This summer season we’ve been given an interesting foray into romantic relationships with the comedy anime Kanojo mo Kanojo (Girlfriend, Girlfriend). This anime is ridiculous, wacky and it doesn’t take itself too seriously; however, it also has surprising moments of sensitivity and wholesomeness that can have you forgetting about the shenanigans that happen in the show. Now that we’re approaching the end of the summer season, we thought it’d be great to show you six anime that have similar themes, characters or storylines to Girlfriend, Girlfriend, focusing mostly on romantic similarities, similar harem dynamics, character arcs and more!
Similar Anime to Kanojo mo Kanojo / Similar Anime to Girlfriend, Girlfriend
1. Kanojo, Okarishimasu! (Rent-a-Girlfriend!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2020 - September 2020
Kinoshita Kazuya is a 20-year-old university student dealing with the abrupt end of his romantic relationship with fellow college student Nanami Mami. Embarrassed and hurt, he attempts to soothe himself by getting a rental girlfriend online. Kazuya thinks he’s lucked out when he meets Mizuhara Chizuru, his beautiful and extremely likeable rental girlfriend. However, when he sees high praise and ratings from other customers on the platform, Kazuya believes that her cute and likeable act was all to mess with his naïve heart, so he gives her a bad rating. Infuriated by the blemish on her otherwise exemplary record, Mizuhara gives Kazuya a piece of her mind, until Kazuya hears that his grandmother collapsed and is in the hospital. They both rush over there to find Kazuya’s grandmother in good spirits. When she asks about Mizuhara, Kazuya throws her under the bus, claiming that she’s his girlfriend! Due to some circumstances of her own, Mizuhara has no choice but to play the part for Kazuya, who then begins renting her professional girlfriend act on a regular basis!
Kanojo, Okarishimasu! (Rent-a-Girlfriend!) is quite a wild ride from start to finish! With each additional deception, Kazuya finds himself in a deepening mess that Mizuhara is also forced to face! Like with Girlfriend, Girlfriend, the main characters in Rent-a-Girlfriend! are forced to keep the intimate details of their relationship under wraps to prevent a full-blown scandal, or worse—the judgment of other people! In both anime, the protagonist is, well, extremely flawed yet possessing a redeeming quality. For Naoya, his ridiculous honesty has enabled him to push through some awkward situations with his girlfriends (and many others), while Kazuya’s earnest desire to be in a happy relationship, and his propensity to do anything for the people he cares about, are touted as his redeeming qualities. Both shows feature harem-like situations in which our dense MC has various female characters fall in love with him and develop an intense desire to date him no matter what. This happens with Ruka and Sumi, but to some extent, with Mizuhara too in Rent-a-Girlfriend!, while Girlfriend, Girlfriend has this happening with Minase Nagisa and then Milika later in the series.
Kanojo, Okarishimasu! PV
2. 5-toubun no Hanayome (The Quintessential Quintuplets)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2019 - March 2019
Uesugi Fuutarou is a high school student at the top of his grade academically; however, he has no friends due to his coldness. At home, his father is struggling under massive debt and they’re only managing to scrape by. He has a cafeteria argument with a female transfer student that turns ugly, and they both end up disliking each other. However, Fuutarou comes to regret his abrasiveness when he is offered a private tutoring job and realizes that the client is none other than Nakano Itsuki—the girl he argued with at lunch! Fuutarou’s problems don’t end at that though, as he finds out that Itsuki is only one of five siblings that he’ll be tutoring!
The story of The Quintesential Quintuplets follows Fuutarou’s relationship with Nakano Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba and Itsuki. This includes the romance that develops between Fuutarou and some of the Nakano sisters—we even know that at some point in the future, Fuutarou marries one of them, but we don’t actually know who. In this way, Quintessential Quintuplets is comparable to Girlfriend, Girlfriend because of the harems in both shows, that are complicated by things like personal history, as well as the diversity in personality that the heroines bring to either story and romance, of course. Another thing is that Girlfriend, Girlfriend character Milika is very similar to the Quintessential Quintuplets resident tsundere, Nino, and goes through a similar character arc as far as her budding feelings for the protagonist are concerned. The two characters are also voiced by the same person!
5-toubun no Hanayome PV
3. Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2016 - December 2016
Serinuma Kae is known by everyone as the biggest girl on campus, and they bully her and tease her because of her weight, and the fact that she's quite a nerd, revelling in all things otaku! When Kae’s favorite anime character dies, she falls into an emotional pit and loses an unhealthy amount of weight in the few days that she’s absent from school. Not realizing how different she looks, she heads over to school after a week’s absence to find everybody fawning over her noticeably thinner figure! With her thinner appearance, guys who never looked twice at her are now fighting over her, but Kae’s not interested in all that noise—the BL fan inside her is too busy secretly daydreaming about how good her male classmates would look if they fawned over and dated each other!
