40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

best romance anime

Here is a list of the best romance anime of all time. This is a genre that is well known in the West, but the Japanese always have a specific perception of life, which is also evident in their romance anime series.

You’re going to get some basic information on the shows themselves, their production, and a short synopsis for each of them. As the site is not adult-oriented, we are not going to include the explicit screenshots here, thus keeping the article clean, but you’ll be able to explore the shows themselves and see for yourselves why they’re on our list. So, join us as we dive into a list of 40 best romance anime of all time.

Best Romance Anime You Need to Watch

40. Fruits Basket

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Natsuki Takaya
Release Date:  Jul 5, 2001, to Dec 27, 2001
Episodes: 26

Genres: romantic drama anime
Source: Manga

Our first entry on this list of romantic anime is a Fruits Basket. It follows a high schooler girl named Tooru who after an accident in which her father died is forced to move in with her grandfather.

After a period of co-living his apartment is getting renovated and Tooru has no place to stay.

She does not want to bother any of her friends or family, her pride won’t let her. She eventually moves into a tent in the woods.

Her living situation is stable for some time until a landslide buries her tent. Luckily Yuki Souma, the most popular boy in the school, and his cousin Shigure Souma invite her to stay with them until she can return to her grandfather.

She eventually finds out that Yuki has a secret. He holds a dark curse that lefts him unable to feel the touch of the opposite gender. As soon as a girl hugs him, he transforms into one of the zodiac animals. Eventually Love blossoms between our characters. Fruits basket is a great romance anime and therefore deserves a place on this list.

Where to watch: Netflix & Funimation

39. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Alternate Title: Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Izumi Tsubaki
Genres: rom com anime
Release Date:  Jul 7, 2014 to Sep 22, 2014
Episodes: 12

Summary

The story of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun follows a high schooler girl named Chiyo Sakura who has fallen head over heels in love with scatter-minded Umetarou Nozaki.

But Nozaki seems absent-minded most of the time and unaware of her love because he is actually a popular respected shoujo mangaka who writes under the name Sakiko Yumeno.

As these things usually go, Chiyo Sakura eventually becomes his assistant, and on the way, crazy events unfold. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is a hilarious story about a girl obsessed with a boy and, and a boy having something else on his mind completely.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll & HIDIVE

38. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Alternate Title: Kamisama Kiss)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Kamisama Hajimemashita
Genres: rom com anime
Release Date:  Oct 2, 2012, to Dec 25, 2012
Episodes: 13

Summary

Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss) follows a high school girl named Nanami Momozono. She has a lot of family-related problems due to her father being in extreme debt. They eventually lose everything and end up on the street as being homeless.

One day while walking down the street she sees a man being attacked by a dog.

She rescues him and in his eternal gratefulness, that man offers her his own home. That home is actually an abandoned shrine of the god Mikage.

His faithful servant, a fox Tomoe, figures out that Mikage sent Nanami as a replacement god and does not like it. At least the fox does not like the idea of serving a human.

Nanami does not take long to eventually immerse herself in her new duties, but she recognizes she will eventually need the help of the same fox that gave her a cold shoulder, Tomoe. The rest of the Kamisama Kiss follows Nanami and Tomoe as goddess and her familiar

Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss) is a hilarious romance anime with plenty of great character and comedy elements.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

37. Kuzu no Honkai (Alternate Title: Scum’s Wish)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Mengo Yokoyari
Genres: romantic drama anime, slice of life
Release Date:  Jan 13, 2017 to Mar 31, 2017
Episodes: 12

Summary

The plot of this anime title Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish) follows Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Awaya.

To the outside world, they seem like the perfect couple truly in love. But they both know that something is going on under the surface. They are both in love with other people they cannot be with.

Hanabi is in love with Narumi Kanai, her childhood friend, and a new homeroom teacher. Narumi on the other hand starts an affair with his music teacher Akane Minagawa the one person he wanted to always be with.

The moral of the story of Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish) is that the two desperate people will go to great lengths to stave off loneliness. They were searching for love in all the wrong places.

This romance anime is not as cheerful as the other anime on this list, but it definitely belongs among the best romance anime of all time.

