Let’s be honest and admit it: romance and action make for one of the best possible combinations in anime.
There are few things better than a series that keeps us entertained with loads of thrilling action while also tugging at our heartstrings with a well-developed love story.
So, we couldn’t resist sharing our personal list of the best action romance anime ever. Grab a snack, a drink, and pick what you want to watch tonight.
Table of Contents
30. Guilty Crown
Guilty Crown is a 2011 mecha anime heavily based on action and the relationship between the two main characters.
Japan, 2029. The country falls into chaos due to the spreading of the Apocalypse Virus, causing the UN to intervene by removing every political authority and replacing them with the GHQ.
But a decade later, the country is still controlled by this organization with force, and this causes the birth of the Funeral Parlor, a group determined to liberate Japan.
And between the hustle, we’ll follow the events of Inori Yuzuriha and Shuu Ouma, the two MCs.
Guilty Crown is a good Sci-Fi anime, thanks to its cast of characters, well-done animations, and a captivating fusion of action and romance.
The only fault we could find with it is that its pacing is perhaps slightly too fast, occasionally leaving the development of characters and world-building forgotten.
29. Familiar of Zero
Familiar of Zero is an isekai anime from 2006 that has an adventure-filled comedy and a captivating enemies to lovers romance throughout its story.
The protagonist, Saito, is an ordinary Japanese boy who suddenly finds himself summoned to an unfamiliar fantasy world, retaining all of his memories and modern knowledge.
To his surprise, Saito realizes that he was summoned by mistake by Louise, a sorceress with limited magical abilities who intended to summon her own familiar.
Despite his initial desire to return home, Saito becomes bound by the world’s contracts, prohibiting his departure. That’s how the adventure begins for the two protagonists, who initially struggle to get along.
If you’re a fan of lighthearted, comedy-centered isekai that also combines action and romance, Familiar of Zero might be a great choice for you.
28. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is undoubtedly one of the most popular and widely debated isekai, drawing both positive and negative attention since day one. The series is divided into several seasons, with the first premiering in 2012.
The story follows Kirito, also known as the Black Swordsman, as he embarks on adventures within various virtual MMORPG worlds.
Along his journey, he encounters numerous allies and adversaries, each with their own unique stories and narratives.
Discussing SAO is no simple task, and fans know why.
The initial two seasons often gather criticism for their clichéd plots and underdeveloped characters, but it must be acknowledged that the third season, Alicization, is a substantial improvement.
So whether you decide to endure the first two seasons in anticipation of the better third season and onward is entirely up to you.
27. The World is Still Beautiful
The World is Still Beautiful is an underrated fantasy anime released in 2014 in 12 episodes adapted from a shojo manga.
Nike is the fourth princess of the Rain Dukedom who, in order to avoid a war with the Sun Kingdom, agrees to give herself as a bride to the king of this rival kingdom albeit unwillingly.
But what happens when she discovers that the ruler of that country is a cold young boy who has given up living a joyous life?
So Nike will take it upon herself to make this obligatory husband of hers rediscover the joys of life.
The World is Still Beautiful skillfully combines a fantasy setting with excellent world-building, and its story proves to be more tender and profound than you might expect, all within a single captivating narrative.
26. Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied is a seinen manga-based anime that gained notoriety in the 2000s for its controversial and visually strong elements.
The story starts in a lab where Diclonius, a race of beings with special abilities, are subjected to brutal experiments to make them lethal weapons.
The events begin to move with Lucy, one of the Diclonius, escaping the base, but after suffering a violent head injury, she loses her memory.
She is later found by a boy named Kota with a connection to her past, and that’s where the plot begins.
A little warning: it must be said that Elfen Lied is not a series suitable for everyone. Its visual elements are quite extreme, not only in terms of gore but also in sexual content.
However, if that’s precisely what you’re seeking, it’s a must.
25. Eureka Seven
Eureka Seven is a 50-episode mecha anime released in 2005 that has been quite successful.
The story follows Renton Thurston, a 14-year-old boy who dreams of joining the mercenary group Gekkostate for adventure.
His life takes a turn when a robot piloted by a young girl named Eureka crashes into his garage. As they work together, Renton becomes Eureka’s co-pilot, and they join Gekkostate on their journey.