These shows seem vastly different at first; however, they both have one very important thing in common—harems and characters finding the protagonist hot for absolutely any reason! Suitors duke it out (metaphorically, most of the time) to win the affections of the main character! The main difference is obviously that Naoya has an emotional attachment to his multiple romantic interests, while Kae is more concerned about how much hotter the really hot guys would look if they did hot and steamy things together, like hot couples do.
Watashi ga Motete Dousunda PV
Any Anime Like Girlfriend, Girlfriend / Any Anime Like Kanojo mo Kanojo?
4. Osananajimi ga Zettai ni Makenai Love Comedy (Osamake: Romcom Where the Childhood Friend Won’t Lose)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2021 - June 2021
Maru Sueharu is a former teen actor who has a crush on his aloof classmate, Kachi Shirokusa. However, things are a little complicated as Sueharu is aware that Shida Kuroha, his childhood friend and neighbour, has very deep feelings for him. When Sueharu builds up the courage to ask Kachi out, she flatly rejects him because she already has a boyfriend. This destroys Sueharu, until Kuroha approaches him with an interesting proposal: that the two of them devise a plot against Kachi as revenge for Sueharu’s broken heart!
Osamake is incredibly convoluted and it can be really confusing, but it’s that chaos that brings it onto this list! Like Girlfriend, Girlfriend, Osamake centers some kind of love triangle and then throws all manner of curveballs at the characters involved. While Osamake is about the three main characters’ road to a relationship and how much more difficult the characters make things for themselves, Girlfriend, Girlfriend speedruns the awkward talking stage bit for the romantic relationships involved and brings the wacky hijinks through the established relationship involving three people!
Osananajimi ga Zettai ni Makenai Love Comedy PV
5. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2015 - March 2015
Aki Tomoya is an otaku who has devoted much time to interests which have captivated him. He now has the opportunity to captivate others by creating his own video game. His childhood friend, Eriri Spencer Sawamura is in charge of the art, while literature snob Kasumigaoki Utaha handles the writing, and Tomoya handles the direction. All Tomoya needs is a heroine who can inspire him, so he’s in luck when he meets Katou Megumi, the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen!
Like Girlfriend, Girlfriend, Saekano presents us with a male protagonist who is surrounded by interesting, beautiful girls who develop romantic feelings for him during their continued interactions. Saekano’s harem is in the context of a doujin circle, where the harem is centered on Tomoya as the circle leader and assembler; while Girlfriend, Girlfriend’s harem is built around the relationship between Naoya and his two girlfriends, Saki and Nagisa.
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata PV
6. Koi to Uso (Love and Lies)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2017 - September 2017
The story is set in a futuristic Japan where a system known as “The Red Threads of Science” determines who each person is meant to marry in order to combat the dwindling population. From the age of 16, one’s life partner is determined, and defying this decision results in extreme punishment for the people involved. Nejima Yukari is an average teenager who believes that the system may work to the favour of Average Joes like himself; however, Yukari develops an intense crush on his classmate Takasaki Misaki, who reluctantly admits that she harbours similar feelings for him too! However, just as they confess their feelings to each other, Yukari’s marriage notice arrives.
This one is rather different from the rest on this list because it’s a dark spin on love and romance due to it being set in a dystopian Japan. However, this is similar to Girlfriend, Girlfriend because of the main element of “taboo” romance, which in the case of Koi to Uso, is in the realm of criminality because of how the main romance buds despite there being legal ramifications for it. As a result, Yukari, Ririna and Misaki have a commitment to keeping the truth a secret, in a way that’s similar but unlike how Naoya, Nagisa, Saki (and later Milika) have to keep the “taboo” three-way romance a secret, lest they be tried in the court of public opinion!
Koi to Uso PV
If you’re not thinking about it too much, Kanojo mo Kanojo (Girlfriend, Girlfriend) is a hilarious romantic comedy that tries to play with something we see in anime all the time (harems) and add a little extra. It’s got an interesting charm despite not quite having the nuance or depth some would like, especially when the romantic set-up is as unexplored in anime as this, which can be quite problematic. Sometimes, though, one just needs a show to be ridiculous and over-the-top; something that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Hopefully, the shows on this list will scratch that harem itch for you! Do you know other shows like Girlfriend, Girlfriend? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think!