Where to watch: Netflix & HIDIVE

36. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (Alternate Title: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Torako
Genres: rom com anime
Release Date:  Oct 4, 2012, to Dec 20, 2012
Episodes: 12

Summary

The story of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai follows a boy Yuuta Togashi. He was once suffering from a so-called disease Chuunibyou.

It can be best described as having delusions of some sort. In Yuuta’s case, the delusions were causing him to believe he was the Dark Flame Master.

But that’s behind him now, he has his life back on track he is no longer a cringe-inducing kid.

He is at first glance pleased by his recovery and doesn’t want to return to his disillusioned ways.

This is where Rikka Takanashi enters the story of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai.

Rikka is Yuuta’s new classmate and she seems to suffer from the same disease that Yuuta was suffering from – Chuunibyou. He tries to run away and forget that part of his life, but the past is quickly catching up with him and unexpected love happens.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai is a cute romance anime with a good dose of comedy mixed in.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll & Funimation

35. Kaguya-sama Love is War

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Aka Akasaka
Genres: rom com anime, slice of life
Release Date:  Jan 12, 2019, to Mar 30, 2019
Episodes: 12

Summary

Kaguya-sama Love is War follows two perfect students Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya. Miyuki is a student council president and Kaguya is the vice president of the student council.

They are clearly falling in love and everyone can see it. The only thing standing in their way is their pride. Whoever confesses the feelings first loses the “war” so to speak.

They are both stubborn and refuse to admit to the other that they have feelings for each other.

Kaguya sama Love is War is considered to be among the classics of Japanese Romantic anime and a true treat for all anime fans!

Kaguya-sama Love is War is a thrilling and funny romance anime that paints a picture of what happens when pride gets in the way.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll & Funimation

34. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Hiro Fujiwara
Genres: rom com anime
Release Date:  Apr 2, 2010, to Sep 24, 2010
Episodes: 26

Summary

Story of Kaichou wa Maid-sama! revolves around Misaki Ayuzawa.

She is a student council president in a predominantly male school. She works hard and tirelessly to ensure proper treatment of girls while treating the boys with discipline, that practice got her the nickname of “Demon President”.

One day while strolling the hallways she hears a girl crying, she stumbles upon Takumi Usui, the most popular boy in school.

Takumi Usui was the reason the girl was crying after a failed display of affection. Takumi Usui will eventually discover the secret Misaki is desperately trying to keep, she works at a maid cafe. Can love be born from secrets and partial blackmail?

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama is one of the best romance anime ever on this list if suspense and comedy are your thing you should give it a try.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll & HIDIVE

33. Ao Haru Ride (Alternate Title: Blue Spring Ride)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Io Sakisaka
Genres: Coming-of-age, drama, romance anime slice of life
Release Date:  Jul 8, 2014, to Sep 23, 2014
Episodes: 12

Summary

The story of Ao Haru Ride goes as follows, Futaba Yoshioka is a rebel. In middle school, she was a bit too popular with the boys and now freshly in high school, she wants to avoid making the same mistakes.

She makes every effort to mask her femininity and appear as repulsive as possible to other boys.

While middle school was traumatic for her, she fondly remembers a boy she had a crush on Kou Tanaka. Kou Tanaka appears again this time under a different name and different demeanor.

Futaba is feeling the pull of love again but Kou Tanaka is acting out of character. He became more popular and more withdrawn from her.

Is Futaba ready to go back to her old self, put herself in uncomfortable situations yet again, just to attract the attention of a boy she once loved?

Ao Haru Ride is a great romance anime for teens that struggle with self-image.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

32. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Alternate Title: Your Lie in April)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Naoshi Arakawa
Genres: romance, drama anime slice of life
Release Date:  Oct 10, 2014, to Mar 20, 2015
Episodes: 22

Summary

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso ( Your Lie in April) revolves around Kousei Arima who is a piano prodigy.

He is the best there is thrives on attention and compliments that his peers and audience give her. His mother suddenly passes away and the trauma that follows leaves him practically deaf.

He cannot hear the piano any longer which results in him never competing again.

In the rest of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Kousei struggles to accept his new life and the new boring role he has.

His life turns upside down when he meets another musical prodigy Kaori Miyazono. Due to a little lie, they fall in love. A true love story unfolds.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) is a touching story of two teens finding love at the least expected time.

