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captivus

  • Joined Sep 15, 2017
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Best Romance Anime

The title is pretty self-explanatory. Greatest romantic anime I could find until today. The list is ongoing so when I'll find something new that's worth adding it will appear here
1 Toradora!

Toradora!

Simply put: The Best *Romance* Anime. Ever. 

If you (for some reason) do not know this one you need to check it out.

Characters are intereting and believable and so is the romance arc. The whole story is both fun and realistic. Nothing feels forced in terms of character develpment and - since its a romance anime - their feelings for one another. Including our main heroes AND all other characters. Theres a good balance between comedy and drama too.

Also: if you like tsundere characers Taiga is your girl. Whats fun is shes a realistic tsundere character which is a rare sight.

Warning: It may spoil you. I have not found any romance anime that I like as much as this one and I always judge any title by Toradora! standard.

2 Gosick

Gosick

This is basicly Toradora! with Taiga being Shgerlock Holmes. Whole thing is set in between World War I and World War II in a fictional European country.

I will not lie I had my doubts at first since It did feel to me as a Toradora! clone with a loli-detective gimmic. I grew to love Gosick despite that.

One of the strengths of the series are the main protagonists and development of their relationship. Side-characers are pretty boring and generic (except the phony detective-guy) but that doesnt really matter since the story is centered so much around two main heroes.

Sweet, fun and pretty clever both in terms of the cases the characters need to solve and the themes of each chapter. Check it out.

3 FLCL

FLCL

This has to be one of the weirdest anime I've seen. The fact its also about a (very) strange romance between a VERY young boy and an insane alien girl is gonna antagonize many people. The story is quite good and the romance subplot is handled very maturely for such a weird weird story. Its kind of amazing to tell the truth.

I mean seriously - one of the more important plot devices is hitting people on the head with electric guitars. Putting in a decent romance plotline in which interactions don't feel forced or (sic) unrealistic is unbelievable.

Anyway, if you haven't already - check it out.

4 Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile

This is both one of the best anime series about art ever made and a soft romcom with likable characters set in a world of classical music.

This series has everything I love in a story: a pretentious self-assured protagonist who organically changes and learns not to be a douchebag, a weird love interest that clashes with him which in turn forces both of them to grow and change, set of likable characters and a story revolving around ambition and constant challenges (without getting cheesy - which is hard to do).

Check out this series - I have a hard time imagining anyone who could dislike it.

5 Nodame Cantabile: Paris

Nodame Cantabile: Paris

6 Nodame Cantabile: Finale

Nodame Cantabile: Finale

7 Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

This is one of the best anime ever made. Period. Romance isn't its main theme but its a very important part of the story - for most if not for all of the characters.

I cannot recommend this anime enough. Its story is compelling, the characters are interesting and well fleshed out and the animation and camerawork are beautiful. 

If You're interested in a little more 'grown-up' romance story You probably won't be able to find a better one than this one. Go watch it! Multiple times.

8 Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

9 The Ancient Magus' Bride

The Ancient Magus' Bride

This is a very slow moving, very character-heavy anime. The romance subplot is moving very slowly (and rightfully so if you consider the motivation of each character).

I don't want to spoil anything but just like with Nodame Cantabile I really have a hard time imagining people who would not like this one. If you're not A)under 12, B)dead inside or C)have an attention span of a water fly  - you'll like it.

10 The Ancient Magus' Bride: Those Awaiting a Star

The Ancient Magus' Bride: Those Awaiting a Star

11 Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

A very good series with adult protagonists. No love triangles, no will-they-wont-they tropes ... it's just great. Also: the series depicts both the beginning of the relationship (with the protagonists) and the already established relationship (with shows main supporting characters) so there's something for everybody in this area. If you haven't checked it out - do so.

12 My Little Monster

My Little Monster

If I were to choose a perfect *romance* anime that isnt Toradora! (or Toradora! with Taiga as Sherlock Holmes which is Gosick) its this.

Story is interesting and fun and so are two main characters. Whats more important - like in Toradora! - they do feel like actual people. Character arcs are believable and everyone has a motivation for whatever he or she is doing.

Characters are weird (in a good way) and feelings between them dont feel forced at all. Also: I have to admit that while I find Toradora! a better romance anime this one is an overall a greater quality of anime.

Story is great and so is the animation. No character is one-dimentional. Check it out.

13 Arakawa Under the Bridge

Arakawa Under the Bridge

Most people might hate this one. Its weird, surreal and .... well its REALLY weird ok?

