Are you in the mood to watch some cute romance anime, but you’re not sure the anime that comes to mind fit the category of cute, or just want to watch something that will make your heart bleed like Kimi ga Nozomu Eien? Fortunately for you, dear reader, we got you covered!
We’re going list 10 cute romance anime and… we’re going to… uh… list 10 cute romance anime… Yeah, that’s literally it. Pretty straightforward, but that’s it. *ahem*
Before we go on, we’re gonna set a simple rule: Regardless of content, art style, and settings, the list is focused on anime with couples doing adorable things on screen, or they do stuff that makes the viewers happy, laugh, or just go AWWWWWW! Admittedly, being “cute” can be very suggestive, so some of you may not find certain entries cute. But hey, like beauty, cute is in the eye of the beholder. Woah, that’s profound. *ahem*
Oh and we’re going to avoid spoilers altogether, so don’t expect anything revealing. That’s for you to find out. I mean, come on… Don’t let the internet spoil the fun! Yeah, that’s food for thought for ya!
Here we go!
10. Sasameki Koto (Whispered Words)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2009-December 2009
Now, now! Yes, the anime is very slow, but once you adjust to its pace, it’s really a sweet story of two girls falling in love. And its slow pace made this number 10. You gotta start somewhere! Or something like that...
Murasame Sumika is a tall, intimidating girl who is the admiration of everyone in school with her athletic skills and smarts. Little does everyone know, Sumika is in love with her best friend Kazama Ushio. While Sumika hides her yuri love, her best friend is more open: Ushio loves girls, especially the cute ones! Sadly for Sumika, Ushio doesn’t see her as a romantic partner because Sumika is not a cute girl. Sasameki Koto tells the story of two girls slowly realizing their feelings.
If you’re watching this anime for the yuri fanservice, you’ll be very disappointed. While Sasameki Koto is a genuine yuri show, things develop slowly but naturally with a few yuri fanservice here and there. The anime doesn’t try to cash in all of that kissing, hugging and holding hands at all. Sasameki Koto paces itself and focuses more on the character’s friendship and relationship in a rather realistic way. However, the anime is no way dull — there are lots of carefully place humor and some yuri fanservice like Sumika collapsing with a nosebleed after seeing Ushio naked, and her live-in maid Hayasumi Noe getting the idea Sumika wants “to do something else in bed with Ushio”. It’s sometimes slow, but cute and sweet.
09. Kanon (2006)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2006-March 2007
Before you hurt yourself, yes, go with the 2006 remake of Kanon. I’m not saying Kanon 2002 by Toei Animation has a bad story. It has a good story, but… that art style… Uguu. Anyways, Kanon is based on a visual novel of the same name and it tells the story of Aizawa Yuuichi, who moves to his cousin in a quaint town somewhere in… well… somewhere in Japan after seven long years.
Unfortunately for Yuuichi, he has no recollection why he left town seven years ago, and as he went around town with his cousin Nayuki, he barely recalls anything. What happened to Yuuichi seven years ago? Did something happen that made him forget his childhood memories of that town?
After settling in, Yuuichi bumps into several girls, all of which are somehow connected to his past. As he befriends these girls, he slowly pieces together his forgotten memories and finally discovers what happened that day.
During its time, “the guy who went back to town years later and then meets childhood friends” routine wasn’t used to death and it was Kanon 2006 that helped popularized this trope with the added emphasis in cute romance. The anime can be summed up with Yuuichi befriending these girls like going along with their antics, etc. It’s pretty much typical romance scenarios nowadays, but like any other romance anime adapted from visual novels is there are lots of interesting girls to support and cheer. Things may get serious and can be quite dramatic, but the experience of seeing these girls develop and Yuuichi finding his answers are the best parts of the show. Uguu…
08. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2015-September 2015
Takeo is a big guy… For yo—*ahem*
Gouda Takeo is tall and muscular for his age as a high school freshman, but behind all that intimidating mound of muscle lies a heart of gold, and is considered a hero by the guys at school. Too bad for him these traits did not translate well for his love life. To make matters worse, his cool and handsome best friend-childhood friend Sunakawa “Suna” Makoto effortlessly steals the heart of every girl in school, even including the girls Takeo likes.
