Top 10 Best Anime Couples of 2018

We all yearn for a connection and in lieu of actual connections we often get caught up in the relationships we watch unfold in anime. We watch the hero and heroine (or in some cases on this list heroine and heroine) find each other and overcome the odds to be together. The past year in anime was filled with those cuter than cute relationships that fill hearts with jealousy. We now take time to list the top ten lovebirds of the last year.

10. Oodanna and Aoi Tsubaki from Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi (Kakuriyo- Bed & Breakfast for Spirits)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2018- September 2018

Aoi is spirited away to the Hidden Realm, the land of the Ayakshi which is a kind of yokai, by the Ogre Lord Oodanna. She ends up in this predicament because her grandfather who could see ayakshi and had the ability to step between the hidden and apparent realm (our world) was a free spirit and quite a gambler. He owed a lot of money to Oodanna and put Aoi up as collateral. After his death, Oodanna came to collect. Aoi wasn’t going to be enslaved or eaten, which was apparently a possibility, she was to marry the handsome Ogre Lord. She would be his wife and mistress of one of the finest luxury inns in the hidden realm. As a modern educated girl, Aoi turns down the offer and decides she will work to pay off her grandfather’s debt. She is given the chance to run a small café on the grounds of the inn and uses her culinary skills preparing exotic apparent-realm foods for the staff and guests. The story is definitely shojo with its heroine and her hero circling each other for a long time. She does her best to keep her captor at arm’s length as she works to make a life for herself in the spirit-filled world. Yet we know her opinion of him is softening as she sees how he treats his staff and the guests in the hotel. She is wary of the princely ogre and it takes a lot of time for him to prove with deeds, not words, that he truly admires her and wants her as a wife. We aren’t left with a real resolution at the end of the story but get the feeling that they’ve found respect if not love for each other. If Oodanna wants to truly prove that he loves her he could do as American writer Richard Bach suggests and understand “if you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were.”

Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi PV

9.Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami from Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom into You)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2018- December 2018

Yuu is a 15-year-old girl who lives above her family’s bookstore and dreams of the kind of love she reads about in shojo manga. The day finally comes. She receives a letter, listens to his confession, and feels nothing. She doesn’t understand; all the conditions had been cleared, her heart should have fluttered but it didn’t. She couldn’t help but to turn him down. Then she witnesses the student council president Nanami turn someone down with grace and elegance and decides to go to her for advice. The next turn of events is even more confusing and shocking to her; Nanami, the most respected and beautiful girl in school, confesses to her. Yuu, turns the president down but still becomes a member of the student council at her request. The relationship between the two is slow to develop and filled with subtlety. We witness a budding romance as Yuu is constantly being wooed by Nanami and slowly moving from friend to lover. The pace is also slow because Yuu has trouble understanding her own feelings. The best part is she doesn’t question the idea of loving another girl, just the idea of loving anyone. The relationship is good because they each make up for the other’s shortcomings. Yuu provides a safe space for Nanami to be herself and take off the mask she shows the rest of the world. Nanami pushes Yuu out of her comfort zone and encourages her to grow. The two girls are very different and in very different places in their lives but still find a gentle harmony when they are together. As author Nishan Panwar says, “the compatibility of a couple and the quality of a relationship lies in the way they handle their arguments and differences.”

Yagate Kimi ni Naru PV

8. Hirotaka Nifuji and Narumi Momose and Tarou Kabakura and Hanako Koyanagi from Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku)

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: April 13, 2018- June 22, 2018

