Every anime fan has a favourite romance anime. Who wouldn't want to be head over heels for different love tropes and stories worth gushing over, right? If you're one of those fans, we've put together a list of the best romance anime you can watch right now.
For years, anime enthusiasts have been treated to various tales of romance, with some stories filling our hearts and others breaking them. Nonetheless, the romance genre is always one to look out for whether within the settings of a slice-of-life, fantasy, tragedy, or even comedy.
Similarly, such anime has evolved over the years, with stories becoming closer to the heart. Love triangles between the main character, the new girl, and the childhood friend are not always the main topics of today's stories. Instead, we're introduced to romance's aspects of grief, sexuality, and maturity. For more anime, check out our list of the best new anime of 2022, the best one piece arcs, and the best mecha anime.
Best Romance Anime (2022)
Your Lie in April
This story covers Kosei Arima, a fourteen-year-old who was once a piano prodigy. Due to his mother's death, Kosei has a mental breakdown, with its effects making him unable to hear the sound of his piano playing despite having normal hearing. Two years later, Kosei's world shifts when he meets the free-spirited violinist, Kaori Miyazono, who attempts to help Kosei return to playing the piano.
With Kosei slowly realising that he's falling in love with Kaori, viewers come to know of the concepts of loving from afar and living life to the fullest in this bittersweet romance.
Ao Haru Ride
A shoujo slice-of-life romance, this anime follows Futaba Yoshioka who was formerly in love with Ko Tanaka in middle school. After a misunderstanding, their friendship ends, especially when Ko transfers to another school over the summer holiday. As high school comes for Futaba, her world turns around once again when she meets Ko, who is enrolled under a different name.
What makes this anime memorable is how it focuses more on self-acceptance in romance and being enough. Ao Haru Ride offers gradual character development that makes one fall in love with its characters.
A classic romance anime, Toradora! follows the gentle yet intimidating-looking Ryuuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka, a sharp-tongued girl with a ferocious temper. The opposites clash one day when they find out that they have a crush on each other's best friends. Striking a deal, the two help each other out to pursue their respective crushes, becoming closer throughout the series.
Taking its time, the story progresses naturally without rushing anything. Packed with the right amount of romance, drama, and comedy, Toradora! features a wholesome yet meaningful plot.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
In this comedy-romance anime series, we follow the lives of the prestigious Shuchiin Academy's student council president Miyuki Shirogane and vice president Kaguya Shinomiya. They're a perfect match, being rooted by the entire student body. However, despite liking each other, they are too proud to confess their love, believing that whoever does so first will lose in the game of love.
In this anime, we get to see the crazy antics of both Miyuki and Kaguya as they scheme to make the other confess to them. Each episode brings a steady development of closeness and maturity as Kaguya and Miyuki contemplate what it means to play the game of love.
Ouran High School Host Club
This classic 2000s romantic comedy follows the life of Haruhi Fujioka, a scholar at the elite Ouran Academy who accidentally breaks an antique vase in the Host Club's room. To work off the debt of the shattered vase, Haruhi becomes a host for the club. Dealing with the antics of the club's activities, Haruhi gets to know each male member of the club and the tales of romance among the academy's students.
Ouran High School Host Club challenges gender roles, as Haruhi asserts that gender is irrelevant in how a person is perceived or how their roles in society should be met. Its bite-sized bits of romance build up with the right amount of comedy and drama throughout each episode.
In Horimiya, popular beauty Kyouko Hori and distant Izumi Miyamura have a chance encounter and discover their hidden selves. With Hori carrying the burden of housework despite her popularity and Miyamura bearing piercings and tattoos that make him seem like a delinquent, the two hit it off, becoming closer as they learn to come out of their shells.
A notable thing in this anime is how it depicts being open to taboo topics such as sexuality, and Horimiya does it well. It gradually introduces the importance of communication in that aspect, and the anime explores the realities of romance aside from the excitement of first being in a relationship.
Another romance staple, Nisekoi follows the lives of Raku Ichijou, the sole heir to an intimidating yakuza family he wants nothing to do with. Raku's life is shaken up when he's tossed into a frustrating conflict with the American Bee Hive Gang. To resolve this, Raku makes an agreement with Chitoge Kirasaki, the daughter of the said gang, that they have a fake relationship to reduce the friction between the groups.
Nisekoi may offer common tropes seen across love stories, but it allows viewers to discover where one's heart truly leads them to.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
In this hit anime, viewers get a glimpse of the relationship between heart-throb Takumi Usui and the fiery student council president, Misaki Ayuzawa. One day, Takumi finds out that Misaki works at a maid café and discovers a wholly different side to the rigid president.
Filled with sheer personality, this romance brings a lot of emotional impact to its viewers in this fun series.
Your Name has captured the hearts of numerous romance anime fans across the world. Here, high schoolers, Mitsuha and Taki (who are complete strangers) suddenly wake up one day, having switched with each other's bodies. With this strange occurrence continuing, the two must adjust their lives around each other and figure out the reason for this otherworldly phenomenon.
With its mesmerizing visuals and magical story, you'll also be put under the spell of this anime film.
A sombre romance, Clannad revolves around Tomoya Okazaki, a third-year high schooler who finds life as dull as it is. He then meets Nagisa Furukawa, a severely ill girl who is trying to revive the school's drama club. Seemingly uninterested at first, Tomoya befriends Nagisa and tries to help her with that goal, slowly realizing that his life isn't as monochrome as he initially thought.
Both a hopeful and heart-wrenching series, Clannad is timeless in its storytelling and has delivered top-tier character development for its characters.