If you love colorful love and romance, mixed with moments of passion, then you’ll love the romance anime genre. There are many plot twists with drama and comedy mixed in, but overall, everything leads back to love. There is more love in a Japanese anime than there is in a Hollywood romance blockbuster.
Below you will find some of my very best personal favorites of romantic anime. In no particular order, this list will be expanded once I have more free time to watch more anime series. Make no mistake, romantic anime is very different from cartoons that you might watch on TV. It has a heart like no other anime series.
Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride)
Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You)
Kimi to Boku
Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover)
Kaichō wa Meido-sama! (Maid Sama!)
Ao Haru Ride
Ao Haru Ride is a visually great romantic style comedy. It’s about a typical adolescent girl, who falls in love with Kou Tanaka in middle school. The only thing is Futaba Yoshioka doesn’t reveal her feelings, as she has been excluded from hanging around with the other girls, as she looks too cute. She has a few close encounters with Tanaka that help her fall head over heels for him, yet before she can tell him how she feels, he is gone. They only then meet up again in high school, where they confess their feelings for each other, but Yoshioka’s behavior has since changed, and she has become more popular toyboy. Will their love for each other still shine through?
This anime is sweet and melancholic, and very reminiscent of high school love that we all go through. The animation is very atmospheric and amazingly created like watercolor art. The characters are portrayed well, and there is more than just the romance of the two main characters, there are a few subplots between friends. There are twelve episodes that everything is crammed into, and if you like a heartwarming story, mixed with true teenage love, you will really like this anime.
Kimi ni Todoke
Kimi ni Todoke is about an awkward young girl who seems to be misunderstood by her classmates, and peers. Sawako Kuronuma is known as Sadako by her classmates, as she resembles the creepy character from the movie The Ring. However, she opens up emotionally after her crush, Kazehaya starts to take an interest in her. As he does, new opportunities with new friends and adventures begin to happen, and love between the two blossoms.
This is a great anime that you will probably be able to relate to if you have ever felt like an outsider at school. The soundtrack and the anime go hand in hand at keeping you enthralled about the journey of Kuronuma. You will really like the personality of this anime, as it’s socially awkward message is applicable to almost anyone at any age. So even if you are an adult you will love the heartfelt love between the two main characters.
If you are looking for an anime that is romantic, and mixed with a large touch of comedy, then you’ll love Toradora. It's a typical romantic mix up story, that has some great character acting in it. The story revolves around Ryuuji Takasu, who is considered to be a delinquent, due to just his face, yet underneath is a house working enthusiast, who becomes friends with Taiga Aisaka who looks small and fragile but is anything but. She is known about school as Palmtop Tiger and carries a wooden Katana.
This mix of drama and romance covers 25 episodes, and each is packed with great humor, and romance that will have your cuteness antennae on full alert! I love the feistiness of Aisaka, and her animations and figures of speech, as well as her character animation, are brilliant. She is so expressive and you will soon see her soft side, underneath that tough exterior.
Kimi to Boku
You won’t get bored watching Kimi to Boku, as it chronicles the lifestyle of students at a regular highschool. If your at this age you’ll find lots to relate to, as well as a romantic element that will keep you captivated to the very end of the series. This series demonstrates that you can pack particularly good love story elements into a series that has only 24 episodes. Although there is nothing breathtaking about the animation, there is a great storyline to keep your mind captivated and your interest sparked.
The anime focuses on the love interests, and pastimes of four boys who are always hanging out together, until a student who is half German appears, and they all befriend each other. With great stories that liven up the other 4 boys lives, Chizuru Tachibana manages to give the students a bit more adventure than they were expecting. Overall you will enjoy this anime if you have any doubts about how boring your own life is. It’s a fun anime with some lighthearted romance and drama at its center.
Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover)
Honey and Clover will warm your heart with its pastel color animation style, and soft color palette, it will have you deeply relaxed while watching. It is an anime series different from other romantic drama anime, as it tells the story of five students who live together, and how their lives are intertwined with love, and everyday struggles, some of which we all face. There will be at least one character that you can relate too.
It is a slower-paced anime compared to others, but don’t let that put you off. You can tell that attention to detail, and lots of care has gone into this series, of which there are 36 episodes. There are some twists and turns in the storyline, and plenty of honor, so if you want an anime that makes you appreciate the smaller things in life then this is the one you need to view.
Kaichō wa Maid-sama! (Maid Sama!)
The characters in this romantic drama are very relatable, as the main lead character Misaki Ayuzawa finds herself elected new school president, and a very likable student who gains the trust of the teachers, and other students. But she has a secret, she works in a local Maid Cafe, where one day the most popular boy in school, Takumi Usui stumbles upon her, and instead of revealing her secret, uses it to his advantage to get close to her. A relationship blossoms between the two.
The anime is comedic in nature, as Ayuzawa tries to keep her secret, and once she has the secret revealed the anime is beautiful at portraying her facial expressions. The storyline is more than just the main storyline, there is an amazing number of subplots that will also have you enthralled and on the edge of your seat. If you want to find a love story that resonates among generations, then you’ll be able to watch this as an adult or teenager, and still find a lot of amusement, and cuteness in it.
This is a strange yet self-revealing anime that follows the story of a young boy, who gives up on his dream of becoming a manga anime artist, only to have his notebook found by his friend, who says they should start a manga together. In the hopes that his high school sweetheart, Miho Azuki will become a voice actor in the series. Moritaka Mashiro stars brilliantly in this anime series and is voiced, as well as drawn expertly.
There is a large touch of romance in this anime, as the main character tries his best to work his way towards his sweetheart. It’s cool how you're watching an anime, where the star wants to create his own anime, so if you are a fan of drama, anime, and drawing, then you’ll love this great series. There are 20 episodes for you to enjoy, and if you like sweet romance anime, then you’ll definitely love this.