One day Takeo saves the girl Yamato Rinko from a train molester (not talking about someone who literally molest trains), and he immediately fell in love with the girl. Knowing his predicament and his best friend’s ability to sweep any girl off their feet, Takeo assumes Rinko is in love with Suna. Selfishly Takeo decides to be a cupid for Rinko, even though he also wishes to yearn love.
The story isn’t a Beauty and the Beast thing, but rather the story of the Blue and the Red Ogre. Takeo fell in love with Rinko, but gave up because he already saw how things go — He likes a girl, this girl likes Suna, and then Suna rejects girl. Things are different this time around when Takeo was surprised Suna complimented a girl for the very first time and since he has no chance of winning, Takeo decides to help out. Little does Takeo know that our heroine here has genuine feelings towards him, and this cute romance story revolves around it. Ore Monogatari!! is a different kind of show that involves a man in love who doesn’t look like an angsty teen with eight grader syndrome.
07. Sakura Trick
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2014-March 2014
Sakura Trick tells the love story of Takayama Haruka and Sonoda Yuu, and how they slowly build their newfound love for each other. Their love life isn’t really easy as they battle against a jealous big sister and hide their relationship from everyone… and Haruka is always finding ways to get a few smooches from Yuu.
Currently the only genuine yuri anime to have come out, and what makes this anime stand out among other yuri anime is Sakura Trick, which has less drama and more cuteness. I mean, seriously, go check a list of yuri anime and see how many of them are not drama. The story is just two cute girls in love doing cute things together. Haruka is an airhead, but somehow smart enough to sneak kisses when there are people around, and Yuu, sometimes spoiled but a very understanding girl. There are a few serious moments but they don’t stick out like a nail. Oh, and there are LOTS of kissing.
06. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (His and Her Circumstances)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1998-March 1999
Miyazawa Yukino is the perfect model student. Smart, attractive, athletic, admired by fellow students, and admired by the teachers at school. However, her perfect exterior is just a mask to hide the fact she only did it to receive praise and wants to be the center of attention. At home, she’s nothing but perfect—she’s a slobbish person and has no real friends. All things change when she meets Arima Soichiro.
Yukino soon abandoned her fake ways, and slowly opened up throughout the series and eventually ended up making real friends outside Soichiro. Despite her deceitfulness, her skills are the real deal and people still admire her, with or without her mask.
Yeah, some traditional 90s anime! This anime is very whacky since this was made by GAINAX, the same folks who made the bizarre FLCL, so there are lots of moments that will make your jaw drop in amazement or laugh your butt off. Despite that however, KareKano tells a mature story of a couple falling in love. Yukino and Soichiro’s unusually cute relationship starts when Yukino tries her best to keep her facade and find ways to find dirt against Soichiro. Obviously, Yukino really didn’t succeed because the two ended up together.
05. Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2005-September 2005
Honey and Clover tells the story of art students Takemoto Yuuta, Mayama Takumi, Morita Shinobu, Yamada Ayumi, and Hanamoto Hagumi as they go about their colorful and often chaotic lives.
Aside from Morita’s, uh… “eccentric” behavior, and the anime’s sometimes serious tone, Honey and Clover has lots of cute moments involving everyone’s rather complicated and, what’s the right word, crisscrossing love lives. There’s Ayumi’s unrequited love towards Takumi, Takumi and his affection towards an older woman, Morita’s attraction towards the tiny lady Hagumi, and Yuuta’s fondness of Hagumi with the ever lurking feeling that he felt like a third wheel after noticing Morita’s constant interaction with the girl. Honey and Clover is an emotional ride with lots of cute moments that we suggest you won’t miss.
04. Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You, Reaching You)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2009 - March 2010
Kimi ni Todoke tells the story of Sawako Kuronuma who longs to make new friends in high school. But because of her resemblance to the ghost from the “The Ring”, and because people often mistake her timid demeanor for maliciousness, she has earned the nickname “Sadako.”
Enter Kazehaya Shouta, the kind and popular guy in class. He is Sadako’s inspiration to try harder to make friends. Sawako’s school life slowly changes as she and Shouta become friends and like every romance story out there, love starts from that friendship.
