Top 10 Romantic Characters in Anime

“Everyone falls in love sometime. I don’t know about you, but it ain’t a crime.”

“Where is the love?” we ask? Right here, baby! As 2017 is swiftly passing through, we are now approaching every couple’s and hopeless romantic’s favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day! As we breathe in all this romance in the air, we can’t help but think of our favorite, lovey-dovey anime, particularly ones with really romantic guys and gals….The kind of anime with stories that’ll make our hearts skip a beat and also give us intense heartache. So, with that being said, we give you our list of top 10 romantic characters in anime!

10. Haruka Takayama from Sakura Trick

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2014 – March 2014

Haruka Takayama and Yuu Sonoda have been super besties ever since middle school. Now that they are entering their first year of high school, their friendship is still inseparable. With word that Misato West High School will shut down after graduation, the duo is certain that they will continue to be friends after they graduate. Determined to start off the school year with a bang, the girls make a pact stating, “Let’s do something we’d never do with other girls.” Impulsively, Yuu kisses Haruka, which leads to a lot more kissing. From this, Haruka and Yuu realize that their friendship has shifted into something that was always there before, yet has finally been revealed.

Haruka starts off our list as being the “extremely jealous and clingy type” in the relationship. As terrible as it sounds, these elements can be positive because they present Haruka’s devotion to Yuu. In the anime, Haruka’s personality is very bright and happy-go-lucky, but at times, she can lack confidence, particularly when it comes to other girls hanging around Yuu. Moreover, Haruka’s forthright stance towards Yuu shows that she’s only got eyes for her.


9. Takumi Usui from Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (Maid Sama!)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2010 – September 2010

Kaichou wa Maid-sama! is the story of a girl named Misaki Ayuzawa. Misaki has been elected the first female school president in a school that used to be all-boys, but is now co-ed. Coming from a male-dominated system, she is referred to as the “demon president” by the boys and a strong voice and authority for her female counterparts. Misaki isn’t afraid to defend what’s right and is acknowledged by all as being “little miss perfect.” Keeping up appearances, however, Misaki has a tiny secret: she works at a maid café to help support her family. To her dismay, the most popular boy in school, Takumi Usui spotted her at work, threatening to expose her. So, will he or won’t he?

Takumi holds the balance of power at Seika High with Misaki’s secret. Being the most popular guy at school, if any word of Misaki working at a maid café caught on, the news would travel swiftly. After sighting Misaki at Maid Latte, Takumi decides to frequent her work and these visits slowly start to stress her out. Tension begins to build and he notices this, on top of Misaki’s school activities gradually wearing her down, causing a lot of strain. Growing more concerned, Takumi makes this list of romantic characters because he offers to care and look after Misaki, similarly to how she must perform for others at her job. As time goes by, his worry for her develops into deep affection, looking after her and tending to her every whim.


8. Iori Wakabayashi from Ojisan to Marshmallow

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2016 – March 2016

Ojisan and Marshmallow is about office workers, Habahiro Hige or Hige-san, who is a middle aged husky gentleman with an obsession for Tabekko marshmallows, and a much younger, petite woman name Iori Wakabayashi, who uses his obsession as her edge and advantage to make him hers. Iori unintentionally teases Hige-san, when the chance finds itself, whether it be eating his favorite marshmallows in front of him or purchasing the whole stock from the konbini. Reminiscent of the middle school aged flirting that boys and girls do for giggles, Iori is quite timid and the only way she knows of getting Hige-san’s attention is with marshmallows. Iori’s ‘genius’ method of flirtation is her way of letting him know she is interested in him. Can Iori keep this up and will these efforts finally become transparent? Watch and see!

Iori definitely demonstrates that she is romantic in her own way while chasing after Hige-san. Iori really puts in a ton of effort to win Hige-san’s affection, which is in and of it itself romantic. The innocent, touch-and-go love scenario is super entertaining to watch and really cute. This slice of life, romantic comedy is incredibly silly that’ll have you laughing from start to finish.


