What is the best romance anime?
In some respects, it’s a matter of opinion. Your favorite romance anime might not be our favorite romance anime.
It all has to do with what pulls your heartstrings and what you want in a love story. But there are definitely some popular romance animes that are objectively a cut above the rest.
These are the ones that you can watch repeatedly — and that will often leave the entire room crying.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best romance anime to watch right now.
The Best Romance Anime
Our ranked lists are created by researching and rounding up information from the most reputable web sources.
Here’s our list of the 25 best romance anime:
25. Hotarubi no Mori e (The Light of a Firefly Forest)
In Hotarubi no Mori e, a child named Hotaru is rescued in the forest by a spirit named Gin — a spirit who will disappear if he is ever touched.
Hotaru continues to age, visiting Gin every year. But Gin, a spirit, remains the same.
Based on a Manga, Hotarubi no Mori e is a touching romance anime about two individuals who are fated to be apart but feel for each other deeply.
24. Nodame Cantabile
Originally a slice of life manga series, Nodame Cantabile follows a musician named Shinichi Chiaki.
Though he dreams of playing for a European audience, he is terrified of flying. Personalities clash when he meets Nodame, a slacker who is unaccountably gifted at the piano.
Together, they learn to navigate their relationship and their music. This series ran from 2007 to 2010 and is a great, relaxing love story.
23. Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)
Kraft, a young man, is a traveling merchant aided by Holo, a wolf deity in Spice and Wolf’s romance anime. This supernatural fantasy romance is playful, fun, and exciting.
Because Kraft is a merchant, it takes the unique tack of looking at a fantasy world from a more economical and commercial perspective.
And, of course, it features a 500-year-old deity in the form of a 15-year-old girl.
22. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (World’s Greatest First Love)
Young Ritsu Onodera quits his family’s business after he is accused of benefiting from nepotism, seeking a new job at a publishing company.
Unfortunately, he swiftly finds out that his new boss is difficult to work with… and his former first love.
World’s Greatest First Love follows the often volatile but touching relationship between the two, as they try to reforge their connections.
21. Lovely Complex
Risa is a tomboy, and Otani is shorter than their peers, but in Lovely Complex, romance doesn’t have to look a certain way.
Everyone sees Risa and Otani as nothing more than a comedy duo, but quickly their feelings become apparent.
This is another “opposites attract” type of story, in which the heroes need to look a little deeper at each other to see what’s truly there.
20. Hana yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)
In this classic must-watch anime, Tsukushi Makino is introduced into a snobby school where the Flower Four dominate.
She decides to rile up the status quo, but in so doing, ends up falling in love.
There’s a clever cast of unique characters in Boys Over Flowers, and everyone in the fandom has their favorite “choice” out of the options.
19. Koi Kaze (Love Wind)
In this unique story, Koshiro and Nanoka fall in love at the start… only to find out that they’re actually brother and sister.
The rest of the story concerns itself with how they need to deal with the startling revelation.
While they didn’t grow up as brother and sister, there is still the stigma attached. Will they let each other go, or will they rebel against society?
18. Bokura ga Ita (We Were There)
On her first day at a new school, Nanami is the victim of a practical joke by a popular boy, Yano.
They fall in love and start to date, but the romance is marred by Yano’s past, including a deceased girlfriend.
The two must navigate the difficult situation while not drifting apart. This touching anime focuses on, literally, life after death — how people must grieve and eventually move on.
17. Byousoku 5 Centimeter (5 Centimeters Per Second)
This uniquely told story follows the protagonist Takaki as he goes through difficult periods in his life, only to (hopefully) finally find love.
Ultimately, this is a coming-of-age story; it’s an anime about growing up. Takaki’s girlfriend, Akari, is someone he loves — but someone he has continuously pulled away from.
Though there is a futuristic undertone, the story is really about maintaining long-distance relationships and the strength required to do so.
16. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (Anohana)
In this spiritual, romantic anime, five friends are pulled together when the ghost of their dead friend appears.
The ghost, Menma, appears to one friend, Jinta, to tell him that she cannot move on until a forgotten wish is fulfilled.
Together, all the friends need to sort through their own issues to help her move on. This anime is as much about friendship as it is about romance.
Throughout this anime, the friends need to learn to forgive each other, heal, and let go of the past that haunts them.
15. Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover)
A realistic fiction, Honey and Clover, covers the realistic adventures of a poor college student named Yuuta and his two friends as he goes through his life and finds love.
This is a great anime for those who are looking for a grounded love story without fantasy elements. (Of course, there are still many surprises and improbable events, just like any other anime romance.)
But Honey and Clover isn’t just a romance story; it’s a sensible coming-of-age story that’s deeply relatable for most.
14. Junjou Romantica
Junjou Romantica has something for everyone. It follows the love story of multiple couples as they try to navigate through their relationships.
One of the top romance anime for those interested in realistic fiction, this is a great romance anime for viewers who want to kick back and relax.
The main characters are Takahashi Misaki and Usami Akihiko — and three other male couples are soon introduced. If you’re a fan of male couples, this is a particularly great anime.
Everyone knows Inuyasha! A fifteen-year-old girl named Kagome Kigurashi is transported back in time, where she meets a half-demon, half-human named Inuyasha.
They go on a grand adventure that’s not strictly a romance — in fact, this is a good romance anime for those who also want an amazing, in-depth story.
Inuyasha and Kagome start to fall in love, despite Inuyasha’s yearnings for another. Together, they will face many difficulties as they try to restore the shattered jewel.
12. Romeo x Juliet
The titular Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love in this retelling of the classic Shakespeare yarn.
This romance anime series may at first seem fated to disaster (after all, don’t Romeo and Juliet die?), but the story does diverge significantly from the original.
