Romance Anime to Binge During the Month of Love

Hey fam, it is February aka the month of love aka the month of romance! For the anime fans in the chat, I wanted to put together a short list of anime that dives head first into the art of romancing with hopefully a little something for everyone. Some historical set tales to unravel, some characters who love gaming, a colorful reboot that I love, and even a Shojo classic!

My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Premise: Akane, a female college student, faces the absolute worst situation when she ends up breaking up with her boyfriend after he has an affair with another girl he met playing an online game. While relieving her stress by rampaging through the open hunting grounds of the online game they started playing together, Akane spills everything about her heartbreak to “Yamada.” He’s a player she met by chance who happens to be in the same guild. But when Akane gets a makeover and joins an offline event to get back at her ex-boyfriend, she hears those dreadful words again when she meets Yamada face to face.

This was one of my faves last year and certainly a fun series to rewatch and binge this month! I was so shocked to learn that the English translated versions of the manga were not available yet and have been waiting patiently ever since! I need another season of this as much as I need the manga. Playing up online gaming communities and the need for friendships and companionship, My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999 is instantly a new favorite for many.

*Crunchyroll is offering this series, along with a dozen more select romance anime series for free (with ads)–only through February, this limited-time AVOD event!

Watch it you love: Romantic comedies, the slice of life genre via anime, and series gamer girls™️ will probably approve of

My Happy Marriage

Where to watch: Netflix

Premise: An unhappy young woman from an abusive family is married off to a fearsome and chilly army commander. But as the two learn more about each other, love may have a chance. Miyo’s abusive family deems her worthless – but together with her powerful husband-to-be, her true self and hidden powers slowly begin to shine.

My Happy Marriage is an anime that I was eagerly awaiting last Summer as I read some of the light novels and manga adaptation. I really adored the slow burn and emotionally fulfilling story of Miyo and Kiyoka’s love as well as showcasing how family is just a word until you find your own. While not a hit with everyone, I loved the slower progression of these characters’ love and the character development on display. Angst on ten, this show won over more and more anime fans who love romance as time went on.

Watch it you love: Historical settings in anime, swoon worthy moments, and a female protagonist stepping into her own

Urusei Yatsura

Where to watch: HiDIVE

Premise: Chosen as humanity’s representative in a duel against invading aliens, the womanizing Ataru faces off against the alien princess Lum — and the conflict follows him home when Lum invades both planet Earth AND the reluctant Ataru’s love life!

There’s now three seasons of the reboot/re-imagining of Rumiko Takahashi beloved anime that was a game changer in the 1980’s. If you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a mostly spoiler free primer guide to the newer series! Of any series on this list, this is the one that screams “rom com” from the mountain and has the history to back it up. High-energy, fast paced and such a great adaptation that pays homage to the original, Invader Lum’s electrifying reintroduction to the world is a colorful must see.

Watch it you love: The renowned Rumiko Takahashi, that slapstick energy when it comes to anime, sci-fi-tinged anime

Sasaki and Miyano

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Premise: It all started like a typical old-school boys’ love plot-line—bad-boy senior meets adorably awkward underclassman, one of them falls in love, and so on and so forth. But although Miyano is a self-proclaimed boys’ love expert, he hasn’t quite realized…he’s in one himself. Which means it’s up to Sasaki to make sure their story has a happily ever after…!

Wholesome BL ALERT! I started watching this series and easily watched a handful of episodes in one sitting. Sasaki and Miyano is earnestly such a well-written series about falling in love…with so many (tame) BL aka Boy’s Love tropes and jokes included. I could see this being someone’s introduction to BL with ease. The English dub does an amazing job with the material and now I’m sad that I missed on reading the manga when it was first dropped. A must watch!

*Crunchyroll is offering this series, along with a dozen more select romance anime series for free (with ads)–only through February, this limited-time AVOD event!

Watch it you love: BL of course–I see you fellow fujoshi and yes you fudanshi folks, school life anime, wholesomeness!!

Romantic Killer

Where to watch: Netflix

Premise: Anzu Hoshino has no interest in romance. Her three loves in life are video games, chocolate, and her cat. After starting a new otome game, Anzu discovers that she has fallen into a trap set by Riri, a wizard who claims to be a “love cupid.” Due to Japan’s declining birth rate, Riri has been sent to put Anzu through otome-game-like scenarios with a number of handsome guys, in the hopes that she will fall in love. Anzu wants nothing to do with it, but Riri has taken her “three loves” hostage with magic, so she must play along for now.

Romantic Killer is a hot mess and incredibly funny and self-aware, if that makes sense? High strung with humor, it is hard to not like the premise, the protagonist Anzu and the days that follow after she gets herself mixed up with magic. Whether you get to the end of the series slightly exasperated on Anzu’s agency and her desire to comfort herself with her three favorite things: chocolate, video games and her cat—and/or you’ve enjoyed the ride of the exploration of all the tropes and all the comedic situations, you’ll probably come to an understanding that Romantic Killer is a fun watch.

