Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.
All I can say is that I’m quite satisfied with the romance anime shows that came pouring in 2018. Some of them were boons, and some were banes. But, despite all that, most of them impressed me and left remarkable imprints in my memory.
Given the fact that 2018 succeeded in astonishing me with its bevy of romance anime shows, I shall now present five titles that I think represent the best of 2018 with respect to romance. Ready or not, here they come knocking straight on your heart-door!
The 5 Best Romance Anime of 2018
- High Score Girl
- Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san (Skilled Teaser Takagi-san)
- Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet (Boarding School Juliet)
- Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)
- Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)
1. High Score Girl
I consider myself extremely lucky because I was one of the lucky few who happened to chance upon such a wonderful hidden gem, that is—High Score Girl!
It’s true! High Score Girl is one of the hidden gems of 2018!
I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone says they’ve never heard of High Score Girl before or even caught a glimpse of it. After all, it was exclusively available on Netflix when I first saw it. That means it didn’t really have much visibility. But then, I know for a fact that it’s one of the best romance anime of 2018!
I didn’t expect High Score Girl to be so romantic and dramatic. I thought it was just some random, comical, feel-good show about some kids obsessed with video games. I was wrong! All the feelings and emotions hit me like a truck out of the blue! And this all happened just a few episodes in.
Akin to classic video games, High Score Girl is addictive and striking. The only way to genuinely appreciate it is to fully immerse in experiencing it first-hand.
2. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san (Skilled Teaser Takagi-san)
Heads up! Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san isn’t in its entirety an unmitigated romance anime show. It’s more of a comedic slice-of-life anime show, but with romance hinting at every corner.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san totally caught me off-guard! It’s a rare spectacle of a series because not many anime shows nowadays are as wholesome as it is. It’s pure, warm, innocent, and fun. If there’s a term that I could use to describe this show, it would be—Puppy Love!
There’s no mistaking it. Once you watch Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san, you’ll definitely feel giddy as if you’re experiencing having a crush for the first time. Mind you, this show is all about platonic love and friendship—the kind that always feels good, sincere, and heartfelt.
3. Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet (Boarding School Juliet)
Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet is a romantic comedy anime that is based on William Shakespeare’s classic—Romeo and Juliet.
Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet may not be a tragedy in all respects, but it follows the same archetype as its basis. It has a slow build, yet it does manage to bring out the delightful sparks from the romantic comedy genre. It’s funny, it’s romantic, and also somewhat dramatic.
As I watched Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet, I felt happy when the characters felt happy. I felt sad when the characters felt sad. Every moment in this anime rarely fails to invoke the appropriate feeling and vibe. Although it’s not perfect and not really something to write home about, this show succeeds as a decent romantic comedy anime. It’s simple, ardent, and entertaining—and that’s all that matters!
4. Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni may not be your typical romance anime, but it’s as realistic as any complicated romantic relationship can get in real life.
Truth be told, most people wouldn’t even try picking up this anime. It’s unfortunate but the reason for that is—the plot and cover of Koi wa Ameagari no You ni aren’t exactly appealing to the general audience. Come on, it’s a show depicting the uncanny blossoming relationship between a middle-aged man and a high school girl. It may not be weird in a platonic sense, but given the present time’s ingrained prejudices, it somewhat falls under the controversial category.
Now, I tell you this: “Don’t judge an anime by its cover!” Koi wa Ameagari no You ni isn’t really odd or strange in any way. In fact, it’s a very wholesome slice-of-life/romance anime show that explores the lives of typical human beings and the complex nuances of love. It’s about self-discovery, redemption, and braving a path towards the future. In all sincerity, this is a show that will always make me remember its bittersweet moments whenever I see the sky after the rain.
Before I forget, I must point out that Koi wa Ameagari no You ni possesses distinctively beautiful visuals and sounds. Amongst all of the anime shows of 2018, this is one of the few that never gave me the chance to skip its opening and ending song themes. They’re that beautiful and grand, believe it!
5. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)
Despite the fact that Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai is more of a drama anime than a romance anime, it stays true to its essence by subtly developing the romantic relationship of Sakuta and Mai throughout the course of the series.
Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai starts off with a romantic buildup and then proceeds to a dramatic finish. It’s funny how uninterested I was with this show in its early stages. Then it started getting better! It’s not only about the romance; it’s also about the drama. And boy there was an abrupt development with the story and the characters!
This show wants to impart something. It actually has meaning and depth. It tackles problems that no one really wants to talk about. It does so in a way that may seem illogical at first, but is actually pretty simple and reasonable once the problem is faced head-on. The feelings are real. The love, the happiness, the sadness, and all the other emotions—this show makes you feel all of those! It may take some time to fully understand its depth, but if you let it unfold naturally and continuously, it will teach you a thing or two about life, love, and the complexities of both.