One of the best romantic anime filmmakers, Makoto Shinkai, creator of Your Name, is releasing a new romantic anime called Suzume: Locking up the Doors. It already looks like it’ll break my heart into a million pieces, as usual. But who said romance meant “they both end up together”? 

None of the romantic anime in this list has the perfect male lead, or perfect stories romance usually sells. Hell, there’s also no fan service. And that’s what makes them better than the rest. So, If anime’s usual gra-gra is not for you, you’ll enjoy these. 

Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai

I will never understand why this anime is titled this way, but it is perfect. The anime follows the life of Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school student drawn to girls suffering from a condition called “Adolescence Syndrome”. An illness that manifests based on their insecurities. While it focuses on him helping these girls, the highlight is the first story with Mai, an actress who people suddenly couldn’t see. Sakuta and Mai’s relationship has a slow but satisfying buildup. As annoying as Sakuta can be, sometimes you’d find yourself rooting for them.  

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Sing “Yesterday” For Me

I watched Sing Yesterday for Me for the director, Yoshiyuki Fujiwara, who directed Attack on Titan. I knew to expect great storytelling, and it delivered. This anime rewrote what a classic love triangle could look like if each character had a bit more depth. It was highly realistic in its approach to love and friendships. There’s no way to explain this without spoiling it, but you won’t regret watching this anime. 

Yuri on Ice 

Yuri on Ice is a story of how someone’s love and belief in you can encourage you to be the best version of yourself, even if that is a pork cutlet bowl. 

They never actually kiss or date, but you can’t see Yuri and Victor interact and think it is friendship, please. From the opening theme to every other song in the OST, just be prepared to have your heart in your mouth. This series is romance at its finest, and maybe one day, we’ll get a second season. 

Your Name 

You can’t talk about romantic anime without mentioning Your Name. The anime follows Mitsuha and Taki, stuck in a freaky Friday situation where they swap bodies. Mitsuha is a girl from the countryside, while Taki is a city boy living in Tokyo. Their love story should have been doomed from the start because even the forces pulling them together were tearing them apart. This anime is beautifully made with an OST that will be stuck in your head for days. 


Nana is one of those anime films you need to see at least once in your life. Admittedly, while watching it, I might start to feel like something that “Should have been a movie”, but that’s just because it is slow-paced. Nana Komatsu moved to be with her boyfriend in Tokyo and met Nana Osaki, a punk rock queen musician pursuing her dream. They soon become very close. Living in the same house with chemistry that the sharpest knife can’t cut and multiple kisses type of close. But more than that, Nana is full of realistic characters, spectacular events and good music. times. Sometimes you’ll feel like you want to deck all the characters, but it’s still worth watching. 

I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

I’ve realised that the weirder the title of a romantic anime, the more tears you will shed. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas will break your heart, and you will still say thank you. It’s a story about a girl named Sakura who has a terminal pancreatic illness and makes a list of things she wants to do before she dies. Naturally, an amebo boy named Haruki finds out about her secret list and makes it his mission to help her. As these things usually happen, they fall in love, but she’s running out of time. 

Komi Can’t Communicate

This anime is about a girl called Komi who everyone worships, except she doesn’t talk. That’s until she meets Tadano, the only person to figure out she had trouble talking to people. Tadano makes it his mission to help her make 100 friends; if that is not love, I don’t know what love is. Every one of Komi’s little wins and cute interaction with Tadano and the friends they make along the way makes this anime so great. Enjoy!

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Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.