Flash Review – Rent-A-Girlfriend (Vol. 3-4)

Life’s been hectic for Kazuya since he fished Mizuhara into his life, and just as he’s thinking to cut the line on her, he saves her from drowning, which makes it a tad awkward to just throw up a wave and remark, “It’s been real.” And what doesn’t seem real is that his chum, who’s as unassuming as guys go, has scored himself a super cute girlfriend who’s strongly suspicious of Kazuya and Mizuhara’s “relationship.”

The Hero Forcing the Drama:

Of the many words I would use to describe this manga, tactless is the most foremost. It’s great when the protagonist is proactive in his goals, but Kazuya is too proactive at times. In one scene, for instance, he’s talking to his friend’s alleged girlfriend when he spots his friend coming to meet him. Not wanting to be caught, despite their meeting being completely unintentional and in no form a liaison, he snatches his girlfriend by the hand and ducks under a lectern to hide. It’s tense and leads to the next beat of the narrative, but it’s a decision absent of logic and made because the manga thinks talking like adults is for dreary folks.

The Heroine’s Intolerable Tolerableness:

The absence of logic extends to Mizuhara, who’s by far the smartest member of the cast. Whenever Kazuya mucks up—which is often—he kowtows and offers his most heartfelt, sincerest apology, and she accepts and forgives him, which is admirable, except that she’s setting herself up for future trouble. Kazuya’s not a bad guy, but he’s in dire need of counseling or self-help or something before he gets back to talking to girls who are too willing to put up with his never-ending string of flubs.

The One Girl’s Sudden Absence:

Kazuya’s friend’s alleged girlfriend makes a headstrong entrance, and while I do like her character and her potential for growth that’ll probably never come to pass, I have to wonder: What became of Kazuya’s ex? The first two volumes had her constantly scheming to dick him over, with her exact motives unclear. It would be nice if the manga finished up that plotline before feeling the need to add a new cute girl to the mix.

The Verdict:

For as infuriated as I sound talking about this manga, I have a hard time ripping my eyeballs away. It’s a quilt of beautiful patches stitched horribly together. And I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is that draws me in. Maybe it’s because that small part of me is still sympathetic toward Kazuya’s forever alone plight, or maybe it’s because I know things will go horribly wrong in his hands, and I’m waiting around to see how much collateral damage he causes.

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