25 Best 2010s Romance Anime You Can’t Miss In Your Watchlist

The romance genre is simply timeless, and it’s unlikely you’ll find anyone who disputes that statement. While like all genres it has had its ups and downs, it’s safe to say that it has never faced critical moments in its history.

And guys, sticking to the topic of high points, what romance masterpieces came out between 2010 and 2019?

In that same decade, we were blessed with Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Fruits Basket, and other gems.

The highest period for the genre? We can argue on that. But in the meantime, enjoy this list of the best 2010s romance anime that no fan should miss.

25. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

Monthly girls' Nozaki-kun

Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun is an excellent romance anime with a great focus on the figure of the mangaka.

Sakura is secretly in love with her classmate Nozaki, and one day she finally decides to come forward and confess her love.

What she doesn’t know is that the boy is a famous mangaka, and she mistakes the girl’s confession for a letter from a fan. He will then decide to hire her as his assistant, resulting in many comical and absurd situations.

Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun is precisely what it sounds like from the plot: a chill romantic anime with comic gags interspersed with tender romantic moments that will melt your heart.

We recommend it highly if you are looking for a good romcom the way we like it, while staying low on expectations.

24. Arakawa Under the Bridge

Arakawa Under the Bridge is a niche romance anime released in 2010 in 13 episodes with many psychological and mature focuses.

If we look beyond romance and comedy we have themes related to depression and struggles in life, mainly around the character of Nino. Why did she end up homeless, to begin with?

But all this is quite understandable if you consider that this is a romance anime adapted from a seinen manga.

The protagonist, Ko Ichinomiya, is a well-off young man who is saved from drowning by the mysterious and beautiful Nino, a homeless girl.

And to repay her, Nino unexpectedly asks Ko to fall in love and take care of her.

23. Maid Sama!

Maid Sama

Maid Sama! is a fantastic romance anime adapted from a shojo manga that managed to attract its own audience, and rightfully so.

Misaki Ayuzawa holds the distinction of being the first female student council president at her school, dedicated to safeguarding girls from the advances of boys.

But at the same time she harbors a secret: she works part-time at a maid café.

And when Takumi Usui, a fellow student with a strong-willed demeanor, uncovers her secret, their relationship takes an unexpected turn.

Maid Sama! is not only one of the best 2010s romcoms, but also one of the best romance anime on Hulu.

So if your goal with this list was to find a good classic romantic comedy to enjoy some quality time this is a solid choice.

22. Snow White with the Red Hair

Snow white with Red hair

Snow White with the Red Hair is an amazing fantasy romance adapted from a shojo manga, and it truly deserves much more recognition than it currently receives.

If you ask our opinion this is a fantastic romance that stands out in this genre. The story is adorable, well written, far from being clichéd, and it takes place in a stunning fantasy world filled with vibrant colors and various types of creatures.

The story follows Shirayuki, a young herbalist living a peaceful life in the kingdom of Tambarun. Her life takes an unexpected turn when Prince Raji forces her into an unwanted arranged marriage. Determined to escape this fate, Shirayuki flees.

During her escape, she encounters Prince Zen, who welcomes her into his court as an herbalist and offers his assistance in resolving her predicament.

And as they spend more time together, a heartwarming love story unfolds between them.

21. Plastic Memories

Plastic Memories

Plastic Memories is an overlooked romance anime that combines drama, poignant moments, Sci-Fi elements, and an excellent love story.

In a future where lifelike androids are a common sight, the story follows the protagonist and his work partner, Isla, as they undertake the emotionally challenging task of decommissioning other androids.

But as the protagonists delve deeper into their work, they grapple with the ethical dilemmas arising from the androids’ genuine emotions and the unsettling practice of erasing their memories.

Plastic Memories is a perfect choice if you’re seeking a blend of drama, Sci-Fi, intriguing plot twists, and heart-wrenching moments, all accompanied by a well-written and compelling love story.

20. Kokoro Connect

Kokoro Connect

Kokoro Connect is a good romance from 2012 that blends romance, supernatural elements, and a well-crafted slice-of-life storytelling.

Set in Yamahoshi Academy’s cultural club, a group of five students find themselves entangled in an extraordinary phenomenon where they experience body-swapping.

This phenomenon leads to unexpected reactions and emotions among the characters, particularly within the intricate love triangle involving Himeko, Taichi, and Iori.

Kokoro Connect is an intriguing romance anime that explores various themes and delivers surprising twists in its storytelling, while it manages to resolve its plot in a satisfying and good ending, leaving no loose ends.

So if you’re looking for an anime that combines romance, supernatural elements, and a well-crafted narrative, Kokoro Connect is an excellent choice that won’t disappoint.

