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Top 10 Best Romance Anime

Updated on August 25, 2016
Top 10 Best Romance Anime
Top 10 Best Romance Anime

It’s really not that hard to figure out what the romance genre in anime is all about. Essentially, it’s about love, romance, and the characters going all lovey-dovey. Usually, romantic moments and sweet moments come together. Bottom line is, this genre is about love and sweet moments—and most of the time there are added twists of drama and comedy.

As I’ve already watched plenty of romance anime, I’ve built a collection of my personal favorites. Ready or not, here they are!

10. Toradora


It’s romantic, it’s comedic! And even sometimes very dramatic! Toradora is one romance anime everyone can truly enjoy. From the beginning the characters are so fixated. Then their true feelings and emotions are revealed. Everything is executed perfectly. Some elements may seem very cliché, but believe me even those things are handled in a very brilliant way (so brilliant, you’ll get captivated and hooked by the story.

Takasu Ryuuji looks like a delinquent because of his intimidating eyes and stares. Aisaka Taiga, on the other hand looks small and gentle, but she is actually is as fierce as a tiger. Both Ryuuji and Taiga have their own crushes—coincidentally, on each other's best friends. So when Taiga mistakes Ryuuji’s bag for his best friend's, her secret crush is revealed. Now, Taiga is intent on pulverizing Ryuuji for knowing his secret, but he later discovers that Ryuuji also has a crush on her best friend. The two cooperate and forms a pact to help each other win-over their respective crushes.

Toradora! - Trailer

9. Lovely Complex


What can I say? If I can describe Lovely Complex in two words, I’d say “cute” and “sweet”! It’s in the name after all. It’s an adorable and super-sweet romantic-comedy love story.

High school guy Atsushi Otani is really short and Riza Koizumi is really tall for a teenage girl. Those traits wouldn’t really be an issue on their own, but, as extremes of one other in the same class these two tend to stand out as a perfect comedy duo. Being the opposites of each other, Otani and Risa are always arguing and bickering about their own complexes. But surprisingly, they have some particular similarities that only the two of them share. Hence, the start of their very sweet, very cute, very funny, and most of all . . . very lovely complex.

Lovely Complex - Trailer

8. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!


While Kaichou wa Maid-sama only has a basic and simple story, its set of characters (especially the leading characters) are so well made that they carry the story far enough to shine bright. The characters are very relatable and likable, and as much as there are romantic moments, there’s also the same number of quirky comedic moments that comes along with jest of the romance. Overall, Kaichou wa Maid-sama is a very heart-warming romantic-comedy anime that has little-to-no unnecessary complexities, which prompts it to deliver a pure love story with its own notable quirks and memorable moments.

When an all-boys school suddenly turns co-ed, the only foreseeable struggle that’s bound to happen is the new girl students are intimidated and feel awkward. Ayuzawa Misaki takes the responsibility of being the student council president in order to rule the school with an iron-fist and keep the balance in place (much to the boys’ disapproval because of her harshness towards them). To keep her appearances as the student council president with the iron-fist, Misaki has to keep her after school job a secret: she works as a very gentle and sophisticated maid in a café. One day, the popular heartthrob Usui Takumi finds out her well-kept secret.

Kaichou wa Maid-sama! - Trailer

7. Ao Haru Ride


Despite being a fairly recent (new) anime, Ao Haru Ride stands out as a great romance show that conforms with today’s standards. The art, visuals, and animation were superb (fitting of today’s expectations). The story? It wasn’t shabby at all! Actually, it was very pleasing and well-balanced. Plus, the characters and their development (especially romantic development) shined very brightly. Everything fell into place giving a perfect combination of elements befitting of a heartwarming story.

Having had been disliked by her classmates in middle school because of her cute girl features, Yoshioka Futaba had to push through, waiting for her middle school life to end so she could start anew. Because of this, she wasn’t able to confess her feelings to the boy she loved, Tanaka-kun. Now in high school, Yoshioka has changed her personality into something very unlady-like (opposite to what she was before) as to not repeat her experiences in middle school. Soon she meets her middle school crush again, but with a different name. Tanaka-kun is now Mabuchi Kou, and he reveals that he indeed liked Yoshioka as well in the past. But now, everything has changed. Have their feelings as well?

