A lot of people find that anime is the best way to get away from real life. When Goku is figuring out his next rainbow transformation, it’s hard to think about your college loans.
But the truth is that nothing pulls you into a world more than a well-written story.
Everyone is just looking for love, right?
Nothing to feel bad about.
But until we find our true soulmate (sorry to those of you who have already found them), we might as well watch all the beautiful anime stories there are.
So here are our best Romance Anime choices!
- 38. Escaflowne
- 37. Patema Inverted
- 36. Wolf Children
- 35. Kiss Him, Not Me! (2016)
- 34. Kuzu no Honkai (2017)
- 33. Snow White with the Red Hair (2015)
- 32. Ore Monogatari!! (2015)
- 31. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (2009)
- 30. Hotarubi no Mori e (2011)
- 29. Spice and Wolf (2008)
- 28. Lovely Complex (2007)
- 27. 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
- 26. Junjo Romantica (2008)
- 25. Kokoro Connect (2012)
- 24. Nisekoi (2014)
- 23. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun (2014)
- 22. His and Her Circumstances (1998)
- 21. Kaichō wa Meido-sama! (2010)
- 20. Ao Haru Ride (2014)
- 19. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (2012)
- 18. Tamako Love Story (2014)
- 17. Golden Time (2013)
- 16. Special A (2008)
- 15. My Little Monster (2012)
- 14. Honey and Clover (2005)
- 13. Weathering With You (2019)
- 12. Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai (2016)
- 11. Orange (2016)
- 10. The Garden of Words (2013)
- 9. The Anthem of the Heart (2015)
- 8. Ouran High School Host Club (2006)
- 7. ReLIFE (2016)
- 6. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
- 5. Kimi no Na wa. (2016)
- 4. Nana (2006)
- 3. Toradora! (2008)
- 2. Your Lie in April (2014)
- 1. Clannad (2007)
High school student Hitomi is transported from Earth to the magical world of Gaea, where she meets boy prince Van Fanel, and is caught up in his quest to unite the countries of Gaea against the ominous Zaibach empire.
On the way, she discovers an hidden ability and st
37. Patema Inverted
In an underground world where tunnels extend everywhere, even though they live in dark and confined spaces, people wear protective clothes and lead quiet and enjoyable lives.
Patema, a princess in her underground village, loves to explore the tunnels. Her favorite place is a “danger zone” that her village prohibits people from entering.
Even though she’s scolded, Patema’s curiosity can’t be held back.
No one ever explained what the supposed danger was. On her usual trip to the “d
36. Wolf Children
The theme of the film is the love between parents and children. The story covers 13 years and begins with a 19-year-old college student named Hana who encounters and falls in “fairy tale-like” love with a “wolf man.”
After marrying the wolf man, Hana gives birth and raises two wolf children — an older sister named Yuki (“snow”) who was born on a snowy day, and a younger brother named Ame (“rain”) who was born on a rainy day.
The four quietly lived in a corner of a city to conceal the fact that the children are “wolf children.” However, when the wolf man suddenly dies, Hana decides to move to a rural town far removed from the city.
35. Kiss Him, Not Me! (2016)
I want to start with this one because it made me laugh just thinking about it.
Okay, try to stay with me while I tell you how this plot hook came to be. A girl with a lot of weight loves anime, especially BL.
Then she loses one of her favorite figures. She feels so sad that she stops eating.
As a result, she loses weight and becomes the most beautiful girl in school. Boys start falling at her knees, but she wants them all to kiss each other instead of being with her.
You can’t tell me that wasn’t a fun way to start a show…
34. Kuzu no Honkai (2017)
I’ll be honest: this show is all about masochism, but in a good way.
There are no real happy endings to fairy tales, ties that are stronger than life itself, or grand airport scenes where people propose.
Teenagers are just trying to work things out.
How to be close, how to really care about someone, and how to let go.