It’s one of the best romance anime there is.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

31. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Hajime Kamoshida
Genres: rom-com anime
Release Date:  Oct 4, 2018 ,to Dec 27, 2018
Episodes: 13

Summary

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai follows a high school student Sakuta Azusagawa who found himself in the midst of the Puberty Syndrome pandemic in her high school.

The other lead character of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is Mai Sakurajima, a former child actress.

Sakuta sees Mai one day walking through the school in a bunny outfit, at first he is shocked until he figures out Mai Sakurajima suffers from the Puberty Symptom too. The rest of the plot of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai focuses on Sakuta Azusagawa as tries to help Mai, who conveniently comes in contact with more infected girls. Sakuta realizes this is his chance to get a taste of love.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a funny romance anime with over-the-top situations and characters. You should definitely give this one a try.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

30. Ouran High School Host Club (Alternate Title: Ouran Koukou Host Club)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Bisco Hatori
Genres: Coming-of-age, romance, comedy anime slice of life
Release Date:  Apr 5, 2006, to Sep 27, 2006
Episodes: 26

Summary

The story of Ouran High School host club goes as follows. Haruhi Fujioka just got enrolled at Ouran Academy.

One day she accidentally stumbles upon a seemingly empty music room where she meets a group of students, male students entertaining female students.

Tamaki Suou, a leader of the club scares her and she breaks an expensive vase that she will not be able to repay.

Ouran High School Host Club has an idea, she can work for them and repay the vase that way. Since she gets mistaken for a boy often, Haruhi Fujioka took on the role of a male student entertaining other female students. But love will happen in a different place.

Ouran High School Host Club (Ouran Koukou Host Club) is a light and easy romance anime, so you should give it a try.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

29. Your Name

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Makoto Shinkai
Genres: Romantic, fantasy anime slice of life
Release Date: July 3, 2016
Running Time: 107 minutes

Summary

Your Name is a Japanese anime romance title with two teenagers as main characters.

They share a profound, magical connection, upon discovering they are swapping bodies. Things manage to become even more complicated when the boy and girl decide to meet in person. Eventually love blossoms between them.

Where to Watch: Netflix

28. The Quintessential Quintuplets The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Negi Haruba
Genres: Harem, romantic comedy anime
Release Date: January 9, 2019 – March 28, 2019 / January 8, 2021 – March 26, 2021
Episodes: 24

Summary

This Japanese romantic anime follows a High school student Futaro Uesugi who is an academically gifted student that leads a difficult life. His mother has died, he has no friends, and on top of all that, his father has incurred a large amount of debt.

An opportunity presents itself when the rich Nakano family transfers to his school.

Futaro is promptly hired as a highly paid tutor. However, much to Futaro’s dismay, he discovers that his five charges—identical quintuplet sisters of varied personalities—have no interest in studying at all and have abysmal grades. This anime title does not focus on love, but it’s entertaining.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

27. Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru (Alternate Title: Otoboku: Maidens are Falling for Me!)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Caramel Box
Genres: Harem, romance anime
Release Date: October 8, 2006 – December 24, 2006
Episodes: 12

Summary

Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru anime tells the story of the main character high school girl Mizuho Miyanokouji, an androgynous high school student.

After the death of his grandfather, the reading of his will indicates that he wants his grandson transferred to the Seio Girls’ Academy, the school founded by his ancestors and where his own mother studied. Abiding by the will, Mizuho cross-dresses to attend the school.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

26. Sekirei

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Sakurako Gokurakuin
Genres: Harem, Romantic Comedy, Supernatural anime
Release Date: July 2, 2008 – September 17, 2008; July 4, 2010 – September 26, 2010
Episodes: 12; 13

Summary

In Tokyo in 2020, referred to as Shintō Teito (“New Eastern Imperial Capital”), the boy Minato Sahashi fails the university entrance exam for the second time, has not yet had any success with women, and moreover, he is still unemployed.

However, he is very intelligent, but cannot cope with the pressure of an exam, which explains his constant failure.

