Did you know you can rent a fake family in Japan? So it’s not surprising to see girlfriend rental service as the main plot in an anime. But just renting out a fake girlfriend is not enough to further a story, so add a little bit of misunderstanding and you got the next big rom-com anime. Rent-a-Girlfriend (Kanojo, Okarishimasu) is one such series that rides the trend of fake relations bought with money and makes the depressing topic of loneliness a bit funny and enjoyable.
Synopsis: Kazuya Kinoshita is a college student dumped by his girlfriend, not more than a month since he started dating her. Depressed by the breakup, Kazuya stumbles upon a mobile app on which he hires Chizuru Mizuhara, a rental girlfriend, to make himself feel better. At first, Chizuru seems to be the perfect girl to be anyone’s girlfriend, but is there more to her than meets the eye? However, what awaits Kazuya is a string of misunderstandings that may even lead to Chizuru becoming his real girlfriend.
Rent a Girlfriend looks excellent with the effort going into animation. The show builds up emotional attachments between characters. Also, the gentle way the anime handles female leads continuing mellowing towards the main character, and his actions are something worth a watch for sure. If you are looking for anime with a fake or forced relationship theme, then look no further. Here are some anime similar to Rent-a-Girlfriend.
Anime Similar To Rent-a-Girlfriend (Kanojo, Okarishimasu)
01. Nisekoi: False Love
Raku Ichijo is the heir to a Yakuza family but wants an ordinary life. Ten years ago, Raku promised his childhood lover, keeping a lock pendant as a keepsake while his lover took the key. In the hope of meeting his past love once again, Raku still carries the pendant. Now years later, Raku is a high schooler living his life as ordinary as he can.
However, one day, it all changes when he meets a transfer student Chitoge Kirisaki, daughter of a mafia boss. Raku and Chitoge are forced to become lovers to stop strife between their families despite hating each other. Now Raku and Chitoge must fake their relationship as a boyfriend and girlfriend to avoid a war between the gang.
Similarities: The main lead characters pretend to be in a relationship even though they don’t like each other. Both of them are doing it for the sake of their family. The main male character later gets surrounded by more female characters, turning it into a harem.
Eita Kido has a dream to graduate from high school and attend medical school. However, when both of his parents left him alone after a divorce, Eita Kido vowed never to fall in love. Now Eita lives with his aunt as an ordinary high-school student, and the only thing on his mind is to achieve his goal
To reach his goal, Eita still harbors his hate for love and romance. However, Eita’s worst dream becomes a reality when Masuzu Natsukawa, a beautiful transfer student, blackmails him into becoming her fake boyfriend.
Similarities: The main character gets forced into becoming the fake boyfriend of the main female character. As the story progresses, more female characters start to compete for the main character’s attention.
03. To LOVE Ru
Rito Yuuki is a shy high school teenager who has a crush on his classmate Haruna Sairenji for a long time. However, he can’t put up the courage to confess his love. One night an accident happens that changes everything in his life. While Rito was taking a bath, a beautiful alien princess named Lala Satalin Deviluke crash-lands into his bathtub.
Lala is the crown princess of a Deviluke empire and has run away from her home planet to avoid marriage to any of her husband candidates. Lala then decides to pretend as Rito’s lover to prevent any more marriage proposals. Things get even more out of control for Rito when Lala uses her alien inventions to help him.
Similarities: The main character becomes the fake fiance of an alien princess without his approval. Several more alien girls come to earth and fall in love with him.
04. Seto no Hanayome (My Bride is a Mermaid)
One summer, during his vacation at Seto Inland, Nagasumi Michishio, was saved by a mermaid named Sun Seto when he drowned in the ocean while swimming. However, under Yakuza mermaid laws, whoever sees the mermaid must be punished by execution.
Now the only option Nagasumi is left with is he either dies or takes responsibility by marrying Sun. Leaving Nagasumi no choice, he agrees to marry Sun. Now undersea gangsters invade his house and school life as he tries to adjust to his new life as a groom to a mermaid.
Similarities: The main character agrees to marry a mermaid just to ensure his survival. The main character always ends up in a rom-com situation when he tries to hide his mermaid fiance from his classmates and teachers.
05. Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji (Wolf Girl & Black Prince)
Erika Shinohara is a first-year high school student. To make an impression on her new friends, she makes up a story about having a boyfriend. But in reality, Erika doesn’t have a one. So as proof, her friend asks for a picture of her boyfriend. Now desperate, Erika shows them a picture of a pretty boy she secretly took on the street.
The boy in the picture is Kyouya Sata, and it turns out that he attends the same school as Erika. No choice left, she decides to ask Kyouya to be her pretend boyfriend. Even though Kyouya has an attractive appearance, but unfortunately, he has a cruel personality. Kyouya agrees to help Erika if she becomes his pet.
Similarities: The main female character digs a grave for herself by turning a random person into her boyfriend. She even decides to continue the facade and pays for it heavily.
06. Koi to Uso (Love and Lies)
The Japanese government runs a program called The Red Threads Of Science to increase the population’s birth rate. When children turn 16-year-old, the government assigns them to arrange marriages with potential partners. Those who do not follow the rules must face severe penalties.
Fifteen years old Yukari Nejima confesses his love to his long-time crush Misaki Takasaki and finds out she also likes him. But as he turns sixteen, he is assigned to another girl, Ririna Sanada as his marriage partner. However, Ririna claims to have no special feelings for Yukari and decides to help Yukari get together with Misaki.
Similarities: The government in the anime selects marriage partners even if the couple doesn’t like each other. While the main character’s long time crush accepts his feelings, he also forcefully gets into a fake relationship with a government selected partner.