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51 Best High School Romance Anime (Series + Movies)

Are you on a quest for an anime titles that captures the thrill of high school romance?

As a native Japanese and a seasoned viewer of countless series, I bring to you a ranking of heart-fluttering romance anime featuring high schoolers, encompassing both the classics and the latest releases.

This genre of Japanese anime, known for its vibrant portrayal of sweet and sour love stories, has a unique charm that stands apart from action or fantasy anime. So why not venture into the journey of young love, where innocent crushes, dramatic heartbreaks, and uplifting reconciliations all come to life? Embark on this enchanting voyage, and you may just discover your next favorite tale of high school romance that will send your heart aflutter.

41 Best Romance Anime– Everyone Should Watch

51. The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten(2023)

The anime presents the sweet and impatient high school romance between Shu Fujimiya, a self-conscious first-year student living alone, and Mahiru Shiina, the school’s stunning yet emotionally complex ‘angel.’ Starting from a simple act of kindness on a rainy day, the duo, who were strangers despite living next door, finds themselves gradually entwined in a mutual unrequited love.

While the story primarily narrates from Shu’s perspective, portraying his transformation into a ‘hopeless human’ under Mahiru’s care, it cleverly manifests Mahiru’s emotional journey through her non-verbal cues. This delicate balance of storytelling makes it an engaging watch for both rom-com beginners and veterans. It beautifully captures the complexities of adolescent love and the evolving dynamics of their relationship, making it a top choice for high school romance anime.

50. Tomo-chan is a Girl! (2023)

Elevating the standards of high school romance, “Tomo-chan is a Girl!” has magnetized a global audience with its charming anime adaptation. The narrative, praised for its authenticity, blossomed from a comic series and brings forth a heartfelt love story between Tomo, a boyish girl, and her clueless childhood friend, Junichiro. The series won the “2nd Manga Awards” in the Web Manga category, heightening its acclaim. Embodying the spirit of youth and tender affection, this anime will make you root for Tomo’s mission to be recognized as a girl by Junichiro.

While it exceeds common rom-com expectations by focusing on everyday life instead of hallmark romantic moments, it doesn’t shy away from in-depth character development. The nuanced portrayals of the characters, including minor ones, offer a variety of relatable human experiences, making “Tomo-chan is a Girl!” a standout in the high school romance anime genre.

49. Wolf Girl and Black Prince (2014)

In the realm of high school romance anime, “Wolf Girl and Black Prince” stands out for its original take on young love and deception. Erika Shinohara, a first-year high school student, feels the pressure to fit in with her friends who have boyfriends, leading her to fabricate tales about a non-existent boyfriend. This lie spins out of control when she presents a random handsome stranger’s picture as her boyfriend, only to discover that he is her schoolmate, Kyouya Sata.

Despite Kyouya’s outwardly charming appearance, he has a sadistic streak, creating a challenging situation for Erika as she persuades him to pretend to be her boyfriend. The anime cleverly intertwines elements of romance, humor, and life lessons as Erika and Kyouya’s faux relationship takes unexpected turns, eventually leading to genuine affection. With its nomination for the 39th Kodansha Manga Award in the Shojo category in 2015 and a circulation of over 5.5 million copies as of April 2019, “Wolf Girl and Black Prince” has earned its place as one of the best high school romance animes, boasting a distinctive story that keeps viewers hooked.

48. School Rumble (2004)

Best High School Romance Anime - School Rumble

Looking for an anime that masterfully weaves comedy and high school romance? Allow me to introduce you to “School Rumble”, a delightful offering that pulls on the heartstrings while tickling your funny bone. The narrative takes us on a whirlwind journey through the trials and tribulations of Tenma Tsukamoto, an average high school girl smitten with her classmate, Oji Karasuma, and Kenji Harima, a misunderstood delinquent who is enamored with Tenma.

Imagine being Tenma, infatuated with Oji but unable to confess her feelings. The situation is further complicated when she learns about Oji’s impending transfer in a year, sparking a series of hilarious confession attempts that range from disguising as a nurse to sending love letters via arrows. Concurrently, Kenji’s feelings for Tenma are repeatedly overlooked, culminating in a heartbreaking realization at a lunch that he was not invited to. “School Rumble” pulls you into the throes of adolescent romance, offering a best-in-class experience that stands tall in the genre of high school romance anime.

47. Skip and Loafer (2023)

“Skip and Loafer” is an engaging portrayal of high school life and romance through the eyes of Mitsumi Iwakura, a prodigious girl from the countryside who moves to Tokyo to attend a prestigious high school. Her outstanding academic skills are contrasted by her slightly off-beat understanding of social cues and norms, leading to numerous funny and heartwarming situations. The anime chronicles her journey of adapting to her new environment, managing academic pressures, and navigating social relationships, making it a compelling high school story.