As a result of these circumstances, however, he is labeled a loser by many, even his little sister. One day the attractive Musubi falls into his hands as if she had fallen from the sky. However, he soon realizes that Musubi is not an ordinary girl, but that she is a Sekirei (an alien creature) and has chosen him as her Ashikabi. Eventually, love will happen between our main characters.

This is one of the best romantic anime out there!

Where to watch: Hulu & Amazon Prime

26. Tsuki ga Kirei

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Seiji Kishi
Genres: Romance, coming-of-age anime
Release Date: April 6, 2017 – June 29, 2017
Episodes: 12

Summary

The somewhat shy and reserved Kotarō Azumi comes in the third year of middle school for the first time with the sporty Akane Mizuno in a class. During the preparations for the sports festival, they get to know each other a little better and exchange their line contact details.

Soon they are texting each other regularly on their cell phones and getting closer. Maybe even love is on the horizon.

Both spend their free time very differently: Kotarō is active in a traditional festival association, works in a bookstore, and is often in the school library. He writes stories himself and wants to be a writer. His role model is Osamu Dazai, whom he often quotes.

Akane, on the other hand, is a runner in the athletics club and is also successful at it. She represents the school in competitions. After a while, they finally admit their love for each other.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

24. Snow White with the Red Hair

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Sorata Akizuki
Genres: Fantasy, romance anime
Release Date: July 6, 2015 – March 28, 2016
Episodes: 24

Summary

This anime has elements of both fantasy and romance mixed in. Shirayuki is a herbalist from the Kingdom of Tanbarun characterized by a single peculiarity: her red hair.

When the prince of Tanbarun, Raji, orders her to become her concubine because of her, she cuts her hair and flees to the nearby Kingdom of Clarines.

Along her journey, Shirayuki meets her second son Zen prince, and her two guards, Mitsuhide and Kiki, who help her escape from Raji. After also rescuing Zen due to poisoning, Shirayuki embarks on the path to becoming a herbalist in the royal palace of Clarines.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

23. CLANNAD

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Key
Genres: Romance, slice of life, tragedy anime
Release Date: October 4, 2007 – March 26, 2009
Episodes: 47

This romantic anime, CLANNAD tells the story of Okazaki Tomoya, a brooding third-year high school student. When his mother died when he was young, he remains in the custody of Naoyuki, his father, who, when affected by this tragic loss, ends up immersed in gambling and alcohol.

RELATED: 33 Best Anime of All Time

His life takes a turn when one morning on his way to school he meets Furukawa Nagisa, an enigmatic girl with unusual qualities that will change the way he sees the world. From that moment begins a friendship between them, they fall in love and it eventually evolves into a love story. Clannad is a classic Japanese anime with well-developed characters & world. It gathered quite a few fans over the years and is considered one of the classics.

Where to watch: Funimation & HIDIVE

22. My Love Story!! (Alternate Title: Ore Monogatari)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Kazune Kawahara
Genres: Romantic comedy anime
Release Date: April 8, 2015 – September 23, 2015
Episodes: 24

Summary

Ore Monogatari follows the tall and strong Takeo Gōda looks significantly older but is only just entering the first year of high school. Because of his looks, he was popular and successful in sports, but not with the girls.

His sandpit friend Makoto “Suna” Sunakawa, on the other hand, is raved about – also by the girls, Takeo falls in love with. But Suna always rejects them. My romance story is one of the great classics of the Japanese romance anime genre.

Where to watch: Funimation & HIDIVE

21. Say I Love You

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Kanae Hazuki
Genres: Romance anime
Release Date: October 6, 2012 – December 30, 2012
Episodes: 13

Summary

This romance anime follows Mei Tachibana is 16 and has never had a boyfriend and feels lonely. Suddenly, of all people, the crush at her school is interested in her: Yamato Kurosawa. Mei falls in love with Yamato and the friendship develops into a real and serious relationship.

The two have to survive different crises and collect their first experiences together. Above all, Aiko Muto is against the relationship. Over time, Mei makes new friends and Aiko recognizes the relationship.

Where to watch: HIDIVE

20. Kimi ni Todoke

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Karuho Shiina
Genres: Coming-of-age, romance, slice of life anime
Release Date: October 6, 2009 – March 30, 2011
Episodes: 38

Summary

Kimi ni Todoke is a romantic anime that follows the love story of Kimi Ni Todoke.

