Curiosity cultivates your satisfaction which enables you to access valuable things out there. I know most of you, anime fans around the globe, have already watched a number of romance anime and you can proudly name those highly viral titles such as Your Lie in April, Kimi ni Todoke, Toradora, Clannad, and a lot. However, there are anime shows that would just stand in a darkest corner for two main reasons – you wouldn’t want to watch it because you’re too dependent on others’ rating and popularity on various sites, or more likely, these so-called “underrated” titles wouldn’t pop out on google when you search “Top/Best Romance Anime” or “Anime like [insert overrated romance title here]“. You know, sometimes, there’s a need to expand our horizon from what we stand right now.
So, here are 10 romance anime that you might not have heard or haven’t been recommended to you but you would like to give them a try. (Note: The list is in random order.)
1. True Tears
As the title implies, it’s something that a hardcore dramatic series enthusiast would give it a try. I was easily attached to the realism it boldly depicts in the entire story. The show is your average story of youngsters with their ups and downs as they explore the wonders of the romantic world. The average-looking guy, Shinichiro Nakagami, is the main protagonist of the story who gradually learns to think responsibly as a young man and choose what is best for him. The dilemma on who among the two female leads- a childhood friend and a newly encountered girl, the MC will end up with. Recognizing this typical scenario however, you will not easily predict his judgment to both of them. One might end up a loser.
Despite labeled as sports anime, the highlight of the show is the cliche scenario “love at first sight” which would annoy you at the beginning of the show. Enter Yamato Akitsuki, the ordinary guy who meets a girl in the neighbor named Suzuka Asahina. Typical as it goes however, what makes the anime a lot more special is the realistic element it unfolds towards the world of young romance. As a series that targets teenagers in particular, the series is rather emotionally inclined as conflicts among main leads typically arise. The romantic approach of the show is well-blended with the sports genre which is associated to Track and Field.
3. Kimi Kiss Pure Rouge
Anyone who likes a romance anime with a typical high school setting will definitely watch Kimi Kiss Pure Rouge. It simply revolves around the young students as they chase the most climactic period of adolescence – the stage wherein mixed emotions are highly expressed as role confusion is the major conflict among themselves. The main lead, Koichi Aihara, has a love interest to Yumi Hoshino, but another main heroine wraps up the whole story in the name of Mao Mizusawa, Koichi’s childhood friend. The depiction of its love triangle is just an ordinary scenario when it comes to school romantic drama, but what makes Kimi Kiss Pure Rouge a good romance is that, it closely mirrors the dynamic life of an adolescent, from creating a harmonious relationship with other people of the same age bracket to making a choice that would benefit their growth and development. The show greatly reminds us that we should know our limitation in life.
4. Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien
A tragic romance with melodramatic involvement, Kimi ga Nozumu Eien creates a variety of emotional impact to the audience. The show is rather sad in ambiance while it explores the limits in a relationship from the most bittersweet point. The strong rendition of the well-developed characters with their realistic portrayal of deep emotion provides a smooth pathway to approach the real world. If you’re a fan of a solid romantic drama which makes you tensed and stressed enough of the central theme of the show, then its atmosphere might be the one you’ve been looking for.
This isn’t just your ordinary romantic comedy with the hate-to-love thing of the two main leads because Rec is simply about Aka Onda who aspires to become a great voice actress. She meets Fumihiko Matsumaru who lives in the same apartment as she does. Rec is more mature in terms of narrative and young adult viewers who dream to become a seiyuu can easily associate themselves to its storyline. There’s a little bit of intimacy between the leads in the beginning of the series but as the episode goes by, the romantic aspect becomes more lighthearted and is fairly blended with hilarious characters. It’s just a simple story between two people working on their career together.
6. Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu is a great show that I totally enjoyed watching as it revolves around the Otaku lifestyle of a wealthy young girl, Nogizaka Haruka. Due to her high status in the society, she keeps her interest to Otaku subculture a secret until a boy named Yuto Ayase stumbles upon her who agrees to keep her secret hidden, and expectedly as how the flow goes, they later on begin to develop feelings to each other. The plot depicts a plain narrative but what makes the show more special than other romcom is the persona of the male MC which is beyond the ideal to be coupled to a decent female lead as Haruka. Despite their varying social status, acceptance is the central theme for the entire story. I’m pretty sure you will love the interaction of these two lovely characters.
7. Natsuyuki Rendezvous
A bittersweet yet insightful show for young adults, Natsuyuki Rendezvous despite being labeled as “underrated” by a number of fans, I have to say it’s incredibly done with its influential narrative that drives the audience to realize the process of grievance. Storywise, the anime demographically targets young adults with well-presented and perfectly blended sub genres such as romance and drama. With its fairly good visuals and ear-catching soundtrack, this anime shouldn’t be ignored in your list.
8. Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
The magic of first crush is just a superficial illusion experienced by teenagers in their middle school, and Inari Fushimi mirrors the image of a young girl chasing over her crush and showing a little bit shyness and clumsiness. Average romcom as it would seem from the smallest perspective, it rather shows the most prominent entity which is the supernatural involvement – female MC possessing divine powers given by a god and setting with two different worlds. The story is slow-paced and roughly polished as to the narrative but it’s a character driven show that will make the audience moved by their dialogues.
9. Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora
Heartwarming is the best mood I could simply define the whole show. A story of two people spending their time together as patients confined in a hospital, the melodramatic ambiance of the anime keeps the two main leads more driven with their quality interaction. There were few characters introduced as supporting roles and what makes me compelled is the high focus they give to both MCs which are well-developed within the short number of episodes. Those viewers who work in a medical field can easily grasp the operation involved in the hospital.
10. Kimi no Iru Machi
Labeled as romance and drama, Kimi ni Iru Machi is another heartwarming anime series that perfectly defines the reality of long distance relationship in a more realistic approach. It involves young romance with sentimental elements that create the calmness and toned down expression of its countryside setting. Although a typical love polygon is present, the romance mainly centers on Haruto and Yuzuki. This is a finely refreshing series as a traditional, dramatic story of romance.
Do you know other hidden gems of romance anime you’d like to share? Let me know your thoughts. I would greatly appreciate it if you recommend me some titles, too.