Rediscovering the 15+1 Best ’90s Romance Anime

In the ’90s, anime studios took risks and created unique romance stories that explored complex themes, creating legendary series that made history.

We love the hand-drawn animation and nostalgic soundtracks of ’90s anime, which are irreplaceable. These shows will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that will stay with you long after the final episode.

These best ’90s romance anime will make you study the romance genre and relive old memories if you are nostalgic like us.

16. Boys Over Flowers

Hana Yori Dango

Based on a manga by Yoko Kamio, Boys Over Flowers is a timeless classic of ’90s romance anime.

Set in the prestigious Eitoku Academy, Makino Tsukushi stands up to the school’s notorious group of spoiled rich kids, the F4, and catches the attention of Tsukasa with her fierce determination.

But with his bullying tendencies, she finds herself drawn instead to the sensitive and thoughtful Rui Hanazawa.

This love triangle sets the stage for the entire series and has become a classic example of reverse harem anime.

Boys Over Flower’s captivating storyline will keep you hooked with its romantic drama and intensely emotional moments, and we’re 100% sure you’ll love it.

15. Oh! My Goddess

Ah! My Goddess

When college student Keiichi Morisato accidentally dials the Goddess Hotline instead of ordering food, he’s connected with the stunning goddess Belldandy who magically appears before him.

Despite getting kicked out of his dorm, Keiichi and Belldandy soon find themselves living together at an old shrine with Belldandy’s sisters.

This anime is a true gem of the ’90s romance genre. While there’s no major plot twist, the show’s episodic format keeps things fresh and exciting, and each episode tells its own engaging story.

Plus, the lovable characters are what really make this show shine, from Belldandy, the kind-hearted goddess, to the mischievous demon Mara.

14. Neighborhood Stories

The anime revolves around Mikako Kouda, a 16-year-old girl with a passion for fashion design who attends the Yazawa Art School with her best friend Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

The 2 are often seen bickering, which their friends interpret as signs of a budding romance, but Mikako and Tsutomu insist that they are just friends.

However, everything changes when Tsutomu becomes popular among girls for resembling a famous singer.

The once-platonic relationship between Mikako and Tsutomu is now called into question, leaving them both wondering about the true nature of their feelings.

Neighborhood Stories does an excellent job of exploring the complexities of young love and the struggle to navigate romantic feelings, while trying to maintain a close friendship.

It’s a super engaging and complex story that we’re sure you’ll love.

13. Kaitou Saint Tail

This ’90s gem follows the story of Meimi Haneoka, a high school student who transforms into the charming thief, Saint Tail, at night.

Meimi is not your typical teenage girl, she is a modern-day Robin Hood who uses her wit and cunning to steal from the rich and give back to those in need.

But what really sets this anime apart is the budding romance between Meimi and her classmate Daiki Asuka, or Asuka Jr. as he’s often called.

Asuka Jr. is tasked with catching Saint Tail, but as he gets closer to discovering her true identity, he finds himself falling for Meimi.

Their love story is sweet and heartwarming, and it will leave you rooting for them until the very end.

12. Kodocha

Get ready to be swept off your feet by the charming and lovable Sana Kurata. She’s got it all: fame, fortune, and a personal bodyguard to keep her safe.

But there’s one thing that’s been gnawing at her perfect life, Akito Hayama. This rebellious classmate of hers is causing chaos in their classroom and it’s up to Sana to put a stop to it.

Follow Sana on her journey to uncover the truth behind Akito’s misbehavior and find out what makes him so special to her.

As Sana learns more about Akito, she discovers there is more to him than his troublesome behavior in class, and a slow romance will soon blossom between the two.

The show’s seamless blend of comedy and drama will have you laughing one moment and reaching for the tissues the next, but that’s exactly its strenght.

Don’t miss out on this must-watch ’90s romance anime that will tug at your heartstrings.

