Romance. Love it or hate it, we’ve all been in love at some point in our lives (at least the great majority of us have). It doesn’t have to be with another person, and it doesn’t have to be a romantic one either. We fall in love with friends and people who probably aren’t in any way good for us (pretty on the outside, stone cold on the inside), with ourselves (hopefully not the selfish- narcissistic kind), pets, idols, food, and inanimate objects (egs. money).

Romance in manga and anime often use clichés and tropes to portray a couple falling in love. Often times romance anime takes place in a school setting and with members of the opposite gender. These clichés often involve a “weak” or helpless feminine girl who needs the help of a man for all her problems, and a “strong”, able-bodied yet charming independent boy who’s ready to sweep her off her feet.

Too often the female is in distress or peril, and the guy comes to the rescue (Ore Monogatari is a good example of some popular clichés and tropes used in anime)  and that’s all it takes for these things to get started. 

In more recent times, studios and artists have depicted more modern/contemporary relationships with complexities, such as homosexual and interracial ones, or where typical roles are reversed with characters such as a masculine or tomboy female and a feminine male. 

I’m not seeing any site describing what defines romance in anime, but if you could guess, feelings develop between characters and they usually must overcome outside forces in order to be with each other, such as the drama of friends, family, school life, or historical/fictional struggles like times of war or conflict that put a strain on relationships. 

Romance Titles Reviewed

List of Titles and My Recommendations

Wikipedia’s List

My Recommendations

  • Clannad
  • Monogatari Series (Bakemonogatari/Nissemonogatari/Owarimonogatari/Hanamonogatari/et cetera)
  • Love is Hard for Otaku
  • Love is War
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai 
  • Parasyte (elements of romance, but more-so horror)
  • Sword Art Online (first half of first season only)
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun