Which is the best anime genre for you? For both boys and girls, romance has been one of the most popular categories for a long time while it is also familiar to fans of movies, television series and novels. In stead of powerful battles and grand adventures, romance anime focuses on relationships between protagonists, heroines and side characters representing their emotions.
The classic anime genre has been divided into some subgenres such as rom-com and romantic drama and been mixed with other famous genres including fantasy and slice of life lately. For every anime fan, I’d like to recommend these best romance anime of all time consisting of the newly started series and the long-established masterpieces.
Let’s take a look at the ranking of the greatest romance anime!
1. Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット) is one of the most popular romance anime series, also categorized as drama and fantasy. It’s adapted from Natsuki Takaya’s manga serialized on Hana to Yume between 1998 and 2006. The classic romance anime is divided into two versions: 2001’s anime series consisting of 26 episodes made by Studio Deen and 2019’s anime series comprising 63 episodes by TMS Entertainment. It’s now recommended to watch the latter three seasons instead of the former with the different climax from the original manga story.
Set in a fictional Tokyo, Fruits Basket centers on a high school student Tohru Honda and thirteen members of the Soma family who are obsessed with the Chinese zodiac. Tohru, a lonely girl who lost her parents, becomes a resident of the house of her classmate Yuki Soma. She gets involved in each member of the Soma family including Yuki, the rat of the Chinese zodiac; Kyo, the cat excluded from the group of the twelve animals.
2. Domestic Girlfriend
Presenting a romance story mixed with comedy and serious stuff, Domestic Girlfriend (ドメスティックな彼女) aired with 12 episodes in 2019. Its original manga series written by Kei Sasuga and serialized on Weekly Shonen Magazine from 2014 to 2020 was made into the anime adaptation by an anime studio Diomedéa.
Domestic Girlfriend includes casual rom-com essences as well as somber reality like neglect and drug dependence. It introduces a 17 years old high school boy Natsuo Fujii, who gives his heart to an English teacher in the high school. He meets a same-aged girl Rui Tachibana at a student matchmaking party and gets intimate with her. He finds out his father’s new partner has two daughters and recognizes familiar faces.
3. My Happy Marriage
Released in 2023, My Happy Marriage (わたしの幸せな結婚) is a romance anime that deviates from the usual young love or romantic comedy tropes, delving into deeper emotional drama. Originally, it was a light novel series penned by Akumi Agitogi starting from 2019. The story caught such attention that by the summer of 2023, it was adapted into an anime by Kinema Citrus, subsequently earning acclaim worldwide. The anime uniquely combines elements of romance with fantasy, crafting a singular and captivating universe that stands out in the anime world.
In a world where individuals wield Supernatural Abilities to combat malevolent spirits and demons, Miyo Saimori faces societal neglect due to her absence of such powers. As she grapples with her beloved’s commitment to her sister, fate intertwines her with Kiyoka Kudou, the enigmatic 27-year-old leader of the esteemed Kudou family. Widely rumored to be an impassive and fierce warrior, many women have shied away from the prospect of being Kiyoka’s life partner. Yet, as Miyo delves deeper into their marital life, she discovers layers to Kiyoka that contradict the circulating tales. The narrative not only highlights Miyo’s transformative journey through wedlock but also seamlessly melds fantasy elements with intricately detailed traditional Japanese cultural nuances.
Wasn't My Happy Marriage possibly the most beautiful anime of 2023? It was also a production with almost no pre-broadcas[…]
4. My Little Monster
A lot of selling rom-com manga have been adapted into a variety of media including anime, films and games. My Little Monster (となりの怪物くん) is a famous romantic comedy anime series, based on Robico’s manga series serialized on a shojo manga magazine Dessert between 2008 and 2013. The anime adaptation comprising 13 episodes was made by Brain’s Base in 2012.
My Little Monster casts a spotlight on a first-grade high school girl, who has only cared about her study to become a lawyer that is her mother’s occupation. The romantic story also places an emphasis on Haru Yoshida, a truant classmate seated next to her. Shizuku has gained the favor of him unexpectedly since she was asked to deliver handouts to him by their teacher.