11. Fushigi Yuugi

Fushigi Yuugi

Imagine stumbling upon a mysterious old book that transports you to a strange world, full of danger and magic.

That’s exactly what happens to Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo in Fushigi Yuugi. But it’s not just a tale of adventure and battle, at the heart of the story lies a love story that will leave you breathless.

Miaka’s journey to save the kingdom with the help of the handsome Tamahome and the powerful emperor Hotohori is an epic one.

She must gather the seven Celestial Warriors in order to summon Suzaku, the kingdom’s protector god.

But it’s Miaka relationship with Tamahome that steals the show. Their love is put to the ultimate test time and time again, as they face danger, betrayal, and even death.

But through it all, they never give up on each other.

10. The Ocean Waves

Ocean Waves

Set in the picturesque city of Koichi, this charming movie follows the love triangle between 2 best friends and a new girl from Tokyo who transfers to their high school.

The story is beautifully crafted and engaging, with each character bringing their own unique perspective to the mix, but it’s the touching relationship between Taku and Rikako that really steals the show.

As Taku becomes increasingly involved in Rikako’s personal life, he must navigate his own growing feelings for her while also struggling to maintain his friendship with Matsuno.

The Ocean Waves is a must-watch for anyone who wants to watch a good old romance, with relatable characters and a heartwarming storyline that will stick with you.

9. Nadia: Secret of Blue Water

Nadia: Secret of Blue Water

Set in the romantic backdrop of 1889 Paris, the story follows the brilliant young inventor Jean and the enigmatic orphan girl Nadia, who wears a mysterious blue jewel around her neck.

As they delve deeper into the secrets of Nadia’s stone, they discover that they’re not the only ones on the hunt for this treasure.

With shady figures hot on their trail, Jean and Nadia take to the skies in a daring aerial flight, exploring breathtaking and otherworldly settings that will leave you spellbound.

But the heart of the story lies in the budding romance between Jean and Nadia. Despite their differences in personality and interests, Jean’s love for Nadia grows stronger with every adventure they share.

This ’90s classic blends romance, action, and mystery to create a timeless tale that will leave you captivated from start to finish.

8. The Vision of Escaflowne

The Vision of Escaflowne

Created by the same mastermind behind the legendary Macross series, this anime is an ambitious project that received a significant investment from Bandai, with 30 million yen allocated per episode for production.

Follow the story of 15-year-old Hitomi Kanzaki, who is transported to the mysterious world of Gaea, where she joins Prince Van Fanel in a battle for the world’s fate.

With the help of some new allies, including a dashing Asturian knight who looks suspiciously like Hitomi’s Earth crush, they must fight against the forces of the evil Zaibach empire.

What sets The Vision of Escaflowne apart is its unique blend of genres, seamlessly blending romance, mecha battles, and war themes.

The animation is top-notch, with stunning fight scenes and beautifully crafted character designs.

And while the central romance between Hitomi and Van is heartwarming and genuine, the story also tackles complex themes like fate and destiny.

7. Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin

Follow the journey of legendary warrior Kenshin Himura as he seeks to protect people from injustice and atone for his violent past actions.

Along the way, he meets his one true love interest, Kaoru Kamiya, and together they embark on thrilling adventures filled with love and conflict.

But what truly sets it apart is the genuine and heartfelt love story between Kenshin and Kaoru.

Their connection is so strong, you’ll feel drawn to it like a soulmate, all this in one of the best samurai anime ever made, with breathtaking fight scenes that fit well within the plot.

With 95 episodes, Rurouni Kenshin will keep you entertained for hours, and its romantic storyline will have you invested in the characters’ journey until the very end.

6. Martian Successor Nadesico

Mobile Battleship Nadesico

Get ready for mecha battles, a quirky crew of misfits, and a heartwarming Sci-Fi romance that will leave you wanting more.

