A lot of times in anime, there are romances between the protagonist and another character and the reason for this is to create more suspense and to spice up the plot. There are many anime out there that have incredibly heartwarming words of love, and at times, they might be out of place. These top 10 confessions are definitely ones that deserve their title, what with their heart-warming situations and words!
10. Irie and Kotoko [Itazura na Kiss]
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2008 — September 2008
A lot of shoujo portray the male leads as being cool, cold, and aloof. The reason for this is to set up the idea that guys are unattainable and that they consistently need a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. Aihara Kotoko is a prime example of a girl who stakes her hopes on a guy that is beyond her reach. Irie Naoki is a smart, handsome, and active guy who says that he has no time for stupid girls.
Of course, this prompts Kotoko to work as hard as she can so that she ends up in the same class him, but of course, it’s to no avail. When Kotoko’s house is destroyed due to an earthquake, she and her father are forced to stay with the Irie household, as her father is good friends with Naoki’s father. Of course, the events that transpire are ones that bring Kotoko and Naoki closer together.
The anime itself takes its time in making Naoki’s feelings clear, and when he finally does, it’s because Kotoko had decided to move on from him and to date other people. When this happened, we see a change in Naoki’s character development, although not by much. He tells Kotoko that he doesn’t want her seeing other people because he’s in love with her, and at his words, Kotoko becomes absolutely stunned. After his declaration of his feelings, Naoki does a complete 180 and his attention is completely focused on Kotoko from that point until the very end. What more could you ask for in a shoujo!
9. Jellal and Erza [Fairy Tail]
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: October 2009 — March 2013
One of the most frustrating things about Fairy Tail that all fans experience is the fact that there is no explicit confession. The writer always teases his readers and makes them wait for more, sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation of a kiss, or an utterance of what someone is truly feeling. Throughout the anime, we see certain characters interact and notice that there is something different, something very subtle in the way they look at each other. This aspect of romance is present in a lot of characters in Fairy Tail, but one of the most prominent ones that that has become a favourite is Jellal and Erza.
Both characters have a tainted past that has been hinted to have been associated with human experimentation, and because they have known each other for this long, they have an indescribable bond that transcends subtlety. Because they have pasts that are intertwined, surely there are emotions and unresolved issues between them that are yet to be explored. However, after Jellal had started to repent for all the sins he had committed while having a seat in the Magic Council, he admitted to Erza that he did not deserve to live because of his past crimes.
Frustrated, Erza told him that to continue to live is what would fill him with love, and after fighting for just a few moments, the two fell down a hill and ended up on top of each other with no escape from each other’s gazes. Gently, Erza began to bring her Jellal’s face closer, but at the very last second, he pulled her away from him and claimed that he had a fiancée. At the end of the scene, Jellal admits to Ultear and Meredy that people like them “cannot fall in love with people who walk in the light”. Although Jellal didn't admit his feelings to Erza’s face, we are shown that she, too, already knows how he feels. The level of their understanding of each other is another factor that makes this indirect “I love you” seem so much more special.
8. Tomoe and Nanami [Kamisama Kiss 2 JPN: Kamisama Hajimemashita 2]
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2015 — March 2015
The premise of Kamisama Kiss is an interesting one, as it is about a human girl who obtains godly powers that enable her to help those around her that believe in faith and hope. When she is bestowed with these powers, she is also introduced to a fox familiar who, in the earlier part of his life, was an immense demon who killed others simply because he was not a good spirit. Initially, he didn't like Nanami because of her incompetence compared to his previous “master”, but when he sees how hard she works to do well, he begins to respect her and eventually feel romantic feelings towards her.
It is obviously hinted at that Tomoe feels romantically for Nanami in the first season of the Kamisama Kiss series, but it is the second season where we really start to see how much he cares about her. When Nanami is attending an annual meeting with the other gods, she gets lost and reverts to her younger self after she lost her mother to a terminal sickness. In his protective nature, Tomoe follows after her and takes care of her, but the catch is that Nanami most likely won’t remember his kindness to her when she returns to normal, since she is mortal.
To his surprise, he finds it easy to love Nanami in this form and to protect her, which really isn’t that different from what he had been doing originally. Towards the end, when Nanami is still a child and has become attached to Tomoe, she asks him if he loved her enough to marry her, and he quietly says yes. The second season of this anime itself ends with the audience not knowing whether Nanami remembers Tomoe’s silent confession that he did love her, but we are given the impression that she indeed knows of his gentle words.
7. Tomoya and Nagisa [Clannad]
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: October 2007 — March 2008
Famous for its deep themes and parallels, there’s a reason why Clannad’s most loved characters are on this list. They start out being so different when they first meet in high school, but the more they know each other, the more they learn to accept each other’s flaws and become best friends. Initially, Tomoya had felt sympathy for Nagisa when she was standing at the top of a hill, asking him if he liked school. Her lack of distance is what intrigued him and caused him to want to help her, eventually creating a blooming friendship and relationship that melted the hearts of those close to them.
