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If I were to watch a Romantic Comedy, it would definitely be in anime form. I can safely say I’ve watched more anime Rom-Coms than films of that genre. They are just so much better! You laugh, you cry, you cringe and sigh, but with tsundere and more high school life. There are tons of new anime each season and the most recent ones have brought us quite a few hilarious Romance anime. So, we’re bringing to you an updated Top 10 list of what we consider are must-watch Rom-Com anime!
The basis of this list is not only the ability of the girls in the stories to stand on their own as it was in the previous list. This time, we are also adding anime which have a different twist on relationships, personalities and generally don’t follow the typical Rom-Com mold you’d see in Hollywood movies or in most anime of the genre. (i.e. Handsome clumsy guy meets gorgeous shy girl, they’re super awkward and then they’re happy… *yawn*).
From unusual pairings and supernatural creatures to high school love and love at the office, here’s is our updated list of Top 10 Rom-Com Anime! Oh and they are ranked by how different they are from the usual Rom-Com stories.
10. Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (Maid Sama!)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2010 – Sep 2010
Mizaki Ayusawa is the student council president. That wouldn’t be such a big deal, except this school was just recently an all-boys school, so she must keep the male student body under control. She is so strict, they call her the “Demon President”. But Mizaki has a secret; she works part-time at a maid café to help her family. When popular boy Takumi Usui shows up at the café, Mizaki is sure her perfect reputation will be destroyed and her life ruined. However, Takumi chooses to keep her secret and use it to get close to this unique girl.
Here we have another strong, smart and powerful tsundere who nobody messes with. Mizaki is a hard worker and worries about her family enough to put her school-life in jeopardy. Takumi is no fool and becomes very interested in Mizaki once he sees her true face. Among jokes and awkward situations, we get to learn about Takumi and Misaki’s past and watch them open up to each other in a way they never thought they would. Much like Toradora, Maid-sama! is another anime Rom-Com on the fast lane to becoming a classic.
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2008 – Mar. 2009
Ryuuji Takasu is a high school student with the face of a troublemaking delinquent but who is a hard worker and as gentle as a bunny. Taiga Aisaka is a cute, tiny fragile-looking girl who is anything but. She is aggressive, violent and feared by all as “The Palmtop Tiger”. After Ryuuji finds out Taiga has a crush on his best friend, they team up to help each other with their crushes and after a rough start, their friendship becomes a closer one.
There was no way Toradora! would not keep its place in our list. It does a beautiful job of showing typical high school emotions and crushes, albeit with a tsundere anime twist. It’s wonderful to watch Taiga and Ryuuji grow and change, along with their friends. They get to know themselves better and struggle to understand their emotions all without Comedy taking a back seat. Every episode will make you laugh and feel closer to the characters. It’s too soon to call it a classic, but I’m sure Toradora will be a timeless Rom-Com we’ll want to re-watch and recommend for years to come.
8. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Dec. 2012
Shizuku Mizutani has no friends. She is more interested in studying and getting good grades than dealing with other people. One day her teacher asks her to deliver an assignment to Haru Yoshida who sits next to her in class but has been absent for most of the school year since he got in a fight. Haru doesn’t have any friends either and like Shizuku, doesn’t really understand human feelings or interactions. But this doesn’t stop Haru from declaring that Shizuku will be his friend as soon as they meet. Together they learn about human nature, themselves and each other in this Comedy Slice of Life.
While this seems like an opposites-attract story, the reality is that Shizuku and Haru are more alike than they realize at first. They’re both odd in their own ways and this is part of where the Comedy comes from. Like other characters in this list, these two must work through not only the already difficult reality of high school life but also figuring themselves out as people and making sense of the emotions they feel. Is it love? Is it friendship? Neither!? Ah, the hilarious and heartwarming angst of a high school romance…
7. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr. 2013 - Jun. 2013
Hachiman Higaya is an antisocial and apathetic high school student who hates people and writes an essay about it. As punishment for his cynicism, he is forced by his teacher to join the Volunteer Service Club which exists only to help students with anything they may need. This is the last thing Hachiman wants to do, but along with the club’s only other member, the gorgeous “Ice Queen” Yukino Yukinoshita, they work on helping others and fixing their attitudes to become more sociable and grow closer.