5. After the Rain
After the Rain (恋は雨上がりのように) is one of the top-rated romance anime in the late 2010s, which is composed of 12 episodes made by Wit Studio. It is adapted from the same-titled romance manga that was serialized on seinen manga magazines Monthly Big Comic Spirits and Weekly Big Comic Spirits between 2014 and 2018. Its live-action film was also released in 2018, which is the same year as the anime series.
Set in a seaside town, After the Rain portrays a little complicated romantic situation of Akira Tachibana, a 17-year-old high schooler and a part-timer of the family restaurant Cafe Restaurant Garden. The emotionally inexpressive waiter likes Masami Kondo, a 45-year-old manager of the family restaurant, personally.
6. The Quintessential Quintuplets
The Quintessential Quintuplets (五等分の花嫁) is one of the most successful romance anime mixed with comedy and harem in the recent past. It started with 12 episodes in 2019, made by Tezuka Productions. The second season comprising 12 episodes was made by the different studio Bibury Animation Studios. Based on the manga serialized on Weekly Shonen Magazine between 2017 and 2020, the anime series was completed with the first and final anime movie released in May, 2022.
The Quintessential Quintuplets presents a slice-of-life story of poor diligent high schooler Futaro Uesugi and quintuplet sisters of the rich Nakano family. After accepting a lectureship for the five girls as a home teacher, he gets closer to each of the sisters with various personalities. In the beginning of the story, it suggests a future for his marriage with one of the Nakano Quintuplets.
7. Your Lie in April
As one of the most popular romance anime in the 2010s, Your Lie in April (四月は君の嘘) has been watched by lots of anime fans worldwide. It was broadcast with 22 episodes from 2014 to 2015, adapted from the 11-volume manga series written by Naoshi Arakawa by a famous anime studio A-1 Pictures. It’s also known that the romantic drama series was made into a live-action film in 2016.
Your Lie in April presents a coming-of-age story of a young talented pianist Kosei Arima and an energetic violinist Kaori Miyazono. Kosei quit playing the piano when his mother passed away while he used to be known as the “Human Metronome” for his mechanical accuracy. One day, he meets her as a childhood friend of Tsubaki Sawabe, who is also a classmate of Kaori, and is inspired to play the piano again by her. The title of the anime represents a lie shared with Kosei and Kaori becomes a key.
Bakuman. (バクマン。) is a famous manga and anime series categorized as coming-of-age, comedy and romance. There are three seasons including 75 episodes aired from 2010 to 2013 in the anime series, made by J.C.Staff. It is adapted from Weekly Shonen Jump’s manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, who are also famous for Death Note.
Bakuman. tells the story of two young manga creators: a talented illustrator Moritaka Mashiro and a smart writer Akito Takagi. Akito asks his classmate Moritaka to make manga together, and they decide to complete a successful manga to be serialized on the most popular manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. It focuses on how manga megahits are created by manga artists and publishing companies. At the same time, Bakuman. depicts pure love between Moritaka and a heroine Miho Azuki, who dreams to become an anime voice actress.
9. Ao Haru Ride
For anime fans who like quality typical romance series, Ao Haru Ride (アオハライド), which is also known as Blue Spring Ride, is recommended to watch now. The romantic drama anime mixed with coming of age aired with 12 episodes, made by Production I.G. It is based on the original manga series written by Io Sakisaka, which consists of 13 volumes serialized on Bessatsu Margaret from 2011 to 2015. Its live-action film adaptation in 2014 also sparked its boom.
Ao Haru Ride follows a high school girl Futaba Yoshioka, who worries about how she builds relationships and gets along with friends. The story begins when she meets Kou Mabuchi at the high school, who suddenly went to another middle school without notice. Kou, whose last name was Tanaka when they were middle school students, is the one Futaba fell in love with for the first time. Ao Haru Ride focuses on what happened to Kou in the blank past three years, filled with all youthful problems related to love, friendship and family.
There are many popular school-themed romance anime set in fictional high schools. Horimiya (ホリミヤ) has been highly rated since it was broadcasted with 13 episodes in 2021. By a growing anime studio CloverWorks, it is adapted from the original manga series written by Hero and illustrated by Daisuke Hagiwara from 2011 to 2021. It is less known that the previous version of the Horimiya anime titled Hori-san to Miyamura-kun was released as OVAs between 2012 and 2021, based on the very first same titled manga made by Hero.
