The Kuudere stereotype is a commonly used and well-known type of character in anime and manga.
For those who may not be familiar, Kuudere characters are characterized by their silent and collected demeanor, showing little to no emotion on the surface.
However, it’s often hinted that they are hiding their true feelings deep down, and they come out when needed.
Some well-known examples of characters include Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Violet from Violet Evergarden, and Mikasa from Attack on Titan.
Here is a list of some of the best romance anime featuring a Kuudere character in the love story, based on our personal experiences and preferences.
Table of Contents
15. Domestic Girlfriend – Rui Tachibana
The main character Natsuo finds himself in a complex romantic situation after he has a sexual encounter with a girl named Rui.
Despite only being interested in physical pleasure, Rui’s rejection of Natsuo leaves him feeling guilty and torn between his feelings for her and his crush on his high school teacher, Hina.
But after some events the unlikely trio soon finds themselves becoming a part of the same family, leading to a complex love triangle full of twists and turns.
Although the anime may not be the highest quality, it does offer some good comedic and romance-harem moments.
The character of Rui, with her cold and detached demeanor, may be frustrating for viewers, but that’s exactly what makes her a unique kuudere girl.
However, if you’re a fan of romance anime where older woman loves younger man, this anime is definitely worth checking out.
14. Amagami SS – Ai Nagasaki
Amagami SS is a 25-episode anime released in 2010, based on the successful Japanese dating game of the same name.
The protagonist, Junichi Tachibana, is an ordinary high school student who is searching for his soulmate.
Feeling lonely during the Christmas season after a bad experience, he decides to make one final effort to win over the beautiful Haruka Morishima or one of his classmates.
But things won’t go as planned and he will collect multiple rejections.
Each mini-story arc focuses on a different girl, simulating the different routes from the original game.
Amagami SS is a romance anime based on the girl rejects boy trope and between all these girls, it features a fleshed-out Kuudere, Ai Nagasaki.
13. High Score Girl – Akira Oono
Hi Score Girl is a 24-episode anime series released in 2018, based on a seinen manga.
The anime is set in 1991 and follows the story of Haruo Yaguchi, a senior in elementary school who is good at videogames.
One day at the arcade, he meets Akira Oono, a quiet and aloof classmate with a kuudere personality, and loses to her resoundingly playing Street Fighter 2.
Despite the 30 consecutive losses, Haruo continues to play against Akira every day after school, as a bond develops between the two.
The anime captures the nostalgia of the 1990s and appeals to those who have an appreciation for videogames and grew up during that time. It has a vintage charm that brings back fond memories for the viewers.
12. Arakawa Under The Bridge – Nino
Arakawa Under The Bridge is a 2010 anime with 13 episodes, based on a seinen manga.
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 in order to repay her, Nino asks Ko to fall in love with her.
Arakawa Under The Bridge is a unique and underappreciated romance anime that combines humor with serious and emotional moments.
Through her relationship with Ko, Nino transforms from a quiet and reserved kuudere to a more confident and open individual, becoming the best version of herself.
This anime is a must-watch for fans of mature romance with grown-up couples and anime that focus on character growth.
11. True Tears – Hiromi Yuasa
True Tears is a 2008 romance anime with 13 episodes that focuses on psychological and emotional elements.
The main characters are Shinichiro, a high school student with a passion for drawing, and Hitori, a girl who lost her parents and now lives with Shinichiro.
Shinichiro is in love with Hiromi, but she seems distant and reserved due to her trauma. But one day the boy meets Noe, a cheerful and lively girl, causing his feelings for Hitori to waver. Who will he choose in the end?
The story explores the complexities of human relationships and the struggles of growing up and offers poignant moments and a relatable portrayal of teenage romance.
It may not be the most memorable or well-executed anime in its genre, but if you’re looking for a low-key and introspective romance anime with a good Kuudere girl, True Tears is worth checking out.
10. Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World – Ram
Re:Zero is a popular isekai anime that follows the story of Subaru, who is transported to a magical world named Lugunica after an accident.
There, he meets Emilia, an half-elf, and falls for her right away. However, after an accident where they both die, Subaru realizes that he has the ability to come back to life, much like a respawn in videogames.
The anime is a mix of mystery, thriller, and romance, with well-developed characters and an engaging story. The kuudere character Ram is one of the most popular and recognizable characters in the series.
Re:Zero is a unique and compelling anime that appeals to fans of both isekai and romance series, and its mixture of various elements like mystery, drama, and one of the best romance subplots makes it a great choice.
9. Say I Love You – Mei Tachibana
Say I Love You is a heartwarming romantic comedy that showcases a sweet and tender love story.
The protagonist Mei Tachibana is a quiet and reserved girl with kuudere traits who has never had a boyfriend or friends. But things change when she gets into a fight with the popular boy Yamato Kurosawa.
From that moment, Yamato takes an interest in Mei and their romance starts in an unexpected way when Yamato kisses Mei to save the girl from a stalker.
The series is known for its mature and serious approach to the love story, with less focus on comedy and more on the psychological development of the characters.
The characters are well-developed, and the animation style is smooth and beautiful, making it stand out in the anime world even though it was released in 2012.
If you’re a fan of heartfelt romance stories and action romance anime where the MC saves the girl, Say I Love You is a solid choice.
8. Pet Girl of Sakurasou – Mashiro Shiina
Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a charming and entertaining romantic comedy that follows the story of Sorata Kanda, a popular student who finds himself living in the infamous Sakurasou dorm.
The dorm is home to the most notorious delinquents of Sumei High, but Sorata’s goal of escaping changes when the new transfer student, Mashiro Shiina, arrives.
Sorata becomes determined to protect Mashiro, a beautiful and clumsy girl, from the rough environment of the dormitory. But as he gets to know her better, he realizes that his feelings for her might be more than just protective.
Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a heartwarming blend of comedy with one of the best romance anime with otaku MCs you’ll find.
Mashiro is a standout Kuudere, with a mysterious and clumsy personality that makes the show all the more enjoyable.
The romantic elements are well balanced with the humor too, creating an engaging and entertaining experience.
7. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Nagato Yuki
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is an anime from the 2000s, based on a highly successful novel with the same title.
Unfortunately, this excellent anime has lost its popularity becoming one of the best underrated romance, and we are more than certain that it is time for it to regain it.
Haruhi, a quirky and eccentric girl, is disinterested in normal people and instead seeks out-of-the-box experiences and people who can bring excitement to her life, specifically with regard to ESP, time travelers, and aliens.
This attracts the attention of a regular high school student named Kyon, who suggests that she should start her own club to indulge her interests.
And so, the SOS Brigade is formed, a club dedicated to the paranormal and including members like Yuuki Nagato, an alien, Mikuru Asahina, a time traveler, and Izumi Koizumi, an esper.
The anime is full of mysteries and truths waiting to be uncovered while some bland romance subplots goes on.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a well-rounded anime that never fails to keep the audience engaged. Its characters are well-developed and diverse, with a good balance between humor and serious moments.
Furthermore, Nagato Yuuki is one of the best Kuudere characters ever, in our opinion.
6. ReLIFE – Chizuru Hishiro
ReLIFE is a multiple award-winning anime with a serious and mature atmosphere. The main character, Arata Kaizaki, is a 27-year-old who’s become unemployed and is feeling down.
But his life takes a turn when he meets Ryou Yoake, a member of the ReLife Research Institute, who offers him a special drug that will turn him back into his 17-year-old self for one year, as part of an experiment.
The protagonist, who was once a popular boy in high school, takes this opportunity to win back his old love, Chizuru Hishiro, a silent beauty and the Kuudere in the story.
This is the perfect textbook case if you love romance anime where the popular boy falls in love with the shy girl.
