As Rent-A-Girlfriend begins to approach the end of the content the anime adapted, we’re introduced to one more new character to stir things up! At the end of Volume 5, we met Sumi Sakurasawa who is a newcomer at the agency Mizuhara works at. In Volume 6, Kazuya takes this girl on a date, but what drama will unfold from this decision? Let’s find out!
Sumi is an incredibly shy girl and Mizuhara is worried about her ability to be a rental girlfriend because of it. So to help build her confidence, Mizuhara asks Kazuya to take her on a date since he’s someone she can more or less trust. Kazuya for his part is happy to do anything to stay in Mizuhara’s good books, so he readily accepts the task and goes out with Sumi.
Because she’s so shy, Kazuya ends up taking the lead and tries his best to get her to open up to him. After all, a rental girlfriend who’s so shy she can barely speak isn’t going to last long in this business! While the two manage to have a fun-filled date, they’re soon spotted by Kazuya’s ex-girlfriend Mami and when Sumi insists that she’s Kazuya’s girlfriend, his lies about Mizuhara soon start crashing down around him…
After leaving Kazuya and Sumi, Mami decides to google Sumi and find out if she’s on social media but instead, she comes across the Girlfriend Rental website where Sumi is listed! Now she knows Kazuya and Sumi aren’t really dating – but that’s just the beginning, as she soon discovers that Mizuhara is also a rental girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Mizuhara is thinking about quitting her job since she’s landed a gig as an actress, which should lead to more work in the industry. Being a rental girlfriend has always been a way to keep herself afloat rather than the dream, so our heroine is happy to leave it all behind. However, now she and Kazuya need to work out how to tell their grandmothers that they’ve broken off their relationship.
Kazuya is upset that his relationship with Mizuhara is coming to an end, but (in a move that’s oddly mature for our protagonist) he’s also very understanding and doesn’t argue with her over it. Instead, he thinks about finally putting effort into his relationship with Ruka (who also knows their secret and loves Kazuya despite it) but is it really that easy to put his feelings for Mizuhara aside?
Volume 6 of this romantic comedy is certainly a significant turning point for the cast, not just because secrets are coming to light but also because it has been a year now since Kazuya first rented Mizuhara and in that time, everyone has matured a great deal. I’d still never go as far as to say Kazuya is a good protagonist, but he does have more control of his emotions and opts to think things through more than before, which we see frequently in this book. Because of that, it’s easier for us readers to root for his relationship with Mizuhara or Ruka, since he’s less likely to hurt them than he was at the start of the series.
It’s also an interesting decision on the author’s part to have Mizuhara move away from being a rental girlfriend since this changes the story significantly going forward. Although since the series is still ongoing with 20+ volumes, I can assume future developments have at least proved popular with the audience! Speaking of popular with the audience, Sumi has a spin-off series all of her own titled Rent-A-(Really Shy!)-Girlfriend which is coming out in English thanks to Kodansha later this month. The synopsis for Volume 1 sounds as though it takes place before she’s introduced in the main series, so even if you’re not up to date with Rent-A-Girlfriend, it should be fine to dip into straight away.
Rent-A-Girlfriend Volume 6 comes to the West thanks to Kodansha and continues to be translated by Kevin Gifford. The translation reads well with no issues to note. Included at the back of this book is a special crossover chapter between this series and Senryu Girl, which is fun but won’t mean much to the majority of readers, since the manga of Senryu Girl has never been released in English.
Overall, Rent-A-Girlfriend Volume 6 successfully introduces a new character and moves the story along in an interesting direction. We’re heading for some major changes to the structure of the series but if it manages to pull them off well, then Rent-A-Girlfriend will certainly become easier to recommend to prospective readers.