19. A Lull in the Sea

Nagi no AsuKara

Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea is another fantasy romance anime released in 2013 in 26 episodes with a peculiar and captivating setting.

The story takes place in a world where humanity has also inhabited the underwater world for survival.

The main characters are four 14-year-old friends from the submarine village of Shioshishio, who attend Mihama Middle School on the surface after their underwater school closes due to the declining population of the seas.

And as they navigate this new world, they also learn about customs and manners, while they discover love in the process. 

The highlight of this anime is definitely the beautiful setting, but the cast of characters and their relationship is also no less.

Their interactions, including their love entanglements, are realistic, and all of them will have a noticeable development throughout the story.

18. Kono Oto Tomare: Sounds of Life

Kono Oto Tomare

Kono Oto Tomare! is a beautifully executed 2019 anime with a compelling storyline and lovable characters.

The show brings a fresh take to the genre by centering around traditional Japanese music and the koto instrument.

But what really makes this anime stand out is the underdog story of Chika Kudou, a delinquent who strives to become a skilled koto player, abandoning his dark past.

The series is filled with heartwarming moments and emotional depth, as the club members bond over their shared love for music and develop a deep understanding of each other.

And let’s not forget the slow-burning romance between Chika and koto prodigy Satowa Houzuki, which adds another layer of sweetness to the show.

The music remains the star of the show, but the romance and friendships between the characters make it a fantastic series to discover.

17. Re:LIFE


ReLIFE is an interesting 2016 romance anime that combines drama, Sci-Fi, and romantic moments.

Arata Kaizaki is a 27-year-old unemployed man whose life is slowly falling apart.

But one day he encounters Ryou Yoake, a researcher who offers him a special experimental drug that can turn back time to when he was 17 years old. This opportunity instantly changes Arata’s life.

Arata relives the best years of his life and rediscovers the joy of love, largely thanks to Chizuru Hishiro, his high school crush.

ReLIFE explores the theme of second chances in life, delivering a powerful message that it is never too late to make a fresh start and live the life one has always desired.

If you find yourself in the mood for a thoughtfully crafted and psychologically engaging narrative, complemented by an exceptional romance subplot, ReLIFE is an anime that should not be missed.

16. Gosick


This 2011 mystery romance anime has one of the most interesting settings and also features some lovely mysteries in the form of traditional detective-style puzzles, involving murders, alibis, and complex plots.

It’s 1924, in a fictitious country called Sauville inspired by Europe, where protagonist Kazuya Kujo moves.

Having just moved in, he is about to study at St. Marguerite Academy where he meets Victorique de Blois, a mysterious girl who spends her entire days among the books in the library.

Kazuya becomes fascinated by her, partly because of her detective skills, which she uses to help her brother solve cases.

The relationship between Victorique and Kazuya makes up for a good romance subplot that completes the plot.

15. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

Pet Girl of Sakurasou

Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a cohabitation romance anime released in 2012 in 24 excellent episodes.

Sorata Kanda is a boy who lives in the infamous Sakurasou dorm, home to many strange and avoidable personalities.

This is precisely why the arrival of Mashiro Shiina, a beautiful aspiring mangaka, who is as talented as she’s clumsy, will make Sorata decide that he must protect her at all costs.

Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a greay anime, at the same time incredibly funny, with absurd gags, and other excellent romance moments.

The relatable and unique cast of characters is also great, with beautifully written otaku and nerdy characters accompanied by equally excellent animation.

14. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku


Wotakoi is a fantastic short romance anime that takes place in a well-crafted workplace setting that only counts 11 episodes adapted from a Josei manga.

The series follows Narumi Momose, a young woman who is determined to keep her otaku interests a secret at her new job.

Suddenly her plans unravel when she unexpectedly reunites with her old friend Hirotaka Nifuji, who not only shares her otaku hobbies but also knows about them.

As their relationship grows, they make a pact to support each other’s interests and team up in Monster Hunter.

Wotakoi is undoubtedly one of the best romance anime featuring otaku MCs, if not probably the best ever.

The characters are well-developed, the plot is entertaining, and the love story is cute and tender, making it one of the best picks in this list for romance lovers.

13. My Love Story!!

Ore Monogatari!!

My Love Story!!! is a romantic anime adapted from a popular and acclaimed shojo manga in 2015 with 24 episodes.

The protagonist, Takeo Gouda, breaks away from the typical prototype of a romantic anime MC with his muscular physique and unique personality.

When he comes to the rescue of Rinko Yamato, he immediately falls deeply in love and pursues her, despite facing opposition from his best friend, Makoto Sunakawa.

