We have noticed a lot of confusion online, so let’s remove all doubt once and for all: anime can’t be seinen, just as they can’t be shonen or shojo either. Manga can be, and consequently, anime are adapted from their respective manga.
So when we talk about anime, we can refer to series based on seinen, shonen, or shojo manga. And to call a series seinen or else based on their themes is dead wrong.
So to remove any possible doubt, we have collected for you the best romance anime adapted from a Seinen manga, to enjoy a mature love story with intense themes.
Table of Contents
20. Wandering Son
Wandering Son is a particular romance anime that deals with incredibly sensitive and topical issues, such as gender identity related to sexuality.
Shuici is a male who nonetheless feels female inside, which is why he dresses and has behaviors of the opposite sex.
Yoshino, on the other hand, is a female who feels like a male.
How will their relationship develop?
Wandering Son deals with its sensitive issues excellently and thoroughly, without disrespecting anyone, going instead to incite those in the same situation as the protagonists to feel themselves.
It’s a light-hearted slice-of-life animated with a delicate and unrefined stroke that goes very well with the story.
19. Ai Yori Aoshi
Ai Yori Aoshi is a harem romance released in multiple series since 2002, with ecchi, sentimental and comic themes.
Kaoru is the last successor of a powerful family, but not by choice. In fact, Kaoru is an illegitimate son, born out of an improper relationship between his father and the housemaid.
And that is why he decides to run away from home, where he was treated as an outsider, to attend college.
But at the same time, Kaoru was betrothed to Aoi, the daughter of another family, who has been preparing all her life to please her future husband, reasoning that she will not let the boy slip through her fingers for any reason.
Ai Yori Aoshi is a classic harem romance, with funny scenes as the girls try to win over the MC.
What makes it mature, on the other hand, are its quite explicit ecchi scenes and themes, although they were quite censored in the anime. So if you want the full experience, we recommend reading the manga.
18. Oh! My Goddess
Ah! My Goddess is a 2005 harem romance with supernatural elements.
Keiichi Morisato is a shy boy who is incredibly unlucky with girls.
But in reality, he is a boy with a heart of gold, which is why the goddess Belldandy will decide to grant him a wish, which the boy will use to ask Belldandy herself to stay by his side.
These are the premises of a particular love story with many twists and turns with other angels and goddesses who will join the harem.
Ah! My Goddess is another light and fun romance anime with a delightful vintage atmosphere and a beautiful character design.
Rec is a romance anime with only 9 episodes released in 2006 with psychological, sentimental, and comic themes.
Fumihiko Matsumaru is an office worker who on a rainy day has a date with a girl at a movie theater, but she seems to have stood him up.
In anger Tanaka was about to throw the tickets in the trash when a pretty girl shows up in front of him, saying that she would watch the movie with him.
This is the beginning of their peculiar relationship.
Rec is a short romance anime, perfect if you are looking for something with a few episodes to binge-watch.
Its love story is also well crafted and mature, with two grown-up characters and their struggles with life.
16. Scum’s Wish
Scum’s Wish is a unique romance anime released in 2017 in 12 episodes with heavy and mature themes.
Mugi and Hanabi seem like the perfect couple. Everyone wants to be like them, but no one knows that the two are only together out of boredom and to feel less lonely, and they are in love with others.
How will their situation evolve?
Scum’s Wish is a deliberately mature and heavy version of the classic romance story.
Its themes are intense, dealing with depression and apathy, also with explicit and almost erotic scenes.
But since you are reading this article and therefore are looking for a series with these characteristics, we must recommend it.
15. More Than a Married Couple, But not Lovers
More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers is a recent romance anime released in 2022 in 12 episodes.
The story is set in a school with a particular course, called couple practice, where students are randomly matched with a partner and are forced to live together.
The main character Jirou is a shy boy who hopes to be matched with Shiori, the girl he is in love with, but is instead matched with Akari, a popular and outgoing girl who was in turn hoping to be matched with the boy she likes.
What’s worse is that their respective crushes get matched! What will happen next, and how will their strange situation evolve?
This is a fun anime with comic and ecchi scenes as the MCs will have to slowly get to know each other to live together.
