Love is one thing that is unique in the entire universe. Everybody thinks that they fully understand it but they really don’t (like a Christopher Nolan movie). Some want it while some deny it. No matter which side you are on or how much icy your heart is there are times you do feel the need to be loved. Though I cannot give love to you in a way you need (that came out horribly wrong) I can provide you with the next best thing, romantic anime. Yup, your friendly neighborhood writer is gonna take you through a tunnel of love (what is wrong with me?). Let’s just jump right into the list of top romance anime ever. The list includes some of the really great romantic anime films. You can some of these best romance anime on Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll, YouTube or Amazon Prime.
25. Kimi no Na wa (2016)
‘Kimi no Na wa’ is an anime movie which was released on August 2016. If you don’t like the romance genre that much it’s fine, you can still watch ‘Kimi no Na wa’. This is because the movie does not have any ground-breaking romantic plot that will keep you intrigued but rather the beautiful art and sound which will just make you keep going. The plot is simple and sweet and so are the characters. The entire ambiance that the movie creates is beautiful and will make you feel warm. The protagonists of the movie are Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana. Mitsuha lives in the countryside. This makes her dream about the bustling city life in a city like Tokyo. She dreams to live as a boy in the city. Taki Tachibana lives in Tokyo. He is kind-hearted but being impatient and stubborn he gets angry quickly. He is quite busy balancing his part-time job and his school life. One day both of them wake up to find that they have switched places. It is not just a normal location swap but rather they have switched bodies. Taki wakes up to find himself in Mitsuha’s body and vice versa. To understand what had happened they begin searching for each other.
24. Bakemonogatari (2009)
‘Bakemonogatari’ is a fun anime. The premise is quite funny and entertaining and so are the characters. Just one tip before you start watching this-don’t be serious. This anime is not made for serious and complex romantic stuff. The protagonist of the story is Koyomi Aragi. Koyomi Aragi has superhuman abilities like fast healing and ability to see in the dark. These abilities are remnant of the vampiric powers that he had got after being attacked by a vampire. He was saved by a man named Meme Oshino and thanks to him he is no more a vampire and only has the few remaining abilities. Aragi is a laid-back boy and is quite poor in his studies. But he is good at maths. Aragi is a noble person and is always willing to put his life on the line to save others. One day his classmate Hitagi Senjougahara falls down the stairs only to be caught by him. Aragi realizes that Hitagi is abnormally weightless. He understands that there might be something supernatural going on and offers to help her. As the show progresses we see Aragi help other people from their supernatural problems.
23. Clannad (2007)
‘Clannad’ is decent romantic anime. It is also an anime with the theme of self-realization. So, far I have seen two seasons of this anime (I don’t know if there are more). Though I liked the first season I found myself admiring the second season way more. Anyway, if you are looking for a romantic anime to invest some time in, then going for ‘Clannad’ isn’t that bad of an idea. Tomoya Okazaki is the male protagonist of the anime. He feels that his life is boring and dull. He has given up on his life and has made peace with the fact that he will never become anything. Along with one of his closest friends, Youhei Sunohara, Okazaki skips classes and lazily wastes his time. One day he encounters a girl named Nagisa Furukawa. She seems to be muttering something to herself. She suddenly exclaims ‘Anpan!’ which catches Okazaki by surprise. Nagisa then claims that they are friends even though Okazaki ignores her. But as the series progresses he gets more and more attracted to Nagisa and learns that she has been held back a year because of her illness. Nagisa dreams of reviving the drama club. Okazaki finally decides to become her friend and help her fulfill her dream. Through this experience, he starts learning more about himself.
22. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (2012)
‘Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo’ is for a niche audience I guess. You have to really be into this sort of anime to go through the entire series. The first six or so episodes were good and refreshing. It was fun to see the characters being funny and leisurely passing their time. But as the series progresses, you sort of realize that the same thing is happening over and over again. This can work if you manage to keep things interesting nonetheless and ‘Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo’ tries their best to do that. Though I have only seen about 18 episodes of the series I have heard many anime enthusiasts (I mean nerds) like the series. Sorata Kanda is the protagonist of this anime. He is a good-natured and kind-hearted boy so when he finds abandoned kittens he could not let them go until he could find a suitable owner for them. But since his dorm does not allow pets he needs to move to Sakura Hall which is a dormitory filled with eccentric individuals. While there he needs to find owners for the cats so that he can move back to his own dorm. But while staying there he gets to know more about the other members of the dorm and becomes close to them.
