In this article, we will focus on romance as we have picked the 20 best romance anime – movies and series – that you can stream on Crunchyroll. We are going to present these works to you in random order so you can watch them if you like a bit of Japanese magic and romance, since all of these works provide you with both. All of these titles are available in subbed format, whereas some are available in dubbed format as well.
Original Run: October 2, 2008 – March 26, 2009
Number of Episodes: 25 (+ 1 OVA)
Ryuuji Takasu is a Japanese student who has just returned to the 12th grade and who lives alone with his mother. He would love to be an ordinary high school student, but he has one flaw: his intimidating eyes. Because of his sinister demeanor, stupid rumors keep circulating about him, including the fact that he would hit anyone who dared to jostle him and that he would be ready to kill, while he is a very sensitive young man.
Because of this, he has great difficulty in making friends; the heaviest to bear is the absence of a romantic relationship. Luckily, he is in the same class as his best friend Yūsaku Kitamura and his crush, the pretty Minori Kushieda.
2. Hori-san to Miyamura-kun (Horimiya)
Original Run: January 10, 2021 – April 4, 2021
Number of Episodes: 13
Kyōko Hori is a bright and popular high school girl, contrasting with her classmate, Izumi Miyamura, a gloomy boy and supposed otaku wearing glasses. Outside of school, Hori is a homebody who dresses simply and takes care of the house and her younger brother Souta. One day, when Souta returned home injured, he was helped by a stranger with multiple piercings.
This person is revealed to be Miyamura. While surprised that he is a different person at school, Hori is upset when Miyamura saw his true appearance at home, but the two agree to keep their true selves a secret from their classmates.
3. Fruits Basket
Original Run: July 5, 2001 – June 29, 2021
Number of Episodes: 89
Tohru Honda is a 16-year-old high school student who lives alone in a tent after the death of her mother. Without knowing it, she moved to the property of the Sôma family. When she explores the surroundings, she sees a house and enters it. There she meets Yuki and Shigure Soma. Having learned that she was living in a tent, they offered to stay with them in exchange for household chores.
Tohru accepts and then begins to live with Yuki, Kyô and Shigure. Very quickly, she learns the secret of the family: 13 of its members are victims of a curse. These people transform into one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, and the cat, when a person of the opposite sex throws themselves at their neck or when they feel embarrassed, or even weakened.
They become human again a few minutes later (the duration of the transformation can vary), but reappear completely naked (which can be very annoying, especially for Tohru who is often there during the transformation).
4. Yuri!!! on ICE
Original Release: October 6, 2016 – December 21, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12 + OVA
After coming in last place during his first participation in the Grand Prix, the young Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki continues to lose and begins to doubt his career. Months later, Yuri returns to his hometown of Hasetsu in Kyūshū, which he had left five years earlier, and there perfectly reproduces a choreography by the famous Russian skater Victor Nikiforov.
When a video of his performance filmed without his knowledge goes viral and catches Victor’s attention, the latter decides to become Yuri’s coach and train him with one of his prodigy students, Yuri Plisetsky.
5. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Original Run: January 12, 2019 – June 27, 2020
Number of Episodes: 24
The Shūchiin Academy is a prestigious school where the country’s future elites, almost exclusively the children of the rich, continue their studies. Within the high school students’ office, the two brilliant exemplary models of the academy, the vice-president Kaguya Shinomiya and the president – from a modest background – Miyuki Shirogane, conceive of love in a particular way: they are attracted to one by the other, but it is impossible for them to confess their feelings because of their too much pride, even if a semester has passed.
Indeed, considering the correlation between inequality of love interest and the relationship of domination in a relationship of this ilk, they each conclude that whoever confesses first, will become the “loser” of the couple and will inevitably come from there. to be submitted by the other. Thus begins their daily life filled with various plots and other stratagems to force the other to confess his feelings.
6. 5 Centimeters per Second
Original Release: March 3, 2007
Running Time: 65 minutes
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. 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.
7. Kimi ni Todoke
Original Run: October 6, 2009 – March 30, 2011
Number of Episodes: 38
The high school student Sawako Kuronuma is loathed by her classmates, as various rumors manifested in the school that she could see ghosts and curse people. The reason for this is the similarity of her name to Sadako, a character from the Ring.
Many students fear her presence and avoid her as much as possible. Only the new and very popular student Shōta Kazehaya treats her like any other girl. One day they get the opportunity to talk to each other, which turns their entire life upside down.
With his help, she tries to make new friends and to talk to strangers like any other schoolgirl. She is almost exaggeratedly grateful for his support and a close relationship slowly develops between the two, which has to overcome many hurdles.
8. Your Lie in April
Original Run: October 9, 2014 – March 19, 2015
Number of Episodes: 22
Kōsei Arima, a piano child prodigy, dominated various music competitions in Japan and became famous among children’s musicians, but also controversial. After his mother Saki dies, he has a nervous breakdown at a piano competition, which leads to the fact that he can no longer hear the notes of his piano even though he can hear everything else normally.
