If you are looking for a romance anime that can give you a more mature and adult point of view than the norm, then you are in the right place.
Grown-up couples who have discovered the difficulties of adult life can offer much more than the usual high school setting.
Here are the best romance anime with grown-up couples, based on our personal opinion and experience.
Table of Contents
20. My Senpai is Annoying
My Senpai is Annoying is a romcom released in 2021, based on a shojo manga.
Igarashi is an awkward office worker who works hard in the office. Takeda, on the other hand, is her senpai who enjoys annoying her, but feelings lurk in their relationship.
We will see the girl’s life as she seeks balance between her private, work, and love life while experiencing a succession of absurd moments.
My Senpai is Annoying is a perfect anime to watch if you are looking for something simple, with adult characters, and tender but funny moments.
19. I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying
I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying is an anime composed of animated shorts lasting about 4 minutes each.
The story follows the vicissitudes of Kaoru, a serious, hard-working lady who works all day in the office and Hajime, an otaku who spends his days surfing the Internet.
During the shorts, we will see them get to know each other, fall in love and get married, and then witness their life and problems as a couple.
I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying is your average simple anime with tender and comic scenes.
But don’t underestimate it, as you will also get cool psychological interludes since Kaoru and Hajime are adults by all means.
18. Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It is a great romcom anime based on science.
Yukimura Shinya and Himuro Ayame are 2 scientists who want to find out if love can be explained through a scientific theory.
The 2 have feelings for each other and know it, but they want to get to the bottom of it by explaining them rationally as one would for many other things.
Our lovely couple will experience many comical and awkward situations as their feelings for each other continually grow.
It’s even cuter when you consider the contrast between their intelligence and how awkward and absurd they can get.
This show is also ideal if you want to watch a good romance anime without any drama in its story.
17. Sing Yesterday For Me
Sing Yesterday For Me is a slice-of-life anime with romance and psychology.
Rikuo Uozumi is a boy with no ambition, which is why after finishing school he finds a simple part-time job with no plans for the future.
But it is here that he will meet several acquaintances of his who will open his eyes to the world around him, from his old crush to a bizarre girl named Haru.
Rikuo takes the center stage and love will be one of the factors that will make him throughout the plot.
16. The Great Passage
The Great Passage is a slice-of-life anime of only 11 episodes released in 2016, based this time on a novel written by Shion Miura, a Japanese writer.
The main character is Mitsuya Majime, an inept man who drags himself from his home to his workplace. He has no ambitions or passions except for reading, the only glimmer of light in his dark life.
But one day he will be approached by Kohei Araki, an old professor, who offers him the chance to participate in a project: the creation of a new Japanese language dictionary.
Meanwhile, we’ll see Mitsuya’s relationship with Kaguya Hayashi, the niece of the owner of the apartment building where he lives, who starts to show an attraction towards him.
The Great Passage tells a profound, mature and introspective story that echoes the themes of the novels with the inept protagonist on which it is based.
We will see Mitsuya grow as a person, and discover the joys of life and love, in a succession of events and themes rich in meaning and insights.
15. Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is an anime that combines videogames with a deep psychological aspect.
Moriko Morioka is in her 30s and has just quit her job to become a NEET and play Fruits de Mer, her only escape from reality.
When she was still employed, she befriended another gamer, who helped her go through loneliness. While out shopping at the combini, she meets an attractive and popular guy which seems to be interested in her. Will this duality be able to coexist?
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is an anime that examines psychological issues such as loneliness and social anxiety with love entanglements.
It is definitely your choice if you are looking for social criticism along with a solid romance that may hold twists and turns, all in a mature key with adult characters.
14. Natsuyuki Rendezvous
Natsuyuki Rendezvous is an underrated romance gem that you can’t miss.
Hazuki falls in love at first sight with an older and mature flower girl named Rokka, and to get closer to her, he decides to get hired as a part-time employee.
However, the woman is by no means ready to enter into a relationship, as she is still suffering from the recent loss of her husband.
Moreover, still conditioned by grief over the loss, the woman can see the ghost of the man speaking to her, preventing her from moving on.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a sentimental anime that hides an important and heavy psychological side, such as overcoming the loss of a loved one and feeling ready to move on with life.
His characters are grown-up and will help to give the story a mature tone, making it a solid suggestion.
Wotakoi is an 11-episode anime series based on a manga of the same name written and drawn by Fujita.
