Romance anime blend well with psychology, as they only benefice from more character development.
This implies merging other elements like Sci-Fi, supernatural, or even more drama to add even further reality to the story.
Traumas, past experiences and even jealousy are the most common plot devices to justify some scenarios within these shows. After all, love combines well with contrasting emotions like anger and even sadness or malincholy.
If you are looking for recommendations about the best psychological romance anime, this list is for you. We remind you that rankings are subjective and based on our personal opinions.
Table of Contents
An anime with a pure science fiction and futuristic story. The series is set in the fictional city of Sugomori, which has seen its population dwindling for years.
High school student Katsuhira Agata is invited by mysterious classmate Noriko Sonosaki into the Kizuna System, an incomplete system for the realization of world peace.
Its main trait is that it allows connected people called Kiznaivers to share their hurts and pain with others like them.
You will understand that the psychological component is well marked and predominant, as are the love interests that will blossom from the union of people within the Kizuna System.
19. Future Diary (Mirai Nikki)
One of the most popular anime and one of those you watch as your first.
Future Diary doesn’t boast a good plot if you have some experience with anime but it’s still a worthy mention since it merges psychological romance with survival.
The main character Yukiteru Amano is a shy and indecisive boy that usually talks with his imaginary friend Deus Ex Machina.
He will be eventually forced to participate in a survival game with his classmate Yuno Gasano to succeed Deus as the deity of time.
The catch? All the 12 participants are called Diary Holders because their cell phones act as special diaries capable of predicting the future.
Each of them has special features depending on the user and they will cause the death of the participant if destroyed.
This battle royale anime looks cool but it’s flawed with a weak plot and bad character development. Nonetheless, it’s still a good show if you want some action and a dose of sick romance.
18. Plastic Memories
If you are looking for an anime that in plot and themes ends up being a real punch in the chest, then Plastic Memories is for you.
In the not-too-distant future, it is now customary to use human-like androids for the most common jobs.
Their life expectancy, however, is limited to only 9 years, after which they are decommissioned. But when the story’s protagonist has to deal with the scrapping of some units, he will make a discovery.
An anime that unabashedly focuses on feelings, making them the central theme.
The theme of morality is predominant given the premises. That’s even more clear when we realize that these androids have real feelings, so they are not actual machines.
Is it right to exploit them and then get rid of them?
It’s also worth mentioning that Isla is one of the best kuudere girls in romance anime right now if you like the trope.
One of the major exponents of Isekai anime, the protagonist Subaru ends up following an accident in the mysterious magical world of Lugunica, a fantasy world full of spirits and monsters.
Here he will make the acquaintance of Emilia, a half-elf with whom he falls in love from the start.
But following an unfortunate accident in which they will both lose their lives, the protagonist will realize that he can come back to life, much like a respawn in videogames. What mystery lies behind this strange event?
An anime that although it falls into the Isekai genre, which might turn some people’s noses up, has much more to offer and tell.
There will be many elements of mystery and thriller, with even crude scenes and psychological aspects such as wanting to save everyone and failing to do so.
Having to make sacrifices and feeling powerless are also common feelings within the world of Re:Zero.
16. From me to You
From Me to You is a manga written by author Karuho Shiina winner of the prestigious Kodansha Award in 2008, a title of big importance in the Japanese anime and manga scene.
The main character, named Sawako, is derisively called Sadako by her classmates because she resembles the character of the same name in Ring.
That’s the Japanese version of the almost homonymous and famous Western horror film The Ring.
One day, the girl will make the acquaintance of Shota, a very popular boy in their school, who will treat her with consideration. This will make her feel less and less marginalized and she will eventually fall in love with him.
Romance is a predominant element this time, also dealing with psychological elements such as marginalization.
15. EF – a Tale of Memories
An anime with a very particular narrative structure, which is divided into 2 stories totally disconnected from each other but narrated in a parallel way.
On the one hand, we have the poignant stories of Renji and Chihiro, 1 lovers with a particular condition: Chihiro loses her memories every 13 hours, making their love story start from scratch each time.
On the other hand, we have a love triangle between Hiro, Miyako, and Kei.
Of course, as you will understand, the strong psychological aspect is due to the particular relationship between Renji and Chihiro.
The boy is forced to have to win back his beloved each time, amid suffering from being forgotten each time and a lacerating feeling of helplessness.
14. Your Lie in April
Kousei Arima, the boy protagonist of the story, from an early age has always been an ace piano player, famous and recognized by many musicians even older than himself.
