Top 18 Romance Anime to Make Your Icy Heart Melt!
Love is a wonderful feeling. A flame that can not be put down, love is that feeling that no words can be explained…unless its an anime! Romance anime are one of the most popular anime to date. With over hundreds of titles to choose from, you will get to see love bloom, heart breaks, meltdowns, relationships tested etc. Romance anime convey the feelings many of us go through in real life. Romance anime have been the pinnacle to anime Shojo anime, but now everyone can watch romance anime and enjoy them. In no particular order, here are our picks for the most romantic anime!
1. Fruits Basket - Studio Deen
Based on the global manga phenomenon by Natsuki Takaya, Tohru Honda's life is thrown into chaos after a tragedy thrusts her into the Sohma family and their strange curse-under duress or physical contact from the opposite sex, they transform into an animal of the Chinese zodiac. The relations built between Tohru and these twelve colorful characters is sweet and heartwarming of themselves, but the love that transpires, and the love triangles that develop from them, is what really makes it an amazing romance.
2. Toradora - J.C. Staff
Based on the light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya, opposites attract has gone never more wrong. Ryuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka can't stand each other (hence the tiger vs dragon motifs EVERYWHERE), but they're crushing hard on each other's best friends. It goes about as well as you can imagine. Through the comedy, the fights, and lighthearted atmosphere, this romantic coming of age story about overcoming differences and going through change during that make this one romance that's a battle for the ages.
3. Clannad - Kyoto Animation
Based on Key's visual novel series, grab your Kleenex boxes and prepare to cry yourself to sleep for days to come. This sweet, heartwrenching romance couldn't make us fans fall in love faster...Only to rip it, and our hearts, right out from under us. Tomoya Okazaki's coming of age journey is one of love, loss, and loving again is one that will resonate for a long time. Unless you're heartless.
4. Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama - J.C. Staff
Based on the manga by Hiro Fujiwara, this romantic comedy brings something new to an old echoed cliche. Misaki Ayazuwa, the first female student body president in the once all-boys Seika High School is tough-as-nails and scares the crap out of the male majority classmates. But when smart, popular, athletic,and all-around insufferable Takumi Usui discovers that she works part time at a MAID CAFE (le gasp!), a strange, comedic romance is created. While it does share too many similarities to the classic Kare Kano with a modern and comedic twist, the way the protagonists' chemistry in this series plays out makes it a stand-out romcom!
5. Nisekoi - Shaft
Based on the popular Shounen Jump manga by Naoshi Komi (that only VERY recently ended its run in Weekly Jump), Nisekoi is a romance that stands on its own. It follows the tumultulous fake love life of Raku Ichijou and Chitoge Kirisaki, children of rival gangs who have to be in a pretend relationship for the sake of the peace. Along the way, Raku collects himself quite the female following, as what Shounen Jump romance doesn't have a harem, but with all the ways every character interacts and really feels, it really does touch hearts enough to be a great romance, even for certain people who can't stand harems anime.
6. Kimi Ni Todoke - Production I.G.
Based on the manga by Karuho Shiina, this ugly duckling shoujo romance touches so many old and cliched notes in that PERFECTLY right way, it's hard not to like it! Sawako Kuronoma is always compared to The Ring's Sadako and just can't catch a break. Everyone either fears her or makes fun of her, making her friendless and lonely. However, her world changes when her idol and crush, Shouta Kazehaya, starts talking to her, and thus begins one of the most sweet, innocent, and heartfelt school romances to ever grace the anime scene.
7. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun - Doga Kobo
Based on the hilarious webcomic by Izumi Tsubaki, and the only entry here based on a webcomic, this romance is good not for its atmosphere, or romantic exploits, or feelings of love, but its honest and tongue-in-cheek humor it pokes at romance and the shoujo genre in general. Chiyo Sakura confesses to her classmate and crush, Umetarou Nozaki....Only be ridiculously misunderstood, and to find out that he's a shoujo manga artist! In her quest to get him to understand her feelings for him, she accidentally becomes his assistant and they end up finding love everywhere else for their manga. It's a cute romance that focuses on the love stories outside of the protagonists', and definitely pokes fun at the fact that most shoujo manga artists (or rather, all manga artists in general) are creating a love story they don't and probably never will know.
8. Chobits - Madhouse
Based on world-renowned CLAMP's amazing manga, this love between man and machine stays relevant and true to this day. Hideki Motosuwa finds an abandoned computer named Chi, and in the sometimes comical, risque, but always interesting quest to find her origins, falls in love with her. A very postmodern love story in an age that resonates so much stronger now in our age of technological advancement, this is a love story that defies boundaries between two worlds, and really makes fans think.
9. Eureka Seven - Studio Bones
In this worldwide smash hit sci-fi, Renton Thruston discovers Nirvash, a mech from the remains of Earth, and its pilot, a beautiful human-form Coralian known as Eureka. This kick-starts a mission to return humans to Earth he never knew about from his father and sister, that tests him, his friends, his will, and his and Eureka's love all the way through. Considered a gateway anime, it make a beautiful romance because all the drama and unnecesary fluff so staple in other romances is done away, leaving only an amazing science fiction adventure full of love from all sides.