Eureka Seven combines adventure, action, drama, mecha, and even elements of psychology and romance.
With a well-written and well-executed story that sets it apart from typical mecha anime, if these aspects have piqued your interest, give it a try.
24. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a captivating blend of romance, horror, mystery, and a dash of action.
The anime is set in a private academy haunted by ghosts and follows the story of a girl named Yuuko, who died in mysterious circumstances.
She is only visible to Teichi Niya and the two of them decide to establish a club to uncover the truth about her death, as she has no memory of her previous life.
But despite being a ghost, Yuuko and Teichi develop a unique romance.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a series worth discovering for those who are weary of the typical romance premise and seek something different.
If you belong to this group, be sure to add it to your watchlist.
23. Crest of the Stars
Crest of the Stars is an action romance anime released in 1999 in 13 episodes from which a sequel was also made in 2000 called Banner of the Stars.
The story is set in a future where humans are at war against an empire of genetically modified beings called Abh.
In this setting Ghintec, an ordinary boy, is about to become a count of the Abh, so he must learn their customs, along with Princess Lamirth.
Crest of the Stars is yet another entry in the realm of action-packed Sci-Fi anime with underlying romance subplots on this list.
Just like the others, if you happen to be a fan of this unique yet charming niche, it’s definitely worth giving it a watch.
22. Date a Live
Date a Live is a harem romance anime released in 2013 in 12 episodes that combine elements of action and supernatural to an entertaining romance.
The main character Shido Itsuka encounters Tohka, a powerful spirit who has escaped from captivity and can destroy the world, and the only way to stop her is to fulfill her demands. Her first demand? Take her on a date.
But as the story goes on, Tohka will develop a dangerous yandere obsession with Shido, making his mission more complicated as she will become quite obsessed with him.
Date a Live is definitely not a complex anime to speculate about.
Instead, it’s a light and straightforward series, perfect if you’re looking for something easy to watch without the burden of complex plots.
Btooom! is a classic within the survival game genre, released in 2012 in 12 episodes.
The story revolves around Ryouta Sakamoto, an unemployed young man who spends most of his time engrossed in an online video game called Btooom.
One fateful day, he awakens on a mysterious island with a crystal embedded in his hand. It becomes apparent that he is trapped in a real-life rendition of his favorite game, where the objective is to eliminate seven other players to secure their escape.
As Ryouta navigates the perilous virtual world, he forms an alliance with Himiko, and together they strive to survive while uncovering the enigma behind their captivity while developing a tender relationship.
Btooom! is certainly not a masterpiece, but if you’re in the mood for a good anime with a classic survival formula, action, and a touch of romance, you might enjoy it.
20. Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is a great and underappreciated anime that seamlessly blends typical shonen and shojo works themes.
The story follows Princess Sakura, who has been dreaming about a mysterious artifact with a symbol.
But when her friend Shaoran finds the artifact, she suddenly loses her memories in the form of feathers that scatter throughout different dimensions.
To save her and make up for his mistake, Shaoran embarks on a journey with Sakura to retrieve her lost memories.
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is an anime adapted from a shonen manga, but its character design and themes are reminiscent of shojo, and that’s what makes it kinda unique.
And if you think about it, this creates an even more pronounced contrast and combination of action, typical of the shonen target audience, with romance, more commonly found in works aimed at a female audience.
19. Angel Beats
Angel Beats! is a popular anime that was released in 2010 in 14 episodes that combines elements of isekai, action, drama, supernatural, and romance.
The story revolves around the protagonist, Yuzuru Otonashi, a 17-year-old who awakens in a peculiar high school-like setting after his death.
In this place, he encounters other individuals who died prematurely and have formed a group called the Afterlife Battlefront.
Their goal is to challenge their predetermined fate and confront the student council president, Kanade Angel Tachibana.
Without revealing too many spoilers, as the plot progresses, who knows if even enemies may become allies and potentially even lovers.
Angel Beats! is undoubtedly a good anime that we recommend.
Its story begins with non-trivial premises that manage to keep you engaged during all its episodes.
