Imagine anime without romance. Pretty blunt, right?
No matter what form of entertainment it is, romance is always present in the air. From the world of music to even the world of anime, romance is a driving factor! As wisely quoted by Maya Angelou “ Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive its destination full of hope ”. That hope is what keeps us wanting for more and more. And makes us relate to the characters while also unknowingly relating to their feelings. Either we sympathize with them or we end up sharing their happiness. Such is the power of love.
While there are romantic animes fully based on a romantic atmosphere ( Your name, Clannad ) then so are those of other genres which has an atmosphere of love in itself ( Code Geass, FBAB).
While some anime couple has a complete la la land ending then so are those which makes you weep and think “ Oh no here comes the tears! “ 🙁
So, here are the top 13 anime couple who did not have the best story ( Major Spoilers Ahead )
#13. Okabe And Kurisu Makise, Steins Gate
Androids called Giftia have been created to resemble humans in almost every way, except their lifespans are about 9 years and 4 months. Tsukasa has somehow managed to get a job at SAI Corp where they have created Giftia, but he is in charge of retrieving expired Giftia who have the possibility of becoming hostile. Tsukasa is given a Giftia partner, Isla, who is one of the best at retrievals. While they are an unlikely duo, Tsukasa finds himself falling for Isla, but her time is nearly up. Steins Gate is best known for its sad romance because we see two characters who, against the odds, fall in love. Isla and Tsukasa pursue their romance despite the impending end that we all know will happen. Similar to our next anime, Plastic Memories depicts the story of a romantic relationship that we know is doomed to end, but in the present, they pursue their own happiness above all else.
#12. Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye, FMAB
The relationship between Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye is of a subordinate and a leader. Both have known each other since their much youthful days. While Roy Mustang is the Colonel and Riza Hawkeye is the Lieutenant, she works under the colonel as his closest asset. The Colonel has gone on to even give the Lieutenant the authority of conscience and executioner by giving her the right to shoot him in the back should he ever stray from the righteous path.
Normally she acts as a babysitter to the colonel as he for one tends to be a much humorous guy in himself. But under extreme situations, it is made clear to the audience that she acts on her own will for the fear of ever losing the colonel.
Their relationship will always be one of a leader and a subordinate even if there is love present between ( which is highly hinted throughout the story ) them as per military rules you cannot make your subordinate your significant other.
#11. Kanade & Yuzuru, Angel Beats
The anime is about how a group of teenagers is living/”trapped” in a “ school stimulation “ after their deaths. It’s where the teenagers are in a “warzone“ with angel the student president. They for one have a belief that if they get along with the humans ( also know as NPC’s ) you will disappear.
Our lead Yuzuru soon joins the class SSS ( the once that are reincarnated in the school ) and fights against angel ( Kanade ). After many chaotic days, Yuzuru soon starts the discover the new world and gains respect for Angel. He soon realizes that this world is no war zone but a place where you can cope up with your much sad beforelife and finally get a happy ending. And have birth as a new soul.
Between all of the chaos Angel and Yuzuru work together to make everyone believe them. They share a very few yet significant moments with each other and none of them is anything happy.
#10. Hyakkimaru and Mio, Dororo
Mio was Hyakkimaru’s first love. Both were very close to each other for romance. While the romance didn’t last long as they had to part ways as fast as they could meet. Because of Hyakkimaru’s father, Kagemitsu Diago who sent troops to kill Mio and the orphaned children raised by Mio for his army thought that she worked as a spy for the other army, their enemy.
This caused Hyakkimaru to go on a serious rampage which made him kill almost all of his father’s men. What’s more tragic is, In the end Hyakkimaru holds her corpse in his arms and says the first words he ever said since he born on earth. As he was being cursed by the demon summoned by his father on him and on the other hand Mio finally got money to buy herself and the orphans fresh wheat only to lose to death.
#9. Hatori and kana, Fruits Basket
Kana first met Hatori when she becomes his assistant and later his girlfriend. She once asked him when snow melts, what does it turn into. Hatori thought she was making fun of him and said water, but she exclaimed he was wrong and it turned into spring. One day, Hatori transformed into his zodiac animal and Kana realized why he never wanted to get close with people; still, she accepted him despite the curse.
As he transformed into a seahorse, instead of being horrified or disgusted at how small he was, she started worrying whether to put him in fresh or saltwater. She decided fresh, which Hatori tells her later could’ve killed a real seahorse the way that she had thrown him in a bathtub. This made her hate herself and she couldn’t get over it. Finally Hatori had to erase Kana’s memory for it was getting worse and worse for her. And ever since then Hatori saw Kana from far away.
#8. Kouta and lucy, Elfen Lied
His repressed memories are triggered when Lucy uses her vectors to kill over a dozen soldiers in front of him. The reunion between Kouta and Lucy is vastly different. In the manga, Lucy apologizes and Kouta has her vow to never kill again, but Kazuma shoots at her and Kohta steps in the way to protect her. As Lucy’s body begins to deteriorate, she uses her remaining powers to put Kouta’s cells back together and save him. Fulfilling the promise he made to Lucy as children, Kouta kills her. However, Kouta goes to the place where they first met on the last day of the summer festival every year to wait for her, since she promised she would meet him again there. Ten years later, with the Diclonius menace eradicated, Kouta and Yuka are married and subsequently name their daughter Nyu. At the end of the manga, it’s implied he meets Lucy/Kaede and Nyu’s reincarnations.
