「彼女と彼女」 (Kanojo to Kanojo)
“Girlfriend and Girlfriend”
When it comes to romance out of frying pan and into the fire is a pretty good adage for one reason: it’s always the case. Is the MC starting to get too touchy feely with the girl of the moment? Never fear, because more competition (and drama) is always near. Thus Kanojo Okarishimasu continues the time-honoured tradition as hints of a Chizuru ending give way to the one threat which could end it all. Gentlemen, say hello to Ruka.
Probably as some could’ve guessed previously, things were never going to keep going relatively smoothly up for Kazuya. Getting chummy with Chizuru and actually reaching a point where their current relationship was solidified (never underestimate how quickly temporary turns into permanent) is some solid advancement for the kid, so naturally a wrench needed to be thrown into the works. In terms of tension having new girl Ruka call out Chizuru and Kazuya as a fake rental relationship is a pretty good use of the story’s underlying premise, though it does throw up the question of just what Ruka’s motivation is. Why does she care so much to confront Chizuru and specifically state rental girlfriend? Obvious answer is her running across the two lovebirds while out and about and choosing to leverage that bit of knowledge for blackmail (or to break them up), even if the reasoning is less than obvious. Does our spunky little recruit have a secretive crush kept under wraps? We’ll know soon enough.
On other fronts, however, there is slightly less ambiguity. Kazuya is as Kazuya does at this point pretty much, although I must give the kid some credit for at least acknowledging his faults, stating his desire to work through them, and actually get on a closer, more personal level with Chizuru. Yes, he has only voiced them and done next to nothing to in practice, but hey, first steps and all. For all I loathe characters like his, if there’s some measure of change that sees him get out of his self-consciousness and repeated self-denigration (note: putting girls on a pedestal always ends badly) by season’s end, I cannot complain too much. Mind you, nothing is going to improve upon the look of potentially spending thousands on a girl to fake a relationship both parties have a vested interest in maintaining (my inner cynic tells me Chizuru keeps Kazuya’s money more for selfish desire than any sense of honour or professionalism), but that aspect is also likely to shift alongside any change in Chizuru’s feelings.
May take some time to see such change in action, but with the girl count growing and the romantic heat increasing, we’ll be at full boil in a jiffy.