Violence and Romance both involve strong emotions and their fusion can only create an explosive cocktail.
There are a few anime that make wise use of them both, after all, mixing gore, dark themes, and love isn’t an easy feat.
Some of these shows have a romantic subplot like Berserk, whereas others Dead Leaves or Belladonna of Sadness put way more emphasis on love.
This listicle is subjective and based on our opinions, we hope you will enjoy it.
Table of Contents
10. Mirai Nikki
A widely known and discussed anime that many people love and others hate, especially because of the main character, Yukiteru.
The protagonist, Yukiteru Amano, is an antisocial boy who keeps a diary on his cell phone in which he notes everything that happens around him.
Yukiteru thinks he has an imaginary friend called Deus Ex Machina, the lord of time. One day Deus decides to organize a game and makes a change to his diary, which now reports future events.
This modification is soon applied to the diaries of eleven other people besides Yukiteru.
Thus is born the game, which consists of a survival game where participants must try to kill each other or destroy their opponents’ future diaries.
Whoever survives the confrontation will take the place of Deus as the god of time and space.
You will surely get to know Yuno Gasai, the almost prototypical Yandere girl who will fall madly in love with Yukiteru despite the cruel deaths that happen on the wheel.
9. Tokyo Ghoul
One of the most famous and talked-about anime of recent years, which has been at the center of attention for a variety of reasons, mainly because of its fluctuating animated adaptation.
The story revolves around Ken Kaneki, an ordinary college-going boy who lives in a town where strange and violent murders are happening.
According to the police investigation, these deaths are caused by Ghouls, mysterious and unknown creatures that feed on the bodies of their victims. No one has ever seen them even in passing.
As one would expect from a work of this kind, the love between the characters will be very present and crucial to their growth.
Especially for the story between the main character Kaneki and Touka, the girl who will introduce him to ghoul society and change his life, and will be his only love interest, in a romance without harem.
As already mentioned, Tokyo Ghoul is a much-discussed anime because of its uncertain and not exactly faithful animated adaptation.
So we of course recommend approaching the work through the manga, although the anime deserves to be seen for the good animation and soundtrack.
8. Elfen Lied
Based on the seinen manga of the same name, Elfen Lied is one of the most talked about works of the 2000s, for better or worse. It is certainly marked by its visual elements, both violent and sexual.
The story begins in a base, where experiments are conducted on beings called Diclonius. Beings capable of creating vectors, weapons that resemble arms capable of destroying a human being’s body from the inside.
In one of the labs, a guinea pig manages to escape from captivity by exploiting the incompetence of the guards.
But just as she is about to leave the base for good, she receives a violent blow to the head, causing her to fall from a cliff jutting out to sea.
Elfen Lied is a courageous work, which does not mind being raw and violent without putting any censorship on itself. But even in such a work, there will be no lack of a touch of romance.
7. Akame ga Kill
Akame ga Kill! follows a young boy called Tatsumi, who comes from an impoverished village and decides to join the Night Raids led by Akame in his quest to help his hometown.
This is a group of assassins that is supporting the cause of the Revolutionary Army and is trying to overthrow Prime Minister Honest who is manipulating the child Emperor.
The anime is certainly very raw and violent, with scenes capable of sticking with you. The romance between Tatsumi and Akame won’t be long in coming, and so the third wheel represented by Esdeath, a ruthless commander of the Empire.
This love triangle that involves the main character will have some interesting repercussions on the plot. This is not the only relationship you will see but the most important for sure.
This love story also makes it one of the best romance anime where older girl loves younger guy trope, so it’s worth mentioning.
We recommend you read the manga, as the anime isn’t exactly faithful and feels rushed.
6. When They Cry
When They Cry is an anime based on a sound novel of the same name published in 2002 by 07th Expansion.
The plot chronicles the lives of Keiichi Maebara and his friends who live in Hinamizawa, a small country town plagued by a macabre curse, linked to the worship of a local god Oyashiro.
After the protagonists begin to investigate the mysteries surrounding the quiet ghost town, the situation will begin to escalate, with various characters committing terrible acts as the truth is revealed.