It all started with the fact that she wanted to reopen the theatre club so that she could act and fulfil her passionate dream of performing on stage for her audience. Naturally, what else could Tomoya do other than to look out for her and help her?
There are many cute moments throughout the Clannad anime, but one of the most memorable moments was when Tomoya finally understood his feelings for Nagisa. After saying goodbye to teachers and friends, Tomoya asked Nagisa to come with him to one of the school buildings, where the theatre club room was located. When they entered the room, Tomoya waited for her to look at the whiteboard where he had written, “be my girlfriend”, to which Nagisa began to cry and said yes. Of course, that was only the beginning of their journey, but Tomoya’s confession certainly struck something in Nagisa as well as those who watched the anime — truly romantic!
6. Ichigo and Orihime [Bleach]
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: October 2004 — March 2012
Orihime is consistently bashed on for being too weak and for always calling out for Ichigo’s help in her “annoying” voice. Many fans of Bleach merely dislike her because she is disguised as a character who is always a damsel in distress and can’t do anything by herself. In the Arrancar arc, however, Orihime shows great promise for her character development by deciding to become stronger so she can protect not just Ichigo, but all of those who she holds close to her heart.
All the Arrancar had decided that her powers of healing were godly and strong, and thus they wanted her to come to their side and support them instead of Soul Society. Orihime was faced with a choice: either she stays with those she loves and definitely will put their lives in danger, or she gives up her freedom and they stay safe. Naturally, she chose the latter and she was told that she was allowed to say goodbye to only one person.
Although there were hints of Orihime showing romantic feelings for Ichigo, it still came as a surprise when she chose to say goodbye to only him, and not to her best friend Tatsuki. At this point in the anime, Ichigo had been incredibly injured and was bedridden. His younger sisters had been taking care of him as well as eating in the same room as him for their meals, wanting to be closer to their brother. Orihime is moved by this, and begins to speak to Ichigo as though he were awake. She says that she sometimes wished she could've been reborn five times with five different lives, because there were so many things that she wished to be.
As she listed off her aspirations for her different lives, she paused and looked at Ichigo, saying that despite wanting to have different professions in her five lives, she knows that she would find her way to Ichigo, and fall in love with him in each life. This act of tenderness presents a somewhat fearless side to Orihime, as her confession is nothing but sincere and selfless.
5. Minato and Kushina [Naruto: Shippuuden]
The story of Minato and Kushina is one that has touched all the hearts of Naruto fans. When Naruto first meets his mother from inside his own consciousness, she tells him how she fell in love with and married the Fourth Hokage, Minato. The nature of the "reunion" between a mother and her son is already an emotional ordeal, but when she blushes and begins reminiscing is when the story really takes a better hit. After Kushina tells the story of her romance with Minato, audience members are moved by the subtlety of emotion that is present in their relationship.
Kushina was an outsider who was forced to come to Konoha because there was no other way for her to survive safely from the Second Ninja War. She was ripped away from her family and never heard of them again, making her life already incredibly lonely as a young girl. When she first meets Minato, she pays no mind to him and continues to defend herself against bullies, a trait that you definitely saw present in Naruto as well. When it was apparent that Kushina could not save herself from her kidnappers, she left behind strands of her hair as a means of creating a trail for someone to find her.
Naturally, Minato was the one who sensed her absence from the village and chased after her, taking out and killing the ninjas that were taking her away. Although there is no explicit "I love you", the reason so many fans favor this "confession" is because Minato tells Kushina that he believes in her strength, and that when she has faltered, he will be there to be her fearlessness and ferocity. Despite not being traditionally romantic, Minato's confession to Kushina is one that certainly makes audience members feel especially drawn to.
4. Ed and Winry [FMA: Brotherhood]
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: April 2009 — July 2010
One of the best things about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is that it pursues the story of two brothers who want to find answers about humanity and the condition of a government system that no longer works to protect the people, but rather, to protect themselves. Not only that, but amongst sprinkles of comedy and heart-wrenching scenes that are sure to break your heart, there are hints of romance between characters that is so subtle, but incredibly realistic.
Edward and Winry can be considered one of the “main” couples of the series, and throughout the 64 episodes, we get to experience a love that slowly grows and blossoms firsthand! What makes this couple so great is that it’s not the stereotypical anime couple, where the girl is incredibly shy and reserved, and the guy is ‘cool’ and aloof. The dynamics between Edward and Winry make their characters fit well together, creating a sense of belonging by the end of the series.
At the end after Alphonse has gotten his body back and both brothers are freed from their sins, Edward is about to leave and do more research on alchemy so that he becomes a complete expert. It took a while to decide that this was what he wanted to do -- along with Alphonse, of course -- and when he did decide this, it was Winry who was seeing him off at the train station. As a proposal, Ed asks Winry to give her half his life in exchange for half of hers. Unamused, Winry complains that alchemists should stop thinking about everything in terms of ‘equivalent exchange’, and goes on to say “Half of it? I’ll give you all of it!” to which Edward stares at her until she realises what she’s said.