The series skillfully highlights the nuances of friendship, adolescence, and the tumultuous journey of growing up. Every character’s interactions, especially Mitsumi’s with her classmates, contribute to the narrative’s depth, showcasing the myriad of emotions experienced during high school. With its perfect blend of humor, drama, and romance, “Skip and Loafer” is an excellent choice for viewers seeking an authentic high school romance anime, serving as a heartwarming reminder of the highs and lows of adolescence and the beauty of meaningful friendships.

46. One Week Friends (2014)

“One Week Friends” offers an unusual perspective on high school romance, focusing on the budding relationship between high school students Yuki Hase and Kaori Fujimiya. Yuki has always been intrigued by his classmate, Kaori, who is often alone and exhibits an intriguing aura of mystery. Upon approaching her, he learns of her unique condition where she loses her memory of friends every week. This revelation doesn’t deter Yuki; instead, he resolves to befriend her, kicking off a bittersweet tale of persistence and young love. This relationship is further tested and developed when a past classmate of Kaori’s transfers into their school, stirring forgotten memories and emotions.

Kaori’s struggle to remember her friends, coupled with Yuki’s unwavering determination to establish a lasting friendship with her, forms the crux of this emotional high school romance anime. What makes it one of the best in the genre is its exploration of friendships, memory, and the willingness to persist in the face of adversity. With a heartwarming narrative and a beautifully unfolding romance, it resonates deeply, leaving viewers profoundly moved and captivated.

45. Just Because (2017)

Just Because, a top-rated high school romance anime, follows the life of Izumi Eita, a high school senior who moves back to Kanagawa after his father’s job transfer. The story begins when Eita unexpectedly reunites with his middle school friends, Souma Haruto and Natsume Mio, on his first day back.

The storyline is a slow-burning romance that unfolds among Eita, Haruto, Mio, and their friends, Morikawa Hazuki from the music club, and Inui Ena from the track team. The romantic entanglements become complicated, but their shared LINE group “Enosui” brings them closer. It’s an anime that beautifully captures the bittersweet moments of adolescence, making it one of the best anime series for those interested in high school romance.

44. Nagi-Asu : A Lull in the Sea (2013)

A Lull in the Sea is an original anime series that depicts the fluctuating emotions of seven young boys and girls in a world where humans have divided their dwellings between the sea and land. This anime, produced by P.A. WORKS, is known for its innovative concept, well-developed characters, and an engaging plot that beautifully intertwines the romance and the trials of adaptation.

It’s the product of a collaborative effort initiated by Representative Director Kenji Horikawa of P.A. WORKS, with character designs by Buriki. The project successfully assembled key staff members who have worked on various P.A. WORKS series, which lends a sense of familiarity and continuity to the work. This makes it an absolute must-watch for fans of high school romance anime.

43. Aharen-san wa Hakarenai : Aharen is Indecipherable(2022)

“Aharen is Indecipherable” is an engaging anime that centers on a heartwarming high school relationship, effectively blending elements of comedy and romance. The story follows two schoolmates with contrasting communication styles, adding a refreshing twist to traditional romance narratives in anime. This anime, having reached over 120 million views and sold 1.1 million copies as of 2022, has captivated audiences with its unique dynamic and comic take on high school romance.

Why is “Aharen is Indecipherable” worth your time? It’s creator, Mizu Asato, considers this series to have generated the most substantial response among their works, making it a standout in their portfolio. The intriguing character interactions and the comedic spin on conventional romance tropes make this anime a must-watch for fans seeking a best-in-class high school romance experience.

42. After the Rain (2018)

“After the Rain” is a poignant romance anime that delicately weaves a unique love story between a high school girl and a middle-aged man. This anime not only explores themes of unrequited love and self-discovery but also underscores the pursuit of dreams. These narrative nuances make “After the Rain” a captivating option for romance anime enthusiasts.

The allure of “After the Rain” lies in its achievements and unique plot. In 2018, it was honored with the 63rd Shogakukan Manga Award, adding further credence to its reputation. This heartfelt story, portraying a young high school girl’s romantic feelings for an older man, secured the 2nd place in the 2015 Comic Natalie Awards. Its charm extends beyond the traditional high school setting, making it a best-in-class romance anime worth exploring.