18. Eden of the East
Eden of the East is a captivating short romance anime that premiered in 2009, with only 11 episodes full of mystery and plot twists.
In the year 2010, Japan faces a devastating terrorist attack as 10 missiles rain down on the country. The enigmatic figure behind this act, known as Zero, remains shrouded in mystery.
Three months later, Misaki Mori, a young Japanese student traveling to the United States capital, finds herself entangled in a strange incident. Fortunately, she’s rescued by Akira Takizawa, a fellow Japanese man suffering from amnesia.
Upon returning to Japan, another missile strikes the country, and a perplexing message reaches Takizawa’s cellphone: he’s tasked with delivering 8.2 billion yen. What does this mean?
Eden of the East is a perfect example of what could be called a short but intense anime.
In its only 11 episodes, it delivers action, romance, mystery, constant twists and turns and moments that will leave you breathless.
17. Beyond the Boundary
Beyond the Boundary is a 12-episode anime released in 2013 made by Kyoto Animation and adapted from a light novel.
Akihito Kanbara is a half-human, half-yomu with the power to regenerate wounds. One day he runs into Mirai Kuriyama, a girl with special powers and a yomu hunter.
The two, despite being each other’s sworn enemies, decide to form an alliance to face the impending danger, which will develop into even deeper feelings as they will discover their dark pasts.
Beyond the Boundary is an interesting anime with a versatile and complete story, alternating between comedy and mystery, action and romance moments, all with a cool supernatural-themed setting.
So if you’re looking for a captivating combination of these elements, you must add it to your list.
16. Urusei Yatsura
Urusei Yatsura is a colossal in the 80’s romance genre, yet again based on a manga by Rumiko Takahashi, like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha, two series that you can both find on this list.
The story takes place in the quiet town of Tomoboki, which is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of an alien spaceship filled with Oni with a very specific intention: to conquer the planet.
However, there’s a way for humanity to save itself: if one person, chosen at random by a computer, can touch the horns of the Oni princess Lum, the planet will be spared. And this task falls to our protagonist, Ataru.
Urusei Yatsura is one of the best examples of how to blend romance with supernatural elements and a dash of action. Not to mention that is one of the predecessors of the harem romance genre.
And last but not least, if you prefer a more modern version of the series, there’s an ongoing remake with updated animation.
15. The Ancient Magus Bride
The Ancient Magus’ Bride is a quite popular anime that was recently released and consists of 24 episodes that combines a tender plot with a fantasy setting.
The story follows Chise Hatori, a young girl who tragically loses her family and finds herself being sold at an auction.
However, instead of a life of servitude, she is purchased by a mysterious man with a canine skull for a head. This man takes her under his wing and trains her to become a magician, offering her a chance to escape her tragic fate.
If you’re in search of a mix of drama, fantasy, romance, and magic-based action, all woven together with well-developed characters who undergo significant growth throughout the story, then you may have struck gold.
14. Chrono Crusade
Chrono Crusade is a good supernatural and action anime set in the 1920s in New York City, just after the end of World War I.
The city is facing a new threat from hellish demons that are lurking in the shadows, and to protect the public order and the world, a military organization called the Order of the Magdalene is established.
The order is composed of priests and exorcist nuns who are tasked with fighting demons.
The two main characters of the anime are Chrono and Rosette, who team up in the fight against evil. The particularity? Chrono is a devil, and Rosette is a nun, so they’re a pretty unique couple.
Chrono Crusade could be a great pick if you’re seeking an anime that blends action and supernatural elements, with the added bonus of romantic moments that complement the overall narrative without overpowering it.
13. Ranma ½
Ranma 1/2 is an iconic cohab. romance anime, adapted once again from a manga by Rumiko Takahashi. It aired from 1989 to 1992, with a total of 161 episodes.
The story revolves around martial arts expert Ranma Saotome, who, due to a curse, transforms into a girl when exposed to cold water.
His engagement with Akane Tendo sets the stage for a series of hilarious misunderstandings and mishaps as they are compelled to live together and navigate their unconventional predicament.
Yes, we must admit it: the animation in Ranma 1/2 has aged and not too well, to say the least.