At times, it can really ruin the mood. But if you like this way of doing things more than the Disney beauty version, I’m sure you’ll like the whole series.
33. Snow White with the Red Hair (2015)
Watching this Comfy Anime show is just very relaxed.
It has the feel of a romantic comedy, and the chemistry between the characters is pretty constant.
And there is no threat that could stop the characters from getting closer to each other.
That’s not to say nothing happens. But it’s really cool.
The main character is a healer, and the prince she falls in love with is so sweet.
If you don’t count the other prince, who is not so charming and takes advantage of his power, that is.
32. Ore Monogatari!! (2015)
Just watching this show makes me happy. I like weird stories and big teddy bears as main characters, and this show has both.
Takeo Gouda, this big sweetheart, is the main thing I love about him.
He just wants to find someone to love. But also to make as many people as possible happy.
He takes care of people, forgives them, and, most importantly, he cares. He also has the shape of Shrek, which is, as we all know, the best shape for a guy.
So there are more than enough things to look at.
31. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (2009)
Sawako and 2000s horror are the two main people in this show.
Okay, that’s not quite right. But in short, Sawako, the major female character, has trouble making friends because everyone thinks she looks like the girl from “The Ring.”
I don’t understand how they could look at that cute face and think that.
But there is one guy with working eyes, Shouta, who is her golden ticket to making friends.
Or perhaps even more than that. Kidding. Unless…
30. Hotarubi no Mori e (2011)
This movie gives you all the good feelings you need to get through life.
It’s like a fairy tale, but it’s also close to truth, at least in terms of how people feel about each other.
The story is all about a girl who meets a spirit of the forest.
It was meant to be a one-time thing, but the two people end up getting very close.
The catch is that she can’t touch the ghost or he will disappear.
It’s such a simple idea, but it adds so much to the story. There are no cute head pats, but there is still a real link.
29. Spice and Wolf (2008)
Spice and Wolf is probably more your style if you don’t want your story to take place in a high school.
It’s more of a story where the main character, Lawrence, meets a god who looks like a wolf. His name is Holo.
Holo’s goal is to go home, but the trip is full of interesting conversations, cute and stubborn Holo, and the life of a merchant.
I didn’t think I would find out so much about what it’s like to be a trader in their world.
The two of them get along well. And if I’m being honest, Holo is just made for a wife.
28. Lovely Complex (2007)
Aside from Meliodas, people don’t care nearly enough about short kings.
And tall anime girls are always the punchline of some joke. But Lovely Complex is here to change that.
As the story is about the strange love between Atsushi Ootani, who is short, and Koizumi Risa, who is tall and beautiful.
The story is cute, and the characters’ relationships are told well. But what I like most about the show is the message it sends.
Yes, a “love yourself” theme is in a lot of shows.
But Lovely Complex does it in a more “show, don’t tell” way, which makes it fall just a little bit more gracefully.
27. 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
In 2020, this movie got a lot more real, because it’s all about being apart and trying to keep a relationship going even though you’re not together.
If you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend both went to different schools after high school, you should already know how it feels to drift apart.
The show’s key characters work hard to keep the fire they started going. But sometimes fate makes things really hard.
So when you watch this movie, you should be ready to think about old loves and shed some tears.
26. Junjo Romantica (2008)
It would be stupid to only include straight romance shows on this list, since the past few years have shown how many shades of gray there are when it comes to sexuality.
Junjo Romantica is about love between two men.
Well, I say “boy” but there are also some older figures.
As it follows three different pairs, the show looks at a lot of different types of people.
Some know they are gay, some are still trying to figure it out, some are younger, and some are older.
The show talks about a lot of things. All of the characters are well-written, and if you want some yaoi but don’t like ice dancing, this could be your fix.
25. Kokoro Connect (2012)
Kokoro Connect takes a typical high school romance comedy, adds a supernatural factor, and makes something completely new.
The show’s hook is that a group of friends start switching bodies with each other for no reason. This is similar to a movie further down the list.
