Romance Staff Picks

Romance Staff Picks

-Written by: Right Stuf Anime Crew

Valentine’s Day is just days away! If you’re as excited as we are for the holiday of love, then you can’t wait either! Pass the time by checking out these romantic anime-zing staff picks, selected by the romance gurus at Right Stuf HQ! Some will make you cry, some will make you blush, but all will make you say “Awww!”  

Allyn - A Silent Voice

This is one of my absolute favorite anime titles. A Silent Voice sparks emotion on so many levels. It’s a heartwarming story of two unlikely friends navigating some difficult realities. It follows the two main characters from elementary/middle school up until their high school years. As many of you know, SO much happens during this time in our lives. It was almost nostalgic seeing some of the scenarios play out during the film because on some level we can all relate to this time in our lives where we start to grow up and try to become the best version of ourselves that we possibly can. It’s a film that addresses bullying, mental health, and so much more. You’d have to be a robot to not cry during this beautiful film. If you get a chance, please watch A Silent Voice.

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Allyn - Your Name

What a GORGEOUS film. Makoto Shinkai is truly gifted in making these amazing films. Your Name has one of the most unique storylines though. A boy and a girl trading bodies? I know. It doesn’t exactly sound super romantic. It honestly sounds pretty awkward. But give this one a chance. I found that this film was more about finding your own place in the world, and that’s not an easy thing to do. Maybe that’s why this film was so impactful. As the characters struggle with their new bodies, they discover more about themselves and about each other. It creates a unique bond between them that continues after they’ve gone back to their own bodies. With this film, you just have to trust that you’re going to experience a lot of emotion and amazing artwork. Highly recommend.

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Quinn - Love At Fourteen

What sets Love At Fourteen apart from its romance genre peers is its two leads, Kanata Tanaka and Kazuki Yoshikawa, who both tackle life with a mindset more like that of an adult’s rather than their same-age counterparts. However, even though the two leads act more mature, that doesn’t mean they have any more experience than their peers when it comes to love, and seeing how they deal with that first-love-awkwardness breathes some fresh air into old tropes. The other highlight is that there are also two other separate romances happening within the class. In fact, as the series goes on, I actually find Nagai Tatsumi’s story the most fascinating of the three as his reluctant romance could end in dire consequences. Overall, I find it very interesting that all the students’ lives intersect and no one is cocooned into their own convenient, self-focused story which allows Love At Fourteen to dig deeper into what it means to be in love.

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Chris - His And Her Circumstances

When it comes to romance, one of my all-time favorites has to be His And Her Circumstances, originally a manga by Masami Tsuda which was then adapted into an anime series by Hideaki Anno—Yes, the Evangelion director. It’s a bit of a genre switch, I know. It follows Yukino Miyazawa and Souichiro Arima, a couple of straight-A students who put on appearances, but in reality are deeply flawed people. As their relationship evolves from rivalry to friendship and then love, they learn to drop the facades and be themselves. And as soon as the pretenses fall to the wayside, their world expands and blooms. It shows a realistic relationship with all the bumps and bruises and is a great study on being true to yourself and the ones you love.

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Will - Toradora!

Toradora! is one of the best romance anime because of it’s straightforward, no-frills approach. Situations reach their conclusion in a logical and realistic way. While most shows spend a whole season just to get to their first love confession, Toradora! gets there only three episodes in, and it ends in rejection. This freedom from tropes allows the show to do what it actually wants to do: explore adolescence and how teenagers try and form relationships with one another. The characters feel real because the show puts their personalities first over whatever archetype they fit. While dramatic at times (as romance wants to do), Toradora! never gets melodramatic; no moe girl stammers when faced with her love interest. Instead, she punches him in the face! On purpose!

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Kari - Chobits

Chobits is a great classic series with adorable characters and eye-catching artwork! How can you go wrong with a CLAMP title?!

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Monica - Gravitation Complete Collection Blu-Ray

The legendary boys’ love series follows aspiring rock star Shuichi Shindou’s relationship with the popular yet mysterious love novelist Eiri Yuki. Being one of the first mainstream yaoi releases, seeing its influence serves as a cool retrospective for fans of the genre. But make no mistake: the story is executed well and holds up even by modern standards. And with music composed by TM Revolution producer Daisuke Asakura, if the story between the two protagonists doesn't make you fall in love with Gravitation, the soundtrack will!

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Olivia - Ouran High School Host Club Manga Box Set

I’ve never been a big fan of harems or reverse harems, but Ouran High School Host Club has a special place in my heart. The anime is a fun little rom-com, but the original ending left me wanting more. Luckily the manga is available to fill that void. The humor remains the same, but the story has more depth. The members of the host club become more fleshed out, which is both a good and bad thing. It’s good that you get so attached to the characters, but then it makes it so difficult to decide who Haruhi should end up with!

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