However, trust us and don’t let that detail deter you, because otherwise, you’ll be missing out on an exceptional series, featuring top-notch comedy and a romance that remains innovative even by today’s standards.
12. Revolutionary Girl Utena
Revolutionary Girl Utena is an anime from the late 1990s that we believe deserves more recognition for its top-notch quality. It combines an excellent school atmosphere with action-packed fighting scenes and romantic moments across its 39 episodes.
The story is set at Ohtori Academy, where selected students battle for the heart of the beautiful and silent Anthy Himemiya, known as the charming rose bride.
However, the plot takes a mysterious turn when the protagonist, Utena, who has a mysterious past and refuses to wear the female uniform, decides to participate in the duels.
Revolutionary Girl Utena combines a practically perfect love story with plenty of mystery, action, and some of the best vintage animation you can find.
If you’re a fan of vintage anime, this series is an absolute must-watch.
11. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Fate is undoubtedly one of the most popular franchises in recent years, sharing a thrilling survival game anime storyline with some great action and romance subplots.
The narrative centers around Shirou Emiya, an ordinary student who becomes entangled in the Holy Grail War, a conflict that revolves around obtaining an artifact capable of granting any wish.
Each participant is partnered with a Servant, a spirit embodying a legendary hero from history, and they engage in battles to claim victory.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works boasts breathtaking animations, excellent action scenes, and multiple romance subplots that perfectly complement the plot’s pacing.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge that it is just the initial part of a giant narrative universe. So, if you’re intrigued, we highly recommend grabbing a guide and immersing yourself in this great work.
10. Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin is one of the milestones of samurai-themed anime and consists of a 95-episode anime adaptation based on the manga of the same name by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
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.
Rurouni Kenshin is one of the best vintage anime you can come across under multiple aspects.
It presents a tale full of honor, action, and life-or-death battles, all within the captivating backdrop of feudal Japan and with the inclusion of a fantastic love story that complements the story perfectly in its interludes.
9. The Garden of Sinners
The Garden of Sinners is set in the same fictional universe as Fate, which was released in no less than 7 animated movies based on a light novel.
A series of unexplained suicides is mysteriously taking place in an obscure late-1990s Japan. Shiki Ryogi is the protagonist of this story, tasked with getting to the bottom of these strange events.
She has special powers and a dark past, but she doesn’t know which strange mysteries await her.
The Garden of Sinners is quite unique as an adaptation with its 7 movies, which can be a bit overwhelming to watch.
Additionally, they are presented in a non-chronological order, making it also challenging to follow a coherent narrative thread.
As a recommendation, we suggest you decide whether you’d prefer to watch this adaptation, read the light novels, or even explore both options.
8. The Vision of Escaflowne
The Vision of Escaflowne stands as one of the best vintage isekai anime and probably one of the best choices if you seek a union of action, isekai and romance.
The protagonist, Hitomi Kanzaki, is a typical high school girl with two passions: running and tarot cards. One day, during her tarot readings, she experiences a vision of being transported to an unknown world.
Initially dismissing it as a mere dream, she soon realizes its reality when a dragon and a swordsman named Van Fanel appear before her during a training session.
Van rescues Hitomi by defeating the dragon, and they find themselves mysteriously transported to the war-torn planet Gaia, where a battle against the Zaibach empire rages.
The Vision of Escaflowne blends an impressive array of genres, themes, tropes, and subgenres, incorporating action, adventure, isekai, fantasy, romance, and even mecha elements into its plot.
And that, if you ask for our opinion, should be enough to catch your attention.
Inuyasha is a cult anime nowadays, adapted from the equally cult manga written by Rumiko Takahashi, known as the queen of manga.
The story revolves around Kagome, an ordinary eighth-grade student who unexpectedly falls down a well in her home’s garden and finds herself transported 500 years into the past, to the Sengoku era.
In this era, Kagome discovers that she is the reincarnation of Kikyo, a powerful priestess who had the responsibility of protecting the four-spirit orb, a dangerous object coveted by villains.
Teaming up with Inuyasha, a half-demon with canine-like traits, Kagome embarks on a journey to safeguard the sacred relic from falling into the wrong hands.