We recommend it if you are looking for something simple without intricate plots to follow.
14. Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible
Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is a 2023 romance anime still in progress at the time of writing this article.
Junta Shiraishi is a high schooler with little personality, which is why his classmates often forget he even exists, which causes him to suffer and feel invisible.
All except Nagisa Kubo, a girl who seems to notice him instead, and who enjoys teasing him.
Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is a tender romance anime, where the relationship between the two MCs is central to the story.
Its animations are also beautiful and delicate, but don’t forget that we are talking about an anime based on a seinen manga, and this is most noticeable in its strong psychological focus.
Working!!! is a good slice-of-life romance anime with 13 entertaining episodes.
The main character is Takanashi Souta, an ordinary 16-year-old student with a kink for cute little things and people.
He ends up taking a part-time job as a waiter at the Wagnaria restaurant from Taneshima Popura, a girl who is indeed small in stature.
There he will meet many peculiar people, experience comical situations, and fall in love.
Working!!! is a light romance anime, and a great pick if you’re looking for something without intricate plots or special twists, but always with a background of mature themes, being based on a seinen manga.
Chobits was released in 2002 with 12 episodes.
The series is set in a future where persocons, female androids who can perform various tasks, exist.
Hideki would also like to own one, but he is totally broke. But when he returns home one day and finds an abandoned persocon and decides to take it home, what will happen?
Chobits is a romance anime with a mainly comic atmosphere that nevertheless hides some thought-provoking focuses and themes, such as the meaning of love and life itself.
And these will happen mainly when Hideki will make a disconcerting surprise: persocons seem to have the ability to feel emotions while being machines.
Mahoromatic is a 2001 12-episode romance anime that hides heavy themes under its seemingly light and comic air.
In the 1980s, an alien invasion put the human race in incredible danger, and to counter them, the female-looking android V1046-R Mahoro was created.
However, the prolonged use of energy weapons reduced Mahoro’s life to only 40 days, with no way to save her.
Mahoro will thus be left free to enjoy her last moments of life, which is how she will meet Suguru, a middle school boy with whom she will form a bond.
Mahoromatic tells an intense story with death and its inevitability as its main theme in a light comic atmosphere.
And although it seems clear from the plot we tell you anyway: get some tissues ready for the ending.
Planetes is a niche animation gem, released in 2003 in 24 episodes.
It’s 2075, and humanity has colonized space. In this setting, we find Ai Tanabe, a bold young girl who joins the Technora Corporation as a member of the debris section.
Here she will make the acquaintance of her peculiar colleagues, with whom she will develop a fantastic relationship while she will find love too.
Planetes is a fantastic slice of life and a unique anime, with a spectacular setting and animations and an excellent cast of characters.
Trust us, you cannot miss it.
9. Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl
Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl is an excellent sports romance anime released in the late 1980s with 124 episodes.
This anime follows the journey of a high school student named Yawara Inokuma who dreams of living a simple life with a boyfriend, but her grandfather has other plans for her.
He wants her to become a famous Judo champion, and despite her attempts to hide her skills, she becomes a star with the help of a sports reporter.
Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl greatly balances sports, psychology, and romance, with an excellent love triangle that is incredibly well written.
This is an inspiring and exciting story with well-written characters who have great development throughout the story, with a great vintage atmosphere.
8. 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.
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.
Like much other anime on this list, Arakawa Under the Bridge hides deep themes beneath its comic atmosphere.
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?
Erased is a popular 2016 anime released in 12 episodes with mystery, psychological, and romance as its genres.
Satoru is a 29-year-old failed mangaka, with a life on the chopping block. However, he has a peculiarity: he has the power of revival, which enables him to know when a tragedy is about to happen.
But one day, following the murder of his mother, Satoru will find himself thanks to his power nearly 20 years earlier, when a serial killer was leaving behind a trail of deaths.
Is it all connected? Satoru will decide to investigate, and use the opportunity to save Kayo, a little girl he was unable to save in the past.
Erased is an anime that will leave you with bated breath from beginning to end as you look forward to discovering the truth.
Its romance moments are not many, with thriller being the main focus, but they will still be present and incredibly tender when on screen.