The idea of reinvention is a natural acknowledgment of things about ourselves we’d like to change. We often have that opportunity when we move or find a new job because we don’t have a history with the people that surround us. Narumi is attempting to do that as she starts a new job; she wants to hide the fact that she is an otaku. Narumi succeeds until she realizes the guy sitting next to her at work is Hirotaka a friend from middle school and a huge otaku. She attempts to convince him to keep her past a secret over drinks and blows it by admitting she is still an otaku. She explains she feels that this is the stumbling block for her to find true romance. Hirotaka makes a radical suggestion that she date him, a fellow otaku that won’t judge her for what she likes. She says yes and the awkward romance begins. She soon learns that her mature beautiful work senpai Hanako is an otaku and cosplayer and is in a relationship with the handsome manager Tarou, also an otaku. We love these couples. We love them for the realness of their relationships. The open of the program alone shows the two couples in each other’s apartments; the girls are in their boyfriends’ t-shirts just doing normal everyday things. We see them go on dates but most of the time they just spend time talking, hanging out and sleeping over -- the things grown up couples do. We don’t have to deal with the OMG-we-almost-touched that is so common in anime. We see these couples as friends first, lovers second. As Fredrich Nietzsche said, “it is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii PV

7. Teresa Wagner and Mitsuyoshi Tada from Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai (Tada Never Falls in Love)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: April 2018- June 2018

The idea of a falling in love with a transfer student isn’t the only classic plot choice in Tada Never Falls in Love. A large portion of the plot is lifted from a romance classic starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. (If you know anything about classic movies this gives it all away.) You know how the story is going to go, but you watch anyway because this couple is just too adorable for words. Tada is an aspiring photographer who had a perfect cute-meet with Japanese-fluent western tourist Teresa when she got caught in a sudden downpour and separated from her traveling companion. He invites her back to his family’s coffee shop to dry off. The next day they meet again as she and her female traveling companion Alec transfer into his high school. Teresa is drawn to Tada and joins the photography club to be near him and have a normal high school experience. The two have a very slow courtship, partly because Tada doesn’t think he deserves happiness after a tragedy in his youth and also because Teresa knows one day she’ll go back home and never see him again. We witness a very gentle romance where both are perfect for each other and share an affection for each other but can’t find it in themselves to admit to the truth that they are in love. The last-minute confession is often overused but in this story, it’s the only way it works. The anime best differentiates itself from the film it’s an homage to by having the confession so we never have to cry at a scene similar to when Audrey Hepburn says “I don't know how to say goodbye. I can't think of any words.”

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai PV

6.Mai Sakurajima and Sakuta Azusagawa from Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2018- December 2018

What do you get if you mix a popular teen actress and a boy with a deadpan delivery then stir it up with supernatural occurrences? A funny yet touching supernatural drama called Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. The story starts when Sakuta, the rascal in the title, sees a girl, his Senpai Mai, dressed as a bunny girl walking around the library. No one notices the spectacle but him. Sakuta has a curious mind so he gets closer to that wild bunny girl, solves her problem and starts dating her. We like Mai because she’s smart; she was already working the problem when Sakuta came along to help her solve it. Sakuta is also pretty smart, he has great observation skills and a lot of empathy despite having his own problems. We enjoy the way the two trade clever barbs back and forth providing some quick-fire comedy. The best attribute this couple has is trust. Mai works as an actress and that takes her away from home for days at a time. Sakuta doesn’t get jealous and worried. The same can be said for Mai since Sakuta finds himself helping girl after girl through the arc of the story, even one that pretends to be his girlfriend. Trust is the most important part of any relationship, especially a romantic one. It is like Cornel West said, “We have to recognize that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty unless there is love, patience, persistence.”

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai PV

5.Nishikata and Takagi from Karakai Jouzu No Takagi-san (Teasing Master Takagi-san)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2018- March 2018

