A good romance can make anyone’s heart skip a beat, and few animated forms do it better than anime. Countless romantic stories have been told through Japanese animation over the years, ranging from comedic to deep and heartbreaking. So, here’s our list of the 15+ Best Romance Anime of All Time as of July 2022!
15. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
Wotakoi is a lighthearted romantic comedy that takes place in a workplace instead of the typical high school setting. It is the perfect anime for you if you’re not into high school rom-coms with harems and the like.
Narumi is a typical office worker who struggles to strike a work-life balance. In particular, she has difficulty concealing her otaku tendencies from the rest of her coworkers. And she has trouble dating while hiding her otaku self. Her love interest, Hirotaka, sees no problem with her discussing her hobbies at work and accepts her for who she is. He suggests she try dating a fellow otaku, referring to himself. He promises to always be there for her, to support her, and to help her farm for rare drops in Monster Hunter. Surprised by the proposal, Narumi agrees immediately, and thus the two otaku start dating, and their adorably awkward romantic comedy begins.
14. Teasing Master Takagi-san
Having a friend who knows you from head to toe should be beneficial, but in Nishikata’s case, the opposite is true.
Takagi, his classmate, loves to tease him on a daily basis, and she uses her extensive knowledge of his behavior to predict exactly how he will react to her teasing, making a successful comeback nearly impossible for Nishikata. Regardless, Nishikata vows to one day give Takagi a taste of her own medicine by making her blush from embarrassment as a result of his teasing.
Teasing Master Takagi-san is the story of two backbenchers, or more specifically, the daily life of a boy named Nishikata who is teased by his bench mate Takagi who constantly plays mind games on him. It is one of the most wholesome romance anime ever made and I highly recommend you to watch it.
While most romance anime keep viewers hooked with a cat-and-mouse game of will-they-won’t-they, Horimiya gets right to the point and gets the confession out of the way right away. It depicts the ups and downs of a high school relationship through the eyes of the two main characters, Shoko Hori and Izumi Miyamura.
It is a beautifully crafted anime with gleaming character art, bright lighting, realistic backgrounds, and glittery visual effects. Every voice actor’s performance is appropriate for their character.
Horimiya’s simplicity distinguishes it from other rom-coms, and is one of the reasons why the manga was so popular long before the adaptation.
12. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! explores the concept of chunibyo, also known as the eighth grader syndrome. Yuuta, our protagonist, wants to put his chunibyo past behind him and live a normal social life, but when he meets Rikka, those wishes seem painfully out of reach. Rikka is deeply immersed in the chunibyo lifestyle and wants Yuuta to join her at any cost.
Rikka’s antics are absurdly funny, but the anime is also deeply emotional as you watch the two of them grow closer. It is one of the funniest anime I’ve watched and you should definitely watch it.
Nana is a critically acclaimed josei series that every fan should watch at least once. Nana Komatsu came from a low-income family but gave up everything to move to Tokyo with her boyfriend. Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is a punk rock queen who sings in a band and moved away from her hometown to pursue her musical dreams. They become the best of friends.
It is one of the most famous and popular shoujo of all time, it’s an anime that everyone, a romance fan or not, should watch. A little unharming spoiler, things don’t go the way you might expect.
10. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai begins seemingly normal, but then takes an unexpected supernatural turn that distinguishes it from its contemporaries. Sakuta Azusagawa’s seemingly normal life as a high school student changes dramatically when he meets Sakurajima Mai, a girl in a bunny girl costume who appears to be invisible to others.
At first, I was against putting this one on the list but, I changed my mind after considering Sakurajima Mai’s popularity. I’m personally not a big fan of this anime but, social media thinks otherwise so, be sure to watch it.
9. Yona of the Dawn
Princess Yona lives a sheltered but peaceful life in the kingdom of Kouka with her pacifist father, King II. Yona’s only difficulties in life are her unruly red hair and convincing her father to let her marry her cousin, Soo-wan, surrounded by attentive servants and protected by her bodyguard Hak. However, on the night of her 16th birthday, Yona loses everything she holds dear and is forced to flee the castle. With no one to defend her but Hak, Yona realizes she must become strong if she is to survive. She sets out in search of allies, and an ancient legend involving the Crimson Dragon King and his four Dragon Warriors may hold the key to reclaiming her kingdom.
Yona of the Dawn is a fantastic romance anime with amazing animation, well-written side characters (unlike a lot of other romance anime out there), and humor with plenty of action-packed moments.
If you’re looking for an amazing shoujo anime with a strong female lead or even if you’ve never watched a shoujo anime before but are just curious, then Yona of the Dawn is a must-watch for you.
8. Maid Sama!
Maid-Sama! is a shojo series that has become a modern classic because of its popularity. Misaki is the main character of this anime. She is very independent and works at a maid cafe when she is not in school to make money. She is one of the best heroines in the genre because she doesn’t put up with anyone’s nonsense.
Takumi, Misaki’s love interest, frequently visits the cafe to get under her skin. Though initially annoyed, Misaki comes to appreciate his behavior and the fact that he would go to any length to protect her.
