Harem, Shoujo, Military - there are lots of unique genres out there, but sometimes the most classic ones are still the best.
Good action will push you to the edge of your seat while romance can quicken your heartbeat. What better idea than to combine both genres into one show? That’s right, Action/Romance anime are some of the most popular shows out there since they combine fast-paced action scenes with heartwarming romance. We have already introduced you to our Top 10 Action/Romance anime a while ago, but a lot has happened since then and we thought it was just about time to update our original list.
To make things a little bit more interesting, we have decided to not include any anime from our first line-up. So check out both articles to get an extended list of our recommendations. Enjoy today’s Top 10!
10. Hiiro no Kakera (Hiiro no Kakera: The Tamayori Princess Saga)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2012 - June 2012
First up is a recommendation that combines romance and action with an ancient Japanese tale.
High school girl Tamaki Kasuga leads a normal life until she is sent to live with her grandmother in a remote village. As soon as she arrives there, mythical beings start attacking Tamaki and she has to rely on a group of mysterious guys to protect her. As it turns out, Tamaki was born into a family of powerful women and is now expected to carry on the roles of the Tamayori Princess together with her group of male guardians. Can she fulfill her destiny?
Hiiro no Kakera is often named as one of the better Reverse Harem anime out there. The dynamics between Tamaki and her (of course) good-looking guardian's promise a lot of drama and romance. The action aspect of Hiiro no Kakera, too, doesn’t have to hide and is especially entertaining for all fans of fantastic and supernatural stories. The mythical Tamayori Princess is our first recommendation!
9. Date A Live
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2013 - June 2013
Moving on to a show that most of you should be familiar with, next up is Date A Live.
Student Shidou Itsuka only has one goal on his mind: protect his little sister and lead a simple life. But this turns out to be harder than expected when Shidou is sucked into a world he wasn’t even aware existed. Thrown into a war between mankind and Spirits, mythical beings from a different dimension, he finds his own way of creating peace: he makes the Spirits fall in love with him.
If you haven’t heard of or watched Date A Live yet, then you might be scratching your head at this point. True, Date A Live’s storyline might seem a little bit over the top, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t entertaining. You’ll definitely get more than enough action (often combined with Mecha and/or Sci-Fi elements) and a rather unique look at romance. Date A Live is a fun adventure that you shouldn’t take too seriously, so check it out if you haven’t already.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2010 - June 2010
Next up is a show completely different from Date A Live. We are talking about the historical drama Hakuouki.
Set in Edo Japan, this anime tells the story of 16-year-old Chizuru Yukimura as she sets out to find her father who has gone missing in Kyoto. The long journey is already dangerous enough for a girl her age, but matters get worse once she reaches the capital. There, Chizuru is attacked by human-like monsters and taken hostage by the fierce samurai group called Shinsengumi. Life as Chizuru knew it is about to change.
Hakuouki is a definite must watch for all fans of historical dramas. While Chizuru’s story is a work of fiction, the background information given throughout the show is historically accurate. Even if the idea of a history lesson in anime form bores you, the romance and action components of Hakuouki are more than enough to make this show entertaining. If your idea of action involves samurai, epic sword fights, and old-school virtues, then Hakuouki is the show for you.
7. Campione!: Matsurowanu Kamigami to Kamigoroshi no Maou (Campione!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2012 - September 2012
You like romance, but are looking for a little bit more Ecchi? Then pay close attention to our next recommendation, Campione!.
Once again, the story begins with a high school student who has led a normal life up until now. Everything changes when Kusanagi Godou receives the title of God Slayer or Campione! and is expected to fight and kill ancient gods. On top of that, he suddenly finds himself surrounded by a fellowship of good-looking and overly attached females. Looks like the dream of any 16-year-old boy becomes a reality for Godou.
Ancient monsters? Check. Grand-scale fights? Check. Lots of large-breasted women? Triple check. Campione! might not reinvent the wheel, but it brings a lot of well-established elements to the table. The action of Campione! keeps a good pace and the Romance/Ecchi parts are always good for a quick laugh or a few butterflies in your stomach. Campione! is an all-rounder when it comes to Action/Romance anime so definitely check it out!
6. Shakugan no Shana
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2005 - March 2006
Next up is an oldie but a goodie, the timeless classic Shakugan no Shana.
What would you do if you found out that the universe you’ve known is not the only one out there? Yuuji Sakai has to find an answer to this question since he not only has to accept that dangerous beings are emerging from a parallel universe but also that he has been reduced to a so-called “Torch” and the only thing he can do now is wait for his entire existence to be extinguished.