ReLIFE tackles complex psychological themes with a captivating storyline, and the romance subplot fits in seamlessly with the overall narrative.
This is a story that should be consumed in one sitting, with the message that it’s never too late to start over.
5. Angel Beats! – Kanade Tachibana
Angel Beats! is a well-received anime from 2010, consisting of 14 episodes.
It blends a typical high school setting with supernatural elements and a touch of drama. The protagonist, Yuzuru Otonashi, a 17-year-old, discovers what happens to the soul after a person’s death.
He finds himself in a seemingly high school-like afterlife, populated by people who died suddenly or from unwanted deaths.
With them, he forms the Afterlife Battlefront, determined to fight against their predetermined fate and challenge the student council president, Kanade Tachibana.
Kanade is the epitome of a kuudere character. She’s quiet, reserved, but strong and unyielding when needed. Her unique portrayal makes her a standout in the anime.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the romance component. It’s present, with the love subplot just between Otonashi and Kanade, but nothing important or well constructed.
But overall, Angel Beats! is a captivating watch with a unique plot and setting. Although it may not be considered a masterpiece, it’s definitely worth your time.
4. Plastic Memories – Isla
If you’re looking for an anime that will leave a lasting impact, Plastic Memories is the one for you.
Set in a future where human-like androids are used for everyday jobs, the story follows the protagonist as he works with an android named Isla to decommission other units.
However, as he delves deeper into the process, he realizes the moral implications of the androids having real emotions and the unethical nature of resetting their memories.
The theme of morality takes center stage in this greatly overlooked romance anime, which will captivate you with its powerful emotions and stay with you long after you finish watching.
Not to mention that this anime has one of the best romance with a sad ending you can watch.
3. Monogatari Series – Hitagi Senjougahara
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 the midst of various affairs involving spirits, gods, and ghosts while living his private life.
Don’t be fooled by the plot, this anime is far from one of the classic stories of monsters and ghosts that must be defeated to preserve peace on earth.
Monogatari is a more unique than rare anime, almost impossible to categorize, perfectly combining so many genres and elements, including psychology merged with romance, comedy and some excellent characters.
Naming Hitagi in a list like this is almost like cheating, as she is deliberately written to incorporate different anime girl stereotypes, almost like a parody of them.
You can see her embody the kuudere stereotype to then become a tsundere and even a yandere in the next episode.
2. From Me to You – Sawako Kuronuma
From Me to You is a heartwarming manga written by the award-winning author Karuho Shiina. The manga was adapted into a 25-episode anime series in 2010.
The main character, Sawako, is initially nicknamed Sadako due to her resemblance to the character in the famous Japanese horror film Ring.
But when she meets Shota, her life takes a turn for the better, as he will love her as the person she is.
Sawako, who starts off as a quiet and reserved girl with Kuudere traits due to bullying, transforms into a more confident and open person as she falls in love with Shota.
The story follows the couple as they navigate their newfound love, and features heartwarming moments, comedic scenes, and significant character development for Sawako.
This anime is also one of the best picks if you want to watch a great romance without drama.
1. OreGairu – Yukino Yukinoshita
OreGairu is a 13-episode anime based on the light novel series by Wataru Watari, and undoubtely one of the best anime about depression you can find.
The main character, Hachiman Hikigaya, is a socially awkward high school student with a pessimistic view of life, which leads him to be a loner.
However, his life changes when his teacher forces him to join the school’s volunteer club, which is attended and run by the most popular and beautiful girl in the school Yukino, which also is the kuudere of the story.
As he becomes a part of the club, Hachiman soon discovers that he has much in common with Yukino, but the arrival of Yui, another attractive girl, complicates matters by starting a love triangle.
OreGairu is an unconventional romance that focuses heavily on comedy but also invites its audience to reflect on what is truly important in life, making it one of the best psychological romance anime.
This is an excellent romance and probably one of the best ever, and also a perfect choice if you’re looking for a great romance anime with a cool MC.