With another pair or antisocial high schoolers, Oregairu shows us a few things; among them is that just because a girl is beautiful, smart and rich it doesn’t make her popular or desirable or happy, in fact, being too perfect can scare some away. Just the same, it shows us that even when your view on life and other people is dark, the world and people around you can change that. This huge contrast between Hachiman, Yukino and later the peppy Yui Yuigahama, leads to hilarious, almost dark comedy that happens when the rejects get their time to shine and experience romance. Also, there’s a second season!
6. Nijiiro Days (Rainbow Days)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jan. 2016 – Currently airing
High school friends Natsuki, Tomoya Keiichi and Tsuyoshi are just what you’d expect. They worry about studying, participating in the school festival, hanging out and of course... girls! After being dumped on Christmas, Natsuki meets Anna, a beautiful girl who cheers him up, and he is smitten. After realizing she goes to their school too, Natsuki decides to go after her and his friends – and Anna’s - have a lot of meddling to do!
This one sounds like a stereotypical Rom-Com anime, but stay with me, it has some twists. First off, I feel like it’s an anime version of Friends but more focused on the romantic relationships between the characters. Oh and one of them is into S&M. And Tsuyoshi and his girlfriend are the cutest otaku couple you’ve ever seen! Also, there’s awkwardness, but things actually move along between the characters which is always nice to see in anime. My only complaint is that the episodes are only 7 minutes long…
5. Jitsu wa Watashi wa (Actually, I Am)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2015 – Sep. 2015
Like many high school boys, Asahi Kuramine has a crush on one of his classmates, Youko Shiragami. One day after classes are over, Asahi walks in on Youko in an empty classroom as she’s spreading her wings. Literally! Youko is a vampire and she’d been keeping it a secret. Unfortunately, Asahi happens to be terrible at keeping secrets… But for her, he’d do anything! Except he also finds an alien… and a demon… What kind of school is this!? And will Asahi survive keeping all these secrets while winning Youko’s oblivious heart at the same time?
Honestly, the art in Jitsu wa Watashi wa almost turned me off at first. But don’t worry, I’m not in the majority. Apparently I’m picky. But by the second episode, I was totally into it! “Leaky basket” Asahi is an adorable bundle of awkward when it comes to his crush. And Youko is seen as this mysterious beautiful girl but in reality, she’s clumsy, has a Kansai accent and is kind of an airhead. Her obliviousness, Asahi’s inability to keep secrets and his affinity for attracting supernatural creatures will keep you smiling and rooting for him every step of the way.
4. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Dec 2012
Nanami Momozono is a high school girl with a difficult life. After her gambling father leaves her with all his debt, she’s left homeless. One day, she’s tricked by a god into taking on his responsibilities. Shocked and with no choice but to assume this responsibility, Nanami meets Tomoe, a fox demon who was the familiar of the previous god. After being abandoned once, Tomoe doesn’t trust her, but she does her best to win his trust and be as good a goddess as she can. Slowly, the demon and the new god develop feelings they must face and deal with.
Another Supernatural Rom-Com! Kamisama Hajimemashita has bishounen, youkai and of course, Romance and Comedy. The bickering between Tomoe and Nanami is cute and funny and a bit reminiscent of Inuyasha and Kagome’s relationship. Nanami’s kindheartedness also gets her into complicated and funny situations that will definitely keep you smiling. It’s also great to see her stay positive even when life has not been good to her so far, and it’s heartwarming to watch Tomoe go from feeling betrayed and distrustful to developing feelings for the goddess he now serves. And Tomoe is a hot fox demon! if I only needed one reason to watch this show, that would be enough!
3. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2015 – Sep. 2015
Takeo Gouda is a high school freshman. Unfortunately, he is also built like a house and has very strong, grown-up features – he often gets confused for an adult! All the boys idolize him for his manliness but the girls aren’t into him at all. How will he ever experience love!? Especially since his BFF Sunakawa is the most handsome boy in school and every girl – including Takeo’s crushes – want a piece of him. One day, however, Takeo saves the super cute Rinko Yamato from a groper on the train and falls in love with her instantly. But, of course, she’s into Sunakawa… right?
Ore Monogatari!! had my heart from the first episode. Rinko is ridiculously adorable, Takeo’s reactions and mannerisms are hilarious and I love the fact that the leading man is a big, burly, awkward guy and not the handsome popular boy. Takeo’s inner thoughts melt your heart while you chuckle and make you want to yell “just say it out loud!”. And it’s so adorable and refreshing to see beautiful little Rinko admire and get all giddy over her sweet gorilla.
