Romance anime shows number in the 1000’s. There’s a lot more than genres like Seinen, and you can expect a romance to show up in every season.
Every single year.
Especially because it can be paired with things like:
- Slice of life
And other genres to add a little spice.
Let’s get into what I feel is some of the best romance in the anime industry.
Recommended Romance Anime:
Whether it’s a slice of life list, comedy, and in this case: romance, you can’t leave out
It’s a legendary anime in the romance space, made by J.C Staff.
You have a classic Tsundere called Taiga Aisaka, known as one of the 4 Tsundere wonders. And Ryuuji Takasu, a guy who’s judged for his appearance.
First set of episodes have the Tsundere cliché trope of girl hitting guy, but it starts to break away from that and gets serious.
That’s when this anime starts to mould into a solid romance series with depth and drama.
Kanon is an anime series you might not have heard of, unless you’re a Kyoto Animation fan.
It’s overshadowed by Clannad, the more popular anime with a similar art style.
Kanon is a romance mixed in with some mysterious vibes that carry the plot forward. While focusing on a male and female MC.
Yuuichi forgets his memory, and he discovers a forgotten past along the way. With some romance involved.
3. Rent A Girlfriend
Rent A Girlfriend is one of the most popular to hit the industry since 2020. Though not everyone is sold on the anime.
The main character is what Americans like to call SIMP, because he puts girls on a pedestal. And has little self esteem.
The real star of this romance series is Chizuru Mizuhara, the “rental girlfriend” who’s the centre of this series.
Bottom line: if you want a romance with a different theme, this is the one to start watching.
It’s cringe but magnetizing.
4. Plastic Memories
Plastic Memories is a short romance series about Isla, and the other MC called Tsukasa who falls for her.
It all starts when they go on a mission together in the first episode, which ends with a bit of comedy and some emotional moments.
When it comes to romance shows that bring on the water works, Plastic Memories is HIGH on the list.
We’re talking Violet Evergarden levels of emotion, sadness, and storytelling that will pull on your heart strings.
To this day,
The thing with
It’s a romance that can’t be ignored or forgotten!
6. Boarding School Juliet
Boarding School Juliet is a like cliché Romeo and Juliet story, with a blonde female MC and a Japanese male character. But the anime turns out to be better than it seems.
Inuzuka has always liked Persia, and he confesses in the first episode. But because of their reputation they have to keep their romance a secret.
The plot follows from there, and you get plenty of comedy, action, fights, and of course: romantic moments that keeps things sweet.
Clannad is an absolute classic in the romance/slice of life genre. And one of Kyoto Animation’s best pieces of work.
You have season 1 where the anime is light on emotions, and focuses on building up characters and gives you some comedy.
Then the 2nd season turns the emotional dial up to the max, with one of the biggest plot twists a romance anime has ever seen.
The designs might be dated depending on your perspective, but the anime deserves a watch.
Masterpiece in my eyes.
8. TONIKAWA: Over To The Moon For You
Tonikawa is another romance anime that hit the industry in 2020, and is making waves and Tsunami’s in the anime community.
Unlike Rent A Girlfriend, which is more on complicated side of things, Tonikawa is wholesome and nothing more.
It’s diabetes turned into an anime, with cute moments from a cute couple who are married and living their lives together.
I knew this anime would be a killer from the moment it was announced.
9. Engaged To The Unidentified
Engaged To The Unidentified is an anime like Kanon, in the sense that there’s a lot of mystery involved. And some fantasy, but it’s subtle.
On the surface though is the romance between Kobeni and Hakuya. Both who have been “chosen” to get engaged.
There’s no fan service but there are innuendo’s and a lot of Loli jokes and sarcasm. Mainly from Benio (older sister of Kobeni).
It’s an anime that goes unnoticed.
10. Maid Sama
Maid Sama is another romance made by J.C Staff, and one of the most popular the industry’s had to date.
It’s a classic at this point and still remembered by its fan base and anime fans in general. And needs a 2nd season.
The main character: Misaki Ayuzawa has “issues” with men, stemming from parent problems at home.
As the student council president she’s hard working to the point of insanity, and secretly works as a maid until her love interest accidentally discovers her secret.
11. Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket is a slice of life/romance with fantasy elements. The majority of characters represent a sign from the Chinese zodiac.
The main female character: Tohru Honda is homeless after her mum dies, and she’s taken in by the Sohma family.
With a new and improved remake of the series, the romance between Tohru Honda and Kyo Sohma is picking up.
Danmachi is about Bell Cranel, an amateur adventurer who’s almost killed by a beast. But his life is saved by Ais Wallenstein, a blonde swordsman who’s well known and powerful.
This gives him the inspiration to get stronger. And his “useless” goddess Hestia helps in anyway she can.
You can already see some cliches from the introduction, and that’s where some of the romance comes from.
Not my favorite, but the anime deserves credit.
13. Love, Chuunibyou, & Other Delusions
Chuunibyou is a person who believes in superpowers, supernatural beings, and all that childish stuff even as a teenager or older.
Rikka Takanashi defines the word “Chuunibyou” and the nonsense of this anime is cantered around her. With Yuta Togashi becoming interested in her.
For the first 5 or so episodes you’ll cringe. But the anime gets good and the romance becomes somewhat wholesome. And the main characters start to grow.
A 3rd season is needed at this point.
14. Sukitte Ii na yo
Sukitte Ii na yo, translated to “say I love you” is a shoujo/romance series. Mei Tachibana is an introvert who avoids people, and getting too close to them.
In the past she’s bullied and experiences the dark side of “friends” and how people can behave towards you. So she keeps her distance.