That was until he suffered the tragic loss of his mother, leading him to abandon music and start feeling depressed. In fact, Your Lie in April is one of the best romance anime with a depressed MC.
That is until he meets Kaori, a beautiful blond-haired violinist who plays by putting her whole soul into it.
She will indeed bring back Kosei’s passion for music, but in a more carefree and lighter way than he was used to from his mother.
The relationship between the two will grow into something else but expect the worst. This anime is a real stab in the heart.
Erased lasts a full 12 episodes and merges mystery with supernatural elements while keeping all of its romance.
The main character is Satoru Fujinuma, a 29-year-old mangaka without any success, mostly due to suffering from notorious writer’s block.
However, following mysterious happenings, he obtains a power called Revival that allows him to go back in time just enough to save people’s lives.
During his far-from-a-happy childhood, one of his classmates had been murdered, and this is where his mission begins. What does this have to do with his mother’s murder?
Family abuse, trauma, and a desire to start over and put life back on the right track, while the main mission will be to rescue his beloved classmate.
These are the psycho-sentimental elements of Erased, one of the best additions if you prefer having more psychology than romance.
Another anime with Sci-Fi themes combined with romance and the usual psychological elements characteristic of this list.
Naho Takamiya receives a letter from her 10-year-old self in the future. At first, Naho thinks it is a joke, but changes her mind when the events in the letter really happen, including the transfer of a new student Kakeru Naruse.
And he is the main theme of the letter where he is asked to treat him with as much love as possible because 10 years from now the boy will lose his life.
Orange is an extremely sad anime that will let you appreciate what you have and reconsider life. The love story between Naho and Kakeru and all the missed moments between the 2 add a regretful taste to the plot.
With themes such as depression and suicide, this anime is absolutely a must-watch if you love mature stories.
11. Ao Haru Ride
The main character Yoshioka Futaba wants to appear less attractive and become as anonymous as possible to avoid attracting attention and envy from classmates. This is due to the past bullying trama that forces her to behave in the most discrete ways possible.
But with the chance meeting of the only boy she has ever loved in the past, will she be able to accomplish this goal of hers?
An anime that throws us into the psyche of the protagonist and her inner struggles as she decides whether to heed her sentimental side or not.
Ao Haru Ride is a classic romance anime and the premises already tell you how much damage can past traumas do to a person, especially to students.
10. A Silent Voice
A romance movie telling the story of Shouya Ishida and Shouko Nishimiya, 2 high school students that had a tumultuous relationship in elementary school.
Shouya was indeed bullying Shouko due to her deafness, and he will apologize in high school to prove he’s very sorry about his past actions.
The 2 will soon become friends but this relationship will be threatened by their personal issues and their lingering depression.
An excellent movie, with mature themes such as depression and bullying, but with a good ending.
Even though the manga, the original source, is more consistent and contains more details, this adaptation doesn’t fail to capture the psychology of the cast.
We also hardly recommend watching this movie with your partner, as we consider it one of the best romance anime for couples.
9. Welcome to the NHK
You have all probably heard of the Hikikomori at least once. They are young boys who self-isolate themselves from society by totally locking themselves up at home, out of fear of going out caused by various reasons.
The protagonist of the events is Tatsuhiro Sato, one of them, who spends his days playing videogames and watching anime. And that’s why we mentioned this anime in our list about the best romance with an otaku MC.
For these reasons, he is very depressed as his life is just the same unproductive routine repeated over and over.
One day like any other, to his surprise and unbeknownst to him, a religious old woman will knock at his door. She isn’t alone as there is another girl his age.
What Sato won’t know is that she will later get in touch with him, claiming that she can and will help him out of his condition.
As Sato comes out of his condition, feelings will also arise for his savior.
We must know how to take the right hand when it is extended to us, and Welcome to the NHK is the perfect definition of it.
Clannad follows the events of Tomoya Okazaki, a high school senior who is considered by many to be a bad element.
One day, on his way to school, he meets Nagisa Furukawa, a sweet girl who has difficulty relating to others a year older but is forced to repeat the year because of her health problems.
A deep relationship of friendship and more will soon develop between the two.
An anime that is a real shot to the heart, capable of making anyone feel tremendous emotions and even bringing a teardown, with one of the best sad endings in the romance genre.
This is both because of the seriousness of the themes dealt with, which are very psychological and human, but also because of the twists and turns that will release all at once a lot of built-up tension.
7. Shinsekai Yori / From the New World
Shinsekai Yori is a 2012 anime released in 25 episodes based on a novel of the same name.
