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10 Underrated Romance Animes

Updated: May 4, 2022

Who doesn’t love a bit of romance in their lives? A romance animes are very popular amongst the anime community. Who doesn’t want to experience a love that never lets you down but is compassionate and charismatic towards you? This romance can only be found in books or shows. Watching the heartfelt and pure love develop in anime turned me into a hopeless romantic with high expectations. I hope the following shows make you feel a little something. The following animes are a variety of shows that take on different forms of love and relationships.

10. My Bride is a Mermaid

WARNING!! Watch this anime by yourself and with headphones!!

  • Genres: Romance, Comedy, Parody, School Life, Shounen

  • 1 Season, 26 Episodes

An average student gets forcibly married to the girl. But his wife turns out to me a mermaid. How will Nagasumi Michishio life change after taking Sun Seto to be his wife!?

This an older anime with great charm. However, if you are looking for a sweet, heartfelt anime then skip this one. This is a romance-comedy that has you crying from laughter. This has to be one of the funniest rom-coms I have ever seen. You get to laugh non-stop in a whole episode. The characters in this anime have a great sense of individuality especially the protagonist. My favorite character is Masa-San, and you will know why when you watch it. One fault of this anime is the lack of story development and character development…this isn’t a rich story of love. It’s a comedy with wonderful characters and outrageous interactions/scenes. This an anime you will have fun watching with by yourself or with a friend. It’s a 7 out of 10 in my book.

9. Tsuredure Children

  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, School Life, Shounen

  • 1 Season, 12 Episodes

This anime depicts various scenarios of young love through trials and tribulations in a sweet and wholesome way.

This is not your typical high school romance. In this anime, we follow 4 couples as their love blossoms. From the confessions to actual dating to the blunders they make in love. This isn’t a romance like Say I Love You or From Me to You were we see the relationship and the heartache of loving someone. This anime is the awkwardness you have when you like someone, the nervousness of being with the person you like and all range of emotions you feel when you are first starting to date or falling in love. This anime does a great job of capturing these emotions. Coming from someone who is older and has been a long-term relationship it makes me nostalgic of times when I was young and in love. This series does a fantastic job of capturing different types of relationships: the childhood friends, the opposites, etc. The show is actually very lighthearted, and comedy plays a big role to entertain the viewers. It isn’t overbearing or forceful but comes in subtle yet humorous way. The only thing I don’t like about this anime that it is short. The interactions between the couples is about 12 mins per episodes. Enough to get invested but not enough to see major development. So, if you want to know more you have to read the manga. Looking for something to take mind off of and enjoy comfortably? Tsurezure Children is your answer.

8. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Drama, Slice of Life, School-Life

  • 1 Season, 24 Episodes

The decidedly average Sorata Kanda has moved into Suimei High School’s infamous Sakura Hall, the satellite dorm and its eccentric, misfit residents turn his life upside down. How will Sorata’s life change when he encounters Mashiro Shiina, a world-class artistic savant looking to become a mangaka.

This is a fun anime to watch. A romance comedy with a unique feel that keeps you invested throughout the series. A solid pacing that intertwines comedy and drama amongst the characters. The atmosphere between the characters has a great sense of awkwardness and youth. This isn’t your traditional romance, it’s more like hits of romances. This is anime that is hit or miss with some people. The pacing can be a bit slow for some and the characters are not specular in any way. They do have their charm and quirkiness that drives the story but it you want a heartfelt romance then this anime is not for you. However, if you are a fan of romance comedy, by all means watch this if you want something with a change of pace.

7. Arakawa Under the Bridge

  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Seinen

  • 2 Seasons, 13 Episodes

Kou Ichinomiya is the son of a wealthy businessman who holds a firm belief in his elite status. As such, he is determined to avoid becoming indebted to anyone until Nino saves Kou’s life.

