Top 10 Best Couples of 2016

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2016 was an exciting year for romance. We had our first gay couple whose series was not centered on them being gay. We explored relationships with people battling with suicidal thoughts. We even had several shows where love could only exist by restarting time itself! With love so special, no doubt it was hard to choose your favorite.

Thank you to everyone that voted in our Anime Poll!! Your voice was heard and your votes tallied. There are so many things that go into being a good relationship. You expect loyalty and devotion, but when couples go beyond and prove their connection is deeper than a passing crush, we can’t help but be moved! Below we have the winning couples as decided by you lovely readers.

10. Tsuyoshi and Yukiko – Nijiiro Days (Rainbow Days)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Air Date: Jan. 2016 – June 2016

After being unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend, Natsuki is left brokenhearted. After being handed tissues on Christmas Eve by a cute girl, he's already moved on! Of course, a shy guy like Natsuki can’t make a real move on his own, so thankfully his three friends will encourage him. Mattsun the playboy, Keiichi the sadist, and Tsuyoshi the otaku will do their best to help their hopeless friend win Anna’s heart.

Tsuyoshi and Yukiko have a relationship many of you here probably envy, winning them a spot in our top 10 anime couples of 2016. Their love of manga and anime bring them together as friends, and they share a sweet and caring love for each other. Tsuyoshi is not nearly as vocal about his feelings as Yukiko is, but they understand each other well enough that it’s not an issue. Their cute interactions and roleplaying make for an enviable romance that is both fun and endearing.


9. Satoru and Kayo – Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (Erased)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Air Date: Jan. 2016 – March 2016

Satoru has always had an amazing ability he calls Revival. When disaster strikes and someone dies, he’s sent back in time just before the accident and can change fate. Despite the obvious good he does, he feels that his life has little meaning and he rarely feels happy. One day, someone very close to Satoru dies but this time, he’s sent back to elementary school. Could a missing child from his past have some relevance to the murder he wishes to stop in the future?

At first, Kayo is cold and aloof and Satoru mainly wants to protect her because of a sense of justice. After learning more about her, though, and the circumstances of her life, it isn't just blind belief that he should save everyone he can, but his love for Kayo that makes him so desperate. It’s weird for an adult man to be in a child’s body reflecting on feelings, but Satoru’s thoughts on the matter make it bearable and even humorous. These two little cuties were given 9th place in our poll!


8. Kae and Asuma (Mutsumi senpai) – Watashi ga Moete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Air Date: Oct. 2016 – Nov. 2016

Serinuma Kae is a big girl with a lot of love for boy love! She has no real interest in romantic love for herself and would much rather see hot guys with each other. Due to a depressive starvation after the loss of her favorite anime character, the hot guys at her school are far more interested than they ever were. If they think her sudden change of appearance is a lot, just wait till they learn about her inner fujoshi!

Kae and Asuma are perfect right from the start. Asuma always shows concern for Kae even before she’s deemed a ‘babe’ by the others. He’s the first to lend a helping hand and try to include Kae’s friends in events, knowing she’d be happier that way. Kae and Asuma are a great match because, aside from her rabid love of yaoi, Kae is similar to Asuma. They share a concern for others and appreciation for people that is more than skin deep. Even in the face of abuse and insults they keep up their happy disposition and do what they want.


7. Emilia and Subaru – Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

  • Episodes: 25
  • Air Date: April 2016 – Sept. 2016

Subaru is a normal boy until one day he is inexplicably sucked into a strange fantasy world! What’s stranger still is that when he dies in this world he ‘restarts’ from a few days earlier, giving him the chance to try to fix things. Due to his repeated do-overs, new paths open up to him and the chance for new and deeper relationships. Between his duties in this new world and considering the feelings of those he comes in contact with, Subaru will need every restart he gets.

While Subaru gets two spots on the list, Emilia receives the lesser vote. She is the first love interest in the series, though, so let’s mention what makes this couple noteworthy! While Emilia has always been somewhat of a loner, Subaru manages to break down her walls. Granted, he has the upper hand with his ability to respawn, but it’s admirable how hard he works to protect this person who doesn’t even share his memories. While Emilia has to deal with a lot of injustice, she is a proud figure who won’t let even love get in the way of her duties, while Subaru acts on feelings from events that don’t always exist in his timeline. It’s hard for the two to find a common ground, but it is touching when they do.


6. Naho and Kakeru – Orange

  • Episodes: 13
  • Air Date: July 2016 – Sept. 2016

Naho is a high school girl who doesn’t know what to think of the new transfer student, Kakeru. Thankfully, she has a letter from her future self, telling her what she needs to do! 10 years in the future, Naho and her 4 friends write letters to their past selves in order to guide them to a future where Kakeru can exist. Unsure of what future their actions will create, everyone will work to make a world Kakeru wants to live in. Naho comes to realize it’s not only friendship which guides her actions, but love.

One of the things that make this couple so good is how their friends are involved with their relationship. Kakeru and Naho don’t isolate themselves and instead rely on the council of peers, and in Naho’s case, her 26-year-old self! Kakeru struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide, and Naho’s pure love for him forces her to reach out and rely on others to form meaningful relationships with him too. She realizes she can’t act as a savior to him and Kakeru learns to love and trust after being so irreversibly hurt.


5. Celty and Shinra – Durarara!!x2 Ketsu

  • Episodes: 12
  • Air Date: Jan. 2016 – March 2016

The street gangs of Ikebukuro tie up Mikado and Kida’s concentration as an even more formidable force puts a nefarious plan into action. Friendships are tried and tentative new alliances are formed to combat a common evil. The appearance of Celty’s head is throwing the public into a panic. With our colorful cast of characters back for the exciting conclusion to Durarara!!, anything can happen in the city of Ikebukuro!

