Top 10 Romance Anime

Top 10 Romance Anime

-Written by: Blake

The romance genre in anime is one with a lot of established conventions and tropes. Even so, there are those titles that rise above that and make a powerful impression on even the most cold-hearted and cynical of fans. Here are just ten of the absolute best Romance anime.

10.
Orange

Everyone has regrets about past relationships--events that we wish we could do over and change. Naho is given the second chance we all wish for after she receives a letter from her future self, imploring her to help Kakeru, the boy she once loved in high school. The story makes viewers think about how our actions affect others and their collective futures. A kind gesture here and there can go a long way. Conversely, insensitivity and neglect can have harsh consequences.

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9.
His and Her Circumstances

The oldest title on this list, His and Her Circumstances is an anime with an interesting production story attached to it. Directed by Hideaki Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame, its plot has a uniqueness and a nuance with how it handles its characters that only Anno can provide. Undoubtedly, this is a romance unlike any other and is more than worth checking out.

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8.
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You

It’s a classic premise of shojo romance, the shy unconfident girl is swept off her feet by the most desirable guy in school. While treading some of the most covered of anime tropes and themes, Kimi ni Todoke does it with such sweet and heartwarming fervor that you can’t help yourself but become drawn to and invested in Sawako and Kazehaya’s relationship. While it may turn some away due to its slow pace and general “get on with it and kiss her already” vibe, Kimi ni Todoke has nonetheless become an institution of otaku fandom.

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7.
Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket is a true classic. The manga and anime were for many their first experience in the mediums and it remains a favorite among fans today. The main character, Tohru finds herself living with the Souma family after losing her mother. The Souma family is burdened with a strange curse that makes them transform into an animal of the Chinese Zodiac whenever they are hugged by the opposite sex. This show is the quintessential reverse harem title with a surprisingly mature plot that makes the viewer sympathetic for the cast. Fruits Basket is a must-watch for every anime fan.

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6.
Toradora!

When Toradora! first aired, that was the time when otakus around the world collectively fell in love with the tsundere archetype. More specifically, they fell in love with Taiga, the short statured and feisty female lead. Ryuji has a crush on Taiga’s best friend, Minori. Taiga likes Ryuji’s friend, Yusaku. Together they resolve to help each other get with their crushes but in the process the kind-hearted and stable Ryuji tames the wild and misunderstood Taiga and the two fall in love. This couple is one of the cutest in anime and they are what makes the show great to watch.

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5.
My Love Story!!

If you’re sick of the of the same old anime romance plot consisting of a slow progression of feelings, a lot of melodrama, and ultimately no pay off, then My Love Story!! could be the cure you need. It breaks the mold in a lot of refreshing ways. The main couple of Takeo and Yamato is a legitimate couple from the very beginning. So instead of a drama filled courtship, the whole series focuses on the two being a cute couple and plays on their inexperience in such matters. Takeo is the opposite of your typical male lead as he is neither very handsome nor suave. All that really matters is that he loves Yamato and she loves him back.

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4.
Clannad

A romance with as powerful of a story as any other, Clannad’s emotional narrative belies its cute art style. It has created a beloved couple in main characters Tomoya and Nagisa. In addition, the other characters each have their own hardships and issues they need to deal with which makes viewers able to relate to at least one or more of them. An early entry in Kyoto Animation’s high production quality legacy, Clannad’s visuals and soundtrack are still well regarded today.

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3.
Your Lie in April

In many ways, Your Lie in April brings a lot of themes and aspects from past romance titles like Clannad and beautifully brings them together again for a new audience. A distant boy’s life is changed by a single girl who he falls in love with while they each deal with roadblocks and hardship. In this case, the boy is Kousei, a pianist prodigy who stopped playing because of the tragic loss of his mother, but he is rejuvenated by a free-spirited violinist named Kaori. As the two fall in love, the ghosts of their pasts attempt to derail their happiness. The flow of the plot is filled with drama and uncertainty and is not for the faint of heart. I dare you to not cry while watching this.

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2.
Your Name

This list could have been filled with several Makoto Shinkai films, but when choosing just one to recommend, it would be his latest work, Your Name. A boy from Tokyo named Taki and a girl from a small town in the country named Mitsuha start to switch bodies. By living through each other’s daily life, they find out they are separated by much more than just pure distance. Through the power of their love, they try to find a way to overcome the things that work to keep them apart. With a story possessing universal appeal and with some of the most beautiful animation and music an anime film has to offer, Your Name unrelentingly tugs at your heartstrings.

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1.
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

Sorata is forced to care for Mashiro, a girl with savant like artistic talent who is unable to perform the most basic of everyday tasks. Their interactions are as absurd as they are comedic and their aspirations are unique to the genre. What really separates The Pet Girl of Sakurasou from other titles is how it handles the other characters that aren’t the main couple. They are all misfits in some way with their own dreams and ambitions, and viewers are encouraged to root for all of them. The problems and relationships they share with Sorata are beautifully handled and intertwined with each other. There is a lot more going on for this show than just a romance, which is itself very well done. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a fantastic anime for everyone, not just fans of romance.

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