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Human beings always strive for perfection. Even if we may not be perfect and have many obvious flaws, many of us crave for perfect partners who will not let us down and amaze us in every way. Since perfect human beings do not exist, some of us wish for heavenly beings as our partners instead, such as angels, fairies and goddesses, or even the underworld beings such as vampires, werewolves, and demons.
Anime provides us many stories which explore such relationships involving the fantasy world, so read on to know 10 of the best fantasy romance anime!
10. Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2006 – Sep. 2006
Louise is the dimwit (or noob) student in her class in Tristein Academy, which is a school for magicians. Her failure at casting spells for several years have earned her the nickname “Zero Louise”. An upcoming test in her school requires her to summon a familiar, a servant and a magician. Even though she wants to summon a familiar who will be superior to her classmates, she ends up summoning an average Japanese school boy named Hiraga Saito.
This is a love fantasy theme which features a young magician girl and an ordinary boy. If you like Harry Potter, then you will be interested in this series which features a similar magician school that involves magic wands and idiosyncratic professors! The two lovebirds may not get with each other along at first due to different expectations, but it turns out that two different beings with contrasting personalities can get along after all!
9. Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo (Children Who Chase Lost Voices)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: May 2011
After the death of her father, Asuna is left with her mother who works as a nurse at a hospital. During her free time, she will be listening to strange music from the crystal radio given by her father. While Asuna is on her way to her clubhouse one day, she is attacked by a strange monstrous creature. Luckily for her, a mysterious boy named Shun, saves her life. After Asuna tends to Shun’s wound, he reveals that he is actually from another country called Agartha. In school, Asuna learns from the substitute teacher, Morisaki, that Agartha is the land of the dead.
There is much to be explored in this story. Not only does it tells about the story of young budding love, but is also teaches about learning to let go of the past, such as a loved one who has already passed away. Due to not being able to accept the death of his wife, Morisaki sets on a risky adventure to revive his wife. However, if the dead is not really dead, then what purpose does death serve?
8. Romeo x Juliet
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2007 – Sep. 2007
In the island of Neo Verona, Leontes Montague and his men murder the whole family of Capulet. However, Juliet who is the only daughter of Lord Capulet, manages to escape from being murdered. After 14 years, Juliet is now 16 years old and cross dresses as Odin and the town’s masked vigilante goes by the name Red Whirlwind. While attending a ball, Juliet happens to meet Romeo Montague whose kind demeanor is opposite from his father, and they both fall in love with each other.
From the title of the series, one can make a good guess that the series is loosely inspired by the work of William Shakespeare. Therefore, if you would like to see a unique twist to the classic tale, you should definitely watch Romeo x Juliet. Romeo x Juliet is a romantic tragedy of two young people from conflicting families, with a touch of fantasy elements such as flying horses. Both Romeo and Juliet are young with strong and bold personalities which sort of result in a non-sappy kind of romance which may seem more like an innocent infatuation rather than a mature, passionate love.
- Episodes: 167
- Aired: Oct. 2000 – Sep. 2004
Kagome Higurashi is a young girl who is dragged down a well by a demon. Once she lands on the ground, she finds herself to be 500 years in the past. While trying to escape from the demon, she releases a half-demon named Inuyasha by removing an arrow pinning him to a tree. Inuyasha defeats the demon but the Shikon Jewel possessed by Kagome which is the target for demons, is shattered to pieces.
The world is apparently filled with demons, half-demons, and powerful monks 500 years ago. Kagome is the modern incarnation of Kikyo, and both of them look alike! Despite that, both of the girls have very different personalities. Inuyasha has feelings for Kikyo but upon seeing Kagome who is a spitting image of Kikyo and traveling together with her, Inuyasha seems to fall for her too.
6. Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan. 2008 – May 2008
In medieval times, Kraft Lawrence is a 25-year-old merchant who travels from town to town and he has been doing so for 7 years. His aim is to gather enough money so that he can have his own shop. One day, when he stops at Pasloe town, he meets a wolf deity named Holo. She has the tail and ears of a wolf, but otherwise appears to look like a 15-year-old girl. She claims to be the goddess of harvest who wants to go back to Yoitsu. Being that she is a deity of non-church origin, she also faces negative attention from the Church.