Now this probably an anime you haven’t seen or heard of. This an older anime from 2010. It is very unconventional love story between two people worlds apart. Kou a wealthy young man and Nino a young homeless girl living under a bridge. I do not want to deceive you; this is not a romance that you are think of. Arakawa Under the Bridge uses a unique mix of absurdism and slapstick humor with a few deeper messages added along the way to bring you a really nice comedic experience overall. The story itself seems to be episodic only because of the ridiculousness that is happening in the anime. Although, this anime isn’t your typical romance comedy, it can deter many from watching it. However, Arakawa does best is to add heavy themes such as acceptance, regret, or being yourself in a light-hearted manner. This is Rom-Com with a fantastic message for its viewers. Watch a few episodes and decide for yourself the worth of this anime.

6. Wolf Girl & Black Prince

  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, School-Life

  • 1 Season, 12 Episodes

While the proud Erika boasts to her friends about being lovey-dovey with her boyfriend, she has never really had one for 16 years. Feeling the limits of lying, she took a picture of a cool guy she found in town and showed it to her friends as her boyfriend. But the person in the picture happens to be Kyouya Sata who is in the same grade in their school. Erika soon finds out that looks can be deceiving.

Now this is anime is a hit or miss! This anime can offend many viewer, especially female viewers with the treatment of the female main character (MC). However, it is not as bad as it seems. Most people have many misconceptions about the BDSM Community. For the record, BDSM is an umbrella term encompassing sexual practices that involve the use of physical control, psychological power, or pain. I am NOT saying this show is a BDSM anime or accurately represents the BDSM community, but it does have some characteristics and references of the BDSM community. If you are not aware of what happens in the BDSM community then you will be offended or shocked with the interactions/ treatment of characters. The main characters Erika Shinohara and Kyouya Sata have a unique relationship. Our MC’s have a strange relationship in which Kyouya treasts Erika as pet or a dog. Kyouya is the a “Sadist and Owner (Dom/Owner)” in the relationship. While Erika is the Masochist and Pet (Sub) in the relationship. The dynamic of the two is that Kyouya orders Erika around and mistreats her. in a round-about way they express thier feeling/ affection this way. I personally really enjoy this show. I thought it was a unique take on a relationship within the anime world. However, I did not like the introduction to the BDSM community in the anime. It lead to may misconceptions and inaccuracies of the community. In any BDSM relationship consent from both parties is important!! Not being tricked or forced but a willing agreement. As I mentioned before, this NOT a BDSM anime! Obviously, it isn’t your typical happy, romantic shoujo anime; it has a bit of a dark side to it. But who doesn’t love to live on the wild side!?

5. Spice and Wolf

  • Genres: Historical, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy

  • 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes +1 OVA

Holo is a powerful wolf deity who is celebrated and revered in the small town of Pasloe for blessing the annual harvest. Yet as years go by and thel villagers become more self-sufficient, Holo, who stylizes herself as the "Wise Wolf of Yoitsu," has been reduced to a mere folk tale. When a traveling merchant named Lawrence Kraft stops at Pasloe, Holo offers to become his business partner if he eventually takes her to her northern home of Yoitsu.

Now this is a very old anime…13 years to be exact. Most of you have probably never of this anime or have seen this anime. This anime is not for everyone. If you like math, economics, or anything of that sort then you like this anime. In this series we follow a trading and how prices rise and fall from location to location and how supply and demand and even risk margins for investing in certain things to turn a profit. Meaning out merchant Lawrence wants to make a profit to eventually open up a store with the help of Holo. The chemistry between Lawrence and Holo isn’t faced paced or dramatic; it is simple yet beautiful love that comes from getting to know someone. The animation is fantastic, especially the landscapes and towns. It is gorgeous. The only concern that I have ran into when recommending this anime is the how much dialogue is in it, especially when it comes to the economics. I found that some people found it boring and hard to focus. However, that is the only complaint I have heard. This anime a 10 out of 10 in my book.