41. Hello World(2019)

“Hello World” is an innovative romance anime film that masterfully intertwines elements of romance and science fiction. This narrative focuses on Naomi Katagaki, a shy high school boy, who encounters his future self. The future Naomi time-travels to prevent his love interest, Ruri Ichigyo, from meeting a tragic end.

The uniqueness of “Hello World” lies in its ability to offer a fresh perspective to the traditional romance anime genre. The film employs concepts of time-travel to weave a narrative that is complex yet engrossing. If you’re in search of an anime that pushes the boundaries of conventional storytelling, seamlessly blending romance, sci-fi, and high-stakes drama, “Hello World” is the best choice to add to your watch list.

40. I’ve Always Liked You (2016)

High school comes with its fair share of trials, but for Natsuki Enomoto, the task at hand is confessing her love to her childhood friend, Yu Setoguchi. In “I’ve Always Liked You”, a staple of romance anime movies, Natsuki’s affection takes a convoluted turn when she presents it as “practice for a real confession,” a move that triggers a whirlwind of emotions and questions about love and friendship.

Featuring an authentic portrayal of unrequited love and the hardships of adolescence, this film masterfully explores the intricacies of high school relationships. As the plot unravels, viewers join Natsuki in the emotional rollercoaster of masking her true feelings while potentially dating a classmate. With its stirring narrative filled with highs and lows, “I’ve Always Liked You” is one of the best anime choices for high school romance enthusiasts.

39. Orange(2016)

If high school, regret, depression, and time travel pique your interest, then “Orange” is a must-watch. In this riveting romance anime series, a group of friends finds themselves at the crossroads of present and future, when they receive letters from their future selves, imploring them to save their new friend from a tragic end.

Exploring themes of mental health interwoven with a touching love story, “Orange” isn’t just an anime; it’s a journey into the lives of teenagers as they navigate complicated emotions and scenarios. With its honest exploration of such sensitive issues, combined with a compelling narrative, “Orange” rightfully earns a place on any list of best high school romance anime.

38. Love, Be Loved, Leave, Be Left (2020)

Immerse yourself in the emotional whirlwind of young love with “Love, Be Loved, Leave, Be Left.” This heart-wrenching high school romance anime introduces us to four friends, each entangled in a complex web of unspoken emotions and secret affections. Our protagonist Yuna, her polar opposite Akari, Akari’s step-brother Rio, and Yuna’s childhood friend Kazuomi navigate the bittersweet terrain of first love, their stories beautifully illustrating the complexities of youthful romance.

The film, an animated adaptation by popular manga artist Io Sakisaka, is brought to life with a poignant narrative and richly developed characters. It resonates with audiences, offering raw and relatable insights into the heartrending joys and pains of adolescent love. Its unique combination of engaging storyline, captivating characters, and the undeniable allure of young romance positions it as one of the best in the anime romance genre, making it a must-watch for any anime enthusiast.

37. True Tears(2008)

Best High School Romance Anime - True Tears

Brimming with the complex emotions of adolescence, “True Tears” is a unique offering in high school romance anime. The story revolves around Shinichiro Nakagami, an aspiring picture book author and high school student, who shares his home with Hiromi Yuasa, his classmate and childhood friend. Despite the tension between Hiromi and Shinichiro’s mother, an unexpected encounter with a distressed girl named Noe Isurugi brings a significant change in their lives.

Noe, who lost her ability to cry due to a past incident, instigates shifts in Shinichiro’s relationships with Hiromi and his friends, sparking a captivating drama of youthful love and growth. The anime stands out for its intricate storytelling, making “True Tears” one of the best examples of emotional realism in the high school romance genre. Its emotionally nuanced characters and sincere depiction of life’s struggles make it a must-watch for any anime enthusiast.

36. Nisekoi (2014)

With its uniquely engaging blend of romance and comedy, “Nisekoi” stands tall among the best high school romance anime. It follows a hilariously intricate love triangle that unfolds between the children of rival families, their comedic and dramatic entanglements keeping audiences thoroughly entertained. With humor, charm, and compelling relationships at its core, “Nisekoi” will surely captivate anyone looking for a high school romance anime.

“Nisekoi” has won the hearts of millions with its captivating narrative. It’s not just the enchanting characters or engaging storyline that set it apart, but its remarkable success. Having set a record for the longest-running romantic comedy series in “Weekly Shōnen Jump” and with over 12 million volumes sold, it’s evident why this romantic comedy anime is held in such high regard.

35. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun (2014)

Best High School Romance Anime - Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun

In “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun,” romance intertwines with comedy to present a charming and humorous depiction of high school life. The story revolves around the popular shōjo manga artist Umetarou Nozaki and his assistant Chiyo Sakura. Their interactions, along with those of the eccentric cast of characters that surround them, provide an abundance of laughs and heartfelt moments.

