Romance anime can showcase strong and prominent female characters who drive the story forward.
Whether it be a tale of forbidden love, a heartwarming coming-of-age story, or a bittersweet tragedy, these anime will provide you with a wealth of memorable moments and emotional experiences.
So, whether you’re a seasoned anime fan or new to the genre, these romance anime with strong female leads are definitely worth checking out.
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20. Golden Time
Golden Time is an exuberant and over-the-top anime series released in 2013.
The story revolves around a love triangle involving three college students: Banri Tada, Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and Koko Kaga.
Banri lost his memory after falling off a bridge before graduation, Mitsuo is a friend at college and has a past the third character of the story.
We’re talking about Koko, a popular girl who makes a grand entrance by slapping Mitsuo with a bouquet of roses.
The dynamics between the three characters are much more complex than that, and Koko will play a crucial role in their relationship as a predominant female character.
Golden Time is a unique and enjoyable slice-of-life and romance anime, filled with humor and featuring 3 grown-up and relatable characters that will stick with you.
19. Skip Beat!
Skip Beat! is a 2008 anime that spans 25 episodes, centering around the life and personal development of its strong female lead.
The story follows Kyoko, a 16-year-old girl who dedicates her life to supporting her childhood friend Sho, an aspiring idol, even going so far as to drop out of school to follow him to Tokyo.
But Kyoko’s world crumbles when she overhears Sho belittling her, considering her as nothing more than a personal servant.
Determined to seek revenge, Kyoko resolves to enter the entertainment industry, vowing to surpass Sho’s fame and humiliate him in the process.
Skip Beat! shapes up as a captivating anime that we suggest you explore. You’ll find yourself immersed in Kyoko’s journey as she matures, discovers her purpose in the world, and even experiences love.
18. Snow White with the Red Hair
Snow White with the Red Hair is an underrated fantasy romance spanning 24 episodes that definitely merits more attention.
The story follows Shirayuki, a young herbalist living a peaceful life in the kingdom of Tambarun. However, her life takes an unexpected turn when Prince Raji forces her into an unwanted arranged marriage. Determined to escape this fate, Shirayuki flees.
During her escape, she encounters Prince Zen, who welcomes her into his court as a herbalist and offers his assistance in resolving her predicament.
And as they spend more time together, a heartwarming love story unfolds between them.
Snow White with the Red Hair is an exceptional story, with finely crafted characters, a delightful plot that defies clichés, and a love story that can be described as nearly flawless.
All of this is guided by Shirayuki, a compelling and endearing female lead whom we are confident you’ll develop a strong affection for.
17. Ouran High School Host Club
Ouran High School Host Club is one of the best reverse harem anime featuring some good comedy.
The story revolves around Haruhi Fujioka, a girl who has managed to gain admission to Ouran Academy, one of the most prestigious schools in Japan.
After finishing her classes, she enters an empty room to find some peace and quiet, but instead she discovers the headquarters of the famous Host Club.
After accidentally breaking a valuable vase, Haruhi is forced to work at the Host Club, disguised as a boy.
You already got the drill: all the guys at the club all try to win Haruhi over, creating a reverse harem dynamic with a lot of comedy and sentimental moments.
Haruhi is a quite unique and innovative female protagonist who offers a different perspective in the genre, so it’s worth checking out.
Horimiya is a hit romance anime that tells the story of two seemingly different characters, Izumi and Kyoko.
Izumi is introverted and quiet, while Kyoko is outgoing, popular and friendly. Despite their differences, the two manage to find love and understanding with each other.
Throughout the story, Horimiya not only provides comic relief but also focuses on the growth of the characters, both physically and psychologically.
And Kyoko plays a crucial role in the relationship and the story, as she helps Izumi become the best version of himself through her strong love.
If you’re looking for a heartwarming and entertaining romance anime, Horimiya is definitely worth a watch.
15. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is a light and funny romance anime released in 2014 in 12 episodes.
Sakura is secretly in love with her classmate Nozaki, and one day she finally decides to come forward and confess her love.
What she doesn’t know is that the boy is a famous mangaka, and she mistakes the girl’s confession for a letter from a fan. He will then decide to hire her as his assistant, resulting in many comical and absurd situations.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is pretty much what it sounds like from the plot: a straightforward and enjoyable romance anime that you can watch casually without getting bogged down by complex plot twists.
Sakura is also the true heart of the narrative, consistently maintaining the story’s quality and pace with her strong personality.
14. My Dress-Up Darling
My Dress-Up Darling has gained recognition for its smart use of fanservice and a likable cast with a strong female lead.
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.
The relationship between Gojo and Marin is the main attraction of the anime, as they help each other to grow as individuals with their contrasting personalities.
Gojo, a lonely boy who has never felt he had anything to offer others due to his insecurity and Marin, a confident girl who believes pursuing your passions is cool.