Celty and Shinra are a unique couple for several reasons. Usually, when the boy is abused and has a submissive role to the girl, usually his love is unrequited. However, Shinra and Celty will do anything for each other and their love has spanned multiple seasons! Even with the constant danger and mystery in Ikebukuro, the two share tender moments and communicate their feelings openly. This can be hard for a Dullahan missing her head, but Celty makes it look natural!


4. Shirayuki and Zen – Akagami no Shirayukihime Second Season (Snow White with the Red Hair 2)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Air Date: Jan. 2016 – March 2016

Shirayuki and Zen continue their lives in the palace after confessing their love to each other, but unrest is on the horizon. Shirayuki’s bright red hair has caught the attention of others who wish to meet with her for different reasons. Zen must work to balance his royal duties with protecting Shirayuki. Shirayuki wants to become a dependable and honorable woman worthy of her beloved prince. Together, they’ll overcome anyone who tries to keep them apart.

One of the things that make Zen and Shirayuki such an admirable couple is how they will go against anyone who tries to keep them apart, but also wholeheartedly take on their responsibilities and duties to prove there’s nothing wrong with their relationship. They could just ignore everyone and cause problems, but they want to prove to others that there’s nothing to fear from their relationship. They support each other and don’t just indulge themselves in spending fun time together. The adorable way Zen dotes on Shirayuki and her smile when he pats her head make them an obvious choice for our top anime couples!


3. Rem and Subaru – Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

  • Episodes: 25
  • Air Date: April 2016 – Sept. 2016

So here we are again with Subaru, which is what happens when you can restart your life and you have the time to bond with and understand multiple people. Much like a sad dating sim, Subaru finds there are multiple people to love and Rem is the clear favorite of the people. We love a good change of heart and few match up to this level. The hatred Rem has for Subaru in the beginning, going so far as to kill him, changes over the course of his lives to concern and then love. She wants what’s best for him even knowing that that means possibly giving up on her chance and supporting Subaru and Emilia.


2. Taki and Mitsuha – Kimi no Na wa (Your Name)

  • Episodes: 1 (movie)
  • Air Date: Aug. 2016
  • Mitsuha is the daughter of a politician who lives in a small town where custom and social obligations rule one’s place. Taki lives the life of a normal teenage boy in the city. The two couldn't be more different, until the day a strange comet appears and the two find themselves in each other's bodies! They know nothing about the circumstances of the other, but as time goes on and they spend more days living each other's lives, they begin to understand one another. When just switching lives is no longer enough, Mitsuha and Taki will fight against all odds to find each other.

    Taki and Mitsuha are an adorable couple for many reasons. Obviously, from the body switching, they grow to understand each other’s lives; but the concern they show for each other and their relationships is what’s so moving. Mitsuha tries to think of what Taki might want and Taki really grows to love Mitsuha’s family. The two receive newfound strength from each other and even if they aren’t physically together at the same time, they want nothing less than the best for each other. Time and distance mean nothing to these two, as they find their feelings won’t fade even if their memories do.


1. Victor and Yuuri - Yuri!!! On ICE

  • Episodes: 12
  • Air Date: Oct. 2016 – Dec. 2016

Katsuki Yuuri becomes disheartened with competitive ice skating after failing in front of his idol, Victor Nikiforov. He’s ready to throw it all away for years, until Victor himself shows up and has decided to become Yuuri’s personal coach. Swept up in Victor’s carefree and impulsive good nature, Yuuri works to get back into shape and give ice skating one last go. As Yuuri is blessed with incredible talent and a transfixing stage presence, yet cursed with crippling performance anxiety, Victor has to learn how to tap into the younger man’s potential and inspire him as his idol, his friend, and more. With the added pressure of many extremely talented competitors, Yuuri and Victor must work together to seek glory for themselves and each other.

Victor and Yuuri are our top anime couple for so many reasons. Even with the drama of competitive ice-skating and knowing you may let down yourself, your boyfriend, AND your country should you fail to medal, there is little unnecessary drama between the two. They talk about their problems and their fears, and they put things out in the open and work to understand each other. They're very comfortable together and while they are normally professional in public, they can express their feelings without shame when moved by each other. Despite their obligations and popularity with others, they don't get jealous or controlling and instead support each other to the best of their abilities. These two gained a lot of attention for being a couple that just happened to be gay, rather than building up crazy problems and unnecessary turmoil over their sexual orientation. Due to their realistic yet touching portrayal of love, Victor and Yuuri top off our best couples of 2016!


Final Thoughts

And thus ends the great poll of best couples in 2016. Love stories are often inspiring, and with the added plot of other events and problems outside a romantic relationship leading the story, the romantic moments are all the sweeter!
It’s always great to see what the people look for in their anime. Polls like these help us keep tabs on what you want to see more of! If you feel like there are other couples who deserve a special mention or a pair you wished was but was never to be, please leave us a comment!

May

Writer

Author: May

Hey friends! I reside in Georgia and use my degree in Japanese primarily to (barely) read doujinshi that hasn’t been translated. Beyond deciding who is best girl in whatever I happen to be watching, I really enjoy ballroom dancing, reading, crying over dating sims, karaoke, and being surrounded by beautiful things~ (You know, scenery, décor, boys, stuff like that). I also love talking about passions with others!

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