Anime characters are an interesting case of fictional character because of the way in which they casually say things of immense profoundness. With the vast list of anime with romantic elements in them, there tends to be a tendency of these shows to be incredibly poetic in their execution and thus, there are romantic moments in anime that we simply can never forget because of the sheer artistry of it all. Characters say some really beautiful things to the people they love and we figured it would be great to pick ten of our favourite romantic quotes just to remind everyone of anime moments which made our hearts skip a beat.
10. “I can reach places I never could before…” – Sakai Yuuji from Shakugan no Shana
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2005 – March 2006
The Crimson Denizens are mysterious otherworldly creatures which thrive on the life energy of human beings. Their ravenous appetites leave nothing but the faint remainders of souls known as “Torches,” which eventually burn out, leaving no trace of that person’s existence. In order to stop the Crimson Denizens, warriors known as Flame Hazes jump into battle. Sakai Yuuji is a high schooler living a normal life which ends when he is caught in a crevice of time and attacked by a Crimson Denizen. When all seems lost, a nameless hunter with blazing hair and eyes steps in and rescues Yuuji. However, soon after the incident, Yuuji learns that his own existence is soon to disappear as he has already lost his life and become a Torch.
The Shakugan no Shana story develops a romance between Yuuji and his saviour, who he named Shana. Their initial dynamic is interesting because Shana is quite hostile towards him in the beginning, but as time moves forward and they go through a plethora of different life-threatening scenarios, Shana warms up to Yuuji. When she has completely fallen for him and him for her, the series nears its conclusion and the third season presents a problem: Yuuji as an antagonist. In their final battle, Yuuji comments on his feelings for Shana, saying “I can reach places I never could before. She made me realise it’s alright to fall in love. It’s such a shame it took me so long to realise something so obvious”. We’re not crying; you are.
9. “If you choose to no longer be a coralian in order to save this planet, then I choose to no longer be human…” – Renton Thurston from Eureka Seven
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: April 2005 - April 2007
14-year-old Renton Thurston lives an unexciting life in the backwater town of Belforest. Living with his mechanic grandfather, Renton craves excitement and finds the most exciting parts of his day being when he rides the Trapar Wave particulars in the air in an activity much like surfing. He dreams of one day leaving home and joining the mercenary group known as Gekkostate and when an unknown object crashes into his home, Renton gets the dose of excitement he craved. The object is a Light Finding Operation – a giant robot which is capable of riding the Trapar Waves known as the Nirvash type ZERO. Its pilot is a young girl named Eureka, who is a member of Gekkostate and requests a tune-up for the Nirvash. Renton’s involvement with Gekkostate begins on this fateful day.
Renton’s dream comes true, but it isn’t all that he expected it to be and for much of his time in Gekkostate, Renton didn’t quite feel welcomed at first. It also seemed like Eureka wouldn’t return his feelings. However, after a period of co-piloting the Nirvash and a host of trying times, Renton and Eureka’s romance began to blossom, leading to the beautiful scene in the final episode
8. “There is something in this world which no one has ever seen. It is soft and sweet…” – Taiga & Ryuuji from Toradora!
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2008 – March 2009
Takasu Ryuuji is a gentle high school student who enjoys doing chores around the house but due to his intimidating face, he is often labelled a delinquent. Aisaka Taiga is a small high school student whose small size is misleading – her feisty personality and her use of a wooden katana earn her the nickname of “Palmtop Tiger”. An embarrassing mistake one day causes these two to cross paths. Ryuuji finds out that Taiga has a crush on the student council vice president, Kitamura Yuusaku – Ryuuji’s best friend. However, Ryuuji himself has a massive crush on Taiga’s best friend, Kushieda Minori! The two decide to help each other with their respective romances, forming an unlikely alliance.
Spoiler alert – Taiga and Ryuuji fall for each other while in the process of trying to hook each other up with other people. Their relationship, which began out of a sense of mutual understanding and support in each other’s romantic endeavours, ended up becoming the very thing they had been searching for in other people. It is as they put it; “There is something in this world that no one has ever seen before. It is gentle and sweet. Maybe if it could be seen, everyone would fight over it. That is why the world hid it, so that no one could get their hands on it so easily. However, someday, someone will find it. The person who deserves it the most will definitely find it.” We can be sure that they found it.
7. “If it's possible for one person to be hurt by another, then it's possible for that same person to be healed by another.” – Souma Hatori from Fruits Basket
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2001 – December 2001
After an accident claims the life of her mother, 16-year-old Tooru moves in with her grandfather but his home renovations make her unable to continue living with him. She claims that she’ll find someone to live with, but she fears the criticism of her family and doesn’t want to burden her friends so she resorts to living in her own tent in the woods. One night after work, Tooru finds her tent crushed under a landslide. Souma Yuki, the so-called “prince” of her school and his cousin, famous author Souma Shigure, come across Tooru’s living situation and invite her to stay with them until her grandfather’s home is fully renovated. While living with them, Tooru finds out the Souma’s secret – when hugged by someone of another sex, they temporarily transform into one of the animals of the zodiac and the phenomenon is shrouded in a dark history.