Watch it you love: Shounen style romance, fast paced shenanigans, FUN TIMES

The Dangers in My Heart

Where to watch: HIDIVE

Premise: Kyotaro Ichikawa, a boy barely clinging to the bottom rung of his school’s social ladder, secretly believes he’s the tortured lead in some psychological thriller. He spends his days dreaming up ways to disrupt his classmates’ peaceful lives and pining after Anna Yamada, the class idol. But Kyotaro’s not nearly the troubled teen he pretends to be…and it turns out Anna’s a bit odd herself.

There’s now two seasons of The Dangers in My Heart and all I have to say after stumbling upon this series is that it is the sleeper hit of this entire list. Five minutes in, I was not sure about it and was squinting at it and found it to be a series that I knew I wanted to keep watching. Cringe. There is a lot of cringe in this series in the youthful way. I love the twist or playing up that young adults, teenagers are…multifaceted and are doing their best. You think Ichikawa is a little weirdo and then you see him in his springtime of youth (Thank you Rock Lee) and see him doing the most for the girl he’s in love with. The Dangers in My Heart is a surprisingly solid anime series with romance that delves into some big issues like body image, social anxiety, and school bullying with characters that were not one dimensional.

Watch it you love: Coming-of-age anime, well written exploration of the teenage years and falling in love, hilarious monologues

Ouran High School Host Club

Where to watch: Crunchyroll 

Premise: You’ll fall for the boys in the Ouran Host Club: Tamaki’s truly romantic. Kaoru and Hikaru offer displays of brotherly love. You’ll adore brainy Kyoya, innocent Honey, and manly Mori. Oh, and don’t forget Haruhi. He knows what girls want — of course, it’s because he’s a girl too! The Hosts must do their best to hide her secret, but Haruhi’s having a blast turning their perfect world upside down.

I wanted to add a classic to the list aka an 2000’s Shojo classic: Ouran High School Host Club will forever be a IT GIRL type of series. Somehow parodying Shojo and perhaps also paying homage to the genre, this gut-busting hilarious series was all the rage and solidified at least here in the States, that girls read manga and watched anime (you know in the early 2000’s boom of manga when people wouldn’t believe girls and women were their own demographic). As a series that I loved in high-school, I can watch it now and be amazed by how the narrative went hard in the paint on gender norms and friendship. While not everything aged well (several situations in the anime, actually and big controversy with a voice actor from the English dub), Ouran High School Host Club is still a series that is referenced and memed into the dust. Come on, I see “KISS KISS, FALL IN LOVE” in the comments on a TikTok video that has nothing to to do with anime and I just lose it.

*Crunchyroll is offering this series, along with a dozen more select romance anime series for free (with ads)–only through February, this limited-time AVOD event!

Watch it you love: Shojo anime that is not afraid to be SHOJO, full cast of lovable and quote stupid characters, comfort anime status

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers

Where to watch: Netflix

Premise: In an alternative timeline of feudal Japan, a strange disease that only affects men has caused a massive reduction of male population, thus women have to pick up men’s jobs, changing the social structure. Now, after 80 years of the initial outbreak and current man:woman ratio of 1:4, Japan has become completely matriarchal, with women holding important political positions and men being their consort. Only the most powerful woman — head of Tokugawa shogunate — can keep a harem of handsome yet unproductive men. Only certain eligible men serve as concubines to the woman shogun inside the walls of the Ooku.

I’ve written enough about Ōoku: The Inner Chambers on the site from the manga to briefly mentioning why the anime adaptation…wasn’t the one that I wanted. (SIGH) Even if the anime adaptation handled by Netflix wasn’t the one I wanted or (deserved), I hate to turn everyone away from it just because it wasn’t perfect. At its heart, Ōoku has such an incredible story that deserves your eyeballs in one way or another: through the anime, the long running manga series or one of the live-action offerings. Standing as one of my favorite alternative history tales of all time–even outside of the realms of manga and anime, check out this one for its weaving together of heart break, obligation, chaos, sincerity, and happiness of a life worth living in a imperfect blend of an anime.

Watch it you love: Alternative history intrigue, great voice acting, emotional damage fulfilling it that’s your thing

*Crunchyroll is offering more than a dozen select romance anime series for free (with ads) all month long. Please note that availability may vary by territory/country.

Also, I’m making this list as a subscriber of these streaming apps based in the United States. Please check the availability of all the streaming apps in your country or territory as access isn’t guaranteed, sadly!

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  • Carrie McClain is writer, editor and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Nowadays you can usually find her avoiding Truck-kun and forgetting her magical girl transformation device. She/Her

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