Rather, instead of being a passive victim, Juliet is avenging her family’s deaths — and Romeo, a kind man, falls in love with her fire and her passion.
This series is a must-watch romance anime series for any fan of the classics.
11. Kokoro Connect
Five high school students try to deal with classes, love, and life while experiencing a supernatural phenomenon.
In Kokoro Connect, Taichi, Iori, Himeko, Yoshifumi, and Yui feel they must tell each other their secrets.
Once they have done so, they need to deal with the consequences.
It’s a surprisingly grounded anime series for a romance fan; it’s full of exciting interpersonal drama, interactions, and a low-fantasy feel.
10. Maid-sama! (Kaichō wa Meido-sama!)
Misaki Ayuzawa dubbed the “Demon President,” has just moved to a newly co-ed school that used to be an all-boys school.
She’s attempting to get everything under control while working part-time as a maid at a maid cafe.
Unfortunately, a popular boy at school (Takumi Usui) finds out about her secret. Of course, he decides to use it to his advantage.
This is a reluctant love story with many twists and turns — and a lot of drama. If you love anime and you love awkward situations, watch this.
Ryuji Takasu, a gentle young man with a dangerous look, forms a strange friendship with Taiga Aisaka, an aggressive, angry classmate.
Together, they try to help each other confess their crushes.
Full of personality, charm, and excitement, Toradora follows the pair as they set up romantic situations to try to help each other out.
And, of course, the audience gets the feeling that eventually, Ryuji and Taiga might end up falling for each other.
Built into this wonderful anime tale is a story about not judging people by your first assumptions — and about how people can open up to each other.
A tale of two Nanas! Nana Komatsu is a hopeless love addict, always falling in love with whoever charms her.
Nana Oosaki is the lead vocalist of a band. Both of them meet, connect, and decide to share an apartment in Tokyo.
Not only do they quickly become great friends, but they also start to go through life together, trying to develop their romances and relationships.
This is a fantastic romance with something for everyone; you see Nana Komatsu try to find an endearing love while Nana Oosaki tries to balance her relationships and her career.
And, of course, it’s also a bit of an “Odd Couple” goofball comedy.
7. Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma (Emma: A Victorian Romance)
This drama repeats a tale as old as time. A maid named Emma falls in love with a rich man named William Jones — and he with her.
But because of his station, his family doesn’t approve and tries everything to split them apart.
This is a unique anime love story because it follows individuals through London and follows older characters rather than the mainstay of high school students or young adults.
This is a must-watch anime for older viewers looking for something sweet, sensible, and bristling with charm.
6. Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You)
A shoju romance, From Me to You, follows the story of 15-year-old Sawaka Koronuma.
Though she is a very sweet girl, she’s considered cursed due to her distressing appearance, with pale skin and dark hair.
Suddenly, a popular classmate, Kazehaya, starts to talk to her, and everything changes.
Not only does she start to blossom into a more confident person, but she also starts to have hope of a brighter future.
There are some interesting fantasy elements in From Me to You, even though it’s a fairly straightly told story — Sawaka moves so fast people think she can teleport.
But everything remains fairly realistic and grounded throughout.
5. Sukitte Ii na yo. (Say “I Love You”)
After being betrayed by her friends at a young age, Mei Tachibana vowed to stay away from most other people.
But she eventually starts warming up to the popular student Yamato Kurosawa after he romantically saves her from a potentially dangerous situation.
This earnest, simple romance walks the viewer through the trials and tribulations of a regular relationship.
Mei and Yamato are pulled apart and pushed together by fate, friends, and family and always seem to end up a little closer.
4. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)
Takeo Gouda doesn’t look like a typical anime protagonist. He’s large, brusque, and powerful.
Though everyone knows that he’s both brave and honorable, he’s unlucky in love. And his best friend, Makoto Sunakawa, is a Romeo who always steals the other girls away.
Eventually, Takeo falls in love with Rinko Yamato, but he suspects she is in love with Makoto.
He tries to help Makoto and Rinko get together, even though his feelings for her are growing.
This beautiful story has an atypical protagonist that audiences really connect with, making it a fantastic anime love story for those who want something a little different.
3. Clannad: After Story
Not many romances start after the romance has come to fruition. But in Clannad: After Story, the romance has already blossomed.
Tomoya and Nagisa are together, and they’re looking to build their lives together in an uncertain future.
They have graduated high school and must now explore their world and the fantastical Illusionary World.
Rife with world-building, character development, and fantastic visuals, Clannad: After Story is a worthy successor to the first.
2. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)
An herbalist in Tanbarun, Shirayuki, has beautiful red hair that garners the attention of virtually everyone around her.
She tries to hide her hair but is noticed by Prince Raj and ordered to become his concubine.
To avoid this, she chops off her hair and flees, meeting the kind-hearted Prince Zen along the way. Prince Raj poisons prince Zen, but Shirayuji manages to create a cure.
From then on, they start to develop a relationship, even though they are of different classes.
Unfortunately, this anime ran for two seasons and ended unresolved for financial reasons; it’s unknown whether a third season will be released.
1. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)
Talented young pianist Kousei Arima experiences the trauma of losing his mother and can no longer bring himself to hear his music.
While he tries to move on, he finds that he has to leave all his passions behind.
He spends two years in a fugue state until he meets a fellow musician: the violinist Kaori Miyazono. She makes him interested in music once again.
Together, they explore music and their relationship, while Kousei tries to play the piano again.
This is an endearing story about health, help, and healing. It explores loss and pain.
If you’re looking for a romance anime to watch, then these are the best romance anime available right now.
Some are realistic fiction, some are old classics, and some are in fantastical worlds.
Anime is such a broad category that anime fans and romance fans alike are sure to find something you love.
What’s your favorite romance anime? Leave a comment below.
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