5 Great Romantic Anime Series

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While other kids in high school were out partying and getting into trouble, my friends and I were watching anime. Yes, we were those kids.

At age 30, I still love watching anime and my go-to seems to be the romantic series’ or ones that have it as a strong plot device. Keep reading to learn about five of my favorite romantic anime series in no particular order.

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5. Chobits

Chobits was created by the collective group of women named Clamp. The story follows Hideki Motosuwa who finds a personal computer or persocom that looks like a human female. He names her “Chi” since it is the only word she can speak when he first encounters her. The story evolves with Chi learning more about the world, where she came from, and her feelings for Hideki. As a robot, she is not that great with boundaries or social cues, which makes for a lot of humor in the series. I love the idea that it brings to question how a person can love a computer even in the AI is human-like. Much like the new Ex-Machina movie, this one makes us reflect on our own morals and what the future could be with new technology like this progressing every day.

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4. Fruits Baskets

For some reason anime likes to make the main character an orphan or have only one parent. Then again, so do Disney movies. Anyway, Fruits Baskets starts off with orphan Tohru Honda (not the heiress to the car company) who stumbles upon the Sohma family. After she moves in with them, she learns that all the members of the family are cursed and will turn into an animal of the zodiac if touched by a person of the opposite sex or stressed. There are two men in the family that she is of similar age to and befriends: Kyo, who is angry, irritable, and misunderstood; and Yuki, who is popular, smart, and soft spoken. It is one of the classic love triangles but with a twist. Tohru must figure out who she wants to be with while trying to break the curse and maintaining a friendship with both. The anime ending is lackluster so I would recommend reading the manga as well to get the full story.

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3. Ouran High School Host Club

Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship student at Ouran Academy. She finds a hidden room in school to study and meets the six members of the Ouran Host Club. The club entertains women in the school. Not like that! They just hang out and make ladies feel good about themselves. Sicko. Anyway, after humorous series of events and the fact that her appearance makes her gender ambiguous, she becomes a member herself. The members start off thinking she is male, but soon realize that is not the case. Each member of the club has a different personality, each playing a role in the balance of the group. It’s nice to have that many characters where their development is fun to watch. The leader and most popular of the group, Tamaki Suoh, starts to notice Haruhi in a whole new light. Thus begins the awkward and silly dance of feelings between them.

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2. Maid Sama!

So yeah, maid cafes are a thing and a little weird, but whatever. They help make for a really funny story setting if used correctly, which this anime does. Misaki Ayuzama is the student council president at Seika High, which was formerly an all-male school. She is exceedingly tough on the male students to be appropriate to the female students and to get their acts together. She is a force to be reckoned with. No one knows that her evenings are spent working as a maid cafe until one student, of course the popular guy in school, Takumi Usui finds out her secret. He keeps it to himself but visits her everyday at the cafe. It is obvious that Takumi feels something for Misaki but you don’t really understand it until his story is developed more through her eyes. I like this anime so much because Takumi is not Misaki’s whole life nor her priority for most of the anime. It focuses on her trying to make her high school a better place while finding love in the process.

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1. The Vision of Escaflowne

This is the only anime on the list that has a lot of action and pew pew in space. Hitomi Kanzaki finds herself no longer on Earth but in a new world called Gaea. She meets Van, a swordsman her age and she quickly learns that this world is in the middle of war. Hitomi must use her newly-found fortunetelling powers and Van must master the armor suit, Escaflowne, to defeat the evil Zaibach Empire. Their mission brings them very close together as they discover more about themselves and each other. The bonding through adventure and hardship makes for some of the best and strongest love stories out there. Also, there are robots in this. Did I mention the action? It’s a classic for a reason.

Honorable mentions: Inuyahsa, Sailor Moon Crystal, Say,’ I love You’, and Toradora.

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