7. Shouta Kazehaya from Kimi ni Todoke (Kimi ni Todoke: From Me To You)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: October 2009 – March 2010

In the anime, Kimi ni Todoke, Sawako Kuronuma is often mistaken as “Sadako”, the creepy girl from the movie “The Ring”. Her terrifying and frightful resemblance often keeps people from approaching her. In contrast, the few friends Sawako has can say that she is very kind and extremely shy. Desperately, Sawako wants to be clear from anything involved with this film character. Therefore, it is no surprise that she’s grown attracted to the most popular boy in school, Shouta Kazehaya, the complete opposite of everything she is. As Shouta starts to notice Sawako, she is over the moon. From this, we observe Sawako and Shouta tackle school obstacles and romance together.

Shouta is known throughout middle school and high school as an outgoing person and easy to get along with. He has really great energy that Sawako finds rejuvenating. As the pair commences their friendship, and later on, their romance, Shouta acts as Sawako’s missing link; when she conceals something that bothers her, he wants to draw it out of her, being her comfort. Essentially, this basis is what drives his romanticism and the reason why Shouta is on this list.


6. Shizuku Ashuu from Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (Magical Girl Raising Project)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2016 – December 2016

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku takes place in N-City. The popular RPG, Magical Girl Raising Project, is gaining popularity because of the chance of one becoming a real magical girl. We follow Koyuki Himekawa, who gets this chance. Pretty awesome right?! Koyuki and a band of other select girls in the game have been chosen to help others in need. In one instance, game moderators take things to the next level, announcing that they want to reduce the number of magical girls. Anyone who has the least Magical Candies acquired through their magical girl tasks will lose their powers. More so, these losses are translated into the real world, exhibiting the challenge that their magical girl powers are not the only thing they will lose.

Shizuku Ashuu is another powerful N-City Magical Girl. Shizuku is Nana Habutae’s lover, who is also a seasoned Magical Girl. Shizuku proves to be the most romantic character in the show, even as the girls desperately fight for survival. Her relationship with Nana is of pure love and support. Shizuku goes above and beyond to protect Nana, ensuring her safety more than her own. She would risk it all for her love. Their devotion for one another and the other chosen Magical Girls is one to be envied.


5. Yamato Kurosawa from Sukitte Ii na yo (Say “I Love You”)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2012 – December 2012

In Sukitte Ii na yo, Mei Tachibana’s introverted approach to life is significantly altered when she meets fellow schoolmate, Yamato Kurosawa. Mei’s fear of attachment was due to her painfully shy and socially awkward nature. However, when Yamato turns her world around 360°, with his so fly, prince-like nature, Mei is drawn into this consolement, providing her with a new outlook on everything. Sukitte Ii na yo offers viewers realism to everyday issues many of us are confronted with. More so, the lives of Mei and Yamato are so close, personal and relatable, that we can’t help but feel a connection.

Yamato is a very selfless individual who puts the feelings of others before his own. When Yamato was younger, he wasn’t as he is now. Learning from his past, he believes it is important to keep others from harm, avoid making the same mistakes as he did, giving others the chance to prevent it. In his experiences, he values meaningful relationships that build positive growth. This quality in Yamato is really romantic, as in a friendship or in a lover.


4. Meiko Honma from Ano Hi Mita no Namae wo Kokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day)

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: April 2011 – June 2011

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day begins with Jinta Yadomi, a complete shut-in and someone who lacks motivation to do much of anything. The ghost of his childhood friend, Meiko “Menma” Honma, visits Jinta. At first, Jinta thought that he was tripping out, seeing things, due to stress, but as time goes on, he realizes that this is actually Menma’s spirit communicating with him. As the two spend more time with one another, Menma asks Jinta to grant a wish for her: to reunite the group of friends they all used to hang out with as young children, in order for her spirit to move on. As Jinta bands the group together, secrets among them are revealed, further assisting Menma’s passing.

Even though Menma’s passing occurred several years after, she still hangs on to the memory of her friends. Although she can’t remember the exact detail of her wish, she knows that bringing the group together will help jog her memory. Through life and in spirit, Menma has a bright, beautiful, and selfless soul. She brought great energy to the group, making her lovable among all her friends. Although Matsuyuki loves Menma, she admits to be in love with Jinta, perhaps the reason why she appeared to him versus the others. Furthermore, the nostalgic element to this anime captures the picturesque sentiments to love in life.