Horimiya concentrates on a relationship between a popular cheerful high school student Kyoko Hori and her quiet classmate Izumi Miyamura. One day, Kyoto finds Izumi completely becomes someone else hiding his real personality and appearance in the school. He tries to maintain a low profile wearing glasses but is actually the boy who has nice lip and ear piercings. They get closer to each other since he takes her injured brother to her house.
11. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War (かぐや様は告らせたい〜天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦〜) is one of the most popular recent romance and comedy anime, starting with its first season in 2019. And then, the second and third seasons were made by A-1 Pictures in 2020 and 2022, based on Aka Akasaka’s masterpiece manga serialized since 2015. There are 37 episodes in the anime series so far and two live-action films released in 2019 and 2021 as well as the latest anime movie The First Kiss That Never Ends in December 2022.
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is dominated by two prideful high school students Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane. The rom-com story focuses on busy days of the Shuchiin Academy’s student council, which is led by the council president Miyuki and the vice president Kaguya. They use all sorts of techniques to inspire them to profess their love for each other. There are more attractive side characters including a student council secretary Chika Fujiwara and a Kaguya’s maid Ai Hayasaka.
12. Call of the Night
Call of the Night (よふかしのうた) is an outstanding romantic comedy and fantasy anime series airing in the summer of 2022. Written by Kotoyama, its manga series has been serialized on Weekly Shonen Sunday since 2019, which is made into the anime adaptation by a modern anime studio Liden Films with a director Tomoyuki Itamura, who is also known for Monogatari Series.
Call of the Night depicts a freewheeling night life of a truant second-grade middle schooler Ko Yamori. Feeling more comfortable at midnight, he encounters a mysterious pink-hair girl Nazuna Nanakusa. She turns out to be a vampire, and he asks her to turn him into a vampire. Holding some personal problems, Ko tries everything to fall in love with Nazuna, which is the conditions for him to become her relation.
▽Enjoy the following story after the anime in the manga series!▽
Anime fans have received lots of new high-quality anime with pleasure every season and have missed them since the incomp[…]
13. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You
A famous shojo manga and anime series Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (君に届け) should be listed on the top romance anime recommendations. Written by Karuho Shiina, the manga series has been serialized on Bessatsu Margaret from 2006 to 2017. It was made into the anime adaptation composed of 25 episodes by Production I.G in 2009-2010, followed by the 13-episode second season in 2011. Its live-action film released in 2010 also had a good reception.
Set in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture in Japan, Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You focuses on the high school life of a 15-year-old girl Sawako Kuronuma. In contrast with her pure and honest personality, her appearance with black long hair that looks like a horror movie’s character Sadako is feared by people around her. A popular classmate Shota Kazehaya gets along with her unlike other classmates, which changes her school days.
Weekly Shonen Jump, the most popular shonen manga magazine, always has a nice romance and comedy manga’s serialization, and Nisekoi (ニセコイ) is the one of them running in the 2010s. Based on Naoshi Komi’s manga serialized from 2011 to 2016, two seasons of its anime adaptation made by the studio Shaft were broadcast with 32 episodes in 2014 and 2015.
The harem romantic-comedy anime tells the story of a high school boy Raku Ichijo, who promised to marry a girl receiving a secret key from her 10 years ago. After a transfer student Chitoge Kirisaki comes to his school, he is forced to have afake relationship with her due to the circumstances of their Yakuza and gang families. He comes to think of her as the girl he promised to marry in their childhood. On the other hand, he finds out one of his classmates Kosaki Onodera holds the secret key.
15. Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You
Many modern rated romance anime are classified into romantic comedy, and Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You (トニカクカワイイ), which is also known as Fly Me to the Moon, is a popular recent rom-com anime series airing in 2020. Serialized on Weekly Shonen Sunday since 2018, its original manga has been created by Kenjiro Hata, who is also known for Hayate the Combat Butler. 12 episodes of the first season were made by Seven Arcs.
Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You begins when a love relationship is fulfilled while almost all romance anime set the goal of succeed in love between a protagonist and a heroine. A studious middle schooler Nasa Yuzaki meets a beautiful girl Tsukasa and falls in love her for her cuteness off the charts at once. Responding to his confession, she answers yes if he marries her. When he reaches a marrying age 18, she shows up on his doorstep.
Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You, centering on Nasa and Tsukasa's peculiar marriage situation, gives a fresh twist to the[…]
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