Crunchyroll’s ever-expanding library of content is the perfect gateway for fans to get into every anime subgenre imaginable. From isekai to shonen to wonderfully awful harem comedies, Crunchyroll has it all. Romance is one of the most consistently popular literary genres and there are lots of romance anime for fans to delve into on the streaming service.
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Since Crunchyroll’s recent merge with Funimation earlier in 2022, the library has only gotten larger. Choosing which romance series to start with may be difficult at first, but there are solid classics and popular new hits that fans can’t go wrong with.
Toradora! is a romantic comedy that proves opposites attract. Taiga Aisaka, known around school as the “Palm-Top Tiger,” is a petite, but fiery teenager who has a crush on Yuusaku Kitamura, the student council vice president.
Ryuuji Takasu looks ten times more intimidating than Taiga ever will, but he has a gentle personality and a passion for doing housework. He’s also crushing on Taiga’s best friend, Minori Kushieda. Taiga and Ryuuji met through happenstance and vowed to help each other with their crushes, but grew closer to each other in the process.
11 Episodes & 1 Film
Boys’ love anime garnered a bad reputation for portraying unhealthy relationship dynamics and pandering to fujoshis, but Given broke all of those standards with its poignant narrative and emotion-driven storyline.
Given proves that music can heal trauma and bring people together. Ritsuka’s a guitarist who grew bored of playing music until he met Mafuyu, a bright-eyed novice who didn’t even realize he was a musical prodigy. Mafuyu joined Ritsuka’s band as the vocalist and they grew closer. There’s also a Given movie that stars Akihiko and Haruka, who have their own love story.
Kimi Ni Todoke (2009-2011)
Kimi Ni Todoke stars Sawako Kuronuma, a girl with an uncanny resemblance to the protagonist of The Ring series, earning her the derogatory nickname, “Sadako.” Ridiculed and ostracized by her peers, Sawako is a sweet, misunderstood girl who just wants to make some friends.
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Sawako aspires to be like Shouta, her class’ most popular student. Unafraid of putting himself out there and perpetually cheerful, it’s not surprising why so many people gravitate toward Shouta. Sawako and Shouta grew closer throughout the series, both of them impacting each other in unexpected ways.
My Dress-Up Darling (2022-Present)
My Dress-Up Darling is a hilarious seinen that’s just as much a love letter to cosplay culture as it is a risque ecchi comedy. Wakana Gojo is a socially awkward high school student with a passion for creating hina dolls.
One day, he meets Marin Kitagawa, who immediately took interest in his hobby and asked him to help her create a cosplay from her favorite anime. One cosplay leads to another, and by the end of the first season, Gojo helped Marin rock a few of her favorite characters’ looks. Marin and Gojo initially look like they have nothing in common, but they slowly fall in love throughout the series.
Sasaki And Miyano (2022-Present)
Sasaki and Miyano is a boys’ love romantic comedy that proves how a mutual love for manga can bring people together. Miyano is an avid reader of boys’ love manga, but he didn’t think he could fall in love with a guy until Sasaki came around. Sasaki helped one of Miyano’s classmates ward off some bullies, and the two have been inseparable since.
Sasaki fell harder at first, but it took Miyano a while to come to terms with his sexuality. Sasaki and Miyano isn’t a typical boys’ love rom-com. It’s sugary-sweet narrative is on par with shojo classics like Ouran High School Host Club and Fruits Basket.
Ouran High School Host Club (2006-2006)
Ouran High School Host Club takes place at the titular Ouran High, one of Japan’s most elite and, probably, most eccentric schools. Haruhi Fujioka isn’t wealthy, but she made it into the school with a scholarship. One day, Haruhi’s life turned upside down when she was just trying to find a decent place to study.
She stumbled upon the host club. Immediately caught off-guard by the members’ flirtatious antics and mistaken for a boy, Haruhi accidentally fell over and broke an $8,000,000 vase. Now, she has to pretend to be a boy and work for the host club to pay off her debts. Ouran High School Host Club only has one season, but fans will definitely feel compelled to pick up the manga after watching the final episode.
Fruits Basket (2019-2021)
63 Episodes & 1 Film
Fruits Basket isn’t the average slice of life. It’s not even the average romantic drama. Fruits Basket stars Tohru Honda, a girl who lives in a tent outside the Sohma estate because her parents are both dead and her extended family is unreliable. The Sohma family takes her in, and her life takes a total one-eighty spin from there.
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Every member of the Sohma family is connected to the Zodiac curse. If they’re hugged by the opposite sex, they turn into their associated animal. Suddenly lured into the Sohma family’s drama, Tohru cherishes her connections with each member and vows to help them break the Zodiac curse.
Horimiya stars Kyoka Hori and Izumi Miyamura. Miyamura normally looks like a melancholic nerd in school, but outside of school, he’s covered in piercings and tattoos. Kyoka’s one of the most popular students, but her life isn’t all that exciting since she normally just stays home taking care of her younger brother.
Miyamura found Hori’s brother and brought him home one day, and he’s been helping her take care of him since. They both have sides of each other they don’t show to anyone else, which makes their relationship feel much more special. Horimiya’s unique since it doesn’t waste time on the “will-they-won’t-they” nonsense and shows what happens after the confession.
Kamisama Kiss (2012-2015)
In Kamisama Kiss, Nanami Momozono was left out on the streets after getting evicted because of her father’s terrible gambling habits. Resentful and entirely out of hope, Nanami’s life turns upside down when a mysterious man kisses her for helping him and she becomes the Mikage shrine’s new land god.
She goes to the shrine where she meets Tomoe, an indignant fox yokai with a serious attitude problem. He refuses to acknowledge her as the new god, but Nanami vows to prove herself to him. Eventually, Tomoe respects Nanami and even falls in love with her.
Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War (2019-Present)
37 Episodes & 1 Film
Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War is a chaotic seinen masterpiece that combines romance with psychological warfare. As the title states, love is war. Whoever cracks and confesses first is the loser in this arbitrary set of mind games between two of Shuuchin High’s brightest minds.
Miyuki is the student council president, while Kaguya is vice-president. Their attraction to each other is obvious, but neither of them will admit it because they can’t stomach the idea of vulnerability. Instead of talking their feelings out, they put each other and their fellow students through hell via endless mind games.
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