Rent-a-Girlfriend – Ep. 4

In this episode, Kazuya gets a call from his grandmother, informing him that she’ll be discharged from the hospital. Between this, making Chizuru’s facade increasingly harder, and Mami trying(?) to get in his pants, Kazuya decides to announce to his friends that he and Chizuru are breaking up. All things considered, it is the sensible move to make. Better to quit and save face while you still can. The timing is certainly strange though. There’s no denying the best opportunity was before bumping into Chizuru at the beach. Plus, it’s awkward that he does this with his “girlfriend” present and several minutes into the trip after coming up with excuses. Then again, most of Kazuya’s friends buy the lie so what do I know?

To my surprise, the one who does take issue with Kazuya’s decision is one of his best friends, Kibe (Masayuki Akasaka). The guy goes as far as punching Kazuya right in the face (you have no idea how satisfying that is). If you told me this guy is one of the smarter characters in this show, I wouldn’t have believed you at first. But I’ll be darned, the guy more or less catches onto what Kazuya and Mami have been up to. Even though Kibe doesn’t know the truth about Chizuru, he does raise some good points. Kazuya is indeed too driven by his hormones and him suddenly “breaking up” with Chizuru does speak ill of him.

Kibe ends up going to some lengths in trying to patch up things between Kazuya and Chizuru. He firsts shares a childhood story to Chizuru, advocating that Kazuya is a good and compassionate man at heart. I don’t entirely buy into it because Kazuya sure hasn’t shown those traits as an adult but this is a scene where Chizuru seems to truly get to know her client and maybe even feel her attempts to sticking out for him weren’t so in vain. Afterwards, Kibe gives ferry tickets for the couple. This is technically misguided but considering his perspective on the situation, him wanting these two stay together or at least split amicably makes sense.

I got to give Chizuru credit in this episode. This trip to the beach must be so awkward for her and yet, she continues to maintain her professionalism. She doesn’t take it personal when Kazuya announces the breakup and privately confided to him that she thinks it’s the right decision in the long term (which it is). I am little surprised at how supportive she is with Kazuya wanting to get back with Mami, she seems smart enough to figure out Mami’s true colors, though I suppose that’s also her staying professional. It technically isn’t her business what Kazuya is up to. The only thing that bothers me is her opting to board the ferry with Kazuya. They could easily just lie and it becomes increasingly clear that Chizuru gets sick from the heat. Perhaps that’s indicative of a character flaw, she can get too dedicated to her work as a rental girlfriend.

As much as I like Chizuru, Mami is proving to be the more interesting character. I mean, I don’t like her per se and I’m not rooting for her but there’s a surprising amount of ambiguity to her. First off, there’s the opening flashback depicting Mami’s first date with Kazuya and that does elaborate on why she’s attached to the guy. After two brief flings, Kazuya was her first real and steady relationship and that likely has gone a long way for her and further explain her frustration at seeing him “rebound” so quickly. Second, Mami is trying awfully hard in winning Kazuya back. Seriously, she calls him at the end of the episode to tell she’s waiting for him at the hotel and I fully believe her when she says she’ll wait as she needs to. Does she actually want Kazuya back? I’m more unsure what her plan is should she win.

As Mami calls Kazuya, Chizuru’s heat stroke gets the best of her and she goes overboard. Kazuya drops his phone and rushes over to save her. I suppose this is the writing backing up Kibe’s claim that Kazuya has his good points. He certainly looks selfless in this on moment. The thing that irks me though is that this scene is framed as though Kazuya is picking Chizuru over Mami but it’s really just him saving his acquaintance’s life. I’m sure this will make our two leads grow closer but it’d be really extreme and even contrived if this is how Chizuru ends up falling in love with Kazuya. They still need to know each other better. Also, it’d be really stupid if Mami gets jealous over her ex doing what anyone brave enough would probably do in this situation.

Thanks for reading!

Watch Rent-a-Girlfriend on Crunchyroll

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