You’d think after making a big deal about Ruka for an episode and a half, her dating Kazuya would be front and center for the time being. Surprisingly, that’s actually shoved to the wayside in Episode 8. Judging by the subtext, Rent-a-Girlfriend has even skipped the first couple or so dates even. It’s disappointing, especially when you consider the few glimpses that are provided. Kazuya remains on the fence about this relationship. Can’t say I blame him (though the fact that he considers renting a date with Chizuru is a dick move). Ruka meanwhile is very enthusiastic, sometimes to a fault. A funny bit is the sheer number of text messages she sends to Kazuya which goes to show that, despite her experience as a rental girlfriend, this is her first legitimate romantic relationship.
What ends up being the majority of the episode is Kazuya stalking Chizuru. I realize how bad that sounds but that is indeed what happens. Kazuya sees Chizuru hanging out with a guy named Umi, jumps to conclusions over their relationship, and follows the pair for the entire afternoon. And obviously, if you’ve seen any romantic comedy before, you know this is a big misunderstanding. Chizuru reveals she’s an aspiring actor, her main motivation to work as rental girlfriend even is to practice her acting, and Umi is just of hers working in the same field.
To play devil’s advocate, everything Kazuya does isn’t out of character. He’s naive and impulsive and when you combined those with his attraction to Chizuru, you can see how he could read the situation entirely wrong. Mind you, that doesn’t excuse him from his actions. The fact that he follows his friend for hours is nosy and, frankly, really creepy. He does realize what he’s doing is scummy but rather than stop and mind his own business, the dude keeps on going because he’s that curious and that stupid. The part that made my skin the crawl the most is when he reasons he should confirm his suspicions for the sake of Chizuru’s other clients like they’re his buddies or something. Just writing that down makes me so tired.
On top of that, the whole sequence is just not that funny. That it’s a whole misunderstanding is given. Kazuya being a stalker isn’t the least bit charming and if anything, he comes out of this episode looking rather unlikable (more than he already has been in past episodes). Honestly, this might be up there as one of the least enjoyable parts of KanoKari and that’s saying something considering what’s already up there.
My goodness, Chizuru is too kind. I’m mean if anyone would figure out Kazuya’s intent, it’s her and it’s not like she isn’t mad at him. Still, I can’t help but think she’s being awfully lenient with him, especially when she gives him a Christmas present right after finding out she’s been following her and Umi the entire hangout. At least hold off on it for a day or something. I think I would’ve liked it more if Kazuya did more than just apologize before Chizuru relents and hands over her gift to him.
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