Two years have passed since then, in which Kōsei has not touched the piano and only perceives the world in black and white, without atmosphere or color. His best friends, the softball player Tsubaki Sawabe and the soccer player Ryōta Watari, try to cheer him up and arrange a kind of “double date” in which Kōsei meets a girl who brightens up his colorless world again: Kaori Miyazono.
The free-spirited 14-year-old violinist, whose playing style reflects her manic personality, helps Kōsei return to the music world by pushing him back to play the piano. By playing the violin, she also shows him that, in contrast to the structured and rigid style that Kōsei plays, she appears free and lively.
9. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Original Run: April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11
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. But Menma doesn’t remember what her wish was, causing Jinta to reunite her childhood friends again, as she believes they are the key to solving this problem.
However, the hidden feelings, internal conflicts and the persistence of feelings of sadness by Menma’s parents result in complications for the group as they struggle not only to help Menma but themselves.
10. Maid Sama!
Original Run: April 1, 2010 – September 23, 2010
Number of Episodes: 26 (+ OVA)
The Seika High School was once a school for boys only, but over time it opened up to girls too. The isolation created a harsh climate in the classes, so that the girls find it very difficult to gain a foothold and repeatedly suffer from the humiliation of the boys.
The girl Misaki Ayuzawa still manages to assert herself against her classmates and become the first student representative. Because of her behavior, she is soon seen as a man-hater, but is respected or feared. But behind this facade, she also fights against various other problems.
Among other things, her family, which consists of her mother and little sister, was abandoned by her father and is now sitting on a large pile of debts. To stop the collapse of her own apartment and to help her overworked mother, Misaki looks for a job in a maid café. Since she mainly has to serve male customers there, she tries to keep her job a secret from her classmates.
In the meantime, at school she is often confronted with the heartthrob Takumi Usui, who repeatedly refuses all declarations of love and makes the girls cry. As a result, a special form of hatred against him builds up in her. One day, however, Takumi meets Misaki in front of the Maid Café and discovers her secret.
Her fears that she would now lose her reputation are not fulfilled, however, as Takumi keeps her secret and protects her because, unlike the other girls, he develops feelings for her. Misaki also slowly develops feelings for Takumi and an ambivalent love relationship builds up, which has to suffer severe setbacks again and again.
In the end, however, Usui Takumi can confess his love to Misaki Ayuzawa at a school festival.
11. Dagashi Kashi
Original Run: January 7, 2016 – March 30, 2018
Number of Episodes: 24
The story immerses us in the daily life of Kokonotsu, a young teenager who, despite his father’s insistence, does not want to take over the family business: a candy store in the countryside. One day, a candy-worshiping girl named Hotaru walks into the store.
From then on, she kept coming back to convince our hero to take over the family business. Furthermore, the candies and other sweets featured in the artwork are products that actually exist (or have existed). Their story is told to us most of the time by Hotaru, but also from time to time by Kokonotsu, depending on the context.
12. My Dress-Up Darling
Original Run: January 9, 2022 – March 27, 2022
Wakana Gojo is a first-year high school student who dreams of becoming a Hina doll maker. One day during his first semester, his popular classmate Marine Kitagawa sees him making doll costumes in the school’s dressmaking room.
Marine, who had wanted to cosplay for a while and having observed Wakana’s skill at sewing, asks her to create a costume of a character from a video game that she loves. Nevertheless, Wakana had never made human-sized costumes, however being pushed by Marine’s strong emotions, he accepts her request.
Original Run: April 7, 2007 – September 29, 2007
Number of Episodes: 24
The tall Risa Koizumi and her short classmate Atsushi Ōtani both go to the first grade of high school. They are often referred to as “All Hanshin Kyojin,” a well-known Japanese comedy duo, because of their size differences and frequent arguments. But both are otherwise very similar, have the same taste in music and develop a good friendship with each other.
Her classmates Ryōji Suzuki and Chiharu Tanaka, Nobuko Ishihara and Heikichi Nakao, found each other in the summer, so that Koizumi and Ōtani are now surrounded by two couples. Now they finally want to fall in love, and Koizumi soon finds out that Ōtani already had a girlfriend in Mayu Kanzaki.
Koizumi soon meets Haruka Fukagawa again, a kindergarten friend of hers, who now falls in love with her. The one year younger transsexual Seishiro / Seiko Kotobuki falls in love with Ōtani, who rejects her when it is discovered that she is a boy by birth.
14. Kamisama Kiss
Original Run: October 1, 2012 – March 30, 2015
Number of Episodes: 25 (+ 5 OVA)
Nanami Momozono’s father has a thing for gambling, which causes them to live in misery. One day, her father runs away from home and abandons her, leaving behind his debts. Unable to pay the rent, Nanami is evicted from her apartment. She then wanders the streets until she meets a strange man, who gives her his house after hearing her story.
He leaves after kissing her on the forehead. When she goes to the address he gave her, Nanami realizes that the house is actually a temple, where spirits live, including a boy with fox ears and a tail. She learns that by kissing her, the man made her the new god of the Earth and she will have to face many situations to keep her place as a divinity!