Inuyasha stands as one of the best examples of putting together fantasy, action, and fantastic romance subplots.
So, if its length doesn’t intimidate you, considering it spans over 100 episodes, adding it to your watchlist is an absolute must.
6. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is undeniably one of the best mecha anime ever and quite possibly one of the finest anime released in the last 20 years. Yes, we said it.
The story follows Simon and Kamina, who are tired of living underground and dream of seeing the sky. One day, they discover the head of a robot called Lagann while digging underground.
After activating the mecha, they reach the surface and take possession of its body, leading them to war against mysterious enemies.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann combines fantastic animation curated by Studio Trigger, impeccable action, a well-rendered setting, and believable romance subplots.
This is an anime that everyone should watch, not just fans of the mecha genre.
5. Mobile Suit Z Gundam
Mobile Suit Z Gundam is one of the series in the vast Gundam universe, the iconic colossus of the mecha genre. It was released in 1985 with 50 episodes.
This series, set in Universal Century 0087, follows 17-year-old Kamille Bidan as he gets caught up in the conflict between the Titans and AEUG factions after stealing a prototype Gundam.
While the first 2 episodes may seem a bit absurd with their over-the-top action, the show quickly finds its footing and dives into a complex storyline that delves into the relationships between the characters.
And speaking of relationships, the romance between Kamille and Four Murasame is both heartwarming and tragic, adding an emotional depth to the show.
That’s not the only relationship you will see, as the protagonist has more than one love interest.
We mean, we’re talking about Gundam. Do you really need explanations and reasons to watch this series if you’re a mecha fan and haven’t watched it yet?
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.
However, 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.
3. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon is one of the most iconic anime series ever, firmly part of the pop culture nowadays. It is based on Naoko Takeuchi‘s legendary shojo manga, which has been adapted into multiple series, remakes, and spin-offs.
Usagi Tsukino is an ordinary eighth-grade student who encounters a talking cat named Luna during her daily routine.
To her surprise, Luna reveals that Usagi is a Sailor warrior, who must team up with other allies like her to protect the earth from the imminent arrival of evil.
Sailor Moon is the quintessential majokko anime, with vibrant and colorful transformations taking center stage in a lighthearted, engaging story with a fantastic lo-fi vibe.
The romantic aspect is also a significant part of the series, with the iconic love story between Usagi and Tuxedo Mask, a vigilante who will join the Sailor Warriors’ cause.
Again, there’s not much to say. We’re talking about Sailor Moon, folks. If you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and watch it as soon as possible.
2. Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
Super Dimension Fortress Macross is undoubtedly one of the most creative original anime of all time still today, released in the early 1980s.
The story begins when a massive alien ship crashes on Earth. Fearing an impending alien invasion, humanity quickly dismantles the ship to construct the formidable spacecraft called Macross as a defensive measure.
However, their fears are confirmed when the alien race known as Zentradi attacks Earth on the day of Macross’ unveiling, leading to an intense and thrilling space battle.
But don’t be fooled by the premise, this anime is way beyond the typical action/mecha series. Romance takes center stage, particularly the iconic love triangle involving pilot Hikaru Ichijo, Macross officer Misa Hayase, and idol singer Lynn Minmay, who plays a significant role in the war effort.
Just stating that an anime from over 30 years ago remains one of the most innovative and unique series you can find says a lot.
So, if you’re not deterred by its dated animation, don’t miss it for any reason.
1. Monogatari Series
Monogatari Series is one of the best romance anime you can find in general.
We recommend searching for a guide on the viewing order to fully appreciate it and immerse yourself in this series if you still have to watch it.
The story revolves around Koyomi Araragi, whose life takes a drastic turn after encountering Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, a dying vampire.
With the assistance of Meme Oshino, a shaman, Koyomi regains his humanity but finds himself drawn into a world of supernatural phenomena and along the way, he also develops a romantic connection with Hitagi Senjogahara.
The Monogatari series spans an extensive array of genres across its seasons, encompassing action, comedy, slice of life, adventure, and romance. All of this is presented with a distinctive pacing and storytelling style.
But what’s truly remarkable is that this fusion of seemingly disparate elements remarkably comes together perfectly, to say the least.