2. Ojisan to Marshmallow (Ojisan and Marshmallow)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2016 – Mar. 2016
Iori Wakabayashi and Habahiro Hige are office co-workers. Wakabayashi is very attracted to Hige, nothing strange there, office romances happen all the time. The thing people don’t understand is, how is a beautiful 24-year-old woman attracted to an overweight, middle-aged man!? Well, she is. And lucky for her, she knows his weakness. Hige loves marshmallows and Wakabayashi won’t waste any opportunity to use them to lure Hige into starting a relationship with her.
Ojisan to Marshmallow is adorable, hilarious, and once again, breaks the mold when it comes to love interests. Hige is not your typical Rom-Com male lead, but Wakabayashi is head-over-heels for him! She loves his personality and the fact that he is fluffy. Unfortunately, Hige seems to have no clue, even if she literally baits him with marshmallows and gets into very compromising situations with him. Hige is an innocent and super sweet guy and Wakabayashi’s serious expression as she sets her ingenious marshmallow traps will have you marathoning this short series right off-the-bat.
1. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying (Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken)
- Episodes: 26 (2 seasons)
- Aired: Oct. 2014 – Jun. 2015
Hajime Tsunashi is a hardcore otaku shut-in who attends conventions and works from home as a blogger. Kaoru Tsunashi is his new wife and she’s an office lady with a typical office job, including drinking parties and the like. One would wonder how they even ended up together, much less married! Well, they are and they are crazy about each other. Even though Kaoru has no idea what Hajime is talking about half the time – luckily he has his doujinshi artist younger brother -, and he just can’t do regular socializing, they develop and grow thanks to each other and their friends.
Here’s another Rom-Com that defies the usual formula. Here we have an attractive professional woman – who used to be a tough delinquent as a youth – and a socially awkward anime and manga otaku. And unlike in the rest of the anime on the list, they’re not flirty school kids, they’re already married! Being so different, but trying hard to understand each other, their interactions will make you laugh and their story will make you feel all warm and fuzzy too. Besides their romance, we also get to see Hajime’s younger brother – who is a cross-dressing doujinshi artist – pursue his love interest as well! Laughter and cuteness ensue.
Love can be difficult, especially in high school, or when one of you is a supernatural creature or an otaku! Luckily, these series bring us life lessons and sweet romantic moments along with some laughs and ridiculousness.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our update to the Top 10 Rom-Com Anime list! Have you seen all of these shows? Which one’s your favorite? Will you check a new one out? What would your Top Rom-Coms list look like?
Let us know in the comments below!
See ya next time!
In a nutshell this is not a typical Romance Comedy Top 10 list. First, these 10 Romance Comedy anime were all selected and ranked by their leading ladies ability to stand on her own, grow and develop, and overall just kick ass. On top of being equal to, or stronger than the male lead, or developing significantly throughout the story to become a better person. Then the male lead was also evaluated by his level of influence as well as his personal growth and development. Lastly, humor and comedy was taken into account.
There are a few anime on this list that also fall into other genres as well, however the focus of the relationships, aka drama and romance, between the characters was carefully taken into consideration to bring our readers a Rom-Com list of the best blend of martial arts, comedy, romance, and slice of life.
10. Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakama-tachi
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 1, 2010 - Sep 16, 2010
This anime really takes teenage life, adds some anime aspects, stirs it up with a little romance, and gives you a quite enjoyable rom-com with the main character, Ryouko (Ookami), reinventing herself after a traumatizing event. Once again, this anime touched on an a few problems with dating and insane exs, but it didn’t go very deep and kept the overall anime very light-hearted. The best part of this anime is watching the complicated and comedic interaction between Ookami and Ryoushi.
The story centers around Otogi Bank, a group that helps solve other people’s problems. Due to the dangerous nature of their work, they need one more male member and decided to take in Morino Ryoushi, who has a strong case of scopophobia (the fear of being looked at). Ryoushi manages to build up the courage to confess his love to Ookami right after he joins the group.