7. Your Lie in April
Alternative Title: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
If you like tear-jerking stories and like to put yourself through immense pain and suffering, then Your Lie in April is the must-watch anime for you.
This anime is about a piano prodigy named Kosei Arima who could no longer play after the sudden death of his mother. The trauma from his mother’s death makes him unable to hear the sound of a piano.
However, Kosei eventually meets Kaori, an anemic violinist who, despite her failing health, never gives up on life. Seeing her, Kosei is inspired to play again, and the two become closer as they share a love and appreciation for music.
6. Monogatari Series: Second Season
Tsubasa Hanekawa, the group’s modest genius; Shinobu Oshino, the resident doughnut-loving vampire; athletic deviant Suruga Kanbaru; bite-happy spirit Mayoi Hachikuji; Koyomi’s cutesy stalker Nadeko Sengoku; and Hitagi Senjogahara, the poignant tsundere continue to manifest around Koyomi Araragi and his close-knit group
The Monogatari Series: Second Season revolves around these individuals and their struggle to overcome the impending darkness. A new semester has begun, and with graduation fast approaching, Araragi must quickly decide which paths he will take, as well as which relationships and friends he will save.
Clannad is a pretty well-known anime within the community and there’s a good reason behind its popularity. The world is well developed, the characters are detailed and intertwined, and the writing is realistic.
It’s about Tomoya Okazaki, a high school student who is left to pick up the pieces after his mother dies, and he never sees his father because he is always working. He goes to school, but he seems to be on autopilot.
But soon, everything changes when he meets Nagisa, a girl who is repeating a year because she was out sick for most of the previous year. Tomoya decides to help her out and they join the drama club. This makes both of them feel excited about life again. The series follows them from their teenage years through adulthood when they get married. Unfortunately, this one does not have a happy ending but, I’d still highly recommend watching it.
4. Oregairu: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
Alternative Title: Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru
Hachiman Hikigaya is a cynical high school student who exhibits narcissistic and semi-nihilistic tendencies. He is convinced that joyful youth is a farce, and that anyone who claims otherwise is deceiving themselves.
Hachiman’s teacher makes him join the Volunteer Social Club in order to change his behavior. Members of this club strive to assist other students in achieving their goals. Yukino, the only other member, is a loner with a similar attitude. They work together to solve people’s problems and grow closer over time.
This is one of the most underrated anime out there and you should definitely give it a watch if you haven’t yet.
Toradora! is a romantic comedy that follows Ryuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka as they set out to help each other with their crushes, forming an unlikely alliance in the process.
Despite her cute, fragile appearance, Taiga Aisaka is a total tsundere. Her love interest is Ryuji Takasu, a gentle soul who enjoys cleaning and housekeeping. They initially despised each other, but quickly realized they were in love. Taiga goes through a lot of admirable character development throughout the series, and she’s a fantastic protagonist with a lot of depth.
2. Fruits Basket
For all the female anime fans out there, I don’t think there are any of you who haven’t yet watched or at least heard about this anime. Fruits Basket is one of the most popular romance anime of all time, second only to Kaguya-sama: Love is War.
At first glance, Fruits Basket just looks like a cliche shoujo anime where the kind and pure girl gets all the pretty boys, and it’s just that. But, here’s the thing, there’s something special about the way the characters grow and interact with each other as the story progresses.
The story begins with Tohru Honda, a typical Japanese girl who lost her mother in an accident and was living alone in a tent on the Sohmas’ property (unknowingly). To her surprise, after finding out about her situation, they accept her in their home in exchange for her doing all of the housework. The story starts getting interesting when she finds out that the family has been cursed and that when they’re hugged by a person of the opposite sex they are transformed into the animals who cursed them!
1. Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Kaguya and Miyuki both have feelings for each other, but they’re both so prideful that confessing themselves isn’t even an option. They force each other through ridiculous mind games that they think will force the other to finally surrender and confess their feelings.
The pacing in this anime is perfect and every episode has amazing humor that will make you laugh out loud. The characters here are lovable and don’t even get me started on the narrator. When I first started watching Kaguya-sama: Love is War, I was shocked by how good the narrator was. Some might even go as far as saying that he’s the best character in the anime (after Hayasaka of course). Another thing I love about this anime is the fact that you can randomly open any episode out of the three seasons and you’ll still get what’s going on in the episode and enjoy it nonetheless.
As an enlightened echidna enthusiast once said, “Kaguya-sama: Love is War is physical proof that we’re currently living in the peak era of anime” and like him, I highly recommend you to watch it.
BONUS: My Dress-Up Darling
Wakana Gojo is obsessed with making hina dolls, but he’s a social outcast because people mock him for his interests. Marin Kitagawa is the most popular girl at school, and she is immediately drawn to his hobby. Wakana agrees to assist Marin in creating a cosplay of one of her favorite anime characters, and they end up bonding over their shared interests.
My Dress-Up Darling was one of the most popular anime of winter 2022. It’s a unique romance anime centered around the cosplay culture, but the main highlight of the show is obviously Kitagawa Marin.
Considering its popularity, I believe most of you have already watched it, but if you haven’t, go watch it right now!
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