The 15 Best Romance Anime Where Friends Become Lovers

The satisfaction of seeing two friends who after hiding their love throughout the series finally accept their feelings is certainly beautiful.

So in order to enjoy this emotion, we have prepared a list of the best romance anime where two friends become lovers, written according to our personal opinion and experience.

Find 5 minutes of your time to read our list, grab a snack, and choose an anime to make your heart melt.

15. Ai Yori Aoshi

Ai Yori Aoshi

Get ready to fall in love with Ai Yori Aoshi, a good harem romance anime that captures the heartwarming journey from friends to lovers.

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, her childhood friend Kaoru was betrothed to him and has been preparing all her life to please her future husband, reasoning that she won’t let the boy slip through her fingers for any reason.

Unlike other romance anime, Ai Yori Aoshi doesn’t rely on heartbreak or drama to keep you hooked, but instead comedy, ecchi, and some good plot twists.

14. Just Because!

Just beacause

This coming-of-age anime follows a group of high school students as they deal with their emotions and relationships during their final semester, all in just 12 episodes.

Although it’s not solely focused on friends-to-lovers, the strong romantic element is undeniable.

Mio Natsume, Hazuki Morikawa, and Haruto Souma are 3 childhood friends waiting for the end of their junior year of high school to enjoy their well-deserved vacation.

However, when transfer student Eita Izumi comes back to town, old relationships are reignited, and buried feelings resurface.

Just Because is a short and intense slice-of-life romance that deals with several themes such as love between childhood friends, unrequited love, and growing up.

13. Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It

Science fell in Love

In this unique and hilarious romantic comedy, Ayame and Shinya are research partners and friends who use their scientific knowledge to analyze the mechanics of love and determine if they have romantic feelings for each other.

And as they conduct experiments and navigate their emotions, you’ll find yourself rooting for their love to finally blossom.

And with the show’s quirky supporting cast, including a teddy bear who somehow delivers scientific lectures, you’re in for a funny and delightful ride.

What sets Science Fell in Love apart from other romance anime is that the main characters already know each other’s quirks and personalities, making their journey from friends to lovers even more heartwarming.

So if you’re looking for a refreshing take on the friends-to-lovers trope with a scientific twist, this anime is your pick.

12. Love Hina

Love Hina

Love Hina is a good anime to watch if you’re in the mood for a classic harem series with a friends-to-lovers storyline in its 24 episodes.

Keitaro Urashima is a 19-year-old boy who tries to get admitted to Tokyo University, but not being particularly brilliant at studying, he is rejected several times.

However, he cannot give up his goal, as it is tied to a promise he made to a childhood friend.

In order to continue pursuing his dream, Keitaro starts working as a janitor in a women’s dormitory where Naru, a girl who looks just like the friend of the promise, lives…

Love Hina is a fun and entertaining romance anime with some twists and turns and tender moments between the characters, all with an enjoyable 2000s anime atmosphere.

11. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

Monthly girls' Nozaki-kun

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is a good show for anyone seeking a quite unique twist on the friends-to-lovers trope in its 12 episodes.

When Chiyo Sakura confesses her love to popular boy Umetarou Nozaki, she never could have imagined what would happen next. Instead of becoming his girlfriend, she becomes his manga assistant.

But as they work together, their friendship deepens, and sparks of romance will soon start to fly.

But don’t expect a typical romance. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun’s denseness and the show’s deliberate subversion of classic tropes add a hilarious charm that will keep you laughing until the very end.

Join Chiyo and Nozaki on their journey full of quirky schoolmates, love misunderstandings, and heartwarming moments.

10. Golden Time

Golden Time

If you love good love triangles, then Golden Time is an anime you don’t want to miss.

The story follows the lives of 3 college students, Banri Tada, Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and Koko Kaga, who are involved in a love triangle.

Banri Tada loses his memory after falling off a bridge before graduation. Mitsuo Yanagisawa is a friend of Banri, and Koko Kaga is Mitsuo’s childhood friend and an over-the-top girl who shows up by slapping Mitsuo with a bouquet of roses.

But soon Linda, Banri’s childhood friend, will join the love entanglement, making things even more complicated.

Golden Time is a fun anime with lots of love plots that will leave you breathless until the end.

Moreover, the characters are realistic, as are their friendships and love that will ensue.

9. Blue Spring Ride

Ao Haru Ride

Experience the rollercoaster ride of first love with Blue Spring Ride, a captivating shoujo series that will leave you wanting more after its 12 episodes.

Yoshioka Futaba, because of the bullying she received for her beauty during middle school, decided she wanted to become as unattractive as possible in order to live a quiet and peaceful high school life.

But when she will find out that Tanaka, a childhood friend and the only boy she has ever truly loved is in the same class as her, will she succeed?

With relatable characters and a compelling plot, you’ll get lost in the heartwarming tale of friendship, growing up, and the struggles of navigating high school and social life.

Don’t miss out on this beautiful portrayal of second chances and trauma-solving romance that will make you believe in the power of love.

8. Romantic Killer

While most romance anime follow teenagers falling in love, Romantic Killer breaks the mold and emphasizes the importance of friendship and finding true connections.

Anzu Hoshino is a high school girl who has no interest in love, but when she’s chosen as a test subject for a real-life otome game, her life takes a surprising turn.