The Dragon of the Zodiac, Hatori, is the Souma clan’s private doctor and a serious man. His previous experiences with romance are not the best. In fact, he has much trauma in that sphere; however, despite his unfortunate run with love, his hope is still alive in his words. As he says “If it's possible for one person to be hurt by another, then it's possible for that same person to be healed by another;” his attitude is one that shows that he hasn’t completely given up.
6. “You don’t have to hurry, I’m not in any hurry. I’ll be waiting for you always, no matter how far in the future it may be…” – Shi Ryuuki from Saiunkoku Monogatari (The Story of Saiunkoku)
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: April 2006 – February 2007
The Kou noble family is currently going through a financial crisis. Shuurei’s father works as an archivist in the Imperial Library, which doesn’t pay much. In order to keep his family afloat, Shuurei works various odd jobs but it still isn’t enough. However, a court advisor makes her an offer – if she becomes the concubine of the new emperor and teaches him how to become a good ruler, she will receive 500 pieces of gold. She accepts the offer and her time in the palace reignites her dream of becoming a court official, but women do not become court officials. She may be able to turn the emperor into a great ruler, but does she want to sacrifice her own dreams to do so?
The emperor of Saiunkoku is the lazy Shi Ryuuki, a handsome and intelligent young man who has suffered quite a bit in his life. Charmed by Shuurei’s intense desire to make the country better for everyone, Ryuuki decides to attempt to become a decent emperor. Ever since he met Shuurei, Ryuuki has been in love with her and confesses to her several times but she constantly rejects him. The following quote is evidence of his unfaltering affection for her despite the rejection, which can be somewhat endearing. “You don’t have to hurry, I’m not in any hurry. I’ll be waiting for you always, no matter how far in the future it may be or however far you are when that day surely comes, my dream will be right here. Ever since the first time that we met each other here”.
5. “When I began thinking of him as I fell asleep, I stopped having nightmares.” – Yuuki Asuna from Sword Art Online
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2012 – December 2012
In 2022, the sphere of virtual reality has progressed immensely and there is a huge online presence of virtual reality games, with the massive Sword Art Online being one of the most popular. NerveGear technology allows players to control their in-game avatars with nothing but their own thoughts. Kirigaya “Kirito” Kazuto is one of the few enthusiasts given the opportunity to beta-test the game. He and ten thousand other players find themselves in the elaborate world of Aincrad, a medieval fantasy land with the weapons, monsters and quests to match. However, a terrible turn of events leaves players unable to logout and to make things worse, the game’s creator has trapped them there until they clear all 100 levels of the game. In an attempt to escape the game, Kirito must amass all the help he can get, however, clearing the game isn’t a simple task as death in the game means death in reality. Can Kirito clear all 100 levels?
Kirito and the other players spend about two years in the world of Aincrad, some surviving and others actively trying to find a way out. In this time, Kirito meets Yuuki Asuna, one of the high-ranking members of the Knights of the Blood Oath, an guild of players working together to clear the game. Kirito and Asuna work very well together on the battlefield, however, they also develop romantic feelings for each other and their relationship can be summed up by a single quote from Asuna – “when I began thinking of him as I fell asleep, I stopped having nightmares”.
4. “If I can meet you again, against the 6 billion to 1 odds, even If you can’t move, I’ll marry you.” – Hideki Hinata from Angel Beats
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2010 – June 2010
Otonashi awakens to learn that he is dead and he hears from the rifle-toting Yuri that they’re currently in the afterlife. Otonashi remembers nothing but his name and Yuri tells him that she leads the Afterlife Battlefront in a war against a girl named Angel. Unable to see Angel as evil, Otonashi attempts to talk to her but it doesn’t go as planned. He joins the Afterlife Battlefront but can’t shake his curiosity around Angel, but Otonashi has a lot on his plate as he must find a way to regain his memories and navigate the afterlife.
Long story short, Otonashi was right about Angel – she isn’t all that bad and at some point, he and Angel begin to have an understanding. Their relationship soon progresses into the realm of romance and they both bear intense feelings for each other – but they’re not the romantic pairing we’re concerned with right now. Hinata Hideki, the co-founder of the Afterlife Battlefront, harbours feelings of affection for another member named Yui, summing it all up in an epic proposal – “I’ll marry you! No matter what kind of handicap you have! Even if you can't walk or stand, or even if you can't have kids, I'll still marry you. I'll always be with you. The Yui I met here isn't fake. It's you. No matter where or how I meet you, I'll fall in love with you. If I can meet you again, against the 6 billion to 1 odds, and even if your body can't move, I'll marry you.” Some of us are still trying to get a text back.
