Rent-a-Girlfriend 2nd Season Episode 1

Rent-a-Girlfriend 2nd Season Episode 1

The Recap Was Good

I want to start this review of Rent-a-Girlfriend off by clearing something up that confused me. If you decide to watch this series on Crunchyroll, as I did, you may notice there’s no 2nd Season. For some reason, Crunchyroll listed this episode as the 13th of the 1st Season instead of the 1st of the 2nd Season.

This may persist throughout the entire season. I’m not sure. But, for the sake of these reviews, I’ll be referring to the episodes with their 2nd Season episode numbers. So, this is the review for Season 2 Episode 1.

With that out of the way, I want to praise how this episode handled the recap of Season 1. Recap is never fun. And in a lot of instances, it’s also not even useful. But, I thought the recap at the start of this episode was good for a few reasons.

Sumi Sakurasawa from the anime series Rent-a-Girlfriend Season 2 Episode 1
Sumi Sakurasawa

First of all, it’s been two years since I watched Season 1. I didn’t remember how everything ended. For example, I forgot that Kazuya and Ruka are dating. Though, to be fair, I get the feeling that Kazuya himself forgot that, too. Poor Ruka. And she didn’t even make a real appearance in the episode.

The second reason I liked this recap was that it had the four main girls doing it from their perspectives. This led to some overlap. But, overall, it made the recap more interesting. If it was all done from Kazuya’s perspective, it would have been pretty boring.

Lastly, I enjoyed that while each girl was giving her recap, we got to see her in different outfits. One of the best aspects of Kanokari is the fashion and how character outfits are always changing. The girls are cute, so it’s nice to see them wearing different things.

In the Heart of Kunoichi Chizuru

Yesterday, in my review of Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Ultra Romantic, I said I hate watching plays within anime. In that instance, I was referring to plays that are part of culture festivals. But, my hatred for plays within anime extends beyond that.

So, as you might imagine, I wasn’t thrilled that five minutes of this episode focused on a play. Yes, the play featured Chizuru dressed as a kunoichi (female shinobi). But, seeing Chizuru in a cute outfit wasn’t enough to overcome the fact that I had to watch a play in an anime.

If Chizuru wore that outfit in a different context, I’d be praising it. But, Nene — the character Chizuru was playing — isn’t Chizuru. She has a different personality. And a large part of Chizuru’s appeal as the female lead of Kanokari is her personality.

Chizuru playing the role of a shinobi in a play from the anime series Rent-a-Girlfriend Season 2 Episode 1
Chizuru playing the role of a shinobi in a play

Now, something I’m wondering is if I’ll have to suffer through more plays as the series goes on. After all, Chizuru’s goal is to become a famous actress. So, you’d imagine that she’ll be performing in more plays. But, I get the feeling that we won’t be seeing those plays unless she gets her big break.

What would including those plays add to the series? Sometimes, plays function as analogies to the main story of the anime. The main characters of the anime and the play may find themselves in a similar situation, for example.

I didn’t see that happening with the play featured in this episode. The character of Nene didn’t seem to be standing in for Chizuru, as we would expect. You could argue that the Shogun and Princess represented Kazuya and Chizuru. But, that’s a stretch since those characters weren’t played by Kazuya and Chizuru.

Maintaining the Status Quo

I guess you could consider this a spoiler. But, one thing I know about the future of Kanokari is that it likes to maintain the status quo. Major developments don’t happen. And so, I’d like to use that general knowledge to make some predictions about what won’t be happening.

You may have noticed that Chizuru never actually confirmed that she didn’t get the part in the big play. She saw the director speaking with Shiori and heard other actresses assume he picked her. At no point did either the director or Shiori say that he chose Shiori.

So, naturally, my first thought was that this is all a misunderstanding. Kanokari is a series built upon misunderstandings. Chizuru believing Shiori got the role when, in fact, Chizuru got the role, would fit right in. And when Shiori wanted to talk to Chizuru at the end of the episode, I thought that’s what it would be about.

Chizuru Ichinose from the anime series Rent-a-Girlfriend Season 2 Episode 1
Chizuru Ichinose

But, if Chizuru actually got the role, wouldn’t that signify a major change from the status quo? Her plan was to quit her job as a rental girlfriend if it happened. And I can’t see her doing that — Chizuru being a rental girlfriend is the whole premise of the show.

There’s also a major misunderstanding on Kazuya’s end, as well. He believes that if Chizuru stops being a rental girlfriend she’ll cut off all contact with him. But, as we know, that’s not actually the case. It’s pretty obvious that Chizuru has feelings for Kazuya at this point.

Still, I can’t blame Kazuya for not seeing that too much. Yes, he’s dumb. But, it’s Chizuru’s job to act like she likes him. So, in his mind, Chizuru only acts the way she does because she’s playing a role.

Conclusion

In the end, I guess there was a good reason to include the play in this episode. Chizuru was able to play a role completely different from who she is in reality. And seeing this reinforced Kazuya’s idea that she’s only acting when she’s with him.

What did you think of Rent-a-Girlfriend 2nd Season Episode 1? Are you excited about the return of this series? I’m not, really. But, I figured this would be more fun to write about weekly than Danmachi Season 4.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of Episode 2 is available now.


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