Love Stories that have Altered our View of Love for all Time
Who doesn’t need a good cry once in a while? The love stories in romantic anime not only make us cry when the love doesn’t work out (or does work out in an incredibly moving way), but fill us with that wonderful will-they-or-won’t-they anxiety when we’re watching our two favorite characters finally, maybe, possibly come together at last? Whether it’s schoolyard crushes, first kisses, to workplace romance, romantic anime lets us sympathize with our favorite characters as they discover their feelings, overcome the odds, or have to move on because it’s just not meant to be. So whether you’re a lonely heart or a hopeless romantic, grab your box of tissues, because you’re about to get in touch with your emotional side!
In Toradora, Ryuji and Taiga don’t like one another, but when they realize that they are both in love with each others’ best friends they decide to put their differences aside and help each other to find love. What they don’t expect is that they just might fall for one another instead! Full of some very cute moments (and admittedly some cliche moments, too), Toradora is a deeply satisfying and well-executed take on the unexpected-love story. Their personalities play really well off of one another, as Taiga seems unassuming because of her short stature but turns out to be a spitfire, and Ryuji seems unapproachable and mean but is really a gentle, kind person. The blend of romance, comedy, and drama makes this romantic anime a true crowd pleaser!
Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) (2016)
This feature length anime tells the beautiful story of Mitsuha and Taki, two star crossed lovers trying to find one another across time. You see, Mitsuha and Taki are somehow able to switch bodies for a short time, and can leave messages for one another. By repeatedly swapping bodies, they get to know a lot about each other in sometimes very intimate ways, and are even able to help each other in their personal lives. As time goes on, they start to miss each other, and as their ability to swap bodies, and their memories from when they do, fade, they know they have to do something to find one another in real life. The idea may seem far-fetched, but it is well-executed and quite poignant. And we just absolutely love that the location where Mitsuha and Taki eventually meet has become a popular tourist destination!
Maid Sama! (Kaichou Wa Meido-Sama) (2010)
A super-relatable, no-fuss romance, Maid Sama! is about Takumi Usui, a teen heartthrob, and Misaki Ayuzawa, student council president by day and maid café maid by night. A self-proclaimed boy-hater, Misaki takes her role as student council president very seriously, and she rules with an iron fist to to mediate the conflicts that arise between the boys and girls at the newly co-ed Seika High School. Not wanting to tarnish her tough-as-nails image, she keeps her job as a maid is a well-guarded secret until a male classmate, Takumi, finds out and threatens to expose her.
In order to help her struggling family, Misaki took her job as a maid in another town and never expected that any of her classmates would find out. Now that Takumi knows, Misaki is worried he will use this information to ruin her reputation and discredit her position as student council president. What she never even considers is that Takumi might actually like her! What we love about this story is that Misaki and Takumi are super-relatable. Both of them are hiding behind masks, afraid to admit their true feelings for one another, so their interactions are always so tense (in a good way)!
Golden Time (2013-14)
A romantic anime with supernatural themes, Golden Time is one of those unique stories that are hard to forget. The protagonist is Banri, who suffers from retrograde amnesia from a bad accident following his high school graduation. The story follows Banri as he tries to navigate his world post-accident, with his new best friend, Mitsuo, and Mitsuo’s obsessed former girlfriend (of sorts), Kouko. Then there’s Linda, who claims she was Banri’s best friend in high school, and blames herself for his accident. Golden Time does a great job in portraying romance in a realistic way, from the cute lovey-dovey stuff, to all the complications that come with it. It’s just an all-around good story, with comedy, drama, and romance all tied together in a way that manages to really pull your heartstrings.
My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun) (2012)
When high-achiever Shizuku is asked by her teacher to deliver handouts to Haru, a troublemaker who’s been suspended from school, she never expects for the two of them to become so close to one another. In a classic romantic tale of two people from completely different worlds finding common ground and growing to love one another, My Little Monster has all of the elements necessary to make it a good romantic anime; it’s unique, sweet, cute, wholesome, and the characters are so lovable. It may be a tried and true trope, but we can never get enough of two loners from different walks of life falling in love with one another!
What romantic anime really gets the waterworks going for you? Tell us all about your favorite and why you love it in the comments below. In the meantime, we’ll go buy some more tissues.