21. Ouran Koukou Host Club (2006)
If you like watching anime with cross-dressing protagonist then there’s a high chance that you might find ‘Ouran Koukou Host Club’ quite entertaining. Ouran High School is a place for the elite of society and rarely houses commoners. Haruhi Fujioka is an intelligent girl. She is quite good at academics and gets a scholarship to study in the prestigious Ouran High School. Being a commoner she is one of the few students who actually indulges in studies. One day to find a quiet room for studying she finds the music room. Upon entering she finds herself stumbling upon a host club. The clubs members are rich, handsome boys who have too much time on their hand. They entertain the beautiful girls of the academy. As Haruhi tries to exit the room she accidentally ends up breaking a costly vase. Thus, to repay for it she starts working for the club running errands for them. But due to her masculine appearance and favorable attitude towards girls she receives a promotion to become a host. Thus she starts cross-dressing to entertain the girls.
20. Howl no Ugoku Shiro (2004)
‘Howl no Ugoku Shiro’ is an anime movie which was released in the month of November in the year 2004. The movie was immensely successful earning around 23 billion Yen. The characters in the English dub version were voiced by seasoned actors like Emily Mortimer who played the role of Sophie and Christian Bale who voiced the handsome wizard Howl. It is a beautiful romantic movie. Sophie is a simple village girl. Her father works as a hat maker in the village. One day she gets involved in an incident but is saved by a handsome wizard by the name of Howl. This enrages the Witch of the Waste who had discord with Howl. She puts a curse on Sophie which changes her into an old woman. Embarrassed to return home she decides to go to Howl. A scarecrow helps her find her way to the moving castle which is the abode of Howl. There she meets Calcifier, a fire demon, who promises to help Sophie if she can free him from Howl. Sophie starts working as a cleaning lady in the castle trying to find a way to free Calcifier.
19. Kimi ni Todoke (2009)
‘Kimi ni Todoke ‘ is a refreshing love story. It breaks certain stereotypes which surround such shoujo romance anime. The anime was quite popular and had received positive reviews. The characters are quite likable and to an extent quite relatable. I really liked the protagonist. Though she doesn’t possess any special qualities she is quite interesting and carries the series along nicely. Kuronuma Sawako, the protagonist of the anime, is a nice high school girl. She is quite sweet and simple but she is highly misunderstood by her classmates and her peers. The staple reason for this misunderstanding is Sawako’s appearance which greatly resembles the ghost girl from the horror movie ‘The Ring’. This has earned her the nickname of Sadako from her peers. But Sawako wants to be a normal girl and have a close friend. She finds herself drawn to Kazehaya Souta who is the most popular guy in the class. One day Kazehaya starts speaking to her. This makes Sawako very happy and gives her hope for having a nice friend and if possible something a little further down the line of romance.
18. ReLIFE (2016)
If you’ve enjoyed the movie ’17 Again’ then there’s no doubt that you will enjoy ‘ReLIFE’. It’s a nice little take on the ‘becoming young again’ genre. The protagonist of ‘ReLIFE’ is Arata Kaizaki. He is a 27-year-old man who does not have any real goal in his life. People around him have labeled him a loser and he doesn’t do much to revert that claim. He lives his life bouncing from one job to another. One day he meets a girl by the name of Ryou Yoake. She says that if he takes the pill she is offering he will have an opportunity to turn his life around. Arata doesn’t give it much of a thought and takes the pill. The next day when he wakes up h finds that he has become 17 again. Turns out that Ryou was working for a medical firm by the name of ReLIFE Institute. Arata is now a test subject for their new drug. TO carry on the tests for the drugs he needs to attend high school as a transfer student for one year. Ryou is also a student at the school and is meant to keep a close watch on him. Though Arata thinks that his superior 10 years of experience will make it quite easy for him he learns the hard way that reality is quite far from that. Everything has changed over the past ten years. Now, he needs to avoid making the same mistakes he made when he was a student.