Follow Akito, a skilled cook who finds himself on the Nadesico after his home on Mars is destroyed. As he enlists as their cook and backup mecha pilot, he soon finds himself drawn to the captain, Yurika.

Together, they lead the crew on a journey through space to avenge Mars, encountering challenges that test their bonds and beliefs.

What sets Martian Successor Nadesico apart from other mecha anime is its perfect blend of humor, action, and romance with a love triangle.

You’ll fall in love with the lovable and relatable characters, and the genuine connection between Akito and Yurika will tug at your heartstrings.

The last few episodes completely miss character development and that’s really a pity considering there was way more potential.

5. Marmalade Boy

Get ready to hop on an emotional rollercoaster with Marmalade Boy, one of the best romance anime ever made that will sweep you off your feet.

Miki Koishikawa‘s life takes a dramatic turn when her parents swap partners with another couple they met on holiday.

In walks Matsuura Yuu, the charming and handsome son of the new couple, and Miki is instantly smitten.

But their budding romance is far from smooth sailing, as they face interference from their admirers and try to navigate their complicated feelings.

If you want to experience the joys and challenges of first love, watch Marmalade Boy and fall in love with its heartwarming story.

4. Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary girl Utena

This iconic anime tells the story of Utena Tenjou, a 15-year-old girl who refuses to be confined by society’s expectations of femininity.

But when Utena discovers that her Rose Ring, given to her by a prince who saved her as a child, holds great power, her life takes a fantastical turn.

She enters a world of magic and duels, fighting to save Anthy Himemiya, the Rose Bride, from a group of Duelists battling for her ownership.

As Utena’s determination to prove herself as a prince leads her to take on the Duelists, she and Anthy’s relationship evolves from close friends to chosen family and eventually to a romance that will tug at your heartstrings.

Revolutionary Girl Utena is not your average romance anime, with its action moments, vintage elegance and rich symbolism that explore themes of choice and self-discovery.

3. His and Her Circumstances

His and Her Circumstances

Unlike other shows that drag out the confession, this series dives into what happens after the couple starts dating.

Follow the story of Yukino and Souichirou, 2 high school rivals who realize they’re hiding secrets from the world. As their relationship blossoms, themes of love, self-discovery, and acceptance are explored.

As Yukino and Souichirou navigate their flaws and secrets, they learn to love and stay with each other in a realistic and relatable way.

What sets this anime apart is the perfect balance between humor and seriousness.

Yukino’s spoiled personality adds the laughs, while Souichirou’s troubled past brings depth. With honest and sincere communication, they cater to each other’s needs and grow closer.

2. Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon

Are you ready for an epic love story that transcends time and space? Look no further than Sailor Moon, the cult anime series based on the manga by Naoko Takeuchi.

Follow Usagi Tsukino and her friends on their journey to save the world from evil forces. But what really sets this series apart is the undeniable chemistry between Usagi and Tuxedo Mask.

Their legendary love story is a major highlight of the show, and it’s refreshing to see a romance anime that isn’t bogged down with harem elements.

Prepare to be dazzled by Sailor Moon’s heart-pumping action, unforgettable characters, and unparalleled quality.

This anime series sets the standard for the majokko genre and is a must-watch for any fan of anime, despite your comfort genre.

1. Whisper Of The Heart

Whisper of the Heart

If you’re in the mood for a beautiful romance movie that will transport you to another time and place, look no further than this Studio Ghibli masterpiece.

Set in the suburbs of Tokyo in the mid-1990s, the film follows the story of 14-year-old Shizuku, an avid reader with a passion for writing.

When she discovers that someone else has been borrowing the same library books as her, she becomes curious and begins a search for the mysterious Seiji Amasawa.

This is a touching coming-of-age tale that delves into the ups and downs of first love, as Shizuku and Seiji bond over their passion for literature and aspirations for the future.

Their romance is innocent, sweet, and incredibly relatable, making Whisper of the Heart a timeless classic that is just as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1995.

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