With a winning combination of humor, romance, and well-developed characters, “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun” provides a fresh and entertaining take on the high school romance anime genre. As of August 2021, it had sold over 8 million copies, making it an undeniable success. Its relatable storyline and unique humor make it a standout among the best high school romance anime, ensuring it will leave a lasting impression on any viewer.

34. A Couple of Cuckoos (2022)

How does a high school student navigate the complexities of love, mistaken identities, and arranged marriages? This romance anime, “The Cuckoo’s Fiancee,” expertly delivers a tale full of emotional entanglements and unexpected twists. It begins with our protagonist, Nagi Umino, who discovers that he was switched at birth and that his betrothed is none other than Erika Amano, a girl he met by chance. However, the plot thickens with the entrance of Nagi’s crush, Hiro Segawa, his stepsister, Sachi Umino, and his childhood friend, Ai Mochizuki.

Excelling in high school romance, this anime paints a vivid picture of a quintuple love connection, keeping audiences on their toes. Its compelling storyline, coupled with the complexities of youthful relationships, helped it quickly gain popularity, securing its first magazine cover at record speed. With its vibrant characters and intriguing romantic dilemmas, “The Cuckoo’s Fiancee” undoubtedly ranks among the best in the anime romance genre.

33. Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

Journey to 2046 in “Voices of a Distant Star,” a masterful romance anime by renowned director Makoto Shinkai. The movie traces the deepening bond between friends Mikako and Noboru, set against the backdrop of space exploration. Their poignant communication delay, resulting from the cosmic distance between them, mirrors the intensity of their relationship, offering an intriguingly unique love narrative.

Despite its release in 2002, the visual brilliance of “Voices of a Distant Star” stands the test of time, highlighting Shinkai’s signature filmmaking style seen in his later successes like “Your Name.” This high school romance captures the heart and imagination with its emotive storyline, enthralling characters, and stunning visuals. Its timeless appeal and emotional depth have made it an enduring favorite, securing its place among the best romance anime films.

32. Komi Can’t Communicate (2021)

Imagine a high school girl with extreme communication disorder aiming to make 100 friends. This is the heartwarming premise of “Komi Can’t Communicate,” a 2021 anime production by OLM. The story centers around Shoko Komi, a beautiful and popular student, who, despite her communication disorder, embarks on a journey to make friends, aided by her understanding classmate, Hitohito Tadano.

This best anime romantic series strikes a balance between humor and heartfelt moments, featuring the burgeoning romance between Komi and Tadano. Recognized for its unique premise and compelling narrative, it won the 67th Shogakukan Manga Award for the Shonen category in 2022. With its blend of charm, wit, and relatable characters, “Komi Can’t Communicate” sets a high standard in the high school romance anime genre.

18. The Anthem of the Heart (2015)

This compelling high school romance anime movie, “The Anthem of the Heart,” takes us on an intriguing journey with Jun Naruse, cursed by an “Egg Fairy.” Jun’s suffering from stomachaches every time she speaks becomes a metaphor for the complexities of teenage love and communication. The narrative unfolds as she navigates high school life, dealing with emotional trauma and blossoming romance.

The movie is a standout in the genre, known for its beautifully woven story that skillfully tugs at your heartstrings. Its masterful depiction of romantic progression coupled with the high honor of a recommendation from the Jury at the 19th Japan Media Arts Festival Animation Division makes it an anime romance essential that can’t be missed.

30. My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected (2013)

Get ready to dive into the unique world of high school relationships with the anime series “My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected.” This intelligently crafted series from Feel provides an intriguing blend of humor, cynicism, and romance. It offers an in-depth analysis of characters, ensuring it stands as one of the best in the anime romance genre.

Follow the life of Hachiman Hikigaya, whose unfortunate personality turns his encounters with the beautiful Yukino Yukinoshita and the popular Yui Yuigahama into something less than the expected romantic comedy. It’s a fascinating journey that guarantees to capture your heart and mind.

29. Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend (2015)

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to develop a visual novel with a team of beautiful girls? “Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend” brings you this unique experience. The romantic comedy anime centers around Tomoya Aki, a high school student recruiting a trio of beauties to help him create a visual novel.

This journey of game development and the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies it makes for an enthralling high school romance narrative. Its unique storyline, humor, and charm secure Saekano’s position among the best in the genre. The adventures of Tomoya and his team at the Comiket convention are waiting to be discovered!