Boy-meets-girl, girl-likes-boy, so girl teases him. It's simple for a lot of us to understand, it’s just the beginning of flirting. The problem is Nishikata. He’s not clever enough to understand flirtation, frequently attempts to tease her back and fails. Nishikata sits across from cute transfer student Takagi. The anime and manga is a slice-of-life that mainly focuses on Takagi’s flirtation and Nishikata’s cluelessness. We love their interactions as they sit next to each other in class. Takagi often leans over and whispers “hey, hey, Nishikata,” and we know something adorable is about to happen. The two are a couple. Nishikata may not realize it but they are and everyone else sees it. They share secrets, hang out and walk to and from school together. The simplest thing like spending the summer learning how to ride a bike with someone sitting on the back is further proof. We love how she doesn’t get frustrated that he doesn’t get the point of all her teasing. We love that they understand each other, kind of. Well, at least she understands him. Like knowing he hurt his hand while petting a stray instead of the more manly lie he came up with. We like how he can say something surprisingly sensitive that puts a crack in her poker face. We love them as a couple because they remind us of ourselves when we were younger with things like not picking up hints and finding excuses to be together even if we didn’t understand why we wanted to. Julia Child once said “The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time.”

Karakai Jouzu No Takagi-san PV

4. Siluca Meletes and Theo Cornaro from Grancrest Senki (Record of Grancrest War)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: January 2018- June 2018

Atlatan is a land filled with Chaos, literally. Chaos is a magical distortion that turns the natural order on its head and causes demons, monsters, and spirits to appear. The way to quell these disasters is to earn a crest, a magical symbol that is given, taken or earned. For an idealistic few, the crests are truly a way to help people. The rest are lords coveting them to gain dominion over each other. A legend persists that if one person can unify all the crests the Chaos will be gone from the land. The two people committed to this goal are Theo, the commoner who became a lord, and Siluca, the brilliant mage who supports him. We love Theo and Siluca because of the complete trust they have in each other. The moment the two meet we get to see the roles the two will have for the course of the story. Theo stepped up to defend Siluca and she lets him despite being stronger than him. She sees something in him that lets her know that with the right guidance he could become a great man. He recognizes quickly that without her brilliant mind that his dream of becoming stronger would soon collapse. We also are treated to something that is uncommon in anime: they get together well before the story ends. The hero and heroine of the story become a full-fledged intimate couple before the halfway point and the rest of the story we see a couple deeply in love with each other determined to overcome all that gets in the way of their dream together. According to Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Grancrest Senki PV

3.Yagashira, Kiyotaka and Mashiro, Aoi from Kyoto Teramachi Sanjo no Holmes (Holmes of Kyoto)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2018- September 2018

The irony is there is no mystery as to the plot of this anime; its name is taken from Sir Conan Doyle’s work “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”. We know right off the bat that this show will have a protagonist named Holmes (or at least nicknamed Holmes) in Kyoto. Yagashira Kiyotaka -- aka Holmes -- works as an assessor in a fine antique shop owned by his father, Zura. A heartbroken high school girl named Aoi Mashiro walks in one day and attempts to sell her grandfather’s antique scrolls for a ticket back to Tokyo, where her best friend and ex-boyfriend were now dating. Yagashira quickly explains why it would be a bad idea to sell the scrolls and assesses their true value. The collegiate amateur detective takes a liking to Aoi and offers her some part-time work so she can earn her own money to fund her trip to Tokyo. She quickly proves herself to have a sharp mind and keen observation skills, becoming the perfect sounding board for her handsome boss. We watch the two grow to rely on each other as they solve one mystery after the other brought to their shop. Aoi gives Yagashira insights on empathy while he fills her full of facts and deductive data. They both dance around their growing feelings, perfectly in line with the shojo genre this story represents. We get a lot of moments that have us scream “just kiss already!” Aoi and Yagashira are not only very cute together but seem to respect each other professionally. Aoi is in awe of Yagashira’s knowledge and Yagashira is constantly amazed at Aoi’s determination to learn as quickly as she can to catch up to him. We find it an elementary deduction: The couple that can support each other’s weakness is a strong couple indeed.