I do get this Ugly Duckling-like message after watching the anime, but that’s just me though. Anyway, Sawako just wants to earn new friends, but since she resembles a titular horror character, and her rather oddball personality, everyone in class avoided her. Things changed after she meets Kazehaya, her world opened up, and people start to see her true self. Most of the story is Sawako discovering new things with Kazehaya and like any girl inspired by someone, she slowly develops new feels of friendship and love. And Sawako can be very cute around Kazehaya with her timidness.
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2008-March 2009
Takasu Ryuuji is a nice guy, but due to his intimidating eyes, people only see him as a delinquent and so he’s totally hopeless about his chances at making friends, never mind getting a girlfriend. On his first day as a second-year highschool student, he is happy to be in the same class with his best pal Kitamura Yuusaku and his crush Kushieda Minori. However, he unwittingly bumps into Aisaka Taiga, the school’s “most dangerous animal.”
Toradora has a lot of serious sides, but still has a large dose of great comfy moments involving Ryuuji and Taiga helping each other out with their love lives. Taiga has a crush with Kitamura Yuusaku and every time they meet, Taiga tends to panic as she tries to talk to him. Ryuuji is more composed, but he can’t do much without Taiga helping him get close to Kushieda Minori. Eventually, the two slowly develop this bond that will later bloom into a beautiful, yet innocent young and especially cute romance. Is this the greatest story ever told which fans claim? I dunno, but Toradora is indeed a very well-made story.
02. School Rumble
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2004-March 2005
A lot will argue that School Rumble doesn’t have any romance, but they’re wrong! School Rumble has a huge cast of characters with their own romantic situations that often results in a ton of misunderstandings. Our hero Harima Kenji is in love with airhead Tsukamoto Tenma, and Tenma is in love with oddball Karasuma Ouji.
The story revolves around Kenji trying to express his feelings to Tenma but ended up getting paired with Tenma’s little sister Yakumo, or the rich girl Sawachika Eri. Kenji is not interested in Eri at all, and so does Eri, but after a ton of misunderstandings and awkward situations, Eri developed feelings towards our hero, and our hero, though it took him a while, respects Eri as a person. When I say misunderstanding situations, I mean way, way, over the top situations which leads to funny and cute situations involving Kenji and Eri. I won’t say much, but seeing these two seemingly incompatible people in awkward, cute, and silly moments is one of the best things of School Rumble.
01. Amagami SS
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: July 2010-December 2010
Tachibana Junichi had a rough Christmas from two years ago. Junichi had planned to meet a girl during Christmas and to his demise, the girl didn’t show up. Why didn’t she show up on their date? Was there another reason? This troubled our hero, and for some reason he made his closet into a makeshift planetarium where he ponders these questions. Fortunately for Junichi, his life as a young man changes for the better when he encounters the many girls in his school.
Amagami SS is one of the best examples of a dating sim adapted into an anime without resorting to the usual harem. Most dating sims or visual novels being adapted often results in a guy having hoards of girls flock over him, or there are some adaptations where one guy has to pick one girl he’s going to love. Amagami SS takes a different route by creating multiple arcs in which the hero has to date and win one girl.
Tachibana Junichi meets girl, befriends girl, they activities and stuff with girl, develops feelings, and then falls in love. Rinse and repeat. Thankfully, it never gets repetitive because each girl is unique with their own likes, dislikes and the preferences Junichi will learn to understand. It’s very fun to watch how each arc progresses and how our hero reacts to different girls.
Why is Amagami SS number one? Variety and many love stories packed in one series! Oh and each girl is so cute adorable, and very charming. A lot of people will favor Tanamachi “Sex Hair” Kaoru while others prefer the eccentric Morishima “Wow!” Haruka. There’s something for everyone!
And there you have it! The best part of any romance is how the couples, or potential couples, react with each other, and these kinds of situations are what makes a romance anime such a joy to watch. Some moments can be very serious while some can very funny, but either way, these moments are a great way to show how cute people in love really are.
Here are some honorable Mentions: Inu x Boku SS, Nodame Cantabile, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Lovely Complex, Love Stage!!, Kotonoha no Niwa, Fruits Basket.
So what do think of this list, dear readers? Dou know other cute romance shows that weren’t in this list? Please leave a comment below!