9. Inu X Boku Secret Service
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 13, 2012 - March 30, 2012
This is a super eccentric romance comedy targeted for guys with Ririchiyo Shirakiin as the leading lady, who's shy and timid nature is skillfully hidden behind her sharp tongue. At times, her actions are so relatable that gals can easily enjoy watching her grow and develop as she overcomes her personal issues together with Soushi, an overly kinky pretty boy, who is loyal to the point of being obsessive/stalker-ish when it comes to serving Ririchiyo.
As the story progresses Ririchiyo shows that she is capable of taking someone down on her own and that along with the playful tone and easy to watch nature of this anime landed this anime on the Top 10 list. If you are looking for a good laugh, then Inu X Boku SS is right up your alley!
8. Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi (Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple)
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Oct 7, 2006 - Sep 30, 2007
For most of his life, Kenichi Shirahama was a below average high school boy and everybody’s floormate as his daily life centered on being bullied. Until he meets Miu Furinji, the granddaughter of a master martial artist who embodies the very type of person Kenichi dreamed of becoming. So, in awe of Miyu’s beauty, martial art skills, and ability to protect people, Kenichi begins rigorously training at the dojo she lives at, Ryouzanpaku, in order to able to protect Miu and become someone worthy of her love.
This anime starts of like a relationship and slowly makes the viewer fall in love with the characters for their unique attitudes, struggles, unrequited love, and epic fighting abilities. While delivering some serious moral lessons and amazing character development, the overall use of comedy keeps this anime upbeat and extremely exciting to watch. It's a must watch for martial arts and romance comedy. Plus, Miu is awesome, and there are tons of other ladies in this that also pack some killer moves, and would make great cosplays! ;D
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2, 2008 - Mar 26, 2009
Toradora is not like many other romantic series out there as the main characters, Ryuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka, are highly relatable in their own motives and actions as they team up in order to support each other’s love interest. In what starts off as dynamic delinquent duo, slowly develops into a friendship that pulls the audience into the story as other characters come into play. The supporting characters also display their moments of insecurity behind the walls they built up to function in life. It really gives of the sensation of being in high school.
The smooth animation style, relatable motives, and comedic scenarios will cause you to develop emotional interest in each character. So watching them fall in or out of love, grow, and develop is quite enjoyable and highly entertaining!
6. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct 1, 2012 - Dec 24, 2012
As for love stories go, this was one of the most off the wall stories that is great for laughs but also covers some issues that we typically face in life as teens. Such as dealing with peer-pressure, learning to value one’s self, and opening up to another person. Watching the characters struggle to find their place in life and deal with the added stress of balancing school mixed with the complex nature of being in love, sounds like it would be rather cruel. But don’t worry, this is a feel good story! From start to finish the lessons that each character brings to the story and teaches is why this anime had to be on here!
Shizuku Mizutani, is career focused to the point that she cuts off all emotions and feelings towards anything other than studying. Until a teacher made her take some assignments to a boy in her class who is assigned to sit next to her, Haru Yoshida, a troublesome boy who rarely comes to school. From that day on, Haru treats Shizuku as a friend and her life will never be the same.
5. Golden Time
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 23, 2013 - Mar 27, 2014
This anime is by the same creator of Toradora! but your experiences in life and being in relationships will greatly affect your enjoyment of this show, so that locked this one in the number 5 position. This anime does a great job covering the ups and downs of a real relationship in college, as well as young adulthood.
Banri is a freshman at a private law school in Tokyo who’s trying to start his life over. After the opening ceremony, he ended up getting completely lost, and bumped into another lost freshman, Yanagisawa Mitsuo, and they hit it off. Together they finally manage to make it to their destination just in the nick of time. When out of nowhere, Mitsu is attacked with a bouquet of roses by a beautiful woman, Kaga Kuko, Mitsuo’s childhood friend that he promised to marry, but now is desperate to get away from. However, Kōko’s grand entrance not only made a statement, but left a lasting impression on Banri.
4. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 5, 2013 – Jun 28, 2013
Let’s face it, sometimes high school is not so great and some people may certainly be or feel like outcast and have some bitter opinions about their peers, life, and romance. Even for those with so called “friends,” the relationship can be nothing more than fluff on the inside, but from the outside appears to be what dreams are made of. Thus this anime owns no apologies for showing the bitter side of rom-com. It's entertaining, funny, and bluntly realistic with some of the most accurately portrayed self-defense and self-reliance mechanisms being used by anime characters who frankly have decided to reject the system that rejected them and live by their own rules.