The series stars Narumi Momose, a serious and impeccable employee who hides from friends and colleagues the fact that she is an otaku and a nerd, who loves to play videogames.
But she will not be alone, because in the office where she works Hirotaka Nifuji, a charming old friend of hers lives his otakuhood head-on too.
In addition, Hanako Koyanagi, Narumi’s senpai, and her boyfriend Taro Kabakura are also an otaku.
Wotakoi as you may have guessed highlights these 4 charismatic characters with their absurd interactions as the love between Narumi and Hirotaka blossoms.
If you want to combine what is probably the best romance anime with otaku MCs with a lot of videogame references into a lightromance series with grown-up and mature characters, we absolutely recommend it.
12. Yuri!! On Ice
Yuri!!! On Ice is a highly acclaimed and award-winning sports anime that has ice skating as its central theme, with added comic and yaoi sentimental elements.
The story has as its centerpiece Yuuri Katsuki, a 23-year-old hope of Japanese ice skating who has suffered a bitter defeat in a major competition that destroys him psychologically. This makes him gain a lot of weight too.
Undecided whether to continue in the sport or not, he will be shaken by Victor Nikiforov, a Russian talent who will also offer to become his mentor.
Thus, Yuuri’s desire to play the sport will return, becoming fit again and ready to take his revenge.
If you are a fan of skating, we shouldn’t be the ones to tell you: don’t miss it. Another great reason to see it is the breathtaking animations, done by MAPPA.
And the same goes if you like Yaoi mechanics: Yuuri and Victor will be a great couple beautiful to behold and develop a healthy and intriguing love relationship.
11. Golden Time
In 2013, the Golden Time anime was released, with its exuberant and over-the-top story.
The 3 protagonists are part of a love triangle and you will see how it evolves as they live out their college lives.
Banri Tada lost his memory by falling off a bridge just before graduating, an interesting incipit for this story. Mitsuo Yanagisawa is one of his friends at college and is related to the third character of the story.
We are talking about the girl Koko Kaga, Mitsuo’s beautiful and popular childhood friend who shows up by slapping him with a bouquet of roses.
Golden Time is an over-the-top slice-of-life and romance anime unlike any other, funny and enjoyable while keeping the romance good and catchy, featuring 3 grown-up but still young inside MCs.
10. Josee, The Tiger and The Fish
Josee, The Tiger and The Fish is one of the latest romance movies released, debuting in 2020, based on a novel.
Tsuneo is a college boy who one day meets Kimiko, a girl who due to cerebral palsy cannot use her legs.
The 2 after a turn of events will begin to see each other more and more often, and as the girl becomes more open to the world feelings will begin to emerge.
Josee, The Tiger and The Fish is a beautiful and heartbreaking movie, incredibly dramatic and full of pathos.
The relationship between Tsuneo and Kimiko is believable and wholesome, and is the real protagonist of the events, with a strong focus on the human psyche.
The technical aspect is also excellent, with a memorable soundtrack and excellent animations.
9. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
An award-winning 2017 film in the genre of comedy, sentimental, and with a touch of the supernatural given by the reasons we will see in the synopsis.
A young student at Kyoto University has fallen in love with his younger classmate and has decided to meet her as often as possible, pretending each time it is a coincidence.
During a party attended by both of them, the boy decides to sit next to the girl, and as soon as they change clubs, it will be the beginning of a long night in which they will have several encounters, including supernatural ones.
A movie with a unique graphic line, capable of sticking and being personal given the technical choice of the filmmakers.
But the nice touch of this movie is the stylistic choice of not naming the 2 main characters, referring to them only as The Girl with the Black Hair and The Senpai, making you identify with them.
8. Honey and Clover
Honey & Clover is a slice-of-life anime rich in love triangles.
The story chronicles the lives of 5 characters, 3 boys, and 2 girls, who go about their daily lives while attending a fine arts academy college.
The highlights of this anime are the characterization of the characters, each different and unique from the other, but still managing to fit together perfectly, creating real relationships.
And what is most striking is the incredibly balanced story since there is no real protagonist standing out among them.
There will also be excellent romance dynamics, and the story will always be told from a mature and adult point of view.
Indeed, the real leitmotif of this work is the theme of growing up, and the hard transition between adolescence and adult life.
7. Nodame Cantabile
Nodame Cantabile is a romantic comedy with drama elements, following the story of the first-class Japanese musician Shinichi Chiaki.
