Fans love romance anime for their tales of love and endearing characters. Many kinds of romance anime are available to viewers, yet some of the most fun are the shows that lean into their clichés. Many things have come to be expected from romance anime, and a handful of stories lean into these aspects.
Romance anime clichés include heartfelt confessions, specific character types, and even settings. Many romance anime have aspects of this, but some embrace their clichés. While many viewers believe that highlighting clichés would make a show boring, these shows are often improved by their adherence to traditional aspects found in romance anime.
10/10 Snow White With The Red Hair Is A Fairytale
Snow White with the Red Hair plays on the fantasy romance cliché. Although Shirayuki is more well-rounded than the typical fantasy romance protagonist, the show still involves a handsome prince falling for a beautiful woman from a neighboring kingdom. The show emphasizes Prince Zen Wisteria’s chivalrous and heroic sides while highlighting Shirayuki as a capable and endearing citizen.
Snow White with the Red Hair also follows the clichéd plot of Prince Zen’s journey from a lackadaisical monarch to someone who works hard for the kingdom he loves. Though it differs from traditional fantasy romances in many ways, the setting and central couple highlight a much-beloved cliché. Fans of romance anime are sure to enjoy this cliché romance.
9/10 Toradora! Features The Quintessential Tsundere
Toradora! is the story of two unlikely friends who fall for each other over time. While the show features many romance clichés, such as romantic confessions and unrequited love, the most notable cliché is Taiga Aisaka’s personality.
Over the years, Taiga has become the poster child for tsundere characters (characters who act standoffish but are sweet at heart). Her outward prickliness is heightened for comedic value, whereas her softer side usually comes out in the more romantic scenes. Toradora! embraces this cliché, making the show all the more entertaining for viewers.
8/10 Fruits Basket Highlights The Sohmas’ Personalities
Tohru Honda encounters many clichéd characters in the tragic anime Fruits Basket while also battling her own trauma. Each of the Sohmas represents a typical romantic character — highlighting their personalities and approaches to love.
Juxtaposed against the Sohmas’ strong personalities is Tohru. As a typically kind shojo protagonist, Tohru’s kindness and delicate nature are played up so that she stands out more from the troubled Sohmas. Although Fruits Basket is full of clichés, they help the viewer know more about the many characters.
7/10 Yona Of The Dawn Portrays Expected Anime Romantic Interests
Yona of the Dawn is a unique reverse-harem anime for its historical setting. However, the five male leads resemble leading males from other romance shows. Gija is sensitive, Jae-ha is confident, Hak is intense and brooding, Shin-ah is quiet, and Zeno is happy-go-lucky. Their varied personalities serve not only to provide ships for viewers, but also to make each of Yona’s companions more dynamic.
Additionally, Yona begins the show as a stereotypical spoiled princess. However, as her character arc develops, Yona becomes much more capable and starts to change her perspective on ruling a kingdom. In this way, Yona of the Dawn uses clichés to better develop its characters.
6/10 Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War Has Clichés That Backfire On The Protagonists
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is an endearing anime that embraces romance clichés by going against them. Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya have feelings for each other, but they do everything they can to avoid letting the other know. Their aversion to confessing gets so ridiculous that they start purposefully sabotaging each other (and themselves) to avoid revealing their genuine emotions.
With that said, the characters are tropes themselves. As the Student Council President, Shirogane is bright and rigid. Shinomiya is his slightly jealous second-in-command. Meanwhile, Yu Ishigami and Chika Fujiwara portray the brooding loner character and the bubbly, happy one, respectively. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War embraces its tropes by accenting the characters’ roles in the story and making Shirogane and Shinomiya avoid clichés at all costs.
5/10 Tsuredure Children Presents Many Romantic Clichés
Tsuredure Children is an anthology anime about high school students falling in love. Each episode features different couples and focuses on their particular struggles. Through the different pairings, the show highlights couple clichés and the problems and benefits of each pairing.
While Tsuredure Children is primarily lighthearted, there are some darker, heartbreaking moments. However, these, too, fit in with expected romance anime situations. Dealing with break-ups, rejection, or first kisses gone awry are all things these characters face and have come to be expected in the romance genre. Fans can be sure to celebrate and empathize with characters in this show, as it depicts relatable, clichéd romantic struggles in high school.
4/10 My Next Life As A Villainess: All Routes Lead To Doom!! Is A Dating Simulator
When Katarina Claes is hit on the head while walking through her family’s garden, she suddenly remembers her previous life as a Japanese high schooler. She also discovers that she is trapped in an otome game, and she is the villainess. As Katarina struggles not to be the villain, the game characters lose interest in their expected partners and start falling for her.
The characters in My Next Life As A Villainess: All Routes Lead To Doom!! are clichés because they represent typical otome game tropes. However, the show takes it a step further by depicting everyone as an otome game cliché — not just characters from one gender. Additionally, Katarina finds herself in various romantic situations familiar to any romance anime fan.
3/10 Rosario + Vampire Has Well-Known Anime Love Interest Types
Rosario + Vampire is an older anime about an ordinary boy named Tsukune Aono who attends a high school for monsters. While there, he befriends various monsters who are all working toward blending in with humans. Tsukune’s closest friend is a vampire named Moka Akashiya, who becomes more powerful when her necklace is removed.
As a harem anime, Rosario + Vampire leans into its clichés. The monster girls who hang out with Tsukune all have hallmark anime personalities. Moka herself portrays two different clichés, as her personality changes drastically when her necklace is removed. Like most harem and reverse-harem anime, this show is not afraid to play up its clichés for laughs and romantic hijinks throughout the story.
2/10 Ouran High School Host Club Is A Parody
Haruhi Fujioka finds herself forced into joining a club full of extravagant boys in the anime Ouran High School Host Club. This reverse-harem anime centers around a school Host Club and plays up its clichés by highlighting the boys’ differing personalities and throwing in typical antagonists to shake things up in the Host Club.
However, audiences may not know that Ouran High School Host Club is a parody of romance anime. The show strongly embraces romance anime tropes so it can poke fun at the genre while also being a part of it. Fans of romance shows can appreciate this anime both for its romance and parody aspects due to its heartwarming story and the truth about romance anime that it highlights.
1/10 Komi Can’t Communicate Embraces Numerous Anime Character Types
In Komi Can’t Communicate, Hitohito Tadano befriends a painfully shy girl named Shoko Komi on his first day of high school. She hopes to make 100 friends, but she is too shy to speak. Tadano offers to help her, and the two work together to help her gain friends and overcome her anxiety about speaking.
New friends are introduced every episode or so, and they all resemble anime character clichés. There are yandere and chuunibyo characters. Even Tadano represents the trope of a plain male protagonist in a romance anime. Komi Can’t Communicate embraces clichés through its wide cast of characters — showing that anyone from any background can fall for Komi, despite her struggles.
NEXT: 10 Best Seinen Anime That Embraced Its Clichés