Ao Haru Ride - Trailer

6. Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo


Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo or also known as The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a show that tackles love and romance on a whole new level. I mean at first, it’ll give you the impression that it’s yet just another senseless harem anime with overblown clichés and fanservice, but that’s totally wrong! This show proves that it can be very complex, in a good way, while totally rubbing off the initial impressions. First, it doesn’t only talk about romance, it speaks of love (more on romantic love) in general. Second, the characters are surprisingly well-developed, even the plot and story. Lastly, as I’ve said, everything’s surprisingly good, so giving it a chance is definitely a must! The combination of many great elements with romance and love produces a very good blend with this one.

As a second year student who can’t seem to abandon cats, Handa Sorata was left with no choice but to live into a place where he can bring home and take care of his cats. That place where he’s gonna live is called Sakurasou, a place where oddballs like him ends up. Everything’s pretty normal though, except the fact that all the students that live there have their own weird habits and quirks. A few days later, a girl, who’s the oddest of them all (super brilliant but doesn’t how to take care of herself), is going to live in the same place (Sakurasou), where Sorata is going to be in charge of taking care of her.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou - Trailer

5. Golden Time


If you haven’t seen Golden Time yet, then I suggest you do now. In my own opinion (and I think many will agree), Golden Time is one of the most realistic romance anime show that exists today. It isn’t just all about being lovey-dovey, it also tackles the struggle and the complications of being in a relationship. As a matter of fact, the show did this by featuring very realistic characters that you could easily relate to. Even the story on its own is very decent. It has romance, it has comedy, it has drama, and they all fit together to tug your heartstrings and show the reality of relationships and love.

Starting his life a law student in college in the city, Tada Banri gets lost on his first day trying to get to school. Fortunately, he meets another guy named Mitsuo Yanagisawa who’s in the same situation he is. Then from out of the blue, a beautiful girl named Kaga Kouko suddenly appears and smashes a bouquet of flowers into Mitsuo’s face. As weird as it is, Koukou is Mitsuo’s childhood friend who’s overly obsessed with him. Trying to escape from her, Mitsuo enrolls in the school but Kouko manages to follow him. Now, Banri is caught-up in the situation and he’s going to be the one who changes the course of this crazy situation.

Golden Time - Trailer

4. Clannad


I’ll be surprised if you’ve never heard of Clannad or Clannad: After Story. These are two of the best drama anime out there. And not only that, they're also by far, two of the best romance anime! Did you know that there isn’t even a single kissing scene between the lovers here? That’s correct, there isn’t! But, the romance and drama is high enough to completely rub that off and focus on the relationships. Love has never been this lovely and beautiful in an anime. Actually, I can almost feel the characters’ sentiments in this one.

While walking to school one day, the unmotivated Okazaki Tomoya notices a girl who suddenly mutters the name of some kind of food. The girl’s name is Nagisa Furukawa, and unbeknownst to both, it’s just the start of the rollercoaster of love and life where they’ll first start as friends until they get closely attached to one another. But of course, no legit rollercoaster is without a bump. It’s just the start of their romantic, heartwarming, and actually even heart-wrenching story.

Clannad - Trailer

3. Special A


Now this one’s so interesting you’ll be very pleased watching it. Special A is another romantic-comedy-drama show where the characters fall in love with each other. In this one, it’s not just one pair of friends that falls in love, but most of the characters. Each one has a story to tell, and most of the time the stories are very heartwarming and sweet. Add that to the fact that the main pair are always fighting each other for supremacy. You'll be entertained at how funny they are until the moment that they actually develope feelings and fall in love. Until the very end, Special A keeps the romantic pace up.

Being both the best of friends and rivals ever since they were children, Hikari Hanazono and Kei Takashima have a bond where they are always clawing at each other. Actually, they’re rivalry is one-sided, with Hikari being always second to Kei. Now, they’re both in high school in a special class of the most brilliant and most elite—the Special Class A. As she always does, Hikari shall do her best to snatch the Top 1 spot from Kei at all cost. But then, as the battle goes on, feelings from deep within their hearts suddenly manifest.

Special A - Opening Song Theme

2. Kimi ni Todoke


Presenting, a rare gem in the romance department of anime. I know most won’t watch it based on first impressions, but as they say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Or should I say, don’t judge a romance anime by its title, poster, or summary! Kimi ni Todoke is very unique in the sense that it showcases elements that are very original to the romance genre. And I must say, it’s super effective! From the characters, to the art, to the sound, to the story, and in its totality, Kimi ni Todoke is a show that any seasoned romance anime lover (or even just a casual watcher) will relate to and love with all their heart.