Throughout their journey, their love experiences both highs and lows, but their bond only grows stronger with each passing episode.

My Love Story!!! is a reaffirmation that great romance series can be created without relying on specific plot twists or drama, but mainly on their cute and well-written love stories.

If this is the kind of romance you adore, then it’s definitely a series you shouldn’t overlook.

12. From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill is what we consider one of the best anime movies overall.

Its story is set during the economic boom of Japan in 1963 after World War II, and it stars Umi Komatsuzaki, a student in the port city of Yokohama who falls in love with Shun’ya Kazama.

But through getting to know each other, the two will discover a shared secret from their past as their love story progresses.

From Up on Poppy Hill has a really interesting story that you’ll simply love because of its depth, plot twists, and love story.

It’s a timeless animated movie that we wholeheartedly recommend not to miss out on.

11. Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light

Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light

Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is a medium-lenght anime movie that we’ve talked about a lot in our articles, including our list of the best romantic movies.

The story revolves around Hotaro, a young girl who becomes lost in the woods behind her grandfather’s house. There, she encounters Gin, a cursed humanoid spirit who will vanish if touched by a human.

Despite this seemingly insurmountable obstacle, the two manage to develop a beautiful relationship built on mutual love. But the inevitable cannot be postponed forever so yes, prepare some tissues.

Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light will transport you to a stunning, nature-filled fantasy world and tug at your heartstrings in just 45 minutes.

If you’re in the mood for a touching and heartwarming series that might bring a tear or two, this might be the top choice on this list.

10. Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope is a criminally underrated anime from 2012 that immerses you in the adventures and daily lives of 3 boys in Japan’s 1960s while blending music and romance.

The story revolves around Kaoru Nishimi, an honor student who is forced to move to his relatives’ home due to his father’s financial difficulties.

It is in this new town that he meets Sentaro Kawabuchi, a rebellious youth with a deep passion for jazz music, and Ritsuko, the owner of a family-run record shop who becomes Kaoru’s love interest.

Kids on the Slope offers a unique portrayal of a group of friends who share a common passion, grow together, and experience the ups and downs of life and love.

If you want to feel part of their events and lives, don’t miss it and recommend it to your friends, so it can finally gain its deserved share of popularity.

9. Katanagatari


Katanagatari is a little gem of anime that combines the elements of an ancient japan narrative with a compelling love story and a lot of action.

The series follows the adventures of a swordsman and strategist as they embark on a quest to locate the twelve most formidable swords in feudal Japan, set during the Edo period.

The main protagonist, Shichika Yasuri, hails from the renowned Kyotoryu family, revered for their extraordinary unarmed combat technique.

Togame, the strategist, accompanies Shichika on their mission, enlisting his aid in safeguarding her while encouraging him to fall in love with her along the way.

As the story unfolds, their relationship evolves into something much deeper and profound beyond their initial arrangement.

We could go on hours about Katanagatari and why you should watch it, but to put it simply, with its action, romance, and unique character design, it’s a little animation gem that you don’t want to miss out on.

8. Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April is a 2014 romance anime that you can find on Hulu that received a lot of popularity since its release, mainly thanks to its emotionally captivating story.

Kousei Arima, a former child prodigy pianist, was once revered by all. But after the death of his mother, he becomes unable to hear his own music, sinking into a deep depression.

His life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters Kaori Miyazono, a vibrant and lively blonde violinist. Through her influence, Kousei rediscovers his passion for music.

As their bond deepens, their love for each other flourishes. But there is something about Kaori that Kousei has yet to discover, which adds complexity to their relationship.

Your Lie in April is a fantastic romance anime that blends romance and music.

And when it comes to the emotional aspect, we are more than confident in saying that it is one of the best sad romance anime in general, if not the best.

We strongly recommend keeping tissues handy while watching this series, because you will need them.

7. The Tatami Galaxy

The Tatami Galaxy

The Tatami Galaxy is an unique anime consisting of 11 episodes based on a novel written by Tomihiko Morimi and adapted in 2010 by Yuasa.

The beauty of The Tatami Galaxy is that it is seemingly simple in its unfolding but manages to enrapture because of its surreality and especially because of the stream of consciousness.

Yes, you read that right, the whole work gravitates around the streams of consciousness of the protagonist, so an incessant flow of words and tangled thoughts, a little like the hard life we live every day.

Tatami Galaxy is an anime in which you can see and mirror yourself, especially if you are a college student or have ever thought about different choices in your life.

In a society constantly in motion, where fashions shift as swiftly as the seasons, we often find ourselves discontent with what we have, always yearning for more. But yet, what we already possess holds significant value.