The story focuses on an antisocial high school student named Hikigaya Hachiman and his distorted view on life.. Who gets forced into the “volunteer club” after telling his teacher "Not working." is his life’s goal. The volunteer club is headed by the schools prettiest girl, Yukinoshita Yukino, who has her own peculiar views on life.
Trying not to give too much away, this anime is well written and each other character has their own inner demons, struggles, as well as hopes and teenage hormones. So it covers many dark aspects of high school romance, but uses comedy to make it fun to watch. If you really like it, please check out the 2nd season, it won’t disappoint you!
3. Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You)
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: Oct 6, 2009 – Mar 30, 2011
Not everyone is extremely outgoing or has the greatest self-esteem, in fact, most people can be hurt by words. That’s just one of the great themes that we see play out in Kimi ni Todoke as Kuronuma Sawako, nickname “Sadako” by her classmates, who really haven’t tried to get to know her. Like any high school student, Sawako wants to fit in and get along with others like her classmate, Kazehaya Shouta, the most popular boy in her class. Shouta was able to see the beauty in her that others didn’t and the story takes off following the steps they make to become friends, and a little more than just friends.
This story is so adorable and manages to avoid many cliche plots that so many romance comedies fall into. While the leading lady Sawako is able to learn and grow from her relationship with Shouto, he in turn also becomes a better person because of her. That right there is golden for any relationship, and for an anime to teach that type of life lesson is incredible. So is had to go on my Top 10 list.
2. Skip Beat!
- Episodes: 15
- Aired: Dec 18, 2011 –Apr 1, 2012
The story revolves around Kyouko who literally gave up her own life and dreams to support her childhood friend, Shou’s dream of becoming an idol. Despite all she did for him, Shou kicks her to the curb as he dismisses her as simply a tool he used. Kyouko didn’t take getting her heart broken lightly and vowed to get her revenge by surpassing him in the entertainment world.
Sometimes the people we love the most, hurt us the most, and not all relationship are as good as they are crack up to be. Lies are told and hearts are broken at times. Skip Beat! does an amazing job at showing how a horrible relationship and hate filled motivation can be transformed into something so much more! Leaving you stronger, better, and in this case, famous with a career in entertainment. In summary, the best revenge is success.
Also, for anyone that wants to work in the entertainment industry, this is a great anime to watch. It shows the darker and more glamorous side of the industry. And be sure to read the manga its fantastic!
1. Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (Class President is a Maid!)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2, 2010 to Sep 24, 2010
Misaki Ayuzawa is the first female student council president at a former all boys high school that is now coed. She is highly admired by the female student body, but the male students see her as a strict disciplinary ruler, but nonetheless, they still respect her authority. But she has a secret: she works at a maid cafe in order to support her family. One day, Takumi Usui, the schools #1 bishounen and whose good looks have broken more than a few hearts, discovers her secret and makes a deal with her to keep it secret in exchange for keeping him amused.
The characters in Kaichou wa Maid-sama! break stereotypical molds and that’s what makes it so great! Misaki comes off as a very strong feminist that slightly hates men who is not only strong but highly intelligent, hard working, and above all, a good friend. She’s the type of person you would want in your click. Even though she can handle herself, the anime shows her weakness in a way that doesn’t rob her of her sense of independence, but rather shows how a power couple is created.
She reluctantly works with Usi who always keeps an eye on her so he can back up her when needed. It’s so sweet! On one hand, there’s a great connection, while on the other hand, there’s a great deal of resistance to falling in love.
That’s very realistic. Sometimes people don’t want to fall in love with someone and this anime does a good job showing a strong independent woman who didn’t want to fall in love. Watching her fight and resist Usi’s advances is what makes this anime so endearing. I highly recommend this anime, and the manga. They are one of my all time favorites for romance comedies.
Rom-Coms are very difficult to rank as they can be a hit or miss depending on the relationships one has gone through in life. In all honesty, relationships should build us up, cause us to grow, and ultimately teach us lessons about life. So this Top 10 list of romantic comedies focuses on series that do just that and provide us with relatable strong female characters, as well as male characters that have many merits of their own who we can also relate to in one aspect or another.
Even though all 10 of these anime cover some deep or unusual topics, they still manage to keep us laughing, and that’s a beautiful thing.