WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Rent-A-Girlfriend Season 1, Episode 12, "Confession and Girlfriend," streaming now on Crunchyroll.
The highly anticipated season finale of Rent-A-Girlfriend has arrived, and it delivers plenty of action, suspense and high drama... while resolving absolutely nothing. Confessions are made only to be glossed over by the endlessly spineless protagonist, Mami rents a date with Chizuru for her own twisted motivations and Ruka's place as Kazuya's provisional girlfriend grows even cloudier than before. It all makes for a season finale that's equally enjoyable and frustrating, leaving more questions than answers.
Mami learning the truth about Kazuya and Chizuru's relationship -- that she is his rental girlfriend, not his real girlfriend -- gives her some dangerous leverage over the pair, especially the terminally dishonest Kazuya. But, regardless of her actions, the events of this season finale further prove that Kazuya himself is still not yet ready for a serious relationship.
After largely ignoring Ruka and treating her like a pest, Kazuya's desire to let Chizuru go once and for all leads him to view her in a different light. She's a sweet, honest girl who holds strong, unrelenting feelings for him, so he figures it's worth putting an honest effort into the relationship. The problem is, his decision is driven by a perceived need to shelve his true feelings for Chizuru so she can pursue her acting dream in peace, rather than any genuine feelings for Ruka. Yet, just as he's in the process of confessing to Ruka at the karaoke center where they work, he's shocked to suddenly see Mami -- with a deeply uncomfortable Chizuru in tow.
Mami's entire motivation and purpose this season has been manipulation -- controlling others while acting as the puppet master. It's unclear what she gets from this, though the finale offers a hint at an answer: nothing at all. She's like an empty shell without any real emotions. When Chizuru passionately pleads with her regarding Kazuya's feelings, Mami dodges her questions without a care in the world. She has her fun blackmailing Chizuru into a rental date at the karaoke bar, where she admits she can't stand the perfect girlfriend act and tells her to leave Kazuya alone. But while both girls make important points about Kazuya, their reasons are entirely different. Mami simply hates Chizuru, while Chizuru cares deeply about Kazuya's well-being and wants him to be happy.
Spotting Mami and Chizuru leaving, Kazuya fakes feeling sick so he can follow them -- with the intent to tell Mami the full truth and ask her to leave Chizuru alone. However, he stays hidden as the two girls continue discussing him, and is overwhelmed to the point of tears by Chizuru's passion on his behalf. He realizes beyond all doubt she is the one he loves deeply, and that any possible feelings for Ruka or leftover feelings for Mami cannot compare. Later that evening, he waits outside their apartment building for Chizuru to come home.
At long last, it's time for the confession. In an incredibly poignant moment, Kazuya's words come from the deepest level of his heart as he tells Chizuru she is the only one he wants to be with. She just stands there, stunned -- until Kazuya loses his nerve and amends his words by saying he meant that she's special as a rental girlfriend. An exasperated Chizuru scolds him for being misleading, after which Kazuya runs off to his apartment and curses himself being unable to follow through. In a season full of 'typical Kazuya' moments, this one may just top the lot.
The season finale perfectly encapsulates why his love life remains in limbo, even after a full year's worth of crazy life experiences as a college student. He starts his day by nearly accepting a proper relationship with Ruka, who he had ignored for so long, only to end it by nearly confessing his love for the girl he had resolved to let go of. His continued indecisiveness means his, and viewers', wait for a genuine romance goes on.
Luckily, a season 2 for Rent-A-Girlfriend was confirmed after the initial airing of the finale. So the hijinks, misadventures, love and laughs of the pathetic protagonist and his colorful yet (mostly) lovable friends are to be continued.