Shakugan no Shana is a definite recommendation if you are not looking for a romance between a main and a side character, but rather one between two main characters. Yuuji and Shana are connected by fate and slowly get closer to each other as the story unfolds. The action of Shakugan no Shana offers a lot of supernatural and fantastic elements, so check it out if that’s what you are looking for in a good show.
5. Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2015 - June 2015
You will certainly remember the hit show with the incredibly long name, right? If not, let us refresh your memory of Danmachi.
Orario is a mythical city which is better known as the Dungeon. What might look like a normal city above ground actually hides a huge labyrinth filled with traps, monsters and treasures underneath its surface. Danmachi tells the story of a group of adventurers as they explore the hidden labyrinth together.
Danmachi is a fun show, there is no other way to describe it. The idea of a dungeon (as most of us know it from video games) is interesting and the characters of this show are simple yet somehow charming. Once again, we have a show which doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but rather brings together a lot of different genres that work well together. With Danmachi you can expect lots of comedy, good-looking female characters, and a fantastic adventure. Doesn’t sound too bad, if you ask us.
4. Vampire Knight
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2008 - July 2008
Our next recommendation brings us back to the pre-2010 era and reminds us why vampires are so popular in modern entertainment. It’s time for Vampire Knight!
Cross Academy looks like a common elite boarding school at first glance, but it hides a dark secret: The students of Cross Academy are divided into Day Class and Night Class and only a few individuals know that the students of Night Class are in fact powerful vampires. Yuuki and Zero are two of the few students aware of their identities and it’s up to them to protect their secret. But nothing has prepared them for the dangers heading towards Cross Academy.
Think of vampires what you want, but you have to admit that Vampire Knight is a highly popular show that many people still enjoy to this day. The action in this little gem is solid and keeps you guessing of what might happen next. More importantly, the romance of Vampire Knight does not disappoint. The love triangle between Yuki, Zero and Kaname adds a nice touch to the storyline and makes you wonder how Yuki will decide in the end. Watch Vampire Knight if you want to find out!
3. Kaze no Stigma
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2007 - September 2007
For the first recommendation on our Top 3, we have another classic in the anime world with Kaze no Stigma.
Yagami Kazuma was born into a powerful family of fire magic users but is soon disowned due to his weak magical abilities. Who would have thought that he would reappear years later as a powerful user of the wind arts? Definitely not his family members who are still not ready to accept Kazuma with open arms. Together with tough girl Ayano, he is thrown into a war between two opposing families.
Here we have another show that highlights the relationship between two main characters. Both of them are powerful, strong-willed and rough around the edges, so you can expect a lot of unexpected twists and turns with this show. As you’ve probably already guessed from the synopsis, Kaze no Stigma offers more than enough action and is especially entertaining for all fans of magic and fantasy. Kaze no Stigma seems to never get out of age.
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: October 2005 - September 2006
We continue our list of older shows that still deserve some recognition with Blood+, the action-filled hit show from Fall 2005.
Saya Otonashi grew up believing she was a normal girl, with the exception of her inability to remember any events of her life up to one year ago. However, the peaceful life she knew soon comes to an end when blood-thirsty monsters show up in her city - and she fights them with powers she didn’t know she possessed. Soon Saya has to learn the truth about her existence and who she has to become in order to protect the ones she loves.
Blood+ is a definite must-watch for all fans of good action and bloody battle scenes. On top of that, you can also enjoy drama, horror elements and a strong heroine who defies the stereotype that all female anime characters need to be saved. The romance in this anime is subtle, yet harmonizes perfectly with the rest of the show. 50 episodes are more than enough to last you for a while, so check out Blood+ if you haven’t already.
1. Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2012 - March 2013
Our last pick and final recommendation for his list is nothing other than Zetsuen no Tempest.
Yoshino Takigawa leads a simple life, with the exception that he’s secretly dating the younger sister of his best friend Mahiro. But when she becomes the victim of a mysterious murder, Mahiro sets out to find the culprit and make him pay for his crime. Yoshino, on the other hand, tries to forget about the past. This changes when a strange girl contacts him and asks for his assistance to save her life. Now, nothing remains as it was before.
Just like Blood+, this show doesn’t only offer action and romance, but also drama, mystery, and some other intriguing elements. One of the things that make Zetsuen no Tempest stand out from all the other anime out there is the uncommon constellation of the main cast. Here we don’t have a love triangle, but four teenagers whose lives are intertwined with each other. Not only does this mean lots of drama, but also a lot of action that will make you wonder about what will happen next. Zetsuen no Tempest is a great combination of action and romance and that is why we put it as our top recommendation.
This concludes our Top 10 for today. We hope you could enjoy our choices and found a couple recommendations you haven’t watched yet. Action and Romance might be some of the most basic genres out there, but they can add suspense and thrill to any show. In one way or another, you will find action and romance elements in almost all anime out there and that alone should be reason enough to give today’s recommendations at least a try.