4. Snow White with the Red Hair

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Fantasy, Shoujo

  • 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

Although her name means "snow white," Shirayuki is a cheerful, red-haired girl living in the country of Tanbarun who works diligently as an apothecary at her herbal shop. Her life changes drastically when she is noticed by the silly prince of Tanbarun, Prince Raji, who then tries to force her to become his concubine. Unwilling to give up her freedom, Shirayuki cuts her long red hair and escapes into the forest, where she is rescued from Raji by Zen Wistalia, the second prince of a neighboring country, and his two aides. Hoping to repay her debt to the trio someday, Shirayuki sets her sights on pursuing a career as the court herbalist in Zen's country, Clarines.

This is a great romance anime in my book because of the main characters. Although, this anime can be cheesy, I love how they grow and support each other. The relationship they have is symbiotic. Unlike your traditional fantasy romances where we have epic battles and magic scenes, this anime focuses on the characters and their stories. Meaning it is character driven, and each character plays a role in the development of the plot. This can put off many viewers since it is a lot of dialogue. However, the anime does a fantastic job of capturing the viewer with its animation. The anime is filled with vibrant colors combined to create a gorgeous world. This series does an amazing job of creating a world where the character relationships allow you to connect to them and cheer for them. I recommend this anime 100%!

3. Nodame Cantabile

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Music, Slice of Life, Comedy, Josei

  • 2 Seasons, 23 Episodes (S1), 11 Episodes (S2) + 1 Special

Shinichi Chiaki is a first-class musician whose dream is to play among the elites in Europe. Coming from a distinguished family, he is an infamous perfectionist. Shinichi happens to meet Megumi Noda or, as she refers to herself, Nodame. On the surface, she seems to be an unkempt girl with no direction in life. However, when Shinichi hears Nodame play the piano for the first time, he is in awe of the kind of music she creates.

This has to be one of my favorite romance animes although it is considered old now. If you like Your Lie in April or Forest Piano then you will like this anime. Nodame Cantabile is spectacular musical anime. The story is rich but not complex enough for you to disassociate from it. The characters have their own charm and quirkiness that makes you love them. You are able to see two people struggle yet be serious and motivated to reach their goals. This anime many not connect to a younger audience the same way it does to a mature audience. The struggles the protagonist face with each other and themselves feels a bit different when you are older and more experienced in life. Nodame Cantabile is a sensational, all-around compelling watch, not only for its masterful depictions of love, life and the beauty of music, but also for its comedic aspects. It's at times a lighthearted series, full of laughs and humor with precise comedic timing and intelligent punchlines.

2. My Little Monster

  • Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo

  • 1Season, 13 Episodes

Shizuku Mizutani is a cold and uninterested person. All she cares about is to become a successful working person like her mother. However, her world changes when she is encounters Yoshida Haru, a delinquent who had quit school after a violent fight got him suspended.

I love this anime and manga! This series is bold, colorful in its animations and character design. The interaction between the characters is great. The anime is a very straightforward and consistent which is a wonderful quality to have when watching. The drama carefully presents multiple explorations and perspectives of relationship but not to complex that it is a turn off or to simple that it bores you. It has a great love story with cute and witty characters.

1. Blue Spring Ride

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Comedy, School-Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life

  • 1 Season, 12 Episodes

While most girls desire popularity among boys, Futaba Yoshioka wants the exact opposite. She starts acting unfeminine and indifferent to boys, allowing her to make some “friends” along the way. Until Kou Mabuchi reenters her life. Kou was Futaba first love, but the past in the past. How will Futaba and Kou face each other now that they both high school students?

I love the manga and anime! I have re-read and re-watched this series multiple times. I don’t know what it is about this series that keeps drawing me back to it. It might the struggle of young love and learning about oneself. The depressing undertones of the Kou or the stubbornness of Futaba. This anime makes me hopeful that love is strong and can overcome any obstacle. The youthfulness of these characters learning what love is and how to deal with the baggage one comes. What I take away from this anime and what has me coming back is the message: Damage Good are still Goods. This is wonderful anime I recommend to my friends and family. I know this anime has some mixed reviews but don’t judge a book by it cover. Go check it out and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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