28. Love Flops (2022)

This anime is a notable anime series that unfolds an exciting high school romance story. Asahi Kashiwagi, an average male high school student, becomes an unwilling magnet for love confessions from five girls, all thanks to a peculiar fortune-telling program. His struggle to manage these unexpected circumstances forms the heart of this romantic narrative, making it a must-watch for fans of romance and high school anime. The series is a vibrant blend of romantic tension and humor, resulting in a unique storytelling approach that sets it apart as one of the best of its genre.

One compelling reason to recommend Love Flops is its unique plot and the delightful surprises it throws at the viewers. As the girls confess their feelings, the viewers witness an intricate play of emotions and character development, which is often rare in high school romance anime. Produced by Kadokawa Corporation and animated by Passione, Love Flops’ strong visual storytelling is bound to leave an impact. It is indeed a testament to how high school love can be both complicated and delightful at the same time, placing it among the top choices for romance anime lovers.

27. The Tunnel to Summer, The Exit of Goodbye (2022)

An enthralling Japanese light novel turned into an anime, “The Tunnel to Summer, The Exit of Goodbye” is a riveting tale that showcases a unique blend of romance, fantasy, and high school life. The novel tells the tale of Kaoru Tono who hears a curious rumor about a tunnel that grants wishes at the cost of aging. The tunnel could be a chance for Kaoru to bring back his deceased sister, Karen, weaving an interesting blend of fantasy into an otherwise grounded high school romance narrative.

What makes this series worthy of recommendation, aside from the compelling storyline, is its nuanced approach to handling grief, love, and the passage of time. The elements of high school romance and fantasy are delicately intertwined, and the characterization is brilliantly executed. Moreover, the element of wish-fulfillment adds an additional layer of intrigue to the narrative, making it one of the best in its genre. This touching story has won accolades for its narrative depth and engaging plot, cementing its place as a must-watch for those seeking a heartwarming and magical high school romance tale.

26. Tamako Love Story (2014)

Tamako Love Story (2014) A moving tale about growth, love, and change, “Tamako Love Story” is a stand-out anime movie from Kyoto Animation. As Tamako, a high school student, grapples with the evolving dynamics around her and her budding feelings of love, viewers are treated to a heartfelt tale of transition from adolescence to adulthood. The narrative’s sensitive portrayal of first love in a high school setting is truly engrossing, making it one of the best romantic anime movies to date.

One of the reasons “Tamako Love Story” is highly recommended is its rich storytelling, which has won recognition and awards for its authenticity. It captures the essence of young love and the bittersweet experiences that accompany it. The charm of this movie lies in its simplicity and Kyoto Animation’s signature art style, adding to its overall appeal. The movie maintains a delicate balance of romance and coming-of-age elements, leaving a lasting impression on the viewers. With its universally relatable themes and well-drawn characters, “Tamako Love Story” is an unforgettable foray into high school romance that anime lovers shouldn’t miss.

25. The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

Ever wondered how love could blossom amidst political and scientific turmoil? Look no further than “The Place Promised in Our Early Days,” an outstanding romantic anime film that combines drama and science fiction with teenage love. In a world reminiscent of post-war Japan, the narrative centers on two boys and their shared feelings for a girl, their tale unfurling against a backdrop of promises and dreams unfulfilled.

Why is it recommended? This film stands out for its breathtaking visuals and the emotional depth of its narrative, making it one of the best romance anime set in a high school. Its exploration of young love, encased in an intricate plot laden with political intrigue and scientific discovery, makes it a captivating experience for any fan of romantic anime movies.

24. Fireworks :Fireworks,Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? (2017)

“Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?” is a unique romantic anime movie. It seamlessly merges adolescent romance and supernatural elements, taking you on a heartwarming journey of a group of boys as they endeavor to determine the shape of fireworks. Amid this quest, the protagonist encounters time-bending experiences that deepen his feelings for his class idol, Nazuna, culminating in a moving climax.

Why this film? It stands out for its intriguing plot and stunning animation style, ranking it among the best high school romance anime movies. The story, characters, and complex relationships they navigate will keep viewers engrossed till the end, a testament to the film’s compelling narrative and visually appealing animation.

23. Gamers! (2017)

Imagine a romantic comedy that revolves around misunderstandings and comedic chaos among a group of high school gamers. That’s precisely what “Gamers!” offers its viewers. With its unique premise and engaging love plot, it has won 7th and 8th places in the “Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!” Bunko department rankings in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Why should you watch it? This anime is a fun-filled, engaging exploration of love and friendship in a high school setting, making it one of the best in the romantic comedy genre. Its clever narrative focuses on the enjoyment of games over the competitive aspects, adding an interesting dynamic to the plot. Coupled with the well-crafted characters and relatable misunderstandings, this anime is a must-watch for lovers of high school romance anime.

