Back in the early 90s and 2000s, romance anime seemed to be the biggest genre of anime for a short while. Everything from sci-fi romance anime to fantasy romance could be watched—shows like Tenchi Muyo, Inuyasha, and Tenkuu no Escaflowne for example—and it seemed the genre would continue for years to come. In many ways, the romance genre has indeed continued with its hodgepodge of strange—sometimes realistic—setups but we here at Honey’s Anime noticed one thing romance anime avoids often.
Mature romance anime is often an underused theme and while more mature romance series have released as of late—series like Kuzu no Honkai and Domestic na Kanojo—, the industry needs more. Some might argue the “hentai-like” romance series count but our desire is for mature romance stories that aren’t just sexually explicit but focused on drama with deep and mature romance issues that can be found in the real world. That’s why we’re going to dive more into this topic in our article appropriately titled The Dire Need for Mature Romance Anime!
Beyond High School
Romance anime typically has this setup. A bunch of high schoolers fall into a crazy romance plot and the rest of it changes based on the sub-genre. In our minds, we need more series like Golden Time. While Golden Time wasn’t perfect—there are some missteps here and there—what it did right was place the romance plot in the college years. This big change allows for the romance to be a bit more complicated without the childish—sometimes immature—romance plot due to the focus being on kids/teens. Romance anime set in college years can still have several dozen sub-genres but it will always have a deeper plot that allows for a more mature romance story.
Sex Isn’t Everything
There are a lot of adult-themed romance anime out there—Souryo to Majiwaru Shikiyoku no Yoru ni as a prime example—that are both censored and uncensored but focus less on romance and too much on sex. Romance and sex are two themes that do need to go together, obviously, but when anime goes too far into the sexual concepts, it ends up becoming almost hentai. Mature romance doesn’t need sex as a crutch. You can have a deep story of love and companionship with a mild dose of sexual themes done tastefully. Not everything needs to be M rated to be mature…
Maybe like Clannad and/or Orange
There were two series that started off as a high school romance story and then went into an adult setting, Clannad and Orange. Easily one of the more beloved romance stories, Clannad was a series we’d wish more anime would learn from and Orange did a beautiful thing by having both a teenage setting and an adult one. Romance anime could do both in different ways—maybe start off with a teenage love story and become an adult one or show both at different times—and make for some truly unique romance narratives.
Why The Dire Need for Mature Romance Anime?
You might be wondering why we need more mature romance anime in the anime world. Isn’t the main point of anime to shy away from reality? In our opinion, anime can be truly ridiculous but it can also show possibilities we can’t see in a fictionalized manner. Seeing romance stories like Kimi no Na wa.—Your Name.—might feel unrealistic but the meaning of doing anything for a loved one, even the impossible, is a meaning we do see often in the real world. As fans of romance anime, we desire these tales of mature characters fighting fate and destiny to show their love what they mean to them.
Mecha, action and fantasy anime can all be powerful genres but romance can hit the heart in ways that those genres often can’t. Plus, romance outside of anime is extremely popular! If anime series adopt this more mature theme, then we might have even non-anime watchers admitting they’ve seen some series here and there!
Mature romance anime is something we’re beginning to see more of as time goes by, but we still haven’t hit enough yet in our minds. There will be a time where high school romance will be lessened and we will see college romances or even adult workplace romances—like Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii—blossom for all to love! Do you agree with us and feel there is a need for more mature romance anime? Comment below to let us know and why you agree or don’t! For more articles like this one, be sure to keep stuck to our beautiful love-filled hive here at Honey’s Anime!