Ah, swoon and sigh! Romance is the spice of life that makes the heart leap, clench, and dangerously skip a beat. Once you catch the bug for romance anime it ignites a fire that makes it so you cannot get enough of it.
Though as with many anime fans who watch anime of a particular genre, it can quickly become difficult to slate this thirst. There is no shortage of anime of the romance genre, but not everyone wants to suffer through all the subpar romantic animes. So here are some suggestions for some good ones!
I have also provided recommendations for romance manga as well, most of which have very decent animes as well. However, for the sake of variety, I have left them off this particular list.
Meet Keitaro Urashima, when he was a boy he promised a girl who moved away that they would one day meet again at Tokyo University. The only problem is, his grades are so poor he cannot seem to pass the entrance exam to get in. After his parents threaten to make him get a job, he takes over his Grandmothers' manager job at the Hinata hot springs, which has recently been transformed into an all-girls dorm. With all these young girls around, drama and love are sure to be abound!
Love Hina is a classic harem anime, really it is the definition of 'harem'. A bunch of pretty girls surrounded by one normal (or in this case, nerdy) guy. Love Hina is the typical set up for a romance anime. You know when there are some many girls and one guy that he is just going to fall in love with one of them. Love Hina is a sweet, but mildly perverted anime that may seem to be marketed more towards men, but any woman can enjoy it too if they can get past the obvious fan service.
Tomoya Okazaki is just floating through school life as a delinquent. One day as he walks to school an odd girl catches his eye. Nagisa Furukawa is a sickly girl who was held back in school due to her illness. Tomoya notices she is alone in school often because all her friends have graduated and concedes to become her friend and help her restart the drama club. Over the course of their adventures they meet many a colorful people and eventually a love forms between them.
Clannad is a harem anime similar to Love Hina, lots of girls and a few guys. Tomoya is the catalyst between them that helps the girls sort out through their problems. He does end up in love with Nagisa though and Clannad and its sequel Clannad After Story follow them through their lives. While Clannad is sad at times, Clannad After Story is a vicious punch right in the heart strings. Though After Story does get really psychedelic trippy near the end. Jun Maeda is a masterful writer of romance, relationships, and character creation. Once the characters dig their claws into you it is hard to forget them.
His and Her Circumstances
Miyazawa Yukino is the model student. She is pretty, intelligent, and very humble about her abilities. This is just a ruse to gain the admiration she thrives on. For her rival Soichiro Arima, however, it is not a ruse. He truely is the perfect student. He finds out Yukino's ruse and blackmails her to do his work for him. Over this time they bond and eventually a friendship forms. This soon blossoms into love as they vow to try to become more like their true selves.
His and Her Circumstances is a great little show that follows a romance all throughout the students lives. However, the anime stops at high school, the manga follows them throughout their whole life. It is quite the heart gripping affair. The animation is a little dated, but it is a very touching show. It handles a lot of the more complex emotions that go along with love and school life.
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Itazura Na Kiss
Kotoko Aihara has wanted nothing more from her school life to be placed in the same class as her crush Irie Naoki. However, Irie is the smartest person in school and Kotoko is one of the dumbest. When a disaster distroys her house, her father takes her to live with a friend of his--at Irie Naoki's house. He is cold and mocking to her at first, but this coldness seems to be something else on his part.
Itazura Na Kiss is a great anime romance and rare as it follows them through high school, college, marriage and the birth of their first child. Not many romance animes follow the couple throughout their lives, so it is good in this respect. However, it follows the negative stigma that the girl falls in love with the guy with the worst attitude.
Kimi Ni Todoke
Sawako Kuronuma is a completely misunderstood person. Her timid demeanor and plain looks often make her confused with the ghost girl from "The Ring", thus earning her the nickname Sadako. She longs to make friends and have a normal life, but it just isn't going well. Not going well until the popular boy in class Shouta Kazehaya starts talking to her. A powerful friendship soon forms that also gives her the bravery to connect with other people.
Kimi Ni Todoke is a sweet little romance. It deals more with life situations that actual romantic ones. Do not expect the romance to progress very quickly though, it took two seasons just to get to a kiss, so keep that in mind. It is a great and inspiring little romance anime if you are also a shy person and find it hard to make connections with other people. It is really quite a realistic look at romance and friendship.
Four boys are given the opportunity to live in a large mansion free of charge while they go to school. The catch is that they have to make the young lady of the house into a proper lady. Sunako Nanahara is a damaged girl. She is timid, gloomy, and a massive horror movie fan. She was traumatized by a by she liked calling her ugly in Junior High now all beautiful things hurt her eyes. This is a massive problem as all four boys that have set out to make her a lady are absolutely gorgeous.
The Wallflower is a lot like Kimi Ni Todoke if Kimi Ni Todoke was all about humor. Though really Kimi Ni Todoke would be more like The Wallflower, as The Wallflower was released first. All that aside though, The Wallflower is a fun romp and there are a lot of little funny easter eggs in it if you like horror movies. It is also a pleasant reverse harem with all the boys around one girl, but there is only one real love interest in the series. It is a refreshing take on romance anime as the girl is not, for once, going completely gaga over the guy.
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These are just a few of the best selected from my personal anime library. If you have been fortunate to see all of these or have a specific sort of anime in mind, leave a comment. I can give more suggestions if you want them!