10. Lovely Complex - Toei Animation
Also known as LoveCom, based on Aya Nakahara's famous shoujo manga, this romantic comedy, like its name, oozes humor and distinct Kansai charm. Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani are both height-challenged and love challenged. Risa's too tall for a girl, and Atsushi's too short for a boy (according to Japanese norms of course). This "lovely complex" makes them good friends, so it's no surprise that when they fall in love in summer school, they'll do anything to help the other get their crush!...Only to have it fail spectacularly. A very funny and sweet love story based on friendship, overcoming societal expectations and differences, and just keeping your head up, this is one romcom that just fills up on the fuzzies.
11. Sukitte Ii Na Yo (Say "I Love You") - Zecxs
Based on the manga by Kanae Hazuki, this roller coaster of a love story stars Mei Tachibana, a cynical girl who has turned her back on relationships after a cruel betrayal from her old friends, and Yamato Kurosawa, the most popular boy in school who hasn't held interest in anyone in a long time. This romance hits home for some of us who have been through one or two too many bad friendships and relationships, but also the depths of each character is worth sticking with.
12. Ao Haru Ride - Production I.G.
Based on the manga by Io Sakisaka, this romance has taken the anime and manga world by storm, spawning light novels and a live-action movie adaptation. Futaba Yoshioka plays herself up as someone else to keep herself from getting ostracized. Only when she meets fellow outcast, Yuri Makita, does she decide to be true to herself. Founding a school commitee of outcasts does her good, until she runs into her old friend Kou Tanaka, who is now a completely changed person. Being forced to work together, they must confront their pasts, their present crushing and hating of each other, and their future relationships. Ride is an understatement for the emotional roller coaster this love story is, but its one that is familiar to many of us on some level.
13. Inu X Boku SS - David Production
Loosely based on Cocoa Fujiwara's popular manga, this fantastical romantic comedy is a short but sweet taste of the bigger picture. The story focuses on the Maison de' Ayakashi, or the Ayakashikan, a high security apartment complex for the part-demon children of Japan's wealthiest families. Ririchiyo Shirakiin is its newest tenant, and is assigned Soushi Miketsukami as her secret service (SS) agent. The hijnks of his very obvious adoration of her, and the chaos of living with the other tenants, is one that can't be missed. The romance is light, but painfully obvious, and it really is a shame the anime does not carry on with the development of the manga, which I recommend reading.
14. Akatsuki No Yona - Studio Pierrot
Based on Mizuho Kusanagi's manga, this fantasy epic makes an epic, action-packed romance. Princess Yona of Kouka is on the run when her childhood friend, Soon-won, kills her father on her sixteenth birthday. Along with her bodyguard Son-Hak, and their motley crew, they venture to find the dragon warriors of Kouka to avenge her father and redeem herself as princess, and friend, to Son-Hak. This is an action series that holds romance between its characters very well. Much like Inuyasha or Ranma 1/2, there's just as much love in this series as there is ass-whooping.
15. Ore Monogatari!! - Madhouse
Based on the hilarious manga by Kazune Kawahara, this is NOT your usual love story. Starring Takeo Gouda, a tall, hulking and intimidating-looking high schooler, his usual poor luck in love finally changes after saving Rinko Yamato, who actually likes him back!....Too bad he thinks she has a crush on his pretty boy best friend, Makoto Sunakawa, like every other girl he's ever known. A sweet and innocent love story with a twist, this series is great for warming the heart and getting those hearty, belly laughs out!
16. Kamisama Hajimemashita - TMS Entertainment
Also known and Kamisama Kiss, based on the manga by Julietta Suzuki, this human-youkai love story is simple and sweet in its familiarity. Nanami Momozono has just lost her house after her gambling-addict father upped and left. Wandering the streets, she saves a strange man hanging from a tree, terrified of a dog. He introduces himself as Mikage and offers her a place to stay. What he forgot to mention was that this place is a shrine, and she might have just gotten a promotion to become a god. Working with Mikage's familiar, Tomoe, they develop an interesting but taboo relationship that defies the laws between humans and gods.
17. Gravitation - Studio Deen
Based on the manga by Maki Murakami, this BL/yaoi romance, this series might as well have started the fujoushi revolution. Shuichi Shindou, an aspiring rock star from the band Bad Luck, has a run-in with romance novelist Eiri Yuki, and after having his song lyrics harshly insulted, their strange interest in each other turns into something more. This is a funny romance series with plenty of drama and angst to keep up with all the K-drama and J-drama shenanigans female fans want and expect out of a good love story, with the plus of this being between two very attractive men.
18. Kimi No Na Wa - CoMix Wave Films
While a very recent addition, this worldwide hit anime movie, based on Makoto Shinkai's novel, is a cinematic marvel. Mitsuya Miyamizu is a high school girl bored of her rural life, wishing to be a Tokyo city boy in her next life. Taki Tachibana, a normal Tokyo high school boy, wakes up one morning in Mitsuya's body. And thus begins this strange relationship born from a bizzare body-swap. As they get used to each other though, they shift back to their own bodies, and lose their memories of each other, where the drama of the love begins, and ends. Less of a love story and more of an experience, this movie will make you cry, like love in all its bittersweet glory.