It takes place in Hokkaido. 15-year-old high school freshman Sawako Kuronuma—dubbed Sadako by her classmates for her resemblance to the character from The Ring—has always been feared and misunderstood because of her appearance; rumors around school report that she can see ghosts and curse people.

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However, despite her ominous appearance in Kimi ni todoke, she is actually a sweet and unassuming girl who only longs to be helpful; she has been shunned for so long that the idea of making friends has become foreign to her. Love develops.

When a popular boy, Kazehaya, begins talking with her, everything changes. Kimi ni todoke is a light slice of life anime mixed with some teenage angst. Definitely a great watch.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

19. Emma

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Kaoru Mori
Genres: Historical, romance anime
Release Date: April 2, 2005 – July 2, 2007
Episodes: 24

Summary

Set in Victorian London at the end of the 19th century, Emma is the story of a housemaid who falls in love with a member of the gentry. However, the young man’s family disapproves of that love and his association with people of the lower classes.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

18. NANA

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Ai Yazawa
Genres: Musical, romance anime
Release Date: April 5, 2006 – March 27, 2007
Episodes: 47

Summary

This romantic anime series is centered on Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu, two women who move to Tokyo at the age of 20, with the story focused on Nana O.’s pursuit of fame and Nana K.’s pursuit of romance, all while struggling to maintain their friendship.

This is a different kind of love story, but it’s a love story nonetheless. Nana is a classic Japanese romance anime that deserves its spot on this list.

Where to watch: Netflix

17. Toradora!

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Yuyuko Takemiya
Genres: Romantic comedy, slice of life anime
Release Date: October 2, 2008 – March 26, 2009
Episodes: 25

Summary

Toradora! is a manga adaptation that revolves around Ryuuji Takasu, despite his gentle personality, his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent. Class rearrangements in his second high school year put him together with his best friend, Yusaku Kitamura, and his hidden crush, Minori Kushieda.

Toradora is a classic Japanese anime with well-developed characters, and a world and has gathered quite a few fans over the years. It’s considered a classic.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

16. Maid Sama!

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Hiro Fujiwara
Genres: Romantic comedy anime
Release Date: April 1, 2010 – September 23, 2010
Episodes: 26

Summary

Once an all-boys high school, Seika High, infamous for its rowdy students, has recently become a co-ed school. However, with the female population remaining a minority even after the change in recent years, Misaki Ayuzawa works hard to make the school a better place for girls.

Where to watch: HIDIVE & Crunchyroll

15. Kokoro Connect

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Sadanatsu Anda
Genres: Romantic comedy, supernatural anime
Release Date: July 8, 2012 – December 30, 2012
Episodes: 17

Summary

One more manga adaptation on this list. The story in Kokoro connect unfolds between five high school students, Taichi, Iori, Himeko, Yoshifumi, and Yui, who are all members of the Student Cultural Club (CCE). One day, they begin to experience a phenomenon in which they randomly swap their bodies.

These five friends are therefore confronted with many different phenomena according to the whims of this mysterious being who seeks thereby a means of distraction. Their friendship is tested throughout this story.

Kokoro Connect is one of the best romance anime ever out there so give it a try!

Where to watch: HIDIVE & Crunchyroll

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14. Romeo × Juliet

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Fumitoshi Oizaki (per William Shakespeare)
Genres: Romance anime
Release Date: April 4, 2007 – September 26, 2007
Episodes: 24

Summary

A classic historic love story. On the floating island of Neo Verona, Leontes Montague and his men lead a bloody coup and murder all the members of the ruling House Capulet. Only Lord Capulet’s young daughter, Juliet, is able to escape.

Fourteen years later, Leontes rules the land with an iron fist and crushes anyone who opposes him. Juliet, now sixteen, fights against House Montague’s oppression as the masked vigilante “The Red Whirlwind”.