22. My Love Story!! (2015)

Ditching typical romantic clichés, this high school romance anime introduces us to Takeo Gouda, a pure-hearted yet physically intimidating teenager. Adored by males but feared by females, Gouda’s luck changes when he rescues a damsel in distress, Rinko Yamato, who unexpectedly falls in love with him instead of his handsome best friend, Makoto Sunakawa.

Despite multiple comedic misunderstandings, the romance blossoms between Gouda and Yamato, proving that true love defies looks. Winning first place in the 2013 edition of “This Manga Is Amazing!” and garnering multiple awards, this heartfelt and humorous anime is undoubtedly among the best in the romance genre.

21. My Dress-Up Darling (2022)

Who would imagine that a traditional Hina doll artisan and a trendy cosplayer could strike up a romance? “My Dress-Up Darling” beautifully showcases this unusual high school love story, igniting sparks between two seemingly opposite interests.

With its unique premise, charming characters, and heartfelt developments, this anime has warmed the hearts of millions, surpassing 8.5 million copies in circulation as of April 2023. This extraordinary blend of tradition and modernity establishes it as one of the best anime in the high school romance category.

20. More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers (2022)

What happens when high school students are required to live as mock married couples? This romantic comedy anime unfolds an intriguing tale of unrequited love and unexpected feelings. Jiro Kusuriya, a self-proclaimed non-popular guy, ends up pairing with his exact opposite, Hoshi Watanabe.

Their initial objective to swap partners with their crushes leads to a journey of mutual understanding, eventually kindling deeper feelings for each other. Is it possible for this fake marriage to turn into real love? Its unique plot and character development make it an engaging watch and solidify its position among the best high school romance anime.

19. Ao Haru Ride (2014)

In a delicate blend of high school romance and coming-of-age, a humble girl, Futaba, reencounters her first love, Tanaka, only to find him drastically changed. The story takes an emotional turn as she grapples with her feelings amidst her attempt to fit in, making for a poignant viewing experience.

Notably, “Blue Spring Ride” has surpassed 13 million cumulative comic issues as of June 2023, proving its massive appeal. This engaging anime excels in portraying the trials and tribulations of adolescence, making it one of the best recommendations in the genre.

18. Kaguya-sama: Love is War (2019)

Have you ever wondered what it’s like when two intellects engage in a romantic tug of war? Enter the prestigious Shuchiin Academy, where Vice President Kaguya and President Miyuki square off in a cerebral showdown, each trying to compel the other to confess their love first.

This witty anime soon transitions from love wars to the actual romance, as acknowledged by the creator, Akasaka, providing a refreshing twist to the usual high school rom-com. The series’ brilliance led to its triumph at the 65th Shogakukan Manga Awards, solidifying its position as one of the best anime series in the romance genre.

17. Fruits Basket (2001 & 2019)

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of “Fruits Basket,” where high school student Tohru Honda stumbles upon the supernatural secret of the Sohma family, who transform into animals of the Chinese zodiac when embraced by the opposite sex.

This unique premise intertwined with romance and friendship narratives positions “Fruits Basket” as a compelling choice for anime enthusiasts. Its outstanding quality is validated by several accolades, including the 25th Kodansha Manga Award for Best Shōjo Manga. Furthermore, its global sales exceeding 30 million copies and Guinness World Record for “most sold shōjo manga” bear testament to its worldwide acclaim and solidify its place among the best romance anime.

16. Your Lie in April (2014)

This series follows Kōsei Arima, a piano prodigy whose world becomes monochromatic after the death of his abusive mother. His life changes when he meets Kaori Miyazono, a violinist who, despite her harsh treatment and calling him “Friend A,” tries to bring him back to the world of music.

However, Kaori has a secret that will dramatically change the course of the story. “Your Lie in April” is a touching love story embedded in music and art, filled with deep emotional journeys and the magic of classical music. It was nominated for the Manga Award in 2012 and won the Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2013.

15. Rascal Does Not Dream : Ao-Buta (2018)

The series explores the phenomenon of puberty syndrome, where adolescent emotions trigger supernatural events. The protagonist Sakuta Azusagawa meets several girls affected by this syndrome, including Mai Sakurajima, an upperclassman and actress who, for an unknown reason, can’t be seen by others.

Set in the bright city of Fujisawa, this story presents a heartwarming narrative about the mysterious stories of girls in their youth. The light novel ranked 5th in the Bunko category of “This Light Novel is Amazing!” in 2020.

