Mystery and romance are a great combo, especially for anime, because both involve uncertainty and add a lot of spice to the story.
Many would think of famous examples such as The Future Diary, Monogatari and Kaiba. Many of the series in this list play with lost memories and riddles, ideal for wannabe detectives.
Let’s see what are the best mystery romance anime and what niche shows you can add to your watchlist!
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15. Yamada-kun and The Seven Witches
The core of the mystery involves uncovering the secrets behind the Seven Witches in the school, each with unique powers, and the reasons behind these supernatural occurrences.
The story revolves around Yamada Ryu and Urara Shiraishi, two high school students with contrasting personalities who suddenly find themselves in a body-switching predicament due to mysterious circumstances.
As they grapple with the cause and consequences of this phenomenon, their lives take unexpected turns.
While Yamada-kun and The Seven Witches isn’t really a harem, more girls like the main character and he will choose one of them.
This is a great and fun introduction to mystery romance anime in case you were wondering where to start.
14. The Future Diary
The Future Diary features some nice mystery elements along with a toxic love story and free violence.
The story follows Yukiteru Amano, an introverted and despairing boy who uses his cell phone diary to communicate with his imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina, the god of time.
But when Deus suddenly gains consciousness and starts predicting the future, a deadly survival game begins.
Participants must eliminate each other and destroy their opponents’ future diaries in order to become the new god of time and space.
If you want something not too complex and dark to watch, The Future Diary has been consistent so far in being a great choice for that.
If you love intrigue, the underworld and crime stories, this anime is definitely one of the best choices.
Young Reiji is a normal teenager who just happens to witness one of the murders of Phantom while he is in America. We are talking about an unknown and feared killer from the organization known as Inferno.
The killer has long been spreading panic with his heinous actions. No one has ever seen him, witnessed his actions, or lived to tell the tale except Reiji.
Captured by members of the organization, the boy is forced to make a choice: immediate death or become an assassin in the service of the organization.
The boy will be guilty against his will of several crimes, abandoning the path of good. In the process, his memory will be erased and the mystery component of the series consists of him trying to recover his lost memories.
Among hardships, romance can’t miss and we think it’s quite interesting because dark stories marry well with love.
12. Darker than Black
The protagonist’s quest to uncover his past and true identity after losing his memory and being brainwashed to become an assassin represents the mystery of this anime.
Yes, this sounds quite familiar to the anime listed before as they share similar tropes.
Darker than Black is an original anime with no source material, created by Studio Bones.
After the appearance of Hell’s Gate, an area where the laws of physics don’t apply, powerful individuals called Contractors started appearing around the world.
The protagonist is Hei, a famous contractor also called Black Reaper, known and feared for his cold and dangerous attitude.
The relationship with Yin mitigates the dark themes of the series but romance doesn’t have a central role unlike any of the other anime listed here.
11. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is all about mystery and supernatural, as the entire plot is focused on solving the mystery of the phantom girl who lost her memory.
It’s 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.
As the protagonist knows more about Yuuko, the phantom girl, the 2 will develop feelings and the plot will take a different course.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a really nice and wholesome show that is also a great entry point to romance anime if you prefer hybrid stories.
This 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.
You all know the story of Detective Conan and how it’s the mystery anime by definition. This movie revolves around a love letter with a mysterious code that leads to a murder case.
A deadly bombing at a Sogen Award presentation ceremony intertwines the fates of Heiji Hattori, Kazuha Toyama, and Conan Edogawa.
The mystery is around a tragic love story from the past and Karuta cards (playing cards used in Japan) but how are they even connected with the bombing and between them?
If you love Japanese history and romantic entanglements with Detective Conan’s timeless charm, this is your call.
The only downside is that you shouldn’t watch this movie as a standalone production because it’s not meant to.
8. Eden of The East
Eden of the East is an anime that thrives on mystery, offering a plot filled with unexpected twists and turns, gripping action sequences, and a romance subplot characterized by pathos and drama.
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?
The relationship between Takizawa and Misaki adds to the unfolding of the mystery and is a perfect touch to the story.
7. ef: A Tale of Memories
As the name implies, the mystery is about the characters’ memories and the hidden truths behind their emotions and actions.
This is unlike other anime that aren’t so keen on psychology and have a different type of mystery.
ef: A Tale of Memories is a unique anime that showcases two distinct love stories, narrated in parallel.
The first story revolves around Renji and Chihiro, whose love story is affected by Chihiro’s condition of losing her memories every 13 hours.
This leads to a poignant and continuous cycle of Renji having to win back Chihiro’s love and the girl starting from scratch every time she loses her memories.
The second story features a complex love triangle between Hiro, Miyako, and Kei, with numerous twists and turns.
Both stories are expertly told, with the amnesia element adding a unique twist to Renji and Chihiro’s love story.
6. 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 unwavering affection of Shiki and Mikiya is central to the plot, focused on supernatural events and violent incidents.
Mind you, these movies can be watched in any order, you decide!
Baccano! features a non-linear plot with a cast interconnected by solving mysteries and crimes.
The plot is set in the US during the 1930s. It involves a war that breaks out between various mafia gangs in America during the Prohibition Era.
And this aspect is well rendered, with customs and traditions that look like a real picture.
There will also be a touch of the supernatural, as the war between these gangs is caused by the research of an elixir of immortality.
And what to say about the romance?
There are multiple romance subplots that will keep you hooked and are much needed to give tone to Baccano!
The Tatami Galaxy is an avant-garde example of how mystery can fit into a romance anime while showing something new.
Masaki Yuasa proved that even a simple plot can be turned into a work of art.
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.
This 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.
Kaiba is a good dystopian anime that shows the importance of memories and how they affect our perception of the world.
To add more spice, there is some key romance that keeps the plot going and motivates the main character.
In this world, memories are stored in chips outside the body, and the show presents viewers with a range of scenarios showcasing the impact this technology could have on people’s lives.
From machines that allow interaction with a chip to shuffle multiple individuals into one body to save money, the creators deliver new and innovative ideas that will leave you captivated and engaged.
Although the first few episodes may require some patience, the storyline picks up in the later episodes with many plotlines.
2. Monogatari Series
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, Koyomi regains his humanity but finds himself drawn into a world of spiritual and 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 mystery, 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. So if you have yet to experience this little gem, don’t wait any longer.
Princess Tutu is a forgotten perl of the magical girl genre and a great mystery romance anime as well.
In full compliance with the genre, the love of the female lead is pivotal to the plot and is a key component of her characterization.
Ahiru is a duckling transformed into a human girl by the mysterious writer Drosselmeyer, tasked with recovering the lost fragments of a handsome prince’s heart.
Thanks to her powers Ahiru can transform into the beautiful ballerina Princess Tutu, with the power to heal the hearts of others with her beautiful dance.
Don’t be fooled by the deceivingly calm plot because Princess Tutu isn’t a show for children. We can define it as the perfect show if you love fairytales and a good dose of mystery that will lead to the grand finale.