While attending the Rose Ball hosted by the Montagues with a friend, Juliet meets Romeo, Prince Montague’s son, and both of them fall deeply in love at first sight.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

13. InuYasha

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Rumiko Takahashi
Genres: Adventure, fantasy, romance anime
Release Date: October 16, 2000 – September 13, 2004 (original run), October 3, 2009 – March 29, 2010 (The Final Act)
Episodes: 167 (original run), 26 (The Final Act)

Summary

Japan, Sengoku era. Inuyasha, a half-demon (han’yō), steals the Sphere of the Four Spirits from a village, an object that can greatly increase the powers of an individual (demons or men with an evil spirit).

Inuyasha does not go too far: Kikyo, the young priestess of the village, pierces him with a sacred arrow which, through Inuyasha’s body, sticks to Goshinboku, a sacred tree in the nearby forest.

By the power of the sacred arrow, Inuyasha remains frozen in a magical sleep suspended in time. If you don’t see the love elements for this summary, give it a try and be surprised!

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

RELATED: InuYasha: The Complete Anime and Movies Watching Order

12. Junjo Romantica: Pure Romance

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Shungiku Nakamura
Genres: Yaoi anime
Release Date: April 10, 2008 – September 23, 2015
Episodes: 36

Summary

This anime was adapted from manga. After the death of his parents, the boy Misaki Takahashi lives with his brother Takahiro Takahashi. He takes care of him and gives up his studies, which is why Misaki wants to study at the highly respected university where his brother wanted to study.

To achieve this, Takahiro’s eccentric friend Akihiko Usami (also “Usagi-san”) is supposed to give him tutoring. He later discovers that he is also the author of popular gay novels. The two fall in love and a great romance begins.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

11. Honey and Clover

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Chica Umino
Genres: Coming-of-age, romance anime
Release Date: April 14, 2005 – September 14, 2006
Episodes: 36

Summary

Yūta Takemoto, Takumi Mayama, and Shinobu Morita study at an art school in Tokyo (based on the Musashino Art School) and share the same dormitory.

One day, the art teacher Shūji Hanamoto introduces them to 18-year-old Hagumi Hanamoto, a relative of his. She is quite small and very talented and Morita falls in love at first sight. But Takemoto also has feelings for her.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

10. Anohana (Alternate Title:The Flower We Saw That Day)

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Super Peace Busters (Tatsuyuki Nagai, Mari Okada, Masayoshi Tanaka)
Genres: Coming-of-age anime
Release Date: April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011
Episodes: 11

Summary

A group of six childhood friends split up after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, died in an accident. Ten years after this tragedy, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, isolates himself from society and lives in seclusion.

One summer day, however, Menma appears to Jinta, looking older, asking him for help in fulfilling her wish. She believes she needs to accomplish it to fulfill her destiny.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

9. 5 Centimeters per Second

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Makoto Shinkai
Genres: Romance, drama anime
Release Date: March 3, 2007
Running Time: 65 minutes

Summary

Adapted from the manga. A tale of two people, Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari, who were close friends but gradually grow farther and farther apart as time moves on.

They become separated because of their families yet continue to exchange contact in the form of letters. Yet as time continues to trudge on, their contact with one another begins to cease and the love dissipates.

Years pass and the rift between them grows ever larger.

However, Takaki remembers the times they have shared together, but as life continues to unfold for him, he wonders if he would be given the chance to meet Akari again as the tale embarks on Takaki’s realization of the world and people around him.

Where to watch: Anime Digital Network & Crunchyroll

8. We Were There

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Yuki Obata
Genres: Drama, romance, slice of life anime
Release Date: July 3, 2006 – December 25, 2006
Episodes: 26

Summary

Nanami Takahashi, a teenage girl in her first year of high school, hopes to make new friends quickly. The center of attention at her school is Motoharu Yano, a very popular boy, whom Nanami dislikes at the beginning, due to his apparent superficiality.

However, she soon falls in love with him, but Yano is still affected by the loss of his girlfriend, Nana Yamamoto.

Anime fans will surely know how to appreciate this masterpiece.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

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7. Koi Kaze

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Motoi Yoshida
Genres: Romance, drama anime
Release Date: April 1, 2004 – June 17, 2004
Episodes: 13

Summary

The main characters are twenty-seven-year-old Koshiro Saeki, who lives with his father Zenzo, and is dumped by his girlfriend Shoko of two years, who claims he was too cold and she had found someone else.