This will push each other out of their comfort zones and open each other up to new perspectives and the possibility of love, and this is exactly why Marin is the true heart of the story.
This is also one of the best popular girl falls for protagonist romances we can’t fail to recommend if you love the trope.
13. Teasing Master Takagi-san
Teasing Master Takagi-san is a popular romance anime that features the girl teasing boy trope.
This trope is common in recent years with anime like Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro and My Dress-Up Darling, all of which feature a dominant female protagonist that drives the story.
The anime focuses on the relationship between Nishikata and his classmate Takagi and their daily adventures as the romance develops.
With its cute and innocent atmosphere, Teasing Master Takagi-san is a perfect choice for those who enjoy simple and wholesome love stories with a touch of nostalgia.
The anime offers a balance of humor and heartwarming moments that make it a solid choice for fans of the romance genre.
12. Tamako Love Story
Tamako Love Story is an excellent romance movie with a mix of sentimental, slice-of-life, and comedic elements, released in 2014.
Mochizu and Tamako have been best friends since they were born and have grown up playing together. As a result, Mochizu has fallen in love with Tamako.
As they reach their senior year of high school, they must make decisions about their future, and the boy decides to attend a university far away from home.
In order to avoid regrets, he decides to confess his feelings to Tamako before leaving, but she rejects him in a panic.
However, second thoughts quickly arise and a race against time begins to set things right.
Tamako, as you may have guessed from the plot, is the real driving force behind the events and will do everything in her power to correct her mistake.
11. Kamisama Kiss
Kamisama Kiss is a supernatural and fantasy-infused romance anime accompanied by a lot of comedy. It debuted in 2012 across 13 episodes.
The story centers around Nanami Momozono, the main protagonist, whose life takes a dramatic turn when her father disappears, leaving her burdened with a significant amount of debt and without a home.
In a twist of fate, Nanami comes to the aid of a mysterious traveler named Mikage, saving him from a rabid dog.
Grateful for her kindness, Mikage offers her a place to stay, which turns out to be a shrine inhabited by various spirits, including Tomoe, a fox-eared boy who becomes particularly intrigued by Nanami.
Kamisama Kiss shines as a good and funny romance anime that we recommend to enthusiasts of lighthearted, funny, and cute romantic tales, without excessive drama or intricate plotlines.
Nanami, our protagonist, also stands out as an exceptional female lead. Despite her initial shyness due to adjusting to her new environment, she frequently steals the spotlight with her nature.
Wotakoi is a delightful 11-episode anime based on the manga series of the same name by Fujita.
The series follows the story of Narumi Momose, a highly organized and professional employee who has a secret side as an otaku and a nerd who loves to play videogames.
However, Narumi is not alone as her friend from childhood, Hirotaka Nifuji, also works in the same office and has a passion for videogames.
In addition, Hanako Koyanagi, Narumi’s senior, and her boyfriend Taro Kabakura are also otaku.
Wotakoi centers around these four lovable characters and their hilarious and absurd interactions as Narumi and Hirotaka’s love story develops.
With a perfect blend of nerdy elements, videogame references, a mature love story, Wotakoi is a must-watch for fans of the genre and one of the best romance anime with an otaku MC.
Maid-Sama! is a hidden gem that we consider as one of the best romance anime on Hulu.
Set in Seika High School where a majority of the student body is male, Misaki Ayuzawa becomes the first-ever female student council president, earning the responsibility to protect the female students.
Misaki and Takumi Usui’s relationship begins on the wrong foot when Usui dismisses a love confession from a female classmate.
But things become more complicated when Usui discovers that Misaki works at a maid cafe after school. To keep her secret, Usui agrees to keep quiet, which leads to a fascinating turn of events as the two begin to fall in love.
Maid-Sama! is a must-watch romance anime and one of the best romance where two enemies fall in love. Takumi is a cool character, but it’s Misaki who steals the show as the lead of this heartwarming story.
Pretear is a unique anime that draws inspiration from the classic Snow White fairytale.
The protagonist, Himeno Awayuki, is a 16-year-old girl who is struggling to lead a normal life after losing her mother. Meanwhile, the Princess of Disasters Saihi is sending seeds of evil to Earth to drain the life energy of all living creatures.
To save the world, the Riphe Knights, seven warriors of elemental powers, search for the Pretear, a princess with magical powers who is the only one capable of stopping the threat. To their surprise, the Pretear turns out to be Himeno.
Fans of Snow White will definitely love this anime as it seamlessly blends elements of the classic fairytale with its own unique vision.
The fantasy settings are breathtaking, and the plot is solid and engaging, and the romance subplot with harem elements is convincing and unexpected.
But the real standout of this anime is Himeno herself, who is a strong and admirable female protagonist who undergoes great character development throughout the series.