What do you think of our updated list? Are there any other shows we have missed out on? Let us know in the comment section below!
It has been said that romance lies at the heart of all stories. After all, what is literature, what is poetry, what is art but a means for us to draw deep into our inner thoughts and feelings? Indeed, and this has been proven, by the way, stories of love and passion coupled with intense action, make some of the best plots ever written.
Anime has released countless of titles that dealt with the plot of romance and action. Classics from decades ago, such as the super robot series Toushou Daimos, is one very good example of an anime that was able to properly balance action and romance in its storyline. Thus, here is a list that contains ten of anime’s best action/romance stories.
Here is our Top 10 Action/Romance Anime!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2012 - December 2012
Yet another anime that features a survival game, BTOOOM! seems to be one of the last titles one would think of when considering romance. However, within the plot of the anime lies a really well-developed romantic story, with the tale of Ryouta and Himiko unfolding before viewers’ eyes in a manner that is both engaging and satisfying.
Though the anime is extremely gritty and violent, and features disturbing adult themes that are mercilessly explored, the love story between the male and female leads is one that will always be considered as the series silver lining. Indeed, it is a very testament to the fact that even in the darkest of times, love can make one’s life that much more worth it.
9. Macross Frontier
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2008 - September 2008
Following in the footsteps of its source material, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, which is the definitive example of space opera anime decades ago, Macross Frontier is widely considered as one of the best spinoff sequels in anime. Featuring breathtaking, fluid animation during intricate battle sequences and a love triangle that is in no way conceited or forced, Macross Frontier is one anime that has endeared itself to fans of the original series and newbies alike.
One of the strongest suits of the anime is the development of the three central characters, who are said to be on par with the original series’ famous love triangle. As the male lead, Alto, is faced with the prospect of love from two similar yet different women, viewers are taken on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. One thing that is particularly engaging about the anime’s love story is the fact that among the three involved in the triangle, there is none who is unlikeable, as both girls have strong qualities that make them right for the male lead. Everything comes into a perfect close, however, as the anime’s ending is both concrete and abstract at the same time.
8. Sword Art Online (First Season)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: July 2012 - December 2012
Sword Art Online has become a favorite for many anime recently. With engaging battles that feature the best of swordplay and RPG gaming, SAO is definitely one of the best action anime that has been released in recent years. However, there is more to this anime than extraordinary battles - it is also an anime with one of the sweetest love stories ever shown on screen.
The developing relationship of the main character, Kirito, and the female lead, Asuna, is one of the story’s strongest points. From the instant connection they felt during their first boss battle, their reunion as powerful players a number of years after, their subsequent relationship that ultimately ended in them being married in-game, to the final scene in the first arc that involved the two holding hands as the world was ending, the story of Kirito and Asuna is one that is indeed very hard to forget.
- Episodes: 167
- Aired: October 2000 - September 2004
Of course, in anime, there is one anime that features action and romance to a pretty extended degree, the epic story of InuYasha. Running for a full four years, the tale of Kagome and InuYasha has become one of anime’s most notable love stories. Featuring themes that include reincarnation, sorrow, and the haunting of past sins, InuYasha is one anime for those who love seeing awesome action and a great love story onscreen.
Though the story is quite long and extremely expansive, the core romance in the plot is one that will always stand as one of anime’s best love stories, as the titular character struggles with feelings for the woman he has loved in the past, to the reincarnation of the very same person he is currently falling in love with in the present. Of course, the anime is also responsible for a lot of nail-biting suspense when it comes to its action scenes, as enemies get stronger and characters are faced with increasingly difficult situations throughout the story.
6. Angel Beats!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 - June 2010
Angel Beats! is widely considered as one of the best titles that have been released in recent years, and for good reason too. Featuring awesome battle scenes that spare no expense in the production department, and a surprising love story that quite literally slaps the tears out of viewers’ eyes, Angel Beats! has become one of Key VisualArts’ most notable works.
The series is yet one reason why people love Key VisualArts’ works, as the story of Otonashi and the mysterious Kanade unfolds throughout the anime’s relatively short run. What makes Angel Beats! such a notable action/romance anime is the fact that it was able to produce such a wonderful love story in the anime’s final episodes, ultimately culminating in the final episode’s final scenes, which is widely considered as one of the most heartfelt and touching moments in anime.
Overall, Angel Beats! is like an anime that lets you in on the action, then sucker punches you with a romantic twist, essentially making the anime impossible to forget.