This makes for a lot of funny situations. But it gives it all a nice emotional weight.
Because if someone is in your body, they will find out about you no matter how hard you try to hide it.
Your home life, your health, and, most importantly, what you’ve been doing on the Internet are now all on show.
And maybe different things start to happen later, but I didn’t tell you that.
24. Nisekoi (2014)
I think of Nisekoi as Romeo and Juliet told backwards.
Let me explain: there are two rival gangs, and the heads of those gangs each have a son and a daughter.
But instead of sneaking out and being together even though their parents don’t want them to, it’s the parents who want them to date and the kids who are unsure.
So, to keep the peace, the two play act.
They don’t like each other at first, but this is a romantic comedy, so that will change one way or another.
23. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun (2014)
You have probably seen a lot of harem anime, in which every girl on the street is crazy about some oblivious, “kind of nice,” and boring guy.
But everything makes sense this time.
The main character of the show is a well-known shoujo mangaka. He’s kind of like Justin Bieber in the world of anime.
And the main character of our show, who was trying to get his number, ends up working for him instead.
If that logical jump didn’t give it away, this show is a comedy with some romance and mangaka-style analysis. And you should check it out.
22. His and Her Circumstances (1998)
This show seems like what Oresuki would be like if it was just a little bit better… okay, a lot better.
Because it shows that even the most perfect student might have some bad things in their closet, but that they can still learn to love and be themselves while doing so.
There’s no bench-kun, which is a shame.
But the fact that the two main characters get along so well makes up for it.
I mean, the way they act in the first few shows reminds me of Mean Girls or something.
The show does end with no explanation. But the part that was changed is still interesting to watch.
21. Kaichō wa Meido-sama! (2010)
At the beginning, we’re told about a school that used to be all-boys but has recently chosen to let girls in.
This is sure to make some people uncomfortable. High school is awkward enough without adding story twists to the mix.
When a girl is chosen as president, the boys aren’t happy with how strict she is. At this point, you might have looked up at the title and asked, “Where do the maids fit into all of this?”
Well, it turns out that the same dictatorial boss works as a maid. One of the Chads just found out this little piece of information.
Get some popcorn, because things are about to get dirty.
20. Ao Haru Ride (2014)
Overcorrections can be a real problem in life. You might think you’re unattractive in one way, so you change, and now the people who knew you before don’t know how to feel about you.
This is the basic idea of Ao Haru Ride.
The main female character goes from being a “girly-girl” to one of the boys because she thinks she needs to change because she couldn’t tell the boy she liked in middle school that she liked him.
But, oops, the boy is back for a second round!
This time, she is very confused… so what’s going to happen?
There’s romance, misunderstanding, and a few laughs.
19. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (2012)
Okay, I know the title seems a little off, and even when I tell you what the story is about, it will still seem a little strange… But you just have to trust me that the show knows what it’s doing.
In short, our main character, a man, really wants a cat. But he can’t just put his cat anywhere, so he has to move to Sakurasou.
But Sakurasou is a safe place for everyone, even the weird ones. Most of it is about weird things and a girl who can’t take care of herself.
Then it’s up to our main character (MC) to help this pretty girl out, while sparks fly as normal.
Again, you should watch it. It’s not even close to being as dirty as it sounds.
18. Tamako Love Story (2014)
If I told you that Tamako is a character in this movie, could you guess what the story is about?
How did you know! So who is Tamako?
Well, she’s just a normal girl who lives in the moment, doesn’t worry too much about the future because she has a good job at her family’s restaurant, and just wants to do a great job with the baton.
How did she meet her husband?
A old friend really likes her, but he is afraid to tell her how he feels and wants to go study in Tokyo and leave Tamako behind.
How will everything turn out? Why are you asking me that? Just go see the show!
17. Golden Time (2013)
When it comes to tone, the way this show started really threw me off.
