The world of anime would be incomplete without romance. Some of the most heartwarming and beautiful romantic stories have come from anime, and fans all over the world continue to fall in love as new characters and storylines are introduced from different talented storytellers.
While some of these stories fall into the romance anime movies category, some like to be stretched out, offering a longer watch time and a deeper dive into the lives of the characters that make up the plot. There are a number of masterfully written romance anime television series out there, but here are 10 you need to add to your watchlist as soon as possible. There’s something for every type of watcher, as some of the romance is intertwined with other interesting genres.
Released in 2021, HoriMiya is one of the most recent anime series on this list. It’s a classic tale of opposites attracting, and modernized to depict today’s evolving culture. When two high schoolers — who couldn’t be further apart— unexpectedly run into each other, an exciting relationship blossoms. Both leads are very different, but share unique traits that make them more relatable to each other, than the people around them. There are hilarious laugh-out-loud moments in the series, but the romantic connections are what make HoriMiya worth the watch.
One of the most popular romance anime series, Clannad centers around a hopeful young girl who is held back for a year at school due to an illness and the uninspired delinquent she befriends. As the two become closer, he finds there’s much more to life, and attempts to help her and four other girls overcome their problems. A story about love and friendship, Clannad is a well-written anime with characters to cheer on.
Your Lie in April
An emotional journey lasting 23 episodes, Your Lie in April follows a highly skilled pianist, Kousei, whose mother’s death causes him to part with the instrument, up until a free-spirited violinist, Miyazono, comes into his life and lifts his spirit. On the surface, this series may seem like a typical love-at-first-sight romance, but it is a much wider story, highlighting mental struggles, PTSD, and other subplots.
Ouran High School Host Club
This 26-episode series ran for just one season, but offered more than enough development for all the main characters in the show. Ouran High School Host Club follows a well-to-do girl who has to pay off a large debt by working in a host club at a prestigious school and passing as a boy. The lighthearted show is a fun watch and offers more than enough romance and comedy to keep you entertained, as well as a lovable cast of very rich, kindhearted characters.
The World’s Greatest First Love
A show about falling in love again with the same person, The World’s Greatest First Love is a touching show with relatable themes. When two former high school lovers are reunited in the workplace several years later, sparks seemingly start to fly again, but the initial heartbreak may have made things a little too complicated. The World’s Greatest First Love explores loving the same person at different times, and does so carefully and brilliantly.
My Dress-Up Darling
My Dress-Up Darling is a 2022 anime with some of the most fluid animation styles ever. When a lonely seamster, and a charismatic, popular girl who loves to cosplay meet, it’s a match made in dress-up heaven. As they begin to spend more time together, a beautiful relationship forms and they connect as opposites. The series is a breath of fresh air with its unique storyline, characters to root for, and excellent voice acting.
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
This show has been a hit since its debut in 2019. In Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, the student council president and vice president of a very prestigious and elite school are each aware of the other’s affection for them, but refuse to be the first to admit this. Out of pride, the two develop schemes in order to get the other to admit their love. It’s fun and exciting watching the two go back and forth to ensure the other confesses, as the first to do so will be deemed lesser and weaker. Along the way, the duo and their friends bring an interesting plot to life.
A unique and emotional rollercoaster of a series, Fruits Basket details the life of a young homeless girl who is welcomed into the home of a wealthy family, but discovers that the members share a very dark secret: they turn into animals of the Chinese zodiac whenever hugged by people of the opposite sex. As she tries to help them lift the curse, she goes through the emotional journey of assisting them in dealing with the problem. The soundtrack tugs at the heart, and the characters are truly inspiring as they are determined not to be weighed down by the curse.
A stunning and beautifully drawn series, Violet Evergarden ranks high for romance lovers and is hard to fault. From an emotionally gripping soundtrack to its refreshing plot, this show is acclaimed for its beautiful story. Leading the animation is the titular character, a former war robot, who is left without emotions and must find meaning in her life and her past through her new work as a ghostwriter. A coming-of-age anime that has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and fans alike, Violet Evergarden should be on any romance buff’s list.
Given is an anime sleeper-hit. A story about musicians and their different journeys to music, the series is a fun escape for watchers who want a simple love story. Given takes it up a notch with the art style and the wonderful musical moments that provide something different from other romantic anime series. There is also brilliant character development as the show takes a couple of emotional deep dives.
If romantic anime is your jam, any one of these series will be a fun and enigmatic ride.