6. My Dress-Up Darling
My Dress-Up Darling is one of the most popular romance anime in recent years, and perhaps the most popular in 2022, the year it was released. And yes, although many people don’t mind this detail, it’s adapted from a seinen manga.
The story revolves around the high school student Wakana Gojo and his unique interests. His life takes a drastic turn when he meets his beautiful classmate Marin Kitagawa.
After discovering that Gojo is passionate about sewing clothes for dolls, Marin asks for his help in creating custom-made outfits for her cosplay hobby.
That’s how their strange relationship begins.
My Dress-Up Darling may seem if you haven’t watched it yet to be a simple and classic romance anime, but don’t make the mistake of underestimating it.
Its story is indeed easygoing, but with well-written characters who complement each other, excellent animation, and totally a great use of contextualized and well-placed ecchi scenes.
5. After the Rain
After the Rain is an excellent and underrated romance anime released in 2018 in 12 episodes that we recommend you catch up on.
Akira Tachibana is the classic unattainable beauty, as enchanting as she is unapproachable.
Everyone is in love with her, but the girl is secretly in love with the manager of the café where she works part-time, a forty-five-year-old divorced man who is already a father.
After the Rain is a mature love story, dealing with the delicate subject of the difficult love between two people with a large age gap, with all its complications and consequences. All with beautiful and unique animation and design that will amaze you.
It’s also one of the best romance anime available on Amazon Prime Video, so you can watch it without any issues if you’re subscribed to the service.
4. Emma: A Victorian Romance
Emma: A Victorian Romance is one of the best historical romance anime released in 2002 in 12 episodes.
The story is set in London in the late 18th century, and the protagonist is Emma, a young maid who works at Mrs. Stowner’s household.
William Jones, on the other hand, is a former pupil of Mrs. Stowner, and during a visit to his old teacher, William meets Emma and falls madly in love with her.
This is the beginning of their love story that will enrapture you.
Emma: A Victorian Romance is a tender romance anime with a beautifully done setting, well-written characters, and some beautiful vintage animations that you will adore.
It is really a shame that it is so underrated.
3. In this Corner of the World
In this Corner of the World is one of the best romance movies, released in 2016 with historical, dramatic, and sentimental elements.
The main character, Suzu Urano, is a cheerful and honest young woman who marries Hojo, a naval officer.
With the best of intentions, Suzu is excited about starting a new life with Hojo and his family. After leaving her hometown, she adjusts to life in Kure, a small rural town.
But things will quickly take a difficult turn.
In this Corner of the World is both an incredibly tender and intense story. The relationship between the two MCs is beautiful and will warm your heart, but expect to cry as well.
It should also be mentioned that the animations and character design are beautiful and unique.
2. Kaguya-Sama: Love is War
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War is one of the best school romance anime in recent years, as well as one of the most popular, with the first season released in 2019.
Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya are the most popular students at Shuichin Academy, as well as its president and vice president.
They’re both in love with each other, but their stubborn and proud personalities prevent them from confessing, seeing it as a sign of defeat.
Because love is war, and so begins their psychological game!
The best quality of this anime is that it’s incredibly comprehensive and well-written. In its story, you will find a primarily comic atmosphere, combined with psychological moments, mind games, and sad scenes.
If you have not yet watched it, we recommend that you do so asap.
1. Maison Ikkoku
Maison Ikkoku is one of the most iconic romance anime ever made, released in the late 1980s in 96 episodes, based on the iconic seinen manga by Rumiko Takahashi, known as the queen of manga.
The story follows Yusaku Godai, a young man who is intensely studying for his college entrance exam. Yusaku lives in the Maison Ikkoku, a boarding house, and the constant hustle makes it difficult for him to concentrate on his studies.
That’s why he decides to leave, but the arrival of the new administrator, Kyoko Otonashi, a mature and fascinating woman who just lost his husband, convinces him to stay, and he immediately falls in love with her.
Maison Ikkoku is a great rom-com and one of the best 80’s romance anime.
Beneath its appearance, its story hides plenty of psychological themes, about growing up and overcoming grief.
It’s amazing how this anime came out almost 30 years ago, and yet still manages to be innovative in its way.