Being known in class as Sadako because of her creepy demeanor, Kuronuma Sawako is extremely misunderstood and awkward with everyone. On the other hand, Kazehaya Shouta is super popular in class and is well-known as a very kind and friendly guy with a really refreshing presence. Given Shouta’s personality, he’s the only one who’s willing to approach Sawako and talk with her, much to Sawako’s delight. It’s the first time for her and she is so thankful. She feels blessed and hopeful that it’ll be the start of something new.

Kimi ni Todoke - Trailer

1. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun


We’ve come to the much-anticipated revelation. I don’t know if you will agree, but for me the best romance anime is Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. And as much as I’ve put it on the top spot, I really REALLY encourage you to watch it. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is fairly new, yet it has already soared to the top. I mean, it has all the elements necessary to be a truly awesome romance anime. It’s unique, it’s sweet (very sweet actually), it’s cute (the love story is so adorable it will easily tug your heartstrings), it’s very wholesome (which is a rarity today), and very lovable. There are many more reasons why this anime is a masterpiece, but I’ll leave those for you to discover.

It all starts when Shizuku Mizutani, a cold high-achiever student, is tasked by a teacher to deliver some handouts to a student named Yoshida Haru, a student who was suspended from school. At Shizuku’s delivery Haru was very touched, claiming that only a friend would do that (even though it wasn’t really Shizuku’s intention). Shizuku is really cold, earning her the nickname “Dry Ice” while Haru is very innocent and clueless to the social stuff in the world. Both are aloof and weird in a way. From their first meeting, Haru feels a spark in his heart towards Shizuku, so from then on he follows Shizuku. Soon enough, both begin to deal with blossoming feelings and emotions as well as various colorful complications that arise from within their hearts.

My Little Monster! - Opening Song Theme

Are you an avid spectator of the romance genre in anime?

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    • abdul 7 days ago

      Clannad after story and Your Lie In April should be here -_-

    • sonhak 11 days ago

      why isnt there akatsuki no yona? its a masterpiece anime!

    • Yona 5 weeks ago

      Nana and Paradise Kiss should have made this list. These two are one of the most well-written romance dramas out there.

    • Hey there. 7 weeks ago

      Awesome list! Seen them all, and I easily second your opinions! You've got great taste!

    • Animelover 7 weeks ago

      I agree to all of them because they are amazing thing

    • Limey 8 weeks ago

      Peach Girl ! I laugh and cried with every episode but the finale made it extra sweet :)

    • MbG 2 months ago

      I would also add to the list your lie in April. But still thanks, really useful!

    • Lethe 2 months ago

      Ore Monogatari!!

    • Lynx 2 months ago

      Thank you for putting up Clannad and Kaichou wa Maid-sama on your top list. .these are really my most favorite anime. .to those who haven't watched Clannad yet, better watch it now. .followed by Clannad After Story..prepare your tissues :D

    • 2 months ago

      Personally, I like Itazura na Kiss best

    • lancer005 3 months ago

      I agree this site is good but some good anime are not added that i liked

    • Nike 3 months ago

      I feel that its ok but I disagree with golden time I just freaked out seeing it but I love inuyasha

    • Cheeky Kid profile image

      Cheeky Kid 3 months ago from Milky Way

      @Anonymous Joker Nana made an appearance in Golden Time though.

    • Anonymous Joker 3 months ago

      Where's Nana? Compared to golden time i think nana is more realistic in that sense.

    • Mimi 3 months ago

      I recommend you to watch Ouran High School Host Club. It's an old anime but I think you would like it.

    • lawang 5 months ago

      I think you forgot to mention about shigatsu wa kimi no uso really deserve the place...

    • Liam 5 months ago

      really horrible list, if you're gonna put My Little Monster! In front of Kimi Ni Todoke, then the list is already ruined. Same with you putting golden time not in the top 3?!

    • Noname 5 months ago

      If you're gonna watch clannad, i suggest that you should also watch the clannad after story. :)

      Another short series anime that I want to suggest is "myself, yourself". There are only 13 episodes but still the story is good. Sad part is that it seems like they need to finish it asap. I wanna watch more episodes of this!