With the help of a wizard named Riri, Anzu is thrust into romantic clichés and unlucky incidents that bring her closer to Tsukasa Kazuki, one of the most attractive boys in her school.

Although Anzu initially resists Tsukasa’s charm, their relationship deepens as they navigate the challenges of love and Riri’s meddling, and maybe they’ll become more than just friends and colleagues.

The anime showcases the friends-to-lovers aspect, as Anzu discovers love and her own emotions in the most unexpected way she could ever imagine.

7. Tamako Love Story

Tamako Love Story

If you’re a fan of the classic childhood friends-to-lovers trope, this movie is an absolute must-watch, as it’s entirely based on it.

Follow the journey of Mochizou and Tamako, 2 long-time friends who are about to experience a shift in their relationship.

As Mochizou prepares to leave for Tokyo, he realizes that his feelings for Tamako are more than just friendly. But will he have the courage to confess his love before it’s too late?

Tamako Love Story is an entertaining slice-of-life romance movie full of twists and turns that will keep you glued to the screen until the credits roll, waiting for the two main characters to finally express their love.

All with good animation, well-characterized characters, and an apt soundtrack.

6. Toradora!


Toradora! is one of the best romance anime ever made, released in 2008 in 25 episodes.

The story follows Ryuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka, two high school students with opposite personalities who become friends to help each other with their respective crushes.

But as they spend more time together, who knows if they will develop unexpected feelings for each other, becoming way more than just friends with a shared goal?

Toradora! is a romance anime that excels in many ways.

Its cast of characters is realistic and well-written, and you will witness many unexpected love entanglements that will lead to many plot twists.

5. Nisekoi: False Love


Don’t miss out on Nisekoi: False Love if you’re a fan of friends-to-lovers and harem romance anime.

The protagonist is Raku Ichijou, the heir to a powerful Yakuza family, who years ago he made a promise to a girl with a pendant saying they’d get married once they’re adults.

Raku is on a mission to find the girl who holds the key to his pendant and has a crush on his childhood friend, Kosaki Onodera.

But his life takes an unexpected turn when a rival gang, the American Bee Hive Gang, appears. To settle the feud between their families, Raku is paired in the first episodes with Chitoge Kirisaki, the daughter of the enemy’s leader.

The two will get along anything but well at first, but slowly they will become friends, and perhaps even more. But the arrival of many other girls who will join the harem, including Kisaki Oonodera herself, will not make things easy.

Nisekoi is a classic harem romance, entertaining and with stereotypical but well-written characters. If you like the genre, it’s a must.

4. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku


Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku is a workplace romance anime that captures the ups and downs of falling in love with your best friend.

Narumi Momose is a young girl who is arriving late to the first day of her new work when she makes a promise to herself: no one must find out that she is a deep nerd.

But these promises go up in smoke when she unexpectedly meets at her workplace Hirotaka Nifuji, an old friend of hers who knows her passions and is a great otaku himself.

The two will become increasingly more intimate, promising to respect their shared passion and to help each other farm on Monster Hunter.

What sets Wotakoi apart from other romantic comedies is its relatable portrayal of otaku culture. Narumi and Hirotaka’s love for gaming and anime is at the forefront of their relationship, and the show doesn’t shy away from exploring the joys and challenges of finding love within this subculture.

3. Lovely Complex

Lovely Complex

Lovely Complex follows the charming story of Risa and Atsushi as they navigate high school romance, bonding over their peculiarity.

Atsushi is teased for being too short to be a boy, and Risa for being too tall to be a girl. But whoever said that this should be a thing to be shamed for?

Lovely Complex is a hilarious romance with comedy that will have you laughing out loud.

The banter between Risa and Atsushi is sharp and witty, and their awkward interactions will have you rooting for them even more.

So if you’re looking for an anime that will make you laugh, and fall in love with the characters, then Lovely Complex is a great choice.

2. Cardcaptor Sakura

Card Captor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura is an excellent demonstration of how to combine romance and slice of life with other fantasy and majokko elements in an excellent way.

The story follows Sakura, a young girl who discovers a book of magical cards that she accidentally releases, giving her magical powers in the process.

As she sets out to retrieve the lost cards, she uncovers new magical abilities and forms close bonds with those around her.

Cardcaptor Sakura’s best quality is definitely the perfect balance of its themes and elements. Every genre merges perfectly, without any imbalances.

In the plot, you’ll find magical girls, action, fantasy and romance elements with the slow and well-written relationship between Sakura and Li Shaoran.

The two will in fact start as enemies, and then slowly become friends and even lovers.

1. Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

If you’re a fan of the friends-to-lovers trope, you have to check out Fruits Basket. And of course, we highly recommend watching the 2019 adaptation with its modern animation.

This anime is a great example of how this trope can be done perfectly, and it offers a unique take on the classic romance storyline.

Toru Honda is a sweet girl who is forced to live with her grandfather after the tragic death of her parents. But due to certain circumstances, she’s soon forced to leave that home as well and ends up living alone in the woods in a tent.

It’s here that she meets Yuki Soma, who invites her to stay at his family’s home, which holds a strange secret.

Fruits Basket presents one of the best love triangles ever made, where the characters begin as friends and then slowly develop feelings of love.

If you are a fan of the romance genre this is an anime not to be missed for any reason.

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Passionate about Japanese culture for years, serial devourer of manga, anime, and videogames that have now become part of my routine. My favorite series? Goodnight Punpun and One Piece.

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