Why Chizuru Mizuhara Is Such A GREAT Main Character

Written by Theo J Ellis

Chizuru Mizuhara, or Chizuru Ichinose depending on the situation. Voiced by Sora Amamiya in Japan.

She’s the main dual protagonist of the series and one of the most important characters in the entire series (anime or manga).

Mizuhara attends college, works as a rental girlfriend, and is also working on building her dream acting career which she puts a lot of effort into.

If we’re talking about quality characters she’s one of the best main characters in the last 2 decades of anime (2000-2020+). And especially when it comes to the female protagonists in particular.

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If you were to judge Rent A Girlfriend from the 1st episode, you’d miss the greatness of her character. And how it builds.

Most of the good stuff comes later, progressively, with a tad that’s shown even in episode 1 and even more in the 2nd season as of 2022!

Here’s a list of her strong points as a character despite the hate the anime gets.

 

Why Chizuru Mizuhara is best girl and a stellar female protagonist:

 

1. She feels like a real person

Anime is fiction. Obvious statement. Films and TV shows are fiction, too. I say that because a lot of the time we can expect a character to act more exaggerated than they would in real life (which makes them interesting).

Chizuru Mizuhara is different in that way. She feels like a REAL person. She feels realistic and is more than just a realistic anime character.

First off Chizuru is a rental girlfriend. That’s her job in the anime (main job). It’s the reason for the plot and it’s why Kazuya Kinoshita rents her out (the guy everyone hates for simping and being a loser).

Her relationship with Kazuya, in the beginning, is just normal. Kazuya is a client, so she treats him like any other client. After all, it’s a job, it’s not a REAL date and she’s not in a real relationship with these people.

She’s there to make lonely guys feel happy and better about themselves. Usually, because they’re:

  • Insecure.
  • Bad at talking to women.
  • Have little to no experience with real women.
  • Have low self-esteem.

Or are too afraid to pursue a real girlfriend (not true in Kazuya’s case since he was dumped).

In this way she gives men hope and most of all confidence though that confidence may be fleeting and may not carry over into the real world.

Despite taking all of this on board as a rental girlfriend, Chizuru maintains her professionalism, demeanour, charm and appeal. And this is why she’s one of the most highly recommended rental girlfriends in Tokyo.

But we see just how living the “rental girlfriend” life starts to affect her the way it would a real person. It starts to speak into her personal life to the point where she has to hide things, play along as Kazuya’s real girlfriend to his Grandma and so on.

This also has an effect on how she sees Kazuya as a person outside of him being a regular client. But in spite of all of this, she’s a young adult and she knows this. Meaning she doesn’t let this get in the way of her job.

Seeing the internal struggle though, and various moments where her feelings are more on display without being overly dramatic or exaggerated is what makes Chizuru feel like a real person.

More so than any other rom com protagonist there’s ever been in the romantic comedy genre. Probably because of all the realistic, real life dynamics that are mixed into the story (job, college, money, love, etc).

She’s a female character like no other as far as main characters go, and that’s why she continues to shine despite the backlash the anime gets overall.

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2. She’s professional but not fake or pretentious

In the real world when you’re a professional in whatever industry you’re in, there’s a tendency for people to:

  • Kiss ass.
  • Pander.
  • Be pretentious.
  • Save face.

And always guard your true feelings, even in situations where your thoughts should be shared to the benefit of you or anybody else. That doesn’t mean you have to wear emotions on a sleeve of course.

Chizuru Mizuhara strikes the best balance of both being and showing professionalism, along with not being so fake that it’s obvious you’re putting on a front and grandstanding.

She’s genuine even in a professional setting. When Kazuya says certain things she lets him know what’s acceptable and what’s not. And she has no problem telling him what needs to be said without being a b*tch about it.

She has class, authenticity, and grace all at once. This goes back to point #1 about Chizuru feeling like a real character or I should say a real person.

She also has the confidence to go with it but not to the point of being arrogant or egotistical. As well as being understanding without it feeling over-exaggerated or fictional.

Mizuhara isn’t perfect since no one is, not even anime characters, but she’s a solid example of a fictional character who feels real even in a professional setting without the pretentious grandstanding that usually comes with it.

Relevant: These 34 Anime Characters With Glasses Are Some Of The Best

 

3. She’s WAIFU material

Let’s face it – Chizuru Mizuhara and the way she’s written makes her wifey material (or waifu if you like that word better).

Chizuru’s role as a rental girlfriend is one of the best advertisements for Japan’s real life “rental girlfriend” market because it’s done so well. After all, a rental girlfriend is designed to be desirable I’d imagine.

Not only is Chizuru a feminine character in many ways which makes her attractive, she’s also not shy when it comes to hard work, achieving what she wants out of life, and more importantly – knowing what she wants.

She’s not a toxic type of person in general and doesn’t give special treatment to women and biased treatment to Men. She’s fair and open-minded, seeing people only for how they are and who they are, rather than prejudiced.

This alone makes her a reasonable person and reasonable people make for good partners (in one aspect at least).

She’s also the type of person you can trust and keep your secrets with if you have any, and she’ll stay loyal forever (like Hinata from Naruto).

And let’s not beat around the bush – she’s physically attractive as well. Though her personality and who she actually is, that is what makes Chizuru more attractive than anything else from the inside and out.

Good looks are just what draws you in initially, and her view and mentality of the world are what keeps you locked in and wanting more.

Related: 8+ Of The Greatest Anime Like Rent A Girlfriend (Recommended)

 

4. She’s entertaining as F

Chizuru has her own life, her own mindset, her own responsibilities, and her own goals and dreams. It’s clear that romance wouldn’t necessarily be out of the question for her, but her goals are a priority.

When in sticky situations she has creative ways of navigating out of it (aside from the cringey innuendos I guess). That’s all to say Chizuru is a really entertaining female protagonist.

She’s entertaining for the right reasons. It’s not for reasons like:

  • Being funny to an extreme.
  • Or being overly stupid to the point of it being comical.
  • Or saying ridiculous things to get a reaction out of the viewer.
  • Or doing something eccentric to stand out.

It’s none of that. She’s just being her genuine self along with all the other points I made, and that’s what makes her entertaining to a level many female protagonists (or male) can ever reach.

In the end Chizuru Mizuhara:

  • Is a well-written female protagonist.
  • She carries the show forward.
  • She’s real, realistic, and genuine.

And she has a charm to her character we haven’t seen like this until the anime came along.

I can’t speak for the manga, but it applies to the anime and where they take her character in season 3 (if it comes) will determine whether this remains true, gets better, or gets worse.

Let’s wait and see.

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