In the first scene, a guy gets lost in the city and runs into another guy who is also lost. Then a girl shows up and hits the other guy with some flowers, starting a Looney Tunes-style chase.
With a start like that, you would really expect a show that was way too funny.
But to be fair, the show does show relationships in a very good way.
The characters also seem to be fully formed. Most of what happens is just the way things are. So I guess you shouldn’t rate a book by its first few pages.
16. Special A (2008)
If you’ve ever seen anime foes and thought, “Just kiss already!” then this show might be right up your alley.
Most of the time, it’s about Hikari Hanazono and Kei Takishima, who are both smart and good at everything.
The only problem is that Kei is just a little bit better, and Hikari doesn’t like playing second fiddle.
So, she does everything she can to beat Kei, even though Kei quietly likes her.
Yes, it’s possible that Naruto and Sasuke did it first. But it’s still great to see a competition turn into love!
15. My Little Monster (2012)
This may come as a surprise, but this show is not about the people who like Lady Gaga.
I know, because I felt the same way.
But My Little Monster is great.
It takes two people who, for different reasons, don’t really understand how to get along with other people and pairs them up.
Shizuku, the main character in this odd couple, is a kuudere who doesn’t care about anything.
Haru is a semi-criminal who is full of emotion and for some reason has a rooster. I really had to stop myself from making the obvious joke here.
It’s not normal, it’s funny, and it’s good.
14. Honey and Clover (2005)
Honey and Clover is just a really good relationship anime.
It’s all about the struggles of college, especially how they affect the arts.
Our five main characters all try to be creative in different ways, with different reasons, goals, and so on.
To rephrase my first line, the characters are written so well that you feel like you’re back in college, which (hopefully) was a time when you fell in love a lot.
There is some drama, some laughter, and some chill vibes.
But really, the show’s goal is for you to point to a character and say, “Same.”
13. Weathering With You (2019)
I’ve got to give this movie credit.
I’m sure I’ve never heard a story like this anywhere else.
In short, we have two key characters who barely have enough money to get by.
But one day, they find something very strange. In the movie’s Tokyo, it rains all the time, but whenever the female lead prays for it, the sun breaks through the clouds and smiles on us normal people.
This might be a business. What will happen because of it? Is this the Slavic Dodola’s long-awaited rival?
We will answer two out of the three questions.
12. Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai (2016)
That looks like a scary title. But in fact, it just means “I’ve always liked you” in English.
Put that line into a bunch of different conversations, and you have this movie.
And that’s not a put-down; it’s just a reminder that everyone in this movie likes everyone else. And none of them are good at explaining who they are.
But even the tenth statement gets me excited because they are all so well-written and likeable. And I really don’t know why.
It’s the purest kind of high school romance you can have. And even if that sounds like a turnoff, trust me, it won’t be what you think it will be.
11. Orange (2016)
I’m sure we all have mistakes, some bigger than others.
But if you saved someone’s life, that shame might never go away.
This is the story of Naho, a girl who gets a letter from her future self that tells her to take care of a new transfer student so that he stays at her school.
It can become a lot. It can become healthy.
It’s a standard shoujo, but anyone can still enjoy it.
It does things in a different way than one of the other things on this list, but both of them work in their own ways.
10. The Garden of Words (2013)
To be honest, this movie gives me soul ASMR.
The story is about a boy who skips class one day and meets a strange woman.
They end up meeting in this beautiful park where the rain is gently falling in the background.
When the boy chooses to make her new shoes, their meeting is no longer a one-time thing.
Then, I don’t know what happens because I’m still in the yard listening to the rain on a spiritual level.
9. The Anthem of the Heart (2015)
It’s fun to live in your own little fairy tale (the genre, not the anime), until it affects your real life.
Our main character had to learn this the hard way when her naiveté caused a lie to get out and hurt people close to her.
She now has a “curse” or more like a seal that keeps her from ever talking again.