Kyoto Teramachi Sanjo no Holmes PV

2.Zero Two and Hiro from Darling in the Franxx

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: January 2018- July 2018

The future is bleak in this dystopian world. We find humanity roaming a barren planet in massive shielded cities called plantations. A mysterious leader simply referred to as Papa rules the final members of the species called humanity. The massive cities and the technology needed to build them is still not enough to protect the dwindling numbers as the constant assault by subterranean creatures called Klazosaurs threaten the cities daily. A brilliant engineer named Franxx creates giant robots using a unique mineral mined from the earth that gives them awesome power. The only catch is they can only be piloted in tandem by children, one male one female. The story focuses on two of these children the human Hiro and Zero Two a human-Klazosaur hybrid. Hiro and Zero Two met when they were very young children as they attempted to run away from the overbearing and controlled environment where they were being raised. Hiro wasn’t at all afraid of Zero Two’s otherworldly appearance with her dark red skin and horns. The hours the two spent together forged a bond that would last the length of a lifetime. It would prove to be an insoluble bond that was never truly erased when they were each “reconditioned” after their escape. The two are drawn together as if they were magnets when they meet for the second time. We see the two quickly realizing they are strongest when together, most at peace when they are together, and happiest when they are together. Hiro and Zero Two also have amazing faith in each other and the idea that they are truly soulmates and that someday at some time they will meet again in a life filled with peace and happiness. Or, “Our universe grants every soul a twin—a reflection of themselves—the kindred spirit – And no matter where they are or how far away they are from each other—even if they are in different dimensions, they will always find one another. This is destiny; this is love.” – American artist and Hugo Award Winning Author, Julie Dillon

Darling in the Franxx PV

1. Juliet Persia and Romio Inuzuka from Kishukugakkou no Juliet (Boarding School Juliet)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2018- December 2018

We really don’t have to tell you the plot, do we? Romeo and Juliet may be the most famous love story in history, as much as it drives some of us crazy. Well, if you’ve never gone to school in the western world here is the plot, at least for this incarnation. The star-crossed lovers in this story are Juliet Persia and Romio Inzuka, high school students from rival countries attending the same boarding school located at the center of the shared island. The idea that one country is referred to as the “White Cats” and the other is the “Black Dogs” is further symbolism that the two nations don’t get along. The beautiful Persia is worshiped by her fellow white cats and leads her dorm in friendly battle after battle with Inzuka and his band of Black Dogs. The problem is the two find it silly their nations have such animosity towards each other and they fall in love. Yet, the course of true love did never run smooth. Romio and Juliet have to pretend to hate and want to kill each other on a daily basis until the day they are of an age and in a position to change their perspective countries. We pick them for the number one spot because they are darn cute in the scenes they have with each other. The hijinks that happen will make you laugh and smile as they pretend -- and sometimes pretend badly -- to have animosity toward each other. You get a sense of genuine affection between the characters and the willingness they both have to make sacrifices to make their joint dream of peace a reality. For never was a story of more woe (and in this case hilarity) than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Boarding School Juliet PV

Final Thoughts

The course of true love does never run smooth and as we’ve witnessed for many of these couples their own uncertainty is often the biggest obstacle they have to overcome. We witness these sometimes long and drawn out mating dances wondering will they or won’t they? And we know that these dances make their inevitable union that much sweeter. We know that more often than not they will get together and regardless of the formulaic way they find each other they still leave us smiling with the hope we each find someone to commit to like that.

Karakai-Jouzu-no-Takagi-san-crunchyroll-3 Top 10 Best Anime Couples of 2018


Author: Zeke Changuris

I’m a journalist, writer, photographer, video producer, social media manager and above all a storyteller. I’m located on the east coast of the United States but travel the world with the love of my life. I’ve been a nerd since birth with a love of history and science. I fell in love with anime, watching ROBOTECH and Venus Wars in the 80s when our only source was secondhand VHS dubs. A crazy new thing called the internet changed that, giving me access to new and amazing anime every day. I love to write for work and pleasure. I’m living the dream of every kid, getting paid to watch anime and loving every subtitled line.

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