An anime that has the virtue of constantly keeping you in a constant state of anxiety with the tension sky-high between one gruesome scene and another.
The spontaneous love of the boys that will arise in seeking comfort in these extreme and violent situations won’t be lacking, but surely not a main component.
5. Golgo 13
The story of an infallible sniper, able to hit any target from almost any distance.
Golgo 13 is the alias the protagonist uses in his work as a hitman. A series of different, often unrelated missions show us his coolness in taking lives.
Although the anime focuses more on depicting the incredible abilities of the main character, violence is a recurring theme. But love also comes for ruthless, iron men like Golgo, and we will have a marked romance component between missions.
Golgo 13 is a cult and is ideal for those who love vintage anime, especially those ’80s ultra-violent anime that are now a distant memory, and for those who like the romance where enemies become lovers trope.
A 24-episode anime created by Madhouse studio from Hitoshi Iwaaki’s manga of the same name, bringing it to the present day by debunking it from its vintage setting.
The work stars Shinichi Izumi, an ordinary student whose right hand is infested by a mysterious alien parasite interested in taking over his body.
Migi, a nickname given to the parasite, is just one of a race of parasites intent on taking over human bodies to conquer Earth.
The forced coexistence between the two leads them to clash with other malicious parasites in an ongoing struggle for their survival and that of humankind.
But what seems like an almost bizarre and comical situation will soon turn out to be chaotic and bloody as the two realize how violent and bloodthirsty the other parasites are.
But despite the violent nature of the anime, it will also have a great romance subplot marked by a love triangle, very important among other things for the development of the protagonist.
3. Dead Leaves
This movie is difficult to describe in words, which would be much easier to understand by seeing it with the eye. Dead Leaves pushes the envelope on experimentation, creating a unique and inimitable product.
The protagonists, after losing their memories, attempt a heist but are caught and sent to a maximum security prison. They somehow manage to break free and foment a riot, but their escape will be far from easy.
A seemingly simple plot hides an off-the-wall product with inimitable animation, soundtrack, and characters. But in this great indescribable welter, there can be no missing that dash of love.
Dead Leaves is a vulgar but entertaining movie that should be watched if you want to say that you love avant-garde and experimentation.
2. Belladonna of Sadness
As it was back in the day, Eiichi Yamamoto’s film, released back in 1973, continues to be a truly visionary work, relying on visual experimentation.
The work is openly inspired by the legends of the Middle Ages, particularly the book La Sorcière by French writer Jules Michelet.
Set in a poor rural village in medieval France, it tells the story of young Jeanne, who happily marries a man named Jean. Happiness is soon shattered as the local feudal lord of the local lands forces the girl to undergo a crude ritual rape.
After the traumatic event, the girl is left empty in her soul and deeply distraught. And it is here that a phallic-headed spirit visits Jeanne in a dream, proposing a deal to avenge the wrong.
Despite being an extremely old work by today’s standards, Belladonna of Sadness shows no signs of letting up and is still more than enjoyable viewing today.
Its style still comes across as avant-garde and is functional in telling and illustrating the macabre story that takes place on the screen, not to mention that it can be considered as one of the best historical romance.
A masterpiece of the dark fantasy and sword and sorcery genres by the notorious mangaka Kentaro Miura.
Its 1997 anime adaptation is famous for its vintage style and its fitting setting, even though we’ll always recommend you approach the series by reading the manga.
Few other works can match this one due to the complexity of its characters and for starring two incredible personalities: Gatsu and Griffith.
The story doesn’t start in the happiest of ways, but it gets even worse as the protagonist Gatsu crawls constantly searching for revenge.
Berserk is a milestone in Japanese art and the progressive suffering of Gatsu is what makes it more realistic.
But love will have its place even in this eternal suffering, with the romance between Gatsu and Caska growing more and more and able to soothe the suffering.
We can also mention the other romantic subplots during the series, including the actual love triangle between the two and Griffith. Speaking of which, you will see him in action multiple times stealing hearts and information about the enemies.