Spice and Wolf is a story set in a fantasy medieval world where the word of the Church is important. As the duo travels together, romantic feelings slowly develop between the two instead of it being love at first sight. The series also combines economics so the audience will get to learn about trading such as bartering and negotiating. It can be pretty dialogue-heavy but at least you get to learn useful information instead of pointless chatters.
5. Howl no Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Nov. 2004
Sophie Hatter is the 18-year-old daughter of a hatmaker, and she is content with her simple life working in the hat shop. While on her way to visit her sister she encounters The Witch of the Waste, who casts a spell on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman and she cannot tell anyone about it! In search of a cure, Sophie is led to Howl’s castle which is home to a wizard named Howl. Howl is known for both his magic capabilities and womanizing tendencies.
How would any young man fall for a 90-year-old woman? Sophie harbors some feelings towards Howl but nevertheless, she is not really an old woman so she still has a chance to have her love reciprocated once she returns back to normal. As she cannot tell anyone about her predicament, she has to be discreet and find a way to break the spell that changed her life for the worst!
4. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2015 – Sep. 2015
Shirayuki may mean Snow White, but instead of jet black hair, Shirayuki is blessed with striking red hair. She works as a pharmacist in the country of Tanbarun. She gets into trouble when she is noticed by Prince Raji who wants to make her his concubine. Due to this reason, she cuts her hair, flees to the forest and meets Prince Zen Wistalia of the neighboring country, Clarines.
Despite the anime title being inspired by the classic fairy tale, Shirayuki is not a main female character who relies on a prince to save her. Thus, it is not a love story which involves a damsel in distress, but a strong-willed and capable female lead. Zen does not fall in love with Shirayuki just for her beauty, but because he admires her and genuinely likes her personality. Even though the story is set in a feudal era which features majestic castles, do not expect epic sword battles in the story.
3. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Dec. 2012
To avoid being responsible for gambling debts, Nanami Momozono’s father runs away, leaving poor Nanami alone and homeless after being evicted from her apartment. Nanami then saves a man named Mikage who is being chased by a dog, upon which the man offers her his home. As she is currently homeless, she accepts his offer. However, it turns out that his house is a shrine as Mikage used to be an Earth Deity! At the shrine, she has to take over Mikage’s position as deity and she also meets a fox spirit named Tomoe.
The story tells about the relationship between a regular human being with a fox yokai. In the beginning, Tomoe is rather annoyed by Nanami but after some time, he begins to have feelings for her. The same goes for Nanami but the relationship between a human and a yokai may prove to be difficult and probably impossible.
2. Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct. 2014 – Mar. 2015
The story follows the life of Yona who is a princess in the kingdom of Kouka. She lives a carefree life filled with luxury in Hiryuu castle. On her 16th birthday, her father, King II is murdered by her childhood crush, Soo-won. Son Hak who is Yona’s childhood friend and bodyguard, saves her and brings her to The Village of Wind which is Hak’s birthplace.
The perfect life of a princess is crushed when she is betrayed by her crush, which leads to a love and hate feeling for him. On the other hand, Hak seems to have feelings for Yuna since he was young, but suppresses it upon realizing that Yona is in love with Soo-won. The adventure of Yona and Hak involves fantasy elements such as finding mystical legendary dragons.
1. Nagi no Asukara (A Lull in the Sea)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 2013 – Apr. 2014
In the past, all humans lived on the ocean floor. However, there are some who prefer the surface world and moved to land. As a result, the people of the land were stripped of their ability to breathe underwater. Overtime, there is an obvious tension between the land people and sea people. The story follows the adventure of 4 students, Hikari Sakishima, Manaka Mukaido, Chisaki Hiradaira and Kaname Isaki, who have to attend school on the surface world after their school in the sea closes down.
The romance in Nagi no Asukara is pretty unpredictable that upon watching the first few episodes, you cannot really tell which couples will end up with each other. The story explores the rift between the two types of humans, which is sort of similar to real world problems like racial discrimination. However, upon knowing each other, one truly learns that it is pretty silly to hate on others due to different ways of living.
We have come to the end of this list, and we hope that you have found many gems for fantasy romance-themed anime series! Truly, nearly every one of us had at least dreamt of being with a supernatural, other worldly being, and while that fantasy cannot be fulfilled in real life, we always have anime to watch!