15. Vampire Knight
Original Run: April 8, 2008 – December 30, 2008
Number of Episodes: 26
The oldest memory that Yûki keeps is that of a winter night, where she was attacked by a vampire… and rescued by another. Ten years later, Yūki, the adopted daughter of Cross Academy’s director, has grown up and become the academy’s guardian. She is in love with Kaname, her savior, who is the president of the Night Class (a class of young aristocratic vampires).
But also at his side, there is Zero, who fights not to become a Level E (completely dehumanized vampire), his childhood friend, whose family was decimated by a vampire. Since this tragedy, he has had a deep hatred for these mythical creatures.
Will the peace established by Director Cross between humans and vampires last? Aren’t vampires hiding something? In this world of mystery and magic, nothing is as it seems. What if the price of trust could be worse than the death of a loved one?
16. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
Original Run: July 7, 2014 – September 22, 2014
Number of Episodes: 12
The high school student Chiyo Sakura has fallen in love with her classmate Umetaro Nozaki, but it is difficult for her to admit this to him. After one unsuccessful attempt, he takes it home with him. But contrary to Sakura’s hopes, he thinks she is a fan – Nozaki is a mangaka and draws a comic series for girls (“Shōjo”), which appears in the magazine Gekkan Shōjo Romance.
She has long since noticed her talent in the art club, so he recruits her as an Inker. Sakura likes to do this, after all, she is so close to him and maybe she can still confess her love to him. Through the frequent work together, they make new friends and Sakura learns about the work of a mangaka. So Nozaki first goes in search of interesting people who he can use as a template for his stories.
Sakura introduces him to her classmate Yuzuki Seo – a sporty, helpful, but also rough and insensitive girl. Through Nozaki, Sakura met Mikoto Mikoshiba, who drew Nozaki the decorations and patterns. Mikoto is a would-be womanizer who often knocks out slogans but is shortly afterwards ashamed of himself.
17. Boys Over Flowers
Original Run: September 8, 1996 – August 31, 1997
Number of Episodes: 51
Boys Over Flowers tells the story of sixteen-year-old Tsukushi Makino, whose parents sacrificed everything to send her to Eitoku, a private school for children from good families, far beyond their means, in the hope of raising money, and her finding a handsome and rich son-in-law.
Tsukushi’s vision is not really the same. It must be said that the atmosphere that reigns there is terrible. The students are bad to the bone, like stereotypes of the children of the rich, especially the F4, a group of four extremely rich boys who rule in Eitoku. Anyone who opposes the F4 will receive the infamous red card and be persecuted by the whole school.
Makino is determined to stay in her corner for the remaining two years and devote herself to her studies. But one day, Tsukushi’s only friend, Makiko, stumbles upon Tsukasa Dômyôji, the head of F4 and heir to the Dômyôji group, the richest in Japan. She begs his forgiveness but the boys don’t seem ready to listen to her.
Original Run: January 11, 2014 – June 26, 2015
Number of Episodes: 32 + 4 OVA
Nisekoi follows the story of high school student Raku Ichijō, son of yakuza leader Shuei-Gumi, and Chitoge Kirisaki, the daughter of a rival gang boss known as Bee Hive. They unexpectedly meet when Chitoge jumps off a wall and punches Raku in the face. After she runs away, Raku realizes that he has lost his pendant given to him by his childhood sweetheart who he made a secret promise to. After discovering that Chitoge is a new transfer student in his class, he forces her to help him search for the pendant. During this search, they begin to hate each other.
19. Ouran High School Host Club
Original Run: April 5, 2006 – September 26, 2006
Number of Episodes: 26
Ouran High School is a privileged educational institution where children of the richest and noblest families in Japan (children of politicians and big business tycoons) go to school. At the school, some of the best teachers in the country design the curriculum in such a way as not to overload the pampered wealthy students. Thanks to such care, they have a huge amount of free time that they spend on their hobbies.
One of the adornments of the Ouran School is the so-called “Host Club”, where rich and handsome young men use their natural abilities to entertain equally rich and beautiful girls with a certain benefit for themselves.
By chance, Haruhi Fujioka, who had enrolled in this school thanks to his academic achievements, enters the abandoned music classroom in which this club is based. After accidentally knocking a luxurious 8-million yen vase off a stand, Haruhi Fujioka found himself in virtual slavery by the wealthy members of the Host Club. From now on, he must go to the store, work as a servant, carry out small errands and do other dirty work in the club until graduation, thereby fulfilling his duties to the club.
20. Is This a Zombie?
Original Run: January 11, 2011 – June 7, 2012
Number of Episodes: 22 + 3 OVA
Aikawa Ayumu is a normal high school student until the day he is murdered by a serial killer. He is then reborn as a zombie thanks to the necromancer Eucliwood Hellscythe. Aikawa then becomes his servant but inadvertently absorbs the powers of a “masō-shōjo” named Haruna and in turn, becomes a masō-shōjo.
The young man will then have to manage his schedule between his duties as a masō-shōjo, his studies, and the search for his assassin, with Eucliwood, Haruna, and a vampire ninja named Seraphim living with him.