His dream is to attend music college in Europe and play among the elites where he used to live as a child, although he cannot go there due to his fear of flying.
Things will change when he meets Megumi Noda, a remarkable pianist, who will try to convince him to go back to Europe to follow his dream.
Nodame Cantabile gives us an excellent story of trauma-solving love, with the leitmotif of pursuing dreams by overcoming one’s fears and insecurities.
Absolutely recommended if you are looking for a different story from the usual and a romance with some serious and psychological themes.
6. Clannad: After Story
Clannad is undoubtedly one of the best-known dramatic and saddest anime, with an extremely poignant ending. It was released in 2008 with 24 episodes.
After Story is the second part of the story, where we see the main characters, Tomoya and Nagisa, now grown up and struggling with adult life as a couple.
We highly recommend this anime if you are a fan of tragic romances, which make you feel a lot of strong emotions.
Clannad: After Story is known as one of the romance anime with the saddest endings, and we are sure it will retain this title for a long time to come so trust us and get your tissues ready while you watch it.
5. Spice and Wolf
Spice and Wolf is a truly unique work, almost difficult to pigeonhole into a single category and one of the best underrated romance anime.
This is because the anime, based on Isuna Hasekura’s novels, despite its vague fantasy world-building features does not adhere to the canons of the genre.
This is given the absence of magic and the struggle between good and evil and relying more on economics and trade.
The story revolves around the events of merchant Lawrence Kraft who agrees under request to help return to his native place a wolf-god called Holo, receiving in return his divine help and several privileges.
But feelings always blossom, and we will see a good romance between the 2.
Spice and Wolf is something we recommend you watch not only because it’s a good anime, but because of its uniqueness. The romance component is excellent, well-researched, perfectly working and mature, starring two grown-up characters.
4. The Wind Rises
Billed as Hayao Miyazaki’s supposed last feature movie, The Wind Rises is a 2013 work produced by Studio Ghibli and one of the best historical romance anime ever made.
A child named Jiro aspires to become an airplane pilot, but being nearsighted it will be completely impossible for him to do so.
But one day, he will dream of meeting the famous Caproni, a genius of Italian aircraft design, who will make him realize that his purpose is to build them rather than fly them.
From here we will follow Jiro through most of his life as he realizes his dreams and discovers love.
The Wind Rises is the story of the realization of a dream and the purpose of life, combined with the dramatic relationship between Jiro and his beloved wife as one of the best married couple ever.
Nana is an extremely famous anime following the lives of 2 girls named Nana. The first, Nana Komatsu, is a naïve 20-year-old girl who is liable to toxic relationships.
The second, Nana Osaki is a resolute and proud punk rock vocalist who aspires to become a famous singer. A fateful encounter on a train will bring these two together and they will share an apartment.
Nana touches on several topics related to the lives of rock/punk music stars, both positive ones such as success, travel, and touring, but also negative ones such as alcohol and drug use.
Nana is an excellent anime, which in our opinion deserves even more success than it already has. Its characters have a unique and extremely appealing style, with typical rock/punk star design.
Its story is also rich, entertaining, full of twists and turns and serious moments, making it a super solid choice, also if you’re looking for a romance anime with some dominant female leads.
2. Tatami Galaxy
The Tatami Galaxy is an anime consisting of 11 episodes based on a light novel and adapted in 2010 by Yuasa.
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.
Tatami Galaxy is an anime in which you can see 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.
Because, in addition to the paranoia and constant breakdowns of the characters, this is the real protagonist of this work: the harsh gap between adolescence and the beginning of adult life.
1. Maison Ikkoku
Maison Ikkoku, a 1980s classic, is based on a seinen manga by Rumiko Takahashi, known as the queen of manga.
The protagonist, Yusaku Godai, is a young high school student who aims to attend a prestigious college.
To prepare quietly for his upcoming exams, he rents a room at the extravagant Maison Ikkoku boarding house run by the charming and older Kyoko Otonashi.
As Yusaku begins to live at the boarding house, he falls in love with Kyoko and a mature and psychologically rich love story ensues.
Maison Ikkoku is a major hit in the romance genre, making history and shaping the genre as we know it today.
This anime really stands out, being one of the best psychological romances without falling in stereotypes.
Not to mention that is also a must-watch for those who enjoy the romance anime where older girl loves younger guy trope and want to experience one of the milestones of the genre.