If youre ok with that youll get one of your favorite romance anime ever. I highly recommend it.

14 Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

15 Kaguya-sama: Love Is War

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War

This has to be one of my favorite romance anime ever. I might be biased in my opinion, since both main protagonists resemble how I used to approach romance when I was (much) younger, but still - it's a great series.

The show is very episodic, so You don't have to binge everything at once or even watch story arcs spanning several episodes. It's just a great comedy about young people learning how to approach a problem of falling for someone and that being in love won't work unless You make yourself vulnerable (at least enough to ask the other person out instead of using convoluted plots to make the other person confess to You. God was I weird when I was younger).

Since the show took a simple premise that's easy to understand and connect emotionally and added great and memorable characters, lots of great humor and one of the best OP I've seen I can recommend it to anyone.

16 Hi Score Girl

Hi Score Girl

Oh, is this a good, yet underrated series ... and also a proof that with a good story and great, likable and relatable characters series can overcome even *very* clunky animation.

If you remember the '90s, especially if You played games back then - this is a rom-com for you.

The story takes place over quite a long time (it spans from elementary school to high school just in the first season) and is well paced. The plot has its twists and feels fresh and a little unpredictable. Characters have a depth to them and feel like real people.

Just check it out - by the end of episode 4, You'll be hooked. Also: recommend the series to people. it deserves to be better known.

17 Hi Score Girl: Extra Stage

Hi Score Girl: Extra Stage

18 My Love Story!!

My Love Story!!

I actually had a very hard time finding a place on the list for this one. 

It's not groundbreaking or anything like that. The premise is very simple: the ugly guy gets the girl and he gets her very quickly so there's no 'will they won't they' vibe except for the first two episodes.

The rest of the anime explores the characters and the relationship between them. Which is kind of refreshing, to tell the truth. Whats more its kind of hard not to like the main character when you get to know him (which is also mentioned by other characters in the show) which makes you invested in his story.

To put it simply: I'm very surprised how much I liked this one. I think many people would too.

19 The Familiar of Zero

The Familiar of Zero

If one would put Toradora! (down to the same voice actress) in a Harry Potter world, make Taiga waaay more over-the-top and boil down the storyline for sake of finding a younger audience he or she would end up with this series.

Its sweet, funny and cute. It was also designed with (I think) 15-16 year old boys and girls as a target audience. Which is .... disturbing when remembering some of Zeros actions (like whipping her poor love interest in a BDSM fasion) and all the boob jokes but well .... Japan right?

Overall: check it out. Not everything you watch HAS to be deep. Especially if you grow to like the main characters despite it.

20 The Familiar of Zero: Knight of the Twin Moons

The Familiar of Zero: Knight of the Twin Moons

21 The Familiar of Zero:

The Familiar of Zero: "Rondo" of Princesses

22 The Familiar of Zero F

The Familiar of Zero F

23 ReLIFE

ReLIFE

Quite decent anime with a very interesting premise: a broken jobless guy is taken to high school to act as a student as a subject of a social experiment to rehabilitate NEETs. I recommend the series wholeheartedly. 

24 ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen

ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen

25 Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf

Economy and romance storyline with Wolf God/Spirit and a cunning merchant. Whats not to love?

The story moves pretty slow and there are no battles so if thats your thing ... well you might get bored. I loved it though - mostly because the interactions between two main characters feel great and are really interesting. 

Also, the series offer a true rarity: an actual strong female character. Not a tsudere or whatever - just a girl that feels like she knows what she wants (without making her stupidly over-the-top).

26 Spice and Wolf II

Spice and Wolf II

27 Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

A decent romance story sprinkled with a little drama and supernatural elements.

Like Spice and Wolf, the series offers a strong female character that isn't tsundere or any other generic trope and a relationship between the characters that feels realistic and moving.

The story is divided into several segments that focus on a single character and her problem with a few plotlines like the romance parts that are included in each story arc.

It's a good show - check it out.

28 Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

Very good, very realistic series set in the period in Japan's history after World War II but before the economic boom went in a full swing. I loved this series. The atmosphere is great, the characters are interesting and well developed, the plot is realistic, mature and well-thought out... I just can't recommend it enough. Check it out.

29 Mysterious Girlfriend X

Mysterious Girlfriend X

if Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! were realistic this would be it: a sweet anime depicting a beginning of a relationship between two high schoolers. The series is a little weird but its also pretty great. Check it out You won't regret it.