This is the message that Morimi and Yuuasa aim to communicate to us, amidst a backdrop of visionary, psychedelic scenes and a solid romance subplot that drives the story forward.

6. Tsukigakirei

Tsukigakirei - as the moon, so beautiful

Tsukigakirei is one of best slice of life romance anime that we can think of, as it boasts incredible animation, a great cast of characters, and an excellent and profound storyline.

With its well-developed and relatable characters, Tsukigakirei draws you into its world, making you feel like an integral part of the story.

But what truly sets Tsukigakirei apart is its beautifully crafted love story. The genuine and realistic feelings between the main characters, Akane and Kotaro, will undoubtedly tug at your heartstrings.

The anime beautifully captures the difficulties of growing up, from the joys of falling in love to the challenges of making new friends and navigating the uncertainties of the future.

So if you like romance anime of this type, you should give it a chance.

5. Oregairu – My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU 

My Teeen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

OreGairu is a stape of modern romance and one of the best series in its category. It has been released in 3 seasons, with the first season premiering in 2013.

This is a complex and intricate romance anime that seamlessly blends a chill slice-of-life atmosphere with psychological themes, delving even into deep topics such as anxiety, depression, and apathy.

The story revolves around Hachiman Hikigaya, a socially isolated boy with a cynical view of life.

To change his perspective, his teacher compels him to join the school’s volunteer club, where he encounters Yukino Yukinoshita, the most beautiful girl in school.

But the introduction of Yui Yuigahama, another troubled girl, creates an intriguing love triangle.

4. The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises, released in 2013, is a masterpiece from Studio Ghibli and maybe the best romance movie ever made. With a runtime of just over 2 hours, you’ll be so captivated by the story that time will fly by.

It’s a timeless tale that explores themes of pursuing one’s dreams and finding love, that will leave you both inspired and heartbroken.

The movie tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, a young boy with a deep passion for flying warplanes. Despite his severe nearsightedness preventing him from becoming a pilot, he discovers that his true purpose in life lies in designing and building airplanes.

Inspired by his idol, Giovanni Battista Caproni, Jiro embarks on a journey to pursue his dreams.

Throughout the movie, you’ll see Jiro’s ups and downs as he achieves his dreams and faces great joys, but also bitter disappointments, while he also discovers love with his beloved companion Naoko Satomi.

3. Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Kaguya-Sama: Love is War is undoubtedly one of the best recent romance anime. It has been released from 2019 onwards in multiple seasons, and the manga has ended recently.

The story revolves around Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, two of Shuichin Academy’s most popular students who also hold the positions of president and vice president.

Despite being deeply in love with each other, their stubborn and proud natures prevent them from confessing their feelings, as they see it as a form of surrender.

Because, as we all know, love is war, and so begins their psychological game!

There is no excuse. If you haven’t had the chance to watch this gem of the romance genre yet, you’re missing a modern must in this genre.

2. Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket is a shojo romance icon and easily one of the best romance anime ever. It also received an animated remake in 2019 that you can find on Hulu, surpassing the 2000s version in every aspect, so we clearly recommend this version.

The story follows the kind-hearted Toru Honda, who, following the tragic death of her parents, finds herself living with her grandfather.

But due to unavoidable circumstances, she’s forced to leave that home as well and ends up living alone in a tent in the woods.

It is there that she encounters Yuki Soma, who offers her an invitation to stay at his family’s home, a place harboring a peculiar secret.

Fruits Basket is a masterpiece with a plot and love story that is still incredible today, with incredibly well-written characters.

But an incredible merit of this series is not only its excellent exploration of sad themes but also how it handles them. It delves into depression, trauma, abuse, and social anxiety, but it does so with incredible tenderness, creating a beautiful illustration of how to overcome fears and insecurities.

1. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a romance anime that we will never tire of recommending, and we will continue to do so until it gains the recognition it deserves.

So far, the first season and two movies have been released, with the second movie recently premiered in Japan.

The protagonist, Sakuta Azusagawa, is a high schooler who prefers to keep to himself and avoid socializing.

But his life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters a senpai dressed as a bunny in the library, and he realizes that he’s the only one who can see her.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a fantastic romantic anime with an engaging plot that combines slice of life, romance, and the supernatural, featuring perfectly written characters.

And let’s not forget that Sakuta and Mai are one of the best couples in the genre, with incredible chemistry.

Photo of author


Passionate about Japanese culture for years, serial devourer of manga, anime, and videogames that have now become part of my routine. My favorite series? Goodnight Punpun and One Piece.

Leave a Comment