Previously in Rent-A-Girlfriend, a bombshell was dropped when Mizuhara revealed that she would be quitting her job as a rental girlfriend as she’s about to land a big acting role. Now Kazuya is left wondering what to do with the feelings he has for her, which leads us to Volume 7 of the series.
As Kazuya struggles to work through his feelings, he finds himself attending one of the theatre performances Mizuhara is taking part in. While watching her act, he’s blown away by her natural abilities and vows to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true, even if that means renting her every single week to help her make money until she quits the rental service.
Mizuhara, meanwhile, is left upset when the leading role she was supposed to be given is being offered to someone else, so Kazuya’s declaration that she’s so talented leaves her stunned. Of course, this is also just the thing she needs to hear, so she’s grateful (for once) to our idiot protagonist for blurting out his feelings.
Kazuya’s determination to support her has led Mizuhara to second-guess her relationship with him. Up until now, he’s simply been an obnoxious client and neighbour that she’s stuck with due to their grandmothers thinking they’re dating, but as time goes on and she sees Kazuya’s good sides, our heroine has found herself warming to him. In Volume 7, she even goes as far as spending time with him after his rented period with her is over for the day.
The beginning of Volume 8 looks to bring them even closer together as Mizuhara loses the key to her apartment and is forced to ask if Kazuya if she can stay the night with him. Naturally, our protagonist is over the moon at the idea of having the girl he loves in his apartment but in true Rent-A-Girl style, nothing is ever simple. While Mizuhara is there, Mami visits Kazuya and almost spots the two together, which is sure to come back to bite our protagonist later.
Meanwhile, Ruka is still unwilling to give up on Kazuya (even after his bold declaration that he wants to date Mizuhara) and comes over to cook him dinner, which, by coincidence, ends up with her staying over at his apartment. Ruka is hoping she can make a move on Kazuya to firmly cement her position as his lover, but unfortunately for her, Kazuya really is mad about Mizuhara and continues to reject her advances.
While it feels as if not a great deal happens in Volume 7, #8 certainly more than makes up for it. I’m not at all against the focus Mizuhara has been given lately, but I was happy to see the spotlight return to Ruka all the same. Poor Ruka is always left with the short end of the stick since Kazuya either strings her along or isn’t firm with her, so I was happy to see that dynamic change this time around as he’s fairly honest about his feelings for Mizuhara. At least now Ruka choosing not to give up is up to her and not because of some kind of misunderstanding.
The only thing I find myself mildly disappointed with is the fact that it seems like Mizuhara won’t be quitting her job as a rental girlfriend anytime soon after losing out on the lead role in the play. This is a shame because it would have been a significant change of pace for the series, but I suppose at least now the idea is out there, it’s still having some ripple effects on the cast. At the very least, it will certainly be interesting to see where the plot goes from here now that it has changed course.
Rent-A-Girlfriend Volumes 7 and 8 come to the West thanks to Kodansha and the translator is still Kevin Gifford. The translations read well with no issues to note. However, it is worth noting that there appears to be a printing problem with Volume 8 where it has a duplicate page. Unfortunately, this duplicate replaces the page that should have been there. The duplicated page shows up in Chapter 63 of the book where it replaces a missing page, the duplicated page in question is then later seen in its proper place in Chapter 64. Hopefully, this will be fixed for future printings. Thankfully the missing page doesn’t seem to have included anything critical to the story.
Overall, Rent-A-Girlfriend Volumes 7 and 8 offer some solid development for the cast and although it’s taking the story in a different direction than I expected, I’m still looking forward to seeing what the future holds for it.