30 Mysterious Girlfriend X OVA

Mysterious Girlfriend X OVA

31 Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

This is a little flawed but still great romance series. I can recommend it to anyone - it has a little bit of everything: romance, comedy, horror and a mystery.

The side characters are bland as hell (they usually are in this type of series) but our two main protagonists are really great. Not to mention: the main story is very interesting - especially when compared to other romance anime.

Check it out!

32 Dusk Maiden of Amnesia: Ghost Girl

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia: Ghost Girl

33 Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!

A sweet romance anime. While the comedy didn't work for me the main characters were so cute with each other it didn't really matter. Also: worth checking out just for its weird premise. So go and check it out already!

34 Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions: Heart Throb

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions: Heart Throb

35 Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!: Sparkling... Slapstick Noel

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!: Sparkling... Slapstick Noel

36 Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb - The Rikka Wars

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb - The Rikka Wars

37 Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Movie: Take On Me

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Movie: Take On Me

38 Midori Days

Midori Days

This is definitely the sweetest, most heartfelt and hilarious romance story about a delinquent whos right hand turns into a girl I've ever seen. Period.

Seriously though the show is great, funny and has a very good romance plot despite its bonkers premise. Check it out.

39 Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Very good show about love, death, moving on and difficult relationships between people.

What I really like about the series is that it does not paint its characters in black and white - they are very realistic.

What's more, the show has beautiful animation that would not look bad in a feature movie which is very hard to do in a tv series with a much smaller budget.

40 Planetes

Planetes

Ok, while the romance is just a small, albeit important part of the plot (if it was a bigger one it would be way higher on my list) I still recommend this series to anyone.

The worldbuilding is great, the characters are both wacky and realistic, the story is deep without being pretentious ... just treat the romance part as an icing on a very tasty cake and give this show a try. You won't regret it.

41 A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice

The romantic subplot is heavily implied and it's an important part of the story.

The movie is beautiful, the characters are well developed and the story can be both heartwarming and heartbreaking (often at the same time).

Since it's a movie, not a series it needs much less time to complete, so I recommend watching it immediately. After you do, check out the manga - it's even better.

42 Time of Eve

Time of Eve

This series is not much in terms of romance which is sprinkled sporadically in a great story.

I really recommend it for the philosophical subplot though. Even with all the robots/ai take-over-the-world movies/series/comics etc. these series feel like a fresh and positive take on the subject.

Check it out. Even if the romantic subplot is just characters hinting the viewer that they might like each other I'll still wager You'll like it more in terms of romance than most generic harem anime out there. I sure did.

43 Gamers!

Gamers!

A decent romcom about people who love gaming. There's really not much more to say about it except I liked it quite a bit and it has really good animation.

44 The Troubled Life of Miss Kotoura

The Troubled Life of Miss Kotoura

A touching story about a girl with psychic powers after she suffers the consequences of those powers and shuts herself from the world. It also features the first episode that did a 180 tonal turn I've never seen in an anime (and created a clear and understandable motivation for the protagonist to like her future love interest).

It's not groundbreaking or anything but I liked the series very much. It has likable characters with well-developed motivations for what they're doing and the comedy is pretty decent. Check it out.

45 Say

Say "I love you."

Just a plain good romance anime.

It's quite clearly targeted at women which might turn you off but the series is worth giving a try even if you're a guy.

The story is simple but interesting, there are no dumb will they won't they tropes, the characters are well developed and have a depth to them ... it's just great.

46 The World God Only Knows

The World God Only Knows

Very good comedy/harem series.

I don't like harem shows too much, but I can wholeheartedly recommend this series - it's really funny and the characters are likable.

Most importantly the story parodies the usual harem/dating sim tropes, which makes the show a good pick even if you usually don't enjoy this genre.

47 The World God Only Knows II

The World God Only Knows II

48 The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc

The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc

49 Tenchi Universe

Tenchi Universe

This is (I think) the first anime I've watched. So I might be bias in my judgement.

The series is your typical harem anime. What I love about it are the likable characters that make it stand out.

50 Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki

Comments

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captivus Nov 14, 2018

If you guys have any suggestions about good shows that are worth watching and adding to the list please feel free to comment ... lately, I'm kind of running out of ideas, to tell the truth ;-)

Leadwyng Aug 30, 2018

WOW! Thank you so much for this list! I think you should watch ReLife Kanketsu-Hen, because its just the followup of the main series, which does not end. This one, however, does end.