5. Mirai Nikki
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2011 - April 2012
It is said that love is an act of insanity in itself. With this in mind, there is no other anime that can stay true to this adage than Mirai Nikki. Yes, the anime is pretty crazy when it comes to its violence (it does, after all, feature anime’s most beloved yandere), and the action sequences can be pretty gut-wrenching, but within the anime’s plot is actually a pretty sweet love story. Strage? Let me explain.
On the surface, Yuki and Yuno’s story seem to be a cliched tale of a crazy girl going after the cowardly guy. However, as the plot moves forward, you as the viewer will actually see the depth of their love for each other. As their relationship comes to fruition, Yuki depends on Yuno because she completes him, and Yuno depends on Yuki because he is her one source of happiness. Yes, they do things that are far and beyond insane, but at the core of it all lies their sincere affection for each other. For this, Mirai Nikki makes our list.
4. Tenkuu no Escaflowne
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 1996 - September 1996
Though this anime has been released almost twenty years ago, it is one that has aged pretty well. Indeed, the story of assertive female lead Hitomi and the handsome, headstrong prince Van, and of course, the dashing, chivalrous Allen, is one of anime’s best three-way love stories ever written. Of course, the hand to hand and mecha battles between the characters are also considered one of anime’s best.
What makes the action sequences great in this anime is the realism involved in he fights, especially in those featuring the anime’s mechas, the towering Guymelefs. The romance, however, is something completely on a different level, as the budding relationship between Hitomi and Prince Van is something that is extremely well-portrayed. With intense battle sequences and a romantic story that is both refreshing and realistic, Tenkuu no Escaflowne is one anime that really deserves a spot is this list.
3. Akatsuki no Yona
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2014 - March 2015
A relatively new anime, Akatsuki no Yona garnered a lot of praise when it was released. this was partly due to the anime’s great character development, especially on the titular heroine, Princess Yona, who was forced into exile after the brutal murder of her father in the hands of the man she considers her one true love. Faced with hurdles that are far beyond what she was trained for, Yona nonetheless tries to reclaim a kingdom that was rightfully hers.
Though the action sequences of Akatsuki no Yona are a beauty to behold, the budding romance between Yona and her protector, Hak, is something that has gained a lot of praise from anime fans all over the world. What makes the anime’s romantic theme so endearing is the fact that it manages to pull off scenes that are subtle and passionate at the same time, without resorting to any fanservice of any sort. Truly one of the best romance/action anime of recent years, Akatsuki no Yona is our Number 3.
2. Romeo x Juliet
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2007 - September 2007
Based on one of the greatest love stories of all time, the anime adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes liberties with the story, but it still retains the heart of the plot. Featuring the timeless tale of Romeo Montague and the woman of his dreams, this anime is credited as one of the most memorable anime version of a classic love story.
In fact, a lot of critics have even noted that due to the liberties taken by the anime, the story actually became better-rounded, as the development of Romeo and Juliet’s love story was expansively explored. In contrast to the Renaissance play, where the young lovers fell in love at first sight and ultimately kill each other a number of days later, the anime incarnations of the characters actually deal with events that are far beyond their lives alone. Juliet’s sacrifice, for one, and Romeo’s subsequent sacrifice is something that has impressed anime viewers, old and young alike.
1. Rurouni Kenshin
- Episodes: 94
- Aired: January 1996 - September 1998
Of course, one can never think action/romance anime without mentioning the magnum opus of romantic action anime, the tale of the wandering swordsman in the Meiji Era, Rurouni Kenshin. Being an anime that explores swordsmanship and historical events extensively, the fight scenes of the anime are some of the best ever seen in animation. In fact, the season ender of the anime’s second season is widely considered as the best anime fight ever shown.
The flash of clashing swords is not all that this anime is about, however. After all, it is a tale of a man’s journey to redemption, as signified by the main character’s reverse-edged sword. Thus, the epic love story between the humble Kenshin, a man making amends for his dark past, and the young Kaoru, a woman who is willing to give a vagabond a chance at a fresh start, is one that is sure to entrance viewers for a long time to come.
This is most evident in the gradual but certain progression of feelings between the two main leads. In fact, Rurouni Kenshin is an anime that manages to show the sincerest love of two characters without them even holding hands. The end of the first season is proof of this, as viewers are treated to one of the warmest and most endearing scenes in anime, just by showing Kenshin embracing Kaoru. It is said that love is subtle and sweet, and this anime is proof of that.
So there goes our list of the Top 10 Action/Romance Anime! I highly suggest that you check out each of these titles, as each of them are very much worth the watch. I did, anyway. But then again, I’m a sucker for action/romance. Maybe you are too.
Nevertheless, the anime included in this list (one in particular), is responsible for single-handedly making me into a believer in Japanese animation. And it has stuck with me ever since.
Of course, if there are any titles not mentioned in the list, feel free to state them in the comments below! Until the next list, everyone!