Wow, Rent-a-Girlfriend is focusing on Shun again? The guy slipped my mind as much as it has for Ruka and I honestly figured he’d get shoved to the wayside after he got “dumped”. But sure enough, the show addresses the one loose end from Ruka’s introduction as Kazuya kills two birds with one stone, renting Chizuru out as Shun’s date for a day and letting his friend in on the secret.
The subsequent date isn’t without the usual flaws. I still think Shun is an unfunny comic relief character who’s somehow lamer than Kazuya and for the matter, the show’s attempts at comedy continues to be hit or miss for me. There’s also a moment where Shun googles Chizuru and discovers that she really is a rental girlfriend as she claims which makes for a huge plot hole in Kanokari‘s story. Like, if it’s that easy to get that information, you’d think someone internet-savvy such as Mami would’ve found by now. Still, it is satisfying to watch Chizuru help Shun emotionally recover from Ruka-gate. It was weird how that issue was swept under the rug so I’m glad to see it properly resolved here.
For that matter, it’s good on Kazuya for coming up and going through his plan. Letting Shun in on the secret was a legitimately good idea of his, so much so that I was disappointed that he didn’t went through with it because of Ruka. Renting Chizuru to be Shun’s date is also a smart move since it not only helps Shun mentally but it’s also effectively blunt way to reveal the secret. There’s also some degrees of selflessness here. Kazuya uses his first paycheck from his new job to pull off the plan. Even though he agrees with Chizuru that the plan could go south, he still goes with it as Shun’s feelings matter more to him. Plus, part of the end goal is eventually admitting that he’s been renting Chizuru so if Shun ends up spilling the beans, so be it. The only bone I have to pick with Kazuay this episode is the fact that he ends up following Shun and Chizuru during their date. I get that his lack of confident in his plan but dude really needs to ease up on this stalking habit.
Funny enough, I think this episode out of all the ones that have aired so far really nails the positives of the whole rental girlfriend service. Obviously, they’re not a permanent solution to the client’s anxiety over being single. both Kazuya and Shun made that mistake and got too attached to the girlfriends they rented out. One benefit they do provide however is brightening up their client’s day and the show demonstrates that as Shun feels better about himself thanks to his date with Chizuru. Sure, Shun kind of ruins the positivity by revealing to Kazuya that he’s going to a breastaurant because of course he does but at least he’s not sulking anymore.
This episode sheds some light on Chizuru’s budding attraction towards Kazuya. At the end of the date, Shun asks if she’d never falling love with a client and Chizuru doesn’t give a straight answer and starts thinking about Kazuya. Later at home, Chizuru initiates a conversation with Kazuya, something the two agreed not to do for professional sake. When the topic of Mami comes up, Chizuru says she’ll stay by Kazuya’s side until he can let go of those old feelings. It all does sound like our main girl is testing the waters here. To be honest, I’m not too sold on the romance. That’s largely because Kazuya hasn’t improved all that much so far. Then again, Kanokari seems to be going for the slow buildup so some further development will likely happen first before anything close to Kazuya’s fantasies become a reality.
At the end of the episode, Chizuru asks Kazuya to go on a date with a newbie rental girlfriend she’s helped out, Sumi Sakurasawa. As you can guess, this is the fourth and final girl all the promotional material for Kanokari has been teasing. The timing is certainly strange. Even if a second season gets greenlit (and I’m willing to bet it will), this is awfully late to introduce a new character. I at least hope Sumi will be one of the more likable ones. We need someone to even out the trouble caused by Mami and Ruka.