The famous romantic comedy Rent-a-Girlfriend, written by Reiji Miyajima, has just returned for its 2nd season. Season one’s ending left us hanging with the main character finally making a bold move, well almost. If you want to remember the events of the previous season, here is a full recap of Rent-a-Girlfriend Season 1.
Kazuya Kinoshita: The Main Character
Kazuya Kinoshita is the main protagonist of the story. He is a college student who has pretty low self-esteem. At the start of the story, he gets dumped by his girlfriend – Mami Nanami. After breaking up with his girlfriend, he goes into a depression. This leads him into paying for a date with a rental girlfriend to cope.
Mizuhara/Ichinose Chizuru: The Rental Girlfriend
His rental girlfriend, Mizuhara Chizuru, is a generous and caring woman. At first glance, Kazuya considers himself out of her league. Still, Kazuya and Mizuhara went on an aquarium date. After their date, Mizuhara suddenly held Kazuya’s hand and told him that she had a great time. Kazuya was flustered until he went home and looked at Mizuhara’s reviews.
Suddenly, reality hit Kazuya. He realized that Mizuhara acts the same way with her other clients. She was just putting up an act as a rental girlfriend. Out of frustration, he gave her a 1-star review. But it doesn’t stop there – he booked another date so he can confront her directly.
For their second date, they went back to the aquarium. However, this time Kazuya questioned her in public. He voiced out his frustrations regarding the whole rental girlfriend act – humiliating Mizuhara in the process. Due to her embarrassment, Mizuhara quickly drags Kazuya away from the crowd. She was angry with Kazuya, leading her to drop her rental girlfriend personality. It turns out that Mizuhara is a brash, tsundere-type character. She scolded Kazuya regarding everything that happened. Meanwhile, Kazuya suddenly gets a call – it turns out his grandmother collapsed.
Both Kazuya and Mizuhara rushed to the hospital. When they arrived, Kazuya’s parents were already there taking care of his grandma. Grandma Kinoshita was already conscious, so she turns her attention to Mizuhara. Kazuya’s family asked them what their relationship was. This led to Kazuya lying and telling them Mizuhara is his real girlfriend. As Kazuya’s grandma rejoiced, she called her other hospital friends to bring the news. To their surprise, it turns out that Mizuhara’s grandmother is one of her friends. Now all of them think that Kazuya and Mizuhara are truly dating – making their relationship more complicated. As a result, Kazuya and Mizuhara had to fake their relationship so that they do not disappoint their grandmothers.
Mami Nanami: The Ex-Girlfriend Meets the Rental Girlfriend
During one of their fake dates, the pretend couple ran into Kazuya’s friends – Kibe and Kuribayashi. They got invited to karaoke, only to find out that Mami, Kazuya’s ex, was also there. Mami looks sweet and friendly on the surface, but deep inside, she has sociopathic tendencies. This led to her badmouthing Kazuya to Mizuhara. To retaliate, Mizuhara stood up for Kazuya so that she doesn’t blow her cover. However, Kazuya agreed with Mami’s words – causing Mizuhara to walk out. As the night ends, Mami comforts Kazuya which sparks his feelings again for her.
Fast forward in time, Kazuya went on a beach trip with his friends and Mami. While on the beach, Kazuya encounters a familiar face. It turns out that Ichinose was also on a trip with friends. However, Kazuya’s friends saw them talking to each other. This led to Ichinose leaving her friends and acting as Mizuhara. She gets invited to their group, making Mami quite mad. Mami suddenly comes up with an idea.
She leads Kazuya to a secluded place, and to his surprise – Mami kissed him. His thoughts and feelings are now conflicted, leading him to tell the group that he and Mizuhara are breaking up. Meanwhile, Kibe suddenly punches Kazuya and proceeds to scold him. In an attempt to fix their pretend relationship, Kibe buys them tickets to a cruise nearby.
While on the cruise, Mizuhara started to get ill causing her to fall off the ship. Without hesitation, Kazuya jumped off to save her. As they reached land, Mizuhara realizes that Kazuya wasn’t breathing. She had to perform CPR to save him. All of these events made the friends think that they are no longer breaking up. It was also after this incident that Kazuya realized that he no longer had feelings for Mami, but instead, he had feelings for Mizuhara.
Ruka Sarashina: The 2nd Rental Girlfriend
Nevertheless, things just get complicated from there. Kuribayashi also rented a girlfriend for himself, Ruka Sarashina. Ruka is a cheerful and passionate girl, yet she tends to be clingy and possessive. However, after several encounters with Kazuya – Ruka started to fall for him.
The reason why she fell for him is that she has a heart condition. Her heart rate is unable to rise, so she wanted to find something that can make her heart beat fast. It turns out that Kazuya was the one she has been looking for. This led to her wanting to become Kazuya’s real girlfriend.
She even went out of her way to join a trip with Kazuya and his family, even though Mizuhara was there. Ruka also applied for the same part-time job Kazuya had. For the entire season, Ruka was Kazuya’s trial girlfriend since Kazuya still had feelings for Mizuhara.
Sumi Sakarusawa: The 3rd Rental Girlfriend
But Ruka is not the last girl to enter Kazuya’s life. Mizuhara asked Kazuya to date a fellow rental girlfriend – Sumi Sakarusawa. Sumi is a shy girl who can barely bring herself to talk during dates. As a practice, she goes on a date with Kazuya. However, they encounter Mami during the date. Mami thought that Kazuya was cheating on Mizuhara. This led her to look up Sumi online, which led her to find out about the whole rental girlfriend business.
On the other hand, Ichinose called Kazuya to give thanks for dating Sumi. However, she also informed Kazuya of her plans. Ichinose told Kazuya that she will soon quit the rental girlfriend job. It turns out that she has plans to pursue acting and apparently, she already landed a role in a play. She revealed that the rental girlfriend job was just a way for her to practice. Still, Ichinose is not quitting right away so she told Kazuya that she will remain her pretend girlfriend until then. Afterward, they went to sleep since Ichinose still has a rental date early in the morning. However, she didn’t expect that she was rented by an acquaintance of hers – Mami.
Meanwhile, Kazuya was still devastated by the news. He convinced himself to move on and make his relationship with Ruka official. But before Kazuya was able to tell Ruka anything, he saw Mami and Mizuhara together. After following them for quite some time, Mami started to question Mizuhara’s feelings for Kazuya. She was unable to answer directly. Disappointed, Mami was about to part ways until Mizuhara stopped her. Mizuhara pleaded with Mami to give Kazuya one more chance. She went out of her way to try and convince Mami to get back together with him. Still, Mami just told her to mind her own business.
Season 1 Ending
Kazuya, having heard all of that, was touched that Mizuhara did all of that for him. As he goes home, he runs into Mizuhara. She proceeds to tell him about what happened and what to do moving forward. However, Kazuya is preoccupied with his thoughts. Mizuhara was suggesting different plans on how Kazuya can get a girlfriend. But he does not want any other girl, he only wants Mizuhara. On an impulse, he suddenly tells Mizuhara that he wants her. He realizes what he did and immediately found a way to mask the true meaning of his words. After that encounter, the season ends with Mizuhara reminiscing what Kazuya said.
And that ends our recap for the first season of Rent-a-Girlfriend! What did you think about the ending? Are you excited to see what’s in store for season 2? If you want to watch for yourself, you may stream Rent-a-Girlfriend on Crunchyroll. If you are in Asia, you may also stream it at the Muse Asia YouTube channel. You may also read our article about Rent-a-Girlfriend Season 2 and if it’s worth watching or not. You can also check out our recap on Classroom of the Elite Season 1.