Embarrassed, Winry says that she’ll give him a certain amount, deciding that 85% of her life would suffice. Laughing, Edward pulls her in and hugs her, saying that he would be back soon. As cheesy a confession as that was, it was definitely one that made FMA fans smile and laugh — the mark of a true romance that is natural and healthy.
3. Ryuuji and Taiga [Toradora]
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2008 — March 2009
Ryuuji and Taiga’s relationship is an interesting one because initially they didn’t like each other but rather liked other people before realizing that they have feelings for each other. Ryuuji’s character is that he looks intimidating but is actually a gentle guy whereas Taiga is a short and cute girl but is actually very hot-headed and has the tendency to snap at people, that in itself makes for an interesting dynamic. Initially, Ryuuji likes Taiga’s friend and Taiga likes Ryuuji’s friend and throughout the anime Taiga manipulates Ryuuji to do anything for her under the pretense that her friend will like Ryuuji. Moreover, both of them show sides to them that eventually make them fall for each other.
Eventually, they both confess to each other on a bridge. Taiga opens up about her family problems and Ryuuji laments how if he was never born then his mom would have a better life which prompts Taiga to tell him not to look down on life and remarking that she’s alive because he is here and pushes him off the bridge. After that ordeal Ryuuji asks Taiga to marry him when he turns 18, but before Ryuuji can say, “I love you” Taiga jumps off of the bridge to say that along with Ryuuji. Both Taiga and Ryuuji eventually get together in the end and for the viewers they find that the ending is satisfying because all conflict is resolved and everyone earns their happy ending.
The opposites attract dynamic that is present in them seems to be appealing to people because it gives them the impression that love can appear even in people that look like they can’t stand each other. It also gives a mostly realistic approach to the character’s archetype, which makes this couple feel real and even heartwarming.
2. Yano and Nanami [We Were There JPN: Bokura ga Ita]
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2006 — December 2006
Notoriously known for being a heartbreaking shoujo, We Were There [JPN: Bokura ga Ita] is a story that explores two hearts that unknowingly come to leave each other with everything they have. What sets this anime apart from other shoujo is the fact that despite the fact that the main characters are fifteen when they are first introduced, the creator makes it known that this is no regular high school romance. There are hardships for both characters that enable them to grow into more compassionate people and they are not limited to just their romance. While a lot of shoujo romanticise the aspect of high school romance, We Were There is certainly an exception. The foundation of Yano and Nanami’s relationship in high school is a setup for what their relationship will turn into in later years.
The first genuine “I love you” that is uttered is by Yano while they are at a school festival after their summer vacation. Up until that point, we see Yano as an aloof character that doesn’t really care for things like romantic relationships. Granted, he confesses to Nanami only six episodes after the anime’s debut, but there are obviously problems that Yano still faced after he told Nanami those three precious words that she couldn’t believe she was hearing.
One of the reasons that Yano’s words are so touching to the audience is because from the very start of the story, we know that he had a past that caused him to have issues with relationships in general. When he admits his feelings to Nanami, it’s because we are finally seeing a side of him that surely changes the entire story.
1. Hinata and Yui [Angel Beats!]
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 — June 2010
Despite popular belief that Kanade and Otonashi have the best “I love you”, a lot of Angel Beats! fans are forgetting that Hinata’s devotion to Yui is one of the most emotional moments of the entire anime, and is also definitely one of the most touching confessions in anime. Angel Beats! is also already known as one of those anime you should avoid if you don’t want to get emotionally attached to any of the characters.
Throughout the anime, characters slowly disappear from the cast and are given a new chance at life, as the anime itself is about reincarnation and the idea that God is unfair and takes away youth at its most crucial moments. Of course, what kind of audience can the producers hope to bring in if there’s not at least a little bit of romance?
Angel Beats! is an anime about achieving goals that one couldn't achieve in their previous life. In her previous life, Yui was sick and wasn't allowed to be active in sports. As a result, after she died at a young age, she wanted to be as active as possible around her friends in the afterlife. When she wished to try everything she couldn't when she was alive, she began to disappear.
Admitting that there was one last thing she wanted before she found a new life, Otonashi frowned at the fact that he couldn't give her that satisfaction. Jumping in at the last second, Hinata, the boy who Yui had mostly been fighting with, promised that if she was sick again, he would love her and take care of her.
He promised that, if God was unfair to her once again, he would find his way to her and fall in love with her. Smiling as she teared up and began to disappear, Yui asked Hinata to “take the burden off her mother”, to which Hinata smiled back and said he would. Although not as dramatic as Kanade and Otonashi’s exchange at the end of the anime, Hinata’s integrity and kindness towards Yui is heartbreaking, as the promises that he makes to her resound deeply within our hearts.
These 10 scenes in anime that speak of love are surely those that touch you to your very soul. All these moments have been moving when they were aired on television, and they still continue to touch the hearts of those who are invested emotionally. While there are other confessions in anime that are heart-warming, these ones are the ones that take the cake in terms of setting up a romance that is incredibly powerful. Let us know what you think in the comment section below!