But then the school pulls the old “calling on someone who didn’t raise their hand” trick, and she is picked to be in a musical.
She meets Mr. Rockstar Sakagami there, and the rest is, as they say, a surprise.
8. Ouran High School Host Club (2006)
There is a host club at Ouran High School. What is a host club, though?
Rich boys get dressed up and try to impress girls there so they can get that paper. Is one of these women the girl you like?
Not really, no. You see, someone who has nothing to do with the host club gets into debt and has to dress up as a boy to get out of it.
It turns out that she is more like Chad than any of them, which makes her the girls’ favorite.
But she has a great personality “off stage” as well, which makes her very popular with guys. It’s weird but interesting.
7. ReLIFE (2016)
He was more hopeful than his brother Re, but it was still kind of painful.
The main hook is that we give a guy in his late 20s who is failing at life, just like the rest of us, a pill that makes him a youth again.
He has to go back to high school and learn all over again why teenagers worry so much.
Will he meet someone special?
I’m not here to say if that’s weird or not given how old he really is. But I will say that it was the easiest show to watch all at once.
6. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
In this movie, the supernatural is much more important than the romance. I think it still does it justice, though.
The main character, a woman, is given the power to go back in time, which is a nice way of putting it.
She uses it to fix little things, of course. But wouldn’t you know it, that doesn’t work for every case.
Then that second fiddle might start to play in her ear, making her want to use that power… but how would that make the other person feel?
Who knows? Ask a preacher of science fiction today.
In all truth, excellent movie. I don’t know why, but I like the aunt the most.
5. Kimi no Na wa. (2016)
This movie was huge. It quickly became popular in the anime world and even outside of it.
It does have supernatural features.
But it seems so real: looking for your kindred spirit, following the red line of fate, and maybe switching bodies a little bit like in Freaky Friday are all things that people do.
This movie also has great art design.
Everything is smooth and easy to understand. And when combined with a strong music, it really makes for a great time at the theater.
4. Nana (2006)
This show is about a lot of different things, including music, bonds, goals, rivalries, and more.
But love is a common theme that goes in all ways, whether it’s between friends or lovers.
I will warn you that some of the ships in this show will make you want to pull your hair out. Some will make you cry, and others will be the cleanest goals you’ve ever seen.
The show just shows the highs and lows of relationships so well that you feel like you’re a fly on the wall.
It’s an old show, and neither the anime nor the manga are (or will ever be) finished.
Still, I can’t say enough good things about this show. It’s a must-see.
3. Toradora! (2008)
The great thing about Toradora is that it has a good mix of important and funny stuff.
Taiga can be the cutest thing when she uses her sword to fight people, pouts like a tsundere queen, and hangs out with Ryuuji and Inko.
But she also gets speeches, themes, and acts that are pretty heavy.
I said that her using a sword to attack people was a funny “ha ha” moment. But later on, the same thing had me on the edge of my seat.
It has a little bit of everything, all in all. If you can get past the blue balls in the first half, this show is one of the best.
2. Your Lie in April (2014)
Your Lie in April is sad in a lot of ways. But it still gets to a point where you feel like you can do anything.
You probably wouldn’t even know how deep the show is at first, since the first few episodes are full of bright colors and a happy vibe that make you think of a happy rom-com.
But then, BAM, the curtains come down and we see real people with complicated pasts who are trying to get better.
Music is also a big part of the show, which gives it a very peaceful feel.
1. Clannad (2007)
People say that Clannad is one of the best movies that will make you cry.
You feel like you’re looking into real lives because the world is so well made, the people are so real, and the writing is so realistic.
This is because the show is more in the center, and relationships are taken to their logical ends.
Also, it’s not all down or all up like Kuzu no Honkai or a pure comic. It goes up and down, and each turn really hits you in the love muscle.
Even just the music will make at least half of you who are reading this want to cry.
As far as relationship anime goes, this is one of the best and most important ones that set the standard for many years to come.