3. Hikaru Kusakabe from Doukyuusei (Doukyuusei -Classmates-)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: February 2016

In the starting scenes of Doukyuusei, we are introduced to our main characters, Hikaru Kusakabe and Rihito Sajou, as they prepare for the upcoming chorus festival at their high school. A musician himself, Hikaru does his best during class rehearsals, while Rihito appears quite the opposite, never singing in class, which gives others the impression that he’s too good for it. One day, Hikaru forgets his bento lunch in class. As he goes to retrieve it, he finds Rihito practicing the song. Hikaru approaches him and learns that Rihito doesn’t sing in class because he can’t see the notes on the board. As a gesture of good faith, Hikaru offers to help Rihito, keeping him up to speed before the big festival. As such, this routine of theirs has Hikaru developing romantic feelings for Rihito, so much that one day, he kisses him. From the time of the festival and onward, Hikaru and Rihito express to each other their feelings in various situations, withstanding their opposing personalities.

Hikaru makes our list for romantic characters because of his dedication and support to the important things in his life: Rihito and his music. He has this ‘charge forward, go get ‘em attitude’ when it comes to showing his heart. With his incredible focus and drive, Hikaru wants nothing more than to excel and expects this same caliber for Rihito. As the both of them become distractions for one another, they also are immensely supportive of one another.


2. Yukiko Asai from Nijiiro Days (Rainbow Days)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: January 2016 – June 2016

Nijiiro Days chronicles the lives of four high school students, Natsuki Hashiba, Keiichi Katakura, Tomoya Matsunaga and Tsuyoshi Naoe, as they go about their daily challenges and triumphs. What is the teenage life without high school romances and the innocence of love? As the common phrase suggests, “boys will be boys”, our four lead characters joke and banter with each other when it comes to their crushes and love interests. Collectively, this slice of life shows the boys’ encounters with various girls and how they band together to uplift each other.

Yukiko Asai is presented in this anime as Tsuyoshi’s girlfriend. Also know as Yukirin, she and Tsuyoshi, above all else, share the common pastime of cosplay and being otaku. She's super creative when it comes to cosplay ideas, keeping their romance exciting. She also goes the distance, acquiring super rare and hard to find manga. Yukirin is really nice and outgoing, someone who quickly familiarizes herself with others after a few meetings. Additionally, she is the polar opposite of Tsuyoshi. Yukirin makes the list because she is comfortable with herself, giving affection and constant PDA to Tsuyoshi, having us yearn to be cuddled by someone.


1. Takeo Gouda from Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2015 – September 2015

The romantic comedy, Ore Monogatari, follows Takeo Gouda. Takeo’s appearance is unlike your typical high school student; he is a tall and husky fellow with very intimidating facial features. One may think he is absolutely unapproachable, and he is even more unfortunate when it comes to scoring dates with the ladies. As luck may have it, in one incident, he saves a girl on a train, Rinko Yamato. From this occasion, Takeo can finally grasp his chance at romance, as his and Rinko’s relationship progresses into something absolutely adorable. We further observe them blossoming as the ultimate kawaii couple!

Takeo takes the number one position on this list of top 10 romantic characters in anime because of his over-the-top compassion for Rinko. As this quality is reflective IRL, one may also find themselves doing things they normally wouldn’t when it comes to love. Throughout the course of this anime, it is revealed to viewers, the many facets of Takeo and Rinko’s relationship, both the good and bad elements. Overall, the way Takeo delicately handles Rinko’s every need is truly admirable. Should Rinko break up with you, Takeo, holla at cha girl! 😉


Final Thoughts

That concludes our list of top 10 romantic characters in anime! We hope you enjoy our choices! A few of these mentioned are some classic, well-known titles, while others are fairly new shows. However, all of them are meant to tug on the feels, leaving viewers aching for some more romance in their lives. Furthermore, we know these are only a few of many romantic characters out there. Comment below on some others we’ve missed or simply write us any suggestions. Thanks for tuning in!

Eva B.

Writer

Author: Eva B.

Hello! I’m Eva. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I’ve lived in Texas, Kentucky, and will soon be living in Japan! I’m a recent college grad with an MS in Justice Studies; a considerable feat in my life. When I’m taking a break from work/studies, I enjoy a variety of anime, passing a lot of time binging episodes alongside my husband. I also take pleasure in spending time with my two dogs and two cats, hiking, yoga, computer/video games, reading, and trying new cuisines. I’m pretty shy, so writing here has been a great outlet for me to come out of my box.

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