3. “I wish I could live five times over…” – Inoue Orihime from BLEACH
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: October 2004 – March 2012
15-year-old Kurosaki Ichigo has always been able to see ghosts. Living his life perpetually surrounded by supernatural phenomena, Ichigo is not a stranger to strange occurrences. One night, a woman dressed in a black kimono and armed with a sword appears out of nowhere in his room, claiming to be a Shinigami – a grim reaper-like entity that exists to guide souls over to the other side and purge evil spirits called Hollows. Soon after their meeting, Ichigo’s family is attacked by a Hollow and the Shinigami, Kuchiki Rukia, is gravely injured. With no alternatives, she suggests that he take over for her in slaying the monster and she transfers her Shinigami powers to him. From that day forth, Ichigo’s life is changed forever.
Inoue Orihime is one of Ichigo’s classmates and friends and soon after he gains Shinigami powers, Orihime’s own latent spiritual potential is unleashed. She is present throughout the major changes in Ichigo’s life after meeting Rukia and has secretly harboured a crush on him, possibly from the beginning of the series. When the forces of Hueco Mundo leave her with an ultimatum, she finds herself sadly parting from her friends and the person she loves in order to protect them. What she says to an unconscious Ichigo before her departure is beautiful; “I wish I could have five lives! Then I could have been born in five different towns, and eaten five lifetime’s worth of food, and had five different careers, and… fallen in love with the same person, five times”.
2. “I love it when you stroke my hair…” – Rem from re:Zero kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:ZERO – Starting Life in Another World)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2016 – September 2016
Natsuki Subaru’s casual trip to the convenience store becomes a life-changing experience when upon exiting, he finds himself in a fantasy world. Unfortunately for him, soon after his arrival in this strange place, he is attacked by bandits. Luckily, a mysterious white-haired beauty saves him. She introduces herself as Satella, and explains that she is in pursuit of the person who stole her insignia. Grateful for her assistance, Subaru decides to help her in her search and that night, they find what they’re looking for. However, they’re unaware of the dark force lurking in the shadows and minutes after finding the insignia, Subaru and Satella are brutally murdered. However, Subaru awakens to a familiar scene – finding himself attacked by the same bandits, meeting Satella again and searching for the same insignia as history repeats itself.
In Subaru’s travels with Satella, he meets various characters, some of the most interesting being the maid twins, Rem and Ram. The blue-haired, blue-eyed Rem initially treats Subaru as coldly as her sister does; however, both sisters become comfortable and familiar with him soon enough and for Rem, this develops into a romantic affection for Subaru. After going through several failures and reaching the end of his rope, Subaru experiences a mental breakdown and seeks to run away but a moving confession from Rem gives him the motivation he needed to overcome his slump.
“I love it when you stroke my hair. I feel as if we can understand each other through the contact between your hand and my hair. I love your voice. Just hearing you say one word makes my heart feel warmer. I love your eyes. Normally, they look stern, but when you’re being kind to someone, I love the way they soften. I love your fingers. For a boy, you have such lovely fingers. But when they clutch me, I know they are the strong, slender fingers of a man. I love the way you walk. When we walk together, I love the way you occasionally turn, to make sure I keep up. I love the way you look when you sleep. You look unguarded, like an infant, and your eyelashes are on the long side. When I touch your cheek, you calm down… And when I playfully touch your lips, you don’t even notice… And it makes my heart ache terribly. I love you”. Rem’s dialogue was a calming yet resolute expression of her emotions and it is definitely one of the standout scenes from the anime.
1. "It's Equivalent Exchange! I'll give you half my life, so you give me half of yours!" – Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: April 2009 – July 2010
The most important law of alchemy is that of Equivalent Exchange. The Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, commit the ultimate taboo in alchemy and pay the price, with Alphonse losing his entire body and his brother Edward losing an arm and a leg in order to affix Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armour. Years later, Edward becomes a State Alchemist of the land of Amestris, the youngest ever to lay claim to that title, granted the title “Fullmetal”, based off the mechanical limbs he now possesses. Together the brothers are in pursuit of a relic known as the Philosopher’s Stone, capable of overcoming the Law of Equivalent Exchange; however, their journey is underpinned by the dark history of their country.
When everything is said and done and Alphonse and Edward finally return their bodies to normal, life itself becomes something that the brothers must live as normal human beings. In the final episode of the anime, an embarrassed Edward lays out his plans for the future – a future with his best friend Winry as his wife, saying “It's Equivalent Exchange! I'll give you half my life, so you give me half of yours!” Edward isn’t the best at confessions, but we can admit that he made alchemy sound romantic and his embarrassment at it all just augmented the beauty of the scene.
Romance is an aspect of human experience that we consume daily through media and anime is no different from other media in that regard. However, the way in which anime characters go through experiences of romantic love is often laid out in ways which remain in memory for a long time. Are there some romantic anime quotes you’d like to share? Drop a comment below and get romantic!