Yamato, the male MC find her interesting because of the way she keeps to herself, and is closed off. And that’s how the romance begins.
It’s a decent romance anime. With kissing and things like that.
15. Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun
Nozaki Kun is actually the name of the main character, who’s a
Chiyo Sakura is the female MC who falls for Nozaki, but he’s too dense and stupid to take notice.
This is a rom com series so the romance isn’t to be taken too seriously, and its packed with misunderstandings.
Still a pretty solid show that goes unnoticed these days.
16. Yona Of The Dawn
Yona Of The Dawn is an anime series that’s in desperate need of a 2nd season. And it’s been years at this point.
Yona is a princess. Former princess. Because at it turns out, they planned to kill her off but she survives and escapes with Hak, a man who’s grown up with Yona.
While they’re on the run, Yona learns to fight and becomes stronger on the inside and out. And decides to gather allies to protect herself.
It’s one of the funniest romance series low key, and deserves so much more credit (and a 2nd season).
17. Maou Yuusha
Maou Yuusha is about a demon girl and a hero. Yuusha actually means “Hero” in English. With Maou translating to “Demon King”.
It’s about how both characters end up working together to build a better society and world. With education being a means to make it happen.
The concepts in this series besides the romance are smart. There’s a lot to learn as far as strategy, tactics, entrepreneurship, and thinking outside of the box.
Definitely an underrated anime that also could have been so much more.
18. Snow White With The Red Hair
Snow White With The Red Hair is about Shirayuki, a hard working and diligent female MC with bright red hair.
She’s not privileged and yet she doesn’t let this bring her down or get in the way of her principles and being self sufficient.
Part of this is what Zen, a prince with white hair becomes attracted to. Even to the point of breaking the rules and being a rebel.
It’s a nice romance series with some action and plenty of moments between the main characters.
19. Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied is a unlikely romance series given the extreme violence and dark nature of the anime.
The main character: Lucy, is a Diclonius. A human experiment gone wrong. And she’s being hunted down by the government who want her dead.
Diclonius have vectors that vibrate fast enough to slaughter anyone within distance. So naturally this anime is filled with murder and violence.
By the end of this strange romance/horror series, you’ll witness the dark side of human beings. And the hypocrisy of the human mind.
Shakugan No Shana
With a total of 3 seasons there’s a lot of content to get through, but despite the large universe and the power systems, the anime didn’t go further than that.
The romance between Shana and Yuji Sakai is genuine, with clear progress and a lot of character development along the way.
Nana doesn’t have the best name for an anime series, as far as uniqueness. But it’s simple and to the point.
Both main characters are called Nana Komatsu, and Nana Osaki.
After meeting on the train to Tokyo, they find themselves living next door to each other in a flat/apartment.
The anime explores their individual sex lives, romance, and careers as they navigate the world in their 20’s. And try to figure things out for themselves.
It’s relatable. Especially for 20 year olds going through a similar phase.
22. Skip Beat
Skip Beat is another seemingly forgotten romance series. One with a unique theme and twist to the idea of romance.
Kyoko Mogami is a naïve, insecure girl who lives with her boyfriend who’s working to get into showbiz. But Kyoko works two jobs for him, pays HIS bills, and pours her life and bank account into this man.
He doesn’t give a sh*t about Kyoko, and after she realizes it one night and wakes up to reality, he breaks up with her.
She’s out to get revenge and gets into showbiz herself with nothing but vengeance driving her actions, regardless of experience or talent.
This is what makes Skip Beat so unique in the way it plays itself out, and the eventual romance that follows later.
Easily one of the greatest female characters of all time.
23. Spice And Wolf
Spice And Wolf is an adventure series between a self proclaimed wise wolf, and a man named Kraft Lawrence. Who happens to be a merchant.
He travels and makes money from the equivalent of stocks and savvy investments. With Holo the wise wolf helping him, making them both ideal partners.
Besides the mellow romance and chilled vibes of this anime, when it comes to finances, money, and business, few anime can teach you more than this.
It’s in a league of its own.
24. Bloom Into You
Bloom Into You is a “diet” Yuri type of series. You do get kissing scenes, but it doesn’t go further than that.
The main character: Touko Nanami is a lesbian. But she hides her urges and interests after discovering she’s “into” Yuu, another MC.
The romance between both characters takes off from there, but the anime’s plot is deeper than that.
In this anime it highlights the struggles of having to hide your preferences for the same sex, out of fear of being judged. Or even losing your job.
So many characters besides the main one’s are living a “secret” lifestyle only their partners are aware of.
25. Quintessential Quintuplets
Quintessential Quintuplets is part harem, part romance, and naturally has comedy thrown into it.
Based in and out of school, Uesugi is hired to teach 5 twins and help them improve their awful grades.
Some of the Nakano sisters become romantically interested in Uesugi, one obvious character being Miku Nakano.
26. Sankarea: Undying Love
Sankarea: Undying Love is another series that deserves a 2nd season, but never went on to have it.
It’s about Chihiro, a guy who wants a zombie girlfriend. And his curiosity leads him to his wish.
There are some dark scenes in this anime. Seriously messed up stuff. But it’s an anime that makes you think and can’t be directly compared to other romance.
It’s Ecchi as well if that’s what you’re looking for.
Other Relevant Romance Anime:
- After The Rain.
- Kamisama Kiss.
- Rascal Doesn’t Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai.
- Chrono Crusade.
- School Rumble.
- Kimi ni Todoke.
- Your Lie In April.
- Nodame Cantabile.
- Golden Time.
- Your Name.
- Lovely Complex.
Sword Art Online
- Cardcaptor Sakura.
Which romance anime is missing?