17. Koe no Katachi (2016)
‘Koe no Katachi’ is one of the best anime movies I have seen recently. It is a decent romantic story and the beautiful art and music just create a memorable ambiance. After watching this movie you will feel quite different (in a positive way) for some time. Shouya Ishida used to be a troublemaker. he just loved to have fun. He did not really care about others and did anything he can to not be bored. Shouko Nishimiya is a deaf girl who transfers to Ishida’s class. She is a nice, kind-hearted girl who wants to be friend with her classmates. But Ishida and various other students start bullying her and made fun of her on a regular basis. When her mother complained to the school authorities, everybody including his closest friends blamed Ishida. Nishimiya transfers to a different school and Ishida is singled out and left alone. No one talks to him. While in the third year of his high school Ishida regrets his actions and hopes to meet Nishimiya and make amends. I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie.
16. Hotarubi no Mori e (2011)
Whenever anyone asks me which anime movie to watch ‘Hotarubi no Mori e’ is one of the first names that come to my mind. The main reason for this is that it is a wonderful movie which provides you with all the satisfying elements of anime, be it characters or plot or art, in just forty-five minutes. It makes you yearn for more. Hotaru is a six-year-old girl who is intrigued by the stories of mountain spirits. While visiting her uncle during summer vacations she decides to go to the mountain forest. However, she gets lost and is helped by a human-like spirit named Gin who wears a mask. Despite Gin asking her not to return Hotaru returns each of the remaining days of her summer vacation and promises to return next summer. As time passes by Hotaru grows and matures but gin remains same. A budding romance develops between the two. Gin wants to touch and feel Hotaru but there’s one problem. If Gin is ever touched by a human he will disappear.
15. Toradora! (2008)
This anime is a bit cliché but I liked it so it is on the list (deal with it). The story sees Ryuuji Takasu wanting to get close to his crush Minori. During this, he crosses path with Taiga, a seemingly sweet girl on the surface but hot volcano inside. She eventually agrees to help Ryuuji if he helps her with her crush. But lo and behold who fall in love, Taiga, and Ryuuji. The anime is fun and romantic.
14. Kaichō wa Meido-same! (2010)
This is one of the famous romantic anime. The story sees student council president Misaki trying to maintain order in the school and prevent problems from happening. She has a tough job to do since the school had recently become coed. Even though she is tough and all she has a deep secret inside. She works as a maid in a café to support her family. Things begin to change when a boy named Takumi finds out about it. Will he use this secret to mock her? Is he here to make her life heaven or hell?
13. Shōjo Kakumei Utena (1997)
Utena Tenjou wants to become a prince. This strange desire had been harboring inside her since she was consoled by some prince after her parent’s death. He had left her a ring. Years later she finds herself in a school where other students with similar rings fight to get the Rose bride, Anthy, and her magical powers. She wins and gets Anthy and thus begins her journey of romance and darkness.
12. Doukyuusei (2016)
‘Doukyuusei’ is a fairly recent anime movie that deals with homosexuality between two male characters. This is a really great romantic/drama anime which touches on some really deep stuff. Rhito Sajou would have never met Hikaru Kusakabe but fate pulls them together. The boys are completely different one (Hikaru) a guitarist in the band and other a studious A-level student. Hikaru helps Rhito in preparing for the chorus. Slowly they start meeting more frequently and before anyone knows it, they fall in love. This is a must watch if you love romantic stuff.
Read More: Anime Like Parasyte
11. Rabu★Kon (2007)
‘Rabu★Kon’ or ‘Love Com’ is a romance genre anime created by Aya Nakahara. The story follows the life of Atsushi Ōtani, a short height boy, and Risa Koizumi, a tall girl. A tall student from another class shows up and catches Rias’s eye. Meanwhile, Atsushi has a crush on another girl. The duo decides to help each other in their love life. But what happens? They themselves fall in love silly! (you should’ve guessed it)
10. Ore Monogatari! (2015)
This anime like others follows a cliché. You can perceive the beauty and the beast kind of relationship. The story sees Takeo Goda, a big muscular student, whose crushes end up falling for the charming Makoto, his best friend. But his lonely life is soon to end as the girl, Rinko, he saves ends up falling in love with him.
