Remember romance anime in the ‘90s? These were just the usual high school love stories or weird love triangle dramas. Series like Fushigi Yuugi, Marmalade Boy, and His and Her Circumstances are classics, but they all feel very cliché in the modern anime landscape. That's why we're happy to notice that many romance anime have begun to adopt a more modern approach. The removal of eye-rolling clichés and tropes has led to more relatable and realistic romance plots. But don't just take our word for it; here's why we think the shift toward modern romance anime is amazing and how it's helping the industry!
School is Over, Adulthood Begins!
School romances are fun, and yes, they do happen in the real world, but they often lack maturity. Watching a young boy debate whether he should make a move on his classmate or just run home gets old fast, especially as anime viewers grow older and crave more substance. Series like Wotakoi, I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying, Golden Time, and even the unrealistic but fun The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague showcase adult relationships that are now relatable to us, older anime fans. Even if you're a younger anime viewer, you can still enjoy these modern adult romances and realize that love exists as you grow older, albeit with more responsibilities, of course.
Otaku Can Relate
Realistically, otaku love lives can be quite different from those of non-otakus. Not everyone meets someone at work or while drinking coffee at a local café. Newer anime like My Love Story With Yamada-kun at Lvl 999 or Recovery of an MMO Junkie show that modern romance can be found from the comfort of your home or while playing video games, believe it or not. Yes, these are still situational romances, but they can be more relatable to people who have found love online rather than in real life (IRL). This modernization helps romance anime fans feel that the industry is embracing a more contemporary approach and isn't solely relying on the typical romance that occurs when two classmates collide while going to school.
Unique Romances, Not Boring Ones
Seriously, romance anime that relies on the same format over and over again is... boring. Even with cute high school-level waifus, romance anime needs more substance to be engaging and captivating. Unique tales like Sing Yesterday for Me or even the "controversial" series like Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway allow for more creative narratives to be released into the anime world and onto our screens at home. No longer are we just watching a high schooler dealing with tests and occasional girl issues; now we have the reality of barely having time to live and hoping to find love, or loving someone younger or older than you, like After the Rain. Instead of predicting where the next episode will go, you'll actually be in suspense, and that's a refreshing change of pace.
Normalizing Adult Relationships
Do you know what's also great about modern anime moving away from the high school days? The inclusion of more adult themes in anime romance (ones that aren't sex-oriented, obviously) allows for a deeper exploration of romantic concepts. Kissing isn't just a giggling-inducing moment, and holding hands isn't the most shocking scenario. In modern, adult romances, people embrace, kiss, make love, and experience the adult world more fully when they are in love. This also helps the world realize that romance isn't always just about passing notes to one another; it involves real love, both the good and the bad.
Modernizing romance anime is a significant development, believe it or not. The anime world's recognition that romance isn't limited to high school or elementary stories will lead to a revolution in the genre, appealing to both older and newer anime fans alike. We can't wait to see romance anime take even more creative liberties with the genre and create even greater stories and anime pairings for us to love.