While on a train the morning after, he sees high school student Nanoka Kohinata looking at a button and crying. Later, as she is getting off the train, she unknowingly drops her train pass and Koshiro follows to return it to her.

Koshiro finds himself watching her sudden smile as she notices the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

Later, Koshiro is leaving his job at a marriage-arranging company with a coworker when he encounters the same girl again.

Having two free tickets to a nearby amusement park, he gives them to her. To his surprise, she asks him to go with her. The two fall in love head over heels with each other.

Where to watch: Funimation & Crunchyroll

6. Boys Over Flowers

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Yoko Kamio
Genres: Reverse harem, romantic comedy anime
Release Date: September 8, 1996 – August 31, 1997
Episodes: 51

Summary

This one is a treat for old-school anime fans. Makino Tsukushi: a girl who comes from a poor family just wants to get through her 2 last years at Eitoku Gakuen, quietly.

But once she makes herself known by standing up for her friend to the F4, the 4 most popular, powerful, and rich boys at the school, things start to change for her. Besides being a great romance anime, it’s also a great comedy anime.

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Lovely★Complex

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Aya Nakahara
Genres: Romantic comedy anime
Release Date: April 7, 2007 – September 29, 2007
Episodes: 24

Summary

The main characters of this romantic anime are Risa and Otani. Lovely Complex is about two high school kids, Risa and Otani. Risa is Otani’s Childhood friend.

They are a comedy duo because whenever they’re together they fight, argue, make fun of each other, and cause a scene, which makes bystanders laugh. Over time they start to like each other.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

4. The World’s Greatest First Love

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Shungiku Nakamura
Genres: Romantic, Comedy, Boys’ love, Slice of life anime
Release Date: April 9, 2011 – December 23, 2011
Episodes: 24

Summary

Rookie literary editor Onodera Ritsu finds himself working for the Marukawa Publishing Company. To his surprise, the only job available is in the Shojo Manga division of the company.

The editor and chief of the manga division, Masamune Takano, can’t help but feel that he knows his newest editor.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

3. Spice and Wolf

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Isuna Hasekura
Genres: Adventure, fantasy, romantic anime
Release Date: January 9, 2008 – September 24, 2009
Episodes: 24

Summary

Spice and Wolf is a Supernatural, Romance, Adventure anime set in a sort of fantasy, European, Medieval world.

The story itself revolves around a young traveling merchant (Craft Lawrence), who encounters a legendary wolf god, in the appearance of a cute girl (Holo/Horo) and they end up traveling together.

Where to Watch: Hulu

2. Nodame Cantabile

40 Best Romance Anime of All Time (Ranked)

Author(s): Tomoko Ninomiya
Genres: Musical, Romantic Comedy anime
Release Date: 11 January 2007 – 25 March 2010
Episodes: 45

Summary

Shinichi Chiaki, an arrogant, multilingual perfectionist, is the top student at Momogaoka College of Music and has secret ambitions to become a conductor.

Born into a musical family, he is talented in piano and violin and once lived abroad in the music capitals of the world as a young boy (namely Prague), but is trapped in Japan because of his childhood phobia of airplanes and the ocean.

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In contrast, Megumi Noda, or “Nodame”, is a piano student at Momogaoka, notorious for messiness and eccentric behavior. Despite being very talented, Nodame prefers to play by ear rather than according to the musical score; thus, she is regarded as sloppy and playful.

Where to Watch: Netflix

1. Hotarubi no Mori e

hotarubi-03

Author(s): Yuki Midorikawa
Genres: Romantic, supernatural anime
Release Date: September 17, 2011
Running Time: 44 minutes

Summary

The original Hotarubi no Mori e shōjo manga and subsequent film tell the story of a six-year-old girl named Hotaru Takegawa, who gets lost in a forest inhabited by a mountain spirit, as well as yōkai (strange apparitions from Japanese folklore).

She is found by a mask-wearing, human-like entity named Gin, who informs Hotaru that he will disappear forever if he is touched by a human.

Gin then leads Hotaru out of the forest. Hotaru returns to visit Gin in the forest over the next few days and they become friends despite the limitations on their interactions.

Although at summer’s end she must leave Gin to return to the city and her studies, Hotaru promises to return to visit him every summer holiday.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.