million copies in circulation.[54]

Notes edit

  1. ^ Kazuya Kinoshita's voice was provided by Jun Fukushima for a commercial in 2017,[3] and by Haruki Ishiya for a commercial in 2018.[4]
  2. ^ Sora Amamiya also provided Chizuru Mizuhara's voice in the 2017 commercial,[3] but Aoi Yūki provided her voice in a commercial in 2018.[4]
  3. ^ Aoi Yūki also provided Mami's voice in a 2017 commercial.[4]
  4. ^ In Episode 12, "Kokuhaku Bungee Jump" is used as an insert song.
  5. ^ "First Drop" by Halca is heard during the end credits of Episode 7.
  6. ^ MBS listed the series premiere at 25:25 on July 10, 2020, which is effectively July 11 at 1:25 a.m.[32][33]
  7. ^ MBS listed the season premiere at 25:25 on July 1, 2022, which is effectively July 2 at 1:25 a.m.[41]
  8. ^ MBS listed the season premiere at 25:23 on July 7, 2023, which is effectively July 8 at 1:23 a.m.[46]
  9. ^ "End Roll (Ballad Version)" is heard during the end credits of Episodes 32 and 33.

References edit

Works cited edit

  • ^ "Ch." is shortened form for chapter and refers to a chapter number of the Rent-A-Girlfriend manga as published by Kodansha USA.
  • ^ "Ep." is shortened form for episode and refers to an episode number of the Rent-A-Girlfriend anime as produced by TMS Entertainment.

Web sources edit

  1. ^ a b Wescoatt, Ethan (October 21, 2020). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Is the Most Refreshing Harem Series Yet". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Loo, Egan (December 15, 2019). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Manga Gets TV Anime in July". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Miyajima, Reiji [@Miyajimareiji] (October 30, 2017). "昨日夜よりYouTubeにて「彼女、お借りします」TVCM公開されてます!CVはなんと 和也:福島潤さん 千鶴:雨宮天さん です! 自分が「このすば」ファンだと伝えたらこんな夢みたいなことに…!!是非ご覧になってください" (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved December 11, 2019 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b c 彼女、お借りします【公式】 [@okarishimasu] (June 22, 2018). "【「歌い手は誰でしょう?」PV正解発表】 ↓前回の一人二役&超早口な、激ムズPV↓" (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved December 11, 2019 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ a b c d Luster, Joseph (August 11, 2020). "Crunchyroll Lines Up Dub Plans for The God of High School, Re:ZERO Season 2, and More". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on September 2, 2022. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Loo, Egan (May 12, 2022). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Manga Gets Live-Action Show Starring Naniwa Danshi Idol Ryūsei Ōnishi, Hiyori Sakurada". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  7. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (May 31, 2022). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Live-Action Series Casts Shiori Akita as Mami Nanami". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on June 1, 2022. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  8. ^ Williams, Sarah Anne [@SarahAnneWillia] (October 3, 2020). "New character I voice: Ruka Sarashina in the english dub of Rent-a-Girlfriend, currently streaming on @Crunchyroll! Episode 6 of the dub just went up today!" (Tweet). Retrieved October 3, 2020 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Loo, Egan (June 9, 2022). "Live-Action Rent-A-Girlfriend Series Casts Mio Kudō as Ruka Sarashina". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on August 10, 2023. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  10. ^ Yeung, Suzie [@SuzieYeung] (November 7, 2020). "I am super happy to announce that I am the voice of shy, sweet Sumi in the #RentAGirlfriend dub! 🥺💗 Super fun working with ya @LucienDodge and @the_lillz! 😄" (Tweet). Retrieved November 10, 2020 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Loo, Egan (June 16, 2022). "Live-Action Rent-A-Girlfriend Show Unveils More Cast, July 2 Premiere". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c Egan, Loo (June 26, 2020). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Anime's New Ad Unveils More Cast, July 10 Premiere". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Rent-A-Girlfiend Blu-ray Collection (Blu-ray). Sentai Filmworks. December 14, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d "アニメ『彼女、お借りします』声優一覧|1~3期出演の全キャスト40人を網羅【かのかり】". Abema Times (in Japanese). August 6, 2022. Archived from the original on September 30, 2023. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  15. ^ Loo, Egan (June 27, 2022). "Live-Action Rent-A-Girlfriend Show Casts Comedian Oideyasu Oda as Kazuya's Father". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on August 10, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  16. ^ McDonald, Landon [@McMovieMan] (August 28, 2020). "I play Kazuya's hapless buddy Shun Kuribayashi in the new rom-com anime #RentAGirlfriend, now streaming on @Crunchyroll! Thanks to my friends at Studiopolis for having me aboard and congrats to my incredible cast mates @AleksLeVO, @LizzieRFreeman and @laura_stahl!" (Tweet). Retrieved August 29, 2020 – via Twitter.
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  22. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (July 7, 2019). "Kodansha Licenses 6 New Manga, Acquires Saiyuki, Chobits, Clover". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
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  29. ^ エンディングテーマ楽曲「告白バンジージャンプ」の情報が解禁!. kanokari-official.com (in Japanese). June 13, 2020. Archived from the original on October 1, 2023. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
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  46. ^ a b 『彼女、お借りします』第3期、桜沢墨デートシーンビジュアル&高橋李依さんコメント公開! Opテーマはhalcaさんが担当. Animate Times (in Japanese). June 10, 2023. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
  47. ^ Mateo, Alex (June 16, 2023). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Season 3 Anime Reveals Ending Theme Song Artist, Mini Yaemori Character Trailer". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  48. ^ Mateo, Alex (June 17, 2021). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Manga Gets Crossover Smartphone Game With Other Shonen Magazine Heroines". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
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  51. ^ Harding, Daryl (October 27, 2022). "Rent-a-Girlfriend Heroines Mobile Game Shuts Down in January 2023". Crunchyroll. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  52. ^ Viki [@Viki] (January 27, 2023). "After a painful breakup, #RyuseiOnishi hires #HiyoriSakurada to ease the pain of his broken heart! 💔📱👩 Will this rental girlfriend be able to help him heal? Find out by watching #RentalAGirlfriend, premiering 1/27, on Viki: https://viki.com/tv/38941c-rental-a-girlfriend" (Tweet). Retrieved February 2, 2023 – via Twitter.
  53. ^ Ballard, Joe (August 22, 2020). "Rent-A-Girlfriend Is the Summer Anime Fans Love to Hate". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  54. ^ Harding, Daryl (July 5, 2023). "Rent-a-Girlfriend Manga Surpasses 11 Million Copies Ahead of Season 3". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.

External links edit