14. ReLIFE (2016)

ReLIFE revolves around Arata Kaizaki, a jobless 27-year-old who chooses to participate in a unique experiment that makes him relive high school life. The narrative not only explores Arata’s hilarious and heartbreaking second shot at high school but also underlines how his presence catalyzes changes in his classmates.

This is an exceptional anime series that intertwines high school experiences with romance and comedy, making it one of the best in the genre. Additionally, it was ranked 6th in the “Comics Recommended by Japanese Bookstore Employees” in 2015.

13. Horimiya (2021)

Dive into the intricate web of adolescent love and self-discovery with “Horimiya”, a highly acclaimed anime that takes you through the everyday lives of high school students. It’s a beautifully rendered narrative that interweaves the complexities of teenage romance and identity, particularly focusing on the lives of its main characters, Hori and Miyamura.

The series offers an insightful look into the diverse facets of friendships and romantic relationships, making it one of the best anime romances that you should definitely not miss.

12. Love and Lies (2017)

Imagine a dystopian future where love is legislated and marriages are government-arranged. “Love and Lies” unravels this compelling concept, portraying the tumultuous love story of Yukari Nejima, a boy torn between a government-assigned spouse and his long-time love.

This romantic anime is a thought-provoking exploration of societal constraints and how they impinge on the most natural of human emotions – love. Its unique narrative and engaging romantic plot undeniably position “Love and Lies” amongst the best high school romance anime series.

11. Scum’s Wish : Kuzu no Honkai (2017)

What happens when two high school students fall in love with people who can’t return their feelings? “Scum’s Wish” bravely tackles this question, offering a raw and authentic portrayal of unrequited love and adolescent romance.

The series uncovers the darker side of love, going far beyond the idealized high school relationships typically portrayed in anime. With its mature exploration of complex emotions and relationships, “Scum’s Wish” solidifies its position among the best anime romantic series.

35 Best Japanese Romance Anime Movies Everyone Should Watch

10. Kimi ni Todoke (2009)

Could a girl with a gloomy aura, feared for her supernatural look, ever break out of her shell and find romance? “Kimi ni Todoke,” a recipient of the 32nd Kodansha Manga Award in the shoujo category, sets out to explore this premise. Sawako Kuronuma, feared by her classmates and nicknamed “Sadako” due to her similarity to the character from “The Ring,” finds herself drawn to the sociable and popular Shouta Kazehaya, who treats her without prejudice.

The anime beautifully portrays Sawako’s transformation, encouraged by Shouta and her friends Ayane Yano, Chizuru Yoshida, and Ryu Sanada. This delicate coming-of-age narrative does not shy away from tackling issues like friendship, first love, heartbreak, and self-esteem, all set within a high school setting. This balance of pure romance, character development, and tackling social issues in a high school setting makes “Kimi ni Todoke” a must-watch and one of the best in its genre.

9. CLANNAD (2007)

Love, redemption, and personal growth – these are the cornerstones of “CLANNAD,” a high school romance anime that has set a benchmark for the genre. Based on a beloved romantic adventure game, the story spotlights a delinquent named Tomoya Okazaki whose life takes an unexpected turn when he meets Nagisa Furukawa, a sweet, mysterious girl.

This transformative encounter leads to emotional exchanges and growth that make this anime an emotional tour-de-force. The meticulous animation by Kyoto Animation – known for their work on “AIR,” “Kanon,” and “K-ON!” – adds depth to every emotion, making this a truly quality anime. The nuances of character expressions and warm landscape depictions serve to pull you further into the heartfelt narrative.

8. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

The movie tells the story of Makoto Konno, a high school student living in Tokyo, who discovers she has the power of “time-leap”, the ability to jump through time, following an accident. With this newfound ability, Makoto begins to use it for personal gain. Despite being a coming-of-age tale at first, this film soon turns into one of the best romance anime movies as Makoto learns about the consequences of her actions. It’s a must-watch film for its heartwarming story and engaging characters.

Beyond being an exciting journey through time, this movie has also received critical acclaim, winning multiple awards at various film festivals worldwide. Among these are the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year and the Best Animated Feature at the Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival. It is this level of recognition that truly solidifies “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” as one of the best anime films.

7. The Quintessential Quintuplets : 5-toubun no Hanayome (2019)

What happens when a high school tutor gets entwined with his five distinct yet identical quintuplet students? “The Quintessential Quintuplets” answers this with a romantic comedy-drama narrative that captures the heart.

Known for its award-winning manga, this anime masterfully mixes romance, comedy, and drama into a compelling tale about a hardworking tutor and his quirky students. As viewers, we’re treated to a delightful journey of evolving relationships, from academic to romantic. The added suspense of knowing that the tutor marries one of the quintuplets, but not knowing who, makes this one of the best high school romance anime.

6. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2013)

Winner of the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival’s Animation Division, “Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day” paints a touching portrait of loss, love, and friendship. This emotional rollercoaster of an anime explores the aftermath of a tragic loss within a group of friends and the miracle that brings them back together.

Adolescent relationships and the struggle to express deep feelings are poignantly portrayed, making this film a remarkable romantic anime. Whether it’s the heart-wrenching narrative, the complex characters, or the bittersweet exploration of first love, there’s no denying that “Anohana” has all the elements to be considered among the best.

5. A Silent Voice (2016)

Experiencing more than just a romantic narrative, the anime movie “A Silent Voice” offers viewers a heartfelt journey towards acceptance, remorse, and love. Central to the plot is Shoya Ishida, a boy who despises monotony until he crosses paths with Shoko Nishimiya, a hearing-impaired girl. However, an incident involving Nishimiya leaves Ishida ostracized, leading to a captivating journey of emotional growth.

This anime movie differentiates itself by presenting a nuanced narrative that not only delves into the emotional maturation of its characters but also grapples with profound issues like bullying and redemption. Its authentic portrayal of a hearing-impaired character and the intricate emotions explored, is a rarity in anime. This thought-provoking and emotional journey, coupled with its unique storytelling, firmly plants “A Silent Voice” among the best high school romance anime.

4. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2018)

Originally a beloved manga, “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” transitioned perfectly into an animated film. The movie is a roller-coaster ride of emotions, filled with beautiful visuals and matching music that will leave your heart pounding. The story leaves an indelible mark on the viewer, not only due to the emotional storyline involving illness but also because of the surprising and heartbreaking ending.

This film is more than just a romance anime movie. It’s a tale of youth, vibrant with the joy and pain of adolescence. Its impactful narrative and stunning animation make it one of the best in its genre. The emotional depth and unexpected turns keep you hooked, leaving a lasting impression that extends far beyond the closing credits.

3. Toradora! (2008)

Imagine being mistaken for a delinquent due to your fierce gaze. This is the story of Ryuuji Takasu, a high school student who ends up in the same class as his crush, Minori Kushieda, and his best friend, Yusaku Kitamura. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when he crosses paths with Minori’s feisty best friend, Taiga Aisaka. This romance anime, awarded the light novel award in the romance-comedy category, turns high school love on its head as these two unlikely friends team up to help each other with their romantic interests.

The charm of “Toradora!” lies in its compelling characters and the evolution of Ryuuji and Taiga’s relationship. Initially, Taiga attempts to deliver a love letter to Yusaku but accidentally puts it in Ryuuji’s bag, setting the stage for a mutual pact to assist each other’s love interests. This captivating journey from unexpected allies to realizing their feelings for each other, combined with the depth of the characters, makes “Toradora!” one of the best high school romance anime out there.

2. Your Name (2016)

How would you react if you found yourself switching bodies with a person living in a completely different environment? “Your Name,” the second-highest-grossing anime film globally, takes this question to heart, crafting a heart-stirring romance between Mitsuha, a small-town girl, and Taki, a boy from bustling Tokyo. Their body-swapping phenomenon leads to a shared journey filled with self-discovery, growing affection, and an intriguing search for answers.

This highly successful film seamlessly intertwines high school life with a thrilling plot twist and stunning visuals. The realization that Mitsuha’s existence is in a different timeline sparks a gripping quest for Taki to reunite with her. This intense story of longing, love, and time interwoven with the everyday life of high school students, combined with the film’s global success and numerous awards, makes “Your Name” an unforgettable entry in the best romance anime list.

1. Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Ever followed a cat to a magical encounter? “Whisper of the Heart” offers just that with an enthralling twist of romance and mystery. The high school girl, Shizuku, intrigued by the same name, Seiji, on her library book cards, finds her world intertwined with a peculiar cat leading to Seiji himself.

Winning the prestigious 13th Golden Gross Award for Excellence, this anime effortlessly steals the limelight among the best high school romances. The subtle, yet potent, love between Shizuku and Seiji ignites the beauty of young romance. Packed with a memorable theme song, “Country Roads,” the film induces nostalgia, making it an irresistible pick for both seasoned and new anime enthusiasts.

Hello there, anime fanatics! Straight from Tokyo, Japan, I'm an avid blogger and anime enthusiast. By day, I work at an entertainment hub, but my real passion lies in the world of anime - I devour over a hundred series annually! Be patient with my English, I'm still learning.


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