First Listen: The music of Rent-a-Girlfriend<span class="wtr-time-wrap block after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">6</span> min read</span>

I’m not always in the mood for a romcom but watching Rent-a-Girlfriend made me feel more relaxed and slightly happier. Instead of ranting endlessly about how it’s nothing special and bad, think this: Rent-a-Girlfriend never lied to the viewers. It wasn’t marketed in a way to raise our expectations and later collapse into itself, same way stars do when they ‘die’ (yes, it’s about GOH). It’s honest, it’s silly, it’s entertaining. It’s not meant to be deep, extremely meaningful or the next Fullmetal Alchemist.

The Opening Theme. Exactly what it should be. “Centimeter” by the peggies

Discover more on the peggies’ YouTube channel.

When you listen to it, you go “Ah, it’s that kind of OP”. It’s this kind of alternative J-rock with vivid J-pop influenced vocals, a robust rock arrangement consisting of a single guitar, a bass and a set of drums and some sporadic ‘fillers’ that make the song more exciting. It’s this honest, upbeat track that works really well with romantic slice of life stories. The playfulness that sources from Kitazawa Yuuho’s voice is what gives “Centimeter” this extra character that you’d expect after learning what this anime is about.

3 young women, near music equipment, casual clothing, looking at the camera
All female Japanese three-piece rock band, the peggies (source)

As far as the music is concerned, you won’t be let down. It’s a very good tie-up. the peggies were a very, very good choice as the opening artist. It’s only to be expected from TMS Entertainment, the studio who created Dr. Stone, ReLIFE, D.Gray-man, Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san, Fruits Basket, Baki among others. Honestly, if I kept going, this post would never end…

Find the peggies here:
Official Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // YouTube

OST first impressions. by Hyadain

man, striped suit, red sweater, fedora hat, slightly tilting head to the left
Japanese male lyricist, composer, arranger, producer, Hyadain (Maeyamada Kenichi) (source)

The soundtrack, the sound effects, the voice acting, the color pallet and the characters’ reactions all work hand in hand. The sound complements the image, helping us perceive what’s happening on the screen in a refreshing manner. The music takes into account all the comedic, romantic and pathetic elements of our protagonist and builds on top of them so as to create more impact. The soundtrack covers a relatively wide range of genres, emotions and settings and is utilized really well. Up until episode 1 (that’s all I’ve watched so far, meaning that I don’t have the full picture but *high pitched* ehhh, these are technically my first impressions, so yeah…), the soundtrack seems to follow the path of J-core electronic music which makes it -what’s the word-… Japanesey. And that’s great. Although not a breakthrough, I find it refreshing given that it’s of high quality.

Around 17 minutes in, there’s a familiar tune, don’t you think? It’s Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Spring. However, it has a beat in the background and a faster tempo. Honestly, I’m really glad I didn’t notice it the first time I saw Episode 1 because I wouldn’t have had the same opinion of the anime as I do now. I dislike ‘remix’ versions or rearranged versions (EDM/rock beats included) of famous classical music compositions. Although I don’t like it, I understand that it can be useful as part of a soundtrack. Still, it’s better than composing an imitation in its place. Even though Vivaldi gave rise to some ambiguous emotions within me, there’s one other scene that I’d like to talk about before wrapping up this section. It’s the very last scene of the first episode, the one before the ED theme. It’s where the two main characters meet again on campus. What a brilliant idea to leave it without music. The scenes that have the most impact tend to be completely silent. Great, just great.

Find Hyadain here:
Official Website (Hyadain) // Official Website (Maeyamada Kenichi) // Official Webpage on Five Eighth Inc. // Official Webpage on Stardust // Official Webpage on Lantis // Twitter // YouTube

The Ending Theme. What a shallow dude…“Kokuhaku Bungee Jump” by halca

Discover more on halca’s official YouTube channel.

Is there a massive innuendo there or is it just me? I don’t know exactly why but I was inclined to start laughing. I mean that was my immediate reaction when I listened to the ED for the first time. I’m not sure how to classify it nor how to describe it. And no, not just the music. I’m referring to the audiovisual combo.

young woman, smiling, red lipstick, white coveralls, light blue background
Female Japanese singer, halca (source)

Now, about the music… The artist has sung ED themes from successful anime including Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai!, Wotakoi and Kaguya-sama. This one is humorous, playful and silly. There are a lot, a lot of interruptions that give an additional dimension to the monotone rhythm in the background. It’s not a masterpiece, its purpose is to be upbeat, memorable and work well with the source material.

Find halca here:
Official Website // Twitter // Twitter (staff) // Instagram // YouTube

Generally speaking…

Romcoms are a popular genre both in anime and in mainstream media. Even though most stories revolve around cheesy emotions, the good ones tend to give us a psychological boost. That being said, I find that romantic comedies share a lot in common with the isekai genre. Isekai tend to express this form of romanticism related to ideal (or the exactly opposite) world scenaria, the protagonist struggles to overcome his obstacles -just like heroes should- and from there, there’s our development. On the other hand, romcoms show the prospective couple in out-of-sync scenes, everything is about to be ruined, and in comes the brainfart: the couple makes up, etc etc. You know what’s going to happen; you just want to see it happen.

Now, don’t start trying to compare Oregairu with Rent-a-Girlfriend. It wouldn’t work. Oregairu has this je ne sais quoi approach with the characters struggling to communicate their deep emotions (hell, that’s hard), while Rent-a-Girlfriend is something light, shallow and turns into a harem kind of deal, if I am not mistaken. Although both stories revolve around romance, the basic idea of what romanticism is, is completely different. That’s why I have not compared these two anime musically.

TL;DR

  • Catchy OP theme
  • Good OST centered around J-core electronic music
  • ED with a weird innuendo, humor and an unusual vibe

Score

7/10★

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