9. Orange (2016)
This is a fairly recent romance anime. The story follows the life of Naho Takamiya a high school student. One day she receives a letter. It has been sent by her future self. The letter details her regrets and mistakes in life and what she needs to do in order to change them. The story is beautifully written and the anime brings the character to life and touches on many emotional and mature topics.
8. Butūmu! (2012)
This is an action/romance anime and sees the main protagonist Ryouta Sakamoto trapped in a real-life version of a game he plays. Now, he has to kill the other participants to win a token of victory in the form of a green crystal to return home. He is helped by his in-game wife Himiko. The two start getting really close to each other while trying to survive this life and death game.
7. Ai Yori Aoshi (2002)
Kaoru Hanabishi meets a girl at the station. Seeing her confused Kaoru decided to help her find her destination. As they continued searching for the girl’s destination Kaoru realized that they were walking in his own neighborhood. Later it turned out that there was an empty space where the girl was supposed to go to. Kaoru invites her to his house to solve the mystery and soon realizes that this girl is his childhood friend and fiancée.
6. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijō (1998)
This anime kind of reminded me of ‘Old Love’ by Jeffery Archer. The story follows the life of two people Miyazawa and Arima. At school, Miyazawa is the perfect student, polite and nice gaining everyone’s praise. But on inside she is arrogant and would do anything to be the best. Enter Arima, a boy who starts becoming the top student. This pisses off Miyazawa. To add to her trouble Arima finds out her façade and uses her to get his work done. But slowly things change as it is revealed that Arima loves Miyazawa and both slowly get into a relationship.
5. Chobits (2002)
This anime is based on the question- ‘Can Humans fall in Love with A.I.?’ Hideki Motosuwa is a student who finds an abandoned Persocom, computers which look like humans. Turns out this is a defective piece which can only say the word Chii and cannot download information. So, Hideki decides to teach her the ways of the world himself while trying to find out the truth about ‘Chii’.
4. True Tears (2008)
This is a nice little romantic anime. Imagine living in the same house as your crush but cannot make a move since she is cold towards you. This is what happens to Shinichiro who cannot understand how to help Hiromi move on from her tragic childhood when her parents died. In addition to this an eccentric girl, Noe, from school takes an interest in him while his parents want him to take dancing lessons he doesn’t want to. He needs to manage all this while trying to open up Hiromi. Is Noe the key?
3. Furūtsu Basuketto (2001)
Let’s start with a weirdly funny anime. ‘Furūtsu Basuketto’ or ‘Fruits Basket’ is a romantic anime created by Natsuki Takaya. The story follows the life of Tohru who finds herself homeless after the death of her mother. She receives shelter from a classmate Yuki. She soon finds out that Yuki’s family is cursed and the members turn into Chinese zodiac animals when hugged by the opposite sex (yup, you heard it). She promises to keep it a secret and continues living inside the house soon finding herself falling in love with Yuki.
2. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (2011):
This anime is a great coming of age story. The plot is kind of simple, I mean it has been done before but even so you will surely enjoy it. The main protagonist of the anime is Jinta who has become a recluse after his friends drifted apart since the death of their friend Meiko. One day Jinta sees the ghost of Meiko who says she cannot pass to the next world since her one wish is left unfulfilled. The story then follows Jinta reviving their old group back in order to fulfill Meiko’s wish. Inner feelings are revealed as things start to get emotional.
1. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (2014)
Death is never cheerful. It always brings gloom and sadness. If it is a loved one who dies then it seems like the world has come to an end. Similar fate occurs to pianist Kousei Arima when his mother dies. He feels sad and cannot play the piano. Depression takes over him and two years pass without him striking a single chord. Fate starts taking a turn when he meets violinist Kaori, who helps him move on and get back into music. You might feel that the anime is becoming a bit too dramatic at times but I guess it is meant to be.