    • Fusgesmalls 5 months ago

      I liked

      Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom romance i dont know if thats creepy but i like it if enyone else has ones like that id like to now some thx

    • ankit 6 months ago

      wahh!!! its preety odd that my youth romantic comedy is not in this list of best romantic anime so far..... have anyone not seen it yet.. i find it must better than kimi no todeko

    • Madz 7 months ago

      All of these are really good the only one I haven't watched is golden time. But does anyone know any anime like Inu x Boku or Inuyasha if so please tell me thanks :)

    • Konkaria 7 months ago

      What happened to Ef a tale of memories/melodies?

    • JustAnAnimeFan 7 months ago

      This is a good list no doubt.The animes above are good but I strongly feel that clannad deserved the top spot for being the greatest tearjerker.Also you have missed out some great series like Shuffle.But any way thank you for this list

    • Cheeky Kid profile image

      Cheeky Kid 7 months ago from Milky Way

      @Chloe I really urge you to watch it. You won't regret it. *spoiler alert* It's ending is not sad at all. It's more heartwarming and gleeful. The journey it took to reach the ending is the sad part. Anyway, it's a really good show to watch.

    • Chloe 7 months ago

      honestly i've watched ALL of these anime... EXCEPT for clannad.... i heard it had a really sad ending so i'm a bit reluctant.... for those who didn't know it had a sad ending, i'm really sorry for spoiling it for you.

      I just don't have the guts to watch it... is it good enough for me to watch even though it might break my heart & soul?..................... somebody.... please tell me...PLEASE!

    • Cheeky Kid profile image

      Cheeky Kid 7 months ago from Milky Way

      @Mr. Magic But...but...romance isn't only defined by kissing and whatever. Feelings and emotions are the strong points of this show.

    • Mr. Magic 7 months ago

      I like how you "spoil" Clannad by saying there isn't a kissing scene. Was gonna watch it but thanks a lot, don't really want to watch it now.

    • kotobukijake profile image

      kotobukijake 11 months ago

      Pretty interesting list you have here, but I must make a confession: I've actually only seen two (three) of these. That said, Toradora! and the two Clannad series (particularly After Story) very definitely deserve a place of honor on this list. Also, most of the others are on my radar, and I actually own Maid-Sama and Special A (just haven't gotten to them yet). I have to say, though, that without clarifying from the get-go that your focus is entirely on newer series, you left yourself wide open to Jsd's comment that Kimagure Orange Road and Maison Ikkoku easily top most of these series; I would rate the former as a solid contender, and the latter's inclusion is one for which I would wholeheartedly concur (Ikkoku is the best romantic dramedy ever). Among more recent titles, the love story in Someday's Dreamers II: Sora is both incredibly sweet and deeply heartbreaking, and I'd list the show as a contender here. Anyway, I do look forward to checking out some of the other titles on your list; in addition to the two mentioned, I was this close to getting Golden Time during RightStuf's last holiday sale, and now I have even more incentive to grab it next year.

    • No name 14 months ago

      I've seen all of these animes!

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 18 months ago from Fort Worth, TX

      I would add Macross to the list.

    • the idiot in the back 19 months ago

      smart move with my little monster. They way he licks her tho...

    • Pat Servin 22 months ago

      In my opinion Kimi Ni Todoke is the best romance anime I have ever seen. But I don't really care for the genre all that much. They tend to get predictable after awhile. It is usually obvious who ends up with who.

    • Cheeky Kid profile image

      Cheeky Kid 22 months ago from Milky Way

      @Jsd you're partially correct about these being the most recent ones. I wouldn't really recommend the really old ones because chances are...people won't really watch them nor give them a chance. But then again, the titles here are actually the best choices nowadays. :D

    • Jsd 22 months ago

      Whoa... This ain't the list of the top 10 romance anime ever, but maybe the most recent ones. I'm not saying these shows are bad in anyway, but older shows such as Mason Ikkoku and Kimagure Orange Road are easily better than most on this list

    • Karina 22 months ago from Philippines

      Thank you for the list! Will check out most of these if I can find them. So far, I've watched kimi ni todoke, special a and tora dora

    • Anonymous 22 months ago

      I respect the opinion of the author. I say you have the same taste as me, but for me Golden Time and Kimi ni Todoke are top on my list, they are both tearjerker and I love them both. Ao Hau Ride and Tora Dora are good too. I'm not sure for My Little Monster, I dropped in when I was in episode 2. Also, I want to know more of Special A, its old but seems interesting since you put it on no.3.

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