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

Also: if you like tsundere characters Taiga is your girl. What's fun is that she's 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 basically Toradora! with Taiga being SherlockHolmes. The 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 gimmick. I grew to love Gosick despite that.

One of the strengths of the series are the main protagonists and development of their relationship. Side-characters are pretty boring and generic (except the phony detective-guy) but that doesn't 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 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.

4 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 I was 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.

5 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 strong female characters that aren't tsundere or any other generic trope and relationships between them that feel realistic and moving.

The story is divided into several segments that focus on a single character and his/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.

6 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.

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 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.

10 Nodame Cantabile: Paris

Nodame Cantabile: Paris

11 Nodame Cantabile: Finale

Nodame Cantabile: Finale

12 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.

13 The Ancient Magus' Bride: Those Awaiting a Star

The Ancient Magus' Bride: Those Awaiting a Star

14 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.

15 FLCL

FLCL

This has to be one of the weirdest anime I've seen. The fact it's 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.

16 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.

17 Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

18 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. 

19 ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen

ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen

20 Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf

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

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

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

21 Spice and Wolf II

Spice and Wolf II

22 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.

23 Hi Score Girl: Extra Stage

Hi Score Girl: Extra Stage

24 We Never Learn

We Never Learn

To tell the truth this is your typical, by the book comedy harem anime ... and I have no idea why I liked it as much as I did. It may be that the series does not go overboard with the ecchi parts. It may be the really good comedy elements which did not make me laugh out loud but consistently made me smile. It may be really likable characters.

Whatever it is - I can wholeheartedly recommend the show to any rom-com anime fan.

25 We Never Learn OVA

We Never Learn OVA

26 We Never Learn!

We Never Learn!

27 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.

28 Maid-sama!

Maid-sama!

This is a pretty beloved series that, for some reason, did not work for me that well. The target audience is young/adolescent women so that might be it.

Having said that the series is pretty good on a storytelling level. We have a realistic, relatable tsundere main protagonist and her crush that is (as far as a heterosexual guy can tell) both sexy, cool and human (as in: not perfect).

The romance isn't forced and feels realistic and the series focuses on comedy and slice of life with an underlining romantic theme, which makes some of the best romantic anime in my book.

Anyway: check it out and do not drop it until 4-6th episode, so You'll get the gist of the characters and the story and make an informed decision about whether You like the series or not.

29 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 make up for this. Not to mention: the main story is very interesting - especially when compared to other romance anime.

Check it out!

30 Dusk Maiden of Amnesia: Ghost Girl

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia: Ghost Girl

31 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.

32 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.

33 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.

34 Kokoro Connect

Kokoro Connect

Good series with a supernatural twist to them. Characters could be a little more fleshed out but It's still a great watch.

35 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 relationships between them. Which is kind of refreshing, to tell the truth. What's 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.

36 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.

37 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.

38 Mysterious Girlfriend X OVA

Mysterious Girlfriend X OVA

39 Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Very sweet series about young people finding out they like each other. I've chosen to put it quite high on my list because I have a distinct feeling that the main characters are based on real people - they feel very natural.

40 Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san OVA

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san OVA

41 Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

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 to 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 Genshiken

Genshiken

Ok, so this isn't a romance or romcom anime, but the romantic subplots (there are several) are quite an important part of the story and character development. The later season (Nidaime) takes some ... weird turns, but is still worth checking out. Also: if you want to see how a real otaku would deal with a harem situation check out Harunobu MADARAMEs story in the manga. It was one of the most hilarious romance arcs I've ever seen.

44 Genshiken 2

Genshiken 2

45 Genshiken OVA

Genshiken OVA

46 Genshiken: Second Generation

Genshiken: Second Generation

47 Genshiken: Second Generation OVA

Genshiken: Second Generation OVA

48 Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Good if a little bland romcom anime. The main theme is body switching shenanigans and other paranormal abilities in high school. Take it or leave it. I'd say take it.

49 ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?

ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?

Quite a subversive show. I really recommend it to anyone interested in romance anime for a fresh look on tropes used in the genre.

Also: it's a compelling watch, so do not hesitate and check it out!

50 Engaged to the Unidentified

Engaged to the Unidentified

An extremely cute little romance story with a sprinkle of supernatural elements to it. Worth checking out.

Comments

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AlexanderDornov Jul 22, 2020

U Actually Add'ed "why the hell are you here teacher". What a chad

captivus Jul 17, 2020

 PinkBoy nope - I'm trying to find a time to catch it since based on the reviews it seems to be pretty good.

PinkBoy Jul 16, 2020

Have you watched Kamisama kiss or fruit basket?

captivus Dec 30, 2019

Haganai When you watched 90% of what is listed here and still want to find good romcom anime :(

I know the feeling :/ I'll be updating the list soon though, and apart of new seasons of things I've watched already, there's a few new series I've found so stay in touch in January/February :D  

Haganai Dec 3, 2019

When you watched 90% of what is listed here and still want to find good romcom anime :(