7. The Roses of Versailles
The Roses of Versailles is a cult anime released in the 1980s and based on one of the most important shojo manga ever.
The story is set in a historical context in 18th-century France, portraying life at the court of Versailles from the coronation of Louis XVI until the Revolution of 1789.
The events unfold through the lives of Marie Antoinette and her noble friend Oscar François de Jarjayes, the commander of the Royal Guard who was raised as a boy.
The Roses of Versailles is a cult anime that you should definitely catch up on if you haven’t watched it yet, even if its animation feels a bit dated.
It presents an incredibly comprehensive and captivating story filled with emotion, twists, adventure, action, and even romance.
Not to mention that Oscar is one of the strongest and most iconic female leads ever.
6. Spice and Wolf
Spice and Wolf is a unique anime that’s difficult to categorize into a single genre. That’s why we consider it as one of the best underrated romance anime you can find at the moment.
The story follows merchant Lawrence Kraft, who agrees to help return the wolf god, Holo, to her home in exchange for her divine assistance.
But along the way, a deep romantic relationship develops between the two characters.
The romance is mature and well done, with both Lawrence and Holo having strong and well-developed personalities.
Holo is a standout female character, different and with an innovative personality that will play a key role in the story.
5. Kaguya-Sama: Love is War
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War is a captivating anime that focuses on the ongoing psychological battle between Miyuki Shirogane, the student council president, and Kaguya Shinomiya, his deputy.
Both are determined to get the other to confess their love first because you know, the one who gives in first loses, and they can’t afford it.
This anime is a delightful mix of comedy, cute moments and a great romance with just a little bit of drama, all presented in a lighthearted and humorous manner.
This anime is not only a must-watch for fans of romance anime, but also for those who are not typically fans of the genre.
It offers a charming mix of humor, and romantic tension between the mysterious yet awkward Shirogane, one of the best cool MC in a romance anime and the seemingly perfect but shy Kaguya, our dominant female lead.
4. Yona of the Dawn
Yona of the Dawn is a thrilling tale of treason and revenge released in 2014 in 24 episodes.
The main character, Princess Yona, is betrayed and forced to flee from her kingdom. With her unwavering determination, she sets out to reclaim her rightful place as ruler.
The story is set in a fictional kingdom inspired by ancient Korea, and this also makes this anime one of the best historical romance.
It follows Yona’s journey as she transforms from a pampered princess to a skilled fighter, with the help of her bodyguard and main love interest Hak.
The character development of Yona is one of the best in the anime genre for a female character, We’ll watch her steps as she goes from being innocent and pure to becoming independent and understanding the ways of the world, especially her kingdom.
If you’re a fan of reverse harem shows and strong female leads, then this is definitely an anime you won’t want to miss.
3. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (OreGairu)
OreGairu is a 13-episode anime based on the light novel series of the same name written by Wataru Watari.
The protagonist, Hachiman Hikigaya, is an antisocial high school student with a negative and cynical view of social life.
That all changes when his teacher forces him to join the school’s volunteer club, which is run by the popular and beautiful Yukino Yukinoshita.
Hachiman and Yukino soon find they have a lot in common, but when Yui, another attractive girl, joins the club, a love triangle begins to form.
Despite the romantic elements, OreGairu is an atypical romance that focuses more on comedy and psychology, and encourages its audience to reflect on what is truly important in life.
The love triangle between Hachiman, Yukino, and Yui serves as a trigger for Hachiman’s growth, and that’s exactly what makes them a crucial aspect of the story.
2. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Based on the light novel by Hajime Kamoshida with the same title, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a 2018 anime by CloverWorks.
The story revolves around Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school boy who has a small social circle due to rumors about him assaulting some boys.
While he’s at the library, he comes across a girl dressed as a bunny, Mai Sakurajima, a professional actress. As they get to know each other, they delve into each other’s past experiences.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a sophisticated anime that prioritizes exploring psychological aspects tied to trauma over romance.
There are plenty of twists, turns, and emotional moments, but tying all these themes together results in an exceptional romance with one of the best anime couples ever.
Both are predominant characters for the story in their way, but Mai is one of the strongest female figures you can currently find in any romance.
Nana is an acclaimed anime that follows the lives of two young women named Nana.
The first, Nana Komatsu, is a 20-year-old girl who is easily swayed by toxic relationships. The second, Nana Osaki, is a confident and proud punk rock singer who dreams of becoming famous. The two meet on a train and end up sharing an apartment.
The anime delves into various aspects of rock/punk music stars’ lives, including both the positive aspects like success, travel, and touring, as well as negative ones such as alcohol and drug use.
But what makes this anime unique is its unique and appealing character design, which is reminiscent of rock/punk music stars of the 1990s
The story is rich, engaging, and full of twists and turns and serious moments. If you’re looking for an anime with strong female leads, Nana is a top-notch choice as both MC girls are the fuel of this excellent story.