It’s set in Japan 1000 years from now and features 5 main characters: Saki, Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun, born and raised in a quiet Japanese village.
Japan of this era is dominated by those who possess Juryoku, or telekinesis and telepathy, and those who do are strictly controlled. But one day the protagonists will come to discover what is really behind all this.
An anime that should definitely not be watched for its romance component, which is merely a subplot of the main story.
Rather it should be watched if you are looking for an excellent psychological anime that combines romance-type elements into itself without being preponderant.
6. Mawaru Penguindrum
If someone extremely dear to you were to pass away, what would you do if he or she came back to life, but possessed by another entity that promises to bring your loved one back to life in exchange for a favor?
This work comes after a decade or so of absence on the scene for Ikuhara, so it marks an important turning point for the author.
The initial premise reflects on Shoma and Kanba Takakura, 2 brothers who lose their beloved little sister Himari to an illness. Their surprise is then justified as they see her come back to life with a bizarre penguin-shaped hat.
The girl won’t be her in spirit as she is possessed by the Princess of Crystals, who promises the brothers to bring her back to life in exchange for their help in finding the Penguindrum.
The psychological and romance/sentimental spheres blend perfectly in this anime, as love is seen from a larger perspective.
There will not only be romantic love between 2 people, but also brotherly love, where we will see the protagonists do everything to get their beloved sister back.
5. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (OreGairu)
A 13-episode anime based on the light novel series of the same name written by Wataru Watari featuring Hachiman Hikigaya, an antisocial high school student with a distorted and pessimistic view of social life that leads him to be alone.
That is until his teacher forces him to join the institution’s volunteer club, which is attended and run by the prettiest and one of the most popular girls in school, Yukino Yukinoshita.
The 2 will find that they have much in common, but joining the club with Yui, another attractive girl will start a love triangle.
An excellent romance that combines psychological elements of different natures, dealing with important themes such as loneliness and depression, but without any visual violence.
4. Rascal does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Based on Hajime Kamoshida’s light novel of the same name, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a 2018 anime by CloverWorks.
The plot revolves around Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school boy who keeps to himself and has only two friends.
This is caused by the fact that rumors are circulating about him allegedly assaulting some boys. One day, while walking around the library, he runs into a girl dressed as a bunny.
The girl’s name is Mai Sakurajima, his senpai older than him as well as a professional actress. The 2 will begin to discover each other, opening doors to their various past experiences since the first episodes, making also this anime one of the best romance with early couples.
This series is undoubtedly one of the best romance anime out there that you cannot miss if you love the genre.
It will feature many romantic scenes but will also deal with important and serious themes of the human psyche as traumas and adolescent problems.
3. Monogatari Series
The story deals with the events of Koyomi Araragi, a generous boy attending high school who sees his life change after meeting Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade, a vampire.
The main character will save her by giving away some of his blood, and this will make the boy a vampire too.
After becoming almost human again as a result of these events, he begins to find himself in various affairs involving spirits, gods, and ghosts while living his private life.
We are faced with a work that is more unique than rare, almost impossible to categorize, combining in itself so many genres and elements, including psychology and romance.
It’s also worth mentioning that Araragi and Hitagi are one of the best couples in romance, with the boy being one of the best cool MCs in romance anime and the girl one of the best dominant female leads in the genre.
2. The Tatami Galaxy
The Tatami Galaxy is an anime consisting of 11 episodes based on a light novel and adapted in 2010 by Yuasa.
An anime in which you can very much see yourself and mirror yourself, especially if you are a college student or have ever thought about what your life would be like if you had taken a different path.
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.
Overthinking and replaying fake scenarios in our minds is normal, and this show will teach you that accepting yourself is necessary to move on with life.
And who knows that maybe this push in moving forward and accepting life as it is without taking mental trips comes from a close and beloved person.
1. Kaguya-sama: Love is War
One of the best and most acclaimed romance genre anime in recent years, and generally one of the most highly regarded series lately since its release.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War deals with small self-contained stories about the eternal psychological and love struggle between Miyuki Shirogane, distinguished student council president, and her deputy, Kaguya Shinomiya.
Both are determined to get the other to confess their love first because you know, in such cases the one who gives in first loses, and they can’t afford it.
An anime that will know how to make you die laughing with its comedy and keep you glued during the cunning and deep psychological machinations on the part of the 2 to get the beloved to confess.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War represents the apotheosis of psychological romance, and this is the most suitable choice for many anime fans.
If that isn’t enough, this show happens to be one of the best comedy romance anime out there.