#7. Hideki Hinata and Yui, Angel Beats
We have another entry from Angel Beats. Trust me this only gets more painful. Hinata helped fulfill Yui’s last regret by proposing to her. Then showing her what would have happened if they had met in the real world before they died. He said he would break her window with a baseball, and they’ll meet when he comes to retrieve it. After that, they’ll get along and before he knew it he’ll be visiting her every day. Then he’ll relieve Yui’s mother of her duty to take care of the bedridden Yui, and they’ll marry sometime after that.
Higue and Blue, Wolf’s rain
#6. Yu and Yuuko, Ef: A Tale of Melodies
It’s crazy how from season 1, Ef: A Tale of memories, the writer brought back minor characters and turned them into main characters on themselves. Two among them were Yu and Yuko.
The story of Yu and Yuko is nothing short of a deep sea love story – full of pain. Both knowing each other since their childhood and both being victims of a massive earthquake. Which made them lose everything they ever had – parents. They stood by each other yet not together for Yu still suffered from the grievance of his lost sister.
Less Yu knew that after Yuko left the orphanage she was a victim of a lot of evil deeds.
After getting to know about Yuko’s past he took the evil deed that Yuko faced as his own. Determined to protect the women he loved, he went against all odds to hold onto her.
Well, not everything lasts all happy every time. After a lot of trouble both had to share, they finally get to hold each other hands only to their dismay to lose it again. The anime with its own artistic beauty puts the pair into the next level. And has serious feels.
#5. Spike And Julia, Cowboy Bebop
“It’s all…a dream.”
“Yeah…just a dream.”
The story of Spike and Julia seems very relatable even though it’s pretty far away. While Cowboy bebop is in itself a great anime in it’s own then so is the relationship between the two characters Spike and Julia. Despite being the main driving factors of the story, Julia has a very minor story time. The relationship is nothing special initially in fact it’s nothing more than a series of flashbacks, only in the last 2-3 episodes we get to see the female counterpart of Spike, Julia.
The series of circumstances both had to face was tragic. At first both met as a doctor and a patient, then blossomed into two blooming lovers only to realise that she is a lover of Spikes own best friend and rival, they unite as fast as they separate only to get reunited again after years & years in the hopes of a better future only to lose out to the devil forever and turning the “future” into a dream that they possibly couldn’t afford.
#4. Shouko Nishimiya and Shoya Ishida, A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice brings hope to the society. Especially how the pair Nishimiya and Ishida shared their memories together. It highlights that how small things during your growing days could affect you on the longer run.
The relationship the pair shared in their early days were of a bully and a victim.
On one hand Ishida was your average “cool“ guy in middle school then Nishimiya was that one mate of yours who was physically different among others. She was deaf. And a very soft hearted person on herself. And Ishida was everything Nishimiya wasn’t. He had friends, ears to listen and everything Nishimiya ever wanted.
Everything changed for the worse after Ishida bullied Nishimiya to the point where she had to leave the school, his mom’s organs and he had to lose everything that he cherished the most including- friends. What followed next was self hatred and prolonged depression.
The second half is how our mc redeems from all the things in his past. And how much of a character he developed all these years looking forward to the day when he’d get to apologize to Nishimiya. The story that follows next is nothing short of an amazing fairy tail.
#3. Kaori & Ryouta, Your Lie In April
The entire anime your lie in April was nothing less of a genius in itself. It’s a story of how music connected two distant souls and made them into one. It’s a story of how because of one lie, another piled up into each other only to make things worse for the best just like in drawings. At first, it was something that only Kaori shared but then it was something both the characters had to share. The truth which was never really spoken was for a much nobler cause for it could have only made things much worse. It is colorful full of pastels yet after giving it some time we realize that it’s nothing more of a tragedy in making.
In the end, we realize how small yet significant moments we get to share with the two leads. Everything was coated with sheets of lie’s and as expected when the lie finally breaks apart we only get to cry and think over the whole series over only for the greater good for the two leads.
#2. Suzaku and Euphemia, Code Geass
Code Geass for one was not meant for romance. But the way how the romantic relationship between Suzaku and Euphemia was written and executed, it made the fans blown away with how love blossomed in all that chaos and destruction. In this aspect, it even puts Deathnote to same. It’s beautiful the way the pair find reassurance in themselves from each other – Euphemia’s feelings of inadequacy and Suzaku’s self-hatred. Both were very caring at heart. It’s amazing how they went hand-in-hand for a bright future but true enough there is nothing like a bright future in Code Geass.
The death of Euphemia is one of those great moments in the world of anime where you end up loving the character more than you did before and weep.
And, In the near end, Yuzuru even starts loving angel but only to the dismay of her disappearing from the world. He even gets to know that he was summoned to this world to fulfill kanade’s wish and that he shares a part of him with her ever since his before life. Soon after Yuzuru takes the role of student president ( what angel was ) and helps new “ students “ that come forward to the world, cope up with their earlier life.
#1. Shinohara Akari and Toono Takaki, 5 Centimeters per second
It was a love that was never meant to be. The anime “ 5 Centimeters per second “ showcases how along time, communication stops between two distant partners. It for one is not an happy anime in fact it’s nothing near anything happy. It’s as if the story of the couple was only written to make you empty.
The story is very realistic and has a very unsatisfying ending. The two characters are bonded by their similarity and a promise. And as time sets on, we get to see the distance increasing. It shows forth an ugly truth of life that not everyone could be with the person that they fell in love with.
The two characters, Akari & Takaki goes through a lot of transactions from childhood friends to distant lovers and then finally ……….strangers.